Author Topic: Conservatism needs work 2.0  (Read 8064 times)

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Offline Remius

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Conservatism needs work 2.0
« on: June 28, 2018, 08:32:13 »
So I figure that this take on Stephen Harper working to redefine conservatism would be a good re-start to this thread.

 https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-stephen-harper-finally-reveals-his-hidden-agenda/

He's been busy on the speaking circuit and certainly offers and interesting counter to populism and protectionism while still maintaining his conservative approach.

I look forward to seeing what his book has to offer.
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Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2018, 11:09:06 »
...I look forward to seeing what his book has to offer...

And so do I. I voted for the Tories almost all my adult life until the last election. I voted for the Tories provincially (with some reservation, and more than a little desperation) in the recent Ontario election.

IMHO somewhere along the way, principled and reasonable conservatism in the West lost its way and drifted towards a swamp populated by monsters like racism, isolationism, homophobia, misogyny, religious fundamentalism, nativism, anti-intellectualism, anti-science and a stupid sort of black and white interpretation of complicated issues. In other words, an appeal to the lowest and nastiest common denominator.

Notice, though, that I said  "drifted towards", not "drifted into".  Moderate and intelligent conservatism is not lost, and there are plenty of decent people in its ranks. I did not love Harper, but in retrospect he was not the worst PM we ever had, not by a long shot. John Tory, the Mayor of Toronto, is a moderate conservative in great contrast to the bombastic populist who preceded Tory, but who would also have styled himself as a "conservative". Also in retrospect (and contrary to my thoughts at the time) Kelly Leitch had some merit to what she proposed. She was also an educated professional with a solid grounding in science.

Conservatism can easily come back into power in this country with a healthy majority, if it avoids the swamp, and the huge temptation to play to the lowest common denominator.
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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2018, 18:34:28 »
Long read from Deirdre McCloskey, relevant to the direction conservativism should take.  It consists of several chapters of a forthcoming book.

Manifesto for a Humane True
Libertarianism
(PDF)


"I make here the case for a new and humane version of what is often called
“libertarianism.”"
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Offline FJAG

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2018, 21:08:34 »
Like you I voted Conservative in the last Ontario election with more than a little trepidation.

I consider it the litmus test. There's enough depth in the current Ontario cabinet to provide some levelling and stability. I'm waiting with bated breath to see how it works out.

 :pop:
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Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2018, 07:56:20 »
Like you I voted Conservative in the last Ontario election with more than a little trepidation.

I consider it the litmus test. There's enough depth in the current Ontario cabinet to provide some levelling and stability. I'm waiting with bated breath to see how it works out.

 :pop:

I grew up in Blue Ontario, with Bill Davis and the gang. It seemed to work well enough, and it could again. We'll see, I guess. I was not a fan of Harris, although some of his reforms like municipal amalgamations and downloading of services like EMS to counties and regions seem to have worked: the Liberals didn't touch them.

For me,the choice was a bit forced. At first, I didn't really know what to do.  I was not at all impressed by the Tories' self-immolation as a result of the Brown mess, and I was not encouraged by ranting extreme social conservatives like Granic-Allen. (I've read the Ontario sex ed curriculum and I really don't know what the hell she and the rest of her gang were on about. It's pretty vanilla, really)

I would never vote NDP: I see that as the high road to a real socialist hell, especially at a time when Ontario needs a business-oriented government more than ever. The Liberals were well past their best before date, and clearly suffering from what I call "second term-itis", which IMHO is a disease endemic to the Canadian political system.

That left the Tories. I was impressed by the disappearance of Granic-Allen (I think Ford realized she was a liability), and I truly believed that the Tories were the best party in tough economic times. I was reinforced in that belief by Ford's early statement as Premier-elect that he would stand by the Trudeau Govt against US protectionism.

They may still have some extreme social conservatism baggage (like the CPC did when they first got in), but I believe that they will have their hands full on the fiscal/economic front for the next couple of years anyway. Ontario is a manufacturing, farming and trading province, with a very heavy cross-border freight volume. US protectionism could be lethal to Ontario, and to any government that looks like it can't handle the fight.

So, I'm willing to give Premier Ford a chance. I'll watch very closely, but I'll try to be fair. In the end, I am in complete agreement with George Washington's skepticism about the party system:
Quote
"However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion."
.

The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline mariomike

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2018, 10:24:54 »
I was not a fan of Harris, although some of his reforms like municipal amalgamations and downloading of services like EMS to counties and regions seem to have worked: the Liberals didn't touch them.

The amalgamation of Toronto made it the fourth largest municipality in North America, behind Mexico City, Los Angeles, and New York.

Only the six fire departments were affected. Metro Police ( 1957 ) and Paramedics ( 1967 ) were already amalgamated.

I was not at all impressed by the Tories' self-immolation as a result of the Brown mess, and I was not encouraged by ranting extreme social conservatives like Granic-Allen. (I've read the Ontario sex ed curriculum and I really don't know what the hell she and the rest of her gang were on about. It's pretty vanilla, really)

I read this from 2015,

"Ontario’s new sex education curriculum will bring it “up to speed” with most other provinces across the country, experts in the fields of sexual health and education said this week."
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/02/26/how-ontarios-new-sex-education-program-compares-to-other-provinces.html

Offline FJAG

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2018, 20:37:53 »
. . . I was not encouraged by ranting extreme social conservatives like Granic-Allen. (I've read the Ontario sex ed curriculum and I really don't know what the hell she and the rest of her gang were on about. It's pretty vanilla, really)
. . .

Same here. This is one of those issues that I'll be watching. The most recent statement by the new Minister of Education indicates that they will scrap it and roll back to the 1998 curriculum while they study the issue and consult with a larger group of parents.

I don't see how they can avoid the rollback since that was a big campaign promise. What I want to see is the degree of consultation and how much they'll be influenced by the conservative and religious groups who opposed it rather than by the majority of the public who have no problem with the new curriculum. That's a long term issue to watch for.

 :cheers:
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Offline beirnini

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2018, 04:04:48 »
So I figure that this take on Stephen Harper working to redefine conservatism would be a good re-start to this thread.

 https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-stephen-harper-finally-reveals-his-hidden-agenda/

He's been busy on the speaking circuit and certainly offers and interesting counter to populism and protectionism while still maintaining his conservative approach.

I look forward to seeing what his book has to offer.

Whatever his contributions to conservative politics can someone explain how Stephen Harper himself retains any respect among enlisted members? The guy white-washed the murder of one of our own, PPCLI Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener at the hands of the IDF (read the first link for the gory details):
Quote
the Canadian official inquiry into the Canadian soldier’s killing was mysteriously removed from their government’s websites for “security reasons”. Just what these security reasons were, the Canadian authorities did not explain.
This is in addition to his total lack of leadership vis-a-vis the Yanks and the war in Iraq. I really don't get how his name alone doesn't conjure some kind of reflexive disgust, apprehension and distrust (similar to Bob Rae does with "Rae Days") among members of the CAF.

Offline Remius

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2018, 10:15:17 »
Whatever his contributions to conservative politics can someone explain how Stephen Harper himself retains any respect among enlisted members? The guy white-washed the murder of one of our own, PPCLI Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener at the hands of the IDF (read the first link for the gory details):This is in addition to his total lack of leadership vis-a-vis the Yanks and the war in Iraq. I really don't get how his name alone doesn't conjure some kind of reflexive disgust, apprehension and distrust (similar to Bob Rae does with "Rae Days") among members of the CAF.

Maybe start a thread on that subject?  This is an issue not really related to the topic.  It might merit its own discussion.
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Online SeaKingTacco

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2018, 11:03:05 »
I'm nearly certain one already exists on this subject.

Offline mariomike

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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2018, 03:03:01 »
Maybe start a thread on that subject?  This is an issue not really related to the topic.  It might merit its own discussion.

