Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Right Way to Celebrate Canada Day

July 1st in Canada means Canada Day, Canada’s birthday as a confederation of North American Provinces.

On a recent visit to the border crossing leading to Blaine, Washington, my wife and I took some time to visit the beautiful Peace Arch monument, the centerpiece of Peace Arch Park. I was caught off-guard by how moving an experience I found it to be, and frequently had to choke back a few tears. Canadians are so blessed to be neighbors of the United States of America.

The Peace Arch is the world's first monument to peace. Sam Hill, a prominent American businessman, conceived the idea of the Arch. Mr. Hill laid a hollow cornerstone within which he placed a hammered steel box made from the steel of a captured slave ship. Inside the box, he placed a piece of the Beaver and the Mayflower. The Arch was fitted with two iron gates, leaving them open to symbolize peace between the two great nations.
It’s no secret that many of my fellow Canadians hate the United States of America, and no, hate is not too strong a word. Theirs is not a gentlemanly disagreement, but deep-rooted hate. Nor a sibling rivalry, but outright hatred. It has not always been so; standing in the shadow of the Peace Arch monument, we could see proof that once upon a time, Canada was a good neighbor, and that many Canadians sincerely appreciated the greatness of the neighbor we have on our southern borders.

Two beliefs decorate the top of the monument: on the Canadian side, we can read "BRETHREN DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY." On the side facing the United States are the words, "CHILDREN OF A COMMON MOTHER."

These beliefs are currently under attack in Canada, and have been for as long as I've been alive. Living in Canada, it is an ongoing challenge to retain a favorable view of the United States of America. Every day we are bombarded by attempts to convince Canadians that our US neighbor is actually some kind of greedy adversary, populated by unsophisticated war-mongers, plotting to alternatively enslave or destroy the world. The message never lets up; whether you’re a child in school, or an adult at work, every day requires a considerable act of will to resist the siren song that lures us to believe in a monstrous lie.

Dispelling the lie is made much easier by a simple trip to the Peace Arch.

The very existence of the Peace Arch disproves much of the lies that Canadians delude themselves with about the US. America does yearn to live in peace with others, as established by the obvious fact that there are no yank tank divisions camped along our borders. They could grind us into dust, such is their nation's power; yet they do not, and it’s obvious that deep down we know they won’t, because we have no armies on our side to keep them at bay should they try it. For all the braying that Canadians make about US “war-mongering invasions", what nation in the world would be easier for them to invade than our own?

Researching the Peace Arch reminded me yet again of what makes America so great, and why Canada is so blessed to live in its shadow. The monument was only one of a series of accomplishments achieved by Sam Hill, one of those average Americans that no one ever hears about, only because the number of even greater names runs so long:

Samuel Hill [1857-1931] made the Northwest his home for a little more than 30 years, leaving a legacy of philanthropy, monuments, and highways still visible in the twenty-first century. He made a small fortune in utilities and investments and spent most of it on other people, on causes and programs he believed in, and in traveling the world to promote peaceful trade and prosperity.

Like most Americans, he believed in the value of interaction and trade, treating wealth as something that can be infinitely re-created, rather than something finite to be divided. From Wikipedia:

....Much of Hill's attention was devoted to advocating good roads in Washington, a task for which he created the Washington State Good Roads Association. He persuaded the state legislature to create a state highway department, and the University of Washington to establish the United States' first chair in highway engineering.

In order to fulfill his dream to build the Peace Arch monument, Hill didn’t siphon the necessary money through the self-righteous theft of NEA or Canada Council tax money; he earned it the hard way, through personal initiative, making personal appeals to fellow average citizens to band together and participate in meeting shared objectives:

The park surrounding the Arch on either side was supported by donations of schoolchildren from the Province of British Columbia and the State of Washington. Contributions were limited to "a silver dime" during that Great Depression era. Many children could donate but a penny. …

Especially moving are the symbols of the open gates within the arch itself. Part of the exceptionalism of America is its treatment of its northern neighbor. How many nations share even a fraction of the trust that animates US-Canadian relations? We do not scheme of looting each other's wealth, we dream of ways to increase each other's wealth, through mutual advantage:

The Peace Arch commemorates international concord established by the Treaty of Ghent signed Christmas Eve, 1814, in which the desire of the signatories is expressed for a "firm and lasting peace." The portal proclaims the established peace has never been broken.

