Is China turning its back on science and progress?

Totalitarian societies such as China require conformity and loyalty, not independence of thought

Is China turning its back on science and progress?One of the most notable features of Nazi Germany was its anti-intellectualism. While it claimed to be at the forefront of scientific and technical advances, its ideology and totalitarian rule made free enquiry and interchange between scientists and other technical people untenable. Researchers became wary of making bold assertions, even when backed by solid evidence…

Beware the totalitarian instincts of ‘the collective’

The conflation of state and individual has long been popular among those who crave power over others

Beware the totalitarian instincts of ‘the collective’Last spring, Trent University Professor Christopher Dummitt took us all to task for our insufficient dedication to the collective – which, he worries, leaves those who “call for national sacrifice” on behalf of “the collective will” in a bind, bereft of the obedience they deserve. Dummitt’s alleged “collective action problem” betrays a fundamentally illiberal misunderstanding…

Taiwan deserves a clear-eyed assessment of the potential for war

The U.S. and its allies should signal in no uncertain terms that dragging the world into war over Taiwan would impose severe costs on China

Taiwan deserves a clear-eyed assessment of the potential for warThe increase in Chinese military activity near Taiwan over the past year has engendered a tremendous amount of commentary and analysis from various circles, professional and not. With People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft intruding into Taiwan’s southern Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) occurring on a near-daily basis, and with record-breaking numbers in some instances, the…

A fast and furious bit of grovelling from John Cena

The actor and wrestler has angered China

A fast and furious bit of grovelling from John CenaAre you familiar with John Cena? If not, good for you; he’s not really worth knowing about. For the uninitiated, John Cena is a former professional wrestler. According to the World Wrestling Entertainment website, he’s a 16-time WWE champion, author and ‘actor’ (quotes are mine). To quote directly from the website: “After gaining the respect…

Energy industry and Canada’s national interests go hand in hand

No more than a sliver of Canada’s natural resources should ever be controlled by non-democracies

Energy industry and Canada’s national interests go hand in handCanadians are used to peace and relative prosperity compared to the rest of the world and are occasionally naïve about it. They assume it’s a regular state of affairs rather than an exception. Canada is an exception, in large part because the country is surrounded by three oceans with one neighbour, the United States, a…

Push back against China’s pro-communist Bible

Chinese President Xi Jinping has concocted a devious plan to revise the Bible to make it more in line with his country’s totalitarian ideology

Push back against China’s pro-communist BibleImagine this hypothetical scenario: A world leader decides they’re going to arbitrarily change the text of an historically important religious document to suit their needs. Some people might complain about this decision in private, but the world leader is far too powerful to either publicly criticize or condemn. So these changes are made in short order…

God save the Queen – so she can save our country

God save the Queen – so she can save our countryIn my youth, I was embarrassed by Canada’s (seemingly) anachronistic constitutional monarchy. Why must we have a Queen, I raged? She doesn’t even live in our country. Why can’t we be a republic, like the United States? It wasn’t until recently that I began to question this view. Looking south of the border, I’m reminded…

God save the Queen – so she can save our country

God save the Queen – so she can save our countryIn my youth, I was embarrassed by Canada’s (seemingly) anachronistic constitutional monarchy. Why must we have a Queen, I raged? She doesn’t even live in our country. Why can’t we be a republic, like the United States? It wasn’t until recently that I began to question this view. Looking south of the border, I’m reminded…

China represents world freedom’s greatest threat

It employs its great military, economic and seductive power to advance repression around the world

China represents world freedom’s greatest threatAs we watch the chaos on the streets of Venezuela, it’s apt to revisit the latest Human Freedom Index, published in part by the Fraser Institute. The index highlights an old danger re-emerging: authoritarian seducers, regimes that promote their model of despotism internationally through charm, money, power, bribery, threats and violence. Since the rise of…

Canada helps preserve memory of Holocaust by buying Hitler’s book

Canadians need to be reminded that conflicts and human tragedies sometimes come perilously close to home

Canada helps preserve memory of Holocaust by buying Hitler’s bookWise politicians realize that the people, also known as taxpayers, are always concerned about how their money is spent by government. The cost of a policy, program or item can be large or small, but every penny – or nickel, in this era – must be used responsibly and prudently. This brings us to the…

Bizarre cult of oppression grips Canada’s West Coast

The environment is only a side issue for an increasingly passionate mob of activists whose assault on the ‘establishment’ is nothing less than a moral crusade

Bizarre cult of oppression grips Canada’s West CoastRegardless of your political feelings about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, you have to admit the guy has guts. Not many politicians would have the courage to host a town-hall meeting in a place as openly hostile as Nanaimo, B.C. Immediately upon entering the building last week, the climate bullies jumped on him with a torrent…

When an intellectual cozies up to dictators

Is it feasible to separate political views and private behaviour from artistic merit? George Bernard Shaw is a perfect case study

When an intellectual cozies up to dictatorsTo most Canadians, George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) may be a quaint figure whose primary distinction is having a popular southern Ontario theatre festival named after him. However, he was a big wheel during the first half of the 20th century. A self-described “downstart,” Shaw was born into an impecunious Protestant Ascendancy family in Dublin, Ireland. Leaving…

Lithuania a country caught between two worlds

A letter from Lithuania: Its history is one of struggle and compromise. Now it's looking to the future and its options with caution

Lithuania a country caught between two worldsVilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is a charmingly historic European city that tells a chilling tale of sorrow. Our hotel, directly across from Lukiškės Square (formally Lenin Square and, yes, the statue is gone), stands opposite the Genocido aukų muziejus, a museum dedicated to preserving the memory of the many victims of Soviet cruelty. This…

Justin Trudeau stands tall in China

You’d have thought conservatives would have rejoiced at a Liberal standing up for Canadians. But no, they slammed him

Justin Trudeau stands tall in ChinaIt's not very often that I'm really proud of being Canadian, but Justin Trudeau made me proud this week in China. What did the prime minister do? First of all, he defended western values against a determined communist bully. Secondly, he once again made the essential point that until there’s a common set of rules…

When speech isn’t free, society pays a high price

A recent incident at the University provides a glimpse of what the future may hold for Canadian post-secondary education – and it ain’t pretty

When speech isn’t free, society pays a high priceAt one time, universities respected free speech and the exchange of different ideas. Intellectual discourse and thought-provoking debates were viewed as healthy, vibrant and treasured. Unfortunately, speech isn’t nearly as free on today’s university campuses. Intolerance of opposing philosophies, and hurt feelings among the hordes of special interest groups, have come to define modern institutions…