The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Death and Doctors

Human fertilization occurs when the two human gametes, the sperm provided by the male and the egg provided by the female, combine to form a zygote.   The gametes, formed by the process known as meiosis, are haploid, which means that they each possess half of a full set of human chromosomes.   The zygote is diploid, which means that it possesses a full set of human chromosomes, half from the sperm, half from the egg.   With the formation of the zygote, the process whereby it grows through the ordinary cell replication known as mitosis into a multi-celled embryo and then a foetus, begins.    What this demonstrates is that a) the zygote is alive and b) it is human, therefore c) it is already a human life.    The ethical implication of this is that the deliberate termination of a pregnancy, unless it can be shown to fall into any of the recognized categories of justifiable homicide, such as self-defence against criminal assault or in execution of the sentence of a court of law after a conviction, following due process, for a capital crime, is an unjustifiable homicide, or, to use the plain English word for this, a murder.

This fact was recognized by Canadian law until relatively recently.   It was Pierre Trudeau, who after contributing to the overthrow of the traditional Roman Catholic cultural establishment of his home province in his career as a Communist propagandist in the 1950s was brought into the Liberal Party at the Dominion level by Lester Pearson in the 1960s and groomed to be Pearson’s successor as leader of the Liberal Party and Prime Minister which he became in 1968, who changed this.    In 1969, Trudeau altered the Criminal Code to allow for abortions in cases where three physicians would attest that the pregnancy was endangering the life of the mother.    This, however, was small potatoes, compared to the effect of his addition of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to the constitution in 1982.   This gave the Supreme Court of Canada powers similar to those of the American Supreme Court.   The consequence was that in 1988, the Supreme Court struck all remaining laws against abortion from the books, telling Parliament that it would have to pass new legislation restricting abortion that would conform to the Court’s interpretation of the Charter, which Parliament has failed to do to this day. 

Now, as bad as Pierre Trudeau’s role in creating this unprincipled exception whereby the protection of the rule of law against murder is withheld from the most vulnerable undoubtedly was, it was not exactly out of character for him either in his role of Communist radical or his role of sleazy, dirtbag, politician.   The same cannot be said for those who have the task of doing the dirty work of abortion – the physicians.   The first principle of the ethics that supposedly binds the medical profession is primum non nocere – first do no harm.    The deliberate termination of life is a fairly obvious and extreme violation of that principle. (1)   Yet abortion is not the only procedure in Canada today in which those who have sworn the oath attributed to Hippocrates of Kos intentionally put an end to human lives.


Physician-assisted suicide was against the law in Canada until very recently.    In was only in 2014 that the province of Lower Canada became the first to pass “right-to-die” legislation.   In February of the following year the Supreme Court gave its Carter ruling on the constitutionality of the law against physician-assisted suicide.   In the Morgentaler decision in 1988 in which the abortion laws were struck down, the Court had invited Parliament to pass new legislation that would restrict abortion without violating the Charter, which they never did.   In the Carter decision in 2015, the Court gave Parliament one year in which to fix the existing law before it was struck down absolutely.   Not only did Parliament fail to do this, but in passing Bill C-14 the following year, it legalized the procedure and, under certain circumstances, allowed for physicians to go even further than what the word “assisted” implies.  


The old expression for this sort of thing, where a physician kills or helps to commit suicide, a patient who is suffering from an incurable condition that causes excruciating pain, was "mercy killing".   This has long gone out of style, since its supporters are squeamish about acknowledging the reality that it involves "killing".   It was replaced years ago with the neologism euthanasia, formed from the Greek words for “good” and “death.”  Euthanasia is an example of a euphemism, a word with which it shares a component part.   Euphemism combines the word for "good" with the word for "talk" or "speech" and refers to inoffensive or at least less offensive words used as substitutes for more offensive ones.    George and Sheila Grant wrote an excellent essay about the euphemistic language of euthanasia - not just the term itself but the accompanying rhetoric such as "death with dignity" and "quality of life" - that first appeared in Care for the Dying and Bereaved, edited by Ian Gentles and published by the Anglican Book Centre in 1976, and which was subsequently republished as the second last chapter of Grant's Technology and Justice published by Anansi in 1986.   The Grants focused on the language surrounding the practice because they believed, rightly, that confusion with regards to terminology was creating confusion in the public debate about the issue.   They made this important distinction:


It must be forcefully stressed that the proper refusal to prolong inevitable death is quite different from deliberately causing the death of someone who is not already dying.  Only the latter is euthanasia.


Confusion over this point, they maintained, was what was generating sympathy for the practice:


If the public rightly disapproves of the abuse of technology on the dying, yet wrongly identifies euthanasia with letting the dying die, then our attitude to euthanasia inevitably becomes more positive.


Imagine what they would have said could they have seen ahead to 2020 in which physician-assisted suicide was embraced while letting the dying die was condemned to the point that it was deemed necessary to take away everybody's most basic rights and freedoms in order to prevent the latter from happening.   Actually, maybe we don't need to imagine.   Here is the concluding paragraph of their essay:


The three ideas which have been discussed - "death with dignity" and human autonomy, the distinction between "persons" and "non-persons", and "quality of life" judgements - all have something in common.   They are all used dogmatically, leading to great confidence in our right to control human life.  These are areas where the great religious tradition at its best has been restrained by agnosticism and a sense of the transcendent mystery.  Some believers have tried to combine these two views of life in a crudely simplistic manner.  They have identified the freedoms technology gives us with the freedom given by truth.  The result in the public world, if policy flowed from this identification, would be the destruction of cherished political freedoms.


Although decades have passed since the Grants warned us about where the paths of abortion and euthanasia were leading us, decades in which we, ignoring those warnings, proceeded down those paths at an accelerating pace, never have their words been more timely.


Today, the battle, for many of the sane remnant who think that an MD should not be regarded as the real life equivalent of a Double-O designation with a licence to kill in one of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, has shifted from protecting human lives from the threats of abortion and euthanasia, to protecting the rights of physicians to refrain from performing or taking part in these gruesome slaughters against their consciences.    This is unfortunate, because it sends the message of a retreat from, if not a concession to, the advancing foe, but it cannot, perhaps, be helped due to the many indications we have seen over the last decade or so that toleration of dissent to abortion and euthanasia within the medical profession is shrinking and short-lived.    In Upper Canada, for example, there is a requirement that physicians who do not want to take part in an assisted-suicide provide an “effective referral”.   If you don’t know what that means, think of the episode of the Simpsons where Homer comes up with a scheme to gain a whole lot of extra weight to qualify as clinically obese so he can work from home.   When Lisa tells him that “any doctor” would tell him that obesity is unhealthy, he says “well, we’ll just see about that little miss smart guy” and goes to see his family physician Dr. Hibbert.   Dr. Hibbert says “My God, that’s monstrous!  I’ve never heard of anything so negligent.  I’ll have no part of it”.   Homer, unperturbed, asks “Can you recommend a doctor who will?”  Dr. Hibbert replies “yes” and the next thing you know Homer is seeing Dr. Nick, who after his usual greeting of “Hi everybody”  tells Homer “Now there are many options available for dangerously underweight individuals like yourself.   I recommend a slow, steady, gorging process combined with assal horizontology…You’ll want to focus on the neglected food groups, such as the whipped group, the congealed group and the chocotastic.”   The point, before I end up quoting the entire episode, is that Dr. Hibbert performed an “effective referral”.  


Last November, the National Post’s Barbara Kay, writing for The Post Millennialinformed us about the case of Rafael Zaki, a young man who had been a student at the College of Medicine at the University of Manitoba here in Winnipeg.   He had written an essay against abortion for his Sunday School - he is a devout Christian of the ancient Coptic communion whose parents came to Canada fleeing religious persecution.   He posted the essay to Facebook, which prompted a number of anonymous complaints to the school.   The school investigated and, in Kay's words, this "led directly to a remediation process, during which Zaki was summoned to seven meetings with Dr. Ira Ripstein, the Max Rady College of Medicine associate dean for undergraduate medical education".   Kay's description of this "remediation process"  confirms what I assumed upon reading that expression - that it was euphemistic for the kind of nasty Communist official intimidation and reeducation process that hides behind the smiley-face of fake, outer "niceness" that evokes the image of Dolores Umbridge, the authoritarian bureaucratic educator from the Harry Potter books and which is ubiquitous on campuses all across Canada.   Kay drew the parallel with what had happened to Lindsey Sheppard at Wilfred Laurier University four years ago.   Although Zaki wrote letters of apology for giving offence - he should have refused to do so and read what the late Sir Roger Scruton had to say about the difference between giving and taking offence - this was not good enough for Ripstein because he, that is Zaki, did not recant of his views.   He was expelled from the College, appealed, and, despite any number of policy violations, procedural irregularities, and such, on the part of the school on top of the blatant injustice of it all, his appeal was turned down.   He has filed an application to have a real court, the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench, conduct a judicial review, although he was denied an injunction staying the expulsion until the outcome could be determined.   Kay's focus in her commentary on this entire episode is on the growth of a totalitarian climate on the campuses of academe, suppressing freedom of thought in what until recently was considered to be its bastion.   The story, which does indeed, illustrate this well, also tells us that in at least one College of Medicine, the next step in the corruption of the medical profession has begun, the weeding out of dissenters to abortion and euthanasia before they can be licensed, so as to eventually produce a profession monolithic in its support of this blatant repudiation of basic medical ethics.  