Go for it. There's lots of US vs Humanity, US vs the Metaphysical Universe, etc. Maybe Canada vs  Israel which will birth the child thread Canada vs IDF where the discussion can take place?

Just start it in the right spot.😉
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Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2018, 07:58:08 »
Brad Sallows:Thanks for introducing me to McCloskey. I'm reading it on vacation. So far I agree with almost everything she says. She lays into both the Left and the Right, which is roughly how I see things. Unfortunately she probably wouldn't be allowed to speak at many Canadian universities.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline mariomike

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2018, 19:42:17 »
I was not encouraged by ranting extreme social conservatives like Granic-Allen. (I've read the Ontario sex ed curriculum and I really don't know what the hell she and the rest of her gang were on about. It's pretty vanilla, really)

Not vanilla enough, apparently,
https://www.blogto.com/city/2018/07/ontario-sex-ed-curriculum/

Offline Infanteer

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2018, 23:07:54 »
Odd...as a parent I've never concerned myself with whether the school is or isn't teaching my kid about sexual and social issues at specific grades.  I always thought that was my job.
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline mariomike

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2018, 23:23:12 »
Odd...as a parent I've never concerned myself with whether the school is or isn't teaching my kid about sexual and social issues at specific grades.  I always thought that was my job.

In Ontario, it's a major concern  - for some.
https://www.google.com/search?biw=1280&bih=603&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=hslGW_6sOcjCjwT7-6q4CQ&q=sex+education+protest&oq=sex+education+protest&gs_l=img.12...0.0.0.1576.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0....0...1c..64.img..0.0.0....0.hfA5AKlsobE
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 23:29:55 by mariomike »

Offline Cloud Cover

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2018, 23:28:34 »
Parents  can’t be trusted with something like that. That’s the message I’m hearing from teachers unions, university and college unions, opposition parties, academics, activist groups etc.
Also, many educators are currently rewriting lesson plans to match learning outcomes that do not include the recently retired indigenous curricular, with a stunning requirement to focus on applied learning relative to the program of instruction which must deliver employable skills tuned to the current and forecasted labour market. Crazy, radical stuff.

Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2018, 10:08:02 »
I'd rather see them teach cursive writing and proper math.
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Offline Remius

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2018, 12:11:26 »
Private school.  Plenty of basics like cursive writing there.  Sad that our system has to be so crappy.
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Offline RomeoJuliet

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2018, 16:23:33 »
I'd rather see them teach cursive writing and proper math.
Curious. What is your standard for proper math?  Are you referring to Ontario, other provinces or Canada as a whole? Have you looked at curricula for the provinces or taught in a classroom recently?


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Offline Remius

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2018, 16:32:38 »
Curious. What is your standard for proper math?  Are you referring to Ontario, other provinces or Canada as a whole? Have you looked at curricula for the provinces or taught in a classroom recently?


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I think Ontario uses discovery math or something like that...
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Offline PuckChaser

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2018, 17:02:54 »
I think Ontario uses discovery math or something like that...
They do. Japan and Korea wipe the floor with us in mathematics. Let's take their program instead of inventing something else.

Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2018, 19:34:27 »
Parents  can’t be trusted with something like that. That’s the message I’m hearing from teachers unions, university and college unions, opposition parties, academics, activist groups etc.
Also, many educators are currently rewriting lesson plans to match learning outcomes that do not include the recently retired indigenous curricular, with a stunning requirement to focus on applied learning relative to the program of instruction which must deliver employable skills tuned to the current and forecasted labour market. Crazy, radical stuff.

I voted for the Tories, but this issue has always bothered me.  I continue to doubt that most (or any) of the people opposing the sex ed curriculum of the last Govt actually even read it. And of those who actually read it, how many approached it objectively, as opposed to starting with preconceptions? Could the curriculum have been adjusted? Probably, although IMHO there was no need. But adjustment would have been much better than reversion to 1998.

Clearly, the Liberals pooched the parental consultation, quite badly. One parent per school is obviously inadequate silliness.Broader consultation was a much better idea.  But that in itself doesn't invalidate the curriculum.

In my opinion the Tories are pandering to certain relatively narrow factions, just as I referred to in my earlier post. In some cases, these factions hold views I doubt represent anything like a majority of Ontarians, regardless of how people voted.

But what about leavng it to parents? That hasn't been done since I was in  public school in the 1960s, but what about it? Can all parents really  be trusted to teach their kids that young girls have the right to resist sexual demands from adult men? That a man doesn't have the right to rape his wife, or daughters? That gay or trans people are real ( not "unscientific theories" as per Granic-Allen et al), and have the same rights as everybody else? That we should call feet, eyes, arms, legs, penis and vagina by their proper names?

Maybe, or maybe not. How well do all parents do with geography, math, history or civics? How we think about sexual relations is how we think about people. And that, I think, is why this is so contentious. To me, the public education system has always, always passed  on and reinforced societal values: not just teaching the "Three R's"  but shaping citizens. At least, it always did when I was in it. Tokerance and protecting tge vulnerable are some of those values, or at least I thought they were, no matter if you are Tory, Liberal, or whatever.

Finally, I think we should be careful how far we stoop to get votes, lest we wake up one morning and find out that we regret the result of pandering to people who don't  hold mainstream values.

Maybe Kelly Leitch had a point with her "Canadian values" test.


« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 19:38:22 by pbi »
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline RomeoJuliet

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2018, 20:24:55 »
They do. Japan and Korea wipe the floor with us in mathematics. Let's take their program instead of inventing something else.
‘Of the 72 countries and economies participating in the assessment, only three —Singapore, Japan, and Estonia—outperformed Canada.’ Source: https://www.cmec.ca/251/Programme_for_International_Student_Assessment_(PISA).html

PISA 2015 key findings for Canada http://www.oecd.org/canada/pisa-2015-canada.htm

Can we do better?  Absolutely. We are doing pretty damn good though.


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Offline PuckChaser

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2018, 20:41:59 »
That's Canada-wide average. How do we compare as a province? Is Ontario dragging that average down?

Offline RomeoJuliet

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2018, 20:51:47 »
That's Canada-wide average. How do we compare as a province? Is Ontario dragging that average down?


Ontario: not too bad at all
PISA QUICK FACTS

The average Ontario science score was 524 in 2015, compared to 527 in 2012.
Students from six jurisdictions (Singapore, Alberta, British Columbia, Japan, Quebec and Estonia) had science results that were statistically higher than Ontario’s.1
Ontario students matched the Canadian average for both the test overall and all the science subskills evaluated.
As in all Canadian provinces, no gender differences in overall science were observed in Ontario.


The average Ontario reading score was 527 in 2015, compared to 528 in 2012.
In 2015, no jurisdictions had results statistically higher than Ontario’s.
Ontario students’ reading achievement matched the Canadian average.


After a decline in math between 2003 and 2012, the performance of Ontario students remained stable over the 2012 to 2015 period.
In 2015, students from 11 jurisdictions (Singapore, Hong Kong‒China, Quebec, Macao‒China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, BSJG‒China, Korea, Switzerland, Estonia and Canada) performed better than Ontario’s in math.
Among Canadian provinces, only Quebec had results statistically higher than Ontario’s. Ontario students performed just below the Canadian students’ average, and they are still among the top 25% of participating jurisdictions.




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Offline Infanteer

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2018, 20:55:30 »
But what about leavng it to parents? That hasn't been done since I was in  public school in the 1960s, but what about it? Can all parents really be trusted

Maybe my point didn't come across well.  What I was getting at was that it is a parents job to discuss with a child what the child is being taught at school.  Parents should be more focused on talking with their kids as opposed to running around with signs and protesting the curriculum.

