‘Libertarian socialism’ has eroded Canada’s culture: conservative author
March 27, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — After World War II, nearly 70% of Canadians attended some kind of religious service on a weekly basis. Today, less than 12% of Canadians attend religious services every week. How did that happen? Former Olympian William Gairdner has a theory.
An author whose 2001 book The Trouble with Canada sold nearly 60,000 copies, Gairdner believes that the “four stages of liberalism” are to blame for the slow and steady decay of Canadian culture over the last several decades.
But just what are the four stages of liberalism? And why does Gairdner believe that what he calls “libertarian socialism” is what most Canadians have come to embrace? He explained his reasoning on this week’s episode of The Jonathon Van Maren Show.
The first stage of liberalism, according to Gairdner, is virtue liberalism, or the principles of those first settlers who came to North America who used their freedom to be holy and to set up a New Jerusalem.
The second stage of liberalism was rooted in John Locke. This liberalism was what drove political thinking during the 17th and 18th centuries. Economic and personal liberty, private property, and constitutional government were a few of its hallmarks.
The second phase of liberalism “served well for 150 years,” Gairdner said, but freedom was not enough. Soon, more and more people grew concerned with the differences that were rising in a free society. “The foundation of Western liberalism began to shift from a foundation of liberty to a foundation in inequality,” he said. The state then began to enforce equality.
The result of that forced equality, Gairdner argues, is what most Canadians subscribe to today: libertarian socialism.
“We’ve decided to divide the body politic into two bodies, a personal physical body and a political body. What we’re saying to people personally is you can have all the freedom you want, all the drug use you want, all the sex that you want...however, when it comes to whatever we think the state can provide to everyone equally, we are going to be socialistic.”
Gairdner believes that people “have never felt so free in these personal and physical ways, yet they’ve never been so surrounded by regulation as we are today.”
He concluded that this doesn’t necessarily mean that Canadians are less religious than they were before. It’s just that people said to themselves, “We’re gonna have to create a kingdom of heaven on earth.” And so politics has essentially become their religion. “They just kind of installed their religious instinct in their own social programs instead of in the church.”
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