The hollow gestures of an overreaching government

The Trudeau government’s aspirations to mandate equality, diversity and inclusion must be open for discussion, not just blindly accepted

The hollow gestures of an overreaching governmentI seem to have a penchant for seeking out protests – not necessarily to participate but to observe, to soak in the screams, the worn-out chants, the always amusing soundbite slogans. This particular demonstration, while not well attended, took place in front of the Supreme Court of Canada. The “anti-capitalist” rally and march in support…

Marx was wrong: communism did not lead to a better society

The stronger the application of communist ideologies and practices, the worse the outcomes

Marx was wrong: communism did not lead to a better societyMany in the world were sadly compelled recently to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx. He was indeed a major figure in shaping history but definitely not for the good. Marx, along with his patron, Friedrich Engels, created the political-economic philosophy (perhaps a religion) commonly called communism. Its essential tenet is…

Marxism “the opium of the intellectuals”

On the 200th anniversary of Marx's birth, let's admit Marxism has nothing useful to say to the modern world

Marxism “the opium of the intellectuals”Karl Marx is buried in England, in the north London suburb of Highgate. I know that because I came across his grave in the summer of 1964. Topped by a large bronze bust on a marble pedestal, the tomb is hard to miss. And although you might think of Marx as a quaint figure, you’d…

Marxism rears its ugly head in the academic world

Brutal communist societies did advance economic equality, although what was shared equally was poverty rather than prosperity

Marxism rears its ugly head in the academic worldWestern civilization and liberal democracy are under siege. This isn’t new. We’ve been challenged just in the last century by fascism and communism, by Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Soviet Russia and Red China. One might have expected – and many did– that the ideology of these failed societies would remain in its grave. But,…

Free speech: Be open to debate or become irrelevant

The danger arises when we become too attached to ideas and are no longer open to healthy discourse

Free speech: Be open to debate or become irrelevantHanna Holborn Gray, former president of the University of Chicago, said, “Universities should be expected to provide the conditions within which hard thought, and therefore strong disagreement, independent judgment, and the questioning of stubborn assumptions, can flourish in an environment of the greatest freedom.” So it’s quite ironic that issues of freedom of speech have…

Putting a muzzle on those you disagree with

Mark Kingwell is vexed by the failure of democracy to silence the speech of those he disagrees with

Putting a muzzle on those you disagree withMark Kingwell is what is commonly called an intellectual social critic. He has an impressive list of advanced degrees and has published books on difficult topics such as baseball, cocktails and democracy. He’s paid by the taxpayers of Ontario to teach philosophy to their university-going young people. But a recent article in the Globe and…