As others pointed out, if there is something to really be concerned about in the curriculum, this is it.
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Cloud Cover

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2018, 22:17:16 »
How about we are not allowed to give a grade of zero for crap work. How about we can’t remove students who grab and twist the crotch of other students they feel are inferior. How about the fact parents sue teachers and school boards because little Susie isn’t happy with the fact her “safe space” is not a place for her to use as a shield while she throws her venom at others. Everything has gone too far, and far too many parents are interested in litigation and defamation rather than take responsibility for the few precious lives our country brings into this world.
PBI is correct in an oblique way, things went off the rails in the 60’s. And he’s also right that schools have an obligation to reinforce gender and sexual identification, but I think where we differ ( and I admit I am on the inside teaching in two levels of education)  is the boomerang effect on kids (less than 16 YOA) who are being tracked by teachers or faculty for extra “reinforcement”, or who are too often ridiculed for not wanting to be “outed” or willing to join a GSA, or who often may not fall into any category other than straight, but most common of all those who are simply too damned young to know and feel more confused about that one issue which derails them when we really need them most to focus on succeeding in basic educational skills.
Further, as of yesterday we ditched discovery math. At the post secondary level, we see that high school experiment failed and we have had to fill our engineering and science programs with international students.  I have more post sec students who can tell me that Sir John was an drunken land grabbing murderer of FN, than those who can tell me he was an astute politician who understood the importance of nationhood, commerce and yes, social development. After all, he was a single parent of a child with a severe disability.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 23:06:47 by whiskey601 »

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2018, 13:01:43 »
Sounds like Canadian education needs work 2.0!  Who approves this crap?  Provincial politicians or school boards?
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2018, 14:19:02 »
I don't know if it's universal (all provinces), but provincial ministries (bureaucrats, not politicians, although with some unavoidable political contamination) set most curricula.  School boards have limited authority.
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Offline Altair

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #30 on: July 13, 2018, 15:15:20 »
Same here. This is one of those issues that I'll be watching. The most recent statement by the new Minister of Education indicates that they will scrap it and roll back to the 1998 curriculum while they study the issue and consult with a larger group of parents.

I don't see how they can avoid the rollback since that was a big campaign promise. What I want to see is the degree of consultation and how much they'll be influenced by the conservative and religious groups who opposed it rather than by the majority of the public who have no problem with the new curriculum. That's a long term issue to watch for.

 :cheers:
meanwhile, in quebec.

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-ontario-rolls-back-sex-ed-curriculum-quebec-to-teach-kindergarteners-how-babies-are-made-1.4744764

Quote
But just as Ontario is set to make the change in the fall, the province of Quebec will soon start teaching sex-ed again after it was dropped from the school curriculum a decade ago. Coming in September, it will be a mandatory subject in every grade, beginning in kindergarten.

"We're actually implementing a much broader sexual education program across the board from elementary to high school, which takes into account today's reality. And certainly, with a broader lens when it comes to sexual education," said Joly.

Joly said the new changes come as a result of years of work, and after the success of three years of pilot projects in more than 200 schools across Quebec.

He said kindergarteners will be introduced to things like their body parts and how babies are made. Students will learn about same sex relationships and homophobia as early as Grades 3 and 4. More in-depth issues such as managing conflicts within relationships will be learned in older grades.

Go figure.
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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #31 on: July 13, 2018, 16:58:31 »
The furor arises over muddying the line between sex education and sexuality education, and in particular when (at what age) (and for some, if) the latter is appropriate.
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Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2018, 11:43:53 »
Maybe my point didn't come across well.  What I was getting at was that it is a parents job to discuss with a child what the child is being taught at school.  Parents should be more focused on talking with their kids as opposed to running around with signs and protesting the curriculum.

As others pointed out, if there is something to really be concerned about in the curriculum, this is it.

OK. I'm with you now. :nod:
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Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2018, 12:40:36 »
How about we are not allowed to give a grade of zero for crap work. How about we can’t remove students who grab and twist the crotch of other students they feel are inferior. How about the fact parents sue teachers and school boards because little Susie isn’t happy with the fact her “safe space” is not a place for her to use as a shield while she throws her venom at others. Everything has gone too far, and far too many parents are interested in litigation and defamation rather than take responsibility for the few precious lives our country brings into this world...

I agree fully with you. I have two teachers in my family, and I would not want their jobs. On the one hand, whiny, entitled, bitchy and unpredictably violent kids acting out in class because of the stupid, undisciplined, self-indulgent way they were raised. On the other hand, whiny, entitled, "hyper-parents" demanding that their kids be MBA-ready by age 12, and endlessly threatening the schools with this, that and everything else if little Johnny, or Omar, or Wing or Juan doesn't get straight A's, or the teacher (God forbid!!) tries to discipline the little savage. Add to that various parents trying to impose their particular cultural or religious beliefs in the classroom. SIDEBAR: One of my relatives told me about parents of a certain persuasion who advised that their little dear was not to have Pepsi at snack time because "that is made by Jews".
Add to all that an endless flow of "better ideas" from the curriculum folks, little or no prep time, and school administrations too gun shy to back up teachers, and it's a pretty difficult situation. Too bad, because education is what makes us a civilized society. If the system that delivers it is in trouble, so are we.

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PBI is correct in an oblique way, things went off the rails in the 60’s. And he’s also right that schools have an obligation to reinforce gender and sexual identification, but I think where we differ ( and I admit I am on the inside teaching in two levels of education)  is the boomerang effect on kids (less than 16 YOA) who are being tracked by teachers or faculty for extra reinforcement, or who are too often ridiculed for not wanting to be “outed” or willing to join a GSA, or who often may not fall into any category other than straight, but most common of all those who are simply too damned young to know and feel more confused about that one issue which derails them when we really need them most to focus on succeeding in basic educational skills.

I agree, mostly. I experienced the radical leftward swing in education when I entered high school in 1970. Some terrible ideas were put into practice, emanating from places like the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) which may actually have been a branch of the KGB. Even at my young age I could sense the leftward tilt of things. Now, I'm not saying we should have gone back to one room school houses and nothing but "The Three Rs", but there is a middle ground of common sense and I think that was overshot by quite a bit.

A far as LGBTQ kids go, and how they should be treated, and what kids should learn about sexual orientation, I speak from the perspective of having two gay kids (now adults), and having military friends with gay or trans kids. The most important thing (IMHO) is not to single anybody out (that can backfire, as a form of target identification), but to teach that all people need to be judged on what they do and how they treat others, and what they are capable of doing, rather than on their sexual orientation. This will never be accepted by everybody, and there will always be some parents who will be mortified by the idea that an LGBTQ person could actually be a good, productive human being. Fine. This is no different from parents who don't like the way history is taught, or don't want evolution taught in science, or don't want kids doing music or dancing, or boys and girls playing in a mixed playground., or, or, or.....

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Further, as of yesterday we ditched discovery math. At the post secondary level, we see that high school experiment failed and we have had to fill our engineering and science programs with international students.  I have more post sec students who can tell me that Sir John was an drunken land grabbing murderer of FN, than those who can tell me he was an astute politician who understood the importance of nationhood, commerce and yes, social development. After all, he was a single parent of a child with a severe disability.

Good riddance to discovery math. But it was probably only typical, anyway. Having taught a few syndicates of our best and brightest captains, I've seen the decay of basic skills such as the ability to express oneself clearly on paper or orally, or the ability to pay attention to detail. Military history (or history in general...) also seemed to me to be a dying art. If that was the case with  officers, I can only imagine how decayed things must be on civvy street. The whole business about Sir John A is really PC and victim culture gone overboard. I live in Kingston and I was very angry to see a) his statue in City Park defaced; and b) the Sir John A pub change its name. Totally unnecessary and stupid.

If (as is quite possible, and maybe even true) Sir John A or any other great figure committed sins, then let's not hide the facts. History must be truthful if it is to be valuable, warts and all. Good people do bad things. No issue there. Document the facts.

