Originally Posted by hipster duck
I have a weird, unverifiable theory that Canada isn't enlightened, it's just 10 years late to every party. This applies to everything from ramming freeways through our inner cities (luckily we were able to look south and learn from this) to electing neoconservative hawks ten years after 9/11.
Our "enlightenment" is almost completely circumstantial, and it's the height of fantastical ignorance to suggest otherwise. The overweening and self-congratulatory Canadian chest-thumping about our supposed virtue is just silly, and I really do hope that it has settled down since its climax a decade or so ago.
I say "almost," because sure, there really are certainly cultural qualities in our British legacy favouring ideals of fair play and decorum that seemed to have overridden any tendency toward producing an Attila the Hun or Gengis Khan (which is not to suggest that the British have never meted out brutality upon others, of course). But still, as kool puts it:
Originally Posted by kool maudit
Canada staked its identity on multiculturalism shortly after the British Empire (its previous identity) collapsed. That was a strong bet, as it turned out.
It is also a big, isolated, resource-rich nation with a lot of land per population. Historically speaking, multicultural societies need big surpluses if they are to avoid inter-group tensions and strife.
Bono famously said that "the world needs more Canada." Did anyone stop to think how that could be achieved? I imagine the backpacker explanation back in 2003 essentially went something like this:
"Well, you know, like, be nice to people and stuff." Cue glazed eyes as Irish and American kids surreptitiously search the room for escape routes.
Originally Posted by kool maudit
For all the grief about Trump, though, please do keep in mind that Hillary is as committed a proponent of the regime-change doctrine as you can get. Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, Syria – she's never seen a strategic location she didn't want to fuck around in. Also, Canada shares a border with Russia; this could become something one notices a little bit more eventually (what with Vicky Nuland doing all those things she loves doing).
Trump may be "Islamophobic", but Hillary's interventions have actually maimed and killed tens of thousands of Muslims.
There are days on which I can almost imagine I'd rather endure a few ignorant tweets than sit heat-dreaming of my mother in a Sabha sub-basement with half my leg blown off and gangrene riding in on green horses.
But then I remember how serious online harassment is.
Whoa, this came out of left field. While every American president is and always has been a terror to various other peoples in the world at various times, you're crazy if you think Trump would be limiting his bombast to the tweeter machine if he got into office. The man is a complete twit who believes he's on a mission, which is almost by definition the scariest kind of person who can hold political power.
He's a loose cannon. He's banging on about the US's "depleted military," fer crissakes. The country that spends more on its military than the next seven (or eleven?) countries on the list combined
. He blathers endlessly about needing to "solve" the "problem" of radical Islam, which obviously means more American bombs killing more Muslims in the Middle East and radicalizing the ones who survive.
As per Yeats's poem cited in that article linked to in the OP: “Things fall apart/the centre cannot hold” and “The best lack all conviction/while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” Talk about being eerily prescient!
Thing is, though, we're not living in the 1930s again. That was a time characterized by the rise of militant fascism that would go on to shed blood in the quest to conquer the intranational and international political competition. But that's not what's really happening now. If anything, we're probably going to skip past the 1930s and 40s and go right to the 1950s and 60s, this time with China as the global power that we bump up against.
Having said all that, I really wonder if this dark foreboding of impending doom we're getting from the commentariat isn't part and parcel of the dizziness we are experiencing as the ground teeters beneath us in the massive communications paradigm shift of the dawning of the internet age (someone called it the most epic invention the world has seen so far). So many fondly-held truisms related to how access to information works to broaden the mind and ennoble the spirit are falling by the wayside, and we're finding that the narrative free-for-all is a lot more dystopian than we thought it would be.