Fading blues – the decline of the Tory tradition in Canada since the 1980s (Part Eleven)
By Mark Wegierski
As patriotic Canadians and simply as human beings, such persons would hope to lead the way into a better world than that predicted in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Ridley Scott's haunting dark-future movie, Blade Runner (loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange (filmed audaciously by Stanley Kubrick), George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, or Jean Raspail's Camp of the Saints.
Canada, which could be seen as a "tory-touched fragment" trapped in the late-modern world, could perhaps play some role in the evolution to the saving, truly "post-modern" -- rather than merely "hyper-modern" – path of world-historical development.
It should be well noted that the distinction between “post-modern” and “hyper-modern” used here is a highly eclectic terminology. The term “post-modern” or “postmodern” today usually signifies the piling onto Western societies of ever more extreme forms of social liberalism and the exaltation of the allegedly unlimited plasticity of human life, society, and existence. One would like to nevertheless note the book, provocatively titled, The Postmodern Imagination of Russell Kirk, by Gerald J. Russello (University of Missouri Press, 2007) – Russell Kirk being one of the leading American traditionalist thinkers. So, there are clearly various interpretations of the term possible. The use of the term “hyper-modern” is meant to accentuate the notion that most of the social, cultural, and intellectual excesses of the post-Sixties’ period are largely a continuation of what could be seen as the worst tendencies of modernity itself. Traditionalist conservatism has identified this as the unceasing, unrelenting urge to tear down, to destroy, to deconstruct, to smash to bits any notions of what conservatism considers as the normative, the decent, and the natural. The idea of the “post-modern” -- as specifically deployed here -- recognizes that there are of course better aspects of modernity such as the obvious benefits of science and technology, and the classical liberal freedoms, that cannot be discarded on the path to the hoped-for social and cultural renewal. The idea of the “post-modern” – as specifically deployed here -- acknowledges that society is continuing to evolve, but must eventually begin to move to the new synthesis so eloquently suggested by Solzhenitsyn. The dangers of slipping into various apocalyptic-dystopic situations – whether under the impact of increasing “soft totalitarianism” combined with “the new illiteracy” – or because of the possible collapse of most Western societies as a result of various challenges from outside the West – are very great. It shall indeed be a very perilous passageway to a better world – if it can at all be made.
If it is true, as Robertson Davies has said, that "the numinous has gone out of Canada" -- that Canada really is only a country of petty bureaucrats, whining social workers, and branch-plant managers -- then it is up to serious, committed traditionalists to fight for at least one chance to restore and revive the once-great Dominion of Canada --- from sea even unto sea -- the true North, strong and free!
Mark Wegierski is a Canadian writer and historical researcher.