The Peace Arch also commemorates the Rush-Bagot Agreement e
ntered into by his Majesty King George III and President James Monroe by virtue of the provisions and spirit whereby the line from the Bay of Fundy to the Straits of Juan de Fuca has been neither garrisoned nor fortified since 1817.

What makes a visit to the Peace Arch a bittersweet experience is the realization that the past is not automatically the future. The mutual peace that ennobles both Canada and the United States of America, and has symbolized what makes us so much better than any other neighboring pair of nations, requires an act of will to maintain. This greatness rests upon an act of faith, faith in common goals, derived from a recognition of our common traditions. By "faith" I mean, the act of seeing the unseen, the act of imagining something that does not exist, yet, but could, and working towards its arrival. In the case of our shared border, and shared experiences, Canadians must resist the pressures of the socialist left, who would have us believe that both we and our neighbors are incapable of trade for mutual advantage, partnership built on mutual trust, and accomplishments for mutual good. They project their own lack of faith and lack of ability to trust, onto the US; we must resist their false vision of our partnership with the US, and keep our time-honored bond of national friendship.

It is not a one-time act, having been accomplished in the distant past, now to be forgotten. This common bond must be continually re-created and re-affirmed, so that the increasing cries of the unfaithful left, can be drowned out for the admissions of envy, selfishness and sloth that they truly are.

On Canada Day, the anti-american propaganda tends to be at its highest pitch; therefore I felt it necessary to match it with a song of my own, to defend the greatness of our neighbor, the USA. True to form, the leftists even try to divide greatness, as they do our wealth; for Canada to be great, they believe, America must be made that much less great, in order for one side to be elevated the other must be lessened.

This is one Canadian who resists this temptation, and has the humility to believe in an expanding greatness of unlimited opportunity.

On this day, Canada Day, more than other day, we Canadians can show our greatness by demonstrating our gratitude to our neighbors to the south, for the mutual peace we have agreed to recognize, and the opportunity for independant greatness that America has granted us.

God Keep Our Land Glorious And Free.
God Bless America.


truepeers said...

"Children of a Common Mother" - a figure plump with possibilities that.

Hope you are enjoying the beautiful day, Charles!

dag said...

Nice writing, Charles. Always a pleasure.

It's frustrating to hear Canadians mindlessly mimicing fools ranting about America, and all the moreso because I know that most of them are at least slightly embarassed by it all. Thanks for setting the record straight.

nomdeblog said...

A thoughtful post. I might add that Canadians are no worse in their anti-Americanism than a high percentage of self-loathing Americans.

When Canadians watch a Michael Moore movie they leave the theatre even more convinced that they are correct in their view of anti-Americanism.

You mention that Sam Hill felt wealth could be infinitely created and that there was not a problem of having to deal with only a finite amount to be divided. That’s where you’ve nailed one of the biggest issues of left versus right.

Michael Moore has a blue-collar, unionized, socialist view of the world that his background in Flint Michigan has a finite amount of wealth and it needs to be distributed “moore” fairly .. with a big skim going to Michael. This is what those Canadians who are anti-American also believe; they want a centralized government to give them a bigger slice. They are therefore anti-Harper or any other leader that tries to tell them that their worldview is wrong.

We have a lost generation of baby boomers. Blogs like yours have an opportunity to try to convince the next generations that we can have our cake and eat it too by simply baking another cake. Canada has an abundance of supplies for cakes. Lets start baking.

God Bless North America.

dag said...

The Limitied Pie People have the idea of economics they could only have learned from living in subsistence economies or at universities. Yes, if one lives on a small patch of land and grows beans twice a year, there is only so much to go around, and if I take your beans, you won't have enough to live on. That much is simple and obvious, and any one can see it.

