Thanks, Richard Warman!
There’s a reason Richard Warman is the man of the hour: he embodies– almost perfectly– the contradictions of our present age. He’s Canada, 2008: confused and contradictory.
No matter how we feel about Warman or his activities, we neglect opportunities to learn more about ourselves and our civilization and the problems facing us, if we simply wish people like Warman would go away– the kind of blindly abusive attitude embodied in a recent Free Dominion article entitled ‘Richard Warman Is Not A Human‘. Pure nonsense: he is us and we are him.
Modern Canada– the socialist experiment of the 1960’s until now– is a way of saying “We can construct perfect and just society on earth; God is unnecessary; all other (especially older) ways of doing and thinking are alien or even forbidden in the new dispensation of the new Canada.” Hence the new Charter of Rights; the new & confused Canadian constitution; the subsequent war of courts and activists against the older Canada, and against any restrictions on their making themselves in their own image.
All Hail The Canucki Paradise!
And Then Along Comes Warman
However, after 40 years of this experiment, we don’t seem happier, more free, or more certain about the cutlural and legal wars for ‘freedom’ on the part of self-defined minorities and their allies in the liberal elites of Canada.
And the come the modern HRCs– self-defining, self-unlimiting, essentially lawless and arbitrary and oozing with good intentions, but having the effect of silencing undesirable opinion on matters of sexual morality, conservative views, and a microscopic minority political extremism on the right. Even neo-fascist bogeymen have their uses.
No such worries about the left: it is the true and good, as far as such things can be known: we feel really good about ourselves and what we’re doing– who can judge or limit us and our good intentions? Power corrupts– and absolute power is really rather pleasant, thanks for asking.
The Roots Of The Whatsa Matter
It’s hard to know what’s going on without a big picture. Westerners are all in the middle of a giant 300-year long thought-experiment known as the Englightenment. It’s the air we breath; the thoughts we think. Englightened reason choosing freely.
Pope Benedict XVI says in his 2006 Christianity And The Crisis Of Cultures of our modern civilzation:
This Enlightenment culture is substantially defined by the rights to liberty. Its starting point is that liberty is a fundamental value and the criterion of everything else; the freedom of choice in matters of religion, which includes the religious neutrality of the state; the liberty to express one’s own opinion, on condition that it does not call precisely this canon into question; the democratic ordering of the state, that is, the parlimentary control of the organs of state; the freedom to form political parties; the independence of those who administer the law; and finally, the protection of the rights of man and the prohibition of discrimination.
Mr. Warman and his ilk are Enlightenment folks: he plainly feels a zeal for defending rights, and opposing discrimination as he sees it; and yet, all is not well in the Enlightenment paradise. The Pope:
The canon is still in process of formation, since there exist contrasting human rights, as we see in the conflict between a woman’s right to freedom and the unborn child’s right to life. The concept of discrimination is constantly enlarged, and this means that the prohibition of discrimination can be transformed more and more into a limitation on freedom of opinion and religious liberty.
Sounds pretty much like Canada & Europe, circa 2008, doesn’t it? The freedom-casualties are mounting up. And before we point fingers in one direction only, all of us are compromised in matters of choice, sexual and moral matters; in our claim on degrees of absolute freedom.
As for the HRCs running amuck over human rights in the name of human rights, it makes perfect sense in the light of the wobbly definition of liberty we have today, cut of from its roots in God and faith, and the reality of human nature. Instead of clarity, we have procedures, tribunals, sincere functionaries puzzling their way through a philosophical, moral, and legal forest in the pitch-black night. The Pope nails it:
.. the concept of liberty on which this culture is based inevitablt leads to contradictions, since it is badly defined or not at all. And it is clear that the very fact of employing this concept entails limitations on freedom that we could not have even imagined a year ago.
A confused ideology of liberty leads to a dogmatism that is procing ever more hostile to real liberty.
The State of The Scary
Despite the freeing promises of the modern project, we’re actually drowning in dogmatism, illiberalism with a smile; a slow degrading of actual human dignity and freedom in the name of defending an ever-changing account of what is currently ‘acceptable’ or not. When ‘acceptable’ becomes what the authorities can get away with; or what legal technologists like Warman and his sort can figure out, then the contradictions of our situation become plain. The money-quote from the recent Maclean’s article on Warman:
… herein lies his flaws as a flagbearer for social justice, say critics — namely, his inability to distinguish between a good case and a good cause. What he’s doing may fall within what the law allows, notes Dixon, “but I’m very impatient with that argument as an excuse for indulging in lawsuits that ultimately support a regressive conception of the law.”
Just becase you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it. The capacities of modern surveillance-societies– left or right– are also the fruit of ‘freedom’, poorly defined and undefended.
