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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Brian Lee Crowley: The fall of Canadian values and the birth of the welfare state

The National Post has published an excerpt from Brian Lee Crowley's Fearful Symmetry: The Fall and Rise of Canada's Founding Values:

The reigning political consensus that characterized this country right up to the birth of the New Canada in 1960 took a quite different view of the role of the individual, of government and of the effects of government intervention on people's character than the one that prevails today. The view that predominates today on both sides of the border is of Canadians as kinder and gentler than their American neighbours, more willing to use the power of the state in pursuit of public goods, more welfare-minded, more socially left wing. It is also a view that could establish itself only by defeating and then consigning to a trunk in the never visited attic of our collective memory the older view that had defined Canada for almost the first century of its existence and for many decades prior to 1867.

Read the rest. And here's a review of the book by Neil Reynolds for The Globe and Mail.
I had the privilege of seeing Mr. Crowley speak at this year's Liberty Summer Seminar. I found his speech to be fascinating and I encourage you to take the time to listen to it.

Canadians are often groping for a national identity. Some point to government programs as our nationhood, others point to people with blades on their shoes and sticks as our identity. Yet most people are unsatisfied by this, we have forgotten who we were from the beginning.

Canada is free and freedom is its nationality.

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on September 20, 2009 in Canadian History | Permalink


That we have forgot or rather are ignorant of who we were is the result of one of the goals of collectivists/progressives to erase our history in order to create a different one. In this they have succeeded. However the result is that we are now a people without an identity, which explains why so many identify being Canadian as not being American.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-09-20 11:28:35 AM

"Canada is free and freedom is its nationality."

Canada is not free by any reasonable measure. Taxes are equal to 40% of GDP, we have the highest incarceration rate of innocent men in the entire world. We arguably have less free speech than any developed nation. The last several decades have been a nonstop onslaught on freedom.

Please stop peddling lies Hugh. You may not want to ackowledge this but you live in a profoundly un-free country.

Posted by: Canada? Not Free. | 2009-09-20 2:40:48 PM

"Canada is free and freedom is its nationality."

It's quote from Laurier.

Posted by: Publius | 2009-09-20 6:47:39 PM

"Quebec IS Canada and the ROC is a borghetto"
Writer unknown

The real problem with Canada is that from the very beginning, they claimed to be a Confederation, the the country has developed as a federation. Quebec was never respected in that development and the Federation has had only one thing in mind: assimilating the francophones in Canada.

Canada failed, Quebeckers has no identit problem, they know where they come from, they know where they are going. But English Canadians just say "We are not American"

Such a bunch of losers!

Posted by: Sylvain Racine | 2009-09-21 2:10:33 AM

You know where you're coming from all right: you're coming out of a century of spineless dependency. And you know where you're going: into oblivion in a handcart. You've never been, and you'll never be, a free and independent people. If that's what winners look like, don't expect any of us losers to get too envious.

Posted by: ebt | 2009-09-21 12:50:00 PM

Canada failed, Quebeckers has no identit problem, they know where they come from, they know where they are going.

Yes--into oblivion, if their economy and negative population growth are any indication. Québec hasn't been in the black since Duplessis died, and their population has been dropping steadily since the 1990s. And Québecois have the nerve to call his era "La Grande Noirceur."

But English Canadians just say "We are not American"

Actually, Québecois say that too. The Liberals have long pandered to the pathological anti-American streak that both Ontarians and La Belle Province share. Western Canadians, by the way, are much closer to western Americans in outlook than they are to eastern Canadians, who seem to them a spent and dying polity.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-21 5:42:12 PM

Define "innocent men," CNF, and provide numbers, if you can. Oh, and you may not classify convicted marijuana smokers or traffickers as "innocent."

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-21 5:43:20 PM

Canada has not been free for decades.Tried riding a bike without a helmet lately ?. A free country would not have a HRC,a bill 64 or illegal lawn darts. My grandfather stopped going to the Legion because it was illegal to smoke his pipe there. He says thats not what he fought for in the war.He is very bitter as to what has happened to "this piss ant country". He is 82 and says he is glad he's on the way out. He still longs for the country he used to know. None of us will ever know that country.

Posted by: peterj | 2009-09-23 11:50:43 PM

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