Tutti in coda (II)

[This is simply a continuation of the previous Idlepost. My “software” decided it was too long, so I’ve tricked it by breaking the thing into two parts.]


Canada, in my view — and I speak from no other — was the ideal target for the “long march through the institutions” that we associate with Gramsci and the “Frankfurt School” of latter-day Marxists. Rather than waste their time on incendiary rhetoric and bombs, like the ineffectual anarchists before them, they would infiltrate the state and the professions. Gradually they would create the conditions in which Communism could be achieved: a society of straw men, terrified by fire. Rather than invest in their own propaganda, they would appropriate the publicity apparatus of the very society they sought to control. Bloody methods were not going to work; people would see what they were doing and stop them. Instead they would try the vegetable methods.

And these work splendidly in a country of vegetables. A handful of Canadians may speak up sharply, the rest will behave like sullen carrots. They will turn their irritation, should they discover any, not on their assailant, but upon the source of the noise.

I participated in a delicious example of this on a Toronto streetcar a few years ago, when a driver, who had been short-turned, refused to give his passengers transfers, citing an absurd technicality. Cheated of their fares, twenty people filed quietly off to the sidewalk. I decided to argue the matter with the driver, who responded with passive-aggressive indifference. (“Public servants” in Canada could detonate nuclear devices without being fired.) But when I stepped down from his car, defeated, I saw that my fellow passengers were finally upset. This was not because the driver had cheated them, but because I had confronted him. I had created a scene, disturbed the peace. Imagine a whole country like that.


Well, I have got this far without even mentioning the name of our current prime minister: Justin Trudeau. As the name suggests, he is the son of the late Pierre Trudeau, who governed with attitudes close to sadism, winning four elections, and being accepted by progressives here and worldwide as a really cool guy. Trudeau père, educated by Jesuits, had several admirable qualities, such as mental clarity and courage. But he was, overall, a nasty piece of work. I would not say this of Trudeau fils.

We all knew the little Trudeau’s qualifications for office when we elected him. He had been a gym instructor, and a nightclub bouncer. It is said he once taught drama, briefly, to a Vancouver high school class. He also had very pretty hair, and was the son of the Übermensch. Justin’s only known policy position, was support for the legalization of marijuana. But the Liberal Party of Canada, which was in power through most of the twentieth century, has formidable back rooms. All they needed was a face on the posters.

Imagine their surprise, and ours, when the lad turned out to have some other opinions. Or rather, not opinions, which implies conscious thought, but the attitudes typical of his generation. He is not a thinker at all, but a product of educational inflation. It shows at every turn.

When he, for instance, introduces legislation requiring those applying for public subsidies to endorse a checklist of everything from gay marriage to transsexualism to no-questions-asked abortion; or puts the use of preferred pronouns into the criminal code; there is no one to stop him. His own cabinet is filled with kids of like mind, chosen statistically by colour and gender; they take such things for obvious. They do not vex their pretty heads by thinking through the consequences.

And when they are confronted by people trying to reason with them — older, though often enough on their own side — they are genuinely puzzled. How could anyone be against anything that is politically correct? They never heard of it before. Their opponents must all be Nazis.

I’m not kidding about this: they really have never been exposed to anything except the fatuous beliefs now inculcated in our campus cultures — not only in Canada, but throughout the West. That “long march through the institutions” passed through before they were born.

In President Obama we had a preview of this, but now we’re in the movie. Obama was smart, and had some notion that other worldviews exist. He’d go to the trouble of tricking his adversaries. Young Trudeau never does this. He is wonderfully candid. His ideas about men and women; about economics, history, God and Man; about natural and positive law, and so forth — are so many bubbles in his herbal bath. He doesn’t know that his views aren’t original, that they all soaked in during the brainwashing process in the sheep lavoir.

As we look to the future, we can only expect the movie to continue. For the truth is, our ridiculously immature prime minister is at the crest edge of that “Generation X” which must, inevitably, come to power in country after country. We in Canada only have the privilege of enjoying it first, thanks to our national habit of being supine.


But there’s a flip side to that. We are, characteristically, very easy to embarrass. It seems the same young Trudeau has been making quite a fool of himself on the international stage. His “Mister Dress-up” performances in India and elsewhere have been making the news. He has become a butt of international humour.

