By Eugène E.

The ultraliberal movement has made yet another, albeit small, inroad in a Western country that has for years been living under the yoke of extreme ultraliberalism. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has proudly announced that he will make a formal apology to the LGBT community in the House of Commons on November 28th. Actually, the apology will not be limited to LGBTs only; all LGBTQ2 Canadians can be expected to be asked for forgiveness by Canada’s head of government. For those not fully abreast of LGBT terminology, the “Q2” represents “queer” as well as “questioning” and “two-spirit”, the last two terms apparently reserved for use by those who have not yet made up their minds about either their own gender or the gender they happen to be attracted to. As the PM’s Twitter account explains, this is to atone for sins past and present, and to advance the ideals of “equality and inclusion”.

If anything good can be said about the current prime minister, it is that he is at least predictable. Canada has long been in the vanguard of ultraliberal ideas. In fact, the world’s second largest country by territory is something of an experimental lab for the ultraliberal movement; its population, the movement’s guinea pig. Indoctrination starts early, practically from the cradle, and is reinforced in post-secondary institutions. Lest the reader think this is an exaggeration, the very recent story of Lindsay Shepherd, a teaching assistant at Wilfrid Laurier University, should dispel all doubts. Shepherd, 22, came as close to crucifixion as one possibly can at a Canadian university for having put together a three-minute video clip about the use of transgender pronouns. Fortunately, her cause appears to have been taken up by more moderate voices (see Margaret Wente’s commendable op-ed in The Globe and Mail, November 21st).

Canada is an ultralib’s paradise. The death penalty was abolished in 1976; young offenders get away with a slap on the wrist; murderers can get away scot-free if they can only prove they’re schizophrenic enough (Vince Li, who beheaded and cannibalized a passenger on a Greyhound bus in 2009, was granted an absolute discharge in 2015, with no legal restrictions attached to his regained freedom). Same-sex marriage came to Canada early – in 2005. The acrid smell of marijuana wafts through the streets of Toronto, and the legalization of Mary Jane is now a formality. Mass immigration is the country’s primary demographic policy, while multiculturalism is its tool. More than half of the people who call Toronto – Canada’s largest city – their home consider themselves to belong to visual minority groups; the city itself boasts that every language spoken on the planet can be heard in the city’s streets. Indeed, Toronto is something of a Tower of Babel (any analogies with the original Tower of Babel and its ultimate discovery of the laws of gravity are unintended).

To be fair, Canada’s model deserves much praise. Its accomplishments include economic and political stability, social cohesion, and consistently high “liveability” rankings. Paradoxically, the present ethos, despite being avowedly atheist, is quite Christian in spirit and in intentions, which is certainly nothing to sneer at. Unfortunately, as with everything under the sun, this comes at a price: a national ideological straitjacket, a social vacuum, and the erosion of national identity. An abundance of identities results in their absence; and this is exactly what’s happened in Canada. To be Canadian amounts to little more than carrying a Canadian passport. To be sure, there are certain identifying values rooted in the country’s young history: the British monarchy, Canada’s involvement in the two world wars (which was underwritten by Canada’s European heritage), and so on; but as European heritage is being gradually but relentlessly decimated, these values are threatened with extinction. As anyone who’s ever visited Toronto can confirm, culturally Toronto is much like a communal apartment: everyone eats in the same kitchen and washes up in the same washroom, before retiring to their own multiculturally furnished lares and penates.

If anything, the doctrine of ultraliberalism has become a surrogate national identity: to be Canadian is to be ultraliberal. The ultimate test of one’s Canadianness, it seems, lies in the strength of one’s ultraliberal convictions; the higher one’s “(ultra)liberometer” reading, the more Canadian the individual. Like Broch’s sleepwalkers, Canadians amble through a zeitgeist of “anything goes”, to the point where it’s unclear what, if anything, really goes, as Lindsay Shepherd has found out.

It is therefore quite natural that, in October 2015, Justin Trudeau was voted in as Canada’s PM. His victory was made possible by the fact that many had grown tired of (then) Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the seasoned but austere face of the Conservatives; by the dynastic thrust of Trudeau’s last name; and, last but most certainly not least, by Trudeau’s good looks – not an inconsiderable factor as far as the female vote is concerned. Only two of the three factors behind Trudeau’s victory can be attributed to him; and even those only indirectly, for the last name is an inheritance left by a more distinguished father, while the good looks are dividends paid by good genes.

