The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Other War On Christmas

The war on Christmas, as that expression is usually understood, denotes the recent North American phenomenon in which progressive forces, in the name of diversity, tolerance, multiculturalism and all those other words which serve little other purpose than to hide the spirit of Stalinist totalitarianism behind a smiley face, have sought to re-brand Christmas into a generic “holiday season”. This war is conducted on many fronts and with varying degrees of intensity, ranging from the replacement of the traditional “Merry Christmas” greeting with “Happy Holidays” or something similar to the more heavy-handed attempts by lobby groups and civil liberties organizations to drive nativity scenes and any other Christmas imagery that has a direct and obvious connection to Christianity from the public square. Back in the 1990s, Peter Brimelow and John O’Sullivan began a war against Christmas contest in National Review, to see who could find the most outrageous example of an attempt to suppress the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and put a cheap generic imitation in its place and Brimelow has continued this tradition on his immigration reform website VDare. VDare has done an excellent job of documenting this sort of thing and so we will here turn to look at the other war on Christmas, i.e., that conducted by those who consider themselves to be the faithful, against Christmas, in the name of what they consider to be a sound interpretation of the Bible.

The roots of this other war on Christmas go back to the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century. The Reformation began as a response to corruption in the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Leo X had authorized a campaign in which indulgences would be offered in return for funds that would go to the reconstruction of St. Peter’s Basilica. This crass effort to sell the grace of God, offended Dr. Martin Luther of the University of Wittenberg, who challenged not only the vulgar indulgence peddling of Johann Tetzel, but the theology that lay behind the very idea of indulgences, on the grounds of the Pauline doctrine of justification by grace through faith, and, when summoned by the Church to defend himself against charges of heresy, insisted that it is to the Holy Scriptures, as the written Word of God, that the teachings and traditions of the Church must be held accountable.

Dr. Luther had nothing against Christmas, or against most of the traditions of the Church for that matter, but the ball he started rolling picked up momentum which carried it much further than he had ever intended. The Reformation divided Western Europe, in which nation-states had begun to develop in the earlier Renaissance period. Of these, for the most part those with a Latin-based language, like French, Italian, and Spanish, remained Roman Catholic while the national churches in the northern states, with German-based languages, tended to follow one or the other of the Protestant Reformers. There were Protestants, however, who were convinced that Luther, Calvin, and even Zwingle had not gone far enough, who condemned Christendom and its traditions and institutions as hopelessly corrupt, denouncing both the Roman Catholic and the Protestant national churches and who formed sects in which only those whom they considered to be pure in doctrine and lifestyle were welcome, regarding their own sects as God’s elect remnant, and everyone else as being corrupt.

Protestant sectarianism continued to develop further and further away from the mainstream of Christian tradition and in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, radical Protestant sects developed, like the Rutherfordian Russellites and the Armstrongists which went so far as to reject Nicene Trinitarian orthodoxy itself, generally reviving one or another of the ancient heresies in the process. Both the Russellites and the Armstrongists condemned Christmas as a pagan invention of the “Catholic Church” which in their view was a counterfeit church created by Emperor Constantine in the fourth century.

This same anti-Christmas view had developed in radical Protestantism much earlier than this, however, by individuals who did not go so far as to reject the Trinity. In the sixteenth century, many of the English Protestants who had introduced moderate reforms in the Church of England during the reign of Edward VI, fled to Switzerland during the reign of the Catholic Mary, and there became much more radical in their Calvinism. When these returned to England, during the reign of Elizabeth I, who had restored the Edwardian reforms, they found these did not go far enough to please them. They demanded that every practice and institution from the pre-Reformation tradition of the Church for which they could not find a text in the Holy Scriptures commanding or authorizing its use be removed from the Church as superstition and popery. Against these fanatics, who came to be known as Puritans, the theologian Richard Hooker, defended the Elizabethan Church of England in his eight volume Lawes of Ecclesiastical Polity, arguing that the Church was at liberty to retain whatever traditional practices and institutions were not explicitly forbidden or condemned in the Holy Scriptures, a view far more compatible with the Pauline doctrine of Christian liberty than that of the Puritans, although the latter liked to think of themselves as the champions of Christian liberty against a “legalistic” Church. When neither Elizabeth I, nor her Stuart successors James I and Charles I, were willing to give in to their demands, they became increasingly seditious and in the 1640s their rebellion against King Charles I broke out into the English Civil War. They captured the king, had him put on trial before a Parliament from which all but their own supporters had been removed by military force, and executed him. They installed their general, Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector of Britain, whose tyrannical regime lasted until his death in 1658, shortly after which the crown was restored to Charles II.

During his mercifully brief dictatorship, Cromwell sought to remove everything that brought the slightest amount of colour, light, and earthly happiness into people's lives. He banned games and amusements on Sundays - the only day of the week people were not working from dawn to dusk, stripped the churches of ornamentation and beautiful organ music, forcing everyone to listen to horrible extra long sermons all Sunday morning, shut down theatres, and outlawed Christmas as pagan.

What was Cromwell's problem? Dr. Seuss once speculated concerning a fictional character who bore a remarkable resemblance to Cromwell "It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight. It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right. But I think that the most likely reason of all may have been that his heart was two sizes too small." In the case of the real-life, seventeenth century Grinch, Cromwell, whatever role his head and shoes might have played, the problem was that his heart, soul, and spirit had been shrunk, frozen, and killed by a form of extreme Calvinism that combined a Pharisaical spirit regarding religion with a philistine attitude to culture in what was the most repulsive and vile, hell-spawned theology to claim the name of Christianity in vain, until theological modernism began to be spewed forth from the German schools of higher criticism and the North American "social gospel" movement in the nineteenth century.

Unfortunately, the spirit of Cromwellian Puritanism has survived in the misguided zealots who come out every year at this time to inform us that the first five verses of Jeremiah 10 condemn Christmas trees, even though anyone with an IQ over thirty can see that the reference to removing a tree from the forest and decking it with silver and gold is describing the construction of an idol, not something that is purely celebratory and decorative in purpose and function. They also like to remind us that December 25th was the day in which the Romans celebrated the birth of Sol Invictus at the conclusion of the pagan festival of lights, Saturnalia, concluding through some leap of reasoning that it was therefore pagan and idolatrous for the Church to have set the feast day celebrating the birth of the Son of the Living God on this same day. This sort of reasoning, however, would also condemn St. John the Apostle for introducing Jesus as the "Logos" in his Gospel. The idea of the Logos, the Divine Word or Reason, comes right out of pagan Greek philosophy. As the Hellenized first century Jewish philosopher, Philo of Alexandria pointed out, there was a parallel concept in the "memra", the personalized Word or Wisdom of God of the Targum, the Aramaic rabbinic commentary on the Hebrew Scriptures, and it is quite in keeping with the New Testament concept that Christ abolished the division between Jews and Gentiles in establishing His Covenant and His Church, to understand the Logos of the Gospel to draw from both the Greek and Jewish antecedents. Interestingly, the Jews then, as now, also celebrated a "Festival of Lights", around the winter solstice, commemorating the rededication of the Temple, after its desecration by Antiochus Epiphanes and the Maccabean revolt that ensued. Jesus, according to the tenth chapter of the Gospel of John, went to Jerusalem for this festival, also called the Feast of the Dedication or Hanukkah, even though this feast would be regarded as extra-scriptural by Puritan theology which does not accept the First and Second books of Maccabees as Holy Scriptures. If there is nothing wrong with St. John synthesizing the Greek logos and the Jewish memra in his doctrine of the pre-incarnate Christ as the Word Who was in the beginning with God, and Who was God, and through Whom all things were made, then there is nothing wrong with the Church deciding to celebrate the birth of God's Son, at a time of year which coincides with both the Roman and the Jewish festivals of lights. Indeed, it seems most appropriate.

There is a connection between the two wars on Christmas in that Puritanism, as Eric Voegelin pointed out, was an early stage of the modern revival of Gnosticism, of which the progressive liberalism of the twentieth and now twenty-first centuries are later stages. You can read all about that in Voegelin's The New Science of Politics. The original Gnostics, I would note, were the anti-Christs that St. John referred to in his epistles, who denied the doctrine of Christ, specifically the Incarnation, which, of course, is the theological event commemorated in Christmas. The war on Christmas, in its Puritan and progressive liberal forms, is ultimately a war on the Apostolic doctrine of Christ as defended and articulated by the orthodox in the Trinitarian confession of the Council of Nicaea.

So, let me conclude by wishing you all a very Merry Christmas in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Monday, December 14, 2015

"The Donald" Trumps Political Correctness

The results of our own federal election this year, in which the contemptible little empty headed pretty boy who is the son of our worst ever Prime Minister and who is better suited for a career in Hollywood or in the popular music recording industry than for running Her Majesty’s government in Ottawa, wrangled a majority of seats in the House of Commons out of a duped and gullible electorate, are so depressing that we must look outside our borders to see if there is anything going on in the rest of the world from which we can derive comfort. Mercifully, we don’t need to look very far. South of our border, in the American republic, a campaign is underway that is sufficient to bring the warmth of hope to any heart left cold by the return of the winter of Trudeaumania to our fair Dominion. I am referring to the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.

As a conservative in the original sense of the term, i.e., a royalist and a Christian traditionalist, I don’t, of course, approve of republics and presidential elections. I agree with all my heart and soul with Anthony Burgess who said “with a limited monarchy you have no president, and a president is one more corruptible element in government” whereas “a constitutional monarch is at least out of politics and can’t get dirty or corrupt.” If, like our southern neighbours, you are unfortunate enough to have a republic, you must try and find someone for the office of president who is unlikely to be corrupted.

