We’ve all heard the news that gas will likely go up to $1.50 a litre before the summer. And this is likely a message to prepare our minds to accept the eventuality of it, a kind of preparation to stave off anger before the event. Gas is priced at $1.29 a litre today. Those of us that fought metrification will recognize that is an increase of $1.05 a Canadian gallon.
I’ve heard of a plan to “War” against the big oil companies, more specifically Sunoco / Petro Canada, and Esso ( For more info on campaign http://www.facebook.com/GasWarStartsMay1st ), I’ve read it as dreamed up by a former CEO of Coke and again from a former CEO of Haliburton, so I cannot give credit to where it is due. But the strategy is good, being that by a boycott, war, or whatever adjective you give it, by the gas driving public not pumping their gas from Sunoco / Petro Canada, and Esso (the major players in Ontario’s Oil Industry) we can destroy their bottom line, and in so doing these big players will do whatever they have to do to keep their companies from going bankrupt. So they will be forced to find whatever solution they need to do to lower their prices to entice drivers back to their pumps.
Now think about it for a second. The people that fill up at the pump hurt and complain, but to no avail because money out of the consumers’ collective pockets fills the Oil Company’s pocket. The Oil Companies response, Boo Hoo. We complain to our Federal Conservatives, they are reaping more taxes the higher the price gets, Boo Hoo. So if we are not ready relegate ourselves as doormats we have to do something. The only thing left to do is to hurt the only ones that have the power and are in position to make the change, the major oil companies. If they are not the only players, they are a part. They shut down refineries that produce the gas thereby creating shortages that drive up prices (supply and demand). The other factor in this is speculators in the Futures Market are driving up the prices. Are the Oil Companies major players in the faceless Futures Market, who knows, but whereas we the little people do not have the ear of the Conservative Party, oil companies do have their ear. And maybe their ear in a wrestling hold, the Tar Sands, oh sorry, the Oil Sands has Harper and the Boys by the nose, and he is willing to have them destroy the environment to get money in their pockets. So if the oil companies are hurting and said to Steven, “we are hurting here” , Steven will do something to help them, er, help us, the little people.
Fine and good, the strategy is sound. But what about the us becoming doormats part, to everyone; oil companies, governments, banks, big pharma, insurance companies, and on, and on, and on. So maybe we are powerless. Or maybe we are not. Maybe we have forgotten principles, that our principles have been left so far back in the past that we don’t even think to take them off of the shelf any more, to dust them off, and try them on. Maybe we don’t know how it feels to have power any more.
But here’s the thing, when the bully bullies the one on his own, there is intimidation, and humiliation, and powerlessness. Sure the little guy backs down, but when the school of little guys stand together the bully has to back down.
You know what. I don’t care if Sunoco, or Petro Can, Esso, Shell or any of them make a dime through their gas stations ever again. They mean nothing to us except higher gas prices at the pump, higher food and product prices because of higher transportation costs, and that means they are attacking not only our wallets, they are jeopardizing our ability to live comfortably and without stress. I really fear for those on fixed incomes, the elderly, and the working poor working at minimum wages (many of them pumping gas) who have already been squeezed by the economy so much that they making decisions to eat less in order to keep a roof over their heads. These people will not only have less food, but it will also be poorer nutritional food. How much more can they eliminate until they are malnourished?
Something we have not yet considered in our Capitalists Utopia World is whether we are now ready to, or soon, to recognize that Capitalism, left unchecked, is a blight on our society. Will we continue to give more power to the Corporations that keep gobbling up more, and pulling ever more resources and power to itself, or will the people, the one’s that do all the living and building and contributing to life, kindness, and love be seen as more valuable. When a corporation cries tears I will have compassion. If we were principled as a society, we would see that the assault on our society, by some of the Multinational Corporations is tantamount to treason, and that they are more dangerous to us than a army standing at our borders because, they are among us, and we do not have the principled lives to watch or be afraid of them, or do anything about them.
If we cannot be strong to our beliefs and live by our principles who are we and where will we end after others have done with us what they will. We will be here where we are… in deep trouble. So draw that line in the sand and don’t buy your gas from any of the major oil companies, buy your gas from an independent gas station if you can. And if the strategy doesn’t work, you will have the deep satisfaction of knowing that you are not a contributor to the increase of their power. I will hope rather that you will feel a sense of your own growing power.