The high esteem in which the medical profession is held has long brought to its members temporal rewards both social, in the form of respectability, and pecuniary in the form of very comfortable salaries.   Society has bestowed this esteem upon this profession based upon its image of learning put to the service of mankind in the alleviation of suffering, promotion of good health, and sustaining of life through the treatment of injury and disease.   That the putting to death of the vulnerable at both ends of life, the unborn in the womb on the one hand and the aged and the infirm on the other, is now also a part of this profession clashes with this image.   That the majority of the profession see no fundamental contradiction here is good cause for us to stop blindly trusting these overpaid rectal orifices, when they tell us that we must sacrifice our rights, freedoms, social lives, communities, jobs, and businesses in order to “save lives.”


(1)   This is obvious in any language, but interestingly to say “first do not kill” in Latin you would say primum non necare.   The second conjugation nocere – to injure, harm – and the first conjugation necare – to kill are both derived from a common root, believed to be the word for death in Proto Indo European, also the source of the cognate words nasyati, which means “perish” in Sanskrit and nekros which means “corpse” in Greek.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Erin is a Tool: The Conservative Party's Latest Quisling Leader

The last time the old Conservative Party was led by someone whose political philosophy I would feel comfortable acknowledging as my own was almost a decade before my birth.  The Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker, who became leader of the Progressive Conservative Party when it was in Opposition in 1956, led it to victory (a minority government) in the 1957 Dominion election, shortly before winning the party’s largest majority in percentage of seats ever the following year.   Reduced to a minority government again in 1962, Diefenbaker’s government fell in 1963 when Tommy Douglas’ socialists and the right-wing Social Credit Party both supported Liberal leader Lester Pearson when he called for a vote of no confidence because of Diefenbaker’s refusal to allow Washington D. C. to dictate policy in Ottawa on the matter of the nuclear arming of the Bomarc missiles.   Pearson, who had betrayed his country to the Stalinist regime in the Soviet Union when he was attached to our Washington embassy in World War II (see the testimony of Elizabeth Bentley before the American House of Un-American Activities Committee), and betrayed the entire Commonwealth to both the Soviets and the Americans when he sided with these powers against the alliance of Britain, France, and Israel in 1957 as a Minister in the government of Louis St. Laurent, was here acting on behalf of John F. Kennedy’s government in the United States.   Diefenbaker continued to lead the party in Opposition for the next four years, which saw the shining moment of his entire career, when he led the Conservatives in fierce opposition to the new flag of 1965, the first major step taken by the Liberals during the long period in which they were led by Lester Pearson and his successor Pierre Trudeau to radically re-invent the country, and strip it of the most visible symbols of its Loyalist heritage and identity.   In 1967, Diefenbaker was replaced by Robert Stanfield as party leader in a leadership convention that was the culmination of two years’ worth of effort on the part of Dalton Camp, then the party president (which is not the same thing as party leader) to oust him.


While I admit that Diefenbaker’s performance in the office of Prime Minister was far less stellar than his performance in the office of Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, his political philosophy was what I admire most about him.  He was a fierce defender of Canada’s Loyalist history and heritage, the traditional institutions derived from these such as the monarchy, Parliament, and the Common Law, and the symbols of all of these, such as the old flag.   While most if not all of his successors have paid lip service to much of this, it has never been with his passion.  He opposed all threats to Canadian freedom, whether it was the external threat posed by increasing American cultural and economic influence – or, as in the case of the Bomarc missiles incident, political influence – or the internal threat posed by the subversion of Parliamentary tradition, the exponential growth of the civil service, and the alarming way in which the government was increasingly treating the latter as a means of bypassing the former to govern by bureaucratic regulation rather than Parliamentary legislation.   His views are best stated in his own words in the speeches collected in his Those Things We Treasure (1972).   This book and John Farthing’s Freedom Wears a Crown (1956 – posthumously edited by Judith Robinson) are the two classic texts of the political philosophy associated with the old Conservative Party from Sir John A. MacDonald to John G. Diefenbaker, a Canadian version of classical British Toryism.  Sadly both books have been out-of-print for years, although Diefenbaker’s has been fairly easily and inexpensively obtainable through used-book stores.   (I first obtained a copy from Black’s Vintage Books in Winnipeg, sadly no longer around, when I was still a theology student in college.   I had to send away for Farthing’s book when my attention was drawn to it by Ron Dart several years later.)   The classic text of the religious philosophy underlying this political philosophy, expressed as a jeremiad over the latter’s failure, was George Grant’s Lament for a Nation (1965), which remains in print.


After Diefenbaker was ousted, the leadership of the Progressive Conservatives fell alternately to people who were more-or-less socialists in Conservative garb, like Stanfield, and had little-to-no problem with increasing bureaucratization and its threat to Canadian freedom, or to people who were basically big business liberals in Conservative garb, like Brian Mulroney, who promoted free trade with the United States, which throughout Canadian history had been a Liberal Party policy, and who had little-to-no problem with increasing American economic and cultural influence over Canada.     It was while Stanfield led the party that a "conservative movement" outside of the party began to form to oppose what Pierre Trudeau's Liberals were doing and lobby for conservative causes, obviously because it was felt that the Party was failing to do this.    While the organizations and publications that made up this movement fought for good things for the most part - to give one example, Colin Brown founded the National Citizens Coalition in 1975 to fight for government fiscal accountability against Trudeau's huge deficits - it lamentably tended to ignore the classical texts of Canadian Toryism mentioned in the previous paragraph and look for inspiration to the American conservative movement.   This led to a blindness in the Mulroney years.   They could perceive that Mulroney had little interest in combatting the sweeping social, moral, and cultural changes that were quickly being introduced as a result of Pierre Trudeau's having given the Supreme Court powers similar to its American counterpart by adding the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to the constitution (although to give credit where credit is due Mulroney was the last Conservative leader to attempt to pass legislation restricting abortion after the newly empowered Court struck the existing laws down in 1988) and thus in that sense was way too far to the Left like Stanfield,  but failed to recognize that the problem stemmed from unnaturally grafting an element of the American republican system onto our system of Crown-in-Parliament where it neither belongs nor fits (a mistake Tony Blair would later make in the United Kingdom) and to see Mulroney's reversal of traditional Conservative opposition to free trade with the United States for the betrayal it was.   It was during the Mulroney years that the conservative movement allied itself with a populism that had been growing in the Western prairie provinces in response to the exceedingly arrogant way in which they had been treated by Ottawa under Trudeau and how Mulroney had offered little in the way of redress.   Together they formed a new party, the Reform Party of Canada.


This was not the first time conservatism and populism had been united in Canadian history.    John G. Diefenbaker, as explained above, was the last Conservative leader to fully represent in a way that did more than lip service, authentic traditional Canadian Toryism, but he was also a prairie populist reformer, a role that arose naturally out of his early career as a defence lawyer in Saskatchewan.   W. L. Morton, who was head of the history department at the University of Manitoba and the author of the Kingdom of Canada and a Canadian historian second only to Donald Creighton was, like Creighton, a traditional Tory, and, unlike Creighton, a strong advocate for fairer representation of the West in the Dominion government.   Diefenbaker and Morton, however, combined traditional Toryism with Western populism.   The Reform Party combined a neoconservatism that looked for inspiration to the United States with Western populism and this was not a good mix.   Ironically, they gave their party what had originally been the Confederation era name of their despised foe, the Liberals.   Also ironic, but in a less amusing way, their dividing the right-of-centre vote with the Progressive Conservatives kept the Liberals in government from 1993 to 2005.


Realizing that their division would only keep the Liberals in perpetual power, the Progressive Conservatives and the Reform Party began "Unite the Right" discussions in the late 1990, partially merging into the Canadian Alliance in 2000 and then fully uniting into the present Conservative Party of Canada in 2003.  They have had four leaders since then.   The first of these was Stephen Harper, who became Prime Minister with a minority government in 2006, won a majority government in 2011, and served as Prime Minister until 2015.   When Captain Airhead led the Liberals back into government in the Dominion election of that year, Harper stepped down, was briefly replaced by Rona Ambrose as an interim leader, before Andrew Scheer was chosen as the next leader.   Scheer performed incredibly poorly in that role, being initially too cautious as Opposition Leader, then essentially throwing away an election that was practically being handed to him by Captain Airhead with his self-destructive heaping of scandals upon scandals, with his, that is Scheer’s, one shining moment coming in March of last year, when he resolutely opposed the Liberals’ attempt to use the pandemic to escape Parliamentary oversight for two years.   At this point, however, it was too late to salvage Scheer’s leadership, and Erin O’Toole was chosen as the next leader.


