Many politicians are glad to make use of the power that a stunning number of Canadians are willingly giving away.
An unmistakable trend during this past year and a half has been politicians and government officials taking every opportunity to expand their own power.
Some have done so with visible reluctance, while others have clearly reveled in the ‘opportunity’ (as Justin Trudeau put it), to expand the power of government in a way that will last beyond the current crisis.
Indeed, as I recently discussed, Canada’s ambassador to the UN Bob Rae is even talking about a “new era of pandemics,” clearly unwilling to let go of the fear-based pandemic mindset:
“As we enter a new age of pandemics, the global community, governments, institutions and individuals need to embrace solidarity as a key social value. #VaccineNationalism and #VaccineResistance are both dead ends. Literally.”
As we enter a new age of pandemics, the global community, governments, institutions and individuals need to embrace solidarity as a key social value. #VaccineNationalism and #VaccineResistance are both dead ends. Literally.
— Bob Rae (@BobRae48) July 20, 2021
It’s not just politicians
It would be one thing if it was just politicians being power-hungry, which is something we’ve come to expect.
Unfortunately, power-grabbing politicians have often been cheered on by members of the public, as we’ve seen with people who seem gleeful at watching small business owners get arrested and celebrated the arrest of individuals seeking to gather and worship.
Notably, few of the people who cheer on the arrest and punishment of their fellow citizens had anywhere near that kind of aggression when it came to Communist China at the beginning of the pandemic. Many of them were the same people who called border controls ‘racist’ and ‘bigoted’.
They also have incredibly low standards for those in power, excusing the countless failures and reversals by politicians and public officials, seemingly forgiving any and all demonstrations of rampant incompetence.
In a completely upside-down way of looking at things, they give a free pass to politicians, while demanding punishment of regular people just trying to make ends meet.
Vaccine passports & demonization of ‘the other’
A predictable, but nonetheless terrible aspect of politics in Canada lately is that the more our leaders try refuse to address actual adversaries our nation faces – particularly China – the more Canadians become divided amongst ourselves.
This is the inevitable result of a ‘post-national-state,’ since a nation without a strong core identity, and without the ability to contrast our identity and values against others, doesn’t eliminate demonization, it simply turns it inward in a much more unhealthy way.
To get a sense of how that demonization is playing out, consider the Tweets below:
(Note, since sarcasm is tough to notice online, Tomlinson is someone who is against vaccine passports, and made the ‘no home, no food’ remark as an extreme example of how some are demonizing those who don’t want to get the vaccine. The real stunning part is Doug Little seemingly taking it seriously and then going along with it).
Brian Lilley had this to say about Little’s comments:
“The tolerant left as exemplified by a retired socialist teacher living off the spoils of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and their capitalist ways.
As I explain in my column, no scientific basis for this and no need for it. But Doug wants it.”
The tolerant left as exemplified by a retired socialist teacher living off the spoils of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and their capitalist ways.
As I explain in my column, no scientific basis for this and no need for it. But Doug wants it.https://t.co/H3fpDebUy3 https://t.co/HYoCjSU9C4
— Brian Lilley (@brianlilley) July 22, 2021
Take note of how Doug – rather than saying that he will personally do what he can to maintain good health and stay safe – instead wants the government to punish other people to make him feel safe.
Lack of personal responsibility leads to authoritarianism
In every nation, there is a large degree of power.
That power is either diffused, or concentrated.
In ‘free nations,’ power is supposed to be diffused, with most power resting in each individual person. In authoritarian states, power is concentrated in a party like the Chinese Communist Party, a dictator, or in top generals in the case of military dictatorship.
Just as energy cannot be destroyed but can change form, power in a society seems to be much the same.
You can’t ‘get rid’ of power, you can only move it around.
In a free country, if more and more people refuse to use their own power, and if they demand the government becomes more and more powerful, they will end up transferring their power to the government.
By contrast, note how it takes a lot of physical energy for authoritarian states to become free. That energy often results in power shifting from the state, back to individuals.
Here in Canada, our country is clearly on a slide from freedom towards a more authoritarian, Communist-style nation.
This is happening as many individual Canadians abandon any notion of personal responsibility, as fear causes them to seek safety in the arms of a bigger and bigger government.
This is a key reason why politicians and many public officials have repeatedly downplayed things individuals could do to increase our physical resilience, (such as exercise, healthy eating, losing weight etc), while overemphasizing things that involve government power, like lockdowns and punishments for ‘violators.’
It’s a deeply toxic co-dependent relationship, of fearful people abandoning personal responsibility aligned with the politicians like Justin Trudeau & Jagmeet Singh who desire more power and control over your life and over the lives of all Canadians.
A great nation needs strong citizens
In the long-run, the abandonment of personal responsibility always ends in disaster.
A citizenry that abandons personal responsibility becomes increasingly abrasive and angry, always casting about for others to blame, while demanding further and further government power. At some point, a country ends up with a passive, submissive population unable to really innovate or muster up any sort of voluntary cooperation.
Fear can only work for so long, and when it stops working, the system based on that fear doesn’t last long.
Canada was long seen as a country where hardy-individualism, and personal responsibility were core traits and values, and our country never would have been built up if it weren’t for people who took responsibility for their own lives and the lives of their families.
We were that kind of country once before, and we can be again.
That is why we need to realize that our individual rights and freedoms are worth defending, and we must do everything we can to reinvigorate the idea of personal responsibility that has long given Canada our strength.