If, ten, or even five years ago, you would have suggested to me that Donald Trump was that person, I would have assumed that you had been smoking some noxious, brain rotting, substance like cannabis and advised you to switch to good old wholesome tobacco. After all, this is Donald Trump of all people, the thrice married billionaire, who, having obtained money and fame in his first two incarnations as a real estate developer and a celebrity “reality” television host, has now set his sights on power, the fourth of the great corrupting temptations. Is he not the very embodiment of corruption?

Well, no, actually. There are influences out there which, although seldom recognized as such, are far more corrupting than sex, money, fame, and power. Among these, youth and strongly held ideals, stand out, neither of which is likely to have much sway over a man like Donald Trump. Furthermore, as we have seen in this very interesting campaign so far, Trump appears to be the first political hopeful in a very long time to be completely beyond the reach of the progressive narrative, the enforcement of which as orthodoxy, we call political correctness.

This is why the importance of the Trump candidacy extends far beyond the question of who becomes the next president of the United States of America. Donald Trump has been saying things that for a very long time we have all been told that nobody could say publicly without sinking his political career. So far, however, his political career has remained afloat. Moreover, he has come under heavy attack by the major media networks, by the Democrat party and by the leadership of his own Republican party, but none of these have succeeded in derailing him. His popularity continues to soar, not in spite of the things he has been saying, but because of them.

I am not suggesting that because what Donald Trump has been saying is popular it is therefore also right. Truth and justice are not matters that are decided by majority vote and, indeed, it is quite apparent that under ordinary circumstances, the majority is more likely to be wrong than right. In this case, however, the fact that statements by Trump which have shocked and appalled those whom the late Auberon Waugh called the chattering classes, have been well received by large numbers of ordinary Americans, is not due to the ignorance of the masses, real as that phenomenon is. Trump has been speaking on issues such as immigration which have a strong impact on the everyday lives of ordinary people and about which they can therefore be expected to be well informed. Furthermore, most of what he has been saying about these issues is self-evidently true.

For a long time now the United States has had a problem with mass illegal immigration across its southern border. Donald Trump has been accused of demagoguery for his populist rhetoric on this matter, but that mass migration poses an existential threat to the United States, even such a critic of populism as historian John Lukacs would agree with. Almost twenty years ago he wrote:

Two hundred years later the United States faces the danger of an enormous and uncontrolled flood of people coming largely from the south. It is not only that among these masses the earlier distinction between the purposes of a more-or-less orderly and lawful immigration and those of a more-or-less disorderly and unlawful migration are being washed away; but also that these dangers include a radical change in the composition of the American people as well as the meaning of civilized and traditional citizenship, together with a drastic weakening of the sovereignty and actual autonomy of the United States.

Lukacs concluded the essay from which I just quoted by suggesting that migration – not just illegal immigration – from the Third World posed a greater long term threat to the United States than the USSR and nuclear weapons.

The progressive leadership of the Democrats and the neoconservative leadership of the Republicans, to the extent that they acknowledge a problem here at all, insist that it is only illegal immigration that is a problem and that the solution to this problem is amnesty. One does not have to have a Ph.D. to realize that to offer amnesty to illegal aliens within your country’s borders, without first sealing those borders, is to increase the problem by inviting further illegal immigration in the future. It is also quite obvious that a country that gives up control of its borders will not remain a country for very long. Donald Trump’s proposed solution to the problem of illegal immigration – deporting the illegal aliens already in the United States and building a wall on the border over which they are sneaking – unlike amnesty, would actually deal with the problem rather than make it worse.

The same can be said for Trump’s proposed response to the early December mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. The shooting was an act of jihad and Trump called for a complete moratorium on Muslim entry into the United States until American representatives “can figure out what is going on.” The left, of course, and I include the neoconservatives in that, have been treating this proposal as if it were a greater atrocity than the actual shooting. You might recall, however, the old anecdote about the insane asylum that tested patients who claimed to have recovered their sanity, by putting them in a room with an overflowing bathtub, handing them a mop, and seeing if they had enough marbles to turn off the tap before mopping up. Donald Trump would appear to be the only American presidential candidate who would pass that test. The San Bernardino shooting is one of a long string of such attacks that took place around the world in the last month and a half, the largest of which was, of course, the attack in Paris on November 13th. While most Muslims are not terrorists, as the liberals never tire of reminding us, only Muslims commit jihad, and when faced with a worldwide explosion of incidents of jihad, from which even predominantly Muslim countries like Mali have not been spared, countries need to put the safety of their own people first, ahead of stupid concerns about hurting Muslim feelings.

The insane progressive narrative, that is enforced as political correctness, gets this completely wrong. For far too long, the self-appointed guardians of public moral and intellectual hygiene have gotten away with bossing everyone around and telling us that we cannot say this or that, no matter how true it might be, because to do so would be "racist", "sexist" or something of the like. The great thing about the Donald Trump campaign, which continues to march ahead despite all efforts to silence him, is that these have finally been told, as only Donald Trump could tell them, “You’re fired!”

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Climate Change or Control?

The idea of planetary climate control is one that readers and viewers of futuristic science fiction are likely to be familiar with. The idea is that at some point in the future technology will have advanced so far that we will be able to eliminate destructive weather such as hurricanes and tornadoes or even give ourselves year round ideal weather conditions.

The dream of being able to manipulate the weather, to make it rain when we need rain, and shine when we want sun, to be able to avoid extreme temperatures and unpleasant and dangerous storms, is nothing new. The same dream, on a more moderate scale, is reflected in the rain dances that have been part of certain tribal cultures for ages. What sci-fi writers have envisioned, is on a much more grandiose scale than this but it is also more realistic in that the method by which planetary climate control will be achieved, the development of science and technology, is more effective than magic.

In the sci-fi vision of planetary climate control we see a glimpse of the ultimate end to which modern science has been working for centuries. That end is man’s total control over himself and the world in which he lives. Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ asked “What doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” Science, in the modern sense of the word, is what happens when man collectively ignores that question and recklessly seeks to gain the world at the expense of his soul.

Modern science is often thought of as being materialistic and atheistic and it has increasingly taken on these attitudes in the last two centuries but to truly grasp its nature it needs to be understood that it is Baconian in spirit. In New Atlantis, a brief and incomplete, posthumously published novel by Sir Francis Bacon, a ship gets lost in the Pacific Island and ends up on the island of Bensalem, home of a scientific research foundation known as Salomon’s House. The Father of Salomon’s House tells the visitors that the goal of this organization is “the knowledge of causes, and secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of human empire, to the effecting of all things possible.” This is the purpose of science, as Bacon conceived it, and it is summarized well in the saying, often attributed to Bacon, “knowledge is power.”

Bacon thought of this as an entirely positive and worthy project but it has some darker implications that were pointed out by George Grant. Much of Grant’s writing was devoted to exploring the nature of technology, the modern synthesis of science and art, knowing and making/doing, and its impact on the modern world. Technology, as Grant saw it, was the instrument of dynamic change and was reshaping the world and radically uprooting old traditions and established institutions. Grant, holding this up to the light of ancient wisdom, found it to be of questionable goodness and so argued that the benefits man has reaped from technology are at best mixed blessings. It was the pursuit of Bacon’s goal of “the enlarging of the bounds of human empire, to the effecting of all things possible” that had brought about modern technology and behind this goal, Grant saw the Nietzschean “will to power”, arguing, as a Christian, that this was ultimately an attempt to build in the place of the “Kingdom of God” of Christian theology, a “Kingdom of Man”. To make the “Kingdom of Man” the end of history, rather than the “Kingdom of God” is to put man in the place of God – the height of human arrogance and folly.

If modern science is the accumulation of knowledge of the causes, effects, and processes of the natural world so as to be able to bend that world to our will through technology then the sci-fi vision of a future world in which science has harnessed and mastered the natural forces of climate and weather at whose mercy man has lived for millennia is a goal that it is to be logically expected that science will set for itself. Whether we see it as a benevolent attempt to serve mankind, an arrogant attempt to play God, or a strange mixture of both, “climate control” is clearly in keeping with the Baconian vision of science as power. The question, to which we now turn, is whether science as power, the extension of man’s will over all of nature, is also what is actually behind all of the talk coming from the scientific community about “climate change”.

We are not accustomed to thinking of it this way, because those warning about the dangers of climate change speak as if they were motivated purely by concern for the good of the planet and the welfare of all mankind and the drive to subject nature to the domination of man belonged solely to the industrialists, petroleum companies, and all others they have cast as the villains in their narrative of anthropogenic global warming. This narrative is utter nonsense, however, and this, together with the way climate change scientists have been shown to have fudged their data to manufacture “evidence” and the heavy handed way in which many of them have sought to suppress dissent to the narrative, gives us good cause to question the purity of their motives.

Virtually every detail of the anthropogenic global warming narrative is an insult to the intelligence of the people who are bullied into saying they believe it. We are told, for example, that the roughly one degree Celsius by which the average surface temperature of the earth rose between the last half of the nineteenth century and the twenty-first represents an alarming and unprecedented spike in global temperatures after they had remained more or less steady for a thousand years. This assessment, represented in the infamous “hockey stick” graph, can only be arrived by ignoring what history has to say and relying instead upon high tech witch doctoring to conjure up past temperatures out of tree rings and the like. History, as John Lukacs says, is the remembered past, and the past millennium, as remembered in the writings of those who actually lived through it, began with a period of considerable warmth which was followed, in the middle centuries, by one of significant cooling.

We are expected to believe that, while notoriously unreliable in predicting the next day’s weather, scientists and their computers are accurate when it comes to the much larger scale of global climate patterns. This one degree rise in global temperature, they tell us, is due to all the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from industrial smokestacks and automobile exhausts, and, unless we drastically cut our carbon dioxide emissions, we will be faced with imminent climactic disaster. In 1815, Mount Tambora in Indonesia erupted, and temperatures around the world dropped by approximately half a degree. This was caused by the release of ash and sulfur into the atmosphere, and while it was the opposite effect of that attributed to carbon dioxide, the point is that carbon dioxide is hardly the only substance that enters our atmosphere which affects global temperatures. The idea that out of all the factors that affect the global climate, carbon dioxide is primarily to blame for the rise in global temperature and the problems which may or may not afflict us as a result, comes out of the flip-side to the modern confidence in man’s ability through science and technology to subject nature to his will – the difficulty in accepting that forces greater than man and beyond his power to control may have a larger part to play in what happens.

