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Back to Observations
POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
2059. The Carbon Gods would scarcely notice if Canadians retreated, dutifully, to the caves. The government, on the other hand. would be pleased; it is firmly committed to the idea that it is better to posture than to prosper.
2058. Politicians are especially vulnerable to the virus of virtue-signalling. This pathogen of feel-goodery leads them to proclaim follies as truth -- and to disdain both consequences and practical alternatives. The disease -- a triumph of fiction over fact -- is endemic on the left.
2050. The pretense that unequal things are equal is the rot at the heart of the left wing narrative. It leads to the denial of competence, and the disregard of merit; it entails and assures mediocrity and dysfunction.
2048. Elect a clown -- expect a circus: magic acts of energy supply, high wire self-balancing budgets, and sideshows of fancy dress and miscellaneous follies.
2047. Trudeau -- the clown prince of Canada.
2046. The human preference for attractive lies over plain truths accounts for the rise and persistence of left-wing lunacy.
2032. When the government provides "free" healthcare, it is a short step to legislating against behaviour which results in higher costs. Liberty is always the price of security.
2031. There is an authoritarian jackboot implicit in socialism's promise of free stuff from the government. What the government gives, it can also withhold from those deemed insufficiently compliant.
2023. Socialism -- a jackboot disguised as Cinderella's slipper.
2022. Socialism offers an attractive fantasy -- equality and free stuff provided by the government. Seemingly, it overlooks the mainspring of human motivation -- self-interest. In fact -- that is reserved for the unequal elites, who ultimately ensure the conformity of the common people by coercion. It is a jackboot disguised as Cinderella's slipper.
2021. All societies require a degree of co-operation to function -- call it conformity -- or even servitude -- if you will. The great advantage of capitalism is that servitude is the natural outcome of self-interest -- the achievement of goals. It is chosen rather than coerced.
2005. The stupidity arising from unexamined good intentions is probably the most dangerous: it claims moral superiority, assumes infallibility, and proceeds with the impenetrable arrogance of sacred mission. Politicians seem especially vulnerable.
1961. The trouble with men of "vision" is that they invariably see themselves as benevolently infallible leaders, deserving of the grateful adoration of the unwashed, unthinking multitudes.
1953. A liberal believes not merely that the one-legged man can win the footrace, but that his failure to do so represents an unacceptable deviation from the egalitarian principle intrinsic to the function of the universe. A motorized scooter provided by the government is the required solution. A conservative believes the man should expend his energies in the field most likely to bring success, and he should be reasonably content with the rewards his best diligence can produce. The scooter should be provided only in the case of failure to achieve basic needs.
1948. Motion M - 103 approves, in principle, the claim of laws against blasphemy: that there are some ideas so utterly ridiculous that they must be protected by the state.
1947. Laws against blasphemy represent admissions of error; they proclaim that some beliefs are so stupid, so vulnerable to criticism, that fear is the only means of protecting them from ridicule.
1934. Every society will seek to modify the law of the jungle -- to mitigate the extremes of competition which threaten social cohesion and co-operation. The great error is to believe that competition can be banished in an egalitarian utopia -- since it is the beating heart of the evolutionary process -- the necessary and persistent wellspring of all progress.
1925. Affirmative action policies show disdain for the principle of equality of opportunity -- which allows merit to triumph -- in favour of equality of result -- which assumes that competence is irrelevant.
1916. Perspective is crucial. Just as a dictator -- unopposed -- begins to believe in his own infallibility -- so dictatorial regimes -- which easily bully and bamboozle their citizens -- begin to believe that other countries can be treated with similar disdain. The two errors are related -- but the second is likely to be corrected first.
1912. The inarticulate nincompoop is never a threat -- he is easily identified and dismissed. Far more dangerous is the articulate, plausible, virtue-signalling nincompoop -- who may convince you to share in his stupidity.
1909. Racism is a bad thing -- except when sponsored by government. Then it becomes the white rose of virtue.
1906. Capitalism allows for the alignment of self interest and societal prosperity. In the hope of greater societal prosperity, socialism denies self-interest, and achieves social misery. The honey of self-interest works better than the vinegar of coercion.
1905. Just as individuals balance self-interest and tribal loyalty, so societies must adjudicate the tension between individual desires and the common good.
1904. Governments want a compliant citizenry; citizens want a compliant government.
1903. The Crystal Palace Paradox: The societal crystal palace requires a sacrifice of freedom -- a degree of conformity -- which renders it uninhabitable by actual human beings. The oppressions required in its construction herald and guarantee failure. The paradox applies to socialism, the multicultural paradise, world government, and the great reset.
1902. Schemes for utopian societies -- crystal palaces -- will always founder on the fact that human beings will cherish an amount of freedom which exceeds the degree of conformity required.
1896. Diversity is not an end in itself -- it is a strategy to enhance the odds of survival -- the survival of the fittest. Diversity which leads to irreconcilable division -- paralysis -- is not helpful.
1894. Revolutions, once begun, are stopped not by reason, but by necessity.
1889. Multiculturalism and socialism are both examples of radical innovations which cannot survive the environmental test of tribal realities. They require a complete re-engineering of human nature.
1885. The political power of the left rests on the existence of a dependent populace. It has a significant incentive to provide more free stuff, and decrease free choice wherever possible.
1884. The human condition is sufficiently imperfect that calls for revolution will always get a sympathetic hearing. Those who favour evolution may be disdained for their caution -- but evolution has an impressive track record.
1881. The left is much given to sound-good mantras – the signalling of virtue. It obviates the need for thinking about where real virtue lies -- for dealing with the complications of the real world.
1880. Aldous Huxley said that in the efficient totalitarian state, the slaves would love their servitude; Robert Frost said freedom arises from being easy in your harness. Capitalism enslaves with material rewards for a relatively free expression of competitive self-interest -- but does not address unequal results. The socialist harness appeals to an ideal of co-operative "equality" -- but requires sacrifice -- it minimizes choice and reward. The Chinese social credit system attempts to meld the two by giving material rewards for pre-determined standards of tribal co-operation.
