Super Dialectacular Spectacular – Day 2
We need police abolition and an end to the way law enforcement forces the vast majority of non-white and well-off people into far more dangerous lifestyles than they deserve. It’s important to organize around these issues not just in at-risk communities, but also in those white and well-of areas, because of how much more attention institutions and authorities will give to voices coming from the latter communities. Essentially, the system’s racist, so we’ve got to use that to our advantage.
At a viewer’s request Semir also described the contradictions between healthcare rhetoric and working conditions. While doctors’ classroom years insist students are connected to a community, their rotations and residency grind that messaging away in favour of extracting as much cheap labour from them as possible. It is a very difficult environment to get by in due to it being illegal for healthcare workers to strike, and desperately needs organization.
The Canadian Left lacks financial capital to implement its ideas, but can compensate for that through the effective use of social, cultural, and emotional capital. Social capital is social status—essentially where one is in society. Someone prominent in their community, like a celebrity or representative, would be someone who could use social capital. Cultural capital is one’s connection to and understanding of culture—being able to talk about “the game last night”, or local goings-on, or any other cultural keystone that can create a connection with someone. Emotional capital is just how much people like you. If you’re a likable person, or people enjoy being around you, then you have emotional capital. While financial capital can definitely make it easier to achieve these other forms of capital, it is not necessary, and thus these forms of capital are the best tools the Canadian Left has available.
The Left is too insular and needs to get out more. They propose NormalQuest—a gamified campaign to get leftists to go outside and talk to people just, y’know, like normal people. “Quests” and objectives are very, very simple—go for a walk without headphones, say hello to people, get to know your neighbour. As time goes on, leftists can acclimatize to more social interaction. Asking their neighbours for help. Making friends with the bus driver. So on.
It is important to realize that we do not need everyone to be full-fledged socialists. We just need people to like us, and in liking us, help build community through a wider net of people who like and live alongside each other. We need to understand that solidarity is, essentially, seeing people and yourself as resources to be used or deployed at necessary issues. It’s a little iffy, yes, but that’s really what “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need” means. We don’t have to be cold and calculated about it, but we need people to be able to count on us when we’re able, and to be able to count on others when they’re needed.
Sean played a pre-recorded episode of Waffle to the Left that looked at Canada’s history of economic planning during World War II and the post-war period, through the speeches and literature of the CCF. Those lessons are then applied to the dual crises of COVID-19 and climate change with examples of how we can organize in decentralized co-operative structures that deliver basic human needs while regenerating ecosystems.
Class is a global characteristic that can extend beyond cultural differences. He cited a time where he tried to unionize his co-workers at a Newfoundland hotel—a hotel where the owner flew in on a helicopter to check on them, while the workers were making just barely minimum wage. He also offered an international perspective on class and social media, which was again that both are a great tool for reaching across previously difficult divides in the working class.
The Canadian left is severely lacking in the field of media. There’s not enough of us and we’re far too disconnected from each other. That’s why Andre, plus partners, affiliates, participants, etc. have come together to form Harbinger: a coast-to-coast network of Canadian podcasts that will all work to amplify each other and form a more coherent leftist media landscape. In time Harbinger will include YouTube channels and other sorts of media as it grows. Right now it has partnered with Passage, and all new subscriptions to the news outlet will have 50% sent to Harbinger until the end of October. A year-long subscription to Harbinger is $30.
The very first Super Dialectacular Spectacular was a rousing success. Overall the message seemed to boil down to three main ideas:
- We have to understand our history, and the history of others, and move past binary black-and-white thinking when tackling issues or having conversations.
- We need to get off the internet, go outside and talk to people. To be good at that, we have to stop trying to turn everyone into perfect socialists and instead form community solidarity—where we act as per our ability, and request as per our need.
- We need to collaborate and amplify each other. We are a community united in common cause, and can’t keep going on in insular communities across the country.
Alongside these tenets there were a number of initiatives proposed and suggested, and we need your help to decide which one to focus on first. Watch the panels yourselves and then go to joinidc.co/vote to cast your vote for which idea you thought the best.
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