Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ultimately it is the law that must be changed, by citizens living in freedom

There is speculation in the blogosphere thanks to this post at Free Dominion that the Canadian Human Rights Commission is getting ready to throw Richard "maximum disruption" Warman under the bus. Some may see this as the CHRC looking for a scapegoat to avoid further public scrutiny of its own establishment. While I might quibble that this would be to misuse the term scapegoat, there is no doubt a risk that we may be now encouraged to forget that, whatever becomes the public historical legacy of Richard Warman, Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, now often known as "Warman's law", was bound to lead to all kinds of injustices, to a highly politicized legal and judicial process, and hence a low-level civil war between conservatives and leftists, whether or not Richard Warman ever got involved in the leftist war against the leftist conception of "hate" using typical leftist tactics. The Canadian state was bound to be backing such a war the moment it wrote into law Section 13. It is impossible for such a law not to become a political tool, unless it be widely ignored and left unused. At least "maximum disruption" Warman has honestly recognized this fact.

Citizens disturbed by the latest revelations in the documents represented and linked at Free Dominion should re-affirm their commitment to a free society in which policing of hatreds becomes the responsibility of individuals and institutions in civil society. The moment we give this job to the state - the moment criminal or "human rights" law becomes concerned not just with wrong actions but also with "wrong" thoughts - especially in a society that defines itself as "multicultural", we have effectively given up our freedom to the whims of those who will define for the competing groups in society what is and is not politically acceptable. We will become locked in resentful group identities and will not lessen hatreds but only fail to mediate them effectively. Instead, we must re-affirm individual rights and responsibilities in ways that maximize our shared freedom. We must protect each other from hate.

At Covenant Zone, we are trying to do our part to maintain the culture of freedom and democratic self-rule in Canada. To this end, the "end" without end, the "end" that allows for no dangerously Utopian visions of an end, such as the leftist conceit to be fighting to end hate and conflict (and only becoming their yet more dangerous agents in the deluded Utopian process) we meet every Thursday (in spirit we meet forever without end) to keep the conversation of free people going. If you can join us here in Vancouver, please do, in the atrium of the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library, 7-9 pm, in front of Blenz Coffee. If you can't, consider creating your own Covenant Zone.


Dag said...

Though I love Richard Warman dearly like a brother so much I care about him deeply-- so long, buddy. And take that damned commission with you on the way to the bus stop.

Blazing Cat Fur said...

I hope it's one of those Crappy "Green" buses that keep catching on fire;)

Rob Misek said...

The Charter of rights and freedoms is the legal source of our national confusion.

Rights belong to people not groups. By giving rights to groups the irresponsible liberal government relinquished it's only authority as the government of the only group that matters in Canada - Canadians.

Further, by writing into this irresponsible document the law that prohibits our ability to discriminate between unequal behaviors, all law abiding simpleton citizens have been firmly placed on the slippery slope to behavioral decay.

WL Mackenzie Redux said...

I agree that there has been a low level civil war waging in Canada for some 3 decades and it has intensified in the past 15. It is a war where the battle front is the courts, administrative commissions, and any empowered regulatory body that escapes democratic universal suffrage.

These unelected bodies (which are largely unaccountable to public scrutiny or control) have been infected with social activists and ideological partisan zealots who use the office to further dogmatic social engineering agendas. The make up of the advance troops in this civil war is almost always collectivist-statist, secular militants and moral relativists.

They justify their constant aggressive expansion of their social agendas with the help of a plethora of politically/ideologically aligned NGOs and subversive legal and process chicanery. For lack of a better term Prof. Ted Morton called this ideologue supremist culture invasion of traditional Canadian civil institutions "the court party". I have simply refered to it as cultural Marxism or progressive fascism.

As you state the civil war expnaded onto the front of political speech and thought control when we allowed these NGOs to convince our opportunist politicians that they couls criminalize a common human emotion (hate) and leave the criminal definitions conspicuously vague and allow interpretations by commission zealotry. To a zealot any political or ideological dissent is "hate".

But this new "hate war" is a civil's strategized as one and fought as one with the aggressors (the activist statist left) viewing anyone or anything that dissents or opposes or criticizes to be an "enemy" and they are duly attacked as such....this is the political bias shown in official persecutions by these CM entities.

