The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Happy Canada Day

Canada remains a good country to live in. There are a few countries– mostly northern European-that have better statistics, but not too many.

Outsiders tend to overestimate how good, however, and Americans, in particular, tend to idealize Canada a bit too much.

The key thing to understand about Canadian politics is that they are right-wing trending, the same as the US. This shouldn’t be a surprise; the country is swamped with American money, ideas, and political operatives.

The difference is mostly that Canada started this rightward swing in a far better position than the US: We were more left-wing, with more support for a safety net, universal healthcare, etc.

So we have farther to go to be as bad as the US.

But we’re hustling.

And, like most countries, there are people for whom Canada is not good. Mostly this would be the indigenous peoples.

Still, overall, there are few countries I’d rather live in. Among other things, Canada still has tons of wilderness, and though I don’t get to spend much time in it any more (something I hope to remedy), I did when younger, and I value it a lot.

So, Happy Canada Day, and may we stop running down this neoliberal path before it destroys us.


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – June 29, 2019


Happy Independence Day



    It’s tar sands, not oil sands. The author reveals his bias.

    Take note of the quote below the link. Nah, that’s not totalitarianism. If scientists cannot speak freely to journalists, it’s totalitarianism every bit as much as China is totalitarianism and the former Soviet Union was totalitarianism.

    Oil Sands Found To Be A Leading Source Of Air Pollution In North America

    Given the economic circumstances and the political sensitivities currently surrounding the oil sands, the air pollutant study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, offered the strongest test yet of the Trudeau government’s promise to allow scientists in federal labs to speak freely with journalists about their results.

  2. nihil obstet

    One would think that Canadians could look south, see what the neoliberal path has led to, and draw back in revulsion. Maybe they already have, and the revulsion is the only thing protecting us from invasion. Our record at winning wars recently isn’t enough to scare off an invader.

  3. Willy

    The USA also has about a 10% higher incidence of people calling themselves Christian than Canada does.

    I once asked a staunch conservative Christian why Christianity has to be right wing. He answered that leftism and Christianity cannot coexist, that one will always eliminate the other. Apparently, this is what they’ve been led to believe.

    I can remember back when most Christians didn’t believe that Christianity had a political affiliation, and that it could coexist with science. Most did a Pascals wager and called it good. Let mammon do its own thing. But that was before Republican operatives identified and targeted evangelicals for votes. Before global warming became a hoax.

    Canada has oil sands. And it has its own version of the fracking-funded Dennis Prager, Jordan Peterson, full of similar obfuscatory ‘ideas’. But (perhaps because he’s Canadian) he does at least ask people to think a bit further about what giving up a fossil-dependent lifestyle might mean for them.

  4. Mel

    Lately I’m reading John Perkins’ _The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man_. It describes the kind of persistent lobbying efforts that go on to lead governments into the kind of right-wing policies that we’re looking at. As far as I’ve read, the examples are all from business/development projects that need a rightist or neoliberal environment to thrive. Nothing about Canada as such. Nothing yet about explicitly political influence from groups like, say, the International Democratic Union, or whoever might be promoting the One Party, Two Faces political structure as used down south.

  5. Ian Welsh

    Much of the original progressive movement was driven by the Christian left. There’s no reason integral to Jesus’ actual message, as best we know it, why it should be conservative.

    But the Bible overall is large enough and fucked up enough, that it’s easy to decide parts other than Jesus are what you care most about, and there’s a ton of evil shit in the Bible you can choose to decide is how God wants you to act.

    The Christianity you practice is really your choice. It can be loving and kind and scale that way, or it can be brutal and authoritarian cruel and scale that way.

  6. someofparts

    I wish we used a version of the Bible translated straight from the Aramaic instead of the King James version.

  7. Tom

    Its begun… India simply can’t survive this crisis due to the deep seated corruption and inability and unwillingness to root it out on the part of the elites. If the Elites think they will survive this, they are sadly mistaken as they simply lack the skill sets to survive when their infrastructural support network goes with the Country’s Collapse.

