The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Friday, October 5, 2018

More Assorted Reflections

The first Assorted Reflections can be found here.

- Although Oliver Cromwell’s Puritans claimed to be fighting for the freedom of the people against “tyranny”, it was King Charles I who had the love and support of the common people. The Jacobins, likewise, declared themselves to be the champions of the poor of France, even though in the cahiers detailing their grievances the poor of France had not called for the overthrow of the monarchy, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were in fact more popular than the men who deposed them, the Revolution was instigated by a cousin of the king, and most of its leaders were upper class intellectuals. Marxism considered itself to be the voice of the proletariat (factory workers) despite the fact that its founders were a pseudo-philosopher (Marx) and a factory owner (Engels), it has always been led by intellectuals, and has never drawn significant support from the actual working classes, who generally suffered the most wherever it came to power. Similarly, the feminist movement appointed itself the voice of the female sex, although it has never spoken for family oriented women who make marriage and children their top priorities and is overtly hostile to Christian women who believe the Sixth Commandment applies to both sexes. The claims of black activist groups to speak for all blacks and of the Anti-Defamation League to speak for Jews are further examples of the same.

- From its beginning feminism has drawn inspiration from both liberalism (classical) and Marxism, with some feminists leaning more toward liberalism, others towards Marxism, but with a general alignment to the liberal-left. The liberal-left has always been inclined towards democratic and small-r republican institutions of government – an inclination which in no way conflicts with its inclination towards totalitarianism. Within such institutions, feminism had to fight for the right of women to vote and to hold elected office. Conversely, we on the conservative-right have traditionally been inclined towards the institution of hereditary, royal, monarchy. This institution has allowed for reigning and even ruling queens and empresses since the dawn of human history.

- Feminism has strange priorities. On New Year’s Eve, 2015, gangs of migrants harassed, assaulted, and in some cases raped large numbers of women in Cologne and other German cities. The feminist outcry over this was insignificant, almost non-existent in comparison to the loud noise they are currently making over Brett Kavanaugh, the charges against whom are unsubstantiated and suspiciously timed. Indeed, most feminists have jumped on the “migrants welcome” and anti-Islamophobia bandwagons, proving that while politics makes strange bedfellows, intersectionality makes the strangest bedfellows of all.

- While I do not take the position that women ought to be kept barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen, I do think a case can be made that this is what should be done to feminists. Especially the male feminists.

- It has been reported for a couple of weeks now that Her Excellency, Julie Payette, is less than happy with her position as Her Majesty's vice-regal representative in the Dominion government and that others are less than happy with her performance in that role. Part of the problem, it seems to me, is that she was chosen for the position by the Liberal Party. The Grits, and especially the Trudeau branch of the party, have long lacked both an understanding of and an appreciation for the office of the Governor General and the grand, traditional, institution of royal monarchy it represents. So, when it falls to them to choose the next Governor General, they don't look for the person best suited to represent the Queen in Canada - which is the actual, constitutional, purpose of the office - but for someone to be the face of Canada, as they envision it, which is constantly changing, to the world. There is a simple solution to the problem. I have long maintained that while the Canadian Senate is badly in need of reform, the reform it needs is reform that respects and is consistent with the constitution that the Fathers of Confederation bequeathed to us in 1867. The complete overhaul of the Americanized, Triple-E, model proposed by the old Reform Party is unacceptable. The most necessary reform could be accomplished simply by removing control over who is recommended to be appointed to the Senate from the Prime Minister's office. Having the provinces, rather than the federal government, recommend the appointees to the Senate seats allotted to them would be an obvious way of doing this. Similarly, it should not be the Prime Minister who advises the Queen as to who her representative should be. Indeed, unlike the Senate, in the case of the Governor General's office it was not established in Confederation that the Queen would appoint based on recommendation from the Prime Minister's office, but rather, until the Statute of Westminster the appointment was made on recommendation by the Imperial Privy Council. In the Liberal Version of Canadian history this is regarded as a step forward in the evolution of Canadian nationhood. This is because the Liberal Version falsely superimposes America's story - the story of former colonies forging a new national identity after severing the imperial connection - upon Canada. Canada's true story is the exact opposite of this - the story of Britain's loyal North American colonies, English-speaking Protestant and French-speaking Catholic, coming together to create a new nation that would deliberately retain the connection, that would in time become more familial than imperial. Since so many Canadians do not know our own story, transferring the right of recommendation from the Canadian PMO back to London would not sell in this day and age, but that is not the only option that suggests itself. The Queen's Canadian Privy Council, minus the current Prime Minister and Cabinet, is the appropriate body to make the recommendation.

- Mazo de la Roche, at one time Canada's most popular novelist (she also wrote plays, short stories, and a memoir), had very strong views as to who was qualified to be Governor General. According to her biographer Ronald Hambleton she believed the office should be restricted to the aristocracy and preferably a member of the royal family. De la Roche is buried very close to the grave of Stephen Leacock in the churchyard of St. George the Martyr at Sibbald Point in Sutton, Ontario. Both were traditional Canadian Tories - royalists, who believed in Canada and her British institutions and connection, and were suspicious of American liberal republicanism. With her reverence for nobility and the aristocratic ideal, so obviously on display in her Jalna books, de la Roche was more properly the High Tory. Apart from his royalism and his views of race and sex, Leacock's dissent from egalitarianism was in the direction of individualistic meritocracy. He was, perhaps, the quintessential Canadian Low Tory.

- Canada's British institutions and familial connection have historically been means to the end of preserving Canada's independence from the United States. The reverse is also true, that the cause of maintaining Canada's independence from the United States has been the means to the end of preserving her British institutions and familial connection, valued as goods in themselves. The main weakness of Canadian Toryism, apart from the fear of being seen as too right-wing by the electorate that has led to far too much left-ward drift over the years, is that while it always recognized the first point, it seldom fully grasped the second, which is the more important of the two. John Diefenbaker was an exception to this. John Farthing, whose Freedom Wears a Crown articulated and defended the point, was another. Neither man was properly appreciated by the Conservative Party.

- Conservatives of the nineteenth and twentieth-centuries looked back to the eighteenth century statesman Edmund Burke as their prophet. Ironically. Edmund Burke was a member of the Whig (liberal) Party. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this. The ideas that conservatives most respect in Burke are his defence of the British monarchy and established Church, his condemnation of "armed doctrines", his revision of social contract theory to make the "contract of each particular state" into a "clause in the great primeval contract of eternal society" that is a "partnership between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born," and the local patriotism of his "little platoons," all of which come from his Reflections on the Revolution in France, written late in his career, and which better reflect Tory convictions than those of his own party. Indeed, this sharing of ideas has gone both ways. Thomas Hobbes, who introduced social contract theory to begin with, and David Hume, the noted eighteenth century skeptic, are both recognized as significant contributors to the development of the ideas of classical liberalism, but politically both were affiliated with the Royalists/Tories. In Hume's case this only really comes out in his History of England. At any rate, excellent as many of Burke's "neo-Tory" insights in the Reflections are, conservatives would do better to look to his friend the lexicographer Samuel Johnson, the oft-quoted Dr. Johnson, as their eighteenth century prophet. T. S. Eliot was one conservative who recognized this, and his famous statement "I am an Anglo-Catholic in religion, a classicist in literature and a royalist in politics" consciously echoes Dr. Johnson's definition of a Tory.

- Canadian conservatism began as an adaptation of British Toryism. It was royalist, but, due to the greater denominational differences that have been here since before Confederation (French Canadians were predominantly Roman Catholic, English Canadians were traditionally English Anglicans and Scottish Presbyterians, with a sizable number of English Methodists and Baptists and Irish Catholics, and smaller numbers from other denominations) it was less associated with church establishment than its British parent, although it was far from being secular, and Canada, contrary to the claims of certain ignorant Grits, has no tradition of separation of church and state. Since the 1950s, and the birth of the American conservative movement (as recently as 1950 Lionel Trilling could write "In the United States at this time liberalism is not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition"), Canadian conservatives have tended either to borrow ideas from American conservatives (Canadian neo-conservatives) or to emphasize the differences between Canadian Toryism and American conservatism and try to re-align the former with socialism, progressivism, and the left (Red Tories). Both tendencies are mistakes, in my opinion. Contrary to some clever arguments from the Reds and the examples of lovably eccentric individuals like George Grant and Eugene Forsey who were able to blend religious conservatism and the Tory love of Canadian institutions with otherwise left-wing views in their personal philosophies, there is no natural affinity between Toryism on the one hand and socialism, progressivism, and the left in general on the other. Canadian neoconservatives, however, have had the perverse tendency to pick out of the big tent of American conservatism, the ideas that are least compatible with our own Toryism and neglect those that are the most. That big tent originally consisted of classical liberals or libertarians (liberals in the nineteenth century meaning of the term), ex-Communist Cold Warriors, and traditionalists like Russell Kirk, Richard Weaver, and Robert Nisbet. The traditionalists borrowed from British classical conservatism as many ideas as they could compatibly incorporate into a liberal republic. Obviously, these are the American conservatives most compatible with our own Toryism. They are also the most neglected by Canadian neo-conservatives. This is perhaps not surprising when we consider how neglected they are in their own movement. Their role in the big tent was largely supplanted in the 1970s and 1980s by the New Right and (American) neo-conservatives. The New Right was an alliance between populist-nationalists and the Religious Right. There was some overlap in position between the older moral and social conservatism of the traditionalists which corresponded closely to that of British and Canadian Tories but the predominantly evangelical/fundamentalist Religious Right more often seemed to be a revival of Puritanism, the theocratic Calvinism that had been the first form of liberalism before it went secular, and the Tories' oldest enemy. The American neo-conservatives were New Deal, liberal, Democrats who defected from the left when the New Left became pro-Soviet and pro-Palestinian. These became the arch champions of American, neo-imperialistic, militarism. It is from the classical liberals and American neo-conservatives that Canadian neo-conservatives have borrowed the most. The Religious Right has had much less of an impact, perhaps because of the large influence of social justice theology on our evangelicals, although interestingly the socially and morally conservative George Grant, usually considered a Red Tory, was willing to look on the Religious Right as allies in the fight against abortion and euthanasia. With the election of Donald Trump to the American presidency, the populist-nationalists, with the backing of a sizable portion of the Religious Right, rose to ascendency in the big tent of American conservatism, much to the disgust of the Republican Party elite, an alliance of the neo-conservatives, classical liberals (except the Trump-supporting paleolibertarians), and a minority of the Religious Right. Already in Canada we see signs of this impacting us, with Doug Ford leading the Ontario Progressive Conservatives to victory on a populist-nationalist platform, and now Quebec having given a majority government to a party which, like Maxime Bernier's proposed new federal party, blends classical liberalism with populist-nationalism. What this entails for the future of Canada and Canadian conservatism remains to be seen. I will still be holding on to my classical, Canadian, Toryism with a willingness, as always, to entertain worthy ideas from any of these other varieties.