1875. Socialism promises equality, delivers slavery.
1863. The egalitarian/globalist dream is of universal cultural compatibility. The truth is that the caste system is not compatible with judging people on their merits; laws against blasphemy are not compatible with freedom of speech; and a belief in the supremacy of religion is not compatible with the democratic notion of the importance of the will of the people.
1844. In an age devoted to the signalling of virtue -- rather than determining where virtue actually lies -- it is wise -- in making public statements -- not to allow one's judgment to be clouded by facts.
1832. Multiculturalism -- the idea that all cultures are equally worthy and inherently compatible -- is not realistic. A policy of accepting immigrants from different cultures is viable -- as long as there is an understanding that cultural values can be antithetical, and necessary accommodations must be made by immigrants -- not by the inhabitants of the country of destination.
1828. "Diversity" and "inclusivity" are buzzwords rooted in the notion of equality. Diversity -- often held up as a desirable goal -- assumes diverse elements are equally worthy; inclusivity -- similarly -- assumes that everybody included is equally competent. In fact, diversity can lead to dangerous divisions -- and inclusivity suggests that standards and merit are irrelevant. Who wants to drive over a bridge constructed by an "inclusive" group of builders who have no knowledge of engineering principles -- and who have widely "diverse" -- even antithetical -- opinions about how to make it safe?
1827. Socialists would refute King Canute: they believe that success against the tide of history is possible.
1825. Democracy assumes the existence of a knowledgeable and intellectually competent electorate. Socialist educational policies -- which value "equality" rather than accomplishment -- help to create exactly the kind of gullible population which socialism needs to achieve its "egalitarian" -- but oppressively authoritarian -- "utopia."
1816. Canada's Motion 103 is an example of Tolernaziism. In the interests of tolerance, it suggests that the deficiencies of Islam should remain hidden -- by classifying any criticism as hate speech.
1815. Tolernaziism: The condemnatory stance and oppressive measures taken by those who believe that the equality of things justifies undiscriminating tolerance -- or tolernuts. It is the moral failure implicit in the refusal to make moral distinctions and value judgments. (An example of condemnatory stance would be Trudeau's outrage that honour killings should be termed "barbaric." An example of an oppressive measure would be the Austrian law which criminalizes the "disparagement of religious precepts.")
1788. No society will improve if governments -- and citizens -- persist in claiming that there is no hierarchy in cultural worthiness.
1784. Those obsessed with diversity seem remarkably uniform in their opinion that it is an end in itself. They forget that diversity is a means -- it provides a wide pool of possibilities from which strength may be derived -- by selection of the most useful, viable alternatives. Diversity for its own sake suggests infinite division -- a descent into chaos.
1782. The Indian reserve reflects the egalitarian socialist/communist model. No one owns property -- and so no one has an incentive to maintain what is the responsibility of "the state" to fix. Similarly, only handouts -- not work -- are essential for survival. What the model overlooks is the very essence of life -- the timeless struggle for improvement -- the achievement of unequal outcomes. A successful overcoming of obstacles instils confidence and develops skills -- but "equality" means stasis -- and dependency erodes the soul. It is little wonder that remote reserves -- lacking economically viability -- bereft of challenge and purpose -- sink into a miasma of suicide and despair.
1776. The idea that the legitimacy of government derives from religion cannot be reconciled with the notion that it depends upon the will of the people. The idealists -- those who believe it can -- would be willing purchasers of a unicorn ranch on the Big Rock Candy Mountain.
1774. The Canadian diet -- long on fantasy, short on reality -- has had the expected result: Cultural Derangement Syndrome. We are now more than half in love with the easeful death of cultural and economic suicide.
1763. The temper of the times: good intentions and virtue signalling trump realism and results.
1754. Civilization represents the successful exchange of some individual liberty for the advantages of tribal security and tribal co-operation. Socialism is a trap which overlooks the law of diminishing returns: at a certain point the sacrifice of liberty is destructive, and "civilization" bcomes indistinguishable from slavery.
1753. The record of socialism is unblemished: it invariably transforms good intentions into disastrous results.
1752. The problem of socialism is the problem of human gullibility.
1744. Welcoming large numbers of immigrants without trying to determine their interest in or capacity for integration no doubt bolsters a sense of virtuous egalitarianism. The practical results are likely to be unfortunate.
1740. Without the "preferred narrative" -- the steady diet of lies -- liberals would be forced from the asylum and have to deal with reality -- just like everybody else.
1737. By holding that the greatest harm lies in the hurting of feelings, political correctness radically distorts the moral compass -- it precludes the recognition of evils far more profound. There is no better example than that of Mr. Trudeau, who expressed outrage that honour killings should be termed "barbaric" -- because it might make immigrants feel "defensive." The only immigrants who would be offended, of course, would be those who consider honour killings to be routine and acceptable. Thus, in his moral dystopia, Mr. Trudeau -- rather than upset the advocates and enablers -- would silence criticism of evil, and allow it to triumph.
1734. People who oppose the hanging of gays, the death penalty for blasphemy, honour killings, and the assumption of gender inequality as a foundational cultural precept, are often, nonetheless, enthusiastic proponents of "cultural diversity." If they are politicians -- with the least hint of encouragement -- they are likely to proclaim such diversity as a source of strength. It would appear that political correctness and the compulsion to signal virtue are effective agents in turning the human brain into mush.
1733. Socialism pretends that people will be satisfied with a co-operative "equality." It ignores the reality --that the essence of life is the struggle for unequal outcomes -- that failure and success are necessary threads woven into the fabric of existence. By attempting to replace struggle with dependency, it destroys liberty and erodes the soul.
1732. Socialism offers two misleading benefits -- free stuff -- and freedom from individual responsibility. Both involve a reduction of choice. Free stuff is not necessarily what the citizen wants -- but only what the state is willing to provide. If you do not have responsibility -- then you are dependent -- you lack the agency or capacity to improve your circumstances. The price of security is always liberty.
1731. Socialist schemes within non-socialist governments will always be characterized by inefficiency and coercion.
1730. The socialist impulse has an infected, totalitarian root: the vision of an egalitarian nirvana justifies any burden of human sacrifice. That is why the path of socialism leads to dictatorship.