Perhaps the “97%” of scientists, who we are told support the anthropogenic climate change narrative, actually do believe it, although the way the scientific community treats the narrative as a creed, dissent from which renders one either a heretic or an infidel, strongly suggests otherwise. They use the narrative to promote a certain set of actions – the governments of the world getting together and agreeing to pass taxes, regulations, fines, and whatever else is needed to reduce industrial carbon emissions. If we were to accept the narrative at face value, then these agreements would resemble an attempt to avert the imminent crash threatened by our racing towards a precipice, by decreasing the pressure on the accelerator.

It does not take a big stretch of the imagination to think that this is really all about power. Modern scientific knowledge is highly specialized, fully accessible only to “experts”. When the scientific community, therefore, presents the world with a doomsday scenario that can only be averted if its orders are followed, those with political power will do its bidding. If anyone outside the circle of expertise is skeptical of the claims, the scientific community can simply say he doesn’t understand the science. The only real threat would be from dissent from within the circle of expertise, creating the need for the scientific community to suppress and cover up such dissent and present a public façade of a universal consensus.

Power is highly addictive, which is why George Grant warned that the modern scientific project of subjecting all of nature to the will of man would inevitably lead to tyranny, in which man himself is subjected to the same will. Is this what we are seeing in all this hot air about climate change?

Climate change alarmism is built upon a correlation scientists have drawn between the rise of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere since the nineteenth century and a rise in average global temperature over the same period of time. Something else has expanded greatly in the same period and that is the population of the world. It was around 1830 that the world’s population first grew to one billion. Today it is over seven billion. If one considers how else, other than by burning fossil fuels, human beings produce carbon dioxide, i.e., by breathing, and how the same people warning us about manmade climate change are frequently also neo-Malthusians, i.e., people who think the world’s population has grown beyond the planet’s carrying capacity but who lack Malthus’s Christian scruples against abortion, euthanasia, and the like, one can see the door of climate change alarmism opening up onto a very dark path indeed. As Nicolás Gómez Dávila once put it “The so highly acclaimed ‘dominion of man over nature’ turned out to be merely an enormous capability to kill.”

Now, as the latest climate change summit in France has just drawn to a close, that is a rather sobering thought upon which to reflect.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Send Him Packing - The Absurdity of Inclusiveness Taken Too Far

Imagine that you are a Jew and one day you decide to make aliyah to Israel, your right according to the Israeli Law of Return. You arrive in the Holy Land, establish yourself in a major Israeli city like Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, and claim the rights and privileges of Israeli citizenship. What do you suppose Israel would do if, the day after you received your official Israeli citizenship, with your Israeli passport and all else that comes with it, you were to declare that you renounced your Judaism and were converting to the most militantly anti-Israeli version of Islam possible, that you were taking out membership in the National Socialist Party in the hopes of establishing an Israeli branch, put up a website promoting the doctrines of Adolf Hitler, ran a swastika flag up the pole outside your house, and declared that you could in no way be loyal to a Jewish ethnostate and that Israel must cease to be such in order to accommodate you? What do you suppose Israel would do if you told them in advance before submitting your application for citizenship that you would be doing this?

I think it is fair to say that the Israeli government would take a rather dim view of all of this, to put it mildly, and that you would not be enjoying your Israeli citizenship for very long – or, if you were foolish enough to tell them of your intentions in advance – at all.

Unfortunately, our government here in Canada, lacks both the sanity and the backbone of the Israeli government. This Monday, Dror Bar-Natan earned himself his five minutes of fame, by taking the Canadian citizenship oath, having announced in advance that he intended to renounce the oath of loyalty to the queen immediately after swearing it, which he did by handing Albert Wong, the citizenship judge who administered the oath, a letter containing his disavowal. Bar-Natan, who was born and raised in Israel, studied mathematics in the United States, and already has citizenship in both of these republics, has taught math at the University of Toronto since 2002. As Ezra Levant noted earlier this week, Mr. Bar-Natan obviously has no problem with taking Canadian money which bears the image of Her Majesty. You might recall that he was one of three would-be citizens who challenged the constitutionality of the loyalty oath in court a couple of years back. The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled against the challenge last August and this February the Supreme Court announced that it would not hear an appeal of the Ontario Court’s ruling.

It has not been often, in the 33 years since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was added to our constitution in 1982, that our courts have upheld longstanding Canadian traditions, customs and ways of doing things when challenged. They have generally only given conservative rulings when the traditions and customs in question are enshrined in the constitution, as is the case here and in its ruling regarding the Senate last year. One of the nastiest things about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is that it is written in such a way as to turn an otherwise conservative court into an instrument of radical and revolutionary change if the tradition or custom targeted for change is not explicitly included in the constitution. In this case, because our constitution is that of a parliamentary monarchy, it is obviously in keeping with our constitution for the oath of loyalty to be sworn to Queen Elizabeth II, our head of state, in whose name all the branches of government, such as the elected legislature in Parliament and the courts, conduct their daily affairs.

Unfortunately, the court’s ruling was worded in such a way as to encourage the action Mr. Bar-Natan has taken. Part of his challenge of the constitutionality of the oath was that he thought it would violate his freedom of expression as a republican, who does not believe in royalty, and thinks it a relic of a bygone age. The court ruled that it would not violate his freedom of expression because he was free to disavow the oath after having sworn it. What the judges presumably were thinking was that we do not require Canadians to subscribe to a creed of political orthodoxy and excommunicate them if they commit heresy. This is a very questionable notion in post-1982 Canada for from that year onward the powers that be have not been kind to Canadians who dissent from the ideological positions that Pierre Trudeau decided were “Canadian values” and encoded in the Charter, no matter how true those Canadians may be to everything that was recognizably Canadian prior to 1963. Even if we were to grant, however, for the sake of argument, that the assumption is valid, it was still foolish and reckless for the court to say what it did for it was an invitation for people like Mr. Bar-Natan to commit perjury which is what the deliberately insincere swearing of an oath amounts to, a rather dubious foundation for good citizenship.

It would have been far better had the judges just said that if you don’t want to pledge your loyalty to the queen then you have business seeking to become a citizen of a Commonwealth parliamentary monarchy like Canada. Someone who comes here wanting Canada without the monarchy is like the person who moves to Israel wanting Israel without the Jewishness. The monarchy is more than just a symbol, it is the true foundation of Canadian national unity. When, in 1776, the Thirteen Colonies revolted against the British government in London and set out on the path that would end in the construction of the American republic, the French colony of Canada, ceded to the British Crown at the end of the Seven Years War in the previous decade, remained loyal to its new Sovereign. The Crown, just prior to the American Revolution, had given them a guarantee of their language, religion, and culture. After the American Revolution, those who had not gone along with the revolutionaries but remained loyal to the Crown, were persecuted by the new republican government and these, the United Empire Loyalists, moved north to Canada and to other colonies that had remained true to the Crown. The French Canadians and the United Empire Loyalists had different reasons for remaining loyal to the Crown but that loyalty united them and enabled them a century later, to build the Dominion of Canada out of British North America. Attempts by the Liberal Party, under the leadership of Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau, to shift Canadian national unity onto a different foundation of tolerance, diversity, multiculturalism, humanitarianism, and the like, failed miserably and almost tore the country apart in their utter divisiveness.

The problem with the judges is that they, like so many others in post-1982 Canada, are blindly committed to inclusiveness, one of those new “Canadian values” of Pierre Trudeau’s. Even in the act of rightly upholding our constitution and the oath of loyalty to our monarch, they were unwilling to say to a prospective new citizen who disagrees with our traditional monarchy “if you don’t like the way we do things here, you are not welcome, and you are free to go back to one of the two countries in which you already have citizenship, which have the republican form of government you desire.” Instead, they went out of their way to accommodate him and threw him a loophole, even though it meant inviting him to commit perjury, an invitation he has now taken them up on.

They should have shipped him back to Israel. That is, of course, assuming that Israel, with her own share of troublemakers to contend with, would be willing to take him back.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Blaming Victims and Excusing Perpetrators

Imagine the following scenario. A young woman is walking down the side-walk one night when, as she moves through a darkened section of the street, all of a sudden she is set upon by a young thug who pulls her into an alley and forces himself upon her. After he finishes the rapist beats her and leaves her for dead but she is discovered in time, taken to the hospital, and survives.

After such a gruesome happening, the police, naturally, question her for as many details about her assailant as she can remember. Her friends and family help organize a neighbourhood watch in the hopes of preventing future such incidents and possibly helping the police catch the rapist.

Suppose that then someone were to come along and say that the police and the young lady’s family and friends all had a wrong attitude towards the whole situation. Rather than wanting the rapist to be tracked down, caught, and punished, this thoughtful individual suggests, the young lady should be looking at herself, peering deeply into the belly button showing in her bare midriff and asking what it is about her that invited this violent sexual assault.

Do you think that the person who were to offer this kind of suggestion would survive long and with all of his appendages still attached?

There is a phrase that has been widely used in recent decades which, taken at its literal meaning, would describe the malefaction of which our hypothetical Job’s comforter is guilty. That phrase is “blaming the victim” and when applied to a scenario like the one discussed it is quite clear what is wrong with it. You have two individuals, one of whom commits an atrocious crime against the other, and the victim is told that she and not the perpetrator bears the moral responsibility for what happened. Yet interestingly the expression is seldom used in this kind of context by those who use it the most often.

