In the mid 1980s, two of the enduring magna opera of conservative thought, Jean Francois Ravel’s How Democracies Perish (1984) and James Burnham’s The Suicide of the West (1985) appeared in quick succession to spelunk amongst the unconscious psychopathologies of what Malcolm Muggeridge had earlier called “the great liberal death wish”.  At the same time (1984), the Conservative Book Club’s alternate selection was R. Emmett Tyrell’s optimistically titled The Liberal Crack-Up.  (Reagan was in power; it was the dawning of the age of “irrational exuberance”.)

That in the West democracy and civilization as we knew them are now roadkill putrefying on the shoulder of the Highway of Progress will get no argument from the present writer.   But that liberalism as a political philosophy is moribund or suicidal — if that was the authors’ implication—appears to have been a consoling illusion.  The Left, in its current “progressive” modality, is very much alive, and can be seen everywhere—forgive the indelicacy, but the image is all too apposite—urinating on the graves of its erstwhile undertakers.

Continue reading “The Great Conservative Death Wish”

Provincial elections in Ontario, not to mention the federal Conservative leadership convention, are just around the corner.  For those who are giddy at the prospect of replacing Doug Ford or Erin O’Toole with a genuine conservative, as opposed to another carnival mountebank, I offer the following as a way of talking you down.

From grade school onward, Canadians have been admonished about their civic duty to vote.  I’ve always wondered about that, since (as the late P.J. O’Rourke observed) voting for politicians only encourages them.  Sociopaths who steal your hard-earned wealth and dictate what you must do, say, and think need no more encouragement.  In a healthy society, those who run for office should have a modicum of fear of being run out of it.

Continue reading “Conservative Party Humbug; Or, Thank You for Not Voting”

Well, are we there yet?  Can Canada under the current “state of emergency” (how many states of emergency can legislators declare in two years?) be officially categorized as the latest in the dwindling and discredited ranks of the third world’s police states?

The very cornerstone of democracy is the right of every citizen to disagree with, and express his disagreement with, his government. That is, in essence, what distinguishes modern democracy from the tyrannies of antiquity, the divine-right monarchies of the Middle Ages, and the fascist and communist totalitarian utopias of the previous century.  But political dissent is now a crime in Canada.

Continue reading “Canada’s COVID Police State: Are We There Yet?”

  1. Welcome, Truckers

December 29, 2021, 12:53 p.m. ET

FROM:  jack@thePMO                                                   

TO: jill@LiberalPartyCampaign

Hey Jill,

Jack here, on the Hill, at the P.M.’s Office.  Listen, Jill, we just received word (“intelligence”, as we say in government) over the holidays that the Truckers’ Union (or the Fraternal Order of Truckers, or the Truckers’ Benevolent Association—whatever) is thinking about Ottawa as the site for their next big confab in Jan. or Feb. of next year.  Naturally, Justin wants to make it happen since he has always identified with the working man—”workers of the world unite” were the first words he learned to say on uncle Fidel’s knee—and (keep this to yourself) spends hours at a time sitting in the front seat of the big rigs parked at the permanent construction site outside 24 Sussex playing with the horn and the CB radio.  Well, he’s really excited, and already has his trucker outfit all picked out so he can greet the lads appropriately when they roll into town.

I’m sending you a first draft of the Welcome Message I’ve composed at JT’s request.  Ignore the strikethroughs, of course, but let me know que pensez-vous: Continue reading “Trudeau, the Truckers, and a Tale of Two Protests”

Rousseauian “noble-savage” post-moderns regard the Christian doctrine of original sin as gratuitously pessimistic; just thinking about it induces in them paroxysms of indignation, leading to righteous fulminations against the original Christian sin of “judgmentalism”.  (Thus, progressives have put judgmentalism behind them.)

Indeed, in polite society, the mere mention of such medieval archaisms as sin—even the use of the classical term “vice”—marks their speakers as bigoted rubes and fuddy-duddies, just as dropping his h‘s marked a man as ignorant and lower class in Victorian England.  But no amount of leveling can superannuate the res that underlie the nomina.  And as one looks around at the world, the canonical Seven Sins of Christian tradition seem hardly sufficient to cover the new variants that infect us.

Continue reading “A Look Back and Around at Sin, Medieval and Modern”

While Mrs. P was in the kitchen this Advent baking her self-identified and non-binary-gendered gingerbread persons, I was wondering whether in a hundred years from now the Christmas story would have to be flagged by a trigger warning, or banned outright.

After all, the three principal characters belong to an all-white, conventionally heterosexual family.  As the inheritors of white privilege, they are adored by poor and oppressed shepherds; and the only people of colour in the Nativity frame are stereotyped as third-world despots paying fulsome tribute to an aristocratic Prince who will soon extend his colonial hegemony over the entire world.