The HRCs and malevolent lawfare played a large roll in this civil conflict but I think the exposure of cause-excused malfeasance and injustice has now slowed the pace of aggressive Kafkaesque lawfare and HRC political censorship.

If the discovery that one of the darlings of the new-left civil warriors has large ethical warts and possible criminal charges pending turns out to be true, this will signal a deep reversal of fortune for the "court party's" civil war of attrition.

It is not the beginning of their demise but the signal of opportunity for those who dissent to the fallacious amoral statism and civil dangers of leftist ideological tyranny, political intolerance and militant conformity, to man the walls and help push this errant political trend back to the irrelevant crank fringes where it belongs.

It's a civil liberty lover's opportunity to make a call to arms for all freedom loving Canadians to disempower and marginalize dangerous uncivil political ideals and malicious social destabilization by errant fomenting hacks who hide behind the sanitizing pretense of progressive NGOs and opportunity to swim in the political mainstream again and steer the ship of state clear of the swamp of racial politics and fringe left amoralism.

truepeers said...

Thanks for the comments Rob and WLMR.

Yes, a civil war in Canada (I like the idea of a "court party" - rings true on many levels)... but this is but one stage in a "global civil war" between those who "believe" in the totalitarian slogan of the Beijing Olympics - "one world, one dream" - and those of us who believe that our best hopes for relative peace and order in the world come from the proper interaction of free and sovereign nation states. On the left "one world" side are all the post-democratic institutions of the anti-national, NGO governing classes and the false "human rights" world view that no longer recognizes the fundamental basis of rights - the free individual; on the conservative side one finds a defense of the constitutionalism necessary to transparent self-ruling democracies of free individuals.

My friend and inspiration Adam Katz has written on this global civil war. You might be interested in the following link if you can get by the references to the thinking of Generative Anthropology which will probably be unfamiliar to you, but well worth getting to know for the intellectually inclined:

This does not mean that the Left has no political form, of course: politically, the various currents of the Left have merged into a “transnational progressivism,” in which a post-national international law, with its legitimating roots in the post-War Nuremberg Trials and associated legal innovations, buttressed by the equally transnational, adversarial media and academic establishments, progessively neturalizes all the elements of national and cultural life that might conceivably restart the clash of private and public interests which (on this account) led to the catastrophe of the two world wars (the founding, traumatic scene of modern scapegoating). But such a world would be intrinsically static, which is to say the telos of transnational progressivism is as much a fantasy as socialism; insofar as the Left is a movement, which is to say, moves–responds to and generates events–it is currently the Global Intifada, an unsteady but sufficiently coherent conjoining of violence and threats of violence which for the most part stays just below the threshold needed to trigger massive retaliation (mostly Muslim, but drawing in the remnants of the socialist Left, e.g., Venezuala); and the ongoing, mobile international war crimes tribunal/class action lawsuit conducted by the elite media human rights groups, NGOs and educational institutions throughout the West.

What this means is that we in the West are in a state of civil war: that is, a struggle between opposing forces or factions within the same society who recognize incommensurable sovereigns. There are those of us who recognize the sovereignty of the U.S. Constitution, and those of us who recognize the sovereignty of international post-Nuremberg law. (I apologize for the American-centric character of my argument; am I so wrong in my assumption, though, that if the United States doesn’t remain on the constitutional side in this civil war, it won’t matter very much what anyone else does?) This condition is disguised by the exaggerated, even cult-like, obeisances the Left pays to the Constitution; but the Consitution they adore is not one that would be recognizable to anyone reading the actual text, along with the debates over its ratification, and with the post-Civil War amendments particularly in mind–rather, it is a Constitution which, over the past half century or so has been reshaped along transnational progressive lines, aimed at liquidating intermediate levels of authority between the sovereign state and the sovereign individual (who is therefore defined more and more against local communities, traditional norms and public opinion) and (more recently) subordinating American policy to international actors and agendas.

