Saturday, June 18, 2016

Visiting Canada from Mexico

The Few and the people can never rule together. Either the Few rule or they do not. Either we, the people, rule or we do not…The basic structure of oligarchy (the rule of the Few) can be expressed thus: The Few rule for their Private Good, protected by groupthink, diversion, force, and fraud…
-       Excerpt from an underground, word-of-mouth bestseller called Manifesto of Real Democracy (see

Sunup in eastern Nova Scotia—just a little different from the mountains of Mexico
Even though I am presently in Canada for a visit, I find it impossible to not think of the struggle in Mexico against a so-called “educational reform” that has been denounced by teachers, intellectuals, academics, human rights organizations, and millions of the “common people.” And what is the response of “the Few” to this protest by the people? Since it is evident that groupthink, diversion, and fraud are not working, it is now “force” that is being used to counteract this huge movement.
An all-too-typical scene recently in many parts of Mexico: police versus protesters
I can only hope that sooner or later channels of real dialogue are established. I don’t think it will happen during the next ten days that I am still in Canada, but I have to hope that things will improve.
Many shades of blue in Nova Scotia; I am used to many shades of green in the mountains
My little brother in Nova Scotia (the youngest of five siblings) was turning 60 years old, so we brothers and sisters decided to get together to help him ease into old age. From Mexico, Vancouver, Montreal, and Halifax, we came together to spend a week together with him at his house in the beautiful village of Arisaig, Nova Scotia.
My two brothers getting lobsters off a boat in Arisaig for the birthday supper
It was a wonderful family experience. I have usually been the one family member missing during the past thirty years from family gatherings (birthdays, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, funerals), so it was an extra treat for me. The ocean became my substitute (temporarily) for the mountain. But even better than the scenery was the quality time with my two sisters and two brothers and my in-laws.
The MacDonald family. My sisters will complain that I posted their photos, but what the heck!
That's the birthday boy in the middle.
Anyone who returns to Canada after years in an impoverished region, I think, experiences at least a bit of “culture shock” in Canada. I remember sharing a coffee in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, one summer many years ago with Father Buddy Smith, a priest at that time in the Dominican Republic with Scarboro Missions; we both happened to be “home” at the same time. Buddy looked around at the beautiful main street and then said, “Mike, doesn’t it seem to you that we are in a theme park here?” Surely there are many life-and-death struggles beneath what a visitor can see in a “usual” Canadian setting, but there is still a sharp contrast with the every-single-day struggle for survival in many other parts of the world.
Visit to parents' burial site and church in Heatherton, Nova Scotia, and just hanging out
I am grateful for this wonderful visit and “down time.” Although it will be great to get back to the mountains of Mexico and “get involved” again. The rainy season will be starting: mud, not dust. It will be good to be among friends again and to continue the struggle for life for the many, not just “the Few.” Thanks to all who are participants in many different ways in that struggle.
Thank you, Nova Scotia, for a great visit

1 comment:

  1. We too are so grateful that our family got to spend time together for a celebratory reason. Last time we were all home together was to bury our wonderful mom 3 years ago. We're all truly blessed. May God wrap his arms around you Mike and keep you safe in Mexico and bestow many blessings on you,your friends and the the incredible people you get to be present with each and every day. Love from your sister Nena.