G20 Protestors, Vancouver, B.C., July 4, 2010. Photo: Stephen Hui.
I see a great deal of discord in western European and North American societies. Canada is leading the way. Something is wrong. There is weakness down to the core. Others are sensing this, and testing to see what they can get away with.
Putin is accused of being brazen enough to have tried to assassinate an enemy on U.K. soil, and when retribution follows, another assassination, right before he faces re-election as President, which he wins. I suggest someone thinks they can get away with this, and Putin is at least complicit because he thinks there will be few consequences. Further, some of his populace sees him as a strong leader, because they sense the U.S., its vassal states, and its sphere of influence are weak, and Putin is exercising power in their midst while they are vulnerable.
The latest news shows something is up:
China surpasses U.S. in Supercomputing.
China allows Xi Jinping to become permanent President of their Republic by removing term limits.
Assassinations are attempted on two former Russian double agents on U.K. soil. Putin then wins another term as President, all while hiring mercenaries to try to weaken the U.S. in Syria. Theresa May expels Russian diplomats as a punitive measure…Putin’s response: “meh, глупый английский.”
Russia develops new nuclear weapons.
These are real attempts with some progress in shoring up power. And these steps will have worldwide repercussions in the years to come. Meanwhile, in progressiveland…
Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, on state business in India, dresses full Bollywood, dines with a man convicted of attempted murder of an Indian Minister, then accuses India of a conspiracy to set the whole thing up just to embarrass him. He discusses the scientific method (it’s just “baby cries, baby gets milk”) with Bill Nye, passes a federal budget using ‘Gender Based Analysis’ (which means he will now take selfies with equal numbers of men and women), then fucks off to Florida on vacation (wasn’t India a vacation? But its all good ‘cuz he cleared it with the Ethics Commissioner.)
He did condemn the attacks on the former Russian spies in the U.K. This coming from the same guy weeping at the loss of Fidel Castro while admiring the Chinese Communist regime because, by Great Leap Forward, “they can turn on a dime” to make changes to their economy. A particularly grand turn-on-a-dime, I might add, as the Communist Party had to get around 18 to 55 million dead bodies in a single bound. I guess what Stalin was attributed to have said about tragedies versus statistics appeals to Le Dauphin. But I digress…
Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer of discontent by this sun of Mount Royal
Meanwhile, Canada’s provinces of British Columbia and Alberta are in a fight because they think Justin Le Premier can be overruled on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion approval, something he and his ‘cuz muh 2015’ cabinet has the legal final word on. This is akin to the Lords or the Dukes ignoring the edicts of the King.
British Columbia (the perfidious) defies him, because Canada is so weak that the positive consequences in voter support outweigh whatever bad may come. They are now removing barriers to allow export by sea of liquefied natural gas produced within B.C., while blocking oil from Alberta from getting to their ports. Alberta prepares to fight back with punitive measures because they have no faith Ottawa actually has any conviction to enforce its own decisions externally, much less internally. Both are right.
Canada is weak against Iran (who has killed and imprisoned Canadian citizens with nary a peep from Ottawa), weak against China (who told Trudeau to pound sand on human rights and sent him packing), weak against the U.S. (where insistence on gender equality being included in a revised North American Free Trade Agreement went over like a World Trade Center joke on September 11th) weak on even the most straight forward diplomatic pleasantries (aforementioned India visit, mostly ignored by the host), weak in front if the entire Pacific Rim (simply unable to keep Trudeau’s schedule straight during Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations); weak, caving in utterly in the face of a $20 million dollar law suit by former Al-Qaeda member Omar Khadr (settling for $10.5 million, “cuz muh human rights” – of the grenade thrower of course, not his victims); and then telling a Canadian veteran who fought and lost a leg against Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan that anything more than token compensation for his sacrifice was more than Canada could give, right now.
My remonstration has a purpose: where you demonstrate you are weak, have no spine, take nothing seriously or demonstrate you have no principles which you’ll stick to where even a minimal amount of discomfort is involved, you invite others to ignore you, surpass you (while you are distracted by waaaay more important issues like the “wage gap”), if not outright attack you. British Columbia is doing it internally in Canada, which is akin to what Putin is doing externally with the U.K. They see weakness, and they exploit it. Putin benefits from some assassination attempts, B.C. kills billions of dollars in oil sales to garner votes (and prevent the fall of their government, which relies on support from the local Green Party.) Heaven help Canada if Putin realizes we’re a good place to play power games, although our proximity to the U.S. hopefully makes us unappetizing to predators.
