Social Credit And Western Canadian Radicalism
Date: Friday, October 07 2005
The history of Alberta Alienation and the autonomous farmer worker resistance to Ottawa, the seat of political and economic power of the mercantilist state, dates back to the founding of the province one hundred years ago.
The autodidact social movement of immigrant farmers and workers in Alberta and Saskatchewan were influenced by socialist, communist, economic reformers, the ideology of the Cooperative Commonwealth and the Cooperative movement, Social Credit, and Henry George.
It was in Alberta and Saskatchewan that the greatest social experiment in social reform would occur at the end of WWI. It was an autonomous movement of workers and farmers radicalized by their immigrant backgrounds, their self study educational societies, and their building of The Socialist Party of Canada. The radical workers movement would form the One Big Union in Calgary and call for a General Strike against capitalism, The Edmonton General Strike 1919 .
While Canadian Historians have spoken of the 'two solitudes' between French and English Canada, there were in fact 'three solitudes' in Canada. The third solitude was the farmer worker rebellion in Western Canada. This had begun with the Riel Rebellion and would become more pronounced in the early half of the 2oth Century in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Social Credit was part of that movement of worker farmer rebellion against the Canadian mercantilist state. Its founder Major Douglas is an example of the autodidactic intellectual trend at the beginning of the 20th Century when socialism begins to diverge into Modernism, being a movement of progressive politics, philosophy, art, and culture.
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