There is no other blogger like Pundita. She has carved a niche – part history and part humint – that makes any essay of hers a thing unto itself. In addition there are the sparkles of her dry wit sprinkled through her work.
Take, for instance, her view of the mess in Canada. Her post is long and too full of history to quote in its entirety, but I’ll give you the flavor of her style and the way (in this case) that she lays out in detail the differing world views of the British and the Americans, a difference in philosophy that she traces back to America’s beginning and its separation from England…Pundita archly assumes that England could be back any day to pick up the fight where it left off around 1812 or so:
If I thought medication would help, I suppose I would tell a psychiatrist that I’m always on the lookout for the British counterinsurgency. I don’t like admitting this to you — paranoids generally don’t unburden themselves for obvious reasons; you could be a Redcoat spy. But as there is no other way to explain the reasoning behind my view of Section 13 of Canada’s Human Rights Act (see the last two Pundita posts about Section 13), I have let you in on my secret.
I am not prejudiced against the British, you understand; I’m waiting for them to make another try. There is a difference.
Section 13 is a direct consequence of Canada’s official multicultural policy, which is written into their Charter of Rights and Freedoms under Section 27.
But what is multiculturalism and how did it come about in Canada? Here is the Canadian government’s explanation. Yet mountains of books and scholarly papers have been published in the attempt to answer the question. None of them are worth a plug nickel in my view, unless they explain that multiculturalism was a British invention for managing native populations. [my emphasis — D]
So when I review published criticism of the Section 13 complaints against Maclean’s magazine, I can only shake my head in wonder at such blindness. The critics, whether from Canada or America, are doggedly determined to pin blame on human rights commissions, or Liberals and the Political Correctness movement.
Let us be clear. The war between the American colonies and Britain ended, but the ideological struggle never did. That struggle has been played out most recently in Iraq, which saw the British approach to managing the natives in Basra in open conflict with the US attempt to block Iranian weapons from entering Iraq. My nightmare is that it’s being played out in Afghanistan as well.
What are the two sides in the struggle? The British colonial model (BCM) is that you allow the natives you rule in foreign lands to keep to their own ways as much as possible without your losing control over them. This approach arose out of practical needs to keep tribal rivalries from spilling into wars that the British home office would find hard to control.
On the topic of democracy the BCM says: What use it is to teach these tribes democracy when the first thing they’ll do with it is tear each other to pieces and balkanize into territories the size of a postage stamp?
The BCM is basically a conflict-management model…
– – – – – – – – –
The American Government Model (AGM) is built on the defense of liberty and the protection of individual rights. That the United States has often betrayed the model when applying it to foreign relations does not invalidate it.
I see in the conflict between the BCM and AGM the age-old struggle between maintaining order and self empowerment.
Now we proceed to Pundita’s one minute history of the modern world.
In the post-World War Two era the BCM seemingly went into eclipse. But on close inspection — and Canada is a good example — in many places the BCM continued to influence government policies even in countries that had won full independence from the British.
The BCM produced a way of thinking that is so deeply ingrained in post-colonial countries that I believe this is why many Canadians don’t see that Section 13 poses threats to their freedom beyond the issue of freedom of speech.
When push comes to shove the BCM is so useful at maintaining order that there hardly seems a contest between it and the AGM.
Here we come to a snag, which became evident when British rule left countries that often were creations of Colonialist deals and alliances.
In the many bloodbaths that followed it was clear that all the BCM had ever done was keep a lid on situations. In horror, the British tried as best they could, given their own very difficult situation after World War Two, to right the wrongs of the BCM in former colonies.
They soon learned that several governments in the former colonies preferred mass slaughter as the means to managing uprisings, despite all the years of British influence under the BCM.
The British got a chance to redeem themselves during the Cold War, and particularly toward its close, when they threw considerable resources at helping Eastern European countries learn the ropes of democracy.
Then came the end of the Soviet Union. Then followed the golden years when it seemed that globalization had obsolesced the ideological struggle between order and freedom. Somehow, unrestricted trade between nations would translate into freedom and order for all.
Then came 9/11, followed by the Democracy Doctrine and Bush’s announcement that he planned to export the doctrine to the four quarters. At this news people around the globe thought they were experiencing an earthquake. No, it was just millions of government officials hitting the floor with a thud after fainting in horror. [my emphasis –D]
And here we are today. Where exactly is “here?”
That is the dangling question, isn’t it? I suggest your go over to Pundita’s essay and find out precisely where ‘here’ appears on the map…