Erin O’Toole has now set the record for the shortest time it has ever taken for a Conservative leader to so disgust me that I vowed never to vote for anyone in the party as long as he led it.   It took Stephen Harper until the last year of his premiership, when he introduced legislation to enhance the powers of government to invade the privacy of Canadians and spy on them, to do that.   Erin O’Toole has not even been leader for a full five months yet and he has already managed to do so.


On Monday O’Toole announced that he would be seeking to kick Derek Sloan out of the party caucus.   Sloan is the Member who represents the Upper Canada riding of Hastings-Lennox and Addington in the House of Commons.   Although he is a quite young MP – he is in his mid-thirties and was elected for the first time in the Dominion election of two years ago – he was one of O’Toole’s rivals in the leadership race last year.   He had become a target of the Left earlier that year when he asked the question of whether Theresa Tam, the federal chief medical mandarin, was working for Canada or China.  The Left assumed this to be a racist question based upon Tam’s ethnicity, although the question naturally arises out of the possible conflict of interests between her position in Canada and her role in the World Health Organization over which Red China has held an inordinate amount of influence, especially under its current director.   Sloan, a Seventh Day Adventist, is also a strong social conservative who opposes abortion, gender-identity discrimination legislation, and the Liberal government’s current attempts to ban conversion therapy.   O’Toole’s announcement was based upon the revelation that Sloan had received a donation from Paul Fromm.   On Wednesday the party voted to expel Sloan from the caucus.


Sloan’s response to this, appropriately, was to call out O’Toole for his blatant unfairness and hypocrisy.   Sloan could not have been reasonably expected to have known that the donation came from Paul Fromm since he had used his first name, Frederick, in making it, nor, would I add, is it reasonable in a free country to expect people who receive donations to vet their donors to make sure they are not guilty of some sort of crimethink.   That is the unfairness – the hypocrisy is in the fact that the party took a cut from the same donation and had sold a membership to the donor. 


This incident illustrates the biggest problem I have with the post-Diefenbaker leadership of the Conservative Party whether of the Left-leaning Stanfield variety or the American neo-liberal Mulroney variety.   They have all been terrified of being labelled “Far Right” and since they have allowed the Liberals and the socialists to define the “Far Right” and attach this label to whomever they wish without serious challenge, this has meant that they have allowed the Liberals and the socialists to dictate the acceptable parameters of thought within their own party.   Back in the period alluded to earlier, when discontent with the performance of the Progressive Conservatives had led to the creation of first a conservative movement and then the Reform Party of Canada, Dalton Camp, the party official who had orchestrated the backstabbing of Diefenbaker, was a regular commentator on the CBC.   He was frequently part of a panel with Erik Kierens of the Liberals and Stephen Lewis of the NDP as the Conservative representative to create the false impression of balanced commentary (like Kierens he very much represented the Left wing of his own party).   Camp shared with his Liberal and NDP colleagues an abhorrence of social conservatism or “the Religious Right” as he called it, and regarded the phenomenon as both an import from the United States and the next thing to fascism.   This was utter nonsense, of course – most of the things that the Religious Right railed against – abortion on demand, the relaxing of laws and liberalization of attitudes towards sexual morality, the driving of the Bible and Lord’s Prayer out of schools – came to Canada much later than they did to the United States and consequently what social conservatives wish to return to had remained the status quo here much longer and had been the status quo much more recently(1).    Indeed, the first issue in the Culture War between the Left and the Religious Right in which the Left's triumph in Canada preceded its victory in the United States was same-sex marriage, and Camp could hardly have claimed the Religious Right's stance on this issue as an American import because he died of complications from a stroke the year prior to the first court-ordered alteration to the status quo of 1 man + 1 woman = marriage and three years before the Liberals introduced the bill in Parliament that generalized the change.    The leadership of the Conservative Party, however, was terrified of the accusations coming from the Liberals, the NDP, the Left-dominated mainstream media, and their own Dalton Camp, that the social conservative ideas of  the conservative movement and the new Reform Party were dangerously" Far Right".


That by taking this stance they were helping to move the centre of the Canadian mainstream dangerously close to the "Far Left" never seemed to occur to them.


Everything I have just said with regards to the social, moral, and religious issues of the Culture War also applies to the issues pertaining to immigration, nationality, and race except that with these issues, the Progressive Conservative Party leadership was even quicker to concede to the Liberals and to the Left the right to define a consensus and the acceptable parameters containing that consensus from which all dissent would be excluded. The capitulation was more complete.   Furthermore, the leadership  of the Reform Party joined in this concession with regards to these issues.



What is the consensus that the Liberals and their further-to-the-Left allies, given this free reign, imposed upon Canada?


It amounts to this: if you are white, discriminating against someone who is not is about the worst thing you could do, and the law must protect others against your discrimination by giving the government the power to punish you with complete and total economic and social destruction, but you yourself must have no protection under law against discrimination, because you, being white, are incapable of being discriminated against, and if you complain about or even notice the unfairness of this then you are an evil, prejudiced bigot, a racist, a Nazi, who must either be re-programmed or completely excluded from society.


The Liberal Party worked hard at establishing this double standard which is utterly repugnant morally and completely indefensible intellectually as consensus, or rather state-imposed dogma,  during the premierships of Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau.   In 1970 Parliament passed a bill introduced while Pearson was Prime Minister that added sections 318-320 to the Criminal Code which created several new offences each having to do in some way with "hate propaganda".   This was entirely unnecessary because anything criminalized by these sections that really ought to be against the law was already against the existing laws against inciting crime and violence.   The existing laws were superior in every way because they protected all Canadians alike.   In 1977, Trudeau's Liberals rammed the Canadian Human Rights Act through Parliament.   Despite the title, this bill had nothing to do with ensuring that such basic rights as life, liberty, and property were guaranteed to all people in Canada or in protecting anybody in Canada from the abuse by the state that is the first thing that pops into most people's minds upon hearing "human rights violations".   The Act was entirely about dictating to Canadians that they could not discriminate against each other on the grounds of race, sex, etc. in their private lives.   It established an investigatory body to look into accusations of discrimination, and a tribunal to hear the charges.   Since it is considered "civil law", the accused are denied the rights they would have as defendants under criminal law.   The reality, however, is that it punishes the "crime" of wrongthink.   Although the law is written in such a way as to make the offence reside in the act of discriminating rather than the race/sex/whatever of the complainant and the accused so that in theory, the white person turned down from a job by an employer who only hires people from his own Asian or African nationality ought to have just as strong a case as someone in the reverse situation, that is not how it works in practice.   The Commission that investigates and the Tribunal that hears these cases operate on an Animal Farm, "some animals are more equal than others" basis, which is, of course, how the Trudeau Liberals instructed them to operate from the beginning.   In the few instances when anybody has ever bothered to question the uneven way in which this law is administered, the answer has always been to point back to the intent behind the law, to protect "vulnerable minorities".    It is, of course, incredibly bad practice to allow the intent behind a law that is worded in such a way as to suggest that it protects everybody from racial discrimination to overrule the wording and turn it into a law that protects people from some races and not others, but then, the law itself is bad because it unnecessarily extends government control into the private lives of Canadians to the point of telling them what they can and cannot be thinking when interacting with others when all that was really called for was for the government to lead by example in not practicing colour discrimination itself.   That, however, would have required going back to the policies of John G. Diefenbaker, the Conservative Prime Minister who  militantly opposed racism and whose vision for the Dominion of Canada was one of national unity, which he believed in so strongly that he made it the title of his three volume memoir One Canada, instead of following the bad example of the Americans, who at least had the sense to call their earlier and equivalent law a "Civil Rights Act". 


The protecting "vulnerable minorities" justification for all this bad legislation and practice has grown in its rhetorical force from then until now and Pierre Trudeau's foul offspring has just trotted it out again in support of his upcoming efforts to seize even more control over what Canadians are allowed to think and communicate to each other.   Its rhetorical force should have shrunk.   At the time it was first evoked, 96% of Canadians were white.   This is no longer the case today, indeed, we are at the point where whites becoming a minority is on the near horizon, but the voices from the Left telling us that everybody else belongs to a "vulnerable" or "disadvantaged" minority that needs increased government protection against whites are becoming louder, more stringent and more hysterical by the day.   Don't expect  those same voices to come to the defence of whites when they become a minority and one far more vulnerable than any other in Canada has ever been due to decades of this anti-white propaganda.   The demographic transformation just alluded to is the direct result of immigration changes introduced by Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau.   I don't mean the points system introduced by Order-in-Council in 1967.   It is itself an admirable and fair way of processing applications based upon individual merit, although the Pearson Liberals do not deserve the credit for eliminating racial discrimination from immigration policy that the Liberal Interpretation of Canadian History - what Donald Creighton dubbed "the Authorized Version" - assigns them because Diefenbaker had already done that in 1962.   I refer rather to a number of changes introduced quietly, unannounced, and with no fanfare, whereby the civil servants charged with processing applications were told to give priority to applications from non-traditional source countries over those from traditional source countries with the result that "traditional Euro-British sources of immigration were effectively shut off in favour of migrants and their extended families from the Third World" (Kenneth McDonald, A Wind in the Heath: A Memoir, Epic Press, 2003).  