The people who use this expression the most are those who consider themselves to be the vanguard of moral and intellectual enlightenment, i.e., liberals, leftists, and other forward-thinking progressive types. Indeed, if I am not mistaken, they are the ones to have actually coined the phrase in the first place. Ordinarily, however, when they use it, the victims they have in mind are not individuals who have been the object of specific criminal acts but rather groups whom they have declared to have been the victims of society, and especially Western civilization, down through history. You know who I mean – all races except whites, all religions except Christianity, women, homosexuals, etc.

In a society dominated by the progressive way of thinking – and all Western societies, to one extent or another, usually a very large extent, are controlled by this way of thinking, even when a nominally “conservative” party is in power – these groups are “official victims” and their status as such is one of privilege. That privilege, progressives think, should include that of being above criticism and so, when anyone criticises one of these groups, or even select members of these groups, the progressive takes great offence and considers it the equivalent of holding the victim of a crime responsible for the act of its perpetrator. In the mouths of progressives, therefore, blaming the victim, is often simply a fancier way of saying “you’re a racist”, “you’re a sexist” or “you’re a homophobe”. Actually, pretty much everything progressives ever say can be reduced to these slurs which don’t really mean much more than “you disagree with me, and I can’t defend and articulate my position as well as you, so I’m going to call you a bad name”.

Thus, to a progressive, blaming the victim includes such things as making the observation that certain races in the United States have higher rates of illegitimacy, poverty, and crime than others or pointing out that the adherents of one particular religion are far more likely to strap bombs around themselves and blow up a shopping centre or hijack an air-plane and fly it into a building than any other. To speak the truth is to blame the victim to the progressive.

When normal people think of victims they think of those who have been on the receiving end of robbery, assault, murder, rape, kidnapping, or the like and not groups with social grievances of some sort or another. Normal people usually think “excusing the perpetrator” to be a worse problem than blaming the victim and, if you think about it, blaming the victim is best understood as being a form or aspect of excusing the perpetrator. The liberal’s preference for the former phrase is understandable, of course, in that they themselves are the chief practitioners of the latter. No matter how heinous and violent the crime you can always rely upon liberals to plead for leniency for the perpetrator, to argue that it is not really his fault and that society is to blame, and to condemn anyone who demands that the victim be given justice and a real sentence be handed down as atavistic vengeance seekers, out for blood.

Some might argue that when it comes to cases of rape, feminists, who are progressive and liberal, are more like normal people in their demands that perpetrators be brought to justice. A few years ago, there was an incident here in Manitoba which bears a certain resemblance to our hypothetical situation. Robert Dewar, then a Justice of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench, came under heavy criticism from feminists after he handed down a conditional sentence in a rape case. A conditional sentence is a sentence that is served outside of prison in the community under certain restrictions – a rather light sentence for a crime as serious as rape. It was not the leniency of the sentence itself which drew the feminists’ ire, if you recall, but the fact that Justice Dewar chose that moment to lecture the victim on the imprudence and impropriety of her trashy attire. While the judge had clearly picked a bad time and place to make that speech, the point is that the feminists were far more outraged over his “slut shaming” than over the fact that he let a rapist off with a slap on the wrist. Anyone who pays attention to what feminists say knows that in recent years they have launched a campaign against slut shaming, i.e., criticism of the contemporary cultural trend for young women – and more than a few older women – to dress, talk, and act like cheap prostitutes and that they object to the counsel of modesty under any circumstances as a “patriarchal” attempt to restrict the freedom of female sexual expression. As for their demands that rapists be brought to justice, the observer of feminism will also be aware that in recent feminist lingo the meaning of “rapist” has been extended to include men who women are ashamed of having slept with and so allow themselves to be convinced after the fact that the sex was not truly consensual.

If progressive liberals are the chief practitioners of excusing the perpetrator when it comes to real crimes they are also no slouches when it comes to blaming the victim on a grandiose scale. Consider the liberal response to the terrorist attack in Paris a couple of weeks ago – or, for that matter, to any of the episodes of jihad that have kept the news media occupied for the last couple of decades. They wring their hands over the violence of it all, of course, but their primary concern always seems to be that the ordinary people of France, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, the United States, or wherever the attack has taken place, might develop negative thoughts and feelings towards Muslims out of all of this. Their advice to Western Christians after one of these incidents is scarcely indistinguishable from that of the person in our scenario who advised the victim to think about what she had done to provoke the rape. Instead of thinking about military retaliation against ISIS, or even securing our borders and preventing the warriors of jihad from gaining access to our countries, they tell us we ought to be thinking about what is wrong with us to have provoked this kind of animosity.

I am not suggesting, of course, that we should ignore the problems with our own societies and civilization, of which there are plenty. To say that a rapist should not be excused for his crime on the grounds of his victim’s attire is not to say that skanky appearance and behaviour should never be criticized. Those who insist, however, that our response to a violent, murderous, attack upon our civilization ought to be to concentrate on our own faults and failings, do not in so doing take the high moral ground as they imagine. Instead, they sink into the same swamp as those who excuse rapists by saying “she was asking for it – look at the way she was dressed”.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Barbaric Cultural Practices

Earlier this year, and especially during the long federal election campaign, the Liberal and New Democrat parties, the liberal media, progressive bloggers, and other assorted lefties, were able to get a lot of mileage out of the phrase “barbaric cultural practices”. The previous government, led by Stephen Harper, had banned the wearing of the niqab during citizenship oath ceremonies in 2011, a ban which was struck down by a Federal Court.* Harper’s government vowed to take the matter to the Supreme Court and then, in the last month of the election campaign, promised to establish an RCMP tipline for reporting cases of “barbaric cultural practices”.

The progressives condemned this as racist and xenophobic. Harper, they maintained, was appealing to fear, negativity, and hatred, and this was “unCanadian” because Canada is the land of tolerance, diversity, and multiculturalism. Actually, Canada was nothing of the sort prior to the premiership of Trudeau the Elder, which began in 1968. It was the Trudeau Liberals who created the new Canada of tolerance, diversity, and multiculturalism – that is to say tolerance, diversity, and multiculturalism that were imposed on the country from the top down, administered by arrogant bureaucrats, and protected by the suppression of dissent. The older, traditional, British Canada was a much superior country.

The merits of the older British Canada, and the rather odious nature of the kind of “tolerance” and “diversity” introduced by the Trudeau Liberals which make a mockery of the ordinary meaning of these terms are, of course, beyond the understanding of today’s progressives. Nor do they seem to be capable of grasping that it is one of their own chief ideals that Stephen Harper was fighting for in his campaign against “barbaric cultural practices”.

This is not intended to be laudatory of Stephen Harper. The ideal in question is that of the equality of the sexes, or, as the progressives now insist upon mislabelling it, “gender equality”, an ideal I do not share with Harper or the progressives and, indeed, regard as worthy only of ridicule. Auberon Waugh put it best, I think, years ago when he wrote:

I have never understood how equality can be said to apply, except in the most superficial sense. to any human relationship. By this I do not mean that we are all graded in some divinely-imposed pecking order, but that our essential differences make talk of equality meaningless. Study of the sexes is bound to identify the differing characteristics of each, and I cannot see how anything useful is achieved by asserting that chalk is equal to cheese, or should be equal to cheese and must be made equal.

I don’t believe in “gender equality” but the progressives all seem to believe in it and none of them more so than that vapid young twit who is our new Prime Minister and who has made a grand gesture of support for this ideal in the way he chose the Ministers for his new Cabinet.

These same progressives accused Stephen Harper of waging a “war on women”. Which, however, actually accomplishes more for the fairer sex – choosing your Cabinet Ministers on the basis of their sex so you can have an equal number of men and of women, or actively trying to keep such practices as honour killings and female circumcision from becoming prevalent in Canada? It is practices like these, which target the female sex, that the Harper government condemned as barbaric.

In 2011, the year the Harper Conservatives won a majority government, the federal government updated the “Discover Canada” brochure that is given to those who wish to immigrate to and become citizens of Canada. Among the changes was the addition of forced marriage to the following list: “Canada’s openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, “honour killings,” female genital mutilation, forced marriage or other gender-based violence” and goes on to say that those who commit these things will all be severely punished under our criminal law. Now that last part may have been more a statement of wishful thinking than an accurate description of how our criminal justice system actually functions but that is beside the point. “Spousal abuse”, runs both ways, and in fact there is recent evidence that women are more likely to be abusive in relationships than men, which, of course, would have come as no surprise to Rudyard Kipling, but this too is beside the point as the government clearly had male-on-female abuse in mind when it put that into the pamphlet. For that is what all of these “barbaric cultural practices” have in common, they all target females. The title of the subsection of the brochure that this is found in, by the way, is “The Equality of Women and Men”.

At the time, Justin Trudeau, then Michael Ignatieff’s Liberal Shadow Minister for Immigration condemned the Harper government for the use of the word “barbaric”, even though it was not itself a new addition to the publication. He received so much negative feedback over this he was forced to make a retraction the next day.

Every time the Harper government spoke of “barbaric cultural practices” it was with regards to practices in which women are treated cruelly or unfairly. The niqab controversy was no exception to this although the face veil is obviously not on the same scale as murdering one’s daughter or sister because she shamed the family by having a boyfriend, dressing inappropriately, or being raped, or removing a young girl’s clitoris to prevent her from growing up to become promiscuous. While I may not think much of the “gender equality” Mr. Harper and Mr. Trudeau both believe in, unlike Mr. Trudeau four years ago, I have no problem agreeing that these practices are utterly barbaric. Indeed, one of the things most objectionable about the false ideal of equality, is that those who believe in it tend to make a big deal out of peccadilloes while letting major injustices like these slide.

