Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More interesting quotes on HarProrogue

I have been trying to finish a post on the implications of the Conservative language from last week but things like this post by Ann Douglas at One Woman. One Blog. It prompted me to re-read this Walrus article which focuses on Tom Flanagan but provides lots of insights into the Calgary School and HarProrogue's tendencies as well.

For example(my emphasis in bold):
With regrds the tactics of last week:
... Not surprisingly, most of the group’s policy prescriptions – from an elected senate to parliamentary approval of judges – would have one effect: they would wipe out the quirky bilateral differences that are stumbling blocks to seamless integration with the United States.

But Shadia Drury, a member of the U of C department until last year, accuses her former colleagues of harbouring a more sinister mission. An expert on Leo Strauss, the philosophical father of the neo-conservative movement, Drury paints the Calgary School as a homegrown variation on American Straussians like Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who share their teacher’s deep suspicions of liberal democracy. Strauss argued that a ruling elite often had to resort to deception – a noble lie – to protect citizens from themselves. To that end, he recommended harnessing the simplistic platitudes of populism to galvanize mass support for measures that would in fact restrict rights. Drury warned the Globe’s John Ibbitson that the members of the Calgary School “want to replace the rule of law with the populism of the majority,” and labelled Stephen Harper “their product.”
With regards Quebec:
They also share one beef not confined to Alberta: exasperation at Ottawa’s perennial hand-wringing over Quebec. In a 1990 essay in the now defunct West magazine, Barry Cooper, Flanagan’s closest departmental pal, advised Quebec separatists that if they were heading for the federal exit, they’d better get on with it – or, as he now sums it up, “The sooner those guys are out of here the better.” Cooper and David Bercuson, now director of the university’s Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, promptly followed up with Deconfederation: Canada without Quebec, a polemic that rocketed to the top of best-seller lists and sent shock¬waves across the country.

Kind of makes you think that there was a certain method behind the madness of railing against the Bloc. But if you believe that you would almost have to think that the Prime Minister was trying to provoke the break-up of Canada.Recommend this Post


partisanhobo said...

"But if you believe that you would almost have to think that the Prime Minister was trying to provoke the break-up of Canada."

You mean he isn't? It's hard to believe that there isn't a direct connection between the rapid decline in professionalism in the Senate and the PM's distaste for the Upper House. Same with the Quebec issue. Whether he's intentionally destroying parts of the nation, just doesn't care if certain demographics are angry, or is allowing them to lapse through apathy, I can't believe it's coincidence that all the aspects of our government Harper hates seem to be falling apart at the seams.

Constant Vigilance said...

Interesting post. I chose Door Number 1. The country and media is sleepwalking through political life thinking that this is government as when it was Clark and Trudeau. I am not sure how we will get them to wake up but we must.

cls said...

I had the misfortune of taking a mandatory PhD course taught by someone connected to the Calgary school. Most of the course was about the necessity of the 'noble lie' because the masses are unable to cope with reality. Because of the inadequacy of the masses it is necessary for a small group to take control under the guise of the noble lie so that chaos can be avoided, and truth embraced. When I read the Walrus article chills went up my spine because the ideology it examines was at the centre of the political theory course I took.

partisanhobo said...

Thanks a second time for this post. It came in handy again today when I wanted to blog about Frank Luntz. I love your blog- keep up the great work!