Montréal,  8 - 21 janv. 2000
Numéro 53
  (page 11) 
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 by Scott Carpenter
          What is a Canadian? 

          Canadians have been asking themselves this very question for as long as we have existed as a country; and as long as we have existed the question has never been answered. 
          The irony of this dilemma lies in the fact that on a daily basis we are bombarded with propaganda from the media/government on what a Canadian is. If we are to believe what we are told by this propaganda machine one might think that Canadians are simple beer swilling rednecks in flannel or perhaps people of a « cultural mosaic » working collectively (as though we all shared the same mind) towards another great physical or social invention. Unfortunately, none of these images provides us with a succinct ideological context in which we can define ourselves. 

What is a Canadian?  
          The question has never been directly answered because quite simply there is NO moral framework with which to provide us an answer. We exist in an ideological void where the false gods of socialism are given equal footing with the ethical righteousness of capitalism. We live in a nation that claims that the rights of the individual reign supreme but at the same time fails to define what a « right » is. We preach tolerance for foreign cultures on the one hand but intolerance for the individual on the other. We are a nation of contradictions floating helplessly in a sea of confusion with no framework for living, with no proper definition of justice and without a single philosophical clue as to how a nation of civilized men interacts and sustains itself. 
          Indeed, there has been much ado about nothing as of late to discover an identity for Canadians that will distinguish us from the rest of the world... particularly from Americans. The governments response to this confusion has been a series of television commercials designed to tell us about how great a nation Canada is because of the technological and/or social contributions it has made to the world. Never mind that it is not the government's role to decide for its people who they are. Never mind that such commercials still do not provide us with any moral framework from which to work; our government wants us to believe that we all share some collective pride for the scientific achievements of other individuals or that those social programs which we promote so vehemently are the answer to what ails the world. That many of these social programs have dubious moral roots is irrelevant; all of the above propaganda still does not answer the question: « What is a Canadian? »  
          Most frightening is the recent trend to define ourselves in negative terms. University professors, politicians, the media, and students proclaim « Canadians are not (pick your poison) ». Mostly though we are told that Canadians are not « American ». Let's ignore the fact that Americans are no longer « American » either and concentrate on the implications of such a statement. 
What do we mean by this? 
          In order to fully understand what this statement means we must first understand what it means to be « American ». What does America stand for... or at least, what did it stand for? 
« We are a nation of contradictions floating helplessly in a sea of confusion with no framework for living, with no proper definition of justice and without a single philosophical clue as to how a nation of civilized men interacts and sustains itself. »
          This is actually a very easy question to answer. One only need to look as far as the American Bill of Rights. Being American means that the individual is sovereign, that he has the right to « Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. » 
          In the U.S., a man owns his life. The direct corollary of this right is the right to use and dispose of ones private property, the right to arms, the right to freedom of speech, the right to freedom of association, the right to due process and so on. 
          If being American means that the rights of the individual are unassailable by government or any other entity then what does it mean to be Canadian if we are « not American » in the philosophical sense? 
          Think about it carefully. It means that in this country the individual has no right to the ownership of his own life. It means that individuals have NO rights in the eyes of their government or, for that matter, in the eyes of the majority of the Canadian population. 
Of men and... cattle 
          So what does this make Canadians? The word « cattle » comes quickly to mind. Like Canadians, cattle have no rights. They are chattel property, controlled and lead to slaughter by whatever person, party or group of armed thugs happens to occupy the head of state at any given moment. 
          Whenever we condemn « Americanism » we condemn the rights of the individual. In short we condemn the good for simply being the good. Why? Perhaps this is a matter of history. We are, traditionally, a Common Wealth nation. From the early days of the American Revolution we have been taught that anything American is bad while systematically refusing to define what is « good ». Unfortunately we have forgotten that the American Constitution and its legal heritage is based on British Common Law.  We have also forgotten that the Americans were once British too but that they revolted as a matter of profound moral principle... that individual rights shall not be infringed upon by any government. 
          We now continue to exist in this philosophical and ethical void as a matter of consequence. Indeed, our nanny state dictators prefer that the sheeps remain confused; it is easier to rule this way. Consider the implications to the current power structure if Canadians were to discover that they had rights imbued on them by their maker which no government may rightfully violate or abolish. By keeping us in a constant identity crisis, and by allowing various mechanisms to promote the doctrine of moral relativism, Canadians are kept docile and ineffective. We are denied our rightful place as sovereign and free men because, quite simply, we refuse to objectively define what it means to be « man ». 
          Perhaps the answer to our nagging question is much simpler than what our self-appointed rulers lead us to believe. Perhaps all it means to be Canadian is to be free? If we reject this concept then we reject what it means to be man. If we reject this concept then we deserve whatever evil befalls us today and for all time to come. 
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