About Society

My Political, Economic and Religious Self-Education

“The general population doesn’t know what’s happening. And it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know.” -Noam Chomsky


Unknown Unknowns

My politicization began roughly a decade ago and has steadily developed since then. When I moved from rural Alberta to Edmonton, I knew little to nothing about the world and how it operated. I didn’t have a political affiliation and was clueless about the fundamental differences between the Conservative and Liberal parties, whether federal or provincial. To complicate the matter, Canadian politics consists of three levels of jurisdiction: Continue reading

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About Me, About Society, Books

Racism is a Matter of Whiteness

In recent years, I’ve thought about race and racial discrimination in our world. I’ve written about racism in the American criminal justice system and how it continues the legacy of slavery; how movies vilify characters of color; the indifference towards refugees of color and growing Islamophobia within Europe and the United States; and hostility of white society towards racial justices movements like the Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter. By reflecting on the consequences of racism, I have been able to turn the corner racism and see how my white identity is central to the problem and solution.

White people need to realize that racism is a White issue. We–white European people–live in a world of racial ignorance. I lived in a world of racial ignorance growing up.

As the political theorist, Barnor Hesse, explains, the idea of race is fundamentally about the creation of a division between Europeans and non-Europeans, both internally, beginning with the Spanish expulsion or forced conversion of Jews and Muslims, and externally within systems of colonial rule, and of course in the transatlantic slave trade across the Americas. Continue reading

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About Society, Documentary Films

The Seven Deadly Sins of Powerful Institutions: Films by Alex Gibney

“Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

From the unquestionable belief in Catholicism, Scientology and other religions, to the idolatry of Lance Armstrong and other sports stars, to the trust we place in government and business, we thrust a lot of power to the institutions that surround us. Identifying_The_Seven_Deady_SinsThe documentary films of Alex Gibney examine these institutions and how they become corrupted.

Gibney’s resume is filled with films that cover a broad range of topics, including those noted above. The more I thought about it, his films are excellent case studies of the power of institutions and the damage that they can cause. They also align with the Biblical notion of the seven deadly sins:

  • Lust
  • Gluttony
  • Greed
  • Sloth
  • Wrath
  • Envy
  • Pride

Continue reading

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