Consider the example of feminism. “The women’s movement” is a modern phenomenon, whose raison d'être is to promote the rights of women. Yet it has never concentrated its efforts on fighting honour killings or cliterodectomy or anything of the like. Instead, it has focused on such things as the “glass ceiling” and the “77 cents on the dollar” and to combat these largely imaginary bogeys, has created a barbaric cultural practice of its own, i.e., abortion on demand. It could be argued that this is because feminism is a movement which began in, grew up in, and still mostly belongs to, the Western world where the former practices were mostly unknown until quite recently. That is the whole point, however. That a revolutionary movement seeking radical societal transformation in the name of women developed in the West, where it really only became a force after women had been given the vote and barriers to their education, owning property, and having professional careers had for the most part disappeared, and not in parts of the world where girls have their genitals mutilated and may be murdered by their relatives if they “shame” their family is because the modern Western mind has been thoroughly permeated and polluted by the false ideal of equality.

Ironically, feminism is part of the larger progressivism which is itself responsible for practices like female genital mutilation and honour killings, once unknown in countries like Canada, becoming more and more common in large Western cities. For progressivism is not just about the equality of the sexes, it is about the equality of races and cultures as well and for decades now, what this has meant, is that it has insisted that all cultures ought to be equally welcome in Canada and other Western countries. This is what the first Prime Minister Trudeau’s policy of “official multiculturalism” was all about and it is clearly the reason that the younger Trudeau, heir to this dogma in which he was undoubtedly indoctrinated from an early age, initially took a foolish offence to the description of forced marriages, female genital mutilation, and honour killings as barbaric a few years ago. To call these things barbaric is to say that all cultures are not equal after all, which, of course, they are not.

Trudeau and other progressives are no more capable of admitting this than they are of admitting that there is a fundamental contradiction in their ideology – that equality of the sexes and equality of cultures are mutually incompatible ideals. They can be rejected together with consistency – which is my own position – but they cannot be consistently affirmed together. Stephen Harper got this partially right, the Trudeaus have always gotten it completely wrong, and Canada has paid a heavy price for their error.

*It has been drawn to my attention that I was mistaken in thinking that the ruling by the Federal Court of Appeal was based on the Charter. The ban, which was an instruction from the Ministry to the judges administering the citizenship oath rather than a law, was overturned because it conflicted with an older rule that requires such judges to give maximum religious freedom in the swearing-in ceremony. Thank you to the person who noticed and notified me of this factual error.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Man of 2015

It is only just that we award credit to those to whom credit is due and a certain amount of credit is due to Justin Trudeau. It is less than a month since the Shiny Pony became Canada’s shiny new Prime Minister and he is already living down to our lowest expectations. It is too early, perhaps, to declare him to be our worst Prime Minister ever. It will take him longer than this to break his father’s record in that respect. He is well on the way to getting there, however.

On November 4th, David Johnson, who as Governor General is the Queen’s Canadian viceroy, swore in Trudeau and the thirty people selected to be the Crown Ministers who, along with the Prime Minister, will make up the Cabinet. Fifteen of these were men and fifteen were women because the new Prime Minister had decided it was important that the Cabinet have an equal number of penises and vaginas. “Gender balanced” was the way he described it. At one time it was understood that people have sexes and words have genders, but no longer.

Now, if a Prime Minister were to submit to the Crown a list of choices for Ministerial appointments that consisted entirely of men, he would, of course, be denounced as sexist. Let’s think about that for a moment. If we assume, for the sake of argument, that the word sexist actually means something and is not just a verbal weapon used by liberals, progressives, and social justice warriors – a rather dubious assumption - what is it about a list of appointees that consists solely of men that would make it sexist?

Those who are capable of intelligent and sane thought would answer that it is the fact that those on the list were chosen on the basis of their sex, or, to put it a bit more precisely, that sex was a criterion in the selecting of those who would be on the list. If this, however, is what makes a list that contains only men sexist, then Justin Trudeau’s “gender balanced” Cabinet is also sexist, because sex is just as much a criterion for selection in the one as it is in the other.

This conclusion can be avoided by saying that it is not the use of sex as a criterion of selection, per se, that would make an all-male Cabinet sexist, but rather the fact that it is men who are chosen, but to say this would be a more overt admission of misandry than most progressives, except perhaps the most radical of feminists, are usually comfortable with because they like to operate under the delusion that they are morally and intellectually superior to other people. Similarly, American anti-racist liberals are unlikely to admit that in the fall of 2008, Barack Obama became the first person to be elected President of the United States on the grounds of his skin colour, and that they were the ones to so choose him on those grounds.

When asked why he choose a “gender balanced” Cabinet, Justin Trudeau answered “because it’s 2015”. While it is good to know that our Prime Minister is capable of reading the date on a calendar, showing a level of intellectual achievement of which he had previously given no indication, what is implied in his answer is the idea that in 2015 we have attained some sort of enlightenment that previous generations lacked so that of course we now know that it is absolutely vital for the health of our country that half of its Cabinet Ministers – at least – be women. Almost a century ago Owen Barfield and C. S. Lewis coined a term for this way of thinking. They called it “chronological snobbery” and if there were an award for the most chronological snobbish remark of the year, “because it’s 2015” would certainly deserve to win it. Ironically, however, Mr. Trudeau’s chronological snobbery is itself clearly behind the times. It is indeed, 2015, the year in which the most recent quantum leap forward in the socially progressive enlightenment of mankind took place. I refer, of course, to the apogynosis of Bruce into Caitlyn Jenner. The earth-shattering consequences of this event are still unfolding in school divisions across North America as tough decisions have to be made about who should be allowed to enter which washroom or locker room, a question which was not a significant puzzler up until now. Even feminist icon Germaine Greer has come under the wrath of the next generation of more-enlightened-than-thou social justice warriors who recently circulated a petition to have her invitation to lecture at Cardiff University revoked on the grounds of her “transphobia”. Yet Mr. Trudeau’s choices for lady Cabinet Ministers are all cis female to the best of my knowledge. That is so 2014!

Now given the events of this weekend perhaps it is time we questioned whether the kind of attitude that comes out in expressions like “because it is 2015” is really what we want in our leaders. Friday, November 13th, proved to be a very unlucky day indeed for the residents of Paris when, on that evening, ISIS launched a multipronged terrorist attack on their city that has left 129 dead, so far, and almost 400 wounded. At least one of those who carried out this act of jihad on behalf of the Islamic State had entered Europe claiming to be a Syrian refugee.

One of the first things Justin Trudeau did after winning the federal election last month was to announce that he would be withdrawing our bombers from the campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. This, in itself, is not necessarily a bad thing, but Trudeau is doing it for all the wrong reasons. Throughout the entirety of his political career he has demonstrated a sappy and juvenile naivety about terrorism, Islam, geopolitics, war, and all things military. In a speech this March, explaining his opposition to the previous government’s intention of expanding Canada’s military efforts against ISIS into Syria, he gave as one of his reasons that such a mission “could very well result in Assad consolidating his grip on power in Syria.” As obnoxious as the previous government’s hawkishness could be, at times, at least Stephen Harper could tell the difference between an enemy of Canada and of all Western civilization, like ISIS, and a regime that, however unpleasant it may be, is no enemy. A month ago, just before the election, Trudeau said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “irresponsible and harmful” in the Middle East, when, in fact, Putin has demonstrated far better sense with regards to that region than any other world leader. In his election campaign Trudeau promised to bring 25, 000 “Syrian refugees” into Canada by the end of the year and a representative of his office told the press, this weekend, that the Paris attack has not altered his intention to follow through on this. Why let a small thing like a terrorist attack ruin a perfectly bad idea?

What the attack on Paris is telling us, if we have the ears to hear, is that if Justin Trudeau is a man of 2015, what the countries of the West do not need, is the leadership of men of 2015. What we rather need is the leadership of men of 732. Whether there are any of that vintage yet to be found remains to be seen.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Contemporary Compassion is not Christian Compassion

When you read or sing the Psalms you cannot help but notice how frequently God is described as being “full of compassion”. In the Authorized Version this expression occurs no less than five times in Psalms 78, 86, 111, 112, and 145. Furthermore, the Psalms are hardly the only place in the Bible where the word compassion is used as an attribute of God. The Synoptic Gospels frequently speak of Jesus being “moved with compassion” or “having compassion” on someone or some group of people.

These are verses which are very difficult for contemporary readers to understand for the reason that the word “compassion” has become completely and utterly debased in our day and age. It has been stripped of all that made “full of compassion” an expression of praise in the Psalms and reduced to a mere sentiment.

Something similar could be said about the word “charity”. In the Authorized Version of St. Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians charity is the greatest of what are traditionally known as the three theological virtues – the other two being faith and hope – of which a famous, extended description is given in the thirteenth chapter. The English word charity is derived, through the French, from the Latin word for this virtue, caritas, which in Latin versions of the Scriptures is frequently used to translate the Greek agape. Today, however, the first thought the English word suggests is that of “giving to the needy” and it seldom expresses anything beyond that. Organizations that provide help and relief to those who are poor, sick, or otherwise in need are called charities. No-one, unless he is reading the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians in the old AV, is likely to associate charity with long-suffering, seemliness, bearing, believing, hoping, and enduring all things, and all the other qualities listed in the fourth through seventh verses, and verse three which reads “ And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing” would be incomprehensible to anyone reading it with the contemporary meaning of charity in mind.

It is for this reason that the translators of most of the more recent English versions of the Holy Scriptures use the word love instead. This can hardly be said to be an improvement, however, as the word love has been as debased as the words charity and compassion. In Greek and Latin, the basic word for love was closely related to the word for friend and Greek had several other words when a more precise concept of love was called for. In English today, the word love would almost never be used of friendships – at least male friendships – thanks mostly to the imposed new acceptance of homosexuality. Sexual love has eclipsed all other concepts of love – and not the exalted eros discussed in Plato’s Symposium, either, but a version of the latter that has been stripped of all of its higher connotations, and reduced to a romantic affection tacked on to animal lust. So substituting love for charity in translations of 1 Corinthians 13 produces no net gain in comprehensibility.

