Capitalism

Thomasina Pidgeon
2 min readOct 2, 2021

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I remember when this brown field looked like the second photo but more marsh. It was a place where we could hear the birds sing and find a little green solace in an ever-expanding jungle of concrete. It makes me reflect on a comment Audre Lorde once said, “For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.” We need to realize that working through the same system that got us here will not save us.

The many developments happening in Squamish and beyond are a mere continuation of a global economic system whose only goal is the maximization of profits which benefits only a powerful few. Despite the fact that we live on a finite planet, capitalism requires inequality, the commodification of people and land and constant expansion for its success. While some argue that the pace must be slowed down to protect our community and environment, I argue that we must change the trajectory completely.

This does not mean going back in time. It means questioning the idea that unconscious growth is the solution. This means acknowledging that the government is too reliant on market-rate housing developers to grow their tax base and that so-called “green technologies’’ such as reducing carbon in the atmosphere and technological advancements are mere reproductions of the same broken system and do not address the root cause of the problems we face.

In fact, allowing the current system of production and distribution to proceed unchecked only makes things worse because it leaves us with the false impression that our problems will be solved when the reality is quite different.

We need to start thinking critically about what’s happening around us and working a lot differently. The displacement of people, the rising inequality, the local and global environmental crisis we face, the list is endless. If people cannot or refuse to see the connection between the economic processes taking over Squamish, the least we can do is reevaluate our needs and consider this finite and fragile planet on which we live.

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Join us for a panel discussion on these topics Oct. 9th at the @theledge.ca with climate activists @ngottliebphoto and @avi.lewis, language and cultural teacher, Skwxwu7mesh Charlene Joseph and sociologist, Dr. Peter Hall.

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