One naturally hestitates to use the term “civil war” not merely because it implies a degree of hostility and division few would wish to concede, but for the more empriical reason that it doesn’t look like a civil war: no one can really picture “reds” and “blues” facing off in military or physical confrontation. But, here, the Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci (an important forerunner of the contemporary Left)’s distinction between a “War of Maneuver” and a “War of Position” is helpful: a war of maneuver is when one actually destroys or dislodges the enemy from some position they hold; the war of position is the struggle to occupy those positions which would give one an insuperable advantage once we get to the war of maneuver. And, of course, if one gains such an advantage, there will be no “actual” war. In that case, winning the war of position is enough, especially if it is won (as wars of position tend to be) gradually, even imperceptibly, and by subtly “re-inscribing” the positions everyone already occupies so that the war appears to be (even to some of those waging it) merely needed reform of an antiquated set of relationships–in that case, only when one looks back after it is over, or finds out that some customary act is suddenly forbidden, some commonsensical sentiment suddenly unintelligible, does one see the real relation between victor, victim, and spoils. It is impossible to go for too long without realizing one is in a war of maneuver; but in an intelligently executed war of position, one can indeed be unaware, giving an enormous advantage to those waging it coherently and determinedly.

Just as it is fairly easy to identify the enemy in this global civil war of position, it is easy to identify the means and goal of struggle: the latter, the restoration where necessary and protection where still possible of commensurability between acts and consequences; which commensurability is the sole guarantee of freedom; the former, the defeat of our “victims” through the defense of their victims, a strategy that works equally well against our jihadist enemies as against our Leftist ones (really, anyone can play: for example, in harping on the racial disparity in those imprisoned for violent crimes, isn’t one obscuring the racial–and gender!–disparity in the victims of those crimes?). “All” that needs to be worked out is the proper mode of doing so in each case, on the battlefield, in knowledge, in the media, the law, diplomacy, and so on.
Of course, a war of position is simultaneously a deferral of war, but a deferral that creates an interim during which preparations proceed; and, from another angle, war is almost completely preparation–as the saying goes, amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics. And amateurs talk “ideas” and “images,” while professional talk “models” and “narratives.” The most suitable models and narratives in the middle of our preparatory period will be somewhat counter-intuitive and yet familiar enough; indeed, they will make us wonder what makes them, at least ever so slightly, counter-intuitive. They will be retrieved and modified models: the black conservative scapegotated by the “leaders” of his or her community while, in fact, recovering traditions of self-reliance developed under Jim Crow; the “infidel” who embodies a recognizable pattern of feminist awakening, who nevertheless makes “establishment” feminists extremely uneasy; the Muslim stepping forward in defense of a Christian neighbor in a nascent Arab democracy; veterans of the Afghan and Iraq wars stepping forward as a new generation of leaders, remaking both political parties and the media; etc. All these narratives, to some extent, resist the force of accumulated demands made by partisans on all sides, at the very least the “demand” that one’s own narrative, especially the doomsday ones, prove true. Such models and narratives are already circulating to some extent; the question for a “cultural politics” as well as a “cultural studies,” then, is what would need to change for any one of these narratives to undergo a quantum leap beyond the circle of those who presently cultivate it, to increase in circulation by an order of magnitude (from 1,000 to 10,000, 100,000 to 1,000,000, etc.)? A precondition, at any rate, is a certain faith in “reality”: when thinking about who is on the “side” in our “civil war” I am calling “constitutionalist,” aside from small cadres of intellectuals, pundits and activists, the answer is all of us, insofar as we buy and sell on the market, sustain basic norms of civility, insist on keeping violence and obscenity out of spaces whose sanctity we are charged to protect, try and get a little bit closer to the truth when it seems important to do so, measure ourselves against others and others against ourselves, seek out options short of scapegoating in dealing with those we oppose or hate, and so on. And when we notice and begin to resent, in the name of those for whom we bear responsibiity, those who undermine these props of reality. When we share such resentments with others, the defense of small things (minor commensurabilities, reciprocities and accountabilities) can snowball, just as the existence of a “democratic enough” Iraq will stick in the sides of the region’s tyrants and terrorists, and become, more and more, an inevitable point of reference and inspiration for its liberators.