- The elements of genuine moral and social conservatism are the beliefs: a) in an unchanging and universal moral order or natural law with fixed standards of right and wrong (C. S. Lewis’ “Tao” from The Abolition of Man), b) that tradition, through which the accumulated wisdom of the past is passed down to us, is a more reliable guide to these standards than private, abstract, reasoning, c) that the cultivation and nature of right habits of behaviour (virtues) is more effective than the imposition of rules at producing right decision-making and that while the information transmitted in the process of cultivating such habits necessarily includes some rules, the bulk of it cannot be codified as rules and can only be learned from example, which is best accomplished in the home with the support of the teaching ministry of the church, and d) that the government’s role is the “ministry of the sword”, by which it makes and enforces the laws that uphold the peace, order, and justice that provide the civilized framework for all of the preceding points. The popular perception of moral and social conservatism, however, has largely been shaped by the New American Religious Right, the most immediate direct ancestor of which was the Prohibition movement which grew out of the Temperance Movement supported by evangelical and fundamentalist revivalists in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is often forgotten today that Prohibition was considered to be a Progressive cause, both big and small p, at the time, and also had the support of the Social Gospel movement (theological liberalism) and first-wave feminism. Indeed, in Canada at least, the latter was largely responsible for Prohibition passing – the provinces generally voted Prohibition in immediately after feminism won the franchise for women in World War I and then voted it back out again once the men returned from overseas. While Prohibition did have its supporters among Conservatives, the most traditional Tories and the churches most associated with classical conservatism, the Anglican Church which at the time was still “The Tory Party at prayer” and the ultramontane Roman Catholic Church of pre-Quiet Revolution Quebec, opposed it. Stephen Leacock gave lectures against it pro bono public! There are significant differences, of course, between the Prohibition movement and the New Religious Right. The former sought to impose on society a new law, the complete abstinence from alcoholic beverages, which was not grounded in tradition, had not been part of mainstream Christian orthodox moral theology (it belongs rather to the Islamic tradition) and which, despite the best efforts of Rev. William Patton to prove otherwise, clearly contradicts the Scriptures. The latter was a response to a moral revolution that removed long-standing, traditional rules, which are supported by orthodox Christian moral theology. There is nothing in its opposition to abortion, euthanasia, and the ongoing sexual revolution with which genuine moral and social conservatism would disagree, but in its presentation it evokes the image of previous evangelical backed moral crusades, such as Prohibition and the seventeenth century Puritanism that would put a man in stocks for kissing his wife in public when he returned from a three year voyage on Sunday, an unattractive image to say the least.

- David Lane was a disturbed individual who rejected the Christian faith in which he was raised for a revived, Nordic, paganism and embraced a violent racialism and was eventually sent to prison for the crimes he committed as a member of the Order, a neo-Nazi terrorist group that supported its activities with funds obtained through armed robbery. Obviously a man who any sane person would consider to be utterly repugnant. What is interesting, however, is that if you take the "fourteen words" meme attributed to him, "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children", and substitute any other colour or racial identity for "our" and "white" you will end up with a statement that would be considered unobjectionable, non-offensive, acceptable, laudable, and even an essential goal of social policy by liberals, progressives, and other self-identified "enlightened" people. Make the substitution and you will see what I mean. This provides us with a challenge for the soi disant "enlightened." Either admit, that despite its unsavoury origins and associations, there is nothing objectionable in the content of the “fourteen words” meme or disavow all the other racial identity politics that you support.

- Another white nationalist meme is that of “white genocide.” It purports to explain the observable phenomenon that has sometimes been called “white death,” i.e., the vast shrinking, over the last century, of the Caucasian percentage both of the total world population and of the populations of historically white countries, that has accelerated after the post-World War II Baby Boom as white fertility has dropped and white populations have been aging without reproducing themselves, relying instead upon immigration to replace themselves. The explanation offered by the “white genocide” meme is that this is due to the plotting of some racial enemy. Although there certainly are leftists who express their hatred of white people in genocidal terms, an obvious example of which being Noel Ignatiev, and genocide would be an apt description of what is being done to the whites of Zimbabwe and South Africa, the phenomenon as a whole is probably better described as “white suicide.” The white nationalists are asking the wrong question. Instead of asking “who is doing this to us” they should be asking “why are we doing this to ourselves.” The answer is liberalism.

- Forty-five years ago, in the eerily prophetic novel, The Camp of the Saints, French author Jean Raspail warned of the coming death of Western civilization through an invasion of the masses of Third World poor aided and abetted by a suicidal white liberalism. The author was not a populist-ethno-nationalist, at least not primarily, but rather a traditional Roman Catholic and a legitimist royalist. Perhaps this explains his insightful prescience.

- Both the left and the right believe that ethnocentrism has both a healthy and a toxic form. Where they disagree is over what constitutes the difference between the healthy and toxic. The right would say that a healthy ethnocentrism is the kind of in-group loyalty that promotes and facilitates social cohesion, trust, and cooperation whereas toxic ethnocentrism is characterized by a paranoid distrust and violent hatred towards other groups. The left is more simplistic. For them it is a matter of skin colour. If you have the wrong skin colour, white, your ethnocentrism is toxic, no matter what form it takes, if you have the right skin colour, all others, it is healthy, even if it is expressed in paranoid and hateful terms.

- Today “enlightened” seems to mean “uncritically following the latest trends and fads in modern philosophy.” Come to think of it, that’s what it meant in the days of Diderot, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Kant and Rousseau, as well.

- Finding economic truth boils down to one question: who is the most competent to make the decision? If it is a decision that primarily affects the individual and his family, then the individual and family are under most circumstances the most competent to make the decision. There are obvious exceptions of people who lack the rational facility to make their own decisions, but for the most part this stands true. Conversely, if it is a decision that primarily affects the good of the country as a whole, the government is the most competent to make the decision. Again there are obvious exceptions, such as when the government consists of arrogant, egotists, obsessed with reading everything through the lens of the latest trend in progressive and politically correct ideology, but generally it is the case. The doctrine of laissez faire or economic liberalism is the error of thinking that the individual is competent to make all decisions (and that the common good of the whole country is thereby brought about through Adam Smith’s “invisible hand”). Socialism is the error of thinking that the government is competent to make all decisions, including those that individuals and families should be making for themselves. The latter is by far the worst error of the two, but they are both errors.

- When someone says "satire is dead" they generally mean that things so bizarre have been happening in reality that it would be pointless to parody them. Satire is dead, but for an entirely different reason - the widespread influence of liberal, progressive, and left-wing thinking. The left does not get satire, because the left is incapable of distinguishing between basic human imperfection and huge evils that demand immediate rectification. This is because they refuse to accept the basic Christian truth that human history, between the Fall and Second Coming, is the history of people with the fundamental flaw of Original Sin, and that perfection cannot be expected on this earth and in time. Therefore, their response to any perceived imperfection is "this is unacceptable, it must be smashed, crushed, destroyed, and replaced with perfection." The point of satire, however, is to help us live with our imperfections, by allowing us to laugh at them. The political, social, religious, and cultural institutions that make for the good and civilized life are not perfect, but they can never be perfect, so rather than smashing them, crushing them, and razing them to the ground, let us laugh at their imperfections, so that we can appreciate them, warts and all. This spirit is completely foreign to the progressive. This is also why the greatest satirists - Jonathan Swift, Samuel Johnson, Stephen Leacock, and Evelyn Waugh to give a few examples, have been Tories.

Monday, October 1, 2018

A Sour Note Before a Symphony

The other night I went to hear the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by their new maestro Daniel Raiskin, perform Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony, commonly known as his “Titan”. Also on the program were Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro and Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor. It was an excellent performance.

I had brought along David M. Legate’s biography of Stephen Leacock to read while waiting for the concert to start. As I was attempting to concentrate on the chapter about Leacock’s battle with prohibition I could not help but overhear the conversation taking place to my immediate right. It had to do with the testimony that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford had given the US Senate Judiciary Committee the previous day against Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s nominee for the American Supreme Court. The elderly lady in the seat next to mine was saying that she had previously had doubts about Ford’s claims that Kavanaugh had attempted a drunken sexual assault on her at a party they supposedly attended when they were teenagers thirty-six years ago, but after hearing her testify was convinced she was telling the truth.

I rolled my eyes, bit my tongue to prevent myself from making some rude remark about her lack of intelligence, and tried harder to concentrate on my book. Mercifully, the concert began a minute or two later.

Earlier this year the revelation was underreported that almost twenty years ago Justin Trudeau, who is now our Prime Minister, had been accused in a BC newspaper of having groped one of their female reporters. This accusation is entirely credible. It was made at the time of the incident in question, there is nothing to indicate that the accuser sought financial or any other compensation, and Trudeau did not yet have a political career to ruin. By contrast, Ford’s testimony is not credible in the slightest, except in the sense that it is a more believable accusation than the wilder charges levelled against the judge by the copy-cap accusers such as Julie Swetnik who have followed Ford out of the of the wood-works and into their minute of fame.

Being able to tell your story well and give the impression that you are sincere and believe it yourself does not make your story credible. Every successful liar has this ability in spades. To be credible, especially if it is an accusation of criminal activity against another person, your story must be clear and specific, internally consistent and supported by corroborating evidence. It is precisely these qualities that Ford’s testimony lacked. Her story was vague as to the where and when, she was caught telling falsehoods by Rachel Mitchell, the deputy prosecutor called in to question her, and the witnesses she claimed could corroborate her story have all said they have no recollection of having being present at the party in question at all, let alone of the events she claims transpired there. Furthermore, contrary to those who have expressed the idiotic opinion that no-one would have put herself through the ordeal of testifying if she was not telling the truth, she had an obvious political motivation for making the whole story up.

Liberals and feminists are determined to block the confirmation of Kavanaugh’s appointment to the American Supreme Court. They were determined to do so long before Ford testified, indeed, long before word of her accusations was made public. Their opposition to his appointment has nothing to do with their belief, whether real or professed, in the accusations of sexual misconduct that have been made against him except, perhaps, in the sense that their opposition to Kavanaugh explains their willingness to believe unsubstantiated accusations against him rather than the other way around. They have shown the same opposition to all conservatives nominated to the Court – and, indeed, have used similar tactics against them in the past. Remember what happened when Clarence Thomas was appointed twenty years ago? It is more intense this time around, however, because the liberals and feminists fear that if Kavanaugh’s appointment goes through there will be enough conservatives on the Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Feminists and their liberal supporters see this as an apocalyptic, end-of-the-world, type scenario. For them, Roe v. Wade was a quantum leap of progress from the dark ages of the patriarchal past into the glorious future of sexual emancipation and egalitarianism. In the infamous 1973 ruling, the American Supreme Court struck down most state restrictions on abortion on the basis of an eisegetical and esoteric reading of the Fourteenth Amendment to the American Constitution. While the Radical Republicans who shoved that Amendment down the throats of the states at gun point in 1868 were hardly conservatives, it would undoubtedly come as a surprise to them to learn that they had given the female sex an exclusive exemption from keeping the Sixth Commandment. That, however, is how America’s solons saw things in 1973 and there is nothing to which feminists would not stoop in their desperate determination to hold on to that unprincipled exemption, including breaking the Ninth Commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”

Indeed, the demands made by the latest wave of feminism, the #Me Too movement, all boil down to an insistence that women be exempt from this Commandment as well, or at least that they not be held accountable when they break it, which amounts to the same thing. Victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape, the feminists tell us, frequently fail to report these crimes because they are afraid they won’t be believed, that they will have to face a grueling cross-examination, and in the end will not receive justice anyway. Therefore, the feminists argue, we need to create a new cultural environment in which victims feel safe to come forward and lay charges against their attackers. Worded that way, their goal sounds unobjectionable, reasonable, and even praise-worthy but note that this safe cultural environment envisioned by the feminists is one in which the distinction between a genuine victim and a false accuser is eliminated. If it is the fear of being disbelieved and subjected to cross-examination that prevents victims from coming forward, then the only way to remove that fear is to establish a culture in which all accusers are believed to be telling the truth and are not subjected to cross-examination. This can only be done, however, by eliminating our means of distinguishing between a genuine victim and a false accuser. To eliminate these is to eliminate long-established safeguards which protect the innocent of both sexes against false accusations. Those safeguards include the right of the accused to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and the right to confront and cross-examine one’s accuser. To do this is to give all women a licence to make false accusations against men.

