When David Miller ran for Mayor of Toronto back in 2003 on a platform of “Clean Up City Hall” and “Stop the Bridge to the Island Airport” (a bigger non-issue there’s never been), certain reasonable, rational people close to me were big supporters. I remember saying to them (and they remember, too): this guy is bad, bad news – a socialist demagogue beholden to union labour and the artsy-fartsy extreme left. I remember the response: you’re crazy, you don’t know what you’re talking about, he’s a good guy, he’s going to do a great job.
Those people hate him more now than even I do.
David Miller, after coasting through a zero-issues re-election campaign in 2006, has finally shown his true nature: a Marxist-Fascist with a smiling face. Everything he says is clouded in the context of the modern socialist world view: that the rich are keeping the poor down; that the poor are victims of social pathologies like violence and addiction because the rich keep them down; that equality must be achieved by seizing the wealth hoarded by the rich; and that a privledged class of enlightened, educated bureaucrats will create the paradise of equality on earth in this lifetime.
Now, there’s several problems with this world view. One, it’s a fraud – in our society, there is nothing keeping the poor down. There are tens of thousands of stories in Toronto alone of people who have risen up from poor, depraved families to rise to a position of dignity and happiness. As long as people are willing to work hard and persevere, and avoid the social pathologies of their communities, they have every chance in the world to succeed. Only when they are convinced they have no chance (usually by leftist politicians pimping for votes, and “community leaders” pimping for money) do they fall prey to the victim mentality.
Second, it’s destructive and twisted. It imposes the victimhood mentality on the “poor” (who, in today’s world, generally have cable TV, cell phones, and share an obesity epidemic), and demonizes the “rich” (which, to Miller’s crew, includes anyone with a home, a business, and a traditional family). It removes any sense of personal responsibility from the irresponsible class, while casting aspersions on the responsible class of people who, more often than not, earned their place through hard work and perseverance. It encourages jealousy and a sense of entitlement in the “poor”, and drives a wedge between them and the people who, deep down, they admire most.
It is in this context that I review what happened in Toronto City Council yesterday. Miller and his cronies packed the house with apparatchiks from the Labour and Arts communities, decked them out in yellow scarves (does yellow now mean “tax me…I’m stupid”?), and, through back-room dealing and a major sellout by the Toronto Board of Trade, turned what was shaping up to be a tax revolt into a major victory for the Bolsheviks over the Kulaks, through the imposition of a new land-transfer tax that both decreases the value of homes, and adds another obstacle in the way of those who dream of becoming a homeowner. The yellow-scarf-wearing Bolsheviks? They whooped and cheered as the vote was completed, dancing on their cash-grab victory, enjoying the moment as they stuck it to “the rich”.
What is a Kulak, you ask? In the Soviet Union, they were the peasant landowning class – often dirt-poor themselves, but generally farmers who committed the sin of actually accumulating some wealth in their lifetimes, even if it was a dusty acre of Ukranian potato land. In Toronto 2007, we are the Kulaks – the family homeowners, working insane hours and making great sacrifices in order to build a better life, and to pay off the countless hands in our pockets.
The Toronto Kulaks are not respected by the Miller crowd. We don’t take public transit (try taking a two-year-old to pre-school on a rush-hour bus); we are greedy (exploiting workers in our businesses); we are classless (we don’t go to gallery openings or sip lattes in Bloor West Village); and we think crime might just be caused by criminals (it’s caused by lack of social services and middle-aged white guys who feel their pain, stupid!). Therefore, it is OK to stick it to them time-and-again.
The new land transfer tax needs to be seen in the context of Miller’s world view. It is a seizure of wealth from Kulaks, to pay the Toronto Bolsheviks. No, not the proletariat – this money ‘aint going to the poor. It’s going to cronies – the artsies and the unions, who get to keep their obscene subsidies and wages without talk of a single bite. The unions – many of whose workers are homeowners, too – could care less about a bite on the value of their members’ properties. They saved their dues base, and saved the way-above-market rates and ridiculous contractual stipulations afforded to them by a Marxist voting block at Council.
Think the Kulak analogy is a stretch? From Wikipedia’s entry on the term:
Often those declared to be kulaks were not especially prosperous. The average value of goods confiscated from kulaks during policy of “dekulakization” in the beginning of 1930s was only $90-$210 per household . Both peasants and Soviet officials were often uncertain as to what constituted a kulak, and the term was often used to label anyone who had more property than was considered “normal” according to subjective criteria.
- usage of hired labour;
- ownership of a mill, a creamery (маслобойня, butter-making rig), or other complex equipment, or a complex machine with mechanical motor;
- systematic letting of agricultural equipment or facilities for rent;
- involvement in commerce, money-lending, commercial brokerage, or “other types of non-labour occupation”.
Joseph Stalin liquidated millions of Kulaks during his reign of terror. Miller simply wants to kill our lifestyle, through a death by a thousand cuts. Yesterday it was a land transfer tax; next it will be road tolls, sin taxes, parking space levies, garbage bin fees, and user fees at libraries and community centres. After all, anything is justified for the Bolsheviks to keep their perks as they perform miracles and save the world.
Did I mention he’s an extreme narcissist?