Freedom versus Freedumb

September 10, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

Over on the National Post’s Full Comment blog, Gerry Nicholls has published what he wishes to be the “hidden agenda” of the Conservative Party of Canada, post election (should they win a majority). One of his wish list items is to “introduce free market principles into [Canada’s socialist health care] system”. He seeks a contradiction, of course (i.e., a “free market” in a state-imposed monopoly), but the mere mention of the term “free market” spurred individualist and collectivist readers to start into the old “debate” about the meaning of words like “liberty” and “freedom”. Read more

Green Turns to Brown: "Zeitgeist", "Not Normal Times", and BS

June 30, 2008 by · 5 Comments 

With gas prices up at around C$1.35 per litre, the release a week and a half ago of Stéphane Dion’s “Green Shift” plan to impose more taxes on middle and upper income earners is being rejected. You can see it in letters to the editor, you can read it on blogs. And the left has been left with little ability to respond to the plan’s assessment as a failure.

Of those who are neutral or positive about The Green Shift, virtually none are defending its actual content. Doing so would expose it for what it is: a proposal for a dramatic shift of earnings, from those who earn to those who do not. Instead, we are getting spirited sermons about how “green” is a freight train that cannot be stopped. The psychological strategy is obvious enough: if a proposal is too irrational and destructive to sell on its merits, tell people that no matter what the proposal is, the cultural momentum in favour of it is too great to stop its implementation.

Here are today’s disgustingly transparent examples. Read more

Just Registered: Reason's Harvest…dot COM

June 25, 2008 by · 3 Comments 

I am happy to announce that, today, I registered the domain name That domain’s temporary home page will be replaced over the coming weeks as I approach an as-yet not determined launch date. However, in what follows, I provide a little background about why I have registered the site. Read more

An Open Letter to Premier McGuinty Re: "Psychics" and the Laws of Ontario

June 19, 2008 by · 4 Comments 

June 19, 2008

Hon. Dalton McGuinty
Main Legislative Building
Room 281, Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1A1

Dear Premier McGuinty:

Re: “Psychics”, “Reasonable Grounds”, and the Case of Colleen and Victoria Leduc

Like many Ontarians, I am shocked to hear news reports concerning the case of Ms. Colleen Leduc and her daughter, Victoria, who suffers from autism. Read more

Meridianfrost as Jim Taggart: Contrived Laughter in Lieu of Rational Counter-argument

June 17, 2008 by · 3 Comments 

I find it difficult to bring myself to watch shows like the Daily Show. Don’t get me wrong, some of the content on that show is quite funny. However, much too much of what today passes for “comedy” (especially on that show) consists of little more than running a clip of someone, then looking into the camera and either laughing or smiling. Read more

Just the Tax Ma'am

June 6, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The National Post’s Colby Cosh today wrote a column in which he takes for granted the idea that wealth needs to be redistributed to save the environment from…well…something, and plunges into discussing which is better: a cap and trade system, or a carbon tax.

I replied as follows: Read more

Reason and Freedom vs. The Liberty Summer Seminar

May 20, 2008 by · 31 Comments 

I recently posted The One Way to Defeat a Rational Argument, which was about the importance of speaking Read more

The One Way to Defeat a Rational Argument

May 13, 2008 by · 11 Comments is a popular discussion board, especially (but not exclusively) for small-c conservatives of various stripes, who want to discuss Canadian politics. It is one of a number of sites that has been sued or complained about in respect of matters relating to human rights legislation in Canada (especially as it relates to the issue of curtailing speech).

Accordingly, a major topic of discussion is section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which curtails freedom in respect of speech on web sites. There have been allegations that the real purpose of some section 13 complaints is to shut down conservative discussion boards, thereby preventing the distribution of views contrary to those of the liberal collectivists. The topic is even more interesting for partisan reasons: one sitting member of the opposition Liberal Party of Canada, Dr. Keith Martin, has introduced a motion in parliament to repeal section 13. Dr. Martin was a Conservative, but switched parties a while back.

With that as context, you might not find it entirely surprising that several bloggers and posters on are rather upset that the Conservative Minister of Justice has not expressed any opposition to section 13. Among the several postings on the subject, I noticed a couple by a fellow who goes by the handle EdS, who expressed both a crisis of loyalty to his party (the Conservative Party of Canada) and feelings of defeat at the prospect of fighting section 13:

I’m seriously considering my future with the Party over this issue. Freedom of Speech is the deal-breaker for me…I am overwhelmed…How do you encapsulate this whole CHRT/CHRC mess into something brief and cogent? How do you begin to explain all this to the ignorant and the apathetic?…I’m not taking any shortcuts. I just need some pointers.

I replied as follows:

EdS, you’re dealing with something that I’ve been dealing with since I took on the responsibility of leading Freedom Party of Ontario. You’ll not be surprised if I tell you that I believe Ayn Rand had the right answer:

Ayn Rand wrote:

…In an intellectual battle, you do not need to convert everyone. History is made by minorities-or, more precisely, history is made by intellectual movements, which are created by minorities. Who belongs to these minorities? Anyone who is able and willing actively to concern himself with intellectual issues. Here, it is not quantity, but quality, that counts (the quality-and consistency-of the ideas one is advocating)

…An intellectual movement does not start with organized action. Whom would one organize? A philosophical battle is a battle for men’s minds, not an attempt to enlist blind followers. Ideas can be propagated only by men who understand them.