This is entirely unacceptable. While some of the #Me Too feminists have the nerve to actually maintain that women never make false accusations of this nature – the whole, “nobody would put themselves through this if it were not true”, lie again – everyone knows this is not true. On the contrary, women – not all women, of course, but the less scrupulous among them – make false accusations of this sort all the time. Twelve years ago there was a famous example of this when the widely publicized “rape” of a black stripper by three white members of Duke University’s lacrosse team was exposed as a malicious hoax. Ben Stein in his recent remarks about the Ford/Kavanugh affair makes reference to several examples known to him personally of women making such accusations or threatening to do so. The fourth chapter of Dr. Marney Patterson’s Suicide: The Decline and Fall of the Anglican Church of Canada? (1998) begins by quoting the story of Potiphar’s wife from the thirty-ninth chapter of Genesis – when Joseph resisted her seduction attempt she accused him of rape. While Dr. Patterson’s main point in this chapter is to warn men in parish ministry against the dangers of seductresses he tells of an incident in which such a woman, having failed in her attempts to seduce the principal of a church school, accused him of making inappropriate advances on her. I remember when I was in college my sister telling me that she had to either give a deposition or testify in court on behalf of a guy we had gone to high school with against whom a false accusation of rape had been made. In the two decades since then I have encountered many men who had been in toxic relationships in which an ugly dispute had ended with the woman calling the police and making an accusation of some sort – domestic violence, sexual abuse, etc. Indeed, I wonder if there is anyone reading this who does not know personally of multiple incidents of false accusations or the threat thereof?

No, women do not have a right to be believed when they make unprovable accusations and the law must not be changed to give them that right. They have the right to be believed if and only if they can prove their accusations beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

In its demands to the contrary, feminism reveals its true nature. In its infancy, back in the nineteenth century, feminism’s objective of “women’s rights” may have meant that women should have the same civil and legal rights as men – to own property in their own name, be educated, pursue careers, and vote in public elections. It has not meant this at any point since feminism went into its second wave in the 1960s. Since then it has meant “special rights for women” and the rights in question are ones that ought not to be given even if it were to both sexes. The right to take human life at your will and for your own convenience. The right to destroy another person’s reputation, career, and life with unsubstantiated accusations.

A movement that would make absurd demands of this nature demonstrates by so doing that it is narcissistic in the extreme, delusional to the point of schizophrenia, and totally obsessed with power. Which is only to be expected from a movement that perpetuates its existence through the women’s and gender studies programs that universities set up in order to provide employment for otherwise unemployable graduates in which their students – perhaps victims would be a better word – are indoctrinated with a solipsistic, gender-based, reinterpretation of everything from literature to mathematics, in echo chambers where all dissent is squelched. A movement whose well-known slogan “the personal is the political” betrays its fundamentally totalitarian nature (a totalitarian regime is distinguished from all other kinds including the merely authoritarian by its refusal to acknowledge a private sphere into which the state has no right to intrude). (1) A movement that has become so much the kind of crazy that comes from the rear end of a bat that some of its leading figures have advanced, with a – pardon the expression - straight face, the notion that heterosexuality itself is an oppressive social construct whereas lesbianism is natural and normal. A movement predicated on the idea that all historical and traditional social, political, and cultural institutions were designed by men to perpetuate male power at the expense of women and to keep the latter in subjection and oppression, which idea goes way beyond saying that men and women were not historically treated equally or even, and this is not necessarily the same thing, that women have been treated unfairly in the past, but which interprets all institutions, even those which obviously benefit women at the expense of men, as tools of “patriarchal oppression.” Marriage, which historically and traditionally is society’s way of making men bear their fair share of the burden that God, Mother Nature, fate and the universe have placed on women as the consequence of sexual intercourse, in feminist ideology is regarded as an oppressive chain upon women. The long-standing tradition of treating the lives of young men as expendable by sending them off to fight and die for their country while keeping women and children safe and protected at home is, to any rational person, a tradition of female rather than male privilege but feminists still find creative ways of interpreting it as being the other way around.

That is the movement in which Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is an activist. This is something to keep in mind when evaluating whether what she gave to the American Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday was the heartfelt testimony of a genuine victim of sexual assault or an Oscar-worthy performance that was a cold-blooded attempt at character assassination on the part of a deranged fanatic desperate to protect at all costs the power that the self-appointed spokesmovement for the female sex derives from women’s ill-gotten exemption from the prohibition against murder and the ability which follows from that exemption to blackmail society by holding a gun to the head of the next generation.

(1) George Grant, commenting in 1990 on Roe v. Wade and its Canadian equivalent Morgantaler v. The Queen (1988), said that were it not for the fact that they involved the “slaughter of the young”, they could be seen as comedy which “arises from the fact that the majority of the judges used the language of North American liberalism to say yes to the very core of fascist thought—the triumph of the will” and that they illustrated Huey Long’s remark that “When fascism comes to America it will come in the name of democracy.”

Monday, September 17, 2018

Assorted Reflections

- Liberals think that parliament is an acceptable form of government because it is democratic. They have, as usual, got things backwards. Tories know that democracy is a dangerous abstraction that is only tolerable when it is incorporated as an element in an established and time-proven institution like parliament.

- I have been reflecting lately on a number of the valuable insights of John Lukacs. Lukacs, who was raised in Hungary and partially educated in England, lived through the occupation of his home country by the Nazis and when it was about to fall under the oppression of the other form of twentieth-century totalitarianism, Communism, fled to the United States where he had a successful career as a historian, primarily of the Second World War. A Roman Catholic in religion, Lukacs describes his political views as reactionary. He uses this term in much the same way that I use the term Tory, as a designation of what remains of the older, European, Catholic/Anglican royalism, that used to be called conservative before this latter term was co-opted by classical liberals and populist nationalists. A strong Anglophile, Lukacs has much praise for classical, bourgeois, liberalism and much scorn for populism and nationalism. With regards to nationalism, he has frequently reminded us of the distinction between patriotism and nationalism – the former being “defensive”, the latter “aggressive”, the former having as the object of its love “a particular land, with its particular traditions”, the latter loving “the myth of a ‘people.’” Nationalism, he insightfully says, is a “political and ideological substitute for religion.” Patriotism, by contrast, is a natural affection, the love of one’s home writ large. In populism, he sees democracy, liberated from the restraints which classical liberalism placed on it so as to become a threat to civilization. While these points sound like they were written with Donald Trump in mind, Lukacs has been making them for decades – his book, Democracy and Populism: Fear & Hatred, hardly the first time he tackled these subjects, was published in 2005. Furthermore, unlike the vast majority of Trump’s detractors, Lukacs is not an admirer of the liberal immigration that was the target of Trump’s populist rhetoric. As far back as 1986 he wrote a booklet, Immigration and Migration – A Historical Perspective, that concluded by saying “the greatest potential threat to the United States is not that posed by the Soviet Union, but by the so-called Third World.” Perhaps his most important insight, one that ties the previously mentioned ones together, is that which is found on pages 267 to 268 of his The Hitler of History. There, Lukacs traces the history of the exaltation of culture over civilization, from its roots in nineteenth century German philosophy, to the doctrines of Adolf Hitler, to its having become accepted orthodoxy among the intellectuals of the present day. Culture in this sense refers to artistic achievement, civilization to government, law, order, and basically the political or civil structures that allow everyday life to function more or less smoothly. While it is easy to see why those of a romantic bent of mind – Spengler, Nietzsche, Hitler, and most modern intellectuals among them – would value “spiritual and creative” culture over “material and bourgeois” civilization, Lukacs, a witness of the horrors that occur when civilization breaks down, takes the opposite stance that “When civilization is strong and widespread enough, culture will appear and take care of itself.” (Last Rites, p. 58) Nationalist-populism on the one hand and mass Third World immigration on the other both threaten civilization, and it is this more than culture for which we ought to be concerned.

- It is essential for civilization that power – the use of strength to compel obedience – be employed only in the service of authority – leadership by established right – and that authority take precedence over power. Royal monarchy possesses authority, democracy can only ever possess power – the power of numbers. Parliamentary government combines both principles – republicanism, which excludes the royal monarchical principle, is fundamentally uncivilized. Among parliamentarians, it is the Tory, who sees the royal monarchy as the guardian of civilization against the barbarism of unchecked democracy, rather than the Whig, who has the proper perspective.

- The Oresteia of Aeschylus is a trilogy of plays in which the murder of Agamemnon by Clytemnestra and Aegisthus is avenged by Orestes at the prompting of Apollo. Pursued by the Furies, Orestes finds refuge in Athens where Pallas herself presides over the first jury trial, in which Orestes is acquitted of the murder of his mother and the cycle of vengeance ends. The main theme of the trilogy, obviously, is how court administered justice under the rule of law is the foundation for the emergence of civilization from the barbarism of kin-administered blood vengeance. There are many important layers to the edifice of civilization that rests upon that foundation, foremost among them being the principle that it is preferable for the system to err in failing to administer justice to the guilty than by wrongfully punishing the innocent, a principle famously expressed by Socrates as quoted by Plato in the Gorgias. In practical terms, this principle translates into the onus of proof for the accuser and the presumption of innocence for the accused. It shows how little value the Liberal Party of Canada places upon civilization that the present government claims to be taking seriously the demands of aboriginal activists who, angry at the acquittal of a farmer who had shot and killed a native youth in defence of his family and property, have called for radical revisions to the “racist” justice system, insisting that representatives of their group be placed on juries even when this would amount to a jury prejudiced against the defendant. Since one of the proofs native activists most frequently offer of the “racism” of the justice system is the disproportionate number of aboriginals arrested, convicted, and incarcerated, logically they ought to be arguing for the strengthening, rather than the weakening, of the rights of defence. To give in to their foolish demands would be to step away from civilization and justice in the direction of tribal, blood-and-kin-based, vengeance.

- Theological error is at the root of all other errors of the Modern Age. The idea that man’s most fundamental nature is that of a homo economicus, a rational agent whose chief end is material possession, is the common basis of both economic liberalism or capitalism and socialism. At its heart it is a denial of the classical and Christian idea that man has a spiritual as well as a physical nature and that the spiritual ought to rule the animal nature. The idea that most or all of human suffering can be eliminated by reorganizing society economically, socially, and politically is rooted in the ancient heresy of Pelagianism for it is a denial of the fact that since the Fall, human nature itself has been afflicted with the flaw of Original Sin, which is the true source of all human suffering, an affliction for which there is no economic, social, or political cure.

- The spirit of the Modern Age is often characterized as the spirit of progress. By progress, the harnessing of the knowledge made available through reason and science for ongoing social, economic, and political improvement is meant. The true spirit of the Modern Age revealed itself in England in 1642-1649, in the Thirteen Colonies in North America in 1775 to 1783, in France in 1789 to 1794, in various European countries in 1848, in Russia in 1917, and in many other countries throughout the world since. It is the spirit of anarchy and revolution, a spirit to which orthodox Christianity assigns a personal name, and which Dr. Johnson correctly identified as the first Whig.

- The faith of the Modern Age in democracy has sometimes been expressed in terms of the majority always being right. This tenet of modern faith comes with a practical application: when a decision needs to be made on behalf of a community, the sound and proper way of making a just and fair choice is to poll the people and go with what the majority wants. There are many flaws with this way of thinking and classical liberalism, despite its avowed belief in democracy, sufficiently recognized the dangers of majority rule to insist that it must operate within the parameters set by guaranteed civil rights and liberties for individuals and minorities. Tories or classical conservatives, who, as previously mentioned, believe in tested and established institutions like parliaments rather than abstractions like democracy, emphasize the need to limit the excesses of democracy by balancing it with the older governing institutions of royal monarchy and aristocracy. Popular opinion is easily manipulated both by those who control the instruments of information distribution, i.e., the media and by strong-willed, charismatic, populists. When both of these are actively at work manipulating public opinion at the same time and in open warfare against each other you get what the United States is currently going through. In reality, the majority can rarely be expected to know what is best, but an important exception to this, it needs to be emphasized, is the issue of immigration. The reason this is an exception is obvious. The kind of liberal elites who prefer unrestricted, large scale, open immigration, live in gated communities where they have sealed themselves and their children off from the consequences of the policies they espouse whereas the majority of ordinary people have to live with those consequences on a daily basis. The majority of ordinary persons, on this subject at least, are better informed than the elites, and their opposition to liberal immigration cannot be simply dismissed as uninformed prejudice or the result of demagogic, populist, fear-mongering.

