Author Topic: Requiem for Canada?  (Read 946 times)

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Offline Thucydides

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Requiem for Canada?
« on: October 11, 2018, 21:13:42 »
An interesting opinion piece which essentially writes off Canada. I was annoyed at first, but then really began thinking about my own lived experiences in Canada and on deployment. Many indicators pointed out in the article are quite true. I have also personally experienced the decline of standards, watching my children go through school, watching the quality of candidates coming through my hands decline (their ability to clearly grasp and communicate ideas has been noticeably lower since 2000, not to mention lack fo numeracy). Events in the news like the use of a Maoist "Struggle Session" against Laurier TA Lindsay Shepherd show our freedoms eroding with hardly a word in protest.

So the question rises, is this irreversible? Are there steps we can take to arrest these developments and even reverse them? What (if any) is our role in all this?

https://pjmedia.com/trending/the-canadian-mind-a-culture-so-open-its-brains-fall-out/

Quote
The Canadian Mind: A Culture So Open, Its 'Brains Fall Out'
BY DAVID SOLWAY OCTOBER 10, 2018

The Canadian national temper is a funny thing, riddled with contradictions. It is plainly an abstraction, and yet it does seem to have discernible traits. Some jokingly regard it as absurdly apologetic -- a Canadian is someone who says “sorry” when he is jostled. Canadians are polite and amiable, pacifist by nature; they are the world’s peacekeepers. Canadians regard themselves as morally superior, especially with regard to Americans. Canadians are inwardly attracted to failure, as Margaret Atwood contended in Survival -- Canadians have a will to lose as powerful as the American will to win. And so on.

Canada is a huge but under-populated country. The wind echoes in our ears. Much has been made in our literature of the hardiness and resilience necessary for existence in a punishing climate and of the harsh labor required to extract the benefits of a resource-based economy. Susanna Moodie’s Roughing It in the Bush is an early classic detailing the rigors and challenges of domesticating an unforgiving milieu. Canadian fortitude is a national foundation myth.

One recalls Northrop Frye’s analysis in The Bush Garden of Canada’s “garrison mentality,” the fear of “being swallowed by an alien continent,” the fight for survival in inclement surroundings, and the feeling that events and achievements of significance must be happening elsewhere. Naturally, Frye’s thesis has been contested in a rising swell of self-importance and postmodern speculation. In Studies in Canadian Literature, Sherrie Malisch points out that many critics have taken umbrage with Frye, advocating for the replacement of the “myth” of the garrison mentality by something called “ecological logic,” by feminist sensitivity to the environment, or by an aboriginal sense of ‘wholeness.”

Similarly, writing in the Town Crier, André Forget, for example, thinks that Frye’s analysis is passé, that the “garrisoned mind” has opened up to an anonymous urban and Internet landscape which “has done away with most of the practical limitations geography used to enforce.” Canadian writers in particular have become more sophisticated. His argument is not entirely without merit and may be initially persuasive. Yet any reading of our literature and study of our culture and politics would strongly suggest that the Canadian imagination remains for the most part local, indigenous, imitative and mired in a state of general insipidity.

Everywhere one turns one sees a tendency toward mimesis -- we tend to copy rather than invent -- qualified by intellectual emptiness. In other words, it may be that the vacancy of the Canadian mind reflects the vacancy of the Canadian landscape. Of course, much of the land is variegated -- lakes, rivers, forests, the impressive mountain ranges running down the length of “beautiful British Columbia” -- in the same way, metaphorically speaking, that we can boast a number of resonating exceptions to the staple of tepid cultural and intellectual sameness.

One thinks of novelist Mordecai Richler, poet Irving Layton, critical minds Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan and Northrop Frye, musicians Leonard Cohen and Gordon Lightfoot. Our founding father, Sir John A. Macdonald, was the ne plus ultra of our political class; there has been none like him since, which may explain why he is now on posthumous trial for war crimes and a hue and cry has gone up to remove his statues and rename eponymous schools.

The constitutive factor, however, exceptions aside, is the “howling emptiness” of a vast landmass that may partially account for the emptiness of our intellectual topography -- if, as Jared Diamond had argued in Guns, Germs and Steel, geography governs the development of culture and spirit.

