On social and economic liberalism, localism and Louisiana
Superb... Just superb. This has been building up for decades. Everything stated in this essay is true - i.e. verifiable, not fiction, not reality TV, not virtual. Are we too far gone to take all of this in? Time will tell. But then, a worthwhile read or listen today remains a rare gem in a field of baubles. I'm not a consumer. I'm a collector of the best.) Cheers!
Liberalism is dead and we should be focused on how neoliberalism has ruined our societies. Professor Wendy Brown of Berkley has written the definitive book on neoliberalism : In the ruins of Neoliberalism, readily available on Amazon.ca
Neoliberalism is the West's ill-chosen stealth ideology most people don't even know about. Canada is long past being a liberal democracy. Since the time of Brian Mulroney we have been a neoliberal satrap.
We are seeing now just graciously neoliberalism blends in with and promotes perpetual war for perpetual profits and the gutting of whole nations.
As a physician who has been practicing a very long time, this sad downward trend away from the individual-in-context and toward homogenous "populations" wherever and whenever they may be is also single-handedly destroying health care.
One of the premises of good medical care is that every patient is an N of 1...as I tell my patients, "you are your own science experiment". Every patient, every time. The bureaucrats would rather everyone be treated "the same"...equity or some such BS. So virtually everyone gets bad care. Totally illustrated in California bill 2098 that made it a crime for doctors to tell the truth to patients -- the bill requires that one MUST just tell them what the government says to say, even if it kills them. (Luckily suspended by a court -- but fully passed into law by Newsom and his fellow idiots.)
As von Eye from Harvard pointed out long ago (with marvelous proofs) knowing EVERYTHING about a population tells you NOTHING about any individual. The idea that everyone and every place is fully fungible and exactly the same is at the root of virtually all of the failings of modern life. "Everyone must get the spike shot because...grandma" (lie, incidentally). "Everyone must believe that sex/gender are whatever you wish because...stupidity" (lie, incidentally). "Everyone should be admitted to medical school because...equity" (disastrous for patients, incidentally). The list is endless and so is the damage.
The real question is what can any of us do about it?
I live in YVR and this piece is 100% accurate. Also, i agree on the terrible side effects of globalism. Your description of Starbucks is everything.
Very well done. Tara is a gem.
"But the social libertarianism of the progressive left undermines the very basis for this kind of solidarity. The effort to liberate yourself from family, from religion, from community, to make yourself into a free actor in the social realm, actually hollows out the kinds of spaces that develop a strong sense of solidarity. "
As a resident of a highly-liberal 70k population college town for over the last 40 years, I have awarded myself a PHD in "liberal studies" after decades of work to try and answer the question: "why?" with respect to their social, economic and political views... that more often that not seem alien to me.
My primary finding is that there are personality types connected to specific brain wiring and that liberals of a feather tend to flock together... but that they, as a species of human... are lacking pieces of cognitive-processing capability that would otherwise allow them to complete a full analysis (big-picture, full-circle conclusions, multi-criteria). In some cases the deficiencies are baked-in; in other cases they have not yet developed enough real critical thinking skills. They tend to be myopic to a fault.
This then leads to a sort of death by a thousand cuts when they are in power and control. Because their choices and views are sub-optimized. They never really do the math.
I am current reading a book "The Master and His Emissary" by Ian McGilchrist that attempts to explain the left vs right brain science and its influence on the human condition. McGilchrist makes a pretty strong case explaining the declining trajectory in the Western human condition as being connected to the dominance of left-brained people in control of government and the economy. The nerds and technocrats are not whole enough to make good choices to advance the human condition; yet THEY are in charge today. And, this explains the downward trajectory as policy and choices are sub-optimized and mistake-prone. The damage of the mistakes pile up and we have a mess.
The right brain is the artistic brain. You can see it at work in Tara's writing here. She paints a wonderful visual picture of her home city and New Orleans.
Jonathan Haidt, in his book They Righteous Mind" laid out a pretty compelling explanation of the differences in moral filters between liberals and conservatives. Liberals are myopic focusing almost entirely on indication of fairness or harm (and I would add that liberals tend to fixate on fairness as it relates to THEMSELVES as a primary decision driver... they tend to be needy that way). Conservatives tend to live with a broad set of moral filters that they balance to make their decisions.
Conservatives have a tendency to be more right-brained. They more clearly see the big picture and complete the full-circle analysis to arrive at conclusions that are more often optimized.
But the world is dominated by left-brain liberals. And thus the decline continues.
Another excellent article.
I am an "anywhere" but I became one not because of neo-liberalism or social libertarianism but because the francophone population of Quebec decided that the English language (and English speaking people in the province) needed to be repressed in order to protect the Quebecois culture. Some six hundred thousand people, almost all anglophones, left Montreal between 1976 and 1981. Toronto replaced Montreal as Canada's financial centre (the big banks and insurance companies left too). My attachment to my home town is pretty much non-existent, despite my now rusty bilingualism. What angers me about all this is that it rates zero attention from any of the media in Canada in their discussions of Canadian history or politics. Since 1981, I have lived in Toronto (don't like it), Calgary (a fine place being beaten down by a federal government in thrall to green fetishes), Vancouver (a heartless place with pretty scenery) and Tokyo. Strangely, that conurbanity of 50M people has a stronger sense of community than any city I been to in North America. Maybe Montreal does too, if you're not anglo.
Welcome back. We missed you.
I don’t think we fully grasp the significance of walking past a neighbour we know and simply exchanging our greetings.
I was never a religious thinker nor have I lived a religious life, but when I see a boarded-up church, I see a community gone, and it makes me sad for people, in general.
Everyone needs a place, a community, a Home.
Fantastic article. I subscribed so I could comment. I spent 15 years away from my hometown in Alberta, working, studying, partying. I thought I would build a life for myself in other cities. But time and again, I did not. It left me feeling depressed and I was in counselling to understand why I couldn't find a chosen family in the locations I had chosen to move to. Some of it was down to personal growth, but a lot of it was down to the hedonistic way of life that cities offer, how young people treat each other, and a growing lack of principles event in daily life (like duty, loyalty, responsibility, compassion). During the pandemic, a silver lining of this awful time was the realization that it was time to move home and reconnect with a growing extended family. I returned to my roots and am seeking to build a life for myself with family instead of away from family. Neighbours, family, church, and local institutions are nothing to ignore, shame or leave behind haphazardly. I'm grateful for my international experience but I'm even more grateful I've returned home to build up myself and my community.
A relieved 'yes' echoing through my body. Me and partner moved to a smaller city that resonates with us after having lived in all the major cities in western Canada. Belong with/in/of/among a specific, idiosyncratic place--and also a landscape--matters. We didn't fully realize until we landed in such a place.