But let's not (once again...) go overboard and trash a huge part of our own history by pulling down statues or otherwise acting ashamed of people who built the foundations of this country. Some people might want to pause for a second and imagine just what the fate of this chunk of North America might have been, if not for Sir John. Instead of the shameful residential schools, we might have had a real campaign of genocide, carried out by the US Army.


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The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline ballz

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #34 on: July 15, 2018, 15:49:22 »
I think "conservatives" are split right now between social conservatives and liberty conservatives... liberty conservatives are a growing demographic and will hopefully soon be the undisputed leader of conservatives. However, they still can't lose social conservatism or the "right" will be split.

There needs to be almost a formal acknowledgement from both sides. The social conservatives need to agree that despite their personal morals / beliefs about social issues like marriage, drug use, sex, parenting, et al.... they may be right but the government shouldn't be used to force that onto everyone else.

The liberty conservatives need to do a better job of acknowledging that while the government shouldn't be used to force values on everyone else... the old traditional values espoused by social conservatives like not having recreational sex, recreational drug use, respect for your parents, eating dinner as a family, community/church involvement, the importance of marriage, etc, help keep society functioning in the absence of government intervention and should be respected/promoted.

In my opinion, if we have that, the swamp of vitriol will dry up / can simply be ignored since you'd have enough united small "c" conservatives under one tent.
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Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #35 on: July 16, 2018, 13:39:57 »
Quote
In my opinion, if we have that, the swamp of vitriol will dry up / can simply be ignored since you'd have enough united small "c" conservatives under one tent.

I am with you on this. I also agree (pretty much) with the list of values you identified as being important, but isn't imposing these also a form of "government intervention"?

The trick IMHO will be for moderate conservative leaders to avoid the strong temptation to whip up the social conservatives (especially the more extreme ones, both native-born and recent immigrant). It's quite easy to do, and produces very loud and satisfying media, but in the long run it can just promote a different form of government oppression of peoples' private lives.

I think that Harper was able to do this  balancing to a certain extent, once he got rolling, although the Tories got a bit desperate toward the end in the last federal election.
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The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline suffolkowner

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #36 on: July 16, 2018, 14:22:03 »
I certainly wish there was more libertarian in the conservatism on offer today, I just don't see it. The political landscape is just dominated by bribing voters with a continual onslaught of subsidies,tax breaks and blind ideology no matter what the real cost while bitching about taxes the very next morning at Tim's.

With regards to education, I'm not sure when this golden age ever existed. Not for my parent's educated in one room school houses. It wasn't even that long ago that teachers themselves were barely educated past grade 13. Math itself is not a strong point for most people in my opinion, were my parents better at repetitive addition than my children, for sure. Better at mathematics as a whole, not by a long shot. I don't know really anything about Discovery math but I'm guessing it was at least partially driven in an attempt to get more students to complete their schooling with greater skills than previous students had acquired. Until recently I think the number of students completing secondary school had been around 67%(?), I think a lot of effort in recent years has been to push students through and graduate them from secondary school at what ever the cost in overall quality of education level. Cursive writing, like most I was taught it, I'm trying to remember the last time I used it or even saw it, decades at least now.

Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #37 on: July 16, 2018, 14:37:11 »
I use cursive writing everyday. I think it's horrible when I see senior students etc badly printing their name in the signature block. It looks like it was signed by my 5 year old grandson. Important documents like copies of the charter or constitution in their original cursive writing will be unintelligible to those attempting to read them in that form.

My grandson will know cursive. Maybe I'm a dinosaur, but I think it's still important.
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #38 on: July 16, 2018, 14:49:31 »
I agree with a move to a more libertarian stance. There is too much government intrusion into our lives. Peace, order and good government is gone, but not so far that we can't get it back with more personal involvement and not backing off on our demands to those in power that used to take care and work for us. Governments need to go back to their role of employee, not employer
They work for us. We should be telling them what and what not to do. Not the other way around. Mechanics need to be put in place so that when they don't follow direction, they can be bounced from power immediately. Not four years later, when we're on the other side of the precipice and the damage is irreparable.
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Offline Remius

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2018, 14:50:31 »
I use cursive writing everyday. I think it's horrible when I see senior students etc badly printing their name in the signature block. It looks like it was signed by my 5 year old grandson. Important documents like copies of the charter or constitution in their original cursive writing will be unintelligible to those attempting to read them in that form.

My grandson will know cursive. Maybe I'm a dinosaur, but I think it's still important.

Some states in the US are going back to it.

https://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/classroom-resources/5-reasons-cursive-writing-should-be-taught-in-school/

My son's private school teaches it from day one.  Including kindergarten where they are taught how to properly hold a writing tool, be it a pen or pencil or crayon.

It is still important.  For various reasons.

I compare it to a compass/GPS issue.  Who needs a compass when you have GPS right?  We all know the answer to that.
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #40 on: July 16, 2018, 15:10:28 »
God bless my daughter and son in law for trying to hold things together in this age. Public or separate schools were their only choice. My grandson would just be starting kindergarten now. I've been paying his tuition, to Montessori, for two years. I will continue to pay his tuition till he's equipped to exceĺ above the public system. He is 5. He can print. He can print complete sentences. He can read every book he has(lots). He can do basic math and and knows money. In the public system he'd be playing with blocks in his first year.

I won't deny paying for private education is hard. When I look at where our country might be in 20 years, I'll be confident that he'll be equipped for whatever comes his way. I will afford him whatever I can to excel above his publically educated counterparts.
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Offline RomeoJuliet

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #41 on: July 16, 2018, 15:19:42 »
God bless my daughter and son in law for trying to hold things together in this age. Public or separate schools were their only choice. My grandson would just be starting kindergarten now. I've been paying his tuition, to Montessori, for two years. I will continue to pay his tuition till he's equipped to exceĺ above the public system. He is 5. He can print. He can print complete sentences. He can read every book he has(lots). He can do basic math and and knows money. In the public system he'd be playing with blocks in his first year.

I won't deny paying for private education is hard. When I look at where our country might be in 20 years, I'll be confident that he'll be equipped for whatever comes his way. I will afford him whatever I can to excel above his publically educated counterparts.
Having taught in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America I can personally attest to the excellence of our publicly funded education systems in Canada. The data (both quantitative and qualitative) bear this out. Can we improve? Absolutely. My wife and I can most certainly afford to send our child to a private school but why would we when our public school are so good? 


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Offline ballz

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #42 on: July 16, 2018, 15:25:04 »
I am with you on this. I also agree (pretty much) with the list of values you identified as being important, but isn't imposing these also a form of "government intervention"?

I don't think any of those values should be "imposed" thats why I used the words "respected/promoted."

Also, because its of personal interest to yourself, when I said "marriage" I didn't mean to promote "traditional marriage." I was talking about the ideas surrounding marriage that promote that marriage is an important commitment, divorce shouldnt be taken lightly, raising a family is a two-person job, etc. All of which should be promoted but certainly not imposed. I dont think the gov't should be in business of "licensing" marriages at all.
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #43 on: July 16, 2018, 15:34:03 »
I'm not condemning the public system, I just don't know if it will meet our needs in 20 years. I don't like the social engineering and constant change in curriculums. My grandson is also starting to speak Mandarin, French and Spanish. Sentences, not just odd words
Will all the others stuff already mentioned, hes well on his way already. Not heading to school for the first time to sing songs in kindergarten. Hes already ahead of the curve and I will afford the opportunity for him to continue till he decides otherwise.

Given all that, we all still support the public system through our taxes. Some people think us seniors don't continue to pay our share in retirement. I'm paying both. My choice and I'm not screaming an entitlement to only pay private and not public. It's just the way it is.
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Offline suffolkowner

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #44 on: July 16, 2018, 15:37:26 »
It's one thing to learn cursive or math in school it's another to be proficient at it. I feel I would struggle greatly to write in cursive today and for what purpose? Does my pen break today, will my ink run out. Those were reasons to use cursive in the past that don't exist today. My children were taught cursive, is it a sure thing that it's not taught in school today. It's not a hill i'm going to die on just a curiosity. I doubt that the one third of students that have historically failed to complete secondary school were ever proficient at any of these tasks. I'm far more concerned with the lack of history and science being taught in high school.

Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #45 on: July 16, 2018, 16:01:05 »
I don't think any of those values should be "imposed" thats why I used the words "respected/promoted."

Also, because its of personal interest to yourself, when I said "marriage" I didn't mean to promote "traditional marriage." I was talking about the ideas surrounding marriage that promote that marriage is an important commitment, divorce shouldnt be taken lightly, raising a family is a two-person job, etc. All of which should be promoted but certainly not imposed. I dont think the gov't should be in business of "licensing" marriages at all.

OK, seen.

I am glad to hear that you don't limit the institution of marriage to its "traditional" definition., although I have now spent 35 years in a traditional marriage.

What matters to me in describing marriage and a stable family life is the conviction, dedication and patience necessary to make a marriage work, and the endless effort to raise kids with some semblance of decency and responsibility in their characters. Not what sex the couple are.  People aren't automatically good parents because of their sexual orientation: there are excellent hetero parents and there are terrible gay parents. But there are vice versa too: "traditional" marriage (as that term is most commonly used) is not really a guarantee of anything, that I can see.

Whose business is it, really, if two people of consenting age (and sufficient maturity) love each other and want to establish a stable and lasting relationship? If no harm is done, and nobody is taken advantage of or abused, then I say it really is their business alone.

But I fear I do preach too much.
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Offline Loachman

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #46 on: July 16, 2018, 16:27:56 »
My grandson would just be starting kindergarten now. I've been paying his tuition, to Montessori, for two years. I will continue to pay his tuition till he's equipped to exceĺ above the public system. He is 5. He can print. He can print complete sentences. He can read every book he has(lots). He can do basic math and and knows money. In the public system he'd be playing with blocks in his first year.

My first exposure to the Canadian/Ontarian education system was in September 1965. I was immediately underwhelmed by my classmates' inability to read smoothly (listening to their halting, broken efforts was painful), write coherently, spell with any accuracy, or do simple arithmetic.

I was put in with my age group upon arrival, but was two or three years ahead educationally.

We did not waste a whole year with half-day kindergartenish games and naps. We began spelling, reading, and basic arithmetic on our first day - and a full day, at that. Standards were high. There was a lot of rote learning (like multiplication tables), yes, and while that may not have been fun at the time (but we just did it, and I do not recall any complaints), it still serves me well. It probably got me through Aircrew Selection - there was no interweb when I did that, and no means of preparing. Everybody went into it cold, and the same went for CFAT (if it was even called that when I went Regular Force in 1978). I broke the record on the CF Staff School threshold grammar test in early 1988, and credit that to my early education in England (plus a few well-above-average teachers here, later).

My sister, four years younger, began school in Ontario and wasted that first kindergarten year. I could not understand the reason behind kindergarten at all. She, like my classmates, had great difficulty reading in the early grades. I tried to help, baffled when she stumbled over simple words. "You know that word", I'd say. "We haven't taken in yet", was her response. "Sound it out". She couldn't. "Whole word learning" was the concept; sounding words out was just not done. I considered that to be ridiculous, even at ten or eleven. Eventually, I got her reading the proper way.

I am a big believer in giving a solid foundation in basics, including history and geography, which is one of the prime reasons that I go back to my old high school for the Remembrance Day speaking programme. It is heartening to see that at least some teachers and students care, and that the unusually high standard at Stratford Northwestern has not visibly declined since the mid-seventies.

My last ex-wife was a high school teacher, and believed that it was and more important to teach kids where to find information than to actually know any. If one does not know anything, though, how does one know what information to seek?

She also had lots of complaints about the education system, but was clueless regarding corrective measures.

Offline Loachman

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #47 on: July 16, 2018, 16:49:14 »
I am glad to hear that you don't limit the institution of marriage to its "traditional" definition., although I have now spent 35 years in a traditional marriage.

I view "marriage" in traditional terms, as it originally was: a religious construct, and the purview of the Church (synagogue/mosque/temple/wherever the Flying Spaghetti Monster hangs out/etcetera).

There is a contractual/legal side as well, which is the purview of applicable governments: registration/divorce laws/benefits such as pensions/etcetera. Civil, Common-Law, and Elvis-in-Las-Vegas marriages meet those requirements.

Most people seem to like some sort of ceremony on top of the contractual side, which may or may not be religious, and that is entirely up to their discretion. As long as no laws are broken in the process, the ceremonial aspect is no business of anybody beyond the Happy Couple (whatever its component parts may be).

And should that be limited to a "couple"? I find it odd that three or more people can live together in a sexual relationship completely legally as long as they are "single", but commit a crime if they all "marry". Informal polygamy is legal, but formal polygamy is not.

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #48 on: July 17, 2018, 07:42:35 »
I view "marriage" in traditional terms, as it originally was: a religious construct, and the purview of the Church (synagogue/mosque/temple/wherever the Flying Spaghetti Monster hangs out/etcetera).

There is a contractual/legal side as well, which is the purview of applicable governments: registration/divorce laws/benefits such as pensions/etcetera. Civil, Common-Law, and Elvis-in-Las-Vegas marriages meet those requirements.

Most people seem to like some sort of ceremony on top of the contractual side, which may or may not be religious, and that is entirely up to their discretion. As long as no laws are broken in the process, the ceremonial aspect is no business of anybody beyond the Happy Couple (whatever its component parts may be).

And should that be limited to a "couple"? I find it odd that three or more people can live together in a sexual relationship completely legally as long as they are "single", but commit a crime if they all "marry". Informal polygamy is legal, but formal polygamy is not.

I'm too lazy to dig our citations (Diarmed MacCulloch would be one source) but in Christendom, at least (I don't know about the Jews) the church didn't take any interest in common marriages until some time around the year 1,000. The Church was very interested in the marriage contracts of the nobility and so on, but ordinary people made what were, essentially, civll contracts ... usually in front of family members, sometimes for prosperous commoners in front of the whole village.

As stone churches became more common they were the "best" place in the village and many marriages were celebrated on the church steps ~ rather like my son and daughter-in-law who chose (and paid heavily for a permit for) a site for their wedding which had the iconic Sydney Opera House as a backdrop. Some clerics began to see this as a good source of revenue and offered, for a small fee, to officiate at the ceremony ... but, in most of the Anglo-Saxon world (including in Hong Kong) we still have a formal, civil, contractual element of marriage that s required even if a marriage is officiated by a clergyman.

Maybe the "traditional," "religious construct" isn't as traditional as we believe.
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Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #49 on: July 17, 2018, 13:31:29 »
I view "marriage" in traditional terms, as it originally was: a religious construct, and the purview of the Church (synagogue/mosque/temple/wherever the Flying Spaghetti Monster hangs out/etcetera).

I did not mean, at all, to demean traditional marriage between a man and a woman (after all, that's what I've been up to for the last good while...), nor did I want to question anybody who wants their faith to have a place in the marriage ceremony, which we also did. That is all good and I would never take that away from people.

What I don't understand at all, is why some people who enjoy the benefits of a faith-based, traditional marriage seem so vocal about denying the same happiness to people who are different. To say that gay marriage is a "threat" to traditional marriage makes no sense to me at all. The players are in two different leagues. IMHO the threat to traditional marriage (if there is one) is divorce and possibly lack of commitment. Those things end more traditional marriages than anything else: the fact that gay people might get married seems to me to pose very little threat to hetero couples who also want to tie the knot.