What is making us weak? I suggest it is our current political arrangement of progressive statism which never reflected reality.
First, while most people go around unconscious of the assumptions, prejudices and underlying philosophy of the state, society and culture they live under, nonetheless, every country has these things. These underpinnings determine not only how problems might be solved, they determine what is ‘a problem.’ Everything not falling into what is identified or solvable under these paradigms is usually ignored. It is possible that how the Canadian state is structured causes it to have blind spots on certain problems. By this, I mean the society and government do not respond to these problems because they simply lie beyond the ability of the system to identify. This is not a case of burying your head in the sand (which we otherwise do in spades.) You simply cannot see it at all. I think such blind spots do exist, and problems may be lurking in them. However, I don’t think it’s the issue with current weakness in Canada.
Rather, with Canada, our current societal and governmental organization will not deal with certain problems realistically because they will not allow deviations from an orthodoxy, will not allow discussion of opinions contrary to the orthodoxy, and will vigorously attempt to supress facts and knowledge which threaten that orthodoxy. The current ‘Orthodoxy’ in Canada looks something like this:
English have always been at war with French
Men have always been at war with women
Europeans have always been at war with aboriginals
Heterosexuals have always been at war with non-heterosexuals
“Rich” have always been at war with “poor”
Parents have always been at war with their children
Rationality has always been at war with Religion
Diversity is Strength
Freedom is Taxation
Self-Reliance is Dependence
Success is Victimization
Community is Self
Equality is Character
There was no Prime Minister before Pierre Elliot Trudeau
Big Brother is People are watching you
The only true statement is the last. And in Canada, you are not allowed to even suggest anything else is true but the above. And this makes for big blind spots, which means Canada cannot solve problems, because the facts underlying those problems, and the possible solutions, cannot be uttered or considered without being railed against and labelled as ‘unorthodoxy’. This makes us weak.
In Canada there is a minority in power which requires that the Orthodoxy must be true for the nation, for which Justin Trudeau is virtue signalling his way to becoming Pope (practicing the dog-whistles of the Cathedral.) However, it is not truth, it is an attempt to hammer rounded society into the square holes of the Orthodoxy. “The Orthodoxy is the truth. But Canada is not actually like that. Solution: force Canada to fit the Orthodoxy. Thanks Procrustes!”
The current Liberal government therefore finds itself trying to force society into a mold it cannot fit into, requiring the subjugation of all our peoples, our natures, and all that made us strong and virtuous, in service of an ideology. Our citizens sense this problem and are responding in one of two ways: double-down on Orthodoxy, or denounce it and try to find something better. (I find those dependent on government funding tend to double-down, and outnumber the denouncers. It’s inevitable, given how many in Canada have one or more levels of government funding as their primary source of income. I think people make a lot of sunk-cost errors too: when you pay 40%-50% of your income to governments, you cannot admit it’s a bad investment, so you justify it any way you can.)
The current battles in our society highlight this conflict. We are having very visible and divisive disagreements everyday on issues like race, religion, gender relations, immigration, taxation, economics, foreign affairs, education, health care and government regulation. Such discourse is always present, but lately, it has gone beyond discourteous, subjective, and inflammatory, to be outright insular, hostile and in the case of university campuses, the Orthodoxy is enforced with violence.
The tenets of the statist socialist Orthodoxy were never intended to deal with reality, but rather, were idealistic visions of what someone thought we should be forced to accept as the truth. To sell this, they painted a picture of reality which said such a vision was possible and also necessary (to deal with the Orthodoxy’s identified states of perpetual war.) It was never true.
Reality and what is possible in reality, and the Orthodoxy, have been incongruous and creating tension for over 50 years, and its starting to boil over, as reality can no longer be ignored or dismissed. This internal conflict signals to the rest of the world that we are weak. Those with ambitions and convictions feel no need to respect, negotiate or compromise with us when our own house is in chaos.