- For decades, the concepts of “left” and “right” that have prevailed in mainstream North American thought have been primarily economical with the left being associated with socialism and the right with capitalism. Students of history, who know of the origins of the political connotations of “right” and “left” in the French Revolution, will recognize the irony in this. The original “right” were the defenders of the Bourbon monarchy, the Roman Catholic establishment, and the nobility – essentially the equivalents of the English Royalist-Cavalier-Tories. The “left” were the members of the Jacobin Club who, for various, often conflicting reasons, promoted the Revolution. It was certainly not theoretical economics over which the original “left” and “right” fought. The Jacobins accused the Bourbons of hoarding the food supply after a bumper harvest, causing unnecessary want and hunger, accusations to which there was no substance as the Jacobins knew full well for it was their own ringleader, the king’s cousin Philippe d’Orleans, who later renamed himself Égalité, who had secretly bought up the grain supply in order to stir up dissatisfaction and strife. That was about the extent to which economics – practical, rather than theoretical – figured into the Revolution and it was a mere pretext. Of course, those who make the North American “left” and “right” all about economics are kind of sloppy with their definitions of “capitalism” and “socialism” as well. These are envisioned as the two poles of a spectrum having to do with the extent of government involvement in the economy. Total government ownership and control of the economy, pure socialism, is the left pole and zero government involvement in the economy, pure anarcho-capitalism, is the right pole. By this simplistic reasoning any move away from zero government involvement is a move towards the left and towards socialism. The folly of that is demonstrable by a single example – Sunday shopping restrictions. Until very recently, within living memory, laws that predated the economic theories of both Adam Smith and Karl Marx, strictly limited commercial activity on Sundays. The removal of most of these restrictions is a consequence of the secularization of society. The logic of the left/socialist-right/capitalist spectrum requires the conclusion that this was a move to the right. Yet this conclusion is clearly absurd – secularization is favoured by the left, and opposition to it exists almost entirely on the right. As for capitalism and socialism, while it is not wrong to say that the liberalization of Sunday laws served the purposes of capitalism it does not follow, and indeed sounds utterly ridiculous, to say that the retention of those laws would have been socialistic. Socialism, correctly defined, is the idea that the collective ownership or control of farms, factories, and other means of production is necessary for a fair distribution of resources. This foolish notion has no relationship whatsoever with the idea that one day in seven should be set aside, as much as possible, from commercial activity and kept holy. Since collective ownership or control translates, in practice, into government ownership or control, socialism does involve much more economic involvement on the part of the government than capitalism, but it does not follow that all forms of government involvement are a step towards socialism. The nature of the government involvement has to be taken into consideration as well.

- Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Toronto Sun editor Lorrie Goldstein have recently argued that left-wing anti-Zionism is simply a mask for anti-Semitism. The reason the anti-Zionist left singles Israel out for condemnation for acts that other governments, including ones the left coddles, engage in, so this reasoning goes, is because Israel is Jewish. It would have been far more refreshing had Harper and Goldstein been bold enough to speak the real truth – the left’s rabid anti-Zionism has nothing to do with Israel being Jewish, and everything to do with Israel being Western, European and white. While today the condemnation that the left heaps on Israel for her determination to preserve her own existence, even in the face of global, liberal, disapproval, against the enemies on all sides who desire her destruction, seems unique, it is no different from the way the left had behaved towards South Africa in the 1980s and Southern Rhodesia in the 1970s. Neither South Africa nor Southern Rhodesia was a Jewish country. What these countries had in common with Israel was that they were countries established by European settlers – the Jews who made Aliyah to Palestine in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries came from Europe – with Western parliamentary institutions, and thriving Western economies and civilization. In each case, the country was surrounded by hostile countries dedicated to its destruction and had – or, in Israel’s case, has – a large mass of enemies within its own borders. To preserve their own existence, these countries simply could not behave in the way that liberals living in countries that until recently – the “Camp of the Saints” scenario that liberal immigration and the so-called “refugee” crisis has been producing is rapidly changing this – were not faced with similar existential threats, demanded. So the liberals condemned each of them as “racist.” In the cases of Rhodesia and South Africa they wore down the country’s will to survive and the consequences of liberalism getting its way has been the breakdown of law and order in both countries, the devastation of their economies, the collapse of their civilization, and the mass murder of their white farmers. The real hatred behind the left’s anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, the hatred of Jews qua Jews, but the hatred of white, European, Western civilization. Harper and Goldstein know this as well as I do. It would be nice if they would grow a pair, come out and say it, and denounce this type of race hatred as being just as bad as anti-Semitism if not worse. I’m not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.

- There are two groups of people who one constantly hears harping about “racism. White liberals, who hate people of their own skin colour, and consider themselves to be morally superior beings for doing so, are the first group. The most ethno-centric representatives of other races, who can barely utter a sentence without expressing their own race-based hatred, are the other.

- Throughout North America, and indeed, the Western world as a whole, but especially here in the Dominion of Canada, left-wing ideology has long held the institutions of higher learning in its totalitarian grasp. The atmosphere on campus, to say the least, has not been conducive to the formation and expressions of thoughts outside of the progressive box. In his run for the Conservative Party's leadership, Andrew Scheer vowed to cut off government funding for schools that did not allow freedom of speech for non-progressive views. More recently, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has given all the colleges and universities of Upper Canada until the next New Year's Day to adopt such free speech policies. What Ford gives with one hand, however, he takes away with the other for he has also insisted that these schools adopt anti-hate speech policies. Classifying the expression of non-progressive opinion as "hate speech" has long been the left's main weapon for suppressing freedom of thought and speech. As long as "hate speech" is forbidden and the left gets to decide what is "hate speech" - and note that in their definition "I hate you, you dirty, rotten, SOB" is NOT "hate speech" but "studies show that group X has on average a higher percentage of undesirable trait Y than does the general populace" is "hate speech" regardless of whether or not it is true - no affirmation of freedom of speech can possibly be effective. Of course, even an effective free speech policy would only be the first step towards clearing the atmosphere in the halls of higher education. Cutting off all public funding for gender studies, ethnic studies, and other such courses, insisting that institutions that offer these pay for them solely out of private funds, and that they be entirely elective, would be the necessary next step. The neoconservative solution of a STEM-centred curriculum would not work because it is based on a false premise - that the hard sciences and mathematics are impervious to being taken over by those wishing to promote a progressive agenda. Those who believe this premise would do well to research the history of the left-wing activist group Science For the People and the careers of such prominent members as Richard C. Lewonkin (geneticist and biologist) and the late Stephen Jay Gould (paleontologist and biologist) who both taught at Harvard University from the early 1970s to around the turn of the millennium. Another problem with the STEM-based approach is the underlying assumption that the purpose of education is to give people the tools they need to earn a living and advance in a career. That confuses training with education. What is sorely needed in Canada is a full reformation of the humanities, so that liberal education once again means education that provides Canadians with all that they need to fully participate in society as Her Majesty’s free citizen-subjects and no longer means indoctrination in the latest tenets of left-wing ideology.

- Karl Marx’s “ideas” have been so thoroughly debunked by the events of the last century that it is only academics and intellectuals who are stupid and idiotic enough to still take them seriously. I do not refer merely to the fact that the movement he inspired enslaved one sixth of the world, murdered one hundred million people, and made Hitler’s totalitarian tyranny look amateur in comparison. I also refer to the fact that his predictions spectacularly failed to come true – life for industrial workers did not become unbearably hard under capitalism, quite the opposite, and when the general war came – twice – the workers fought for their country rather than their class. Even in the Soviet Union, Stalin had to appeal to good old fashioned Russian patriotism to marshal the troops against Hitler. The foundational premise of the labour theory of value that Marx borrowed from Adam Smith has also been debunked. It is quite evident that the expanded productivity that has led to such a rise in the standard of living has been due to the improvement of capital and not to an increase in labour. As nauseating and disgusting as most other aspects of her world view are, it is the premise behind the main plot device of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, the Galt strike, that has been confirmed and verified, and not Marx’s inane drivel. The debunking of Marxist theory has in no way prevented it from wreaking havoc, death, and destruction around the globe. This is because Marxism as a revolutionary movement did not arise out of Marxism as a political and economic theory but rather Marxism as a political and economic theory was devised as a rationalization and justification for Marxism as a revolutionary movement. This is why the response of Marxists to the falsification of Marx’s predictions, as far back as the interwar period, was not to abandon the revolutionary cause in disillusionment but to devise new theories to perpetuate it. When these new theories were in turn debunked – the first ones borrowed ideas from Freudianism which is now universally regarded as quackery – this too, was no big deal to the revolutionaries, they simply came up with yet newer ones. Unlike real philosophers, Marxists see their ideas as tools for promoting revolutionary violence rather than steps in a journey towards the truth. Since the Second World War neo-Marxists have used their new theories to expand their list of enemies to be destroyed. No longer does their sedition target only their old class enemy, the bourgeoisie, but now also the racial, sexual, and gender enemies of white Caucasians, males, heterosexuals, and most recently the cisgendered. Indeed, through the idea of “intersectionality” they now attack all of these targets simultaneously. Eventually, of course, these ideas will be as dead and debunked as classical Marxism, but since their utility for the Marxists’ revolutionary purposes is completely independent of their truth claims, this will not defeat Marxism. Only by abandoning liberalism, with its foolish insistence on interacting with Marxism in its various guises as if it were a legitimate philosophical contribution, will we be able to recognize it for what it is, a seditious movement of pure violent hatred, and respond to it accordingly.

- The vision of the Fathers of Confederation was simple – the provinces of British North America, would come together to form a nation, which would retain its monarchical, parliamentarian, and Common Law institutions and preserve its existence against the threat of the economic, cultural, social, and political domination of the American republic by maintaining its connection to Britain and the rest of the Empire. The federal system would accommodate the cultural differences between English speaking Protestants and French speaking Catholics, while a strong, central, government would preserve the unity of the country and prevent the kind of fracturing that had led to the conflict of 1861-1865 in the United States. The broader Empire would evolve into a strong alliance of self-governing associated kingdoms under the common Crown (Stephen Leacock’s “Greater Canada – An Appeal” articulates this vision of the Commonwealth and Canada’s role in it). When we compare this vision with what has become of our country in the century and a half since we cannot help but weep. At the time the United States, confident in its Manifest Destiny to rule North America, resentful of the continued presence on the continent of the Empire it had rebelled against, and scornful of monarchical government, was the biggest threat to the Dominion. The United States ridiculed Confederation, tried to prevent Canada from obtaining Rupert’s Land and the North-West Territory, cheered on the Red River and North-West Rebellions, tried to derail the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railroad necessary for building the Canadian national economy, and poured money into the election coffers of the Liberals when they campaigned for unconditional trade reciprocity, regarded on both sides of the Forty-Ninth Parallel in those days as a step that would lead inevitably to annexation. Ultimately, however, it was the enemy within, the Liberal Party of Canada, which proved to be more dangerous than any external threat. Mackenzie King’s actions in 1926 so undermined the accountability of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet to the king-in-parliament that it turned the Prime Minister’s office into a virtual dictatorship. Trudeau’s Charter undermined the Common Law and established a judicial tyranny similar to that in the United States. In between were a number of cosmetic changes in which meaningful symbols of the Canada of Confederation, such as the flag under which we fought two world wars and our original national holiday which honoured the day we became a “Dominion”, the designation the Fathers of Confederation had chosen to give the kind of self-governing, associate, kingdom they had created, were replaced with lame substitutes. While our national emblems are a lesser concern than our queen-in-parliament system of government and the prescriptive rights, personal freedom, and accumulated-precedent-based-justice of our Common Law, the Liberal Party’s changes to the former reflect their assault upon the latter basic institutions of Canadian civilization.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Speaking Out For Old Tomorrow

“Conservatism”, Sir Roger Scruton has written, “starts from a sentiment that all mature people can readily share: the sentiment that good things are easily destroyed, but not easily created. This is especially true of the good things that come to us as collective assets: peace, freedom, law, civility, public spirit, the security of property and family life, in all of which we depend on the cooperation of others while having no means singlehandedly to obtain it. In respect of such things, the work of destruction is quick, easy and exhilarating: the work of creation slow, laborious and dull.” (1)

As is generally the case with Scruton’s thoughts on conservatism, this is very well put, and this is the reason why those of us who are conservative see red whenever juvenile and ignorant, trendy, crowd-following, leftists attack the honours our societies have awarded to those who put that hard work into creating those good things. The classical liberals who pass for conservatives in the American republic have been fighting this sort of thing for decades now. Since at least the 1990s, there have been calls for schools, libraries, and other institutions bearing the names of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to be renamed on the grounds that these men had owned slaves. This latter fact was deemed by some to outweigh all that Washington and Jefferson had done to build their country and to be sufficient justification for flushing their republic’s Founding Fathers down the Orwellian Memory Hole.

