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How to Kill a Nation
David Solway • 04 May, 2020 • 4 Min Read
There are many ways to destroy a nation’s economy, folkways and political stability, and Canada’s socialist Prime Minister Justin Trudeau -- aka PMJT -- good Liberal that he is, seems to have mastered many of them. Of course, socialism is the national killer par excellence—the historical register is dispositive and unforgiving. Socialism comes in many forms, from hard communism to “social democracy,” but sooner or later the end result is always collapse.
Trudeau, a family friend of the late Fidel Castro and an admirer of China’s “basic dictatorship,” is no slouch at the fine art of social and economic destruction. A passionate feminist, an LGBTQ++ supporter, a Keynesian spender in the raw (but without lowering taxes), a social justice warrior, a purveyor of illegal and Third World immigration, and a Prime Minister who believes Canada has “no core identity,” PMJT has presided in any way he can over the slow death of the country he was elected to serve.
He has deprived Canadians of legal firearms, rendering them defenseless against criminal attack or, for that matter, violent state intrusion. He has imposed an augmented and punishing carbon tax in the very midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has no purpose or effect except to hamper enterprise and enrich government. He has bribed the Canadian press with a handout of nearly $600 million, in addition to his previous $675 million pledge to Canada’s Public Broadcaster, widely known as the Liberal government’s propaganda arm. Conrad Black rightly describes the CBC as “an infestation of leftist biases and…often grossly unprofessional.” PMJT funds abortion advocacy in Africa, Latin America and elsewhere to the tune of $650 million. He has increased the national debt exponentially and in so doing indebted our children and grandchildren in perpetuity.
He has also followed the pattern established by his father, former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who gave us the National Energy Program (NEP) which forced Alberta producers to sell their oil at a discount, severely damaged the province’s bottom line and more than doubled the unemployment rate; similarly, the son has worked diligently to strangle the country’s most important resource sector, the oil and gas industry, earning his sobriquet as the pipeline-killer. Tom Finnerty points out that “the energy sector has contributed more to the Canadian economy over the past 20 years than any other.” Oil is Alberta’s lifeblood, which is being drained in imperial gallons as unemployment skyrockets. Since Alberta is the major contributor to the transfer or equalization payments that keep the rest of the country afloat, a fiscal reckoning has become inevitable.
As is the case with many budding totalitarians—one thinks of the self-empowered governors of Democrat-controlled states south of the border—the coronavirus proved a crisis too good to waste, a veritable godsend to promote the consolidation of power. Keep it going. This may be why Trudeau’s Hong Kong-born Chief Health Officer Theresa Tam religiously followed the pro-Chinese diktats of the World Heath Organization, lied about the mode of viral transmission, and even removed vital health information regarding China from airport message screens during COVID-19, allowing for flights from China into the country while exposing Canadians to deadly risk. Indeed, considering the Sinophile policies of our political masters, we might refer to the pandemic as CHINA-19.
Trudeau put the country into extended lockdown with no clear exit plan, arranging matters so that there could be no rational re-assessment of the policy as the situation changed and the viral curve “flattened.” How did he do this? By passing the Canada Emergency Response Benefit which provides $2000 per month to workers who have lost their jobs—for a period of four months. The policy looks compassionate but, as we will see, sets a precedent that heralds a condition of economic paralysis.
Trudeau has often been denounced as a woolly-headed ignoramus, a political clown and a charlatan—an accurate summation of his dubious abilities. Yet he must be given credit for a kind of dissimulating cleverness. Despite the lockdown order, entrepreneurs are devising ways to continue doing a modicum of business. Restaurants and coffee shops, for example, are relying on take-out and pick-up strategies to remain trickle-subsistent.
I was speaking just the other day to the operator of a small coffee shop who, standing behind a glass partition, serves up gelato and expresso to passers-by. “I have no servers,” he says, “nobody wants to work.” Why would anyone go back to the job if they are guaranteed a monthly stipend for remaining idle? If for some reason the economy is forced to open again, thanks to a swell of citizen protesters fed up with quarantine measures—admittedly, a possible but unlikely proposition—the restaurateur will be on his own for the months to come. Business will suffer for lack of personnel. After all, the promise of four months is enshrined in law and cannot be walked back.
Thus commerce will remain hobbled and the nation will suffer while a command economy and state socialism are progressively reinforced. The habit of self-sufficiency, the dignity of work and personal industriousness are gradually weakened as the state steps in to provide for its new-minted dependents—especially if, as many plausibly fear, PMJT resists the clamor for the restoration of liberty, and the bought-and-paid for media goes on playing the COVID frenzy game—great for selling newspapers, attracting viewers and promoting the government agenda. The curve may never sufficiently flatten and Canada may remain in stasis indefinitely. Four months of freebies may become who knows how many months—a tactic I would not put past an oligarchic socialist.
Certainly the parasitical class—the bloat of government workers and the hundreds of thousands of teachers paid for staying at home—would not object. Unless, as noted, he faces substantial public pushback, this would arguably be Trudeau’s preferred scenario, enabling him to further assert his authority, morbid inflation and economic collapse notwithstanding. In time, as Maggie Thatcher memorably said, socialism eventually runs out of other people’s money, but Trudeau does not understand economics. The budget will balance itself, he once quipped, although the national debt is now approaching $700 billion while the latest Parliamentary Budget Officer estimate is that the 2020 deficit will be $252 billion owing to the pandemic response.
Trudeau may not be very bright but he is sublimely devious. People may gradually get used to being fixed in fiduciary amber and protests will peter out. Big Daddy will take care of everything and the individual citizen can kiss both liberty and prosperity good-bye. The national character will grow enfeebled—more so than at present—new laws will proliferate, the oil sands will dry up, services will decline, supply chains will be disrupted, goods and foodstuffs will grow scarcer, but no matter. So long as there is an alluring $2000 per month and enough toilet paper to go around, it seems that hegemonic socialism may win the day.
David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. His most recent volume of poetry, The Herb Garden, appeared in spring 2018. His manifesto, Reflections on Music, Poetry & Politics, was released by Shomron Press in spring 2016. He has produced two CDs of original songs: Blood Guitar and Other Tales and Partial to Cain, on which he was accompanied by his pianist wife Janice Fiamengo. His latest book is Notes from a Derelict Culture.