While the decay of the English language is obviously what I have been describing here, it is also the rot and ruin of Western ethical thought and, for that matter, Western thought in general. That thinking and language stand and fall together ought to go without saying. Language is the medium through which we communicate our thoughts and, what is more, words are the very building blocks out of which we build our thoughts in the first place, at least if we are talking about the kind of thinking necessary for a civilized life that goes beyond the merely animal and mechanical. The Cultural Marxists, who have been so effective over the last sixty years or so, in tearing down Western civilization from the inside out, clearly understand this, which is why there is so much emphasis on linguistic theory and literary criticism on the intellectual side of what was accurately called the New Left forty-five years ago, and why their most devastating instruments, such as the phenomenon of so-called “political correctness”, involve the manipulation of language.

Leo Strauss, the German-Jewish émigré who became a godfather of sorts to American neoconservatives, and George Grant, Canada’s greatest conservative thinker and patriot of the old British Canada as she was before the evil Trudeau gang first got their hands on her, were among those who a generation or two ago observed that Western ethical thought had taken a turn for the worse in the twentieth century, as modern Western man had come to think in terms of “values” rather than “virtues”, and traced this shift back to the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche in the nineteenth century. Virtues were central to the old, pre-modern, Western tradition of ethical thinking, with roots in both the ancient Athens of Plato and Aristotle and Jerusalem, birthplace of Christianity. Virtues, were praiseworthy habits of behaviour, that manifested themselves in praiseworthy acts or deed, and which presupposed the existence of an established, transcendent, hierarchical order of good, that was not created by man, but to which man must conform himself through the cultivation of virtue, to achieve happiness. Nietzsche believed that the ideas of the modern philosophers who had preceded him and the discoveries of modern science had rendered belief in this order impossible and had left man with two paths open to him, that of a “last man”, content to live out his mediocre existence as a cog in the great societal machine modernity is building, or that of an “overman” who will create a new set of values to fill the void left by the collapse of the old order. That we have come to speak of values rather than virtues, demonstrates how pervasive the Nietzschean version of modern thought has been. Virtues, point to an unchanging order beyond ourselves, values we create for ourselves.

This can clearly be seen in the “Canadian values” of the Trudeau Liberals. People have been driven from their careers, in Canada, for expressing ideas on immigration and multiculturalism that were no different from those held by Stephen Leacock, Conservative economist, social critic and humourist, W. L. Mackenzie King, Liberal Prime Minister, and J. S. Woodsworth, Methodist clergyman and founder of the CCF, the predecessor to today’s NDP, on the grounds that these ideas are contrary to “Canadian values”. “Canadian values”, therefore, have little to do with what real Canadians thought or think, but are rather what Pierre Trudeau decided and declared they would be.

Social conservatives, tend to express their opposition to abortion, divorce, homosexuality, and the like as a defence of “family values.” George Grant, himself an outspoken opponent of this kind of moral decay, argued that this was a mistake, because it is self-defeating to use the language by which the modern replacement for the old moral order has been effected, to defend the old order.

If the replacement of virtues, grounded in a transcendent order, with man-created values, was a step down the stairway of moral and ethical decay, their further replacement with sentiments, of the sorts represented by the current meanings of “compassion”, “charity” and “love”, was a slide down the bannister in comparison.

When the Psalmist says that God is “full of compassion” he is not singing about God’s feelings so much as about His actions. Similarly, whenever the Gospel writers speak of Jesus “having compassion” or being “moved by compassion” they are describing something He does, whether it be healing the sick (Matt. 14:14), casting out a demon (Mk. 5:19), or feeding the multitude (Mk. 8:2). Compassion in the Bible is that within God which motivates Him to act in a benevolent way towards people. It is far more, then, than a mere feeling. This is further evident in the way the Scriptures enjoin compassion upon men. They are clearly telling people how to act, not how to feel, because it would be pointless to do the latter, as feelings cannot be produced at will or in obedience to commands.

Today, however, the word compassion denotes a feeling. Worse, it is a feeling for which people demand and expect all of the praise and credit that is due to a virtue. Jesus in His earthly ministry condemned the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. In His famous Sermon on the Mount, after going through three pairs of Old Testament verses and expounding them in such a way as to show that the righteousness God demands of people is an internal righteousness and not just an external adherence to His Commandments, Jesus warned those assembled to hear Him against practicing their alms “before men, to be seen of them”, as the hypocrites do, drawing an amusing hyperbolic picture of a hypocritical Pharisee walking into the synagogue blowing a trumpet to announce that he was giving alms, but to give their alms in secret, for “thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly.” What He was here condemning in the Pharisees, was doing something good – giving alms, for the wrong reason – to be praised by men. The Pharisee who was blowing his own horn, was at least doing the alms-giving for which he received the praise he wanted. Today, the “caring” and “compassionate” expect credit for shedding a few tears for the plight of the unfortunate and having warm fuzzy feelings towards them, whether or not they actually do anything to alleviate their condition. The Pharisees had nothing on them when it comes to hypocrisy.

Perhaps, however, I am being too hard on them. When you look at what has actually been done in the name of the huggy-feely type of compassion these days, you will find that much of it falls into two basic categories. One of these is harm done under the guise of helping, such as all the “poverty relief” money that was funnelled into the support of Third World Marxist guerillas in the twentieth century by the kind of churches who have reduced the “Christian” message to nothing but the debased, sentimental, kind of compassion by getting rid of more trivial aspects of the faith, such as the idea that the Son of the true and living God, came down to earth from heaven, was born a man by the Virgin Mary, died on the cross to take away the sins of the world and reconcile fallen man to God, descended to hell, shattering its gates and releasing the captive spirits of the saints, before rising in triumph from the grave and ascending back into heaven, to sit at His Father’s right hand. The other is to make other people pay the costs of your supposed “compassion” while you get all the credit. Most, if not all, government policies and programs that are labelled “compassionate” are examples of this.

If this is what modern “compassion” looks like in action, perhaps it were better that it be nothing more than a feeling after all.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Old Canada and Young Voters

In my last essay, commenting on the results of last week’s federal election, I quoted myself as having said that it proved what I, ala Evelyn Waugh, had been saying about the queen needing a better method of selecting her ministers than popular election, and that if elected officials are to be retained in our government we need a more limited franchise. Lest anyone make the mistake of thinking this to be a partisan comment, my breakdown of the election results into the good and bad – the good being that Mulcair and Harper lost, the bad being that Trudeau won – it should be apparent that any other outcome to that election would also have supported my position.

That having been said, there are those who took umbrage with my sin against the modern dogma of the universal franchise, but I am in no way repentant over it. A broad franchise makes more sense in the context of a small group of people with very similar interests electing their local officials than it does when we are talking about the government of a large country like Canada. Most people know and understand the affairs, interests, and concerns of the local area in which they live and work much better than they do those of their country as a whole. A broader franchise, therefore, makes more sense when a town is electing its mayor and council than when a province is electing its legislature and when the country is electing its Parliament.

The past election demonstrated just how appalling the dearth in understanding of Canadian civics has become in our country. Whatever one may think of either Justin Trudeau or Stephen Harper, the results of the election show that our voters thought in terms of an American Presidential election – that they were choosing the next Prime Minister. That is not how our system works, however. We vote to form a Parliament, the elected portion of which is made up of representatives of the areas in which we live. We choose who will represent our area in the House, and in accordance with tradition and our constitution, the person who can command the most support in the House becomes Her Majesty’s next Prime Minister and forms the next government. If we understood our system better and thought in terms of who the best person to represent the interests of our riding would be rather than which party leader would make the best Prime Minister a broader franchise would more justified than it is at present.

It is not just the Trudeau supporters who show this lack of understanding but the Harper supporters as well. On the night of the election after the Trudeau victory was apparent countless numbers of irate Harper supporters began calling for Alberta and Saskatchewan to separate and form a “Republic of Western Canada”. They too were thinking entirely in terms of the country’s premiership rather than the representative of their ridings. Furthermore, their willingness to indulge in the silly sentiment of “you’re not going to play my way, I’ll take my ball and go home”, anti-patriotic, separatism that is reminiscent of nothing so much as the way left-wing Hollywood actors talk every time it looks like a Republican might win residence in the White House, shows how little they understand of the conservatism they profess to stand for. So, of course, does the suggested name for their hypothetical break-away country. As I have said before and will say again a true conservative is a monarchist not a republican.

Those who find the thought of limiting the franchise objectionable seem to have overlooked the fact that there are already limits on who can vote. You cannot, for example, vote if you are under the age of eighteen. This is a very reasonable limitation and while I have encountered people who think this is unfair and arbitrary and that the age should be lowered I would argue, myself, that it ought to be raised by a decade or two. The absurd cult of youth and its accompanying notions that we are in constant need of change and newer fresher ideas is an indicator of degeneracy and a culture and civilization gone mad. Young people think they know, if not everything, so much more than their elders, when, of course, in most cases the opposite is true. Wisdom, which is even more important than knowledge for wise statesmanship, is even rarer among youth as it is usually something that develops with age and experience.

Stephen Marche, in a recent column for the Huffington Post, maintains that “Trudeau Won Because Youth Want the Old Canada Back”. Yet if there is anything his article demonstrates it is that most youth don’t have a clue what the old Canada was. Nor, for that matter, does Marche himself. Old Canada was the British country built on a foundation of Loyalism that gradually grew up and obtained control of her own affairs within her own Parliament under the shared monarchy, within the British Empire and without severing ties to the British family of nations. Within the old Canada was an even older Canada, the French Canada that had been ceded to the British Crown after the Seven Years War, and was guaranteed her French language and culture and her Roman Catholic religion by royal decree. French Canada remained staunchly traditionalist Catholic until the “Quiet Revolution” of the 1960s, while English Canada had a very Victorian culture and society. Anyone who wants to know what that Canada was like will find it described in the histories written by Donald Creighton and W. L. Morton, but will probably find a more meaningful encounter with old Canada in the novels of Mazo de la Roche, Lucy Maude Montgomery and Robertson Davies and in the short stories of Stephen Leacock. This is the Canada that I want back. It is not the Canada that Stephen Marche is talking about.

