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Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Canadian Tradition

I'm currently part way through Brian Lee Crowley's latest book: Fearful Symmetry: The Fall and Rise of Canada's Founding Values. So far so good. I hope to have a review up later in the week. The basic thesis is that Canada was founded as a classically liberal society, and then lost its way through a combination of changing intellectual trends and Quebec nationalism. It is the later that Crowley cites as vital in explaining Canada's higher than average level of statism compared to other English speaking nations. The Quiet Revolution, and its aftermath, sparked a bidding war for the loyalty--if that's the word--of the Quebecois. The thesis is not original, but Crowley brings a considerable weight of scholarship to bear on the issue. He also breaks the taboo among the Canadian intelligentsia of stating the obvious: In the main the Quebecois are not loyal to Canada. The book is endorsed by a dazzling array of Canadian conservatives: Conrad Black, Michael Bliss, William Gairdner, Barbara Kay, Tom Flanagan and David Frum. If we can speak of Canadian conservative establishment, the above is a Who's Who. From the National Post:

The state had been expanding on both sides of the border for years. When Stephen Leacock warned of the impending arrival of socialism in Canada in 1924, the state in Canada was spending 11% of GDP. By 1960, we were spending over 28%. Again, however, there was nothing in that that distinguished Canada; government was carving out a bigger role for itself everywhere. No one denies that the zeitgeist was there, no one denies that government in general and the social service state in particular were growing. What has to be explained is not the direction of change, but rather its speed and scope and timing. 

And here the parallel social and economic developments of Canada and the United States over the previous century must be given their due weight. We were two societies with a similar intellectual, philosophical and institutional endowment. We Canadians thought of ourselves as the truer guardians of the British traditions of liberty and limited government, but the Americans fought a revolution in order to vindicate what they thought of as the rights and liberties of Englishmen. The spirit of the great liberal individualist John Locke presided over America's founding debates in the eighteenth century, just as he did over the Confederation debates of the nineteenth.

Posted by Richard Anderson on September 19, 2009 in Canadian History, Canadian libertarian politics, Canadian Politics, Libertarianism | Permalink


AAAAaaaaaaaahhhhhh, Québec.
Made a minority in their own land by a handful of Anglos. Deported and warned of assimilation by a small English elite of bien pensants. Hanged for dreaming of freedom and liberty in 1839. Forbidden to practice commerce or occupy key positions on our own political scene for long and numerous decades (if not a hundred years). Held down by our religious authorities working hand in hand with our Anglo masters. Shot at with machine guns for refusing to go fight the war of the enemy. Le Samedi de la matraque. Until Lévesque, paid far less than any ethnic groups (excepting First Nations, of course) for doing the exact same jobs. Having the RCMP feeding the FLQ in bomb material and pushing the insult to set themselves bombs that exploded – blaming it on the FLQ/ Stealing the list of PQ militants/ Jailing innocents for indefinite time, without a trial, without access to a layer and without any excuses after the facts. The Constitution Act of 1982. The Meech Lake episode, etc, etc…

…But, according to a bunch of Anglo “Conservatives” and Neoconservatives, we’re guilty of withholding English Canada to achieve its freedom…

Nevertheless, Quebecers managed to achieve a very unique Nation that shines and vibrates across the world with a distinct savoir-faire and plenty of successful businesses, IT related creators, doctors, architects, acclaimed writers, signers, movie makers, actors, way too much high level athletes for our undersized populated province, various and highly praised products from our terroir and so on…
Québec doesn’t have to pretend it is different from the Sates or the ROC because…it is, as a clear fact, different and unique. We have many flaws and yes the state is present in many, many areas but to hear some rednecks from provinces that never achieved shit worth the attention of the world (except for some participation in one or two wars); bashing Québec for being “tricoté serré” and taking control of its political scene with a different approach is at best, a joke. A joke that shows your envy and, honestly, that’s just lame.

At the attention of Shane Matthews…
Québec, since many years, is showing an increase in birth rates and THIS YEAR, the baby boom made us the most productive province in this area. I’m just telling you so that you stop making a fool of yourself (if that’s a possibility) with your pre-cooked arguments – courtesy of every Anglos specialised in Québec bashing.
Before all of the Barbara Kay in English Canada come with “the Muslims factor” regarding this new baby boom, please take note that those new births comes from very low or inexistent Muslims’ populated areas.
Take that you haters !

Posted by: Marc | 2009-09-21 11:28:00 PM

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