1728. All governments are monopolistic; periodic elections are the only means yet developed for modifying their totalitarian tendencies.
1727. A monopoly represents an imbalance of power -- and thus engenders arrogance, degrades civility, and invites oppression.
1724. Politicians do not get elected by telling the truth -- but by blurring the line between fantasy and reality.
1722. As Margaret Thatcher observed: "The facts of life are conservative." It is perhaps not surprising, then, how often the fantasies and feel-gooderies of life turn out to be liberal.
1720. A benign dusting of good intentions seems to justify an avalanche of bad results.
1705. Successful self-reliance builds confidence; dependency erodes the soul. Socialism -- assuming that men would rather be dependent than confident -- erodes the soul.
1704. There can hardly be a more certain way of ensuring resentment against Muslims than by establishing penalties for criticizing their uncompromising and often hostile religion.
1703. So often, in politics, the choice is between the benign cruelty of conservatism and the destructive kindness of liberalism.
1697. Socialists do not realize that the essence of life is the struggle for unequal outcomes -- that the lifeblood of the human condition is the freedom to achieve success by overcoming adversity. They believe in a perennial perambulator of "equality" -- a doled-out baby formula of "security" -- and a level route designed to avoid the hills and valleys of reality. The effect is to ensure passivity and dependence -- to build a cage of incompetence and failure.
1696. Religion is a private, personal matter that should have no rôle in the framing of government legislation; nor should it appear as an element in the interaction between citizens and government representatives. Otherwise how is it possible to be assured of the distinction between democracy and theocracy?
1695. A government must be essentially secular -- or essentially religious: it cannot be both. It cannot claim to legislate on the basis of reason while allowing its employees to proclaim their superstitious preferences to the public during working hours. If a government wishes to endorse religion, it has a moral duty to citizens to explain exactly what religious beliefs lie at the heart of its deliberations.
1689. Ideal schemes for human society always oversimplify -- they assume that men are mere piano keys -- rather than beings complex, varied, and uniquely different.
1682. Liberal: big heart, empty head.
1681. Liberals like to advertise their big hearts; they worry less about revealing their empty heads.
1676. The ideology of Islam -- as evidenced by countries such as Iran and Pakistan -- is not compatible with western democratic values. Immigration policy must attempt to separate the harmlessly misguided, who can adapt, from the dangerously committed, who will not. The current notion -- that such distinctions are irrelevant -- will have unfortunate consequences.
1656. In their spare time, government employees may legitimately attempt to transform lead into gold, make moonbeams from cucumbers, or proclaim their religious beliefs. But references to such personal quirks are inappropriate in the workplace. In addition to being divisive or irrelevant, they can only serve to erode trust -- fragile at the best of times -- in the sanity and sobriety of government.
1655. Of course government employees dealing with the public should not wear religious symbols -- any more than they should similarly proclaim their political affiliation, preferred sports teams, or sexual enthusiasms.
1650. It is not surprising that liberals favour the lowering of the voting age: they know the young are idealistic, and vulnerable to their stock-in-trade of attractive illusions.
1639. Man was not made for the planned egalitarian ease promised by socialism, but for the freedom and struggle inherent in capitalism. The cruel necessity of competitive struggle can be mitigated, but not abolished. That is why socialism -- which attempts to do so -- invariably tends towards dictatorship, and why remote, communal, government-funded Indian reserves are cultural disasters.
1632. Reality -- the truth -- is sprawling, stubborn, contradictory, mysterious, and inconvenient. It cannot be tidily stuffed into the little boxes of religious dogma -- nor can it be agreeably housed in the brittle crystal palace of egalitarian socialist ideals.
1630. The Green New Deal shows the intellectual bankruptcy of the Left; the proposer and supporters have a believability balance of zero; further applications for credit should be denied.
1629. Mr. Trudeau suffers from the "Angelical Fallacy" – he believes himself to be irrevocably on the side of the angels. The delusion can be fatal: victims believe that their virtuous ends – so undeniable and obvious – will justify all means – no matter how foolish or ignoble. Thus, they make irretrievable pacts with the devil.
1623. The attempt to create the crystal people needed for the "egalitarian" crystal palace of socialism is intrinsically oppressive; socialism invariably veers towards dictatorship.
1622. Socialism and political correctness are both based on ideal, egalitarian visions of reality; they are both oppressive in the real world.
1607. Those in favour of non-discriminatory immigration should be required to marry randomly selected wives.
1597. Socialism assumes that men are mere piano keys -- to be manipulated by elite central planners tasked with the implementation of a harmonious "egalitarian" vision of a powerful leader. In fact, men aspire to some degree of freedom -- according to their talents and capacities -- to be both pianists and composers.
1594. Socialism is the crystal palace which nobody knows how to build. Much of the difficulty lies in the fashioning of the required crystal people.
1590. The Angelical Fallacy is common to all idealists, including socialists, supporters of affirmative action, multiculturalists, and climate activists.
1581. Religion has traditionally dealt with the dichotomy between what is real and what is imagined by placing the ideal world at a convenient distance -- after death. Socialism -- and the new secular religion of political correctness -- attempt to transform the real world by imposing ideal, egalitarian principles. Both are doomed by the bedrock reality: the essence of life is the struggle for unequal outcomes.
1572. The border wall is a defining symbol of our age. It is seen by realists as a cruel necessity -- by idealists as unnecessarily cruel.
1566. "Multiculturalism" -- "open borders" -- "strength from diversity" -- all these notions suggest that immigration need not be controlled, and cannot possibly represent a threat. Yet Motion M-103 shows the willingness of government to sell our birthright of freedom of speech for an unsavoury mess of religious pottage -- long rejected in our own culture but expected where Islam dominates -- the absurd claim that religion must not be criticized. The price of liberty, it has been said, is eternal vigilance. It is unwise to nod, agreeably, to the bromide lullabies of gullible idealists.
1559. Utopia -- whether secular or religious -- is not attainable. That is because at the heart of every society there is a need for co-operation and a need for competition. It is a conflict of necessary opposites which ensures things will always be a muddle. The proper goal of mankind is pragmatic idealism -- the best muddle possible. (But the idealists will remain dissatisfied.)