Now it is our turn, up in the Dominion of Canada, to have to deal with this sort of nonsense. You might recall that during our sesquicentennial celebrations last year, a group of professional demonstrators, claiming to speak for Canada’s indigenous peoples, defaced the statue of Edward Cornwallis in Halifax and demanded that it be removed. The incident made national news, as did a skirmish between the demonstrators and a handful of Canadian servicemen who rightly objected to the demonstrators’ one-sided, skewed, and utterly factually erroneous interpretation of Cornwallis’ response to the 1749 Raid on Dartmouth. It was not long after this that the sound of shrill leftist voices began to be heard calling for Sir John A. Macdonald’s name to be removed from government buildings. While initially these calls met with a cold response from those with the authority to make such changes, the squeaky wheel gets the oil, and the left’s campaign of anti-Macdonald propaganda began to reap results. Earlier this year the Canadian Historical Association removed Sir John A.’s name from their award for the year’s best work of scholarly Canadian history and, as anyone who has handled a recently printed $10 bill must know by now, his place on our currency has been significantly downsized. Most recently the city council of Victoria, British Columbia, whether out of sympathy with the agitators or in an act of craven cowardice, removed the statue of our first Prime Minister from its place in front of the city’s Hall.

Before briefly looking at the flimsy pretext chosen by these latter day Robespierres and Che Guevaras for their assault on the memory of the leading Father of Confederation, it would be good to remind ourselves of what all we, as twenty-first century Canadians, owe to this Victorian era statesman.

First and foremost, as the Honourable Hugh Segal observed, Canada herself is Sir John A. Macdonald’s bequest to Canadians. By Canada, of course, I mean the country. A country is a political entity, consisting of a land, its governing institutions, and everything in-between. On July 1st, 1867, the British North America Act came into effect, creating a new country which it gave the title of Dominion and the name of Canada. The name had been around for centuries, having been derived through a misunderstanding from the Iroquois word for village, and first applied to the French colonial society on the bank of the St. Lawrence River. Several revisionist (2) versions of Canadian history have sought to downplay the importance of Confederation, the Fathers of Confederation, and Sir John A. Macdonald, through the subtle device of using “Canada” in both of these senses interchangeably without noting the distinction. A similar device is to use “Canada” to mean just the land, without the institutions, as if the entire land would have borne the name even if the Dominion had not been established in 1867 and all of that territory eventually brought into Confederation. These are just pathetic attempts to avoid the obvious and downplay the importance of Confederation, and it is worth noting that this type of revisionism started with historians like Sir John Stephen Willison, Oscar D. Skelton, Frank Underhill and John Wesley Dafoe who were affiliated with the Liberal Party and who wanted to see Canada go down the opposite path to that in which the Fathers of Confederation had placed her.

Between the end of the American Revolution and Confederation, the North American colonies that had remained loyal to the British Empire perpetually existed under the Damoclean sword of American invasion and takeover. Among these colonies were the original French Catholic Canada which had been ceded to the British Crown at the end of the Seven Years' War.. The Crown's promise to respect and protect their language and religion prompted the Puritan Yankees to throw a hairy fit, petulantly declare their independence, and form a republic. Consequently, there was also now an English Protestant Canada, formed by the United Empire Loyalists who had fled north to this region to escape persecution in the new republic. In the War of 1812-1815, fought between the British Empire and the United States, the latter had invaded the Canadas with the intention of “liberating” them, which, of course, really meant conquering and enslaving them, and the French and English Canadians, recognizing this, joined the Imperial army in the fight to repel the invaders. After the War, the Americans let it be known through their talk about their Manifest Destiny, i.e., to expand to cover all of North America and their adoption of the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, that the conquest of British North America was still on their minds. When, in the internecine war of 1861-1865, the American government showed itself willing and capable of waging total war against a sizable portion of America when it wanted to break off in resistance to the new technocratic order, the leaders of the provinces of British North America realized that the time had come to confederate for their own protection.

It was here that Sir John A. Macdonald took centre stage. Macdonald, a Scot as you may have gathered from the name, had been born in Glasgow but raised in the Loyalist town of Kingston, upon which the fictional Salterton in which Robertson Davies set his first trilogy of novels, was based. Apprenticed in law early in life, he quickly rose to prominence as a defence lawyer in Kingston, before turning to politics and winning the premiership of the province of Canada. There was only one province of Canada at the time, Upper (English) Canada and Lower (French) Canada having been merged in 1841, which created all sorts of difficulties for the government. In 1864, a way out of this provincial constitutional mess presented itself. The Maritime provinces were meeting in Charlottetown, PEI, to consider a merger and Macdonald, who as the leader of the Conservatives had just formed a coalition government with George Brown’s Clear Grits and Sir George-Étienne Cartier’s Parti bleu, asked and obtained permission for the province of Canada to send a delegation. In the Charlottetown Conference, the follow up Conference at Quebec the next month, and the London Conference a year and a half later, the provinces worked out the Confederation of the Dominion of Canada – in which Ontario and Quebec as they would now be called would again be separate provinces, in a larger federation, under a strong central government. By the second Conference, Macdonald had clearly emerged as the dominant figure in the process. Following Confederation he would become the first Prime Minister of the new Dominion and, with the exception of five years from 1873 to 1878, he filled this office until his death in 1891. As Prime Minister, as well as in his role as Father of Confederation, he was a nation-builder, obtaining for the Dominion the North-Western Territory and Rupert’s Land, out of which the prairie provinces were formed, and convinced British Columbia to join Confederation with the promise of a transcontinental railroad. This railroad was also to be the jewel in the crown of his National Policy of building a strong Canadian economy by using tariffs to protect our growing industries from cheap imports from the south and promoting internal east-west trade. He fought for this policy – and, hence, for Canada – to the very end. He was convinced that our survival depended upon it – that economic integration with the United States would lead to our being swallowed up by the republic culturally, and eventually politically. The amount of American money that went into funding his Liberal opponents – some of whom, such as Goldwin Smith were open annexationists – demonstrates the truth of this conviction. (3)

We owe the fact that we are a country today, and not a part of the United States, largely to the efforts of Sir John A. Macdonald, both in Confederation and as our first Prime Minister. We also owe the Fathers of Confederation in general, and Macdonald in particular, a debt of gratitude for the form of government they bequeathed us. Today, liberals, socialists, and neoconservatives alike speak incessantly about our “democracy” but, thanks to the conservatism of the Fathers of Confederation, we have something much better than mere democracy – we have a parliament. The difference between the two is that democracy, in the modern sense of the world, is an abstract ideal, whereas parliament is an institution that has gradually evolved and which has been tested and proven by time. Modern history is full of examples of how attempts to impose democracy – the abstract ideal – on a country have backfired and produced the worst kinds of despotism. The Cromwellian Protectorate, the first French Republic, the Third Reich, and Communism in every country where it gained control, are among the most obvious such examples. The beginnings of the Westminster parliamentary system, which the Fathers of Confederation in their conservative wisdom which preferred the tried and true over the untested and innovative had borrowed for Canada go back at least as far as the Magna Carta in the thirteenth century and, indeed, can be traced through the institutions predecessor, the Great Council, back to the Norman Conquest and perhaps as far back as the reign of Alfred the Great of Wessex in the ninth century. By the late Victorian era, in which Confederation took place, the system, while far from perfect – no human system ever is, the acknowledgement of which fact is a key to distinguishing the true conservative from the modern liberal idealist – had more than proven itself. Parliament is democratic in that the main legislative body is the elected assembly, the House of Commons, but it is more than democratic and the reason it has stood the test of time so well is because its democratic elements are incorporated into a larger system that provides balance and prevents the excesses of pure democracy that led ancient thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle, so much wiser than modern philosophers, to identify pure democracy as the worst of all constitutions. Our parliamentary system is also monarchical. This was not imposed upon the Fathers of Confederation by London, as some liberal revisionists have claimed, but was their unanimous choice, not only because retaining Canada’s connection to Britain and her place in the Empire that would soon evolve into the Commonwealth would be an ongoing bulwark against American takeover, but because a monarch, a head of state whose position is hereditary rather than elected, is therefore above partisan politics and a symbol of unity as no elected president could ever be, as well as a symbol of such pre-modern virtues as loyalty and honour, that the Fathers felt were worth preserving in an era when commercial and technocratic change threatened to sweep them all away. A monarchy has a touch of class that is beyond the reach of any republic and, the delusions of our southern neighbours to the contrary notwithstanding, the Westminster system of king/queen-in-parliament has provided the most freedom under a stable order of all constitutions ever developed on the face of the earth. (4) At the risk of being repetitive, we owe Sir John A. Macdonald and the other Fathers of Confederation an incalculable debt of gratitude for ensuring that we inherited this constitution.

The assault on Sir John A. Macdonald’s memory, in one sense began with the historians referred to above who, in support of the Liberal Party’s agenda of Americanizing Canada, rewrote Canada’s story, making it out to be an American-style struggle for independence from Britain rather than what it actually was, a deliberate building on the foundation of our British roots in a struggle against American expansionism. The Liberal version could not be told without downplaying the importance of the Fathers of Confederation and especially our first Prime Minister. The long Liberal assault on Canada’s founding, history, and traditional institutions laid the foundation for capitulation to the outright attack on Macdonald in the present day. The pretext for that assault is the Dominion government's policies, under Macdonald, towards indigenous Canadians. Not, that is, Macdonald's indigenous policies in the provinces already in Confederation, the central provinces and the Maritimes. There, Macdonald, much to the fury of his Grit opponents, proposed giving indigenous people – well, the adult males who met the same franchise requirements as everyone else at any rate - the right to vote. Clearly this is not what the Macdonald-haters have in mind when they condemn his indigenous policies. No, they are talking about his policies in the West, particularly in the North-Western territory and Rupert's Land, which, after their acquisition from the Hudson's Bay Company were being settled to create the prairie provinces and where the railroad, to connect central and eastern Canada to British Columbia, making the Dominion a transcontinental nation as a further bulwark against American expansionism, was being built. The military suppression of the Red River and North-West Rebellions in 1870 and 1885, and the subsequent hanging of Métis leader Louis Riel who had led both insurrections, is part of this, although only a small part as that is generally the way governments deal with insurrections, and was the cause of more bitter feelings among French Roman Catholics in Quebec than among natives who, a fact that seems to have been largely forgotten today, did not historically get along well with the Métis. The emphasis is on the Indian residential schools, or rather, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s interpretation of these.