Hmmmm....we might have strayed off topic here a bit..... :orly:
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Offline FJAG

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #50 on: July 17, 2018, 14:53:27 »
I'm too lazy to dig our citations (Diarmed MacCulloch would be one source) but in Christendom, at least (I don't know about the Jews) the church didn't take any interest in common marriages until some time around the year 1,000. The Church was very interested in the marriage contracts of the nobility and so on, but ordinary people made what were, essentially, civll contracts ... usually in front of family members, sometimes for prosperous commoners in front of the whole village.

As stone churches became more common they were the "best" place in the village and many marriages were celebrated on the church steps ~ rather like my son and daughter-in-law who chose (and paid heavily for a permit for) a site for their wedding which had the iconic Sydney Opera House as a backdrop. Some clerics began to see this as a good source of revenue and offered, for a small fee, to officiate at the ceremony ... but, in most of the Anglo-Saxon world (including in Hong Kong) we still have a formal, civil, contractual element of marriage that s required even if a marriage is officiated by a clergyman.

Maybe the "traditional," "religious construct" isn't as traditional as we believe.

Interesting information that. It got me looking into things a bit further.

I specifically looked at ancient Roman marriages because after the birth of Christianity and for a while thereafter, Roman law and society were the go-to standard (if not the traditional or even prevailing standard)

Roman marriages were monogamous (one man, one woman) when much of the Mediterranean world was into the one man, multiple wives scenario.

Religious ceremonies were a very rare event used only in the highest of patrician families in the course of a confarreatio (or sharing of spelt bread) wedding ceremony. For lesser patricians the ceremony was not so much religious but merely an acknowledgement that the bride was moving from being under the power (manus or hand) of her father to that of her husband. I think that the reason we still have the father of the bride giving his daughter's hand in marriage relates back to the manus concept. Amongst plebeians, the typical marriage was either by coemptio, (purchase) or by usus (habitual cohabitation)

In general the whole thing was contractual (either between the father of the bride and the putative husband or as between the two parties themselves if they simply drifted into habitual cohabitation.) and not religious.

For anyone more interested, look here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_in_ancient_Rome

 :cheers:
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Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #51 on: July 24, 2018, 06:20:39 »
Here is a very good piece by Harper's former Comms director. It goes back to a point I tried to make earlier on these pages about the need for moderate conservatives to be careful who they share a trench with, and why accuracy, truthfulness and avoiding Twitter mudslinging will gain the moral high ground much faster:[urlhttp://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/conservatives-migrant-ad-1.4758616][/url]
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The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #52 on: July 24, 2018, 09:06:31 »
Here is a very good piece by Harper's former Comms director.

I feel that this point is particularly valid.
Quote
Yes, there are frothing trolls on both sides, but sadly those on the right tend to be louder (and more repellant to the tastemakers). That's why conservatives need to be ultra-mindful of the company they keep, especially online.....

The last bit counts treble in the age of Trump. Trumpism might be seen by some on the Canadian right as a route to power, but it's a highly corrosive approach for Canadian soil. It also happens to be the best route back to power for Trudeau
There’s nothing more maddening than debating someone who doesn’t know history, doesn’t read books, and frames their myopia as virtue. The level of unapologetic conjecture I’ve encountered lately isn’t just frustrating, it’s retrogressive, unprecedented, and absolutely terrifying.
~Chris Evans

Offline Xylric

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #53 on: July 25, 2018, 04:18:19 »
Given my academic background (Bachelor of Religious Education), I will proudly admit to being a conservative, though with a very specific definition I suspect to be unique to myself. After all, in the recent Ontario provincial election, I did the pragmatic thing and voted for the NDP because one element of their platform directly applied to me. I agree with my late grandfather that the best possible outcome for Canada is a government which is fiscally conservative, but is socially adaptive. My definition of Conservatism is quite simple, as it adheres to three core assumptions which I've spent the better part of my life trying to disprove. They are as follows:

1. Civilization is a polite fiction which exists only because of the mutual trust between its adherents. (When's the last time you checked to see if the water you were given at a restaurant was poisoned?)

2. Core societal ideals should not be tampered with unless one has a thorough understanding not only of how they came into existence, but also what, if any, practical function they may possess. (My go-to example for this is, rather unsurprisingly, religion itself - bad things happen when it gets completely banned from a society)

3. Humans are an inherently predatory species whose core social structure is that of small packs, nearly functionally indistinguishable from that of wolves. (Tribalism is inescapable. Accept it, adapt to it, and take advantage from it)

The net result of the interaction of these core assumptions (which should be continually challenged, because the moment one of those is demonstrated as untenable, the entire assembled structure must collapse) can be summed up in a two word pithy principle of "Ruthless Kindness." Basically, so far as it is possible, do not seek to cause harm to those around you so long as those around you do not seek to cause harm to you or others (AKA the Golden Rule). With kindness, trust naturally follows. While it is not uncommon for acts of kindness to be treated with suspicion and distrust, a continued practice leaves little doubt that one has no wish to cause harm.

A tribe which ruthlessly adheres to its internal rules is a known quantity, and thus predictable. There's a peculiar quirk that occurs between a married couple (to my knowledge is known in heterosexual parings, I do not know the equivalent neurology in alternative pairings, and see little reason to presume either difference or similarity) in which the two member's brains rewire themselves in order to become more appealing and more complementary to their partner. One could extrapolate this symbiotic quirk from a coupling to the interactions on the level of tribes. Continual iteration makes it fairly easy to extrapolate the organism we refer to as a nation state, and reveals just precisely how frail a being it is.

Thus, to my eyes, both what is generally known as conservatism is equally critical to the health of a nation as liberalism - and it's not at all uncommon for one person to be both liberal and conservative on the same issue in particular circumstances - there's a reason why I believe that for the health of a society, the capacity for disagreement must be held sacrosanct. If we lack a framework in which we can voice disagreement, we lack a framework to have any sort of productive rational discussion.

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #54 on: July 25, 2018, 08:53:47 »
Thus, to my eyes, both what is generally known as conservatism is equally critical to the health of a nation as liberalism - and it's not at all uncommon for one person to be both liberal and conservative on the same issue in particular circumstances - there's a reason why I believe that for the health of a society, the capacity for disagreement must be held sacrosanct. If we lack a framework in which we can voice disagreement, we lack a framework to have any sort of productive rational discussion.
You were doing well until your last three words, "productive rational discussion."

This site, for example, has a framework in which people can voice disagreement -- you hit respond or quote -- while theoretically, Moderators will weigh in to keep discourse civil.

Yet how rarely have the politics threads produced 'productive, rational discussion' versus simply devolving into merely repeating ones' views ad infinitum, or name-calling, or throwing ones' teddy bear and stomping off?  How often does someone start a post with, "I think...."  when it's painfully obvious that they have not.... nor are they likely to;  that would require questioning their comfortably-established beliefs and reading (with an attempt to understand) other sources and perspectives.

As an example, pick any one of the growing number of Trump/US vs everything  threads currently running.  They have all settled into a pattern of 2-3 people posting useful, informative details/links,  a few bleating "Trump is awesome" in response to the same number mindlessly bellyaching "everything Trump is Satanic," with an overwhelming majority of content simply repeating  " 'I think I'm correct'...  'I'm sure you do'."

So, while not one of your "core values," I suspect one could add:

Our current political belief system is broken. The tenets of liberalism and conservativism have a significant amount overlap;  in order to provide a different marketable brand, both sides increasingly seek out the more extreme elements who are less informed or constrained by reality.  As the edges become more shrill, it makes for 'better,' but more shallow, headlines and Twitter posts.  This inevitably disillusions the majority within that central overlap, most of whom will eventually walk away in disgust, forsaking political thinking and action to the more radicalized, often irrational, individuals.