1547. Socialism will always fail because it pretends that competition and ambition are appropriate only in the governing class; the average citizen is expected to be content in an equality of mediocrity and misery. Capitalism succeeds, paradoxically, because it is far more egalitarian: it gives scope for the desires and ambition of all citizens.
1546. Socialism emphasizes security; capitalism encourages liberty.
1545. Dictatorship -- in government, business, or education -- is both dangerous and necessary; like a wilful child, it requires careful and constant supervision.
1544. The advantage of democracy is that it provides a mechanism for the supervision of the necessary evil of government dictatorship. Socialists -- in power -- devoted to central planning and utterly convinced of the virtue of their egalitarian cause -- tend to regard elections as intrusive and destructive; socialism naturally tends towards unfettered dictatorship.
1510. China plans to rate, punish, and reward citizens according to their obedience and loyalty to the state. It appears to be a significant step towards the ant colony model for the human species.
1509. In the garden of governments, democracy is the fragile orchid -- dictatorship the ineradicable dandelion.
1508. The default form of government -- that favoured by the gravitational force in human affairs -- appears to be some type of dictatorship.
1502. Nationalism is currently in disfavour; it is assumed that mankind can be transformed into a global automated ant colony, or that human beings, conveniently programmed, will hum contentedly in a single well-managed hive.
1501. Those who think that nationalism can be wished away are dreamers – tribalism is in our hearts and bones. We are not islands, entire of ourselves, but pieces of the continent, and parts of the main. We hope our country will prosper, the home team will crush the visitors, and our school will win the trophy. Local loyalties transcend the larger. Our challenge is not to eliminate nationalism, but tame it.
1461. The intellectual bankruptcy of the Left is shown by their insistence that it is possible to reconcile irreconcilables: that equality can be reconciled with merit, that justice is enhanced by discrimination against some in favour of others, that diversity is cohesive rather than divisive, that nations can exist without borders, and that antithetical cultural values can be made compatible in the magic of something called "multiculturalism."
1459. "Diversity is our strength" -- a phrase used by politicians in the belief that, with sufficient repetition, an attractive lie will acquire the lustre of unimpeachable truth.
1458. When people elect idiots, they will suffer the consequences of idiocy.
1438. The great dilemma of conservatives is that they wish to get elected, but know that their view of reality, while accurate, is not what voters wish to hear. They often put forward as candidates, inoffensive robots, carefully programmed to sound pleasant but say nothing in particular But robots are seldom a match for agreeable liars.
1437. Mr. Trump's great "crime" -- and the reason he was elected -- is that he is unafraid to say that some things are better than others.
1435. Motion M-103 reveals the true dangers of multiculturalism. It suggests a tumbling over the edge of rationality – into the abyss of cultural suicide.
1419. Globalism and nationalism represent two warring aspects of our instinctive desire for tribal hierarchy. Nationalism at least allows for the possibility of democracy; globalism does not.
1418. It is not surprising that democracy is so difficult to establish and maintain: it represents a radical modification of our instinctive tribalism.
1417. Democracy represents the conscious attempt to modify the worst effects of instinctive tribalism. It allows for the disruption of a natural tendency towards hierarchical entrenchment with regular threats of uncertainty. It is like the discontinuous practice of monogamy: serial hierarchy.
1416. The persistence of religion and the continuing popularity of dictatorships suggest that the human brain has developed with a strong bias towards tribal hierarchy -- conformity and an acceptance of authority. At most important turns in the road, tribalism trumps thought.
1411. Anthropogenic climate change is -- like all previous religions -- a useful tool for rulers. It subdues with fear, then encourages with distant rewards for immediate compliant behaviour. It is not surprising that in an era of religious skepticism, most governments have heartily endorsed a theory, which, wearing the robe of piety and the wig of science, compels assent from a gullible populace.
1410. The external threat -- real, imagined, or conveniently manufactured -- is the most useful weapon in the government arsenal.
1409. Fear and greed are the great motivators -- the bribe and the bogeyman the preferred tools of the politician.
1401. Motion M-103 suggests that free speech should be curtailed to stop "Islamophobia." It proposes the exchange of our birthright of freedom for an unsavoury mess of oppressive religious pottage.
1391. The informing principle of the Left, is, in a phrase, Superficial Feel-Goodery. In a prescription it reads: "Always focus on what sounds good; reality – the results – what works – these are matters either irrelevant or secondary."
1390. That country achieves "greatness" when it provides the highest standard of living and the most freedom for its citizens consistent with its survival.
1389. Excellence is achieved through the struggle of competition. Each country should aspire to greatness, in non-violent competition with every other.
1382. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation does not seek to reflect public opinion, but to mould it. The direction is away from liberty, and towards the harmonious security promised -- but never delivered -- by socialism.
1375. It is the task of modern government to provide security -- against attack, injustice, and extreme want. The provision of security invariably involves infringements on the liberty of some -- but the best government aims to enhance liberty for citizens in general. Identity politics poses the difficult question: to what extent is it legitimate to enhance the security of one group by infringing on the liberties of all the others?
1374. Those in favour of "open borders" have -- reportedly -- been reluctant to provide public access to their own fenced gardens.
1373. Can any nation remain half-slave to the idea that religion and government should be inseparable, and half-free to claim that religion is a private matter irrelevant to affairs of state? Only in the insanity of multiculturalism can the answer be in the affirmative.
1370. Governments see harmony as a component of security; the temptation is to see citizens as piano keys rather than composers.
1369. Every government must find a balance the desire for security and the need for liberty. Or the need for security and the desire for liberty.
1368. The art of government consists of knowing when to interfere, and when to step aside. It lies in determining the balance between security and liberty.
1362. The state which enables the greatest individual liberty is best -- but the freedom of the individual will inevitably be circumscribed by the requirements of the state.
1361. There are times when the freedom of the individual to express his devotion to religious fantasies must defer to the freedom of the state to express its devotion to secular values.
1360. A policeman wears a uniform to indicate that he is acting, not as an individual, but as a representative of the state. When he also wears a religious symbol, he is suggesting that the state approves of a particular religion, or that he represents something beyond -- and possibly above -- the state.