By “old Canada”, of course, Marche means “Canada before Harper” but the way he describes it his “old Canada” is younger than I am, going back no farther than 1982, the year in which the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was passed. He calls the Charter our “founding document” and suggests that a Trudeau running for Prime Minister is “not the same as a Clinton or a Bush running for President” but would be “closer to a Washington or a Jefferson”. This is truly ignorant in a most grotesque fashion. This comparison would be true of a MacDonald or a McGee, an Archibald, Brown, or Campbell, a Cartier or a Tache, but certainly not a Trudeau. If a comparison must be drawn between the Trudeau family and an American political family the most suitable name is that of Kennedy.

Marche quotes Stephen Harper as saying “You won't recognize Canada when I'm through with it”, a sentiment which demonstrates Harper to have been unworthy of the leadership of the Conservative Party but which would have been appropriate in the mouths of Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau in the 1960s. For twenty-one years, with one brief intermission, the Liberal Party under the successive leadership of these men, waged a relentless war on Canada’s British and Loyalist heritage, turning a country in which people saw the Common Law protections of their basic rights and freedoms as their birthright as free subjects of the Crown, whether English speaking Protestant or French speaking Catholic, into a country that was expected to be grateful to Trudeau for the much abridged version of their rights and freedoms contained in the Charter. This was hardly an improvement.

The attack by the Pearson-Trudeau Liberals on our British traditions and institutions created a national identity crisis that has not truly been resolved since and which has generated our unhealthy national obsession with not being American. The old Canada defined itself positively rather than negatively as a British country, built on a foundation of Loyalism, that treasured its rich inheritance of parliamentary monarchy and Common Law, in which the language, religion, and culture of French Canada was recognized and protected. We did not need to obsess about what made us different from the Americans – that was obviously implicit in our retaining the identity which the Americans rejected in 1776. When Pearson and Trudeau, while keeping the outward form of our government, tried to create a Canada that no longer identified herself as British, the result was a Canada obsessed with how she is “not American”.

This has manifested itself in all sorts of foolishness in the form of declaring something to be “American”, then declaring us to be the exact opposite, usually getting both the United States and Canada completely wrong in the process. Capitalism, Christian fundamentalism, and militarism have all been declared to be “American”, therefore Canada must be socialist, secular or religiously liberal, and a country that is particularly devoted to peace. All of this, however, is utter hogwash.

The American government of the 1930s and 1940s was far friendlier to socialism, and to the USSR, than any Canadian federal government prior to 1968 ever was, and most of the “socialist” policies introduced in North America in the twentieth century were introduced by the United States first, with Canada following the American example. These include the progressive income tax (USA – 1913, Canada –1917), the New Deal (USA – 1933, Canada – 1935), and the expanded welfare state of the “Great Society”, introduced in the United States in 1964-1965 by LBJ whose presidency ended the same year the premiership of Pierre Trudeau, who brought us similar programs as part of his concept of a “Just Society”, began.

The idea that Canada is a “secular” country compared to the “fundamentalist” United States is even more absurd. It is the United States that has historically been the secular country. The idea of separation of church and state has been enshrined in the First Amendment of her Bill of Rights since 1791. In 1962 and 1963, the Supreme Court of the United States drove the Bible and prayer from public schools in America, and, Christian fundamentalists have not succeeded in restoring them since, nor in restoring the state bans on abortion struck down by SCUSA in Roe v. Wade in 1971, demonstrating that Christian fundamentalists simply do not have the clout in the United States that liberals seem to think they do. Separation of church and state has never been part of the Canadian tradition or constitution, and the Lord’s Prayer and the Bible remained in Canadian schools until the end of the 1980s. Our Supreme Court did not become an aggressively activist force on behalf of secular humanism, the way the American Supreme Court had been for decades, until Pierre Trudeau added his Charter to our constitution in 1982. Our abortion laws, passed shortly after Confederation, while liberalized somewhat by Pierre Trudeau in 1969, were not struck down completely until 1988.

In both of these cases, socialism and secularism, not only were these not characteristics of old Canada, of Canada as she was through most of her history, far from making us “different from the Americans” as ignorant liberals maintain, it was by following the example set by the United States that they were introduced to Canada.

What about militarism then? Surely Canada’s “peace-keeping” role in geo-politics is distinctive?

Justin Trudeau and his supporters have made much out of the fact that Stephen Harper’s neoconservative, sabre-rattling is a radical departure from Canada’s tradition, which it was, but they ignore the fact that the “peace-keeping” role they look back to was itself a relatively recent break from Canada’s tradition, and one which, ironically, has the same ultimate origins as Harper’s neoconservatism, in the United States. All American foreign policy since the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt has been one version or another of Wilsonianism, the policies of the American President who led the United States into the First World War, Woodrow Wilson. The idea is basically that of a global association of states, led by the United States, which would police the world, protecting the rights of small nations, and “making the world safe for democracy”. Versions of this differ depending upon how large of a role is envisioned for the United States, whether democracy was to be spread or merely protected where it developed on its own, and other such considerations, but if Stephen Harper’s approach is a Canadianized version of the version of Wilsonianism that has been favoured by the Republican Party for the last three decades – neoconservatism, Lester Pearson’s concept of peace-keeping was no less Wilsonian in nature and American in origin.

Lester Pearson won his Nobel Peace Prize, for his efforts as Minister of External Affairs under Louis St. Laurent, in the formation of the United Nations Emergency Force and the resolution of the Suez Crisis in 1956. Hopefully, he received his thirty pieces of silver alongside his medal, for the outcome he worked for was a complete betrayal of everything Canada had traditionally stood for. In response to the nationalization of the Suez Canal by the Soviet-backed Egyptian regime of General Nasser, Israel, Great Britain, and France invaded Egypt with the intention of recapturing the canal and toppling the Nasser regime. American President Dwight Eisenhower demanded that Britain, France, and Israel withdraw. Pearson had been working towards the creation of the first United Nations Emergency Force, in which troops from countries not directly involved in the conflict would, under the aegis of the United Nations, police the area and enforce the ceasefire. This brought about the de-escalation of the situation, but at the cost of the humiliation of Britain and France, accomplishing the ends of President Eisenhower who wished it to be clear that the USA and the USSR were now the true world powers.

Young people today, who have been indoctrinated by Liberal dominated public schools into thinking of Pearson’s “peacekeeping” as our traditional role in world affairs, simply don’t realize what a drastic break from Canada’s true military tradition this was. Canadians at the time did – which was a significant contribution to the Liberals being voted out and John Diefenbaker’s Conservatives being voted in in 1957.

Do you recall what Canadians used to honour most in the history of our nation? I do. It was the way that our forebears, even before the Dominion of Canada came together in Confederation, had, along with the British army, successfully fought off the invasion of American “liberators” in the War of 1812. It was the way Canadian troops had proved themselves on the battlefields of Ypres and the Somme, at Passchendaele and Vimy Ridge, in World War I. It was the way Canada declared war on Germany on September 10, 1939 – exactly one week after Great Britain had – the delay, to honour the fact that since the Statute of Westminster of 1931 our own Parliament determined when and if we were to go to war, the declaration because we knew that in such a conflict, our place was by Britain’s side. It was the way our men had again fought honourably in the noble cause of king and country, at Dieppe and in Hong Kong, in Sicily and on the Atlantic, at Juno Beach in Normandy and in the liberation of the Netherlands.

It was not just by promoting a UN solution to the Suez Crisis that achieved the ends of the United States – and Soviet Union – at the expense of the humiliation of Britain, that Pearson broke with Canada’s older, longer, and more honourable, military tradition. When as Prime Minister he brought in the Maple Leaf flag in 1965, a flag that represents the Liberal Party far more than it does Canada as a country, it was to replace the Canadian Red Ensign which had been made our official flag by order-in-council on September 5, 1945, three days after the formal surrender of Japan ended the conflict in which over a million Canadians had fought under that flag, and over forty-two thousand lost their lives. The replacement of that flag, was a disgraceful insult to those men.

By the end of World War II, Canada had the fourth largest air force and the fifth largest navy in the world. Our armed forces shrunk considerably under the Pearson and Trudeau premierships, during which they were deployed mostly on peacekeeping missions for the UN. This was as much in service of American foreign policy as Stephen Harper’s later, more belligerent, approach was. Don’t let the rhetoric of the UN General Assembly, full of the worst sort of leftist anti-Americanism, fool you. The peacekeepers answer to the Security Council, which ordinarily plays the tune called by the United States, and Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau were well aware of this fact. The new peacekeeping role they envisioned for Canada allowed them to have their cake and eat it too. They could meet Canada’s minimal commitments to the American-led alliances to which we belong, while engaging in verbal abuse of the United States on par with that of any Third World kleptocrat with a seat at the General Assembly. Furthermore, they could claim to be building a Canada full of “caring” and “compassion” because instead of maintaining our military, one of the basic essential functions of a government, they were able to spend more of our tax dollars on other projects. Like propping up the failed governments of wealthy Third World dictators and calling it relief for the poor, replacing Canadians with thousands of Third World immigrants, and establishing a federal kangaroo court authorized, in complete violation of our traditional understanding of justice, to investigate accusations of thought crime (discrimination) that come with stiff penalties and where the onus of proof is on the accused.

