Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ezra and a moment of revelation into the "human rights" cult

Ezra Levant recounts his debate with Ian Fine, Senior Counsel for the Canadian Human Rights Association:
...At another point in the debate, I tried to show the absurdity of banning any hateful words through a law that doesn't permit legal defences like truth, fair comment or even common sense. I pointed out that Fine himself had given an interview with the National Post in which he read out a bigoted remark, namely: "a n*gger will try to kill you just for a slice of pizza or a piece of chicken ... By Aryan standards, negroes are dangerous animals".

Fine read that to show the kind of hate the CHRC wants to fight. But that explanation, which is reasonable, is not a legal defence. I jokingly said to Fine that, since he uttered a comment that is "likely" to expose someone to "hatred or contempt", I should file a section 13 complaint against him. I said it unseriously -- I was pointing out the ridiculously arbitrary and overreaching nature of the law. But -- and I'll want to check this again on CPAC -- he actually looked ashen when I said it, as if he agreed with me that he had broken the law, and was ashamed of it.

I think in that moment, I glimpsed what made Ian Fine tick: he has drunk the anti-hate industry's Kool Aid without a drop of skepticism. I think he genuinely thought, just for a moment, that I was serious when I said he was a bad man for having said the word n*gger, even in the context of anti-racism. I think he's been immersed in a groupthink environment, with zealots, where diversity of opinion, let alone criticism, is non-existent. I think he genuinely believes that his little anti-hate squad is saving Canada from turning into an Arctic version of Rwanda.

I think that's why he froze up when I pressed him on Richard Warman's online bigotry -- it just didn't compute for him; it doesn't make sense in his unified theory of the world. I think it's why he's in denial about the hacking charges. I think it's why he was silent when I pointed out that, without Warman's serial complaints, section 13 would fall into disuse -- surely a sign that Canada is not beset with the problems for which he offers himself as the solution.

I think it's a bit of a cult over there, and for thirty years no-one has dared to question them -- and the past four months has been terrible.

I'm not the only one to call the CHRC's self-image and world view "bizarre" -- Joseph Brean of the National Post used that exact same word in his story about Fine's first attempt to explain the CHRC's behaviour. In that interview, as in today's debate, Fine simply asserts that his critics are armed with "misinformation". Mere assertions don't pass for arguments, though -- except, of course, in the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, which has given Fine a 100% conviction rate. I think Fine's wiring overheats when he is presented with dissonant information.

There was a stunning moment at the end of the debate. It caused groans in the audience, and both Martin and I quickly jotted it down to make sure we got it right: one journalist in the audience asked Fine not just to give the "official" line, but to tell the crowd what he personally thought about section 13 and other censorship. His answer: "there can't be enough laws against hate."

If Ian Fine had his way, section 13 wouldn't be abolished. It wouldn't even be maintained. It would be expanded. He said he wouldn't rest until there was "no hate" left.

Wow -- legislating an end to hate. Why not legislate an end to war, hunger and broken hearts, while you're at it?

That's nutty utopianism. Which is fine for old Marxists in universities. But it doesn't work so well when it's married to the power of the state -- the power to exact large fines, to issue lifetime publication bans and gag orders, and to grind respondents through years of abusive hearings.
It's shocking how blind people can become by dint of their need for Utopian promises. They should pass a law against human self-hatred, to institutionalize fully the tail chasing these "human rights" dogs are all about. Then we will have to love ourselves for what we are: fallen resentful beings who can't get back up by trying to outlaw our nature. To overcome our resentments we have to know what we are and work through them honestly, and sometimes publicly (some things we can only see and learn through interaction with and honest feedback from others), without help of fanciful legal prohibitions.

Imagine if Ian Fine actually had to go out and debate, lead, and teach, in face of hatred, instead of just going out and trying to round up the haters for prosecution. By Ezra's account, it seems he'd not be capable of doing the job. In becoming part of the CHRC mindset, he's trying to take a short cut, the easy way out of this world and into a Utopia that can only be imagined, not realized here on earth. The rest of Canada should not kid themselves into faith in legal magic, however widely it is practiced in this fallen and deluded world. Canadians should learn to go out and do the job the bureaucrats won't and can't do.


Dag said...

I can't imagine Stalin starting out with any good intentions. I can't understand how so many followed him and died confessing imaginary sins to please him by dying for them. It is a seriously strange world. Good people are as crazy as bad ones, I think. The less power they have to do evil or to do good the better off we all are.

Rob Misek said...

An excellent article.

I share this logical argument as a tool to find some stability in our strange world.

Proof of anything proves that life exists in absolutes. Shades of grey only exist in the confusion of our minds.