There’s the tangle: Ultimately, this is because Enlightenment project is– in itself– an attempt to escape God, to write him out of history, and the public life of human beings forever. This utopianism wants to cut loose the roots of reason and morality from religion, and yet cannot define right and wrong and its own presuppositions without roots. We are tyring to jump off our own shadows.
So The Pope warns:
In reality, this means that we have need of roots if we are to survive and that we must not lose sight of God if we do not want human dignity to disappear.
As bad as it is, it can get much, much worse. The problems afflicting the mindset of the West are ultimately spiritual in nature, and they show forth in the newspaper headlines every day. The Enlightenment– or the collapse of it into soft-tyranny and unfreedom– is our blessing and our curse.
So once again, thank you, Mr. Warman, for showing us where we are, and that the problems we face are bigger than one renegade ex-bureaucrat or a temporary situation what will just go away once the crisis is past.
Ends April 15th, give or take. Hurry! Yours to lose, folks.
Don’t make us exercise our arbitary demigod-like Warman-powers.
Steyn & FreeSpeechery
~ STEYN 2: CANADA vs FREE SPEECH: APPROACHING THE TIPPING POINT— The “human rights” frauds have no friends at The Globe And Mail – plus: An Albertan in Manhattan …. (steynonline.com)
~ STEYN 3– THE JIHAD vs LIBERTY: WHACKS ELOQUENT– The debate has shifted …. (nrotc)
~ DEBORAH GYAPONG— George W. Bush like you’ve never heard him. President George W. Bush is going to meet the Pope Benedict on the tarmac next week–something that he has never done for any other head of state. The pope’s message to the United States …. (deborahgyapong.blog)
~ NEW MAGAZINE PROFILE of Richard Warman, the guy who’s suing us– “And herein lies his flaws as a flagbearer for social justice, say critics — namely, his inability to distinguish between a good case and a good cause.”; Warman Examined; and “Richard Warman is exasperated” …. (Various)
~ ASSUME THE POSITION! Did you know that Canada’s Human Rights Commissions… “can enter any premises (except a dwelling), without a search warrant, and demand any relevant ‘document or thing,’ and remove such things, not quite for indefinite periods, but for ‘a reasonable time.’ Hindering all this is forbidden.” …. (fivefeetoffury.com)
~ DEBORAH GYAPONG— World Press Freedom Day Awards Mark Steyn is one of the finalists for this year’s World Press Freedom prize. Do you wish you could have been in New York? Atlas Shrugs has video. Here’s
some of Mark Steyn’s speech …. (deborahgyapong.blog)
~ ANOTHER CRAZY Canadian Muslim issues illiterate threats, clearly can’t function in civilized society– “The alleged harassment began after Loblaws cut ties with Toronto supplier Misom Halal Food Products in 2005 …. (fivefeetoffury)
~ CHEAP AT HALF the price: “I was chatting about the Warman case with KMG which prompted me to take a look at the provisions of Rule 76 of the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure” …. (jaycurrie)
~ RIGHTS COMMISSION wrong– Winnipeg Free Press, Bob Cox – Rights Commission Wrong …. (blazingcatfur.blog)
~ CELESTIAL JUNK— Your “Progressive” Future: The New British Bulldog …. (cjunk.blog)
~ OHRC: The Pile-On Begins …. (am770chqr.com)
~ FIGHT LIBERAL FASCISM with grassroots capitalism! Christopher Johnson has just what you’re looking for, including Thongs of Solidarity …. (fivefeetoffury)
~ CANADA: TERROR-HAVEN— Terrorists honoured outside temple on eve of huge Sikh parade …. (canada.com)
~ REMEMBER your actionables: write, call, speak out, letters to the editor (and remember to mention the url FreeMarkSteyn.com in all of them). The ‘Echo-Chamber’ effect of the blogosphere is not enough to bring about real-world change. It’s our country, and our freedom to lose. Get to work. And remember MP Keith Martin, too. Harper & Co. be darned: make yourself heard! … (FreeMarkSteyn.com)
“I believe that human rights commissions are being sufficiently denormalized in the court of public opinion that it’s time to put pressure on politicians to do something about it. In other words, we should continue to expose the corrupt practices of the Dean Steacys and Richard Warmans of this world. But we should start to move the pressure to the people who are supposed to be in charge of the whole thing — and, in the case of the CHRC, that’s Rob Nicholson. I’m a Conservative partisan, but my love is not so blind that I can defend Nicholson’s inaction — though, given that a lawyer from Nicholson’s department is actively intervening for the CHRC in the Lemire case, I don’t think we can even say the Tories are neutral or inactive in this matter.”
Hon. Rob Nicholson
House of Commons