As almost everyone in Canada knows by now there were a lot of bad things that happened at the Indian residential schools. There is, however, a difference between what the average Canadian thinks those bad things are and what the Truth and Reconciliation Commission says they are. The first thing that would come to the average Canadian's mind if asked about what bad things happened at the residential schools would be abuse - physical and especially sexual. For it was complaints about this kind of abuse that put the residential schools in the news, beginning in the late '80's, and which led to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement early in the new millennium. Obviously, such abuse is horrible and indefensible. It goes on in schools of all sorts, public and private, religious and secular, boarding and day, but it seems to have been far more common at the residential schools than most other kinds, even other boarding schools which, including the elite boarding schools for the wealthy and privileged, have a bad reputation for being rampant with sexual abuse. Interestingly, however, according to retired Manitoba judge Brian Giesbrecht the residential schools were not an exception to the general rule with boarding schools that most of the sexual abuse came from other, older, students. (5) At any rate, while the TRC heard and documented a great deal of testimony about this sort of abuse, it is not what its report focuses on and condemns.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established in 2008, in accordance with the Settlement Agreement and released its lengthy final report in 2015. Without questioning either the veracity of the testimony of former students as to bad or even horrendous experiences in the schools or the value and necessity of allowing their stories to be heard, there is good cause, given the methodology of the Commission, to question the accuracy of the overall picture painted by the report. Following similar methodology, it would not be difficult to produce an equally damning or worse portrait of the public school system. Set up an inquiry into the public schools and invite everybody to relate their experiences when it is common knowledge that it is really only bad experiences you are interested in and that you are out to crucify the education system, and see what kind of results you get. Ten years before the TRC was established, Alberta Report magazine ran an article by Patrick Donnelly in which numerous residential school alumni were interviewed and testified to an overall positive experience at the schools. (6) Alberta Report publisher Link Byfield received a letter from the Alberta Human Rights Commission saying that a law professor at the University of Calgary had filed a complaint against the magazine over the article. The AHRC did not prosecute but my point is that even then there was pressure to silence anything that went against the interpretive narrative that would eventually be incorporated into the TRC report. This is much more the case today, after the report came out, as Senator Lynn Beyak discovered when she found herself censured by her own cowardly party and the recipient of a flatulent letter from the apostate primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, co-signed by the indigenous bishop, for basically saying the same thing that Cree playwright, novelist, classical pianist, Order of Canada recipient, and residential school alumnus Tomson Highway said in an interview for a column that was published about the same time as the TRC’s final report:

All we hear is the negative stuff, nobody’s interested in the positive, the joy in that school. Nine of the happiest years of my life, I spent it at that school. I learned your language, for God’s sake. Have you learned my language? No, so who’s the privileged one and who is underprivileged?

You may have heard stories from 7,000 witnesses in the process that were negative. But what you haven’t heard are the 7,000 reports that were positive stories. There are many very successful people today that went to those schools and have brilliant careers and are very functional people, very happy people like myself. I have a thriving international career, and it wouldn’t have happened without that school. You have to remember that I came from so far north and there were no schools up there.

Those who were so quick to condemn Senator Beyak should carefully read Mr. Highway’s words and the learn to tell the difference between denying, contradicting, and silencing one person’s negative testimony – what she was falsely accused of – and denying, contradicting and silencing another person’s positive testimony – what they are guilty of doing.

The TRC’s judgement on the residential schools, arising out of an interpretative narrative that was well in place before the Commission began its investigation, was that the schools were the central element in a program of “cultural genocide.” “Cultural genocide” is the expression that was coined to equate imperial cultural assimilation with the physical extermination of a people. The thinking behind this equation, taken to its logical extreme, would equate the outlawing of the Hindu practice of suttee – the immolation of widows – in India under the Raj, the suppression of slavery, and the suppression of tribal warfare which, being total, frequently amounted to genocide in the literal sense of the word, with the Armenian genocide, the Holodomor terror famine in the Ukraine, the Holocaust, and the slaughter of the Tutsi in Rwanda. Obviously, it is possible to go too far in the other direction. Not all forms of imperial cultural assimilation are on the same moral level as the end of the slave trade. Nevertheless, the reasoning behind the concept of “cultural genocide” is clearly flawed. We shall shortly consider the ideology that produced the concept – and the entire anti-colonial, anti-imperial narrative to which it belongs. First, however, a few things need to be said about cultural assimilation as practiced at the residential schools.

The schools were not initially thought up by Sir John A. Macdonald, or, for that matter, anyone else in the Dominion government. The first ones predate Confederation by a few decades. They were founded by Christian churches as outreach missions to the aboriginals. Naturally, evangelism was one aspect of their mission. This would be sufficient in the minds of some Christianity-hating leftists to indict the schools with “cultural genocide” in and of itself. However, the other aspect was social. The lifestyle by which most of the native tribes, particularly in the West, traditionally sustained themselves, one of hunting, fishing and trapping, was, if not dying out completely, becoming less and less capable of sustaining the native populations, for a number of reasons, such as the shrinking numbers of bison and other game and the decrease in demand for the products of the fur trade. Perhaps, and I say this facetiously, PETA and other animal rights nuts are the ones who should be charged with "cultural genocide." The churches that founded the schools, wanted to provide training for aboriginal children in the skills they would need to survive in a modernizing economy. For this reason they were often called industrial schools. Foremost among those skills, would be the ability to read and write in the language the economy was conducted in, which, keeping in mind that these schools existed mostly in the West, was usually English. Accordingly, most of the schools taught English in a style similar to the way French is learned in the immersion schools to which English-speaking parents who want their kids to have the advantages that come with full bilingualism send their children today. The schools were not monolithic, however. Some taught reading and writing in native languages as well as English. Of those that were full English immersion, the rules about speaking native languages outside of class varied. Those that banned the speaking of native tongues outside of the classroom, generally did so when their students came from different tribes, especially those between which an historic enmity existed. That the students would gain a language, usually English, was the reason for the immersion. The prevention of mutually hostile language cliques forming was the reason for the bans in the schools that had them. Had the disappearance of the native tongues been the aim, dictated by the government, full immersion and the bans would have been universal practice, which they were not.

After Confederation and the acquisition of Rupert's Land and the North-West, the Dominion government brought the residential schools under its aegis, funding and regulating them, while the churches continued to operate them. It was the social aspect of the schools' mission rather than the evangelistic that garnered the government's interest, and, yes, in articulating the case for the schools to the House in 1883, Macdonald spoke in terms of cultural assimilation, although not in the crude and vulgar words that are sometimes falsely attributed to him, more often to Duncan Campbell Scott who expanded the government's involvement in the early twentieth-century, but which in reality were spoken by an American General who was, ironically, advocating integrated public education for native children. While it is easy for squeamish people in the twenty-first century, comfortable in their delusions of their own enlightenment, to get their panties in a twist about the idea that in "central training industrial schools" the indigenous children "will acquire the habits and modes of thought of white men" such people seldom bother to place these words in their historical context, and I do not mean that they were spoken without the advantage of our supposedly enlightened hindsight.

Remember that Confederation occurred two years after the surrender of Lee to Grant at Appomattox. Do you recall what happened in the United States immediately after that? I'd be amazed if you don't because it is a huge part of the story of the American wild West. The triumphant republic, having squashed the Confederacy, immediately sent its forces to the frontier to deal with the Indians that had been conducting raids on settlers, kidnapping, raping, and murdering them. Oh yes. If you happen to believe the Disney version of what the Indian lifestyle was like, i.e., that they were all enlightened, tree-hugging, hand-holding, environmentalist, pacifists, then grow up! This picture, cooked up in Hollywood out of one of Rousseau's lamest thoughts, is actually a huge insult to the great Indian warriors. They were responding to what they, hardly without justification, regarded as an invasion in the same way that for thousands of years they had dealt with other of their own tribes when one had encroached on the other's hunting grounds. The American government, not bound by the Royal Proclamation of 1763 - another of the reasons for their rebellion against the Crown - waged a series of incredibly bloody wars against the Indians. The intensity only increased after they had their butts handed to them at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.

Needless to say, the Dominion government was watching these events closely and Sir John A. did not want a repeat of the Indian Wars in Canada. The danger of this was allayed, somewhat, by the aforementioned Royal Proclamation under which the Dominion was required to make treaties with the tribes before settling people in the territories. However, Sir John knew that the integration of the tribes into the rest of Canada would be the surest safeguard against the kind of Indian-settler conflicts that had escalated into such bloodshed in the United States. He was thinking in terms of civilization, not culture. (8) The disappearance of native languages, styles of dress, and the like, was no goal of his. Their becoming peaceful, law-abiding, Canadians who do not wage war on each other, make raids on settlers, and rape and murder, most certainly was.

So was their developing a means of sustaining themselves in the modern economy. The conflict between the Indians and the settlers in the United States had been inflamed by the shrinking of the buffalo herds and in Canada the buffalo had virtually disappeared by this time. One cannot understand Sir John A’s thinking without being familiar with Benjamin Disraeli’s Sybil, the concepts in which are the basis of the “one-nation” policy of Disraeli’s own premiership in the United Kingdom, (9) and which informed Sir John A.’s own similar thinking and policies. The novel, subtitled “The Two Nations”, warns of the dangers of social unrest and instability that could ensue from it becoming effectively divided, by industrialism, into two nations “the rich” and “the poor.” Macdonald, a statesman rather than a politician – the difference is that the former thinks of the next generation, the latter of the next election – could see that if aboriginal people did not learn a new way of sustaining themselves, a gap in wealth between them and other Canadians would develop that would be so large as to make the gap between capital and labour seem miniscule by comparison, and that this would generate social discontent that would be greatly exacerbated by the fact that the two groups, unlike those in the Earl of Beaconsfield’s novel, would be separated by culture and race. It was these concerns, shared by many of the native tribes themselves, who in fact, had often gone to the government and the churches and requested these schools, that led Macdonald to give the government’s support to the residential schools.

When told that aboriginal children were forced to leave their families and attend these schools it is important to put this in context. Note that I am not talking about the use of the residential schools as a place for government child welfare social workers to put children. That is a much later development in the history of the schools, that had nothing to do with Sir John A, although it is what most of those living today who tell about being forcibly removed from their parents are remembering. Yes, in the 1880s, the government made education mandatory for native children between the ages of 7 and 16, which due to the location of the reservations often translated into their having to go to residential schools. Often, but not always, or even in the majority of cases. Over the entire history of the schools, only 30% of aboriginal children – approximately 150, 000 in total – attended. That is an average over the entire period – it was much higher around the middle of the twentieth century and later, and accordingly had to be much lower in the early days of the Dominion. The vast majority of the schools established for natives were day schools. Here is the historical context of the initial law making education mandatory for native children. In 1871 the province of Ontario had passed a law requiring that children between the ages of 7 and 12 attend school for a minimum of four months per annum with a penalty in the form of a fine to be imposed on the parents. British Columbia passed a similar law in 1873, PEI made education compulsory for twelve weeks a year between the ages of eight and thirteen in 1877, and by 1910 compulsory education was almost universal throughout the Dominion. (10) To this day education is mandatory throughout Canada, usually up to age sixteen, in some provinces up to eighteen. The 1884 amendment to the Indian Act took place within this historical framework, applying to native children the same rules that were being applied to all other children in the Dominion – and with the same exceptions that were usually made. Ironically, mandatory education is the final plank in the manifesto that gave birth to the ideology that produced the anti-colonial, anti-imperialist narrative.