Young Canadians may want the “old” Canada of Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau back, but I for one want the older Canada of Sir John A. MacDonald and John Diefenbaker. The fact that young Canadians seem largely unaware of the latter and are so easily duped by the myths of the former, just goes to show that the voting franchise should be entrusted to those who have acquired wisdom through age, and not to the young, idealistic, and utterly ignorant.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Circus is Over

The circus that was the Canadian federal election of 2015 is finally over. My response, upon hearing the results, first posted at Free Dominion at 10:24 CST last night was to say:

The projected results of this election, as they stand right now, just go to prove what I, ala Evelyn Waugh, have been saying for some time now - the Queen needs a better method of selecting her ministers than popular election. If we absolutely must have elected officials, then we need a more limited franchise. At least 75% of the current electorate don't deserve the vote and shouldn't have it. The real percentage is probably closer to 95%.

At a future date, we may explore the idea of limiting the franchise at greater length. Now back to the election.

The Liberal Party, headed by Justin Trudeau, has won a majority of 184 seats. The Conservatives, who won a majority in 2011, have been reduced to 99 seats, making them Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. The NDP, who were the official opposition during the last government, have been reduced to 44 seats, the Bloc Quebecois are at 10 seats, and the Green Party has a single seat which I assume to be that of its leader Elizabeth May.

The outcome is a mix of the good and the bad. We will briefly consider the good, before looking at what is bad in all of this.

That the far-left NDP, which at one time looked like it might win the election, has been reduced to 44 seats from 103 can only be regarded as a good thing. The NDP was dedicated to the destruction of Canada’s traditional, mixed, constitution. It had vowed to eliminate the Senate, and in response to the Monarchist League of Canada’s question, sent out to all parties earlier this year of whether they and their leader “support the continuance of the constitutional monarchy as Canada's form of governance?” were the only party to give an evasive answer, the three others stating their support for the continuance of the monarchy. The leader of the NDP, Thomas Mulcair, is a man who, displaying an astonishing lack of perspective, simultaneously demanded that Omar Khadr be brought back into Canada and that Conrad Black be kept out. He has also declared that nobody who opposes abortion will ever be allowed to run for the NDP and that the issue should not be open for debate and that evangelical Christians are “un-Canadian”. That he will not be Prime Minister or even leader of the opposition is a blessing. That Pat Martin, the obnoxious jerk who served as NDP incumbent in my constituency of Winnipeg Centre, has finally been ousted, is icing on that cake.

It must also be counted as for the good that Stephen Harper has resigned the leadership of the Conservative Party following his defeat. The party had been in need of a new leader for some time now. Without denying the good that has been accomplished on his watch, such as the abolition of the long-gun registry and the restoration of the “Royal” designation of our Navy and Air Force, the greatest achievement of the Conservative government, the scrapping of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, was brought about by a private member’s bill without Harper’s support and overall he has been a disappointment as a Conservative leader. His courting of the votes of social conservatives while refusing to do anything to halt or reverse the social and moral decay of the country is one example, his Yankee style neoconservative approach to foreign policy coupled with his ludicrous inversion of Teddy Roosevelt’s proverb “speak softly and carry a big stick”, is another. His government’s countless attempts to police Canadians thoughts and words on the internet, culminating in this year’s Bill C-51 was the last straw for me as far as ever voting for the party again while it remained under his leadership was concerned.

Worst of all, however, was his cuckservatism. If you are not familiar with that expression, is has recently become popular in altright, neoreactionary, and other right-wing movements outside of established mainstream conservatism to refer to the tendency, within the latter, to embrace multiculturalism, Third World immigration, political correctness, feminism, and basically the left-wing “rainbow strategy” of appealing to the interests of everyone except whites, Christians, heterosexuals, males and especially all of these combined. Stephen Harper was and is the quintessential Canadian cuckservative, despite the ridiculous efforts of the left-wing parties and media to portray him as a rabid, xenophobic, racist, bigot. Unfortunately, the man who many believe to be the likely next leader of the party, indeed the first name mentioned by Steven Chase in his look at the question of who will succeed Harper for the Globe and Mail, Jason Kenney, is just as much a cuckservative as he is. As Immigration Minister and Minister for Multiculturalism, the only people he seemed to be interested in banning from the country were controversial speakers, whether of the left, like British Labour MP George Galloway, or the right, like Dr. Srdja Trifkovic, foreign affairs editor of Chronicles Magazine. Worse, he was determined to suppress dissent on the part of Canadians to multiculturalism and mass immigration. As Kevin Michael Grace put it in a 2010 article that demonstrates just how much of a cuckservative Kenney is:

Kenney remains ever vigilant in his search for (secular) heresies.So anyone who criticizes his and Harper`s bemusing obsession with Israel is an "anti-Semite",while anyone who criticizes immigration is a "racist."

Harper’s resignation as Conservative leader, then, must be chalked up on the side of the good that has come out of this election, with the qualification that his successor as leader may end up being as bad as or worse than he is.

The bad side of the outcome of this election is, of course, that Justin Trudeau will now be Prime Minister of Canada with a larger majority behind him than Stephen Harper had for the last four years. If I had my druthers the entire Trudeau family would be permanently banned from ever holding any position of influence in Canada. Justin’s father was the detestable Pierre Elliott Trudeau. An admirer of Red Chinese tyrant Mao Tse-Tung and virtually every tin-pot dictator the Third World ever produced, Pierre Trudeau succeeded Lester Pearson as leader of the Liberal Party and Prime Minister of Canada in 1968. With the exception of a half-year span in which Joe Clark had a minority Conservative government, he was Prime Minister until mid-way through 1984. During that time he completed the “revolution within the form” that Lester Pearson had begun with the changing of Canada’s flag in 1965. In 1969 he legalized homosexuality and in certain circumstances abortion, and began relocating the visa offices to which prospective immigrants then had to go to apply to immigrate to Canada to Third World countries, with the deliberate intention of altering the ethnic makeup of the country. In 1970, he began the war on freedom of thought in Canada by adding the hate propaganda provisions to the Criminal Code and in 1971 declared Canada to be officially multicultural, which meant that from then on Canada would adapt to immigrants rather than expect them to adapt to Canada. In 1977 he introduced the Canadian Human Rights Act, which attacked and undermined Canadians’ traditional freedoms of speech and association, and in 1982, when the Constitution was repatriated to Canada, the culmination of his revolution was the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Ever since 1982 the Liberal Party has arrogantly taken credit for giving Canadians the rights and freedoms listed in that foul document, but the only things in the Charter that are worth more than the ink they are written in, the fundamental freedoms listed in section two, and the basic legal rights listed in sections seven through fourteen, Canadians already possessed as their heritage under Common Law as free subjects of Her Majesty. Indeed, Canadians were much freer before the Charter than after, because before 1982 we were brought up to think of ourselves as free to do whatever was not specifically prohibited by law. Since 1982 we have been told to think of our freedoms as those which are specifically defined as such in the Charter. Furthermore, the Charter makes these freedoms and rights less secure than they were before, because section thirty three of the Charter gives the federal and provincial governments the right to pass legislation that violates these rights and freedoms provided it is only temporary. No such exception is made for the sections of the Charter that enshrine multiculturalism, feminism, and bilingualism into our Constitution.

The consequences of the Charter’s making multiculturalism, feminism, and bilingualism inviable, while allowing the government to trample all over the freedoms and rights that are our birthright as free subjects of the Crown, soon became apparent. It turned the Supreme Court of Canada into the instrument of cultural revolution that the American Supreme Court had already been for decades. The ruling in the Singh decision of 1985, which made it next to impossible to deport anyone who claimed refugee status, no matter how obviously bogus the claim, and the ruling in R. v. Morganthaler in 1988 that struck down all existing laws against abortion, are among the examples of Charter based Supreme Court decisions that have radically transformed the country.

All of this is what Justin Trudeau and his supporters proudly look to as their legacy. This is to say nothing of the way Pierre Trudeau courted the good opinion of every Third World shithole while alienating other Western countries, ran Canada heavily into debt, jacked up our taxes, drove inflation through the roof while ruining the economy with heavy-handed statist mismanagement, and turned regional dissatisfaction in both Quebec and the Western provinces into separatist movements that continued to threaten to tear the country apart long after he stepped down from power.

Justin Trudeau gives every indication of being cut from the same cloth as his father. His father was an admirer of Mao, and he expressed admiration for Red China’s dictatorship at a ladies’ fundraiser in Toronto in 2013. His father made abortion legal in cases where three doctors agreed that the mother’s life was in danger, he made the pro-choice position the Liberal party line and told his MPs that they were expected to vote pro-choice on all relevant bills. His father began the browning of Canada by moving our visa officers to our Third World embassies and by allowing the family class of sponsored immigrants to bypass the points system. Justin has promised to eliminate visa requirements for Mexican citizens coming to Canada and to “expand Canada’s intake of refugees from Syria by 25,000 through immediate government sponsorship”, to help private sponsors bring even more in, and to spend $250 million extorted from the Canadian taxpayer to do so. He has promised to continue the moral and intellectual degradation of this country by legalizing marijuana.

Justin Trudeau has accused the previous government of practising “the politics of fear” in its response to Islamic terrorism, but he himself supported the worst of Harper’s anti-terrorism bills, Bill C-51. In fact, the practice of overreacting to terrorism in a way that infringes on the rights and freedoms of ordinary Canadians, goes back to the premiership of his father who invoked the War Measures Act to deal with the FLQ in 1970. In 2001 the Liberal government of Jean Chretien passed anti-terrorist legislation of which the only significant difference with Bill C-51 was that it was set to expire in five years in accordance with the provisions of the notwithstanding clause. As far as the "politics of fear" goes, how else could one describe the way the Trudeau Liberals exploited a completely unrealistic fear of a Canadian revival of Hitlerism and encouraged Canadians to suspect their neighbours and countrymen of harbouring neo-nazi sentiments, in order to discourage dissent from their dogma of egalitarian multiculturalism, thus creating the "political correctness" that has chilled the atmosphere of public debate for the last three decades or so?

Like his father before him, Justin Trudeau has been swept into office by the machinery of the organized media that has endowed him with celebrity status and duped a gullible public into accepting glitter as gold. Let us hope that the second Trudeaumania does not last as long as the first.