And with that, yet again, I'll dismount my hobbyhorse and back away from Politics.
There’s nothing more maddening than debating someone who doesn’t know history, doesn’t read books, and frames their myopia as virtue. The level of unapologetic conjecture I’ve encountered lately isn’t just frustrating, it’s retrogressive, unprecedented, and absolutely terrifying.
~Chris Evans

Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #55 on: July 25, 2018, 11:32:04 »
Quote
Yet how rarely have the politics threads produced 'productive, rational discussion' versus simply devolving into merely repeating ones' views ad infinitum, or name-calling, or throwing ones' teddy bear and stomping off?  How often does someone start a post with, "I think...."  when it's painfully obvious that they have not.... nor are they likely to;  that would require questioning their comfortably-established beliefs and reading (with an attempt to understand) other sources and perspectives.

I see your point of frustration that posters don't always (or maybe, ever...) behave in a civil manner. Yes-they do the stuff you refer to (I may be one of those sinners), but that doesn't discount the fact that most behave themselves. Nor does it (in my opinion) mean that we should give up on civil discourse and rational argument. We need it more than ever, surrounded as we are by social media that instantly propagates all sorts of vile, stupid and poisonous trash along with the good stuff.

I don't agree that there is anything automatically wrong in starting a post with "I think", or "in my opinion". I do it all the time. If this site is not a place to express opinions and beliefs, then what is it? I hope it's not just about seeing how many links or long article extracts we can post. Hopefully we aren't saying that our own thoughts have no value unless buttressed by somebody else's?

Quote
Our current political belief system is broken. The tenets of liberalism and conservativism have a significant amount overlap;  in order to provide a different marketable brand, both sides increasingly seek out the more extreme elements who are less informed or constrained by reality.  As the edges become more shrill, it makes for 'better,' but more shallow, headlines and Twitter posts.  This inevitably disillusions the majority within that central overlap, most of whom will eventually walk away in disgust, forsaking political thinking and action to the more radicalized, often irrational, individuals.

I'm with you here. This is what scares me: that reasonable people of all persuasion will quit the field, leaving it to the screamers. I fear we're seeing it now.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #56 on: July 25, 2018, 11:43:32 »
I don't agree that there is anything automatically wrong in starting a post with "I think", or "in my opinion".
I'm perfectly content with "I think," if they have... and "in my opinion," if it's an informed opinion.  :nod:
(Neither of which requires a piece of paper or course certificate on a wall, by the way).   

We've seen no shortage of rapid-fire  'yes..no...yes'  "discussions," where neither poster is actually reading and considering what the other person has just posted;  they simply have to say the same thing over again to get in the last word.... accomplishing nothing.   :not-again:

There’s nothing more maddening than debating someone who doesn’t know history, doesn’t read books, and frames their myopia as virtue. The level of unapologetic conjecture I’ve encountered lately isn’t just frustrating, it’s retrogressive, unprecedented, and absolutely terrifying.
~Chris Evans

Online Good2Golf

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #57 on: July 25, 2018, 11:48:04 »
Just thinking (as in recalling, but with sentient re-consideration, JM ;) ) back to when a fiscally conservative, socially progressive group existed in Canada that seemed like a decent touch-point on the development timeline of democratic liberalism in the West.

...and then Stephen Harper reneged on his deal with Peter MacKay, and the *practical embodiment of the fiscally conservative, socially progressive ideology was no more in Canada. :(

Not sure if it will ever be back?

:2c:

Regards
G2G

*edited for spelling*
« Last Edit: July 25, 2018, 15:35:30 by Good2Golf »

Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #58 on: July 25, 2018, 12:39:47 »
Just thinking (as in recalling, but with sentient re-consideration, JM ;) ) back to when a fiscally conservative, socially progressive group existed in Canada that seemed like a decent touch-point on the development timeline of democratic liberalism in the West.

...and then Stephen Harper reneged on his deal with Peter MacKay, and the paractocal embodiment of the fiscally conservative, socially progressive ideology was no more in Canada. :(

Not sure if it will ever be back?

:2c:

Regards
G2G
It will, if the Tories want to get in again. I would vote for that in a heartbeat.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline FJAG

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #59 on: July 25, 2018, 12:58:34 »
Just thinking (as in recalling, but with sentient re-consideration, JM ;) ) back to when a fiscally conservative, socially progressive group existed in Canada that seemed like a decent touch-point on the development timeline of democratic liberalism in the West.

...and then Stephen Harper reneged on his deal with Peter MacKay, and the paractocal embodiment of the fiscally conservative, socially progressive ideology was no more in Canada. :(

Not sure if it will ever be back?

:2c:

Regards
G2G

I think that much of the problem with the party is the problem that was discussed above about folks that post on forums.

There's a group of us/them that are much more invested in the more extreme end of the arguments and with typical "squeaky wheel gets the grease" results end up controlling the nomination and election process within local ridings and national platforms.

It seems to me that the people who are more radical, or have a specific ax to grind (and in the last ON election much of that seemed to focus on, of all things, sex education) get much more involved in the process and as such take charge of it.

I think that we won't get back to where you and I think we need to be until a lot more of us moderates get off our collective butts and get more involved.

 :cheers:
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Offline Xylric

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #60 on: July 25, 2018, 12:58:42 »

Our current political belief system is broken. The tenets of liberalism and conservativism have a significant amount overlap;  in order to provide a different marketable brand, both sides increasingly seek out the more extreme elements who are less informed or constrained by reality.  As the edges become more shrill, it makes for 'better,' but more shallow, headlines and Twitter posts.  This inevitably disillusions the majority within that central overlap, most of whom will eventually walk away in disgust, forsaking political thinking and action to the more radicalized, often irrational, individuals.

I agree in general, though may quibble on the specifics. I tend to believe that as far as neuroscience is concerned, the deeper into the processes one gets, the fewer differences exist between political ideology and religious belief (one could argue that the nation state itself replaces the concept of God, but that would get very messy). The extreme left and extreme right are just as dangerous as any religious extremist, it's just the specific hazard posed by each presents a very different profile.

I could add a fourth core assumption rather easily - Hatred functions as sociological entropy and has only destructive purpose.

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #61 on: July 25, 2018, 15:39:58 »
I think that we won't get back to where you and I think we need to be until a lot more of us moderates get off our collective butts and get more involved.

 :cheers:

FJAG, agreed.  :nod:  I discussed this need with one of my Aunts, who happened to be part of a number of Joe Clark's election campaigns, and she fully agreed that the middle masses need to be sitting on our butts complaining a lot less, and more on our feet engaging and talking.

Regards,
G2G

Offline FJAG

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #62 on: July 25, 2018, 19:16:01 »
FJAG, agreed.  :nod:  I discussed this need with one of my Aunts, who happened to be part of a number of Joe Clark's election campaigns, and she fully agreed that the middle masses need to be sitting on our butts complaining a lot less, and more on our feet engaging and talking.

Regards,
G2G

I certainly put myself in that number. I was very involved with the local riding back in Manitoba but since moving to Ontario I've been completely uninvolved other than voting. I've let my membership lapse. Wonder how many more there are like me these days?

 :cheers:

Illegitimi non carborundum
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #63 on: August 05, 2018, 16:09:44 »
Perhaps what is missing is a clear definitional understanding of what principles are at work (which isn't helped by the deliberate mangling of the language, what we call "conservative" today was "liberal" in the Enlightenment, while current Liberalism is very reactionary, and indeed embraces many collectivist and even totalitarian elements from 20th century mass political movements. And then of course there is the endless refrain that "National Socialists" are somehow "right wing", an artifact of 1930 era Soviet propaganda. Stalin would be so proud).

In many cases, I suspect the problem is also the changed environment has rendered many of the systems, structures and institutions obsolete (the prime example is the distinction between "Left" and "Right", which reflected the seating arrangement's of the Assembly just prior to the French Revolution.

This article looks at an alternative to "Left" and "Right" (but points out the pejorative nature of "Open" and "Closed", as well as the rather inverted meanings these take in the way they are used).

https://unherd.com/2018/08/deeper-meaning-open-closed/

Quote
The deeper meaning of Open and Closed
Peter Franklin
PETER FRANKLIN
03 AUGUST 2018 | @peterfranklin_

Following Brexit, Trump and the formation of a populist government in Italy, there would seem to be an open-and-shut case for open-and-closed.