Neither Trudeau’s ideology nor his convictions had much to do with his victory. It might be worth asking whether the spotlight-loving, selfie-friendly Trudeau has any strong convictions at all. He is not a statesman but a political cheerleader; and cheerleaders are there to please the crowds. For his ilk political views are a currency and not an inner compass. If it were fashionable to extol the virtues of the traditional family and deride homosexuals, Trudeau would be unlikely to be spotted in the ranks of the opposition. But who cares about the man’s convictions when he sports a cool tattoo? In the age of Instagram, what counts is the form and not the substance; and Justin Trudeau is all form. He is therefore quite perfect.

In any case, Trudeau has not disappointed the ultraliberal movement so far. He’s been perhaps the most recognizable face in Pride events – during which he was observed clad in appropriately-coloured shirts – including the Pride Parade in Toronto this year. It did not seem to bother the prime minister that the event’s organizers had decided to ban uniformed police officers from participating. The decision was a concession to one of the demands put forth by Black Lives Matter Toronto, a small but noisy troupe that styles itself as an anti-racism group and has trouble telling the difference between Canada’s police force and a Ku Klux Klan chapter.

(I am tempted to see a simpler but more sinister reason for this “blindness”: Canada is still majority white; it follows that its law enforcement officials protect a white society, which makes them an enemy by default. This is not farfetched: Canada has seen little police violence, and the racial dynamics involved in many altercations between law enforcement and blacks south of the border is largely non-existent in Canada. There’s no other way to explain this cop-o-phobic demand of Black Lives Matter Toronto. Talk about reverse racism.)

That Trudeau wasn’t unduly bothered about the organizers’ decision is unsurprising: visions of inclusiveness override common sense and justice. The guiding criterion in the formation of his Cabinet was diversity, not competence. In ultraliberal parlance this implies as few white men as possible. Trudeau’s Cabinet had to be a break with Canada’s traditional – and rather white – past; the bureaucrats appointed to the highest level of the federal government were chosen not on the basis of their merit, but on their putative differences – on how well they diverged from the white men that had once held the ministerial portfolios and who now had to be supplanted. The military accomplishments of Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of National Defence, might have certainly played a role in his appointment to the post; but one can’t help but wonder whether they would have carried the same weight if he didn’t happen to wear a Sikh turban. As with all processes that rely on quotes, whether gender or racial ones, diversity comes at the expense of professional competence; it’s those people that depend on these processes that ultimately lose – in this case, the Canadian citizenry.

Trudeau is the PM pushing for the legalization of marijuana. At first glance, this is somewhat at odds with the nationwide fight against smoking (in 2014 the Province of Ontario banned lighting up on outdoor restaurant and bar patios); but it actually makes sense. Ultraliberal indoctrination, like any ideological indoctrination, requires the impoverishment of thought; encouraging people to get stoned is not a bad way to achieve that. Burnishing his ultraliberal credentials – and cognizant of the bad press received by his predecessor, who had been widely criticized for not doing more for Syrian refugees – Trudeau also decided to bring tens of thousands of Syrian refugees into Canada on a fast-track basis. Given the number of terrorist attacks in Western countries in the past couple of years, one can only hope that the necessary screening was performed; but then hope springs eternal.

And of course, Canada’s cheerleader-en-chef loves to hobnob with the financial elite. This is perfectly consistent since, as I have repeatedly written, ultraliberal social mores and borderless capitalism are joined at the hip. One only needs to read the recent op-ed in The Globe and Mail, again penned by Margaret Wente, on the cozy (and long) relationship between Trudeau and one of Canada’s richest families, which is apparently no stranger to the use of offshore zones for tax optimization (“Trouble in ‘Paradise’ for Justin Trudeau”, November 10th). Of course, chumminess with billionaires is not a crime. Neither is prima facie use of offshore vehicles to minimize taxes. But the question of who, exactly, sets the agenda in Ottawa becomes rather pressing.

The looming apology to the LGBTQ2 movement is just the latest step, however unimportant in global terms, towards the broader goal of unfettered domination of the ultraliberal movement. The day after Trudeau’s announcement, another message appeared in the PM’s Twitter account. This was to mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th, which comes less than a fortnight after Remembrance Day, when Canada commemorates its fallen and those who continue to serve in the country’s armed forces. Canada’s prime ministers are known by the honorific “The Right Honourable”. A prime minister whose sense of good taste and propriety allows him to equate transsexuals with those who fought – and continue to fight – for their country is neither right nor honourable.