Accessibility to knowledge is the font of a vibrant democracy and as Mark Twain once opined “the person who will not read is no better than the person who cannot read.” But serious reading takes time and effort, in short supply in the carnival under advanced capitalism. Too many people either do not have the time or are caught up in the diversions which surround us—like the Stupor Bowl and the low calorie fare we can get plugged into on regular basis. The easily manipulated are cannon fodder for the hucksters. Good people can easily be propagandized by the cheap slogan or as Goebbels said, the repeated lie.
Democracy can easily be hijacked by big money as it has been in the States. The brilliant US jurist Arthur Brandeis phrased this well when he said, “we can have democracy or great wealth in the hands of the few, but we cannot have both.”
Great wealth has suborned electoral politics in the US with rabid right wingers like the Koch brothers and Adelson pouring their coin into disinformation campaigns and lies—which are consumed by the poorly informed. You can easily make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Which brings us to the Ford brothers the deadly duo who have so embarrassed the city of Toronto.
Nothing shows their terrible ignorance as the fact that they were the only two city officials who voted against an increase in funding for our libraries. And why not? It is obvious that they do not use them!
Councillor Doug Ford gained notoriety when he stated that his Etobicoke ward has more libraries than Tim Hortons and added this piece about library activist Margaret Atwood “Well good luck to Margaret Atwood. I don’t even know her. If she walked by me, I wouldn’t have a clue who she is,” and let’s not forget his reference to “liberries” on a radio show.
Maureen O’Reilly of OurPublicLibrary sent this email out
We did it!
Late last night, Toronto City Council gave a huge vote of support for our public library!
Council voted to increase the budget for our public library in 2014 and to launch a study to explore opportunities to re-invest in our library!
It was almost unanimous – only the Ford brothers voted against.
Thanks to you and thousands of vocal library supporters, our public library can move forward with confidence and stability and hope for the future.
I am humbled by your support for our public library and delighted with last night’s result!
Thanks to you, we stood up to those who would diminish our public library and we won!
OurPublicLibrary.to is a network of people dedicated to preserving the integrity of one of the world’s greatest public library systems, the Toronto Public Library and is sponsored by the Toronto Public Library Workers Union.