1359. Religious symbols worn with police uniforms suggest a religious state. In a secular state, such symbols represent confusion and disarray: the officer has divided loyalties -- and the state has an identity crisis.
1358. When the rational pretend to be delusional, they have one foot in the asylum.
1357. Secular states should avoid suggesting official approval of religious symbols. The rational do not pretend to be delusional.
1351. Religious ideas about society and government should be judged like all others: do they contribute to the well-being of the body politic? The claim of divine inspiration and approval should be dismissed as the bullshit it is.
1347. Canada's universal health care system is both falsely egalitarian and truly oppressive. The patient, who -- in a capitalist society -- would be a customer able to take his business elsewhere -- is reduced -- in a socialist scheme -- to a supplicant without options. The price of security is always liberty.
1336. "Affirmative action" -- and all endeavours based on that template -- embrace a signal perversity: the remedy for injustice is further injustice.
1315. A liberal is someone who hops enthusiastically aboard the bandwagon "Sounds Good" -- without checking the street signs: "Path to Prosperity" or "Road to Ruin."
1314. The fatal leftist flaw: always go with what sounds good – worry about the results later.
1307. The popular ship "Sounds Good" invariably goes aground on the obdurate and immovable rocks of "What Works."
1306. The multicultural lens – linked to the political telescope – is remarkably tolerant and forgiving. Moral issues, seen clearly with the unaided eye, are blurred, indistinct -- the hard edges softened in a wash of comforting rose.
1302. Those who seek self-esteem through government-enforced pronoun usage reveal a pathetic inadequacy. Such deference compelled is empty -- it rings hollow at the core; substantial self-regard can arise only from accomplishment.
1296. The multicultural lens is, by its peculiar nature and composition, remarkably tolerant and forgiving. Perhaps it is not surprising that it fails to recognize honour killings as "barbaric," and raises no alarm when those convicted of attempted murder are invited along on a "dress-up" junket to India.
1286. There is a simple, basic truth which has the power to lacerate the heart of every socialist, to wither and destroy the soul of every multiculturalist, and to send every politically correct egalitarian screaming over the edge of the nearest abyss. It is simply this: "equality" is a figment of the human imagination -- some ideas, approaches and principles have superior function and effectiveness -- they bring more success -- than others.
1275. We do not expect government leaders to criticize any religion -- but nor do we expect them to decry "Islamophobia," and suggest that criticism of Islam should be silenced. In doing so, they betray the principle of freedom of speech. Expressions of pious outrage in defence of Islam are, in fact, counter-productive: like those of the Player Queen -- they are seen to be protestations entirely too much.
1237. "Equality" sounds good; "merit" works. The desire to substitute one for the other is a modern folly – one which underlies socialism, multiculturalism, and, of course – political correctness.
1231. Runaway spending -- when the money engine busts the brain brake.
1227. We are moving from an era of religious idealism to one of secular idealism; the central secular ideal -- which underlies socialism, multiculturalism, and political correctness -- is that of "equality." Beyond, a corrective era awaits -- one in which it is recognized that ideals must be tempered by reality.
1221. The great promise of socialism is "equality." But "equality' is a Procrustean bed into which real, competitive, and unequal human beings simply will not fit. The attempts to make them fit explain why socialist experiments eventually end as dictatorships.
1216. Ideals represent virtuous perfection; democracy is messy and unpredictable. The left will always favour ideals over democracy.
1215. Those on the left are often so enamoured with their ideal conceptions of man and society that they deem them unassailable virtues -- to be finagled when possible -- or imposed when necessary. This explains why all socialist schemes -- even those approved, initially, by the majority -- are eventually revealed as coercive. It is why "socialism," in time, becomes indistinguishable from dictatorship.
1212. Human beings respond to incentives; they are inherently competitive. Just as the competitive spirit cannot be allowed unfettered reign, neither can it be extinguished. Those who attempt to do so -- under the banners of virtue and equality -- are not merely foolish; given sufficient power, they become dictators -- and murderers.
1209. The single payer health care system is, necessarily, coercive, removing competition and reducing patient choice. How we supplicants wish to throw off the yoke, and become customers, able to take our business elsewhere!
1202. The law of the survival of the fittest is cruel, but axiomatic and irrefutable. As civilizations focus on equality, rather than merit, so they ensure their decline.
1201. Socialism, multiculturalism, and political correctness are all informed by the principle of equality. Since "equality" is an unattainable ideal state, coercion and oppression are intrinsic to all three.
1197. Propaganda is only needed when the truth isn't good enough.
1196. The United Nations is a whited sepulchre -- a veneer of noble intentions covering a festering corruption beneath.
1194. Liberal principles...aren’t they a bit like worthless treasures, unlikely certainties, and – oh yes -- straightforward deceptions?
1176. Those who murder for the "correct" socialist reasons seem to be judged on their fine egalitarian intentions – never on their ruthless means and disastrous results. (Ireland issues Che Guevara stamp.)
1175. The Genie of power is notoriously reluctant to return to his bottle.
1169. Everyone knows that people are not equal. That is why it is necessary to keep insisting -- with such vehemence and conviction -- that they are. That is why we are always willing to give socialism one more chance.
1168. Socialism pretends that men are equal, interchangeable, nitwits -- imbued with all the aspirations of a working-class ant.
1167. The most dangerous men are those who have -- or pretend they have -- a vision of an egalitarian society. That noble end will justify a tsunami of oppressive means.
1166. The secret to a successful murderous dictatorship is to call it socialism.
1160. "Islamophobia" -- the irrational fear of Islam -- scarcely exists. An example would be the belief that agents of Islam are reading our thoughts through the television set. Overwhelmingly, the fear of Islam is perfectly rational -- it is based on the fact that the religion is oppressive and threatening in theory, and is interpreted literally by significant numbers. The attempts to vilify those who fear Islam represent stupidity wearing the mantle of "tolerance."
1157. Socialism pretends to equality; but the distinction -- the inequality -- between the central planners and those who must fit into their plan reveals the intrinsic and fatal flaw in the pretence.
1156. In healthcare -- as in everything else -- he who pays the piper calls the tune; when the government pays the piper, the patient must adjust his musical sensibility.
