Biography: Phil Saunders
I am a Canadian immigrant from Chile, where my family line includes two newspaper editors, a self-made millionaire and a whole host of incredibly strong men and women of Scottish and Basque ancestry. In 1973, the democratically-elected government of Socialist leader Salvador Allende was overthrown by a CIA-sponsored Coup D’état lead by a minor general whose name became infamous after a 17-year reign that ended with a peaceful transition to democracy in 1990. General Augusto Pinochet informs my political perspectives as much as those he persecuted. As a Canadian, I was raised on middle of the road politics, imbued in the merits of government-funded arts and culture, ideologies such as multiculturalism and bi-culturalism and bilingualism. I was taught little of the genocide my ancestors conducted against First Nations people across the Americas. This I came to learn later in life.

All of which is to say, I’m a middle of the road anarchist, meaning that I despise extremism on the left and the right sides of the political spectrum and seek meaningful consensus-based political philosophies. These include, but are not limited to, Anarcho-syndicalism, Consociationalism and other communal-based modes of governance that attempt to avoid top-down, hierarchical forms of government and promote individual agency and self-fulfillment within the constraints of a mutually agreed-upon social fabric.

My heroes have been Plato, Buddha, Antonio Gramsci, Murray Bookchin, Michael Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin and other free thinking radicals who have expressed and explored the human condition through alternative forms of government. Contemporary heroes for me are the McGill political philosopher Charles Taylor, linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky, Editor and political historian Lewis Lapham, Radicals such as Abbie Hoffman, Bobby Seale, Ernesto “Che” Guevera, and others whose ideas have championed new paradigms and helped us progress as a human race.

I am a trained journalist, having earned my Master’s in journalism from the University of Western Ontario after completing an honour’s B.A. in political science there. I am an award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience working for a business wire service, a number of small distribution newspapers and magazines and as a documentary film maker. I spent the majority of my time as an editor and reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation until 2004. For the last decade I have been a communications or public relations practitioner working largely in the post-secondary education sector where I have also been an instructor and professional adviser to First Nations and public and private sector organizations and politicians.

Although I acknowledge that I am on the left side of this group of thinkers, I believe that my strict adherence to mutual respect, editorial authenticity and disciplined discourse will contribute to a full exploration of the problems we are encountering on the third rock from the sun. I look forward to the debate and, more importantly, helping my readers and colleagues contemplate the future in a new way.
From our newsletter archives
Written by: Phil Saunders
Published: February 10, 2014 11:07:51 AM EST
Written by: Phil Saunders
Published: January 28, 2014 2:49:06 PM EST
Our other writers