I don’t know who wrote the opinion column ("A society enslaved") that ran in the St. Albert Gazette on Saturday, March 21, but I hope I’m not the only one who avoids the tendency to look at the features and infrastructure of our advanced society and deem these things enslaving.
Yes, it’s good to be aware of the inherent limitations of the technology and infrastructure that drives much of Canadian society. And yes, it’s good to be mindful that breakdowns in that technology and infrastructure can have significant (and potentially catastrophic) outcomes.
But is that slavery? Why take such a dim view of the technical innovations and systems that allow Canadians to enjoy such a high standard of living that we are able not only to enjoy safe-to-drink water from our kitchen taps, but that we are able to use that same water to grow our gardens and flush our toilets. Yes, water mains break sometimes; that doesn’t change the fact that it’s nothing short of amazing that we have what is overall a reliable source of drinkable water, in such abundant quantity that we don’t even bother maintaining a separate system for the transport of non-potable water for use in outside taps and bathrooms.
There are many places in the world that have nothing like that. I highly doubt that anyone who consciously disdains our advanced society would wish to live in such places.
Kenneth Kully, St. Albert