1154. Socialism promises the ideal of equality; it fails to note two pertinent truths: equality is not actually attainable in the real world -- and the attempt to achieve the impossible is invariably oppressive and coercive.
1152. Socialism proves -- through its repeated failures -- that equality is not in the blueprint of nature. That socialist schemes are still pursued illustrates the continuing unpopularity of reality.
1151. Churchill described the virtues of socialism and capitalism as – respectively – the equal sharing of misery and the unequal sharing of blessings. What the Canadian health care system shows is even less flattering to socialism: despite the pretence, even the sharing of misery is unequal.
1150. Socialism teaches a valuable -- although very expensive -- lesson: societies cannot function on the principle of equality. Unfortunately, idealists are very slow learners.
1149. Socialism: the aim -- equality; the result -- stupidity.
1148. Socialist schemes will always fail because they attempt to suspend the laws of economics, and to defy the realities of human nature.
1145. The great political divide has its roots in psychology: Those on the left are idealistic and gullible; those on the right realistic and apprehensive. One side focuses on hopeful intentions, the other on unsatisfactory results.
1133. The great intellectual failure of the left is to assume that ideal conceptions represent viable alternatives in real life. It is easy to proclaim virtue by being on the side of peace, tolerance, and equality. But peace may entail self-destruction, tolerance of evil allows it to spread, and equality -- if it were actually attainable -- implies mediocrity, stasis, and the cessation of progress. Choosing -- in the real world -- usually involves determining the lesser evil.
1126. Mr. Trudeau: a man whose superficiality extends, undiminished, to his core.
1125. Mr. Trudeau is a deeply superficial man.
1118. Socialism illustrates the tyranny of the ideal: it invariably leads to dictatorship.
1074. In left-wing philosophy, only society is to blame -- evil and self-interest are vague illusions. Justice is best employed as an occasional scullery maid in the house of infinite mercy.
1071. Tribalism -- which is instinctive -- favours conformity and provides the comfort of herd-like thinking; thus it tends naturally towards dictatorship. Democracy attempts to modify the natural bias -- but it requires constant effort and commitment. No one should be surprised that it is not more eagerly adopted.
1069. Socialism pretends that benevolence can be made compulsory. But compulsion is corrosive -- it erodes and eventually destroys benevolence.
1065. Apology and appeasement -- the Obama approach to world affairs -- represents a sacrifice of truth in the pursuit of harmony. But, in the end, the world recognizes merit; it is not productive to hide the light of superior ideas under a barrel of obsequious self-effacement.
1064. Life, at its core, is not egalitarian, but competitive. This fact may be deplored, and competition may be beneficially modified in the interests of "equality" -- but it can never be eliminated. The attempts to create egalitarian societies -- socialist states -- are coercive cures worse than the disease they are meant to remedy. All socialist societies are Procrustean beds -- they invariably become dictatorships as they attempt to force real, natural, competitive inequalities into a theoretical framework of equality.
1061. Voting for politicians who spout optimistic nonsense is like buying a lottery ticket: you can live in a fantasy of hope until the numbers are drawn. Then it's back to reality.
1023. Socialism -- the dictatorship of good intentions.
1022. Socialism is the road paved with good intentions -- it invariably leads to the hell of dictatorship.
1021. Central planning can never achieve the promised equality -- for its premise is the existence of two unequal classes: the planners and the planned.
1020. Socialism seeks harmonious perfection through central planning -- the successful completing of ideal round holes using the square pegs of reality. Thus it is necessarily oppressive; it is invariably revealed as a dictatorship.
1018. Socialism requires central planning -- it assumes that men are piano keys to be manipulated in the achievement of an ideal harmony. But men prefer to be composers and pianists -- not piano keys.
1015. Capitalism works because it recognizes and gives scope to the competitive instinct. Socialism doesn't work because it pretends that people don't want to compete -- they want to be equal. It's the distinction -- once again -- between what works and what sounds good.
1014. A capitalist democracy -- in which citizens conform in the interests of self-improvement -- is superior to a theocracy or socialist state -- where citizens are required to conform to an ideal vision of reality; these invariably become indistinguishable from oppressive monarchies or dictatorships.
950. Mr. Trudeau’s intellectual arsenal consists of a stock of comforting platitudes, feel-good fantasies, and myopic mantras. They are un-assimilated hand-me-downs – neither forged from personal struggle nor tempered by encounters with reality.
949. The European Union overlooks the reality of man’s instinctive tribalism. People do not like to be ruled by those both distant and unaccountable.
948. In an era of political correctness -- where feelings are more important than facts -- it is not surprising that socialist regimes are not judged on facts and results, but on aims and intentions. As long as the aim is equality and brotherhood, murder and oppression are merely unfortunate but excusable inconveniences.
947. The "preferred narrative" of those on the left is the world not as it is, but as it "ought" to be. Thus fascism is the obvious and necessary response to any threatening reminders of a reality that has already been rejected.
925. Socialism requires a great deal of coercion in order achieve the unnatural conditions of "brotherhood" and "equality." It is simply dictatorship pretending to benevolence.
915. When confronted with the choice between an attractive dream and a workable reality, people often choose the dream. The admirers of the Canadian health care system are an excellent example.
912. Mr. Obama's intent has always been clear: to transform the lion of initiative and entrepreneurship into a pussy-cat of socialist mediocrity.
901. Socialism has a magnificent vision: a crystal palace of equality for all. Such edifices are doomed to fail -- since no one has found a way to construct the crystal people required to inhabit them.
900. Capitalism embodies freedom; socialism yearns for security. They are the cobra and mongoose found in battle within the body politic.
899. The universe is not an ethical machine, but a utilitarian one. That is one reason why successful dictators are not more reviled: the successful end overshadows the dictatorial means.
898. Fidel Castro illustrates the necessary link between socialism and dictatorship. Socialism is the genetic legacy of ants, but human beings still yearn for some degree of autonomy and some measure of freedom.
897. Fidel Castro did not "love the Cuban people." He loved his vision of the Cuban people. Between these two concepts there are worlds of cruelty, and light years of oppression. Nor should brainwashing and the Stockholm Syndrome be confused with genuine reverence.
