Thursday, January 31, 2008

Three Cheers!

Before we get to the theme and links that have occupied my attention this last week (to be posted later today, I hope), just a reminder that Covenant Zone bloggers and friends meet every Thursday in the atrium of the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library, 7-9 pm, in front of Blenz Coffee. If you'd like, please join us in discussing the covenant we all must share if we are to guarantee each other's future in a free society.

This last Saturday marked the second anniversary of the first meeting of bloggers that soon led us to create Covenant Zone. At that first meeting, advertised by Dag as a chance for local bloggers to get together to discuss the (radical) Muslim and (Western) Gnostic problems, I met the tough-talking, but not particularly fearsome blogger in person. Unbeknownst to me, Dag had seeded the McDonald's restaurant with "friends", guys in need of a free meal, to act as security lest anyone come who had taken offense at Dag's postings on No Dhimmitude. There was no need for that. The only "bad" guy in sight was a leading organizer for the Liberal Party of Canada. And since that day, no one has seen the need to disrupt a weekly Covenant Zone meeting. We still live in a pretty free society, notwithstanding signs that this is eroding (we are free to be ignored as long as we don't want more public roles), signs which we like to talk about, and to which we now see a few people (even Liberals) reacting in positive ways.

In any case, nothing lasts forever if it is not renewed. No matter how free Canada is or has been, it still requires each of us to make a commitment in our daily lives and actions to work to protect each other's freedom, even when people do things with it which seem wrongheaded to us. Freedom today has to struggle against a culture that seems to value risk management above all else, a liberal managerial culture which wants to restrict risky actions that might have the effect of not only creating greater freedoms, but new differences and inequalities and resentments - life fully lived, in short. For too many of us, politics has come to mean a Utopian dream of overcoming politics through endless mediation by the therapeutic classes - a dream of bringing about some future without "discrimination" or inequalities or injustices. Such dreams can never be realized, given human nature, and they only really result in pressure to put the lid back on human resentments and conflicts, while we all wait naively for the day when the top blows off and things get really nasty. Much better, it seems to me, to embrace a political culture where we actively accept the inevitability and need for new signs and new differences as a mark of a freedom we can all share, a freedom for each individual to share in the signs by which we can gain a real sense of transcending the ever eroding past.

Millions of Canadians actively negotiating their differences in a million local covenant zones strikes me as a far better dream than a few great leaders and judges telling us what we can and cannot do to insure a country without "discrimination". Three cheers for Keith Martin, a Liberal who wants to protect our freedom to make light of Islam and Gnostics and Conservatives and homosexuals and Catholics, and whatever else we want to talk about, in the Covenant Zone.


najistani said...

Cultural suicide watch: Patriotism banned from British schools

Vancouver visitor said...

Very thoughtful of Dag to arrange for security.