Rex Murphy: Liberals’ dangerous arrogance didn’t begin and won’t end with internet-regulation bill
Only a PM and a bunch that carry the delusion they are all-wise and ever-right could have conceived Bill C-10 Author of the article: Rex Murphy Publishing date: May 03, 2021 • 2 days ago • 4 minute read • 714 Comments
The all-knowing Liberals put up a tactical white flag when the national storm of who-the-hell-do-you-think-you-are swept over them concerning their attempt to regulate the internet.
Debate on a Conservative motion related to Bill C-10 was shut down, though the Liberals said Monday the bill will now be amended so social media posts are not regulated. What is more galling and more threatening than the bill itself however, is the set of mind behind it.
The bill may die or be weakened. The thinking that spawned it will remain.
The thinking that spawned it will remain
C-10, an attempt to put a pillow over the free expression of all Canadians, didn’t pop up gopher-like out of the policy burrow of a second-tier Cabinet minister. Quite the contrary. This nefarious nugget was obviously the product of the top-rank philosophes of the Prime Minister’s Office, that sensorium of the whole Liberal party, from which emerges guidance and wisdom to elevate the lives and labours of ordinary Canadians, all set out with the confidence of a closed-minded pope.
And who are the great thinkers who birth such a creature? Why they are a band of intellects unmatched since the days of ancient Greece when Plato founded his academy, and young Socrates and his buddy Aristotle were offering home tutorials at the bargain rate of a drachma a syllogism. Their business card was terse: You learn; we earn. The wokemeisters in the PMO and the Wokemeister-in-Chief, Justin Trudeau, haven’t reached the business card stage, but post-power, you may be sure they will. There are Oprah shows to come, and star invitations to Davos and the IPCC yet to be forwarded in gilded envelopes with computer-generated handwriting.
Attend to this. This retrograde and democracy-denying bill emerged from the heights, out of the thin altitude where the prime minister dwells, and wherein the various wizards and shamans, the praetorian guard of top advisers, hatch their schemes, knit their plots, and advance the Leader’s dearest notions.
Only a PM and a bunch that carry the delusion they are all-wise and ever-right, that they alone and only they, should have rule and command over the thoughts and opinions of a whole nation, could have conceived Bill C-10. Could have put their lawyers to work composing it, then waltzed into Parliament to put it on the Order paper in the first place.
What 21st-century government, aware of speech and thought control in the great and cruel totalitarian governments of the past century, and their cruel brethren of the 21st — Communist China, sinister North Korea, Iran — every tyranny or dictatorship on the globe — would wish to ape and mirror the central characteristic of all such regimes?
All of them ruled and rule today by censorship, monitoring citizens’ thoughts and writing, even private conversation. Speech controls breed a nation of spies.
Bill C-10 may be a kitten-mischief compared with the hideous savageries of full-blown tyrannies. But great oaks out of little acorns grow. Beware the seedlings of thought and speech control. Which is another way of saying do not let governments even toy with the fundamentals of democratic understanding and the absolutes of democratic practice.
Beware the seedlings of thought and speech control
Here’s another observation: a government that yearns to censor, to pry and oversee the speech and thought of its citizens, doesn’t trust its citizens. And believes therefore it has a right to herd them into holding opinions that their wiser, smarter and obviously more progressive government tells them they must have. It’s a marvellous instance of political conceit.
Their “reasoning” preceding the drawing up Bill C-10, may easily be imagined. It would go something like this:
“Well, they (meaning the citizenry) elected us (meaning the Liberal party). And we, therefore being superior beings, now have the right to bring them up to our standards of respectable thought and acceptable opinion. We will wipe clean the moral blackboard. And lay out for the voters what the voters are allowed to say, and what they must say. Call it Cuba in a cold climate.
“We will also then apologize for their forebears, for those morally-numb pioneers who built the house of iniquity we know as Canada. We will deplore every past prime minister who was sadly neither as tolerant nor as knowing as we, Deo gratias, are. Going ahead as progressives, let us insist on the right to declare the ideas Canadians should have, and put a block on those they cannot be allowed to have. And let us be grateful that this is the one administration, the first since 1867, with the wit and moral savvy to recognize what was deficient in all who went before us. All of course save one.”
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The mindset is more dangerous than the bill
There, in speculative and imagined dialogue, is the voice of the mindset behind C-10. And the mindset is more dangerous than the bill: an assertion that this government knows what’s best and has the right to impose its ideas of what is right on everyone else. This is the new religion of woke.
They may have suspended the charge up the hill to put C-10 into law. But they have not unroped themselves from the attitudes and intentions behind it. The mindset behind C-10 is more consequential than the bill which issued from it. That this band of woke virtuecrats understand themselves as better, more clever and ever how entitled to impose all the imperatives of their virtue commandments on you.
I’ll end with the words of one who was previously vice-chairman of the CRTC, Peter Menzies. C-10 “doesn’t just infringe on free expression, it constitutes a full-blown assault upon it and, through it, the foundations of democracy.” Well said, Mr. Menzies.