I would like to offer a reflection on the link between postmodernism and the state of our nation, its ruling government and the 23rd Prime Minister. Today, July 1, 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. Should we be proud to be Canadians? Canadians have many things to be proud of, including the invention of insulin as treatment for diabetes by Frederick Banting, Charles Best and James Collip in 1922; basketball by James Naismith in 1891; AM Radio by Reginald Fessenden in 1906; walkie-talkies by Donald L. Hings and Alfred J. Gross; the sonar by Reginald Fessenden; the telephone by Scottish-born inventor Alexander Graham Bell in Ontario and countless other important inventions. Canada has also produced many talented athletes, musicians, actors and artists. Canada has much to be grateful for; we live in one of the greatest times and societies in the history of humanity in terms of our freedoms and access to cutting-edge medicine, science and technology. Nonetheless, we have a lot of work to do in terms of orienting ourselves as individuals and as a society toward truth and goodness. This country, despite its many fruits, is heading down the primrose path at the hands of the PM Justin Trudeau and The Liberal Party.
A Sad State of Affairs
I have deep concerns about where we are heading: insurmountable debt (projections of decades of deficit totaling $1.5 trillion); the passing of ominous bills such as Bill 28; Bill 89; Bill C-16; and anti-islamophobia motions like M-103; the promotion of the culture of death (legalization of assisted suicide and the prevalence of abortion); the politicizing of science; the dumbing down of our educational institutions (the safe space culture and stifling of free speech). Despite the great aforementioned achievements, I must say, given our current state, I am ashamed to be Canadian. I have often fantasized of beginning a Christian anarchist movement.
We are living in an era of endless selfies, virtue signalling, safe spaces, fake news and supressing free speech. Trudeau and The Liberal Party are crusaders for political correctness, social justice, multiculturalism, multi-‘faithism’ (except when it comes to core Christian values) and inclusivity. Inclusivity and diversity are Trudeau’s most common talking points. All are welcome and everything is to be celebrated, until of course, one disagrees with any of the major tenets of a politically correct society. Under a culture dominated by political correctness, one is deemed as intolerant if one voices disagreement, but of course, tolerance implies disagreement; it is inherent to its meaning. Political correctness has subverted the meanings of both tolerance and intolerance into an incoherent morass. But, lately, incoherence and disorder seem to be the law of the land.
Our PM, who possesses a strong desire to please groups of opposing ideologies, whether due to a severe confusion or plain duplicitous behaviour, has marshalled a leadership based on countless instances of doublethink. He, as many “leaders” of the West, including Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, and others, have engaged in a relentless effort to transform the fabric of the West into an unrecognizable garment. Indeed, these so-called leaders seek to bring the West to its knees, through genuflecting at the altar of political correctness and multiculturalism. It is the end of the West as we know it and everyone seems to feel fine. Well, perhaps not everyone, but certainly liberals, radical leftists and self-perceived “progressivists” (although their actions are regressive).
A few words on postmodernism are in order. Postmodernism has a complex history. It is a large movement that took place throughout the 1960s and has come to have a lasting place throughout academia. It has been unthinkingly accepted by numerous professors. Western universities have become a breeding ground for perpetuating postmodernist ideologies. Professors, in full force, have influenced and even indoctrinated their students into questioning the major doctrines of Western civilization. It has introduced a deep skepticism concerning objective truth, objective morality, human nature, methods of interpretation including how we come to understand science and history, political discourse and many other fundamentals of Western thought. Postmodernism gravitates toward relativism of all stripes including epistemological, moral and religious.
Perhaps the most infamous development of postmodernism is Jacques Derrida’s method of deconstructionism. Deconstructionism is a method of hermeneutics, a way of interpreting texts. The interesting thing about deconstructionism is its relation to political activism. A thought-provoking confession was made by Derrida on deconstructionism in his work, Moscou aller-retour, as it relates to connecting the abstractions and methodological issues in his epistemology to political activism, where he pinpoints, of all things, Marxism: Deconstruction never had meaning or interest, at least in my eyes, than as a radicalization, that is to say, also within the tradition of Marxism in a certain spirit of Marxism. This reveals the true agenda behind postmodernism and deconstructionism. Trudeau and The Liberal Party are the incarnation of postmodernism and its application of deconstructionism to political and social causes. Indeed, a cultural Marxism is revealed. What’s more, is that it is utterly relativist in its morality and epistemology.