Any nation the preponderance of whose citizens regularly elects left-wing political parties; accepts single-payer healthcare; believes in the efficacy of the welfare state; endorses the hoax of global warming (as does even Sherrie Malisch, above); accommodates swarms of third-world immigrants and refugees who have no love for or understanding of a country becoming an open-to-all multicultural tombola with the highest proportionate rate of immigrants in the Western world; has allowed its educational industry, from pre-school to graduate school, to be corrupted possibly beyond retrieval by lockstep Leftism, “diversity and inclusion,” and “social justice” claptrap; has caved to the feminist and campus-rape fable; dutifully takes CBC Leftist propaganda as gospel; has fallen for the 16th Century meme of the “Noble Savage” in its dealings with the aboriginal peoples; extravagantly celebrates a second-rate rock band like The Tragically Hip and names a street after it; reads (when it does read) tedious scribblers like the acclaimed Joseph Boyden and Ann-Marie MacDonald; and gives a complete ignoramus like Justin Trudeau a majority government on the strength of name and coiffure, cannot be regarded as informed, well-educated or in any way distinguished. Unlike the U.S., there are no cracks, to quote Leonard Cohen, where the light gets in. The Canadian political, cultural and academic spectrum has gone dark from end to end.

True, America elected a fraud like Barack Obama, but then reversed course with Donald Trump -- something that could never happen on a federal level in Canada. Nor would a Brett Kavanaugh ever be confirmed here. We have nothing like the First Amendment; our Supreme Court is a Leftist institution par excellence and has even decreed in effect that truth is no defense in cases where “protected groups” are insulted or offended. Paragraph 140 of a 2013 Judgment finds “that not all truthful statements must be free from restriction. Truthful statements can be interlaced with harmful ones or otherwise presented in a manner that would meet the definition of hate speech.” Section 15 (2) of the Constitution Act of 1982 abridges the rights that section 15(1) guarantees Canadian citizens.

Further, our Human Rights Tribunals are Soviet-style shadow courts that discard due process in adjudicating cases of supposed discrimination or “hate speech.” As Canadian Human Rights Commissioner Dean Steacy said: “Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don’t give it any value.” Openness to everything except freedom of speech, chartered principle and practical reason is the hallmark of our justice system, as it is of the nation. As Carl Sagan quipped in The Demon-Haunted World: “It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.”

As far back as 1904, novelist Sara Jeannette Duncan in The Imperialist had the measure of the country, especially in her character Alfred Hesketh, soon to be a naturalized citizen. Hesketh’s “open mind” was ironically being filled “to capacity,” which augured very little of substance though the act was accompanied by “satisfaction.” He would make a good Canadian. The Canadian mind was always “open” in the pejorative sense, but it has inflated exponentially in the current era. Regrettably, the opening of the Canadian mind does not signify an expanding hospitality to the world of truth, fact and reason but, on the contrary, a growing vacancy of disciplined thought, creative virility and common sense.

Susanna Moodie felt there was great hope for this country -- her heart, she writes, “bounds with glee to hail thy noble destiny.” Philosopher George Grant in Lament for a Nation thought Canada was bound to disappear. I side with Grant. Indeed, I would argue that Canada, in both an intellectual and spiritual sense, disappeared a long time ago. My heart contracts with sadness when I contemplate its destiny.
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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 Dimsum

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Re: Requiem for Canada?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2018, 21:52:05 »
I'm sure I'm a minority here, but I don't see a problem with the immigration.  The first generation will have problems integrating (e.g Italians in America), but by the 3rd generation the grandchildren will be Canadian. 

I hate it when people think *insert race* will be all one thing.  We've all served with folks who are new immigrants and I'm sure at least one of them has bucked your thinking of what their race/religion/culture should be like. 

The Obama v Trump thing in the article riled me too, but that's for another thread.

Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

Offline FJAG

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Re: Requiem for Canada?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2018, 22:24:57 »
I find very little of value in Solway's opinion piece. The first seven paragraphs and the last two add nothing to the debate but are merely fluff inserted to shot how smart and well read he thinks he is.

His argument, what little there is of it, is contained here:

Quote
Any nation the preponderance of whose citizens regularly elects left-wing political parties; accepts single-payer healthcare; believes in the efficacy of the welfare state; endorses the hoax of global warming (as does even Sherrie Malisch, above); accommodates swarms of third-world immigrants and refugees who have no love for or understanding of a country becoming an open-to-all multicultural tombola with the highest proportionate rate of immigrants in the Western world; has allowed its educational industry, from pre-school to graduate school, to be corrupted possibly beyond retrieval by lockstep Leftism, “diversity and inclusion,” and “social justice” claptrap; has caved to the feminist and campus-rape fable; dutifully takes CBC Leftist propaganda as gospel; has fallen for the 16th Century meme of the “Noble Savage” in its dealings with the aboriginal peoples; extravagantly celebrates a second-rate rock band like The Tragically Hip and names a street after it; reads (when it does read) tedious scribblers like the acclaimed Joseph Boyden and Ann-Marie MacDonald; and gives a complete ignoramus like Justin Trudeau a majority government on the strength of name and coiffure, cannot be regarded as informed, well-educated or in any way distinguished. Unlike the U.S., there are no cracks, to quote Leonard Cohen, where the light gets in. The Canadian political, cultural and academic spectrum has gone dark from end to end.