Instead of opposing all of this, as they ought to have done, the Progressive Conservatives whether the socialist Stanfield types, the moderate Joe Clark types, or the neo-liberal Brian Mulroney types embraced it.   Indeed, when Brian Mulroney took over the leadership of the party he basically sent out the message that opposition to the Trudeau agenda on these issues would not be tolerated and that discrimination against whites would be continued.   As Prime Minister, in fact, he set out to out-Trudeau Trudeau himself with regards to immigration.   Perhaps some of the Conservative leader were dense enough to think that Pearson and Trudeau had been continuing Diefenbaker's "One Canada" vision rather than subverting and inverting it.   For the most part, however, they were terrified of being labelled "Far Right" by the Liberals and the press.   The Liberals, in the Pearson-Trudeau period had attempted the frighten the public into accepting their measures as necessary to fight a non-existent "Far Right" threat, by creating a fake "Canadian Nazi Party", which their media allies then splashed all over the headlines and the television news.   The Mulroney Conservatives, having received the message, proceeded to pass it on when they gained competition for the right-of-centre vote in the Reform Party.   They ordered CSIS, the spy agency created in the last month of the Trudeau premiership, to create another fake neo-Nazi group, the Heritage Front, which the media again went wild over.   This was in 1989, two years after the Reform Party was formed.   The purpose seems to have been to smear the Reform Party by association, a goal towards which they received assistance from lawyer, activist and Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella in his 1997 book Web of Deceit, which, in my opinion ought to be categorized as fiction, under which genre it might actually deserve an award for its creative plot about the imminent threat of  a neo-Nazism working through the  conservative movement  and  the Reform Party to take over Canada.   Note this is the same Warren Kinsella, who should not be confused with the late novelist W. P. Kinsella (W. P. stood for William Patrick, Warren is, I think, a middle name), but who was, according to a Globe and Mail article conveniently timed to come out just before the last Dominion election, hired by Andrew Scheer's Conservatives to sling mud of a similar nature against Maxime Bernier, Scheer's chief rival in the previous Conservative Party leadership race, and his new People's Party of Canada.


Erin O'Toole has now followed the shameful examples of Mulroney and Scheer.   His motive is obvious enough - only a few weeks ago he was jumped on by Captain Airhead, for giving an interview to Ezra Levant's Rebel Media.   Captain Airhead, who thinks that only media that he subsidizes and which express views of which he approves, should be allowed to exist, condemned the Rebel as being "Far Right".   If he had Ludwig von Mises concept of "Left" and "Right" as a spectrum moving from total government control on the Left to an absence of government on the Right, he might have had a point, as The Rebel is quite libertarian, but I very much doubt he has read Mises or that he possesses the capacity to do so.   The interview, however, came shortly before the incident on Epiphany when, as Donald the Orange was addressing half a million of his supporters before the Washington Monument, a smaller group entered the Congress building on Capitol Hill, took selfies and, unfortunately in a handful of cases, got into violent skirmishes with the Capitol Hill Police, all of which was blown up by the same media that supported the BLM and Antifa anti-white hate riots that produced far more destruction, violence, and death all across America, into the ludicrous lie of "Trump incites insurrection".   O'Toole, pissing himself, immediately proceeded to proclaim how much he and the party he leads are against "white supremacists", by which the media seems to mean anyone who opposes anti-white racism and certainly everyone - all 75 million American voters of them - who supported Trump.   He also took the opportunity to throw his own rival from last year's leadership race under the bus and out of the party.


Well, perhaps he can instruct his party to stop soliciting me for funds.   I have not received a campaign contribution from Paul Fromm, as I have never stooped so low as to run for office, but I have donated to the Citizens for Foreign Aid Reform, the Canadian Association for Free Expression, and the Canada First Immigration Reform Committee, all of which were founded or co-founded by said Paul Fromm, whom I have known for years.  The first mentioned, which is also, I believe, the oldest is "a group of aid reformers who eschew guilt and believe that population control and free enterprise are the key to development".   I took that definition from the Glossary in my personally inscribed copy of Down the Drain? A Critical Re-examination of Canadian Foreign Aid written by Paul Fromm and James P. Hull and published by Griffin House, Toronto in 1981.  Fromm and Hull's approach to foreign aid has always made more sense to me than the Liberal policy of taxing poor people in rich countries to subsidize rich people in poor countries, never more evident than under the current Prime Minister.   The Canadian Association for Free Expression was founded shortly prior to when Brian Mulroney became Prime Minister which was also around the time that Canada's two most publicized trials for crimethink began, those of Ernst Zuendel, the German born graphic artist and publisher who resided in Toronto and James Keegstra, the school teacher and mayor from Eckville , Alberta.   CAFE is committed to the classical liberal view of John Stuart Mill that speech, whether right, wrong, or somewhere in between, ought never to be suppressed.   While there are many who would think that the cases of Zuendel, whose publications included The Hitler We Loved and Did Six Million Really Die?, and Keegstra, who taught his students that the Jews were behind a conspiracy to dominate the world, stretch that principle past its breaking point, these are, in my opinion, wrong.   Cases like this are not the breaking point of freedom of speech, they are its test.   Only those willing to stand up for freedom of speech, when it is opinions that the vast majority find loathsome that the government is trying to suppress, can truly be said to have passed that test - men like Paul Fromm and the late Doug Christie, who was the lawyer in both of these cases.   If the state is allowed to get away with suppressing extremely unpopular opinions, it will move on to suppressing less unpopular opinions.    In Canada we have moved from the government persecuting a man for saying that Hitler's victims were significantly less than six-million in number all the way to where the government is trying to tell us that we cannot say that someone born with a penis and testicles and who has XY chromosomes is a man if he self-identifies as a woman.   Give the state censors an inch and they will take a mile.   Pastor Martin Niemöller said "First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out-Because I was not a socialist.  Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out-Because I was not a trade unionist.  Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-Because I was not a Jew.  Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me".  It astonishes me that there are those familiar with this poem and the story behind it who miss the point completely and will get offended at the application I am about to make.  In 1984 - a rather significant date don't you think - they came for Ernst Zuendel and James Keegstra, and Doug Christie and Paul Fromm spoke out!   Everyone who values the freedom our country was built upon - Richard Cartwright famously expressed the spirit of Confederation by saying that he preferred British freedom over American equality - and for which we have always been told our country went to war against Hitler, would do well to look to that example.


The progressive media, of course, in their lust to help O'Toole crucify Sloan, has been calling Paul Fromm such names as "white supremacist" and "neo-nazi", as have those members of the neo-conservative press who have defended Sloan on the same grounds on which he defended himself.   Mr. Fromm has never applied such terms to himself, which the media have thrown against him for decades, but has always eschewed and disavowed them (I once witnessed him do so to someone who actually was a self-proclaimed National Socialist).   He has referred to himself as a "white nationalist" but I remember that when he started doing this the term had not developed the connotations it now has and simply meant something along the lines of an advocate for the rights of white people, similar to what groups like the NAACP are for black people in the United States, and I have never gotten the impression that he meant it in any other way.   He should, perhaps, have foreseen the way the term would evolve.   I never liked the term, although I believe that now more than ever, open advocates for the rights and liberties of white people, who are demonized by racist hate groups such as BLM and Antifa with the full support of the media and the politicians and who are officially discriminated against, are needed.   It confuses "race" with "nation" for one thing.   For another, nationalisms of any sort tend to conflict with my Tory political philosophy.   One's monarch is the proper object of political allegiance, not a people, race, or nation, and in association with one's monarch, one's country, which is a place, one's home writ large, although not merely in the sense of a location on a map, but a place vested with tradition and history, expressed in its institutions, and including, of course, those who live there.   This is what the old patriotic cry "for King and country" meant.


This brings me back to Diefenbaker.   