To be fair, he couldn’t help this. A victim of the peculiar arrogance of his generation — moral shrillness whizzing from a bag of air — he is unable to take advice. He does what feels right to him, and when it all goes wrong, he is honestly confused. I wouldn’t put it past my fellow Canadians to flay him at the next general election, just to stop the pain.

For that’s another side of Canada that one might never guess at. We are secretly, for the most part, fairly near to sane. We may do stupid things (such as elect the Liberals, federally or provincially), but we do tend to notice when they charge us for it. It costs a lot of money to pursue ludicrous schemes in social and environmental engineering, not only directly in taxes, but also indirectly through carnage in trade. And when we start to notice, we frown like any aggrieved bourgeois. Moreover, Canada has the secret ballot. We might vote for a less progressive party, and no one would ever know.

The test is coming in the Province of Ontario, where the same ruling Liberal Party (provincial wing) has run up debts proportionally higher than California’s, and in much the same way. Their last provincial premier disappeared under a cloud of fraud suspicions, and was replaced by Kathleen Wynne, a very progressive lesbian on the Scandinavian model. She has put Ontario at the cutting edge of the “gender revolution” with sex-reorientation classes beginning at age five. (The man who designed this programme is now serving time for child molestation.) She has wind-farmed her way to quite alarming increases in everyone’s electricity bills. And she has done so much else. I notice her approval ratings are a small fraction of President Trump’s. And we have a provincial election in June.

Watch for it. I expect her to get clobbered by the Conservative opposition, whose new leader is naturally detested by our Liberal media. But they may not have the time to smear him properly. That leader, Doug Ford, is the brother of the memorable Rob Ford, Toronto’s illustrious, crack-partying mayor, who stormed the city with tax-cutting charisma. Doug was the brains behind the late Rob; he lacks the charisma, but probably doesn’t need it in the present circumstances.

Still, that is only a blip. When the media are finished with Ford, after a term or two, Generation X and successors will still be. It is demographically inevitable.


Europe, as one of our former prime ministers observed, suffers from too much history; Canada from too much geography. It was an astute observation, which pointed forward to another hard fact. From the top of Toronto’s highest communication tower, on a clear day, one may see almost one-third of Canada’s prime agricultural land — all of it now built over with suburbs. There is a lot of “nature” in Canada, that will be less arable, till the permafrost melts. But along our habitable strip, it is almost getting crowded. Even our cottage districts look like urban sprawl. This is not city life, but rather conurbation: there is little in the way of centre to it, except the high-rent skyscrapers and apartments downtown, where polite Canadians, who never meet their neighbours, don’t have any children.

Their knowledge of what lies outside their bubbles comes exclusively from within; their voyages outside are strictly recreational; they have no connexions to that nor, with the breakdown of family life, with the experience of other generations. As voters, they can only make decisions from what they see, carefully packaged for them by the progressive media. It is no wonder that the progressive parties have a near-monopoly on the “urban” vote, more or less everywhere, for there’s nothing to compete with the progressive messaging, reinforced by modern methods of crowd control.

This is another dimension of the post-modern phenomenon, worse in Canada than elsewhere because we are proportionally more urban. We may look like an empty country, from space, but the overwhelming majority of “the people” are strung through the superhighway maze. They spend much of their lives in traffic jams, tapping on iPhones within their metal cages. To say they are deracinated — a nicer word than “zombies” — would be to the point. But it’s worse than that, for within their virtual space they lose the precious intellectual links between cause and effect. They vote Liberal, not out of spite, but because they are mentally disabled.

Canadians thus find themselves in the vanguard of something happening throughout the West, and indeed, around the world. We don’t go out because it’s cold outside. The average Canadian, more than, say, the average Italian, is trapped in a centrally-heated interior. More and more, we live inside our computers. In a larger, cosmic sense we go stir-crazy.

But no revolutionary impulse follows from this. We’ve all come a long way, since 1968. Instead there is a growing disconnexion, from reality in all its known human forms. Canada may be a little more disconnected, but the direction we are travelling from our former orbit is much the same. We have the illusion of being at the front of a social revolution, when really we’re at the back of beyond, merely witnessing our own social dissolution.

Now, add in the evaporation of Christianity, and a further difficulty appears. We are without the moral or spiritual means to make a recovery.