True, America elected a fraud like Barack Obama, but then reversed course with Donald Trump -- something that could never happen on a federal level in Canada. Nor would a Brett Kavanaugh ever be confirmed here. We have nothing like the First Amendment; our Supreme Court is a Leftist institution par excellence and has even decreed in effect that truth is no defense in cases where “protected groups” are insulted or offended. Paragraph 140 of a 2013 Judgment finds “that not all truthful statements must be free from restriction. Truthful statements can be interlaced with harmful ones or otherwise presented in a manner that would meet the definition of hate speech.” Section 15 (2) of the Constitution Act of 1982 abridges the rights that section 15(1) guarantees Canadian citizens.

Further, our Human Rights Tribunals are Soviet-style shadow courts that discard due process in adjudicating cases of supposed discrimination or “hate speech.” As Canadian Human Rights Commissioner Dean Steacy said: “Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don’t give it any value.” Openness to everything except freedom of speech, chartered principle and practical reason is the hallmark of our justice system, as it is of the nation. As Carl Sagan quipped in The Demon-Haunted World: “It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.”

I'm sure we can all find a few items on his list that we could agree are not optimal but overall his arguments are incoherent ramblings which string together some random nonsense--much of it grossly exaggerated if not outright false--to form a false conclusion that Canada has disappeared in both an intellectual and spiritual sense. I would have agreed with his view on intellect if his writings were an example of the best we could do. Fortunately Canadians have done and continue to do much better than this tripe.

We're definitely not perfect by any sense. Neither are we worse--or better--than Americans. We share many characteristics with our southern neighbours but also have some distinct differences all of which makes our culture alive and vibrant. :2c:

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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Requiem for Canada?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2018, 22:40:26 »
I'm sure I'm a minority here, but I don't see a problem with the immigration.  The first generation will have problems integrating (e.g Italians in America), but by the 3rd generation the grandchildren will be Canadian. 

I hate it when people think *insert race* will be all one thing.  We've all served with folks who are new immigrants and I'm sure at least one of them has bucked your thinking of what their race/religion/culture should be like. 

The Obama v Trump thing in the article riled me too, but that's for another thread.

I'm all for additional immigration, and those immigrants should definitely join the military.  My reasoning for this is Newfies have been picked on for far too long in the halls of 101 Colonel By Drive and we need a deeper gene pool to expand the number of high value targets that will be the butt end of endless amounts of jokes and banter!

+300 « Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 17:19:43 by Humphrey Bogart »

Offline Lumber

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Re: Requiem for Canada?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2018, 08:12:28 »
I find very little of value in Solway's opinion piece. The first seven paragraphs and the last two add nothing to the debate but are merely fluff inserted to shot how smart and well read he thinks he is.

He lost me at "extravagantly celebrates a second-rate rock band like The Tragically Hip"... and then he REALLY lost me with his tin-hatted quip about Obama.
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Offline Journeyman

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Re: Requiem for Canada?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2018, 08:49:37 »
….overall his arguments are incoherent ramblings which string together some random nonsense--much of it grossly exaggerated if not outright false...
Society has always had some whose reading -- or whatever info source -- intentionally only reinforces their confirmation bias;  the absolute last thing they want is to see rational, contradictory views.  Sadly though, the percentage of such people seems to be growing, increasingly wearing their self-imposed ignorance as a badge of honour.  Pity that they choose to waive opportunities to provide informed counter-arguments, if they would occasionally watch other news, since no one political (or economic, or social...) perspective will always be correct.

Offline Dimsum

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Re: Requiem for Canada?
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2018, 10:52:07 »
Pity that they choose to waive opportunities to provide informed counter-arguments, if they would occasionally watch other news, since no one political (or economic, or social...) perspective will always be correct.

Whoa, now we have to read the *other* side's view?  I'll just sit here in my echo chamber and complain about libtards or alt-right-ists or vegans or whatever. 