Diefenbaker, because he was the last Conservative leader - and the last Canadian Prime Minister - to really embrace "King and country" or "Queen and country" Toryism in a wholehearted way, was the last Conservative leader and Prime Minister capable of taking the strong stand against racism that he did, without replacing it with racism of another sort, as the Liberals who governed after him did.   This is precisely because "Queen and country" is the only object of allegiance which can truly provide civil unity and harmony.   As W. L. Morton put it "Any one, French, Irish, Ukrainian or Eskimo, can be a subject of the Queen and a citizen of Canada without in any way changing or ceasing to be himself." (The Canadian Identity, University of Toronto Press, 1961, 1972)   If that sounds like Pierre Trudeau's "mosaic" vision of "multiculturalism", understand that Trudeau's doctrine is actually a mockery of this.  Instead of uniting diverse people in loyalty to their Royal Sovereign so that they can all participate in the country over which she reigns in a way that makes the history, traditions, and legacy of freedom of that country their own, Trudeau's doctrine turned diversity itself into an object of cult worship that keeps them divided so that bureaucrats can increasingly manage their lives and rob them of the freedom that is the property by right of all Her Majesty's subjects.   If Erin O'Toole really believes that "racism is a disease of the soul" then he would do better to lead his party back to what it was when Diefenbaker led it rather than to win Captain Airhead's approval by repeating his totalitarian rhetoric about "It has no place in our country" and opportunistically ejecting a rival from the party's caucus, over his unknowingly having received a donation from the man who has for decades been the most courageous opponent of the only racism that is truly a problem in Canada today, the racism that has been enshrined in law since 1977, anti-white racism.




(1)   This also shows how utterly absurd the expression “Red Tory” is.   Originally, Gad Horowitz coined the term to refer to traditional Tories like George Grant who had some positive views of socialism.   Grant, a strong social conservative who warned that in the legalization of abortion the essence of fascism was coming to North American under the guise of liberalism, did not like having this label applied to him.   Dalton Camp, who was a Mulroney Conservative until Mulroney became a free trader – it is to Camp’s credit that he abandoned the Mulroney camp over this – embraced the label.   Grant wrote his Lament over the fall of the Diefenbaker government, Camp was responsible for ousting Diefenbaker from the party leadership.  Any term coined to refer to the one and appropriated by the other cannot possibly express anything meaningful.   

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Brent Roussin’s Blasphemy

Orthodox Christianity affirms both the truth that God is Sovereign Lord over all that is Who in His Omniscience knows the end from the beginning and the truth that man is a morally responsible being who has been given true agency and thus is accountable for his deeds.   For millennia, theologians have grappled with the tension between these two truths.   The theological dialogue on this subject overlaps in some ways the ages old philosophical debate between determinism and free will.   Periodically, it has erupted into controversy when someone sought to resolve the tension by emphasizing one of these truths to the point of denying, or at least being perceived to deny, either the other truth or other truths.    One such period was the fifth century.   In the third Ecumenical Council (Ephesus, 431) the early Church ruled that the Celtic monk Pelagius had taught heresy by emphasizing free will to the point of denying Original Sin (that the human nature we have inherited from Adam was broken in the Fall and became predisposed to sin) and the ensuing dependence of man upon grace (God’s freely given favour) for salvation.   While the early Church as a whole formed a consensus against Pelagianism, only the Western, Latin-speaking, Church united in favour of Augustinianism, the doctrine of Pelagius’ foremost opponent and critic, the Bishop of Hippo, and this became one of the factors, perhaps the earliest, that led to the Schism between East and West six centuries later.


Controversy over this matter erupted again in the sixteenth century.   In 1524, Desiderius Erasmus, the Dutch scholar and Christian humanist, wrote The Freedom of the Will, as a response to the strong Augustinian view of predestination in the works of Dr. Martin Luther.   Dr. Luther answered him the following year with On the Bondage of the Will.   At this point in the controversy where one stood on free will and predestination corresponded with which side of the growing Reformation divide one was on.   Those who remained under the authority of the Patriarch of Rome emphasized free will, the Reformers and their followers stressed God’s Sovereignty and predestination.   


By the end of the sixteenth century, however, it was no longer so simple.   In the Reformed Churches, which had broken with Lutheranism in the Continental Reformation over a number of issues, the strong predestinarianism of the leading Reformed theologian John Calvin had been magnified into supralapsarianism – the idea that God decided Whom He was going to send to Hell first and then decided to allow the Fall in order to have grounds to condemn them – by Calvin’s successor Theodore Beza, and this incredibly ugly portrayal of God naturally provoked a backlash in the opposite direction.   Jacob Arminius, assigned to write a thesis defending supralapsarianism, instead become a proponent of free will, and his followers, the Remonstrants, wrote a five-point repudiation of Calvinism called the Remonstrance, which was condemned as a form of Semi-Pelagian heresy by the Reformed Church at its Synod of Dort, which took place at about the same time the work on the Authorized Bible was being completed.   The canons of the Synod of Dort, five, one each in response to the points of the Remonstrance, became known as the “Five Points of Calvinism”, identifiable by the acronym TULIP (Total Depravity, Unconditional Election. Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, Perseverance of the Saints), although this does not follow their order in the canons.   These have, ever since, been more important to most Calvinists than John Calvin’s own teachings, which did not include Limited Atonement, a doctrine Calvin would almost certainly have burnt someone at the stake for blasphemy over, especially if he heard them attribute it to him, although Calvinists have turned a deaf ear to everyone from Moses Amyraut to R. T. Kendall, who has ever bothered to point this out.


Similarly the debate continued within the Roman Catholic Church.   Cornelius Jansen, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Ypres in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking region of what is now Belgium, taught a form of Augustinianism that closely resembled Calvinism in a book that was published after his death in 1638.   Although the book was placed on the Index of Prohibited Books by the Holy Office (Inquisition) in 1642, and condemned in a papal bull later that year, its teachings, dubbed Jansenism, began to spread, especially in France, where the local bishops sided with the Society of Jesus and the Roman Patriarch in condemning it as heresy.   Apart from the clergy who taught the doctrine, the most notable Jansenists were the philosopher Blaise Pascal, and his younger contemporary, the classical dramatist Jean-Baptiste Racine, both of whom were students in the Jansenist school at Port Royal.


If Jansenism was the predestinarian counterpart to Calvinism within the Roman Catholic Church, the free will counterpart to Arminianism could be said to have been Molinism.  Molinism takes its name from Luis de Molina, a Spanish Jesuit who died in 1600, making his the older of the two doctrinal movements.   Molina stressed free will to the point that he was accused of Semi-Pelagianism (the heresy that teaches that man is capable of taking the first step towards God, although he requires God’s grace to complete the journey, which is the reverse of Arminianism in which God must initiate salvation by His grace, but man must co-operate with his free will to complete it).   Among the ways that he sought to alleviate the tension between this strong view of man’s will and the Sovereignty and Omniscience of God, was by introducing the concept of scientia media – Middle Knowledge – in his commentary on St. Thomas Aquinas.   St. Thomas in his Summa had distinguished between God’s natural knowledge and His free knowledge.   The former pertains to things that must be because they could not be otherwise (that the sum of two and two is four, is an example), the latter to things that are because God has decided that they will be that way.   This distinction is not itself universally acknowledged, for there are those who believe that everything falls in the latter category and that two plus two make four because God willed it to be so when He could have easily willed two and two to make five, because they believe that for God’s will to be free and Sovereign it must not be subject to anything else, including God’s own immutable and eternal nature, which is the source of everything that falls into the natural knowledge category in Thomistic theology, but this is not a widespread view except perhaps among Islamic theologians.   What Molina described as Middle Knowledge was God’s knowledge of everything that depends upon the choices of created free agents.   God knows, Molina maintained, what any given person will do in any given situation, because He knows all counterfactuals for every contingency, that is to say, what would have happened if circumstances had been different and choices were otherwise.   To illustrate the idea from popular culture, it is similar to the way the Watchers in Marvel Comics What If series can see all alternative realities.


I have not brought all of this up in order to argue for or against the Molinist concept of Middle Knowledge, much less to try and settle all of the various disagreements about God’s Sovereignty and man’s free will.    The point I wish to make is that whether one holds to Molinism or regards it as rank heresy, that the kind of knowledge included within Middle Knowledge – the knowledge of what would have been – belongs to God and God alone, is surely something all orthodox Christians can agree upon.   Note the difference between “what would have been” and “what might have been”.   Knowledge of the latter is available to human beings, of the former only to God.   Indeed, if you think about it, the stronger predestinarians, the Calvinists, Jansenists if there are any left, et al., have even greater reason to think that knowledge of “what would have been” belongs only to God than Arminians, Molinists, et al.


To claim for yourself a quality or attribute that belongs only to God is to commit the sin of blasphemy.


On Saturday, the sixteenth of January, the Winnipeg Sun’s front page featured the face of Manitoba’s chief public health mandarin, Brent Roussin and the headline “1, 700 Lives Saved”.   The first paragraph of the accompanying story which could be found on page three read “Manitoba’s top doctor says the province’s most stringent restrictions to date during the pandemic likely saved 1, 700 lives between November and January”.