The Relativist Impetus
In the fifth century B.C., the sophist, Protagoras, reasoned that since there is no real objective or universal standard, all views are equally valid. Protagoras claimed that man is the measure of all things. Unbeknownst to Canadians, who have kowtowed to political correctness, Trudeau is not only postmodernism’s poster-boy but the very embodiment of a relativist; a relentless champion of relativism. He has managed to somehow, consistently, in his inconsistency, been able to keep his feet firmly planted in mid-air. He is a feminist, yet is highly supportive of Islamic beliefs and gender segregated mosques. He is a Catholic (or at least claims to be) but a staunch supporter of the culture of death, abortion and assisted suicide. For example, instead of concerning himself with issues within Canada, he and The Liberal Party have been using Canadian tax dollars to promote leftist ideology, through the allocation of $650 million to promote “reproductive rights” and fight anti-abortion laws globally. Aside from the fact that The Liberal Government is amassing a tremendous amount of unsustainable debt, they could reallocate such funds for more pressing and legitimate issue such as improving our country’s dwindling educational system and the rapidly decaying infrastructure of our country. It is not the responsibility of the Canadian government to promote the annihilation of the unborn abroad, nor at home, for that matter.
He upholds liberal values, but then, much like his father Pierre, is a supporter of Communist regime’s like Fidel Castro’s long tyranny in Cuba (who despised anything liberal). In November, many people tweeted hilarious tweets with the hashtag: “#TrudeauEulogies” to mock Trudeau. What’s most troubling is that Castro had a horrific human rights record, one which, per capita, rivaled the Soviet Union’s murderous regime; the infamous firing squad was responsible for taking thousands of lives in front of Castro’s ‘paredón’ (the wall). Remarkably, Trudeau has been cozying up with China, negotiating free trade deals despite China’s atrocious human rights record and labour standards.
He is a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community (marching in the Pride Parade two years in a row) but rubs shoulders closely with Saudi Arabia concerning an arms deal, despite their dreadful human rights track record, including their abhorrent treatment and murder of homosexuals and transgender individuals. At the Pride parade in Toronto, Trudeau wore rainbow coloured socks with the text “Eid Mubarak”, showing that he never allows a virtue signalling opportunity escape him. One wonders if the majority of non-secularized Muslims would be thrilled to have the end of Ramadan associated with the Pride march. Trudeau even wished people a happy “Pride Mubarak” which literally translates to “happy blessed pride.” This puts their blessed celebration on par with Pride celebrations, which most consistent Muslims would oppose for obvious reasons.
Further Inconsistencies, Dubious Actions & Words
Aside from championing relativism, Trudeau and The Liberal Party have showcased their fair share of inconsistencies. Trudeau’s election campaign was based on transparency and “sunny ways” but he and his party have been anything but transparent. His vacation to the Aga Khan’s private island in the Bahamas remains under investigation by the Ethics Commissioner. Trudeau has claimed that one is allowed to accept gifts from a friend, but this does not seem to be the case since the Aga Khan is most likely giving gifts as a lobbyist and not a friend. Aga Khan’s foundation is a registered lobbyist within the Canadian government; his foundation has received $55 million to help women and children in Afghanistan. Continuing with Trudeau’s “sunny ways”, Liberals have attempted to make new parliamentary reform plans. Trudeau’s government has become autocratic, precisely what they accused the Harper government of.
In his cabinet, he has made many appointments based on an individual’s gender and/or minority status. Although he supports the progression of women and minorities it seems to have little do with merit but more with his approval ratings. Given this, one wonders, if this does not perpetuate precisely what the left detests, the dominance of patriarchal power structures in our society. If we promote minorities and women in a fashion that is not based on merit – how does this do anything to undermine the notion that men in general (‘cisgender’ white men in particular) are not superior, when it comes to holding positions of influence, intellect and power, if the contrary is done artificially? But why should a postmodernist care? In the end, as Nietzsche observed, in his work, The Will to Power, human inclinations have everything to do with the will to power, rather than having anything to do with truth.
