Truckers of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your miles.
With apologies to Karl Marx, that could be the appropriate slogan for the truckers now on strike in Canada over having to show proof of vaccination for Covid if they want to cross the U.S. border, which they do thousands of times a day to keep the economy of both nations humming. They are indeed the lifeblood of the economies without which they cannot function. All goods go from place to place, and trucks take them there.
Not just truckers are involved. Thousands of people line the streets to cheer them on as they head for their destination, Ottawa, capital of Canada. They obviously speak and drive for a population weary of lockdowns and masks and other forms of coercion that writer Tony Hall calls “medicalized tyranny.” They are said to be based on science, but the science keeps changing. A human being can only cope with so much change.
Karl Marx, star promoter of communism, says that’s when a revolution occurs. A crisis precipitates it. But wait. The hundreds of truck drivers don’t seem very revolutionary. They are cheerful, even festive and, cold as it is with their fuel being removed by authorities, they seem to be enjoying themselves. It’s a democratic strike. No violence.
In the strike ridden U.S. in the late 1800s, top labor boss Samuel Gompers was asked what he wanted. He said succinctly “More.” Today’s truckers’ response to the same question might be “Less.” That is, less government intrusion on their lives. In Marx’s time strikes were economic, over pay. Today they may be cultural, a reaction to what they perceive as an assault on their values replaced by a fixation on race and gender. On their long hauls across the continent, they have time to ponder this.
It’s a sentiment that seems to be shared by fellow truckers in France, Australia, New Zealand and to be sure, the U.S., where a similar convoy plans to leave California in mid-February and reach Washington by mid-March. It doesn’t seem as if this increasingly international strike is going to be easily settled. Alarmed by the closing of bridges that has shut down the vital trade between the U. S. and Canada and caused some industries to reduce operations, Canadian authorities have warned of dire consequences. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a target of truckers’ wrath, says the strikers are only a fringe element with unacceptable demands and refuses to negotiate. But some Canadian provinces have taken the sizeable hint and lifted their Covid restrictions.
Another group deeply offended by the truckers’ action are the so-called globalists, wealthy individuals who meet privately to map, as they see it, the future course of the world. It’s a fuzzily collectivist vision not unlike that of the master Karl Marx. Trudeau is a member, as are Bill Gates and George Soros, a heavy contributor to U.S. officials who don’t like to prosecute crime. Truckers need not apply.
The truckers have undergone a change of reputation in allegedly elite circles, including the media. A short time ago they were the celebrated heroes who braved the Covid epidemic to continue to supply their fellow Californians huddled for protection inside. They now seem to be considered a Marxist style proletariat intent on power. Sorry, Karl, it’s not power they seek but a rightful place and voice in a democratic polity and the continent long convoy is their way of achieving it.