Well, and I mean this to be just as offensive as it sounds, I grew up on a farm, and am quite familiar with the smell of those words.


Even with his qualifiers like “likely” and “approximately”, Mr. Roussin – with all due respect to Joseph Epstein, he’s got it backwards, after their horrible behaviour last year it is the physicians who should be stripped of the honourific “doctor” from the perfect passive participle of the Latin verb for “to teach” because they have proven themselves to be completely unteachable – is basically claiming knowledge of what “would have been”.   What would have been had he not behaved like some kind of mutant offspring of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin and stripped Manitobans of their fundamental and nominally protected freedoms of association, assembly, and religion, forbade them from visiting with anyone other than members of their own household, ordered their Churches and synagogues to close as if his orders were more important than God’s commandments, persecuted them if they attempted to express their right to protest against all of this , cancelled Christmas (and Diwali and Hanukkah and any other major religious festival that would normally have occurred in the last three months), shut down small businesses for the busiest shopping season of the year as if he had a contract from Jeff Bezos to drive all commerce online to Amazon, encouraged them to snitch on one another for violating these completely unreasonable new rules, programmed them to think of each other as sources of contagion rather than friends, family, and neighbours, and conditioned them to think of their basic rights and freedoms, not as belonging to them as free subjects of Her Majesty, but as belonging to the politicians and health bureaucrats to be dispensed to us and taken away from us as they see fit.     Well, knowledge of what “would have been” belongs to God, not Brent Roussin, who seems to be doing his worst to live down to the old the joke about how the difference between God and a doctor is that God knows that He is not a doctor.


The article went on to say that Roussin “based the number on the province’s modelling and the trajectory the province was on in early November” which is as much as saying that he pulled the number out of thin air.   Modelling is computer generated fantasy, not real scientific evidence.   The hard facts are that the survival rate for the disease he claims to have been trying to protect us from is extremely high, over 99%, for most people, and the demographic that produces the most fatalities for the same disease, is that of people who have already exceeded the country’s average life expectancy (81.95 years) and have over two co-morbidities, that is to say, serious health issues.   These facts strongly suggest that is presumptuous in the extreme for Roussin to be patting himself on the back over all the lives he has saved with his fascist restrictions.   Especially since he remains remarkably silent about all the lives and livelihoods that have been destroyed by the lockdown, for which he is morally culpable, and ought to be legally culpable as well.


It does not seem likely that he will be facing human justice for his brutal and inhumane trampling all over Manitobans rights and freedoms any time soon.   One day, however, he will face the Judgement no man can escape.   It will not help his case on that day, that in the here and now, he has blasphemously claimed the kind of knowledge that belongs only to the Judge, to justify his terrible deeds. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Ism That Isn't

The suffix -ism comes to us from the ancient Greek language.   In ancient Greek, if you wanted to form an action noun out of a verb, you would add the suffix –mos to the stem of the aorist tense.   Whenever this was done with verbs that ended in -izo in the lexical form (the form you would use to say that you, the speaker, are doing whatever the verb means as you are speaking), you would get the contracted ending -ismos.   This happened quite frequently, and eventually –ismos became a suffix in its own right, one used to form abstract nouns, that is to say nouns that allow you to talk about ideas as if they were tangible objects.   Drop the gender/number/case marker and you get the English -ism.    An English word that illustrates the original Greek usage well is "criticism".   Criticism, formed from a verb that means to evaluate or judge, can refer either to the act of evaluating or judging, corresponding to the original usage of –mos, or it can refer to the idea of judgement or evaluation, corresponding to the derived usage of –ismos.   In English, however, this suffix has taken on a more specific primary meaning.    It is now used mostly to denote a system of organized thought, a set of doctrines that are believed, or a movement embodying either of these things.


This standard English usage is several centuries old.   Much more recently a number of new words with the suffix -ism entered the language.   These do not conform either to the original Greek usage as illustrated by criticism, or the standard English usage of which vegetarianism, Zionism and stoicism might be offered as examples.   These are formed by adding the suffix to a noun denoting a general category rather than a verb and they do not denote a system of specific beliefs or doctrines.   They are closer in usage to words like alcoholism, which was coined in the nineteenth century to depict the state of chronic drunkenness as a pathology, a medical condition.   There is a very significant difference, however.   Alcoholism was coined to remove much of the stigma that went with previous words for the same state by treating it as something from which one suffers, a disease, rather than a moral failing.   The words to which I refer, by contrast, while they too portray certain attitudes and behaviours as pathological, it is for the purpose of adding rather than removing stigma.   The first of these, of which all the others are imitations, is racism.    Since it is this word I wish to concentrate on and I am fairly certain you can figure out what the others are, I shall not provide a comprehensive list.   I will merely note that "anti-Semitism", although it is often used in the same way as these words, actually fits the standard English usage of the suffix since at the time it was coined in the nineteenth century it designated a movement with a definite ideology.


Although the term racism first appeared in the interwar period of the last century it was not until after the end of World War II that it really took off.   This was, of course, in part a consequence of the war itself.   The regime we fought and defeated in that war, the National Socialist regime of Adolf Hitler in Germany known as the Third Reich, was dominated by an ideology that incorporated elements of nationalism and socialism, as its official name indicates, but also had racialism as a strong component.   Note that the word racialism, although now used interchangeably with racism by most people, is an older term that in that period did indeed conform to standard English usage with regards to isms.   It referred to a system of doctrine - or rather, a number of similar systems of doctrine - that pertained to what its adherents believed to be the political implications of race, in the anthropological sense of the term.   Race, which comes to English from cognates in Romance languages that refer to lineage and descent, originally was a fairly loose word, which could refer to the concept of lineage in a particular family ("the race of Jones"), to common human descent from Adam and Eve ("the human race"), or even to a line of those in a particular trade or occupation  ("the race of plumbers"), the last of which made much more sense in a day when it was the rule rather than the exception for a son to follow the same line of work as his father.   The science of anthropology, which began as an attempt to apply the methodology of zoology (the branch of biology pertaining to animal life) to human beings, before it was taken over by radical leftists such as Franz Boas, Claude Lévi-Strauss and their followers who stripped it of all real science and turned it into a vehicle for indoctrinating impressionable young people with their poisonous ideas, gave the term a technical meaning of large populations of human beings whose common ancestry was indicated by the sharing of several distinctive morphological characteristics.   Although hardly the first to notice the existence of such groups within humanity (see Race: The Reality of Human Differences, 2004, by Vincent Sarich and Frank Miele), they were the first to attach much significance to it, as human group loyalty had always been focused on family, tribe, and nation rather than race in the past.   The original racialists took this a step further by drawing political implications from the anthropologists' findings.  National Socialism, incorporated a particularly unpleasant form of racialism that viewed the races as locked in a Darwinian struggle, in which their own race and nation must dominate if it is to survive at all.    The crimes of the Third Reich  were used in the post-War world to discredit first National Socialism, second racialism in general, and finally even the anthropological study of race which has for the most part had to rebrand itself as the study of "genetic populations" in order to survive.   It was those who insisted that the Third Reich's crimes discredited not just National Socialism, but all racialism and even the anthropological concept of race, the movement of radical egalitarianism known as the Left, which had coined the term racism before the war and effectively put it to the use described in the previous paragraph after the war.   


It is very unlikely that the Left would have succeeded in generating an almost universal moral revulsion towards that which their newly coined word denoted if they had attempted to do so under their own banner.   Even having Hitler's terrible example to point to would have been much less effective if they launched their crusade against racism as an openly Leftist cause.   Had they done so, the fact that they were openly sympathetic to or even in ideological agreement with the Soviet Union, the regime that most resembled the Third Reich and which was guilty of similar crimes committed on an even larger scale would have been used to negate the Hitler example.   The Left, therefore, decided to use liberalism as its proxy in selling anti-racism to the public, knowing that once most people had been persuaded by the liberal argument against racism, they would be able to use the word as the weapon they intended it to be even though the meaning they attached to it would be very different from that against which the liberal case would be made.


The liberal case against racism gained widespread acceptance because it appealed to basic concepts of fairness that most people shared.   Each person was his own person, liberalism maintained, with his own strengths and weaknesses, accomplishments and failings, merits and demerits, virtues and vices, and ought in fairness to be treated by others on the basis of these rather than on generalizations about those who shared his ethnic ancestry and physical traits such as skin colour.    When liberalism condemned racism, it condemned an attitude and words and deeds expressing that attitude, of which anybody could be guilty, but only by holding that attitude, saying those words, and doing those deeds.   Disliking and mistreating another person because of his skin colour was racism, regardless of who the perpetrator was and who was the victim.   Being a light-skinned, Caucasian of European ancestry did not automatically make you guilty of racism, being what the politically correct now call a "person of colour" did not automatically make you a victim of racism.   When liberalism attacked laws, public policies, and practices as racist it was because they explicitly oppressed people on the basis of race, not because they were part of a civilization that had been created by a people that had been judged to have been racist.  In condemning racism, liberalism set as its ideal a world in which things like skin colour were regarded by everybody as being trivial and everyone of every race treated everyone else of every race, justly, decently, and fairly.