At one point, it seems that Trudeau supported free speech, as he defended journalists who ask tough questions, but since then, neither he, nor his cabinet, have sought to make reasonable amendments to a portentous bill like Bill C-16, which pushes compelled speech on Canadians. This is an example of how one group’s freedoms compromise another’s, as professor of law at Queen’s University, Bruce Pardy observes:
Human rights are now a zero-sum game. Giving rights to some means taking them from others… Freedom of expression is a traditional, negative human right. When the state manages expression, it threatens to control what we think. Forced speech is the most extreme infringement of free speech. It puts words in the mouths of citizens and threatens to punish them if they do not comply. When speech is merely restricted, you can at least keep your thoughts to yourself. Compelled speech makes people say things with which they disagree.
Bill C-16, like provincial human rights codes, does not make specific reference to speech. In the Senate, supporters of C-16 fell over each other denying that the legislation would compel language. When Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould testified before the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, she specifically denied that the bill would force the use of gender-neutral pronouns. There are reasons to doubt her sincerity. First, human rights commissions say otherwise. Along with human rights tribunals, they have primary control over the meaning and application of code provisions, something the justice minister must know. Human rights commissions are not neutral investigative bodies but advocacy agencies with expansive agendas. In comparison, courts and governments play only a minor role in interpreting these statutes.
Indeed, Trudeau has never said anything about the consistent assault of free speech on Canadian campuses. Given his partisan leftist views, one should hardly be surprised. However, new Conservative Party Leader, Andrew Scheer has promised to defund universities who do not defend free speech: I do believe the university does have a responsibility to step in and prevent small rabble-rousing groups from having an impact.
There are many other inconsistencies and dubious actions that one can list. I’ll mention one last one. For a family man and someone who has a great inclination toward “social justice”, one would think that Trudeau would be more empathetic toward the family of a victim like Tim McLean. In 2008, McLean was decapitated and cannibalized by Vince Li, a paranoid schizophrenic. In 2009, Li was found to be not criminally responsible. This year, he was granted a highly controversial absolute discharge. For McLean’s mother, Carol de Delley, who has been highly critical of Canada’s not criminally responsible laws, this is a severe blow. As we know from a number of cases, that those who have been discharged in the past have gone to commit similar or even worse crimes. As, the former Conservative leader, Rona Ambrose posted on FaceBook: “Justin Trudeau must put the rights of victims before the rights of criminals.” In response, all Trudeau, could offer is bland platitudes about how he trusts our legal system, instead of taking the concerns of McLean’s mother and the public, seriously. It seems that justice only counts for Trudeau when it gains him popularity and the opportunity to virtue signal for faux causes.
The question arises: does he need to take a course in ethics and logic to cure him of the many years of indoctrination at the hands postmodern “social justice warrior” professors and politicians? Or does it go beyond mere naiveté to something more worrying? After all, was it not he who sought to give Pope Francis moral lessons upon their recent meeting? For someone who has only spoken passionately about marijuana and its legalization, can he be in any position to offer moral advice to anyone? There are many ugly truths about Trudeau the public should be aware of.
The incoherence, inconsistencies, lies, fabrications, and false promises are the sort of thing one would expect from a leader and a party who do not believe in object moral values nor truth. It is the “ideal” application of Derrida’s deconstructionism to the world of political activism. Nevertheless, as Christians we must pray for Trudeau and The Liberal Party, but we must also act to reverse Canada’s path to oblivion. There is still hope though, a new hope in Andrew Scheer, who has recently become the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. Scheer is a younger, more intelligent and articulate politician. He represents the antithesis of Trudeau. Scheer is a devout Catholic who publicly defends objective morals and truths. He seems to have a greater interest in transformative action which lines up with the true good, rather than virtue signalling and being politically correct. His concerns also seem to align with justice rather than ludicrous social justice causes. He can potentially make Canada great again. In response to the unthinking cultural Marxism that Canada has succumbed to, let us keep in mind the words of John Paul Watson: “Conservativism is the new counter culture.” A growing number of Canadians are waking up and have become increasingly dissatisfied with the state of our culture. Let us look to Poland’s courageous stance to preserve a Christian identity, in the face of suicidal globalist trends throughout Europe with unfettered immigration policies and open borders. Do Canadians really want to be known for political correctness, not allowing free speech, promoting death at both extremities of human life, a postmodernist PM, countless examples of doublethink and ludicrous social justice causes? It is high time to rethink our values and the direction we are heading.
In my next article, I will discuss several strategies to combat the postmodernist trend Canada has been following.
Have a Blessed Canada Day and be safe!