And yet there’s a big problem with the narrative surrounding the concept. If one looks at the numerous opinion pieces that have appeared on the subject since 2016, almost all of them are written from an ‘open’ perspective. And no wonder! Who would want to identify themselves as being ‘closed’?


Read part two of this essay
The rise and rise of Open and Closed

BY PETER FRANKLIN
The associations of the word are not encouraging: closed mind, closed session, closed membership, closed shop, closed doors, closed borders. Contrast that with the associations of ‘open’: open minded, open hearted, open handed, open to offers, open door, open house, the open road – the list goes on-and-on .

At least the terminology of left-and-right sounds neutral to modern ears.1 The language of open-and-closed, by contrast, is one-sided in the impressions it conveys – and is intended to convey.

That’s something that any open-minded liberal ought to recognise. Some of them do. One such is Adrian Wooldridge – the current custodian of the Bagehot column in the Economist:2

“Open v closed clearly matters… [but] the division is too self-serving for comfort. It looks more like ammunition for a political war than dispassionate analysis, and thereby contributes to the polarisation that it claims to diagnose.”

Wooldridge also questions the idea that open-versus-closed is just another way of saying liberal-versus-illiberal:

“Consider Brexit. Remainers regard it as the quintessential revolt against the open society. Yet some of the most prominent Leavers, such as Daniel Hannan and Douglas Carswell, are classical liberals who regard the European Union as a protectionist bloc that is bent on subsidising inefficient industries.”

That said, there are some populist leaders who are clearly illiberal – because they’ve said so themselves. For instance, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has declared his intention to build “an illiberal state, a non-liberal state.”3

West of the old Iron Curtain, however, populist rhetoric tends to take a different tone. ‘Closed’ policies on immigration, trade and international obligations are often presented as a defence of liberal values – for instance, of secularism,4 women’s rights5 or a ‘level playing field’ in trade6 – against those who do not share western values or play by the same rules.

-snip-

Read the rest at the link.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #64 on: August 10, 2018, 01:33:21 »
One example of the problem "solving itself": Jordan Peterson's discourses on Youtube ("Maps of Meaning") and especially his book "12 Rules for Life" is changing the discourse in ways that are outside the boundaries of current political discourse (much like the "Open and Closed"  labels discussed upthread). By essentially kicking the props from under "Identity politics", Peterson provides avenues for discourse on many topics which were long considered off limits, much to the fury of "Progressives":

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/08/why-the-left-is-so-afraid-of-jordan-peterson/567110/

Quote
Why the Left Is So Afraid of Jordan Peterson
The Canadian psychology professor’s stardom is evidence that leftism is on the decline—and deeply vulnerable.

CAITLIN FLANAGAN
AUG 9, 2018

Two years ago, I walked downstairs and saw one of my teenage sons watching a strange YouTube video on the television.

“What is that?” I asked.

He turned to me earnestly and explained, “It’s a psychology professor at the University of Toronto talking about Canadian law.”

“Huh?” I said, but he had already turned back to the screen. I figured he had finally gotten to the end of the internet, and this was the very last thing on it.

That night, my son tried to explain the thing to me, but it was a buzzing in my ear, and I wanted to talk about something more interesting. It didn’t matter; it turned out a number of his friends—all of them like him: progressive Democrats, with the full range of social positions you would expect of adolescents growing up in liberal households in blue-bubble Los Angeles—had watched the video as well, and they talked about it to one another. 

The boys graduated from high school and went off to colleges where they were exposed to the kind of policed discourse that dominates American campuses. They did not make waves; they did not confront the students who were raging about cultural appropriation and violent speech; in fact, they forged close friendships with many of them. They studied and wrote essays and—in their dorm rooms, on the bus to away games, while they were working out—began listening to more and more podcasts and lectures by this man, Jordan Peterson.

The young men voted for Hillary, they called home in shock when Trump won, they talked about flipping the House, and they followed Peterson to other podcasts—to Sam Harris and Dave Rubin and Joe Rogan. What they were getting from these lectures and discussions, often lengthy and often on arcane subjects, was perhaps the only sustained argument against identity politics they had heard in their lives.

That might seem like a small thing, but it’s not. With identity politics off the table, it was possible to talk about all kinds of things—religion, philosophy, history, myth—in a different way. They could have a direct experience with ideas, not one mediated by ideology. All of these young people, without quite realizing it, were joining a huge group of American college students who were pursuing a parallel curriculum, right under the noses of the people who were delivering their official educations.

Because all of this was happening silently, called down from satellites and poured in through earbuds—and not on campus free-speech zones where it could be monitored, shouted down, and reported to the appropriate authorities—the left was late in realizing what an enormous problem it was becoming for it. It was like the 1960s, when kids were getting radicalized before their parents realized they’d quit glee club. And it was not just college students. Not by a long shot.

Around the country, all sorts of people were listening to these podcasts. Joe Rogan’s sui generis show, with its surpassingly eclectic mix of guests and subjects, was a frequent locus of Peterson’s ideas, whether advanced by the man himself, or by the thinkers with whom he is loosely affiliated. Rogan’s podcast is downloaded many millions of times each month. Whatever was happening, it was happening on a scale and with a rapidity that was beyond the ability of the traditional culture keepers to grasp. When the left finally realized what was happening, all it could do was try to bail out the Pacific Ocean with a spoon.

The alarms sounded when Peterson published what quickly became a massive bestseller, 12 Rules for Life, because books are something that the left recognizes as drivers of culture. The book became the occasion for vicious profiles and editorials, but it was difficult to attack the work on ideological grounds, because it was an apolitical self-help book that was at once more literary and more helpful than most, and that was moreover a commercial success. All of this frustrated the critics. It’s just common sense! they would say, in one arch way or another, and that in itself was telling: Why were they so angry about common sense?

The critics knew the book was a bestseller, but they couldn’t really grasp its reach because people like them weren’t reading it, and because it did not originally appear on The New York Times’s list, as it was first published in Canada. However, it is often the bestselling nonfiction book on Amazon, and—perhaps more important—its audiobook has been a massive seller. As with Peterson’s podcasts and videos, the audience is made up of people who are busy with their lives—folding laundry, driving commercial trucks on long hauls, sitting in traffic from cubicle to home, exercising. This book was putting words to deeply held feelings that many of them had not been able to express before.

Read the rest at the link
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Colin P

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #65 on: August 10, 2018, 10:54:08 »
I read that yesterday, thank god we do have people like him stirring the intellectual pot. I do like the term "Intellectual Dark Web"  8) 

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #66 on: August 10, 2018, 11:28:35 »
I read that yesterday, thank god we do have people like him stirring the intellectual pot. I do like the term "Intellectual Dark Web"  8)

Yesterday on CBC's Power and Politics, the Liberal talking head (who happens to be the spouse of the PM's COS) was taking aim at the conservatives as xenophobic, alt right mouth pieces (a preview of the Libs election strategy?).
He then ended his little tirade with this gem "the Rebel Media is their base, Jordan Peterson is their base". I know that many progressives have accused Peterson as Alt Right, but I didn't think the LPC would make that leap so forcefully.

Offline Xylric

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #67 on: August 10, 2018, 12:13:12 »
Yesterday on CBC's Power and Politics, the Liberal talking head (who happens to be the spouse of the PM's COS) was taking aim at the conservatives as xenophobic, alt right mouth pieces (a preview of the Libs election strategy?).
He then ended his little tirade with this gem "the Rebel Media is their base, Jordan Peterson is their base". I know that many progressives have accused Peterson as Alt Right, but I didn't think the LPC would make that leap so forcefully.

Peterson strikes me as a liberal in the most classical of sense - the kind of person politicians dislike regardless of any political leanings.