It was through these arguments and ideals that liberalism, hopelessly naïve as it obviously was, won popular support for its anti-racist cause.   Even as it was doing so, however, the Left was preparing to substitute its own, radically different, anti-racism for that of liberalism.     As early as 1932, William Z. Foster, who campaigned that year as the Communist Party USA candidate for American president until a heart attack forced him to withdraw and recuperate in the Soviet Union, outlined a plan to use racial division to further the end of a Communist takeover in the fifth chapter of his Towards Soviet America.     At the same time, Max Horkheimer and his associates of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt were beginning to develop what would become Critical Theory which would replace classical Marxism as the predominant mode of thought in the academic Left.   An associate of Horkheimer's, the music critic, philosopher and sociologist Theodor W. Adorno had led a team of sociological and psychological researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, that put out The Authoritarian Personality in 1950, a book that purported to show that the typical, white, middle and working class, nuclear family of the day, was an environment in which children developed the title personality type, inclining them to become fascists.  This book became far more influential in academic circles than its merits warranted and those influenced would go on to create Critical Race Theory, an offspring of sorts of the original Critical Theory, and currently the theory that underlies the anti-racism of the Left.   Critical Race Theory rejects the colour-blind ideal of liberal anti-racism and, indeed, condemns it as racist.   However, to get to the point where the Left's kind of anti-racism, which was growing more extreme as it evolved, could exude any influence outside of academe, much less the sort of control it commands today, it needed liberalism to sell the public on the liberal version of anti-racism first.

The 1950s and the 1960s were the heyday of liberal anti-racism, for these were the years of the American Civil Rights movement.   Its enemy was Jim Crow, a melodramatic villain who between moustache-twirls and maniacal laughs, ran around the Old South tying black people to the railroad tracks of segregation.    Its leader was the photogenic and charismatic figure whom the Americans honoured yesterday, having decided that he is more worthy of having a civil holiday named after him than their first president.   His words dripped with liberalism in a nauseatingly sappy and saccharine way.  Take for example, these familiar excerpts from his most famous speech, given before the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 "I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood...I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character...I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama...little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers".   Here you have the liberal anti-racist ideal of colour-blindness put in a nutshell.   

Now, it would be fairly easy to demonstrate that the liberalism of the Civil Rights Movement and its leader was an outward guise of moderation concealing something that was much further to the Left, as William F. Buckley and his colleagues correctly pointed out at the time.   There was very little about either man or movement in which the reality matched the image created by the new-at-the-time medium of television news and perpetuated in history classrooms ever since.   I have covered this ground many times before however, and for the purposes of this discussion it is the outward liberalism that is important.



It was this liberal ideal of colour-blindness, this vision of racial peace and harmony that won widespread popular support for the Civil Rights movement and thus broad acceptance of racism as a term of moral disapprobation.  The people who came to support the Civil Rights cause and to so disapprove of racism, therefore, did so because they understood racism to be anything from a prejudicial attitude to active mistreatment of others to unjust and oppressive laws that sinned against this ideal of colour-blind meritocracy and this vision of racial harmony.    


Twenty-five to thirty years ago it became apparent that Leftist professors in academe had an altogether different understanding of the word.   By this time, hip-hop music had become mainstream and its “gangsta” subgenre, featuring lyrics that glorified crime and violence, was rapidly approaching the same status.   Often the lyrics would express a violent hatred that was explicitly racial in nature but directed against whites.   While this matched the meaning that had become attached to the word racism in the liberal Civil Rights era, the Leftist academics of the 1990s denied that it was a form of racism.  It was a legitimate form of expression on the part of the oppressed, they would say.   Racism, they would add, was not just racial prejudice, but racial prejudice backed up by power on the part of the oppressor group.    This was criticized by conservatives such as Dinesh D’Souza (The End of Racism, 1995) as a dishonest change-of-definition tactic, although others, more familiar with the history of what around this time came to be dubbed “Cultural Marxism” were aware that the Left had begun working out this new theory of theirs before the liberal Civil Rights movement.    Back then, apart from conservative criticism this Leftist definition of racism was hardly heard outside of the Ivory Towers.   Its implication, however, that only whites could be racists, was starting to seep out into the wider community.


Today, the Left’s definition is the mainstream one, and we are being told that holding to the liberal ideal of colour-blindness is itself a form of racism.   We are being told that it is not enough to be merely “not racist”, as, presumably, a liberal who lived up to his colour-blind ideal would be, but “anti-racist”, that is, actively opposed to “systemic racism”.   “Systemic racism” does not mean, as many if not most of the politicians who have made ritualistic affirmations of its existence over the course of the last year seem to think it means, some lingering remnants of racism in the 1950s-60s liberal meaning of the word, but the idea that all the institutions and values of Western Civilization are intrinsically racist, implicitly if not explicitly, and serve to privilege all whites at the expense of all “people of colour” so that, whether conscious of it or not, all whites and only whites are racists and all “people of colour” are victims of racism.  


At the beginning of this essay I pointed out that the word racism does not match either the standard English meaning of the suffix –ism or the ancient Greek usage of the original root of the suffix.   Obviously, if racism now refers to the condition of being light-skinned and of European ancestry, this is all the more true.   Ironically, the Left’s anti-racist movement, which is now actively shoving this absurd definition of racism down everyone’s throats, is an ism in the standard English sense of a system of doctrine.   Equally obvious and ironic, is the fact that the Left’s anti-racism now itself meets the definition of racism as the liberals of the 1950s and 1960s used the term.   It does not want colour-blindness, it wants whites to see themselves as white and therefore guilty of “racism”, and it wants whites to see “people of colour” as “people of colour” and therefore victims of “racism”.   It does not want racial peace and harmony – only the kind of “peace” that consists of submission, submission on the part of all whites to all people of colour.   The ultimate irony in all of this, is that the Left’s anti-racism, is, unlike the “racism” it decries, a racism that is actually an ism.   It is a dark irony, because the last time a racist system of organized doctrine achieved anything close to the power of the Left’s anti-racism today, that system was National Socialism.    The Left’s anti-racism is also eerily similar to National Socialism in its totalitarianism, its desire to suppress all dissent and require all to submit to its every dictate.


From the perspective of orthodox Christianity, the basic problem with National Socialism was one of idolatry – it had substituted race and nation for God, thus making idols out of them.   Communism was no solution – it was officially atheistic and guilty of the same kind of atrocities as the Third Reich on a larger scale.   T. S. Eliot, in noting that “it is only in returning to the eternal source of truth that we can hope for any social organization which will not, to its ultimate destruction, ignore some essential aspect of reality” and that democracy by itself “does not contain enough positive content to stand alone against the forces that you dislike” made the well-known statement that “If you will not have God (and He is a jealous God) you should pay your respects to Hitler or Stalin”.  The wisdom in Eliot’s assessment of the situation has, of course, gone largely unheeded since.


Today’s racial nationalisms, whether black or white, repeat National Socialism’s basic error of making idols out of race and nation, to which they add the error of confusing the two categories, a mistake Hitler never made.   The basic mistake of liberalism’s vision is best described as the naïve belief that we can have the “brotherhood of mankind” without first having the “Fatherhood of God”.    The Left’s anti-racism, however, dwarfs all of these other Modern and Postmodern heresies, including them within itself – it has made idols out of every non-white race and nation – while heaping others on top of them.   It is a religion which requires confession of a “sin” – being white – that one can neither help nor turn from, while offering only bondage rather than absolution to those who confess.   In rejection of Him Who offered Himself as the scapegoat to end all scapegoats (see René Girard’s Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World, 1978) it has made white people into a scapegoat for “people of colour”, much as Hitler made the Jews into a scapegoat for the Aryans.    It is an evil crying out for condemnation and the test of the faithful in this day is whether they will find the courage to condemn it.