892. Socialism always looks like a peach -- but it tastes like a lemon.
890. "Thrift" and "government expenditure" are concepts not simply mutually exclusive -- or even mutually destructive. They occupy galaxies so distant that no light has ever travelled between them.
837. As much as power corrupts -- it also seems to blind. (The
political class seems enamoured of the idea of anthropogenic global warming --
despite failed predictions, and the fact that the behaviour of alarmists is
from that of the purveyors of snake oil.)
828. The open border is a sieve claiming to be a bucket.
827. The "open border" is a conceptual triumph of the oxymoronic mind. It should be welcomed with the restrictive abandon of enthusiastic reluctance. [We assume that borders have a protective function -- against invading armies and uncontrolled immigration. If security and cultural integrity are not issues, an "open border" is possible -- as in a provincial or state boundary line.]
825. Identity politics – which assumes that no man can see beyond the interests of his own minority group – combined with the fashionable focus on maximum diversity – would suggest that a return to tribal government (preferably with no more than twenty individuals per tribe) should be instituted as soon as possible.
813. In the end, human societies will reflect the nature of the creatures of which they are composed. Man is neither as independent as the jaguar nor as tribal as the ant. The view that humankind can out-tribalize the ants and become one giant colony is currently popular, but has no chance of being realized.
812. Each society must determine how much liberty should be sacrificed for security and equality.
810. Schemes to promote equality invariably involve a loss of liberty.
801. Socialism is based on the premise that human beings would prefer to be ants.
799. There is no free lunch. The Canadian government funds the health care system, but the patient is required to donate his right to choose a more efficient and timely service.
795. Those on the left usually follow a "preferred narrative" -- one from which any awkward, truthy bits have been excluded.
778. Appeasement never deters -- but always encourages -- aggression.
777. Every government contains the seed of corruption. It is called power.
776. The United Nations is extremely useful: it ensures that -- this side of sanity -- the idea of world government will never be considered.
774. No scheme of government benevolence should overlook the fact that some portion of humanity is crooked.
730. The Rose Garden was never promised; nor should it be invoked or simulated by Human Rights Commissions.
723. Truth disdains alike the sanctity of religion, the myth of equality, and the ideal of cultural fraternity. Thus it is inimical to peace, order, and security -- the raison d'être of all government.
691. The globalist view is that national borders are anachronistic relics which should be destroyed. This ignores a certain obdurate reality: human beings are instinctively tribal, and territorial -- and tend to resist the incursion of foreign cultural values.
690. Borders make the nation. When borders are destroyed, the concept of nationhood is effectively obliterated.
686. The project of the European Union reflects a spirit more idealistic than scientific. It assumes – contrary to historical evidence -- that citizens are enamoured of central planning, and welcome the central plans of unelected elites; further – most recently – it has pretended that cultural – that is tribal -- differences are always minor, and will succumb to good intentions. It is significant that the first country to leave the Union is one which, by historical exceptionalism and through geographical isolation, has a strong sense of tribal identity.
681. Globalism is theory; nationalism -- which has its roots in instinctive tribalism -- is practice.
679. We have begun to believe that a certificate of intellectual bankruptcy must be one of the chief pre-requisites for those on the political left.
650. The enthusiasm of the Liberal government for deficit spending suggests they believe they have discovered a new magic -- an innovative incantation which will ensure their perennial popularity. In fact the new magic is simply an old trick -- one destined to be seen as a false "sleight of mind" when the money runs out, and there are bills to be paid.
649. The spiritual home of Left-Wingery is -- of course -- none other than the Big Rock Candy Mountain -- where the sun always shines, the handouts grow on bushes, and the bluebird, full of free lemonade, exults in perpetual song.
626. It's a pity to see western democracies caught in the trap of their own idealistic but inappropriate tolerance.
617. Life's but a trial --
A bleak day-to-daybia
So vile is the style
In Saudi Arabia.
603. "Preferred narrative:" A pleasant, left-wing version of reality designed to obscure the truth.
601. The Greater Carrot Theory of International Relations: Carrots, provided promptly, and in sufficient quantity, render the need for sticks obsolete.
583. Government by grand gesture and untested hypothesis will proceed quite happily -- until the bills come in.
577. Virtuous Exemption Syndrome: An affliction which leads the sufferer to believe that his clear and undeniable virtue exempts him from observing normal conventions and rules of behaviour.
532. Pure virtue -- self-perceived -- seeks no compromise with reality. This explains the fascism of the Left.
524. The more governments grow in power, the more people look to government to solve problems; the more governments are asked to solve problems, the more power they seek to solve them. Thus liberty defers to security.
475. Conservatives are like the primly unaccommodating governess, constantly warning of what is permissible, what is reasonably consistent with the limitations of reality. Liberals are like the doting aunt, who never appears without a bag of candy, who holds out the promise of an easy trip to the Big Rock Candy Mountain, where the bluebird sings, and the sun always shines.
466. The love affair with central planning has its roots in religion: God -- omnipotent, omniscient, and holier than thou -- is the archetypical central planner.
458. Compassionate government largesse, apparently unencumbered, may yet contain the seeds of dependency, and the tendrils of tentacles. It is not inconceivable that eventually, "free" health care may require behaviour, diet, and medication in conformity with government guidelines.
451. Mr. Obama: the paragon of pusillanimity. When principle is sacrificed at the altar of legacy, weakness rises to virtue, and appeasement bears the palm and pride of statesmanship.
443. The United Nations is doomed to dysfunction because it falsely assumes the equality of nations and the moral equivalence of cultures.
429. No man is more dangerous than the idealist with power, for he will always seek to oppress or betray the people. The strong idealist sees citizens as square pegs who must be forced, ruthlessly, into the round holes of an imagined perfect behaviour. The weak idealist sees citizens as requiring no special care or protection: their power and advantages may be ceded, easily, to others -- because he believes in the essential goodness of mankind, and the kindness of strangers. Mao Tse-tung was a strong idealist; Mr. Obama is a weak one.
419. Mr. Trudeau's endorsement of all ninety-four of the often unrealistic recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission shows -- once again -- that there is no opportunity for political pandering which he deems unworthy of seizing.