But the world of rational agriculture is not one of subsistence farming. Crop rotation and fertiliser change the production to plenty. Peasants often do not get it. They have no experience in thinking, and they are stuck with tradition to the point that any change is so frightening they will commit suicide rather than endure it. The harsh lessons of imperialism and colonialism teach peasants the lessons of privacy and individuality by forcing them from unproductive plot farming into cities where they must become proletarian workers trained to the discipline of the clock. Seasonal workers don't get it. Communal farmers do not understand the nature of private property. The point is to create visceral lessons that they cannot escape from: Public hanging for the pettiest of thefts, crippling fines for tardiness, and so on, teach a generation of would-be workers that the world is different and that they must teach their children to adapt. It is not pretty. It's not fair. It's not sharing and caring. But it is better.

The alternative to modern agriculture and industry is the NGO-dole lifestyle of the Third World peasant. The reactionaries of the Left turn to them as constituents to raise an army of mindless killers who will restore the Middle Ages of the Mind. Peasants have literally no ideas. One must train them to believe in X to the point they mouth the cliches of the Left, and then one must incite them to violence and hatred and murder by creating a hatred that doesn't exist in the peasant to begin with by telling them they are superiour to all others, that the others are thieve and murderers and so on, and that the peasant is perfect in all way if only he could return to the past. The sentimentalism of the Left is philobarbarist for a purpose: to create a place from which the (mediocre)intellectual elite may have a stage upon which they act out gnostic rites.

The Left is not interesting, not progressive, not functional in our time; therefore, they attempt to reify a utopia in which they are superiour to all others, a place in the collective mind in which no one is bright enough to see through the curtains and see them for what they are. The Left turn obvious agricultural success into a theatre of hatred and fear by claiming it is not sustainable, that it rapes Mother Earth, that it causes global warming that will cause droughts and flooding and hurricanes across New Orleans to kill Black people. All of this is to spoil the growth of Modernity in the minds of the ignorant, to incite them as proies to destroy so the gnostics can rule the rubble and the rabble. The Left is fascist. They attempt to restore man to the state of farm animal.

The big frog in a small pond mentality of the mediocre Leftist is destroying America and Western Modernity. Muslims and other barbarians ar proxies in this Leftist struggle to recreate a time when the people were docile. Or: "Better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven."

The peasants are incidental. Our own mass is hardly worth the effort to convince they've been duped. Most people are too social to reject the norm, regardless of it. Then, one must attempt to capture political power and impose the will of the rational intelligentsia on the world at large for the sake of freedom and individuality till all men are free to think for themselves without the sentimental bounds of communalism and dhimmitude.

Who are we to impose freedom of thought and aporia on the starving, diseased, and psychotic majority of the world's people? We're rational and decent people one will find nearly everywhere. We are potentially unlimited if one uses concepts of rotation and nutrient placement. We are possible everywhere that the ground of Humanity exists fallow.

Let a thousand thinkers bloom. And remember too that all freedom of thought grows out of the barrel of a gun. If school teachers cannot defend their charges, then all is lost. Rational imperialism and Modernist colonialism will dry up and die in the dust without the will of main force. School teachers with guns!

Charles has described the limited pie in light of a mother's love, saying it's not limited and sparing, that there isn't only so much to go around, leaving all short if there is another child. And so it is with education in freedom. The more there is the more there will be.

Hoeing the barren patches of the mind of the peasant till the ground of existence is stripped and dead, and moving on to destroy antoher strip is something only a Left dhimmi fascist could love. And they do. They plant the seeds of death in the dust and howl at those who would fight them and drive them out and in their places create a terrifying paradise of freedom.

The rational will needs force. Blowing off the chaff will result in pie for all forever. And more and better. And to do that we need do almost nothing but allow for men to think and live their own lives as they would.

Let the Left promise pie in the sky. Let us offer Man his own life in the here and now, to tend his own garden and make it as he will ands as he can.