  8. Joan

    Happy Canada Day! I hope Canada is willing to take left-leaning American immigrants.

  9. Hugh

    Biblegateway has something like 59 versions of the bible in English.

    The Old Testament was written in Old or Biblical Hebrew and some Aramaic. While Jesus spoke Aramaic, the Gospels themselves and the New Testament in general were originally written in koine Greek.

  10. Hugh

    Canada has good healthcare. Meanwhile on Morning Joe today, everyone was intoning that if the Democrats nominate anyone who seriously backs Medicare for All, they will lose. They don’t give any evidence for this view, and they really don’t have to. With them, if they say it, it must be true. Contradictorily, they talk about the importance of energizing voters but also the need to pivot to the “center,” i.e. Establishment Clintonesque conservatism. Willy Geist sums it up that the base will just have to suck it up because they would have to be crazy to want another 4 years of Trump. Of course, this is exactly the same argument the base could and should use against the Willy Geists of this world.

  11. someofparts

    Hugh, thanks for the correction and that great link.

  12. someofparts

    I know it is foolish for us to idealize Canada, but I can’t resist admiring this:

    Happy Canada Day for wildlife!

  13. S Brennan

    Growing up I was taught that Canada was our brother nation, the things that we held dear were also true in Canada in my many visits and sojourns through Canada’s wilderness I have found those teachings true. And while the power centers of the USA have given their souls over to the darkness of Milton Friedman’s Satanic Verses, we the people, are still brothers.

    Today, I celebrate my nation’s birth and pray that we may find our way back to the path of righteous we stumbled from on 22 Nov 1963.

  14. different clue

    @S Brennan,

    We didn’t stumble on that November day. We were tripped and pushed. Canadian journalist/blogger Jeff Wells wrote a lot of posts about different aspects of that on his Rigorous Intuition 2.0 blog. It can be search-engined by that name . . . Rigorous Intuition 2.0.
    Among its listed sets of topically-grouped posts is a group called Assassinations. The most “recent” posting in that group was this one. Clicking it will also bring up the homepage where all the others can be found.

    Both Jeff Wells and David Emory have written/spoken to the topic of ” America! . . . What went wrong?” They present very good evidence and thinking to the effect that the same pro-Nazi OverClass who supported the Hitler Nazis in their rise to power to begin with . . . also worked to rescue potentially valuable Nazi and Fascist operatives from Europe when it was clear the Fascists and Nazis would lose the war there. The American OverClass brought them here and installed them into government in order to work on Nazifying America from above and within. And that’s what went wrong here.

    Here is a post that Wells wrote about elements of that uniting bond between the OverClass AristoNazis of Germany and the OverClass Aristo Nazi-backers here.

  15. someofparts

    diff clue – thanks for that link

    As I’ve learned more lately I’ve started to realize that this country seems to have entered WWII less to stop the Nazis than to prevent the Russians from pushing into Europe when it became clear that they were beating the Germans.

  16. different clue


    Actually, Japan entered us into the War to begin with. And Roosevelt spent several years giving what assistance he could to Britain and Russia before Hitler entered us into the European Theater of the War by declaring war on America in loyal support of his Ally the Empire of Japan. So our decision was made for us even before Hitler ordered the invasion of Russia itself. So we were entered into WWII before Hitler entered Russia into the War, so certainly WAY before it seemed Russia would be able to pursue the Germans all the way into Germany itself.

    America’s AristoFascist class Naziphilia was a purely voluntary Class ( and style) matter on their part.
    It is why they worked so hard in the last couple years of the War ratlining and paper-clipping as many tens of thousands of euronazi fascists of all kinds out of Europe and into America, Canada, South America, Australia, etc. as they could possibly save, in order to resume ( and win) the War for Fascism at some later date.

    And I doubt it was just a purely American AristoFascist Class project. I wonder, for example, how many Bandera Nazis the Canadian Aristos were able to rescue from Galicia and bring to the Ukrainian zones of Saskatchewan and suchlike, for instance.

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