An Eye on Canada

As an American I never thought much about Canada except for a few years when I was young to follow the National Hockey League. However, over the last few years I developed a real interest in the country and I have been able to understand more about Canadian culture (yes it exists) through new friends. Furthermore, my Canadian interest comes from following David Freiheit, who I described in my introduction to his partner Robert Barnes. He is “former Quebec litigator, YouTuber, David Freiheit known as Viva Frei. He started his YouTube career making cute videos, including many with his charming wife and kids. Seeing this super nice Canadien being red pilled over several months has been eye-opening in itself. But he also adds legal insight to his man in the street, straight man setup for Barnes.”

I write on the day after the Canadian parliamentary elections. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party did not gain a majority of the popular vote (they came in second to the Conservative Party) nor in the number of seats, but they will be able to form a minority government. So this was perhaps a disappointment but not a defeat for him. Trudeau is the ultimate poster boy for the rich global elite that aim to enslave us. What is more, the opposition parties, including the Conservatives, are really no better. But there is a new party, the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) that contested their second election. Their leader Maxime Bernier has libertarian and populist views. Critically, he and his party were the only force saying no to the Covid craziness pushed by Trudeau. Viva, frustrated for months by the oppression in his native Montreal, decided to run for parliament. His district (called a riding in Canada) is a Liberal stronghold so he had no chance. As his partner Barnes noted, “ Canada’s election results basically stay[ed] stagnant from 2019, with one exception — the People’s Party tripling their vote, and exceeding 5%, so those lucky enough to take my bet of over 3.7% [the betting line] can cash in their winnings soon. Viva quadrupled the party’s vote in his local district, but will not be forced into the life of a politician just yet.” Besides Trudeau staying in power, the disappointment of the election was that no PPC member won a seat.

Among my Canadian friends is Robert Girvan. Rob was a lawyer and former crown prosecutor, now he is a writer. I wrote about him and his book about a river in western Canada and the fight to control it. He has written an important piece on the woke culture in Canada. He writes as an old style liberal with a small “L”. He is an archetypal Canadian, impeccably nice and fair minded. It is telling that now even he cannot remain silent in the face of these attacks on our civilization. He might have titled it “Awakening to the Woke Crisis.” His words will ring true for Canadians, Americans, and people everywhere that value western ideals. Below I provide several passages, but it is worth everyone’s time to read it in full.

Diversity is praised virtually everywhere, so I need not dwell on the good. Let’s look at some of the dangers, beginning with the most dangerous of all, the misuse of the idea of “systemic racism.” In Canada, we have completely failed to respond reasonably to the allegation of “systemic racism.” Accusations of racism can end careers and destroy the reputations of persons and institutions, all without a proper – or often any – investigation. This is a concern that goes to the highest levels of government – our current Liberal government. I say this as someone who has voted Liberal in the past.

The problem here is the obvious contradiction of seeking due process and justice for one group by explicitly denying it to another, as if some groups are intrinsically morally better than others. Such is what often passes for reasoned discourse in Canada these days. It is not enough to merely, in some vague way, want to do “the right thing.” One must carefully study, with a careful method, to determine if you are doing the right thing in this situation, and then, that you follow a just process. None of that happened here.

Wanting one’s own group, and all groups, to participate fairly in a society, without legal or other forms of racism (as normally defined), is legitimate and can be agreed upon as a positive goal of diversity. Unfortunately, Kendi goes well beyond this: he advocates a race-based socialism, in which justice, fair policies, truth or analysis independent of race cannot exist. One sees now why “systemic racism” is so hard to define, to explain, and seems everywhere, because it is a religious form of socialism, not democracy.

First, the racial-socialism, like communism in past times, has become a secular religion. It has little or no analysis or even comprehension of the enormous and complex universe of knowledge beyond race theory. This is the dangerous part of identity politics of all kinds. If it could, this theory would deny all knowledge, history, art and culture inconsistent with its dogma. Needless to say, this would be catastrophic.

When we say “white” do we mean Canadian, Irish, Russian, French, Jewish or Greek? One sees how the immense complexity of different traditions of history and life are all lumped together by a simple moralistic agenda. When we say “writer of colour” do we mean Colombian, Indian (from India) or Nepalese? One sees the destruction of reasoned analysis.

This new religion is tied to a dangerous ignorance and determined blindness about history. The complexity of what happened, and why, in historical events, is reduced to a simple morality-play, with good people and bad people, determined in advance without analysis, and typically classified by their belonging to the oppressed vs. the oppressors, respectively, or the victims vs. victimizers. There is a related danger here, of judging past cultures by our standards and finding them wanting, and consequently of rejecting all of their cultural products out-of-hand.

The attacks on the Western tradition have become relentless, aggressive and ideologically driven: “The Europeans were all evil, but…(pick your victim)…were all good.” This narrative is so simplistic and bankrupt of balanced analysis that it is remarkable it can be taken seriously, let alone have become a dominant thought paradigm in North America. This is not to say that European expansion did not have terrible consequences, but nearly all cultures everywhere have had war and expansion. No people can claim to be morally better. Any claim of racial superiority is terrible, but that is a universal human problem.

The Western tradition has brought many vitally important principles into the world, principles that those who attack it require for their own attacks: the notion of human rights as protected by law and a constitution, the notion of limits on government to make it function better and protect the citizen, the notion of rational discourse to understand the world validly in many domains, the enormous benefits of science – including the critical biological insight that all races are part of one human race – and the notion of human freedom, to name a few. Many Western societies also have the practical freedom and security to allow those who attack them to live in safety. The fact that these ideals have been imperfectly applied does not take away their universal validity. This is where the diversity movement, in the good sense, can help us.