…when you ask ‘What can one do?’ – the answer is ‘SPEAK’ (provided you know what you are saying)

…A few suggestions: do not wait for a national audience. Speak on any scale open to you, large or small-to your friends, your associates, your professional organizations, or any legitimate public forum. You can never tell when your words will reach the right mind at the right time. You will see no immediate results – but it is of such activities that public opinion is made…It is a mistake to think that an intellectual movement requires some special duty or self-sacrificial effort on your part. It requires something much more difficult: a profound conviction that ideas are important to you and to your own life. If you integrate that conviction to every aspect of your life, you will find many opportunities to enlighten others…

…it is never too late or too early to propagate the right ideas-except under a dictatorship.

…If a dictatorship ever comes to this country, it will be by the default of those who keep silent. We are still free enough to speak. Do we have time? No one can tell. But time is on our side-because we have an indestructible weapon and an invincible ally (if we learn how to use them): reason and reality.

Now, someone who wants you to stay loyal to some big organization – someone who condemns the idea of dissent or of people thinking for themselves – might argue (as they always do): “Yeah McKeever, I can see how well all of that Ivory Tower writing and talking is working for you! What did you get in the last election? Half a percent?”. In that connection, consider the following, from earlier in Rand’s career (1941, to be precise):

You say, what can one man do? When the Communists came to power in Russia, they were a handful of eighteen men. Just eighteen. In a country of [170,000,000] population. They were laughed at and no one took them seriously. According to their own prophet, Karl Marx, Russia was the last country in which Communism could be historically possible, because of Russia’s backwardness in industrial development. Yet they succeeded. Because they knew what they wanted and went after it — historical destiny or no historical destiny. Adolf Hitler started the Nazi Party in Germany with seven men. He was laughed at and considered a harmless crank. People said that after the Versailles Treaty Germany could not possibly become a world power again, not for centuries. Yet Hitler succeeded. Because he knew what he wanted and went after it — history or no history. Shall we believe in mystical fates or do something about the future? (from “To All Innocent Fifth Columnists“)

As an aside: Some moron might respond to that quotation with a smear, like: “Oh, so Rand advocated communism and Naziism, and she would have us all to do what the Nazi’s did?”. To which I will reply, in advance: Ayn Rand was born a Jewish woman. Her family was expropriated, in Russia, by the Communists. To falsely allege that she was in favour of the very things she detested and actively opposed – such as anti-Semitism, Naziism, Communism etc. – is to demonstrate just how fearful you are that someone might take her advice, and speak-up.

I’ve been taking every opportunity I get to advocate for freedom. Years of thinking, studying, writing and speaking have allowed me to identify the root of the problems that face society, including censorship. The root of all of these anti-freedom efforts is: to oppose the facts of reality and all thought and action that is consistent with those facts. Your enemies are those who want to believe that if we all just agree, or pass a law, or point a gun, we can change the facts of reality concerning man’s method of surviving and pursuing happiness. They are only deluding themselves, though at the expense of your freedom to recognize and deal with the facts of reality.

Luckily, one fact of nature is that your arguments, if founded on the facts of reality and if rational, cannot be defeated by others.

The only person who can defeat your argument is you: by not expressing it.

Don’t despair. On this issue (the Canadian Human Rights Act), reality and reason are on your side. Tell everyone so, because your enemy has no verbal weapon to defeat your argument. He only has guns and guns cannot control a person’s mind (to understand what I mean: you can be forced to have sex with someone, but no amount of force can cause you to love someone).



Paul McKeever

Of Cigarette Ads and Squirrel-minded Columnists

April 30, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

According to Ottawa Citizen columnist Dan Gardner:

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty wants to ban “power walls” – the large displays of cigarette packs found in corner stores.

Near the beginning of his column Read more

Anti-Semitism, Tribalism, Irrationalism & the Postal Workers Union

April 30, 2008 by · 4 Comments 

On April 28, 2008, National Post columnist Jonathan Kay reported that:

At its national convention earlier this month, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers passed a resolution that included the following provision: “CUPW will … support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel recognizes the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.

Kay now reports that he has received an e-mail from CUPW president Denis Lemelin, in which Lemelin says, in part:

CUPW has no plans to block mail to and from Israel as of yet.

I replied as follows:
At the convention where CUPE president Sid Ryan was seeking re-election, he supported (proposed?) a resolution to boycott Israel. He was re-elected.

Trade unionism’s allies in the Middle East are the anti-Semites; those who, truth be told, want the elimination of Israel. Here at home, anti-Semitism’s natural home is in socialist collectivism. To the socialist, it’s all association, not reason: “capitalism” brings to consciousness “banking” and “profit”; “banking” and “profit” bring to consciousness “usury”; “usury” brings up the most paranoid and toxic conspiracy in human history: the idea that “Jews, with the help of freemasons, are trying to take over the world through banking”.

The mentally lazy – those who wish to live life on mental auto-pilot, and who think that they can do that so long as they are part of a “tribe” that maintains old traditions and rejects innovations (innovation requires one to think and adapt) – hate that Israelis have turned a desert into a productive, relatively rational society. Seeing progress, economic growth, wealth, change etc. all as enemies, they take the side of stagnation and tribalism. Tribalists become outraged at the introduction of civility, trade, property, rights, justice and the like, all of which threaten to undermine tradition and tribalism; threaten to undermine a system of life lived on autopilot; threaten to permit competition among rational individuals, each putting his own life and happiness first. Rationality, capitalism, and the individualism implied by each, are the great enemies of the collectivist and, in the Middle East, Israel is rightly seen as the foothold both of reason and of its counterpart, capitalism.

Paul McKeever and Sid Ryan on The Michael Coren Show, a few weeks after the CUPE resolution to boycott Israel.

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