Friday, January 15, 2021

The Left Abandons Liberalism

A criticism that I have frequently made of mainstream conservatives is that they no longer stand for anything with which Modern liberals would not wholeheartedly agree and which in many if not most cases was originally a liberal idea.   I most recently made this criticism in my annual essay for New Year’s Day explaining my own views, which I prefer to call Tory, because they stress affirmation of institutions such as royal monarchy and the Church as well as beliefs such as the orthodox Christianity of the Apostles’ Creed and ideas which go back to ancient times and predate Modern liberalism.   I have never meant by this criticism that the things for which conservatives still stand are bad in themselves, merely that there are other, older things, which are more important and ought to be recognized as such by those who wish to distinguish themselves from liberals.     This distinction is a very important one because without it, criticism of contemporary conservatism for making its focus primarily or entirely the defence of ideas that have their origins in liberalism could be construed as suggesting that every idea that liberals have ever had is wrong or bad.   Liberalism, I would say, has been wrong a lot more often than it has been willing to admit, has been very wrong in generally regarding itself as immune to the sort of analytic criticism it levels against its rivals, and most wrong in its assumption that there was little to no worth in anything that was around prior to itself.   To say that it was always wrong about everything, however, is to commit the equal and opposite error to that greatest of liberalism’s errors, and the events that have unfolded south of the border since Epiphany illustrate just how erroneous it is.   That which is called “the Left” sprang historically from the same sources as liberalism – the Puritan revolt against the orthodox Church of England and the Stuart monarchy, Modern philosophical rationalism, Kantianism, to name but three – and through much of their history the Left and liberalism have walked similar paths, so much so that in many periods, including that of my youth, their names have been used interchangeably as if they were completely identical.   Last week, however, the Left revealed just how much it has parted ways from historical liberalism.   It would appear that there is now not the slightest vestige of liberalism lingering within it, merely the totalitarianism that had previously reared its head in the Cromwellian Protectorate, the French Reign of Terror, and in every state unfortunate enough to be taken over by the Bolsheviks.   Utterly illiberal, it tolerates no divergence from its thought and mercilessly persecutes all who dissent.


The word liberal is derived from the Latin adjective liberalis.   My pocket Collins  Latin Dictionary defines this word as meaning “of freedom, of free citizens, gentlemanly, honourable, generous, liberal; handsome”.   Turning to Charlton Lewis and Charles Short for a more extensive definition I find that they begin by relating the word to the shorter root adjective liber (long i, with a short i it becomes the noun meaning book) and thus gives as its first meaning “of or belonging to freedom, relating to the freeborn condition of a man”.  The second definition is “befitting a freeman, gentlemanly, noble, noble-minded, honourable, ingenuous, gracious, kind.”   I will not cite all the sub definitions given for the second, just B. 1., which is “Bountiful, generous, munificent, liberal”.


The short version of all of that is that for the ancient Romans, the adjective liberalis first designated the condition of being free rather than a slave, and in its secondary connotations denoted the kind of character and behaviour that the Romans saw as being appropriate to someone with free status, e.g., graciousness, kindness and generosity.   Before it came to be used as a political label the English word liberal was pretty much an approximation of its Latin ancestor.   This gives us something of an idea of what those who originally applied this term to themselves as a political designation must have thought of themselves.    Frankly, I am of the opinion that they thought far too highly of themselves and this term is singularly inappropriate for the heirs of the religious fanatics who murdered King Charles I, outlawed Christmas, stripped the Churches of artwork and music, shut down the theatres, and imposed Sabbatarian restrictions so severe that they would have made the Pharisees of old blush and of the Manchester plutocrats who enclosed the commons, legalized usury, and drove the peasants from the countryside into the cities to subsist on servile labour in ugly, smelly, factories.   To be fair, a similar analysis of the Latin root of conservative would suggest that in its political usage it refers to everything those so designated have failed to accomplish.


That having been said, there is much to appreciate in the ideas put forward in the book which more-or-less defined liberalism when it was at its best in the nineteenth to early twentieth centuries.   No, I am not referring to John Locke’s Two Treatises, which in its response to Sir Robert Filmer provides us with what is perhaps the earliest example of mere contradiction being taken for refutation or debunking, the phenomenon that has become the working principle of news and social media “fact checkers”.   Locke’s book contains only one worthy idea and no, it is not his bastardization of Thomas Hobbes’ concepts of the “state of nature” and “social contract” but his idea of the basic rights of life, liberty, and property.  This, however, as Sir William Blackstone later demonstrated, was present in Common Law long before Locke.   The book that I am talking about is John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty (1859).   It is an argument for the need for restrictions and limitations on government to protect the freedom of the governed.   While it contains much historical nonsense and Mill makes the repugnant false ethic of utilitarianism the entire foundation of his argument, a great deal of what he says about freedom and limited government has merit.   Freedom of thought or opinion, Mill argued, was the most fundamental freedom of all, and attempts to suppress opinions, even ones that are entirely false, by limiting freedom of speech, are always bad.


Clearly, the present day Left is light years removed from Mill on this matter.


That this is the case has been evident for quite some time.   For decades the Left has favoured legislation prohibiting what it calls “hate speech”.   “Hate speech”, as the Left uses it, has never meant speech that actually expresses hatred, such as, most obviously, “I hate you”.   Indeed, there has never been a “hate speech” law passed to the best of my knowledge under which someone could be charged for saying “I hate you”.   What the Left means by “hate speech” is speech that they consider to be “racist” or “anti-Semitic” or “anti-immigrant” or “xenophobic” or “sexist” or “homophobic” or “transphobic” or characterized by any other such weaponized word that they have coined to refer to ideas and opinions with which they disagree.   The Left considers “hate speech” to be a form of violence and supports this contention by comparing it to incitement.   There is no substance to this argument, however, because “hate speech” laws do not merely commit the redundancy of prohibiting people from explicitly suggesting, encouraging, or calling for violent action towards the groups they wish to protect which sort of thing was already covered by existing incitement laws that were are far superior to “hate speech” laws because they protect everybody and not just select groups.   Rather, they prohibit the communication of information and opinions, whether true or false, that reflect negatively on protected groups in a way that might, possibly, inspire someone to commit a criminal act against them.   For all their denials – “hate speech is not free speech” – their support for this kind of legislation is clearly a rejection of Mill’s case against the suppression of thought and opinion and an embrace of a form of thought control, one which has only gotten more totalitarianism since the Left first proposed it.


Although this is directly related to another way in which the Left has left liberalism behind, that is, in its abandonment of the arguments against racism, especially of the de jure discrimination type, which became prevalent about sixty years ago and which were grounded in liberalism in favour of an aggressive “anti-racism” that is actually itself racism against white people, I wish to devote an entire essay to this point and shall defer further discussion of it until that time.  What I would like to point out now is how the Left has expanded the flawed reasoning by which it equates speech it considers to be “racist”, “sexist”, etc. with violence into all-purpose argument for suppressing any information and opinions which contradict its own narratives.


In the aftermath of what transpired in Washington DC on Epiphany, the Democrat-dominated House of Representatives in the United States has for a second time voted for Articles of Impeachment against the current president of the American republic, a man whom the Left hates like it has hated no other political leader before him.    Last time, they accused him of colluding with the Russians to steal the 2016 election.   This time, they are accusing him of inciting an insurrection by claiming that the 2020 election was stolen from him.    Tempting as it is to focus on the glaring hypocrisy, especially since insurrection more accurately describes the BLM riots that the Democrats and the Left in general have turned a blind eye to or endorsed out of their refusal to accept Trump’s election of four years prior, the point is to be found in the fact that in nothing Donald the Orange said, either on social media or in the address he gave to the throngs who showed up to the massive rally before the Washington Monument to show their support, was there anything that could legitimately be considered incitement.   Not when incitement is understood, as it traditionally has been, to take the form of “I want you to do X” with X being some form of violent or criminal behaviour.   The Left here is applying the same kind of bad reasoning that underlies its support for prohibiting “hate speech” – “saying Y about Z could make someone angry against Z and if someone is angry against Z he might turn violent against Z, therefore saying Y about Z should be considered the equivalent of indictment and banned” to justify suppression of a completely different kind of opinion.  


The Big Tech companies that control the largest social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, marching in step with the Democrats – or rather it was more like the other way around – threw the President of the United States of America off their platforms, using the same faulty justification, and then proceeded to purge their platforms of thousands of his supporters as well.   Then, having basically told thousands of people “if you don’t like our rules, go to our competitors”, they immediately proceeded to attempt to drive those competitors, such as Twitter competitor Parler, out of business.  When the internet first went online, many had seen it as a way of escaping the near monopoly on the sharing of information that the Left, which already dominated the major news and entertainment media corporations, possessed.   Now, however, with Big Tech controlling most of the platforms that people have come to regard as a kind of public forum, aligning itself with the Left, purging its platforms of those who dissent from the Left and ruthlessly eliminating competitors that allow for more freedom of thought, the Left is seeking to make its control on the sharing of information and opinion absolute and total.


Clearly, the Left has completely abandoned the liberalism of men like J. S. Mill in substance and spirit, and if it continues to maintain any sort of outward pretense of liberalism, it will be out of either sheer hypocrisy or an utter lack of self-awareness.


As many problems as there are with a conservatism that offers nothing but (classical) liberalism, it is to be preferred a billion times over a Left in which nothing of liberalism, neither its freedom nor the generosity and munificence to which it seems to have aspired in naming itself liberal, remains.