For yes, the anti-imperialist, anti-colonial narrative is the product of Communist ideology. The narrative has roots in the teachings of Karl Marx himself but it really took shape through the pen of V. I. Lenin, in his Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, first published in 1917 shortly before he seized control of Russia. Ironically, it would be with the backing of the country that is most closely identified with capitalism, that the Soviets were able to transform Lenin's narrative into a global movement.

The year was 1945. Six years previously, the British Commonwealth of Nations, including the Dominion of Canada, had rallied to the cause of King, Country, and Empire and followed the United Kingdom into war with the Third Reich, whose tyrannical dictator Adolf Hitler was threatening all of Europe with his plans of conquest. We emerged victorious in the end – but the real triumph belonged to the United States and the Soviet Union, nominally our allies, but who were determined to usher in a new age in which they would be the superpowers. Shortly thereafter, each would turn on the other in the “struggle for the world” (11) that is generally called the Cold War, but in this they were united, that the old age of European imperialism must end. Lenin's narrative, modified to link old world imperialism to National Socialism's plans of conquest, took on a life of its own as a movement, with the USA (12) and the USSR as its co-sponsors, demanding that their erstwhile “allies” Britain and France withdraw from their empires.

The ironies and hypocrisies abounded. This version of the anti-imperialist and anti-colonial narrative was, of course, a thinly veiled justification of the neo-imperialism – and neo-colonialism – that America and the Soviet Union were themselves now engaged in, the former by offering protection to her client states against the latter, which was exporting its influence through subversive, revolutionary movements. A further irony, of course, is that the Third Reich, far from being an example of old world imperialism, was an ideological state, built by an ideology that was a close cousin to that which ruled the Soviet Union, and a more distant cousin to that upon which the United States was founded. (13)

The similarity between Hitler’s regime and the Soviet Union, especially under Stalin, is key to understanding the importance of this narrative to Communism at the time. The two regimes were virtually identical. Both were police states that drew inspiration from Robespierre’s Reign of Terror, that were ruled by an ideological party that claimed to speak for “the people,” that maintained order by promoting a general fear among the populace through secret police, arbitrary justice, show trials, and encouraging everyone to spy on everyone else and inform, even on his best friends and closest family members, so that nobody could trust anyone else. Both killed people by the millions and enslaved and imprisoned countless more. Stalin’s regime survived the war, and indeed, had expanded its control, and it was very much in the interests of the regime, and the international Communist movement allied with it and to a large extent controlled by it, to keep the word’s attention focused on the evils of the regime just defeated, rather than on those of the one that was still around. Thus, they entered into prosecution of the War Crimes trials with much gusto, to the point that they more closely resembled the Soviet style of “justice” than that of the English-speaking world, a fact that only a few, chief among them being American Senator Robert Taft, cared to take notice of at the time. (14)

They needed, however, to find something about the Third Reich to focus on that would draw attention away from the fact that they were basically running the same kind of regime, with all the same evils, themselves. You could hardly point the finger at the SS when you have the NKVD, it is a bit cheeky to talk about concentration camps when the GULAG has them set up all over Siberia, and there is not much point condemning the Gestapo when you have had the Cheka, the GPU, the OGPU, the GUGB, the NKGB, and the MGB. Fortunately – for the Communists, if not for civilization – they had an easy solution to their dilemma. Indeed, it coincided with existing Communist policy for already in the 1930s Communists had been talking about stirring up racial strife as another weapon in their war against the capitalist bourgeoisie. (15) For, while Communism was hardly clean in this regards itself, (16) Hitler was well known to be stark, raving, bonkers when it came to the subject of race, and the ideas of a Darwinist struggle for survival between the races, Aryan supremacy, and anti-Semitism were integral parts of the ideology of National Socialism. So, the Communists realized, the way to divert attention from all the ways in which Lenin and Stalin were similar to Hitler, was to direct attention to his racialism, as if this and not his tyrannical, murderous, Soviet-style, police state were his chief evil.

I will interrupt this history at this point to make the observation that while the assault on the legacy of personal freedom under king/queen-in-parliament that Sir John A. Macdonald bequeathed to us began with an old-school, Americanizing Grit, Willian Lyon Mackenzie King in 1926, (17) it was resumed with vehemence in the 1960s by two Communists who had taken over the Liberal Party. One of these was Lester B. Pearson whom evidence suggests was, although his education was at Oxford rather than Cambridge, the same kind of traitor intellectual as Guy Burgess, Kim Philby, Donald MacLean, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross. (18) The other was Pierre Elliott Trudeau who, with his head already full of left-wing ideas, was taught Fabianism in London, came under the influence of more radical Marxism in Paris, spent some time behind the Iron Curtain, headed a Canadian delegation to an international Communist conference in Moscow hosted by Stalin, co-founded the far left Cité Libre journal that engineered the anti-Catholic "Quiet Revolution" in Quebec, and expressed his sympathies with Marxism and his admiration for tyrants like Mao all his life. (19) He did everything he could to try and transform Canada from a free parliamentary monarchy into a peoples' republic. It was through his efforts that a polite, smiley-faced, friendly Canadian version of a Soviet-style inquisitor tribunal complete with its own secret police was established under the euphemistic "Canadian Human Rights Act" which does not, as its title may lead you to believe, have anything to do with extending the protection of traditional British/Canadian legal rights to all people on soil governed by Canadian law but rather with limiting such traditional British/Canadian legal rights as freedom of association and speech. Note that these two Communists, Pearson and Trudeau presided over the residential schools when the abuses were at their worst. I don't see anyone demanding the removal of their statues, do you?

Now, back to where we left off. Communism's plan to use the evils of the defeated regime, to distract from the evils of the still-existing regime, and thus to point to something unique to the former, was the genesis of anti-racism which, although it had been no part of the original Marxism, or even of the anti-imperialist narrative as Lenin had formulated it, became integral to the neo-Marxism that, with American help, was pushing the developing narrative. Indeed, if you look closely enough at the various anti-racist groups and organizations of today, especially the violent "Antifa" type, you will find in most cases some version of Marxist-Leninism - Stalinism, Maoism, etc. - behind them. Nota bene, racism itself as both a term and a concept, is an invention of the neo-Marxism that has set itself up as its opponent. (20) It is not fully synonymous with the older concept of racial prejudice, either in the sense of positive bias towards one's own group or negative bias against others. Whether one's prejudices qualify as "racism" or not in neo-Marxist theory depends upon whether or not one belongs to Marxism's perpetual bête noir, "the bourgeoisie", "the capitalists" or simply "the haves." In practice what this means is that the most hateful and violent words and actions directed towards whites, all elevated to the status of "haves" by neo-Marxism (21), on the part of other groups, is not "racism", whereas any insensitive comment, however mild, on the part of a white person towards another racial group is considered "racism" and therefore a more serious offence than even a violent crime in the other direction. The neo-conservative objection that this is inconsistent and that there should be a universal single standard that condemns the same kind of words and behaviour as racist regardless of who says and does them (22) misses the point. Since the term and concept are neo-Marxist inventions they can define them as they wish. It is not how they use their own terminology, that deserves condemnation, but the evil theory behind it, and the even more evil motivation behind that theory - Communism's need to find something in Hitler's mass-murders that would make them out to be worse than Communism's own larger scale mass-murders.

Just to be clear – whether racial prejudice is wrong or right, it is wrong or right regardless of whether the prejudiced person “has power” or not. The most sensible way of looking at it, long the view of most civilized people, is that it is probably inevitable, as the byproduct of the in-group loyalty necessary for social cohesion, and as such ought to be tolerated up to a point, but should be looked upon with extreme distaste when taken too far, such as when it is ideologized as in National Socialism and becomes a threat to civilization.

It may seem like I have been following a rabbit down a trail, but this is all relevant. Consider the point about how neo-Marxism coined and defined racism so that it applies to one group and not another. I have already discussed Sir John A.'s remarks in the House of Commons in 1883 in support of the residential schools. Another aspect of those remarks that is condemned by the self-righteous today, who usually have no idea what the word meant in the nineteenth century, was his description of the natives as “savages.” Three years later, after riding out on the new railroad to what is now Alberta in July himself, for a pow-wow with Chief Crowfoot of the Blackfoot and other chiefs, Macdonald invited several chiefs to come east on the railroad to visit him at home. Chief Crowfoot was invited, of course, as was Chief Red Crow of the Bloods, and they accordingly came that fall to Sir John A's home in Ottawa. They were also given a mini-tour of Ontario. Red Crow, on his return from his visit to Ontario, used the exact same word to describe the whites. How many of the same people who condemn Sir John A.’s use of the word would also condemn Red Crow’s?

More importantly, however, the term "genocide" was coined in 1944 by Raphael Lemkin, who, with American sponsorship, put forward the resolution he had drafted for the Genocide Convention to the United Nations in 1948. This served the Soviet/neo-Marxist interests well, especially since they, the Soviets that is, were able to use their position at the UN to remove Lemkin's category of political killings, and thus their own crimes, from the definition of genocide. Thus they achieved their wishes, an international treaty that condemned Hitler's crimes but not theirs. The concept of cultural genocide, which was Lemkin's but not included in the Convention, although it has been heavily promoted by neo-Marxists, served their purposes even better. It allowed them to equate the actions of their enemies with Hitler's crimes even when physical extermination was not involved. It did not matter how many eggs, Stalin broke, in his quest for the omelet of progress, so long as he was not racist in breaking them, but the civilizing efforts of the old empires was to be treated as the moral equivalent of the Holocaust.

Just in case you failed to catch the point, what really makes mass murder evil is that it is mass murder. Whether it is because you don’t like Race X or because you see the kulaks as an impediment to your progress towards a workers’ paradise, is trivial and insignificant. If you cannot understand this, you are a moral imbecile.

Anti-racism, by which Communism deflected the world's attention from the many ways in which it and National Socialism were identical, quickly became part of the anti-colonial, anti-imperial narrative that the Soviets were using to demand that the old European powers withdraw from their empires, in reality to make way for the new Soviet imperialism, a demand with which the Americans, who would promote their own neo-imperialism as a protection racket against the Soviet neo-imperialism, heartily concurred. The European powers withdrew, and in the new states that emerged from the former empires, the Soviets and Americans backed rival factions in civil wars, while the tribal wars, which the empires had so long suppressed, resumed with a genocidal fury, while the perpetrators of the genocides used their seats in the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Genocide Convention of which they had all signed, to blame their present woes on the old imperial powers. Read Paul Johnson's Modern Times for a detailed history of the whole sordid mess. (23) This is the fruit of the insipid narrative, generated by Communists to cover up Communist crimes, that has so permeated Western civilization, or what is left of it, that we actually consider it a sign of our "enlightenment" that be buy into this drivel and use it to sit in judgement on our ancestors.

Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, by the way, look suspiciously like they are another Communist invention. They were started up in Latin America, when the Soviet Union that had been sponsoring revolutionary terrorist groups throughout the continent collapsed, and the United States, seeing that the subversion had been cut off at the source, withdrew its support from the governments that had been fighting to suppress the revolutionaries. Governments more sympathetic to the Marxists came to power, and set up the TRCs to condemn the former regimes for the violent measures taken to suppress groups that, judging from how their ideological comrades have behaved whenever they did get into power, would have been much, much, worse. Perhaps the best known Truth and Reconciliation Commission was the one established in 1995 in South Africa after the African National Congress came to power. The ANC, unpopular as it is to point this out today, was and is a Communist front, which through its guerrilla arm “the Spear of the Nation” waged a terrorist war against the Afrikaners who sought to maintain control of the republic they had created through a policy of racial segregation called apartheid, an ugly policy to be sure, but not significantly different from the policies of other African countries except that the Afrikaners were the wrong colour. The ANC also waged a very nasty war on South African blacks who did not support them or who belonged to the wrong tribe. Needless to say, it was the crimes of the apartheid regime and not their own that their TRC investigated, even as the ANC was preparing for the Zimbabwe-style genocide it is currently carrying out, to the silence of most of the world’s press.