409. The self-importance of those in government is directly proportional to the GMQ -- the Government Meddling Quotient. This ensures that Government Meddling will always be extensive, intensive, persistent -- and expensive.
396. Idealism is absolutism. That is why idealistic schemes for improvement, allowed their full scope, become coercive and oppressive.
383. Internationally, Mr. Obama shows a rare talent for imbecilic perversity: he spurns his friends, and appeases his enemies. Thus he is, quite legitimately, derided for betrayal and despised for weakness.
371. The price of security is always liberty.
370. In the secure interdependence of citizen and state, the savanna gives way to the hive; man becomes a mere "piano key" to be depressed and released in accordance with the melody: a contented, harmonious buzz.
344. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal... (The American Declaration of Independence) This, of course, is mere pious piffle, the empty puffery of platitudinous pretense. We must conclude that declarations of independence are meant to have the flavour of ceremonial occasions – in which the pomp of oratory is expected to vie with the facade of circumstance.
327. The mainstream media seem determined to protect Mr. Trudeau from the natural consequences of his deficiencies. In this, perhaps, they simply reveal the persistence of a monarchist undercurrent beneath the democratic and egalitarian calm of Canadian society. For is not Mr. Trudeau the Hair Apparent and the Prince of Platitudes?
322. His intellect would feel lost in the vastness of a thimble. [Refers to a prominent Canadian political leader.]
315. When Mr. Trudeau speaks, it is as if a great muddle has been splashed
onto the calm surface of the sea of sanity.
313. For the Left, being the underdog excuses sins mortal, moral and multitudinous.
306. Mr. Obama is the great Sadim -- a Midas in reverse: everything he touches turns to lead.
302. There can be no honesty in politics: the realist must lie to get elected; the idealist, easily elected for his promises, must cede his beliefs to reality once in office.
298. Beware of politics masquerading as science.
292. Human Rights Commissions, with an alchemy perversely unjust, turn whines into gold.
287. Of all dreams, those driven by government are the most dangerous; implementation is undeterred by a sense of personal responsibility, and negative effects are felt by entire communities.
276. Human Rights Commissions show that the road of Bias can never lead to the city of Justice.
263. The socialists’ ideal is a compulsory grand scheme to construct a shimmering palace of crystal for all; that all citizens should have the freedom to construct their own dwellings is as abhorrent to them as the hodge-podge of mud, wood, brick, and glass which must invariably result.
262. The ideal of the central planner is a Phoenix too frequent: from the ashes of any grand, universal scheme -- from the immolation of inefficiency, or the conflagration of collapse -- must rise again the same remedy -- improved central planning.
254. The waving of Legislative wands, hoping that human nature can thereby be magically transformed, is the remedy of fools. It will create only the knavery of a disease worse than that which cries out for cure.
232. The United Nations is a wonderful example of the failure which occurs when idealism is unchecked by pragmatism.
218. The fascism of the Left, though masked in compassionate smiles, is still oppressive, and still cruel: it is still fascism.
217. Bureaucratic domination without representation is a recipe for slavery.
195. Western societies are engaged in a slow, determined march from liberty to security.
192. In general, it may be said that as the rôle of government increases, so liberty declines.
173. Evolution trumps revolution. Great changes are achieved incrementally, each step building naturally on the last. It is the folly of government to believe in the efficacy of great leaps -- and its hubris the attempt to implement them.
172. The response to criticism of those in power is in direct proportion to their feelings of illegitimacy.
161. The motto of the political class: Never displease; pretend and appease.
This may also be put in verse form: For wisdom it passes
'Mongst the political classes:
Pretend and appease.
150. Security by government intervention is always paid for in the dear coin of freedom.
143. The socialist’s advocacy of compassion, powerful and heartfelt though it may be, is matched by the staunchness of his belief that charitable works are best performed using other people’s money.
136. The silly hat syndrome is an unfortunate affliction specific to the political class; it is manifested by those politicians who adopt, on a temporary and expedient basis, the garb of that cultural group whose votes they wish to attract.
117. The left has an admirable but single-eyed concern for mercy – the raising of the unfortunate to a state of equality; what is missing in its vision is a concern for merit, that element of justice which dismisses equality, and acknowledges the legitimacy of both failure and success.
105. In the interests of accuracy, Human Rights Commissions should be re-named: Victimhood Advocacy Commissions.
104. It is hard not see Human Rights Commissioners as tiny tin-pot O'Briens, intoxicated, blinded, and corrupted with their power to compel assent to the proposition that two plus two makes five, three, six, or sometimes all of them together. (The reference is to Orwell's 1984.)
92. The truth is never a match for politics, or ambition.
84. In the fashioning of any government enterprise, efficacy is but a footnote to empire.
74. The capitalist system is competitive--hence cruel and unfair– just as life is. We can mitigate the injustice in both, but never eradicate it. When, in dismay, we seek alternatives, we are confronted with socialism and death; no one has made a convincing argument for the attractiveness of either.
56. If nothing else, The United Nations has a significant instructive purpose: it shows with what speed and to what extent idealism can be corrupted by reality.
49. Generous dispensing of funds is a largesse of the spirit, and a balm to the soul; it is especially pleasant when you are a politician or civil servant, and the money is not your own.
43.Nice is admirable, but consistently nice is at a disadvantage when dealing with nasty. That is why we have arguments, prisons, and wars. Canada’s attempts to enforce niceness constitute an egregious folly.
15. It has often been observed that socialism is a system designed for man as he should be; capitalism has evolved from the practices of man as he is.
13. Affirmative action is simply discrimination with a pretty face.
10. Expense accounts tend to corrupt; Government expense accounts corrupt absolutely.
9. Deep down, liberals and socialists would prefer a populace that is not independent, competent, and wealthy; distributing government largesse to the poor, the incompetent, and the dependent plumps their self-esteem, and, indeed, provides their raison d’être.
7. Socialism places much store in the notion of equality, but all it can provide is equality of poverty.
5. Conservatives have more trouble getting elected, because they tend, on the whole, to have a more realistic view of human nature and its possibilities than the Liberals. Reality is always the dowdy sister to Fancy.