Mary, in spite of having been violated by the Father, goes meekly, indeed, gratefully along with her degradation in Judea’s misogynist, male rape culture; and the only person who is troubled (Joseph), blames the victim. Continue reading “Priceton’s Sixth Annual Christmas Trigger Warning; or, The Christmas Story, 2121”

As we have known for some time now, comedy is dead:  run over by the serial bandwagons of political correctness, and left as roadkill on the shoulder of the Highway of Progress.  Such masterpieces of the stand-up comedian’s art as Henny Youngman’s perfectly crafted two-liner, “I dropped my wife off at the beauty parlor the other day.  She was there for three and a half hours; and that was only for the estimate,” are now unspeakable; indeed, they are stonable offences.

Comedy can only take root in soil watered by self-reflection and quickened by the sunshine of liberty; in an age in which audiences are drunk on the sour grapes of resentment, victimhood, and self-esteem, the comedic arts fall on stony ground.  Ironically, comedy thrived even amongst the untermenschen of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, though not, of course, among the self-serious fanatics of the ruling Parties.  And in our Western progressive theocracies, practically everyone who counts—the media, the academy, Big Business, Big Tech — is a member of the Party.

Continue reading “The Death of Satire”

Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect: like a man, who hath thought of a good repartee when the discourse is changed, or the company parted; or like a physician, who hath found out an infallible medicine, after the patient is dead.

–Jonathan Swift

New Covid Man in his Habitat

Some of us had hopes that Vaccine Pride would at least outmode our national mask fetish, but we continue to witness the absurd spectacle of Canadians exhibiting their social responsibility (or craven submission to authority) by donning masks while jogging in the park, riding their bikes, or driving alone in their cars.  (Do they fear that the COVID-19 molecule is incubating stealthily in their car’s ventilation system?  In which case, shouldn’t cars be wearing masks too?)

Recently, while standing in one of those longer than normal supermarket lines that are another uncalculated cost of COVID prophylaxis — Canadians love standing in line, I know, and now they must be happier than ever — Mrs. P. had the temerity to call for an additional cashier, who, when she arrived, remonstrated, “We’re all in this together.”  That, of course, is word-for-word the official mantra of Canada’s federal government, blared at us incessantly on billboards, buses, highway signs, and through “independent” media, whose willingness to make themselves organs of State propaganda would have been the envy of Big Brother.  To hear that sentimentally manipulative slogan parroted by a co-operative serf reminds one of how easily and often in the past the masses have been led by maleficent rulers.

Continue reading “Authoritarianism, Propaganda, and Censorship in the COVID Era, Part II: A Medical Holodomor, and Two Heroes of the Healing Arts”

Today is the beginning of a form of discrimination that has never been witnessed in history, and this in “the land of liberty and human rights.”  I have not been able to enter a store for a long time now because it is out of the question that I put a sanitary napkin on my face. Since July 21st I have not been allowed to go to the cinema, to the theater, to a concert. And from this day on, I am not allowed to go to a bar or a restaurant, nor to take a train or a plane. Some people have mentioned the yellow star, but the comparison is irrelevant: the yellow star did not prevent you from going to the restaurant or taking the train. Some have evoked apartheid, but the comparison is irrelevant: apartheid did not prevent blacks from having their own restaurants or from traveling.

–Yves Daoudal, French journalist

 

Covid Patriotism

We have now entered that perilous phase in the psychic pandemic that can only be called “Vaccine Pride.”  Wherever two or three Covidians are gathered together, the first question is, “Have you received your second dose?”, whereupon the twice-inoculated proclaim the fact with born-again triumphalism. “The jabs” (surely the most infelicitous metonymy in the history of the language) are now the stigmata of righteousness, and yet another invitation to the postmodernist’s defining pose of moral superiority. When universal forced vaccination becomes the law — depending on where you live, it’s either already here or imminent — and showing written proof of vaccination is obligatory for admission to stores, workplaces, government offices, airports, subways and buses, for keeping your job, or merely leaving your home, don’t be surprised if those untermenschen who demur are required to wear something equivalent to the yellow star of David to advertise their moral insalubriousness and physical danger to the general public. (Not my comparison, by the way, but that of Vera Sharav, a Holocaust survivor appalled to see an ugly historical atavism re-asserting itself.)

Continue reading “Authoritarianism, Propaganda, and Censorship in the COVID Era, Part I: Coercing the “Vaccine Hesitant””

With the death in February of Tom Bethell (1936 – 2021), the refuseniks of what Orwell called the “smelly little orthodoxies contending for our souls” have lost an eloquent and redoubtable champion. Over the course of Bethell’s five decades as a writer (of seven books and hundreds of essays), the malodorous certitudes of political correctness have been piling up to Augean proportions. Bethell waded into them one by one—from cultural relativism to Einsteinian relativity—hosed them down, and dressed them in motley for our sport.

Continue reading “Tom Bethell, Debunker of Progressive Orthodoxies, Fearless Defender of Truth: RIP”