An investigatory body that had its conclusions in place before it began its investigation and was notoriously closed to hearing any point of view other than its own, modelled on a kind of tribunal that was invented and given a euphemistic name in order to investigate and punish the enemies of Communism, gives a judgement of “cultural genocide” which is an odious moral equation of cultural assimilation with physical extermination originally dreamed up to divert attention from Communism’s crimes. Yes, we have every reason to reject this judgement.

Communism like Nazism, was a twentieth century manifestation of the much older totalitarian spirit of anarchy and revolution. The Dominion of Canada was founded upon rejection of that spirit, for which reason Communism targeted her for destruction long before its Cold War against the American republic that served its, as well as the American’s, neo-imperial interests. Our government was fighting Communist subversives back in the early days of the presidency of a man who tried his hardest to be the best friend of the worst of the Soviet tyrants. During the Cold War, Communists working through the continentalist, Americanist, Liberal Party, seriously undermined the legacy of freedom and order, under parliamentary monarchy, that the Fathers of Confederation had left to us. Now, that revolutionary spirit that prefers the “quick, easy and exhilarating” work of destruction to the “slow, laborious and dull” work of creation can be seen at work again, using the mistreatment and suffering many indigenous Canadians experienced in the residential schools as a springboard to attack the man who undertook that work for us a century and a half ago. The man who in a debate against opponents who wished to break up the reserves and leave the indigenous people to fend for themselves, articulated the government’s responsibility to protect them, saying “We must remember that they are the original owners of the soil, of which they have been dispossessed by the covetousness or ambition of our ancestors” and that they “have been the great sufferers by the discovery of America and the transfer to it of a large white population.”

Make no mistake. Those who are attacking Sir John A., and through him the country he founded, while they may shed crocodile tears, possess in their hearts not an iota of the genuine care for the suffering of the aboriginals that he did. Revolutionaries are always those who care the least about the people whose suffering they cynically exploit to advance their destructive agenda. The people of Paris fared horribly under the Reign of Terror. The condition of the workers was one of hopeless slavery under Bolshevism. It is easy to tear down statues, to compare the father of your country to Hitler, and to otherwise carry on in a juvenile manner, but it is much harder to break the cycles of abuse, dependency, addiction, and utter poverty that afflict native Canadians.

The spirit of anarchy and revolution appears to have the upper hand at the moment, but those of us who still cherish loyalty and honour, order and freedom, and all the good things that are difficult to build and easy to destroy, can take some cold comfort, if it is only a prophetic schadenfreude, from the fact that in the divine order of things, revolutions always eat their own. Just as Philippe Égalité, Marat, Danton and ultimately the “Incorruptible” Robespierre himself were consumed in turn by the bloodshed they unleashed, so the ninth of Thermidor will eventually come for the new revolutionaries.

In the meantime, we resist as best we can, neither giving in to their demands, nor buying in to their deceptions. Let us always honour and remember Sir John A. Macdonald, the Dominion of Canada that he built and led, and the freedom in order for which it stood.

(1) Roger Scruton, How to Be a Conservative, London, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014, pp. viii-ix.

(2) “Revisionist” history has two meanings. It can refer to the efforts of those, especially after a war, to sift through propaganda and reconstruct events as they actually happened. It can also refer to the rewriting of history to serve some ideological agenda. It is in this latter sense that I use the word here.

(3) For details of Macdonald’s economic nationalist fight for Canada against forces that wished to see the country swallowed up by the Americans, see chapter nine, “Veiled Treason”, in David Orchard, The Fight for Canada: Four Centuries of Resistance to American Expansionism, Revised and Expanded Edition, Westmount, QC, Robert Davis Multimedia Publishing Inc., 1993, 1998. For his life in general, see Donald Creighton’s biography John A. Maconald, originally published by Macmillan in two volumes, The Young Politician, 1952, and The Old Chieftain, 1955, then in a one-volume edition by the University of Toronto Press, 1998. There are many other biographies of Macdonald beginning with Sir Joseph Pope's two volume Memoirs of the Right Honourable Sir John Alexander Macdonald, G.C.B., First Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada in 1894, and more recently Richard Gwyn's Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald - His Life, Our Times in 2011, but Creighton's is the sterling standard. Of course, since Creighton's opinions and prejudices matched my own to a large degree I am biased in its favour, but I am hardly alone in considering this the definitive Macdonald biography. Both volumes won the Governor General's Award, Arthur Meighen described it as "the finest biography any Canadian has produced", and Harold A. Innis, to whom the first volume was dedicated said that this was "the highest honour, academic or otherwise which I will ever achieve." The 2018 re-issue of the U of T edition includes a new introduction by Donald Wright, Creighton's own biographer, that addresses the recent controversy over Macdonald in a much more irenic and much less dogmatic tone than I have taken here, Wright undoubtedly having much more patience with statue-raising revolutionary rabble than I do.

(4) As Richard Cartwright said in the assembly of the province of Canada during the debates on Confederation in 1865 “For myself, sir, I own frankly I prefer British liberty to American equality.” The classical liberalism that inspired the American Revolution, like its more radical cousin that inspired the French Revolution, considered liberty and equality to be compatible goals. For the conservative case that the two are contradictory and incompatible see Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Liberty or Equality: The Challenge of Our Time, Caldwell, Idaho, The Caxton Printers Ltd., 1952. Whether compatible or not, conservatives have always had a higher view of liberty to equality, and it was the egalitarianism in the formula of Americanism, that the conservative early Canadians objected to over the libertarianism, although they also rightly regarded the American equation of liberty with republicanism to be absurd. The embrace of egalitarianism and identification of liberty with “America” was the result of a hijacking of Canadian thought in the middle of the Twentieth Century.

(5) Brian Dale Giesbrecht, “Teaching the Residential School Story”, Frontier Centre for Public Policy, November 2, 2017.

(6) Patrick Donnelly, “Scapegoating the Indian Residential Schools”, Alberta Report, January 26, 1998.

(7) Joshua Ostroff, “Tomson Highway Has a Surprisingly Positive Take on the Residential Schools”, Huffington Post Canada, December 15, 2016.

(8) John Lukacs discusses the “originally German but by now worldwide, accepted notion of the superior nature of Culture over Civilization.” The former is “material and bourgeois” the latter is “spiritual and creative.” He discusses the development of this idea in the nineteenth century and its influence on Hitler who was “a proponent and promoter of art and ‘Kultur’” but the enemy of civilization. He notes that the Greeks, who along with the Romans “were the founders of our still extant urbane notions of a civilization”, had no word for culture. He takes the position, against both Hitler and the intellectuals of our own day, that civilization is more important than culture. This discussion can be found in John Lukacs, The Hitler of History, New York, Vintage Books, 1997, pp. 267-268. In his second memoir Lukacs writes “When civilization is strong and widespread enough, culture will appear and take care of itself.” John Lukacs, Last Rites, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2009, p. 58.

(9) Disraeli’s premiership in the United Kingdom was contemporaneous with that of Macdonald in Canada.

(10) See Philip Oreopoulos, “Canadian Compulsory School Laws and their Impact on Educational Attainment and Future Earnings,” Statistics Canada, May 2005. Chapter II, “History of Compulsory Schooling in Canada.”

(11) James Burnham, The Struggle for the World, New York, The John Day Company, 1947.

(12) Consider what Dr. Paul Gottfried has to say about the influence of American reconstruction policy in post-WWII Europe on the development of political correctness in Paul E. Gottfried, Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt: Towards a Secular Theocracy, Columbia, University of Missouri Press, 2002.

(13) Here, briefly, is the family tree: The first generation is Puritanism, which overthrows King Charles I of England and Scotland and beheads him in 1649, establishing the tyrannical Cromwellian Protectorate, which, mercifully, ends with the restoration of the monarchy and the Church of England. A century later, Puritanism has secularized and become classical liberalism, the second generation, which again revolts against the British Crown, this time in a secession movement of the thirteen colonies who establish the American Republic. Many of those who remain loyal to the British Crown flee to the northern provinces which in another century become the Dominion of Canada. Less than a decade after the Americans win their independence, however, a nastier sibling of classical liberalism, Jacobinism, rears its ugly head in France. There, a combination of intriguers, including Philippe Duc d’Orleans who wanted the throne for himself, agents of the Prussian king who wanted to break up the French-Austrian alliance, and various other troublemakers, stirred up, with the help of the prostitutes of Paris and imported foreign cutthroats, a serious of revolts against the popular, reforming, King Louis XVI of France and, eventually force him off the throne. In the chaos of the republic that is then declared, Maximilien de Robespierre, leader of the radical egalitarian Montagnards, plays the other factions of the Jacobin Club against each other, as the king, queen, much of the nobility and the Catholic clergy are put to death, along with a sizeable number of ordinary Frenchmen, as “enemies of the people.” The other Jacobin factions, such as the Girondins and the Hebertistes, are denounced and eliminated in turn, before finally, fed up with all the bloodshed, the assembly turns on Robespierre and feeds him to his own guillotine, effectively ending the Terror. Fifty years later, however, the spirit of Robespierre is revived and revolutionary fires burn across Europe, as, in London, a revolutionary living in exile and masquerading as a philosopher and economist, Karl Marx, pens the words that will become the death warrant of a hundred million people in the next century. Marxism is the third generation, a descendent of Jacobinism, and from it springs Leninism or Bolshevism, which in October of 1917 takes over Russia from the weak provisional government that had toppled the Tsar, puts the Tsar to death, and establishes the Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics, the totalitarian police state that holds its people in an iron grip for almost a century, swallowing Eastern Europe through the Second World War, and establishing duplicates of its regime throughout the world, most notably in China, North Korea, North Vietnam, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, and Castro’s Cuba. Meanwhile in Germany, Adolf Hitler, leads National Socialism, a close relative of Bolshevism that establishes an extremely similar regime, to power in 1933, plunges the world into the Second World War, loses, and National Socialism, in terms of any real power and influence, dies with him.

(14) See chapter 9 of John F. Kennedy, Profiles in Courage, 1956.

(15) See William Z. Foster, Toward Soviet America, New York, Coward-McCann Inc., 1932, particularly the section entitled “Revolutionary Forces in the United States” in Chapter IV, “The Revolutionary Way Out of the Crisis.”

(16) Karl Marx was, even for the nineteenth century, quite extreme in his vulgar remarks about the African race and was also, despite his own Jewish ancestry, a raving anti-Semite. The Holodomor, the engineered famine that killed seven million people in 1932 to 1933, was directed against the Ukrainians.

(17) John Farthing, Freedom Wears a Crown, Toronto, Kingswood Press, 1957, Eugene A. Forsey, The Royal Power of Dissolution of Parliament in the British Commonwealth, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1943.

(18) James Barros, No Sense of Evil: The Espionage Case of E. Herbert Norman, New York, Ivy Books, 1986, 1987, pp. 122-123, 191-202, 223-231.

(19) See David Somerville, Trudeau Revealed by His Actions and Words, Richmond Hill, BMG Publishing Ltd., 1978.

(20) Samuel T. Francis, “The Origins of ‘Racism’: The Curious Beginnings of a Useless Word”, in Jared Taylor ed., Samuel Francis, Essential Writings on Race, New Century Books, 2007, pp. 70-74.

(21) For how this has turned the left on its former support base see Paul E. Gottfried, The Strange Death of Marxism: The European Left in the New Millennium, Columbia, University of Missouri Press, 2005.

(22) An example of this kind of argument is Dinesh D’Souza, The End of Racism, New York, Free Press Paperbacks, 1995. See in particular chapter eight, “Institutional Racism and Double Standards”, on pages 289 to 336.

(23) Paul Johnson, Modern Times: The World From the Twenties to the Nineties, Revised Edition, New York, Harper Collins, 1992.