In other words, both sides can play the game of a fully deliberate global war which, paradoxically, we will win by reducing its strictly military component: victory for us would tend towards the narrowing of the confrontation to one between our armed people and theirs, with civilians refusing to act (and effectively assisted in this refusal) as shields; in this case, the war would be over very rapidly. Getting to that point depends upon whether those intermediate figures who, while unarmed, call for our murder and destruction, will be deemed martyrs or criminals against humanity; and determining that denomination will be whoever gains the “high ground” in the post-Auschwitz political, legal and moral order indelibly stamped by the awareness that our fundamental categories of social life could readily render us complicit in the unthinkable, whether through commission or omission. That high ground is the unconditional defense of individual freedom as irreducible point of origin and the insistence upon individual accountability as established through freely entered into covenants (the only thing that can genuinely bind up and conclude what a free individual sets in motion): each point of that structure (freedom, accountability, covenant) is a fulcrum enabling us to overturn victimary revaluations as we hold each other accountable for holding our putative victims accountable for the freedom they deny others (through omission and comission) and the covenanting they consider impossible even as they remain parasitical upon every jot and tittle of the terms devised and agreed upon by those more courageous and generous than themselves.

truepeers said...

Here's the link to Adam's essay in hyptertext.

Rob Misek said...

I disagree with your statement that one world government would restrict responsible freedoms.

Any responsible government already restricts irresponsible freedoms.

Creating a one world government would require us to recognize the only value that we all share, the truth.

truepeers said...

Well Rob,

We've had this argument before; the truth as I understand it is that human beings will always come into conflict over their shared and competing desires. This is because the complete and ultimate truth cannot be known by us; and as soon as we get a little closer to it, the human conflict only becomes more sophisticated and complex; we become freer but the problem of conflict doesn't go away.

THus the problem of politics is how to mediate and order this inherent conflict in productive ways, as the modern inter-national order has often done. Denying the problem, or dreaming Utopian dreams of one world is not in service to making real political choices. It is highly dangerous when widespread in movements like Obamamania.

It is easy to imagine "one world"; but the track record so far for those who have attempted to bring it into being is one of horrible violence and mass murder. How could it ever be otherwise?

Rob Misek said...


You argue that because we cannot perceive the "complete or ultimate" truth we are condemned to violence.

"It is easy to imagine "one world"; but the track record so far for those who have attempted to bring it into being is one of horrible violence and mass murder. How could it ever be otherwise?"

You are a glass half empty kind of guy. Your lack of true vision is not proof that none exists.

While we cannot be sure we know every truth, we do know a great many truths. More than enough to guarantee peace if we only accept the truth we know as being the best guide we currently have.

You (and many others) don't accept the truth we know. That dishonesty is cause enough to guarantee your self-fufilling prophecy of conflict.

We all have a choice to make. To accept the spirit of truth or not.

The spirit of truth is the ability to honestly say, show me the truth and I will accept it.

truepeers said...


I actually think I'm a pretty optimistic guy, considering the evil I see in the world.

But reality as I see it is not a question of choosing between absolute violence and absolute peace. No, our choice is always between relatively more or less violence AND peace. We can't have all of the one and none of the other.

SO our intellectual challenge is to minimize violence. Paradoxically, those who have a strong faith in some future absolute peace are not actually minimizing violence. BY denying the reality that we cannot have total peace, they help create situations where conflicts grow and we have more violence than we need have. This is the lesson that comes from appeasing people like Hitler.

It seems to me that you don't have a firm grasp of how any free market in truth must work. If you and I and everyone else all recognize some aspect of the truth, and we all inculcate it in our very being, we may have some temporary peace. But life goes on. The market becomes more sophisticated and freer, but we are still needing to engage each other in free exchange, with uncertain consequences.

We are all smarter and freer, but we still have to go on living with each other, mediating our differences and our resentments and loves of those differences. Sooner or later it is inevitable that we will again come into conflict despite having previously inculcated a common truth.

The point is that there is no final end of history. Humanity keeps getting more and more complex. We never exhaust the possibilities in our origin as human beings. We can and will forever create new situations with new problems and, the optimist in me believes, new solutions. But only ever temporary solutions. Nothing lasts forever.

The amount of truth in the world is growing. But that doesn't mean an end to all conflict. It just creates new kinds of conflicts, new kinds of peace, new kinds of conflict, new kinds of peace.

There can be no end to this, less we nuke all of humanity into oblivion. And being an optimist, I act in the world as if that oblivion is by no means inevitable. Otherwise, why would I bother writing all this...?