I'm sure you meant it as well, but the "other side" means "credible, definitely not deranged ramblings", right?   ;)
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

Offline Journeyman

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Re: Requiem for Canada?
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2018, 10:55:51 »
Nowhere did I mention vegans!   :orly:

Offline Retired AF Guy

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Re: Requiem for Canada?
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2018, 17:23:35 »
As Canadian Human Rights Commissioner Dean Steacy said: “Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don’t give it any value.”

Did Steacy actually say that? I thought it was witness* in a HRC case against an alt-right webpage?

Can't think of the guys name, but he had brought numerous cases against right-wing groups. Last I heard he was working for DND in some capacity. On the other hand I could be wrong.
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Re: Requiem for Canada?
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2018, 17:31:11 »
As Canadian Human Rights Commissioner Dean Steacy said: “Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don’t give it any value.”

Did Steacy actually say that? I thought it was witness* in a HRC case against an alt-right webpage?

Seems like he did,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Human_Rights_Commission_free_speech_controversy#Statement_on_Freedom_of_Speech_by_CHRC_Investigator_Dean_Steacy

See Reference #21.


Offline Retired AF Guy

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Years ago, fairy tales all began with, "Once upon a time." Now we know they all began with, "If I'm elected."

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Re: Requiem for Canada?
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2018, 20:13:33 »
Thanks for the update.

You are welcome.  :)

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Re: Requiem for Canada?
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2018, 22:33:29 »
You have the quote right but are missing out on the concept. This is from the transcript:

Quote
MS KULASZKA: Mr. Steacy, you were talking before about context and how important it is when you do your investigation. What value do you give freedom of speech when you investigate one of these complaints?

MR. STEACY: Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don't give it any value.

MS KULASZKA: Okay. That was a clear answer.

MR. STEACY: It's not my job to give value to an American concept.

. . .

MS KULASZKA: So if someone claims freedom of speech for what they said, it is rejected out of hand?

MR. STEACY: If somebody is claiming freedom of expression, it is not rejected. As I said, freedom of speech is an American concept, it is not a Canadian concept. If somebody said, "I am doing this because of freedom of speech," I would equate that to somebody raising a freedom of expression concept.

Taken from: http://volokh.com/posts/1207856516.shtml

The issue here is that "Congress shall make no law . . .abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press . . ." comes from the American Constitution while "Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: . . . freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication" comes from the Canadian Charter of Rights. The two concepts are similar in law but not identical. What Steacy is doing is correcting the interviewer albeit in a mildly confusing way. He is saying that that the CRTC accepts the concept of "freedom of expression".

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Offline quadrapiper

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Re: Requiem for Canada?
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2018, 23:46:45 »
Sadly though, the percentage of such people seems to be growing, increasingly wearing their self-imposed ignorance as a badge of honour.
I wonder if there's an actual growth, or if newly-available platforms have offered a sufficiently lazy means for these individuals to express their ignorance?

Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Requiem for Canada?
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2018, 01:13:12 »
Similar to those that pretend to speak from a position of intellect and lament the loss of crony conversationalism because they don't agree with what they are reading or hearing. Their intelligence is insulted. I don't think anyone can call any of the problems right or left specifically. They are simply too many intermediate groups and points some even straddling the line.

I think everyone wants to be seen and heard to be doing what most consider the right thing. Some get passionate and participate, to varying degrees, while others sit back, look down their noses and chastise all the others that fail to meet their standard of intellect and research. Monday morning quarterbacks, per se. They don't seem to really have much of an opinion, but delight in showing up on social media periodically, and heckling others about word usage, research, opinions or any other amount of personal attack. Two sides of a spectrum

What's good for one side is junk science to the other, they all think they have the right answers. No matter the side. It's one dimensional to try peg someone's position based on a single sentiment. A person can hate cats, but is perfectly happy if you have one. Then another who hates cats equally, wants them all destroyed. But both hate cats equally. They can be considered both for one group, but not both for the same disposition club. Both are perfectly within their rights, but just at this reading, some of you have already decided which one you like better.

Not to say of course, that every person needs to be pigeon holed, they shouldn't, but if your main focus and tenet is genocide of whole populations, religions or races, it really doesn't matter where your other views lay.

I believe the growth has been a constant and will continue. People are just becoming more savvy and organized and ignoring, completely, those who condemn, but do nothing constructive with their time.






Diversity includes adverse opinions, or it is not diversity.
Inclusive includes adverse opinions, or is not inclusive.

Offline Journeyman

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Re: Requiem for Canada?
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2018, 10:13:03 »
I wonder if there's an actual growth, or if newly-available platforms have offered a sufficiently lazy means for these individuals to express their ignorance?
That was answered more quickly than expected.   :pop: