Why and When did Western Nations Decide to become Multiracial Places
by The Editor
Professor Ricardo Duchesne, (University of New Brunswick) brilliantly discuss the rise of non-white immigration into Western countries and the political forces aiding this phenomenon.
The Important Question
by Ricardo Duchesne, Ph.D. (University of New Brunswick)
Why are Western nations, and only Western nations, committed to immigration and diversity? This is both the most important question of our times and the most puzzling question to come up in history, for it belies reason why would an entire people commit itself to its own dissolution. How it did come about that such powerful instincts for in-group preference and loyalty came to be derided morally among Europeans, whereas in-group preferences for non-Whites came to be taken for granted and, more insanely, special group rights came to be legally sanctioned for minorities inside Western nations?
Spiral Diffusion Model
Some time ago, while researching the origins of the ideology of human rights, I came up with the term "spiral diffusion model," which has struck me as quite useful in understanding the incredible manner in which anti-White diversity spread throughout the West in a few decades. This model is used differently by leftist human rights scholars; firstly, as far as I know, it has been used only to understand when human rights are likely to become "habitual" in the behaviour of governments around the world, and the argument basically is that the first step in bringing about "sustained improvements in human rights practices" is to make sure that the respective nations already have the political system to establish the rule of law, and the judicial and educational capacities required to give human rights traction and enforceability. Of course, this is all rather obvious, and almost tautological; and one wonders why academics think they have made a major discovery in finding "quantitative evidence for the proposition that countries with more highly developed legal institutions...tend to have better civil rights protections."
But here is the interesting idea; they found that a "spiral" can be launched by creating certain normative conditions both at the domestic and the international level, such as having governments signed human rights treaties, for example, the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, or showcasing major global socializing events that promote rights in Third World nations, such as international conferences and meetings, that can then "end up entrapping" state actors to make "tactical concessions" that can lead to further concessions and possibly "to unexpected consequences under conditions of turmoil and change." They might get the government to release political prisoners on grounds that their rights are being violated, or sign international agreements as a condition for getting foreign aid or for ending international sanctions, or get them to allow alternative political parties and voices.
They found that the more states are "embedded" in international institutions, "the more likely they are to ratify international human rights agreements," and the more agreements they ratify to improve domestic conditions, the more a spiral of further changes can develop pushing the nation to the "next" stage. Without "entrapping" the nation to certain agreements and human rights discourses, they found that human rights agreements tend to "sputter and eventually fail." While governments may adjust their behaviour to international pressures and treaties "without necessarily believing in the validity of the norms," or purely for the sake of economic gain, it has been observed that minor concessions aimed at calming critics, can create certain normative conditions and precedents, as well as domestic pressures, that encourage further concessions later on, and thus create a dynamic for additional human rights treaties and institutional changes, until substantive changes are introduced aligning the state with the "moral standards of the international community" from which it is no longer possible for state actors to escape without experiencing the brunt of reprisals by domestic and international moral arbiters.
I believe this spiral diffusion model can be used to answer the “important question” I posed above: why Western nations decided to become multiracial places? Remember that the starting point of the spiral model, in respect to the diffusion of human rights in Third World nations, is that certain human right norms or treaties had to be put in place first in order to get the spiral going. The spiral needs a starting point, say, a tacit agreement that the human rights of non-violent political dissenters will not be violated. Only when such footholds are in place can we expect a spiral insofar as these first steps make possible, or create a normative-institutional climate, for the diffusion of further changes in favour of human rights.
So, what were the normative and institutional starting points in the Western world that served as a launching platform for a spiral of diversity to be diffused leading to the current situation? I believe that the starting point for this spiral emerged in the West after WWII. Once this spiral took off it would gather ever more momentum pushing Western nations into ever more radical policies leading to the current situation wherein Europeans are prohibited from expressing their identity but instead are expected to celebrate a new multicultural and multiracial identity created through mass immigration.
The Western nations that defeated Nazism, it should be noted, were self-declared liberal-democratic nations in which individuals enjoyed rights of free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, and the right to a fair trial. However, the way these liberal rights were understood among Western states generally, before WWII, before the spiral took off, was in a libertarian and ethno-nationalistic way. Freedom of association, for example, was understood to include the right to refuse to associate with certain members of certain ethnic groups, even the right to discriminate in employment practices. This Western libertarian spirit coexisted with a strong ethnic and cultural identity among the majority ethnic members of Western nations. It came together with a strong collective sense of ethnic and cultural identity. As Robert H. Jackson has observed, racial discrimination was thought to be consistent with liberal democratic values:
Before the war prevailing public opinion within Western states – including democratic states – did not condemn racial discrimination in domestic social and political life. Nor did it question the ideas and institutions of colonialism. In the minds of most Europeans, equality and democracy could not yet be extended successfully to non-Europeans. In other words, these ideas were not yet considered to be universal human rights divorced from any particular civilization or culture. Indeed, for a century or more race had been widely employed as a concept to explain the scientific and technological achievements of Europeans as compared to non-Europeans and to justify not only racial discrimination within Western states but also Western domination of non-western peoples. Racial distinctions thus served as a brake on the extension of democratic rights to people of non-European descent within Western countries as well as in Western colonies.
This racial liberalism, if I may so define it, was not only widely accepted but institutionalized right up until the 1960s. The settler nations of Australia, Canada, United States, and New Zealand enjoyed admission and naturalization policies based on race and culture, intended to keep these nations “White”. Even in the case of denazified Germany, governments after 1945 endorsed, as a matter of common sense, and well into the 1970s, an ethnic conception of German nationality, accepting migrants only as temporary "guest workers” on the grounds that Germany was “not an immigrant country”. European nations took for granted the ethnic cohesion of their cultures and the necessity of barring the entry and incorporation of people from different cultures categorized as a threat to the "national character".
Moreover, in the 1940s/50s, the Allied leaders, the ones who condemned Nazi racial policies, believed that the peoples of the world were divided into different races and that it was legitimate for them to rule over “inferior peoples”: “Subjects of Empire were seen as unworthy of self-rule, as backward, as culturally inferior, and so forth.” Well into the 1940s, though with strong challenges coming from the 1960s onward, the Allied nations, in varying ways, had franchise laws that excluded certain minorities from voting, routine racial discrimination in employment opportunities, unequal access to public spaces, combined with all sorts of discriminatory practices in everyday private affairs.
In saying this I am not endorsing any ranking of the world's peoples or endorsing European imperial rule. All ethno-national groups have a right to self-determination. The ranking of races is inconsistent with the belief that all racial groups have a right to self-determination. What concerns me is the way Western liberal nations before WWII had a strong ethno-national identity. Indeed, when we take full measure of this discriminatory and racialist liberalism, the important question posed above should really be: why did countries that happily embraced, with a clear conscience, a liberal democratic way of life with strong ethno-national characteristics have found themselves today determined to end any vestige of European ethnocentrism? My answer is that a new set of norms with an in-built tendency for further radicalization suddenly came to take a firm hold over Western actors after WWII, and that once these norms were accepted, and actions were taken to implement them institutionally, they came to “entrap” Westerners within a spiral that would carry them into the promulgation and institutionalization of ever more radical policies that would eventually create a situation in which Western nations came to be envisioned as places always intended to be progressing toward a future utopia in which multiple races would co-exist in a state of racial harmony.
Post WWII Normative Situation in the West
Below I will offer a list of the primary norms that I think set the spiral going. Let me make it clear that I am not trying to explain the origins of the norms that brought the West into the present state of affairs. The goal is to understand why there was such a fast acceleration against the ethno-nationalistic norms that were so readily accepted before WWII. I will offer arguments about how these new post-WWII norms came to entrap Westerners within a spiral of radicalization, how each norm reinforced the other, how each norm came to acquire meanings and goals not intended in their initial conceptualizations. I will also show briefly how new secondary norms were engendered by the initial primary norms, all of them reinforcing each other, leading Western peoples into a funnel with a seemingly irreversible logic of pro-diversity hysteria and pathological death wish.
Right after WWII four norms, attitudes and feelings, came to take a firm hold over Westerners against their preceding confidence and acceptance of their right to exist as ethno-national states. These norms were, from the beginning, interconnected, driven by similar principles, and therefore in a state of rapid reinforcement and radicalization.
- Westerners came to believe that racism was the worst evil of modern times because of its association with Nazism and German supremacist beliefs.Western governments concluded that Nazis, including Fascist governments, had committed "crimes against humanity," and that the Holocaust was a demonstration of the inhumanity of racist ideas that divided the peoples of the world into "superior" and "inferior" races, "inside" and "outside" members. A nationalism in which a race or even a particular ethnic group lay a privileged claim over the nation state was, accordingly, thoroughly discredited as inherently inconsistent with the ideals of liberal democracy. Over and over again, Westerns leaders began to announce that a true liberal state must be civic in orientation, based only on liberal values, standing above all ethnic groups, "neutral" both on matters of religion and race.
- The immediate years after the defeat of Nazism saw the "outlawing of race" and the discrediting of "scientific racism" across the West.Western elites systematically spread out the idea, which up until WWII was only held by a minority of scholars, that there is no such thing as a "science" of race; the differences between different nationalities are primarily due to cultural and environmental factors; the differences of biology are superficially about skin colour, hair texture, or facial features, not about deep genetic differences in behaviour and intelligence. Since there is no scientific basis for the claim that humans can be categorized in terms of different races, there can be no scientific justification for racial discrimination; rather, discriminatory policies are creations of pathological individuals with an "irrational" fear of groups that are different in appearance. These fears can be eliminated through "proper" socialization and education.
- The post-WWII era also saw the total discrediting of Western colonialism coupled with the intensification of the noble savage notion that Third World peoples embodied the innate goodness of humanity when freed from the corrupting influence of Western imperialism.Western imperialism was not a "civilizing" force but a violation of the liberal ideal that all peoples should have a right to national self-determination. Alongside these anti-colonialist sentiments, there developed a movement against the unequal status of people of colour inside Western nations. Western elites thus began to push for an end to discrimination in hiring, in voting, and, concomitantly, for an end to the privileging of one ethnic group over another by society generally. These demands also came along with the spread of the idea that all cultures are equal and that Whites rose to dominance by exploiting Third World peoples, blacks and indigenous peoples. White people are morally responsible for the unequal distribution of wealth in the world and inside their nations and for the subjugation of non-European cultures generally. They should feel guilty and do something to make up for past crimes.
- It was in the aftermath of WWII that the idea of human rights really took off, that is, the norm that the liberal principles of equality, dignity, and self-determination had to be applied universally to all humans without distinctions of race and nationality. Western liberal principles were limited in their encasement within national boundaries with ethnic attributes. In order to overcome the divisions of peoples into belligerent nations, races, and religions, these principles needed to be extended to humanity. As the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Article 2, stated: "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs..." The "right to live, liberty, and security of the person" (Article 3), are inherent to humans, and not derived from citizenship in a nation, and thus humans are entitled to them wherever they are, including those "who arrive at our doors without rights of their own". Western nations must be committed to the extension of democratic rights to non-Europeans within Western countries and in non-Western countries. Liberal ideals would
It is my view, and this is why the spiral model may be useful, that the elites promoting these normative forces were not calling for the complete transformation of White nations into Multiracial Nations. These ideologies in-themselves, when they were first articulated in earnest and with persuasion from the late 1940s on, were not interpreted to mean that European nations needed to become diverse racially. These norms, to be sure, were already a radical challenge to the traditional ethnic-oriented libertarian ethos of the Western world. They were a spring board for radical agendas. From the 1940s through to the 1960s, Western nations, in varying ways, would witness movements to end discriminatory employment practices and franchises, as well as race-based immigration regulations. These years would also witness the UN's 1951 convention on asylum mandating that people seeking asylum in one country due to fear of persecution for their religious beliefs or racial make-up can't be sent back to face arrest or torture. Still, despite these substantial changes in the nature of Western liberalism, politicians were not celebrating in the 1940s, and even in the 1970s, the transformation of Western nations into race-mixed societies. Only since about the 1980s, or even later since the 1990s, have Westerners been made to believe that a truly liberal nation is one where diversity is the most cherished value and where the culture is no longer identified as "European" in history, literature, traditions, laws, and language.
These norms were more or less accepted across the West after WWII although their diffusion and implementation followed different lines and degrees of intensification in each Western nation. The focus of this article will be on Canada. However, this paper will also ask why Western elites were so easily and rapidly entrapped within this spiral, from a liberalism that was comfortable with racial values to a liberalism that is best identified today as cultural Marxist in its illiberal regulations, speech codes, acceptance, if not promotion, of racial identities except White identity.
Carl Schmitt is Right: Liberal Nations Have No Concept of the Political
Was there something within the racialist liberalism of the pre-WW II era that made it susceptible to the promulgation of these norms and their rapid radicalization thereafter? Offering an answer to this question now would be most appropriate since it will allow us to understand the ease with which Western leaders succumbed to the radicalization of the norms as if this movement was a natural progression of liberal principles themselves. The answer may be found in Carl Schmitt's argument that liberal states lack a strong concept of the political. I take this to mean that liberal leaders have an inherent weakness as political beings in their inability to think of their nation states as a collectivity of people laying sovereignty claim over a territory that distinguishes between friends and enemies, who can belong and who cannot belong in the territory. Liberals believe, instead, that their nation states are associations formed by individuals for the purpose of ensuring their natural right to life, liberty, and happiness. They have an imaginary view of their liberal states as associations created by isolated individuals reaching a covenant, a contract or agreement, amongst themselves in abstraction from any prior tribal community. They have white washed the fact that their liberal states, like all states, were created through force by a people with a strong collective identity, with a common language, heritage, racial characteristics, religious traditions, and a sense of territorial acquisition involving the derogation of outgroups.
For this reason, in the words of Carl Schmitt, liberals have an undeveloped sense of the political, an inability to think of themselves as members of a political entity that was created with a clear sense of who can belong and who cannot belong in the community. Having a concept of the political presupposes a people with a strong sense of who can be part of their political community, who can be their friends and who cannot be because they pose a threat to the existence and the norms of the community. Liberals tend to deny that man is by nature a social animal, a member of a collective. They think that humans are all alike as individuals in wanting states that afford them with the legal framework that individuals need in the pursuit of liberty and happiness. They hold a conception of human nature according to which humans can avoid deadly conflict through a liberal state which gives everyone the possibility to improve themselves and society through market competition, technological innovation, and humanitarian works, creating an atmosphere in which political differences can be resolved through peaceful consensus by way of open deliberation.
They don't want to admit openly that all liberal states were created violently by a people with a sense of peoplehood laying sovereign rights over an exclusive territory against other people competing for the same territory. They don't want to admit that the members of the competing outgroups are potential enemies rather than abstract individuals seeking happiness and security for all regardless of racial and religious identity. Humans are social animals with a natural impulse to identify themselves collectively in terms of ethnic, cultural and racial markers. But today Europeans have wrongly attributed their unique inclination for states with liberal constitutions to non-Europeans. They have forgotten that liberal states were created by a particular people with a particular individualist heritage, beliefs, and religious orientations. They don't realize that their individualist heritage was made possible within the context of states or territories acquired through force to the exclusion of competitors. They don't realize that a liberal state if it is to remain liberal must act collectively against the inclusion of illiberal non-Europeans with their own in-group ambitions.
Hegel, Hobbes, and Schmitt
Schmitt should be complemented with Hegel's appropriation of the ancient Greek concept of "spiritedeness". Our sense of honor comes from our status within our ethnocultural group in our struggle for survival and competition with other groups. This is the source of what the ancient Greeks called their "spiritedness", that is a part of the soul comprising, in Plato's philosophy, honor, indignation, shame, and the need for recognition. Plato believed that the human soul consisted of three parts: i) a physically desiring part that drives humans to seek to satisfy their appetites for food, comfort, and sensual pleasure; ii) a reasoning part that allows humans to calculate the best way to get the things they desire; and iii) a "spirited" part that drives humans to seek honor and renown amongst their people. Liberal theory developed in reaction to the destructive tendency inbuilt into the spirited part which was exemplified with brutal intensity during the Thirty Years War (1618 and 1648) and English Civil War 1642–1651). Thomas Hobbes devalued the spirited part of man as just another appetite for power, for riches, and adulation. At the same time, he understood that this appetite was different from the mere natural appetites for food and sensual pleasure, in that they were insatiable and conflict-oriented.
Hobbes emphasized the destructive rather than the heroic character of this aspect of human nature. In the state of nature men are in constant competition with other men for riches and honor, and so enmity is a permanent condition of the state of nature, killing, subduing, supplanting and repelling competitors. However, Hobbes believed that other aspects of human nature, namely, the instinct for self-preservation, fear of death and desire for "commodious living," were more powerful passions among humans, and that it was these passions, the fear of death in particular, which eventually led men to agree to create a strong central authority that would end the war of competing megalomaniacs, and maintain the peace by monopolizing the means of violence and agreeing to ensure the secure pursuit of commodious living by all. The "insatiable desire and ambition of man" for power and adulation would henceforth be relegated to the international sphere, in Hobbes's theory.
But by the second half of the seventeenth century Hobbes's extreme pessimism about human nature gradually gave way to more moderate accounts in which economic self interest in the market place, love of money, as calculated and contained by reason, would come to be seen as the main passion of humans. The ideal of the spirited hero striving for honor and glory was thoroughly demeaned if not denounced as foolish. By the eighteenth century money making was viewed less as avaricious or selfish and more as a peaceful passion that improves peoples' manners and "makes for all the gentleness of life". As Montesquieu worded it, "wherever there is commerce, there the ways of men are gentle." Commerce, it was indeed anticipated, would soften the barbaric ways of human nature, their atavistic passions for glorious warfare, transforming competition into a peaceful endeavour conducted by reasonable men who stood to gain more from trade than the violent usurpation of other's peoples property.
Eventually, liberals came to believe that commerce would, in the words expressed by the Scottish thinker William Robertson in 1769, "wear off those prejudices which maintain distinction and animosity between nations". By the nineteenth century liberals were not as persuaded by Hobbes's view that the state of nature would continue permanently in the international relationships between nations. They replaced his pessimistic argument about human nature with a progressive optimism about how humans could be socialized to overcome their turbulent passions and aggressive instincts as they were softened through affluence and greater economic opportunities. With continuous improvements in the standard of living, technology and social organization, there would be no conflicts that could not be resolved through peaceful deliberation and political compromise.
The result of this new image of man and political relations, according to Schmitt, was a failure on the part of liberal nations to understand that what makes a community viable as a political association with sovereign control over a territory is its ability to distinguish between friends and enemies, which is based on the ability to grasp the permanent reality that Hobbes understood about the nature of man, which is that humans have an insatiable passion for power, a passion that can be held in check inside a nation state with a strong Leviathan ruler, but which remains a reality in the relationship between nations. But, whereas for Hobbes the state of nature is a war between individuals; for Schmitt one can speak of a state of war between nations as well as between groups within a nation. Friends and enemies are always groupings of people. In our time of mass multicultural immigration we can see clearly how enemy groups can be formed inside a national collectivity, groups seeking to undermine the values and the ethnic character of the national group. Therefore, to have a concept of the political is to be aware, in our multicultural age, of the possibility that enemy outgroups can emerge within our liberal nations states; it is to be aware that not all humans are equally individualistic, but far more ethnocentric than Europeans, and that a polity which welcomes millions of individuals from collectivist cultures, with a human nature driven by the passions for power and for recognition, constitute a very dangerous situation.
It was Hegel, rather than Hobbes, who spoke of the pursuit of honor instead of the pursuit of riches and power for its own sake, as the spirited part of human nature, which is about seeking recognition from others, a deeply felt desire among men to be conferred rightful honor by their peers. We can bring this Hegelian insight into Schmitt to argue that the spirited part of the soul is intimately tied to one's sense of belonging to a political community with ethno-cultural markers. Without this spirited part members of a community eventually lose their sense of collective pride, honor, and will to survive as a political people. It is important to understand that honor is all about concern for one's reputation within the context of a group. It is a matter of honor for immigrants, the males in the group, to affirm their heritage regardless of how successful they may be economically. Immigrants arriving in large numbers are naturally inclined to establish their own ethnic groupings within Western nations rather than disaggregate into individual units.
Non-White ethnic groupings stand as "the other," "the stranger," to use Schmitt's words, in relation to nations where Europeans still constitute the majority. The friend-enemy distinction can be applied to the relation between non-White ethnic groupings and European national groupings in the degree to which the actions of Non-White groups compete and negate the heritage and overall way of life of the majority European population. Ethnic groupings that negate the way of life of White-created liberal nations must be repulsed if the European nation is to preserve its "own form of existence". To be cognizant of this reality is what it means to have a concept of the political in our current age of mass immigration. It does not mean that alien groupings are posing an immediate physical threat. Enemy groupings may also emerge as a major force through sheer demographic growth in a seemingly peaceful atmosphere, leading to all sorts of differences over voting patterns, accumulation of wealth and resources, ethnic hierarchies, divergent customs and religious practices, that become so pervasive that they come to threaten the way of life of the founding peoples, polarizing the nation into US versus Them.
The Leftist Interpretation of Schmitt Is Wrong
But don't Western liberals have enemies? Don't they believe, at least many Republicans, that Islamic radicals, and nations openly opposed to "Western values," are enemies of liberalism, against whom military violence may be used when necessary, even if Republicans negate the political in the sense that they want to bring about a situation in which humans define themselves as economic agents, or as moral crusaders dedicated to "democratic" causes? Don't multicultural liberals believe that opponents of multiculturalism and mass immigration in Western countries are "deplorable" people who must be totally marginalized as enemies of human morality?
Academics on the left have indeed appropriated Schmitt to argue that right wing liberals have not negated the political but simply produced a highly effective smokescreen over the West's ambition to impose an American-led corporate order in the world nicely wrapped with human rights for everyone. They see Schmitt as someone who can teach us how to remove the smokescreen of "democracy," "human rights," and "economic liberty" from Western hegemony, exposing the true power-seeking intentions behind the corporate liberal elites.
It seems to me that this appropriation of Schmitt is seriously flawed. Schmitt did say that liberal nations have not ceased to deny the necessity of the political since liberal states, for one, cannot but claim sovereign rights or ultimate authority over their territories to the exclusion of other powers. A complete denial of the political would amount to a denial of the existence of one's state. It is also true that for Schmitt "what has occurred [in liberal nations] is that economics has become political" in the enormous power that capitalist firms have and in the way liberal states seek to augment, through non-economic means, their market share across the world. More than this, Schmitt emphasizes that liberal states have "intensified" the enemy-friend distinction by portraying themselves as advocates of universal human values, ostracizing as enemies anyone disagreeing with their conception of humanity and conceptualizing liberal aggression against other nations as final wars to end all wars.
There is no question, however, that Schmitt's central thesis is that liberalism has no concept of the political and therefore lacks a capacity to understand the friend-enemy distinction. Liberals believe that the "angelic" side of humans can manifest itself through proper liberal socialization, and that once individuals practice a politics of consensus-seeking and tolerance of differences, both inside their nations and in their relationships with other liberal nations, they will learn to avoid war and instead promote peaceful trade and cultural exchanges through commercial contracts, treaties, and diplomacy. Even though liberal states have not been able to "elude the political," they have yet to develop theories of the political which apprehend this sphere of human life in terms of its defining aspect, which is the fact that a political community can never eliminate the friend-enemy distinction since a political community is ipso facto a separation of naturally "dangerous” peoples into US versus Rather, liberal theorists are inclined to think of the state as one pressure group among a plurality of political groups all of which lack a concept of the political in thinking that differences between groups can be handled through institutions that obtain consensus by means of neutral procedures and rational deliberation.
The negation of the political is necessarily implicit in the liberal notion that humans can be defined as individuals with natural rights. It is implicit in the liberal aspiration to create a world in which groups and nation interact through peaceful economic exchanges and consensual politics, and in which, accordingly, the enemy-friend distinction and the possibility of violence between groups is renounced. The negation of the political is implicit in the liberal notion of "humanity". The goal of liberalism is to get rid of the political, to create societies in which humans see themselves as members of a human community without outsiders dedicated to comfort and individual expression. Therefore, we can argue with Schmitt that liberals have ceased to understand the political insomuch as liberal nations and groups have renounced the friend-enemy distinction and the possibility of violence, under the assumption that human groups are not inherently dangerous to each other, but can be socialized gradually to become members of a friendly "humanity" which no longer values the honor of belonging to a group that affirms ethno-cultural existential differences. This is why Schmitt observes that liberal theorists lack a concept of the political, since the political presupposes a view of humans organized in groupings affirming themselves as "existentially different."
Thus, using Schmitt, I will argue below that, while Western liberal states had strong ethnic markers before WWII/1960s, with immigration policies excluding ethnic groupings deemed to be an existential threat to their "national character," they were nevertheless highly susceptible to the enactment of norms promoting the idea of civic identity, renouncing the notion that races are real, romanticizing Third World peoples as liberators, and believing that all liberal rights should be extended to all humans regardless of nationality, because they lacked a concept of the political. The racial or ethnocentric liberalism that prevailed in the West, collectivist as it remained in this respect, was encased within a liberal worldview according to which, to use the words of Schmitt, "trade and industry, technological perfection, freedom, and rationalization...are essentially peaceful [and...] must necessarily replace the age of wars".
They believed that their Anglo-European societies were associations of individuals enjoying the right to life and liberty. The experience of WWII led liberals to the conclusion that the bourgeois revolutions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, which had finished feudal militarism, and which then led the Allies to fight a world war against the new militarism of fascism, were still "unfinished revolutions". The liberal bourgeois nations were still not liberal enough, in their division and ranking of individuals along ethnic lines, with many individuals not enjoying the same rights that were naturally theirs. The project of the Enlightenment, "the universalist spirit of the political Enlightenment," in the words of Habermas, was not yet completed.
What the liberals who came to accept the implementation of the norms outlined above did not realize was that their sense of racial identity was the one collectivist norm still holding their liberal nations safely under the concept of the political. Once this last bastion of collectivism was deconstructed, liberal nations would be caught up within a spiral of radicalization wherein liberal nations would find it ever more difficult to decide which racial groups may constitute a threat to their national character, and even which groups may be already lurking within their nations ready to play the political with open reigns, ready to promote their own ethnic interests; in fact, ready to play up the universal language of liberalism, against ethnocentric Europeans, so as to promote their own collectivist interests.
Immigration Act of 1910: Canada a “White Man's Country”
The racially-oriented normative liberalism that prevailed in Canada before WWII was clearly embodied in the Immigration Act of 1910, the Immigration Act Amendment of 1919, and the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923. The norms contained in these acts, even as they came under heavy critical scrutiny after WWII, and confidence in their validity was weakened, prevailed in Canada up until the 1962/67 Immigration Regulations, which eliminated selection of immigrants based on racial criteria.
These Acts envisioned Canada as a "white man's country". The Immigration Act of 1910 reinforced the immigration restrictions based on race contained in the Immigration Act of 1906, and in all prior government statements and policies about immigration since Confederation. The 1910 Act gave Cabinet the right to enact regulations to prohibit immigrants "belonging to any race deemed unsuitable to the climate and requirements of Canada or immigrants of any specified class, occupation, or character." The Immigration Act Amendment of 1919 introduced further restrictive regulations in reaction to the economic downturn after WWI and the anti-foreign sentiments of Canadians in the inter-war period. Immigrants from enemy alien countries were denied entry as well as immigrants of any nationality, race, occupation and class with “peculiar customs, habits, modes of life, and methods of holding property.” The Chinese Immigration Act of 1923 imposed further restrictions on Chinese immigrants to the point that the only Chinese admissible in Canada were diplomats, government representatives, merchants, and children born in Canada who wished to return after leaving for educational purposes. An estimated 15 Chinese immigrants only were able to gain entry into Canada between 1923 and 1946.
Now, while a few million immigrants from Continental Europe had been welcomed to Canada as "agriculturalists" in the nineteenth century, there was considerable ambivalence among the mainstream British elite as to whether non-British immigrant wage workers would fit into the Anglo culture or whether they would be inclined to establish their own ethnic ghettos. But with businesses keen on maintaining a supply of cheap immigrant workers, the government came to accept immigrant wage workers from Eastern and Southern Europe, so long as they were subject to assimilation and transformed into English-speakers with manners and habits in line with Canada's "Britishness". The expectation was not that non-British Europeans would readily assimilate to British ways, but that they would at least contribute to the economy and become law-abiding English-speaking citizens.
In the 1940s and through to the 1960s, the dominant British in Canada saw themselves as the true representatives of Canadian culture. "Britishness" still remained intrinsic to Canada's identity. The old imperial heritage, the monarchy, the parliamentary system, the deference to law and order and many other cultural trappings, mannerisms, clothing, and customs were still the standard of what it meant to be "Canadian". Non-British Europeans were not perceived as members of this British club, but neither were they seen as a threat to the basic functional requirements of Canada. By the 1960s many British Canadians were sympathetic to the presence of other Europeans. It was only non-Europeans who were identified as "inassimilable races" posing a threat to the unity and cohesion of Canada's national character and economic viability.
The experience of WWII would result in a total break with these pro-European racial norms and Canadian Britishness. Below I will detailed in point form a chronology of events, policies, and normative statements showing the movement of the spiral and the breakdown of the political in Canada, in an ever more radicalizing manner, leading to the current Post National State advocated by our current Prime Minister.
Mackenzie King's 1947 Speech and New Normative Pressures
The takeoff of the spiral was already evident in a speech that Prime Minister Mackenzie King gave before Parliament on May 1947. Reading this speech from today's radicalized situation, the speech seems very strong in its racial orientation, but the discrediting of racial identity is already evident, never mind notions of racial hierarchy. The word "race" is absent from this famous speech, and there is nothing about "Asiatics" being "unsuitable" or being "an alien race," and not an inkling about Canada "being a white man's country," or about the rightful duty of English peoples to "rule over less civilized races". These phrases were common in the pre-WWII period. King's justification for not making any major alterations in Canada's immigration policies was that it was within the sovereign rights of the Canadian government to select "the persons whom [it] regards as desirable future citizens." However, while he is aware of the ideology of human rights, he still holds on to the norm that "it is not a 'fundamental human right' of any alien to enter Canada...It is a matter of domestic policy". He adds that "large scale immigration from the Orient would change the fundamental composition of the Canadian population...which would give rise to social and economic problems of a character that might lead to serious difficulties in the field of international relations." Again, the word "race" is not pronounced in this speech: the new normative language of the post-WWII age was already having, by 1947, an effect on Canada's way of justifying its ethno-national composition.
Yet the spiral could not be appeased. Pressure began to mount over the actually existing, racially-oriented, immigration acts of Canada. In the same year of 1947, the minister of external affairs suggested that the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923 could not be justified "under the UN Charter which Canada had signed and which called for an end to discrimination based on race, religion, and sex." Diplomatic pressure from the Chinese government then led, in the same year, the Canadian government to terminate this Act. In the same year, moreover, the province of BC actually gave Asians the right to vote in federal elections and to enter professions from which they had been hitherto discriminated from entering. In 1949, the federal government also gave Japanese Canadians the right to vote in federal elections. It is worth noting that Canada was caving in to pressure from foreign countries and the UN generally, made up mostly of non-Western countries without any individual rights, but with a strong concept of the political and, therefore, undisturbed by any norms expecting them to give up their sovereign right to determine the racial character of their nations, even though they, too, were signatories of the UN Charter.
The pressure to abide by the new norms was also coming from domestic groups in Canada, business groups believing that what matters in human life is economic growth and prosperity and that liberal nations are places in which citizens enjoy the right to economic liberty and the pursuit of affluence regardless of race. It was also coming from leftist liberals who felt that Canada was not living up to its ideals of individual freedom and equality under the law and elimination of any form of discrimination based on non-economic, racial and sexual criteria. In a Standing Committee of the Senate on Immigration and Labour, which was active from 1946 through to 1953, and which went about collecting the views of multiple groups, ethnic lobby groups, civil servants, organized labour, humanitarian organizations and churches, it was recommended that the Immigration Act of 1910 be revised. The influence of organized labour was felt in this recommendation in its expression that immigration numbers should take into account level of unemployment and the ability of the economy to absorb new immigrants without threatening wages. However, the Canadian Congress of Labour openly recommended an end to racial criteria in immigration policy: "'race' ought not to be considered at all". Still, the Standing Committee at large, while concluding that racial wording should be avoided in a new immigration act, voiced approval of "Canada's traditional pattern of immigration and her strong European orientation". A most interesting statement of this Committee was its assertion that Canada was a nation based on a mixture of white European peoples, not just Anglo-French, but Italians, Greeks, Slavs, Jews, Ukrainians. All these ethnic groups were deemed to be assimilable "into the national life of Canada". The consensus around these years, then, was that i) Canada would not discriminate against non-Whites who were already citizens in Canada, ii) would avoid using racial language in its immigration act, but iii) would nevertheless affirm the British-European national character of the nation and its wish to maintain this character.
Immigration Act of 1952
This consensus was reflected in the new Immigration Act of 1952. As has been noted by historians, "the Immigration Act of 1952 was not a significant departure from prior legislation as it largely codified existing practices...The primary effect of the new act was to reinforce the authority of the governor-in-council (i.e. federal cabinet) and invest the minister of citizenship and immigration with wide-ranging powers. As in previous legislation, the governor-in-council was authorized to make regulations prohibiting immigrants based on their nationality, ethnicity, occupation, peculiar customs, unsuitability to the Canadian climate and probable inability to assimilate."
But one should not lose sight of the acceptance in Canada of the new norm that races don't exist, and that the proper term to use is "ethnic group." In the first UNESCO statement on race titled "The Race Question," issued on July 18, 1950, drafted by Ashley Montagu, it was declared that there was no scientific basis for theories of racial hierarchies. Social scientists in the West soon came to replace the term "race" with the term "ethnic groups". At first, the term "ethnic group" tended to include the notion that there were biological, though not hierarchical, differences between ethnic groups, but from the 1960s on this term came to acquire a meaning that was mostly cultural, about the language, beliefs, institutions of peoples, with only a superficial emphasis on the physical appearances of ethnic groups. Differences in the social standing of races came to be explained, in textbooks used across Western universities, strictly in terms of social and cultural factors. This discrediting of the term "race" was accepted by the Canadian government, and this is why the Immigration Act of 1952 used the term "ethnic group". This is also why Canadians emphasized the cultural-national identity of Canada and its race-mixed European population. The government and the British elites were eager to paint a picture of Canada as a nation of mixed races while brushing under the rug their remaining preference for a White Canada.
But with the decolonisation of the British Empire, and the formal creation in 1949 of the Commonwealth of Nations "free and equal," and the growing influence of the UN, and the fact that, by 1961, African, Asian, and Latin American nations made up two-thirds of the UN General Assembly and that these nations, together with Western liberal elites, were pushing for more radical anti-racist resolutions, Canada could not escape the dynamic of a spiral contained in its own declared commitment to the promotion of human rights for all humans without distinctions of race, sex, and religion. Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad, and other members of the Commonwealth, were, in the words of Triadafilopoulos, "the most vocal critics of Canadian immigration policy," demanding (in a report in 1957) complete equality for the residents of these nations in migrating to Canada, as the citizens of England. Lacking a concept of the political, Canadian leaders refused to state unequivocally that they had a sovereign right, in the way Mackenzie King had said in 1947, to dictate the ethnic character of their nation without interference from "outgroup" leaders. Meanwhile, there was growing pressure in the early 1960s against the policy of apartheid in South Africa, with the UN condemning apartheid as "a crime against the conscience and dignity of mankind." But while the South Africa government affirmed its sovereign right to decide who could belong and could not belong within its dominant national culture, ignoring UN calls and continuing with its apartheid policies, the Canadian Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker, endorsed with conviction the principle of racial equality within the Commonwealth and the idea that all residents of the member states of the Commonwealth should be viewed equally "without regard to race or any other consideration". It was hoped among Canadian officials that by taking a strong stand against racism in international bodies, and increasing immigration quotas from India and the British West Indies, Canada might compensate for its continued discriminatory policies in immigration. The Minister of Immigration and Citizenship happily told critics that 22,000 immigrants from Asia had been welcomed to Canada between 1955 and 1959.
But these gestures merely signalled to other members of the Commonwealth that Canada's sovereignty could be challenged by outgroups willing to take advantage of the new normative climate, by countries far from liberal in their domestic politics and culture. Nazism and the racial ranking of the peoples of the world in the imperial practices and ideology of Western powers were practices attributed singularly to Western peoples by Westerners themselves. Third World nations could take on the role of progressive fighters for racial justice alongside leftist domestic groups in Western countries. This scenario fitted with the romanticizing of Third World peoples by naive Western liberals, a Third World humanity supposedly in close ecological contact with nature and the original egalitarian state of humanity. This was the essential message coming from the discipline of Anthropology. The Pakistani government, accordingly, demanded a doubling of its immigration quota, and Canada obliged. Then, in 1960, the government announced that it would seriously work on a new immigration policy that would eliminate all discriminatory regulations. The 1962 Immigration Act was the end result of these efforts.
Fair Employment and Fair Accommodations Practices Acts (1951-1954)
The radicalization of the spiral was contained in the supposition that the racial inequalities of the world, the wealth of White nations and the poverty of non-White nations, the impoverished status of blacks and aboriginals in the United States and the West generally, were a result of the discriminatory policies, the colonizing and under-developing activities of Europeans, rather than a result of cultural backwardness, differences in racial aptitudes, or geographical lack of resources. If only all humans were granted the same rights to life, liberty, and economic success, the world could be improved drastically in a more egalitarian and prosperous direction. Beginning in the 1940s and through the 1950s, a growing network of groups, academics, media, ethnic associations, and trade unions, operating within a liberal atmosphere, and endorsing a pluralist view of politics, in which the state was seen as just one actor among many others engaged in politics, rather than as the actor in charge of the political, pushed for "equal citizenship" and for legislation that would protect citizens against discrimination. Basing themselves on the UN Charter declaration that every human should have equal rights "'without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion," the groups worked tirelessly in the late 1940s and early 1950s, with the Canadian Jewish Congress and the Jewish Labor Committee playing the key roles, to bring legislation in Ontario, then in Canada generally, aimed at ending discrimination in employment, access to public spaces, housing and property ownership.
At first, in the early 1940s, the Canadian Jewish Congress was preoccupied with fighting domestic antisemitism and encouraging toleration and understanding between Jews and Christian groups. But after WWII, Jewish groups decided to go beyond fighting against the perception that they were inassimilable aliens, and instead designed a grand strategy against discrimination generally, through alliances with other liberal and minority organizations. With racism now tied to the actions of Nazis, these groups successfully instilled upon politicians, and the Canadian Anglo elite at large, the view that discriminatory practices were "fascist" and had no place in a liberal nation. By the early 1950s, these liberal groups managed to bring about the Fair Employment and Fair Accommodations Practices Acts (1951-1954), which declared Ontario's allegiance to the principles of the UN Charter and the UN Declaration of Human Rights in rendering illegal any discrimination in employment and in access to public spaces in Ontario on grounds of race or creed. These Acts, and other similar legislative measures, culminated, firstly, in the Canadian Bill of Rights enacted by Parliament on August 10, 1960, which is seen as the earliest expression of human rights law at the federal level, in declaring that all persons in Canada have "right to life, liberty and security". Secondly, it culminated in the Ontario Human Rights Code, passed June 15, 1962, which prohibited discrimination on the grounds of race, ancestry colour, ethnic origin, creed, sexual orientation, age and family status.
The End of "British Liberties"
Now, while it can be reasonably argued that these human rights laws were within the bounds of classical liberal discourse in affording minorities the same legal status, in accordance with the principle that all citizens of a nation should be guaranteed equal rights in the eyes of the law, that is, formal equality of citizenship, we should not underestimate the fact that these acts and codes constituted a dramatic alteration in the traditional language of "British liberties" that prevailed in Canada before WWII. Before the Second World war, as Ross Lambertson has observed, "there was scant mention of human rights" not just in Canada but in international law. The idea behind the concept of human rights is that all humans enjoy equal natural rights by virtue of belonging to the human race, which is very different from the "British liberties" idea, which emphasizes one's membership in a British national culture. These liberties included the principle of parliamentary supremacy, as the very keystone of the law and constitution, meaning that matters involving individual rights would be left to Parliament, which is to say that courts would defer to Parliament regarding issues about individual rights. (In Canada, be it noted, there was a plurality of parliaments within the federal-provincial division of powers). The "British liberties" ensured by Parliament included such principles as fair play, which meant both fairness in the right of Canadian individuals to freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion, and in being treated equal under the law, "no man is above the law," everyone, no matter his rank, is subject to the law. However, as has been argued by James Walker, such British liberties in Canada as freedom of speech and association "were interpreted to mean the right to declare prejudices openly, to refuse to associate with members of certain groups, including to hire them or to serve them." Equality under the law did not mean that individuals were obligated to include within their free associations members regardless of race. Freedom of association was understood to include the right to discriminate on grounds of ethnicity, religion, and sex.
But I disagree with the standing argument that the human rights legislation constituted a break with libertarian liberalism, or classical liberalism. The standing argument says that Canadian liberalism before WWII emphasized individual freedoms rather than equal rights of citizenship. However, in my view, it was not simply that minorities were discriminated against in their exclusion from restaurants, barber shops and many other public spaces. It was not simply, as Lambertson says, that the "ideal of freedom was accorded a higher importance than the ideal of equality" (p. 377). Rather, it was that there were franchise laws that kept aboriginals in reserves and excluded them from the dominant British nation-state itself, as well as people of other races, through immigration laws that openly declared Asian and blacks to be unsuitable members of an official Canada seen and intended to be British in its institutions and culture. The libertarianism of today is race-less in its notion that we are all the same as individuals with rights without any importance attached to collectivist identities. The libertarianism of Canada before WWII, paradoxical as this may seem to us now, was collectivist in its belief that individual rights were rights which emerged from the British people, not from individuals as members of the human race, but from a particular British race, to which other ethnic groups that were White could assimilate but not people from very different races and cultures. What made the acts and codes revolutionary was not simply that they were supportive of "equality of rights of minorities, at the expense of the libertarian rights of those wanting to exclude them" (p. 213). What made them revolutionary was that a new liberalism was being advocated in direct challenge to the ethnocentric liberalism that prevailed in the past, a new civic conception of the Canadian nation was emerging wherein membership in the nation was defined in terms of values of equal rights rather than shared heritage, a common faith, and a common ethnic ancestry. The traditional ethnic nationalism of Canadians was being discredited as racist and illiberal.
In the degree to which this ethnic identity was de-legitimatized, the concept of the political in Canada would be weakened, with Canadians of British and European descent having less recourse to the older argument that it is perfectly within Canada's political right to decide its ethno-cultural character. Indeed, these legislative changes, which I have only outlined, were the beginning of an accelerating spiral that would bring about ever more radical legislative changes, the end of all immigration restrictions against non-Whites by 1967, the complete redefinition of Canada as a multicultural nation in 1971, the Canadian Human Rights Act of 1977, which called for "equal opportunity" for "victims of discriminatory practices," and the current demonization of any form of Eurocanadian identity as a "hideous form of White supremacist" in concert with the celebration of the ethnicity of non-Whites as "'culturally enriching".
1962 Immigration Regulations
The essential novelty of the 1962 Immigration Regulations was that they replaced racial discrimination with a "skill's based" immigrant admissions criteria. Economic motivations were very important in this radical change. Canada's economy had been expanding rapidly since WWII and in the 1960s Canadians generally were very optimistic about future economic prospects. Meanwhile, the economies of Europe were also growing rapidly in the 1950s and the number of immigrants interested in coming to Canada had declined sharply. There was strong pressure from business elites on politicians to find new sources of immigrants. Yet, what is striking is that the main reason offered for these Regulations was that Canada no longer believed that immigration policy should be determined by racial criteria. Many of the politicians who legislated these changes may not have been keen on opening Canada's economy to races that were "unsuitable" to Canada's climate and national character, but they were certainly responding to the pressures generated by the new normative climate of the post-WW decades, which made racial discrimination in the West unacceptable. Domestic and international groups and diplomats were holding Canada to account regarding its obligations to live up to the protocols of human rights, the notion that true liberal states could not be based on any form of ethnic nationalism, and that racial distinctions were fascistic. As the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier points out: "Following the Second World War and the Holocaust, there was increased awareness and sensitivity to matters of racial discrimination. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker introduced the Bill of Rights in 1960, which rejected discrimination on the basis of race, colour, national origin, religion or sex. As such, the selection of immigrants on the basis of ethnicity and national origin became difficult to justify."
But could not the government make a distinction between discrimination against minorities living in Canada with citizenship and deciding whether it wanted to extend citizenship rights to non-White foreigners wanting to migrate to Canada? Today, no one makes that distinction, but assumes, as this article at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier, that discriminating against Canadian citizens on the basis of race is the same as employing racial criteria against potential immigrants without citizenship. More than this, today the entire establishment assumes that Canada must welcome immigrants and eagerly strive for racial diversification if it is to live up to its "liberal ideals". The politicians who legislated the 1962 Regulations were not as pathological. In fact, a central immigration reformer during this time, W.R. Baskerville, felt comfortable admitting that despite the abolition of racial criteria, Canada would "still give preference" in the selection of immigrants "to those countries which have traditionally supplied [its] immigrants".
Moreover, in official but not publicized papers, it was specified that immigrants from non-European countries would only be allowed to sponsor members of their immediate family, whereas European immigrants would be allowed to sponsor relatives as well. Canadian officials also voiced the view that there was nothing in the Regulations prohibiting Canada from focusing on the recruitment of immigrants from European created nations. Overall, no one envisioned these Regulations as a way of transforming Canada away from its Anglo-European heritage. The emphasis on skills, it was expected, would limit immigrants from Third World nations lacking modern educational facilities and industrial skills. The Canadian government still had a concept of the political, a sense that Canada was in charge of deciding which group of immigrants would suit the interests of British Canada. While it no longer voiced its right to decide its racial character, it did interpret these Regulations as consistent with the right of the government to refuse "immigrants whose presence would cause severe disruptions or drastic change".
However, the spiral of radicalization built into the norms of racial equality, civic nationalism, the human rights for everyone, could not be contained. External governments with a strong sense of the political, heavily ethnocentric, were only too pleased to request answers from the Canadian government as to why the Regulations of 1962 were sill discriminatory in their exclusion of non-Europeans from sponsoring family relatives. Governments in the West Indies, in South America, in Africa, Pakistan and China, also demanded to know why Canadian officials were not eagerly seeking immigrants outside Canada's European sources of immigration. Accepting this pressure, in November 1965, Prime Minister Lester Pearson promised to remove all remaining barriers in the acceptance of immigrants of colour. Canada's government wanted to avoid "strong resentments in international relations". Be it noted that Lester Pearson had promised in 1963 that he would introduced a new flag to replace the Canadian Red Ensign and Union Jack, which did happen in 1965 when Parliament approved the Maple Leaf flag. This was a symbolic break with the British past and with Canada's Britishness. With the gradual degradation of the concept of the political, Canadian rulers found it ever more difficult to affirm their ethno-cultural identity. All talk about what was suitable for the enhancement of the existing majority culture ceased. Henceforth, immigration would be judged in terms of skilled versus unskilled immigrants, educated versus uneducated immigrants, and the overall benefits they could bring to Canada's economy.
1967 Immigration Regulations
Accordingly, in October 1967 new immigration regulations were put into effect based on "a points system" in which immigrant applicants were given a score based on the following criteria: education and training; personal character; occupational demand; occupational skill; age; pre-arranged employment; knowledge of French and English; the presence of a relative in Canada; and employment opportunities in their area of destination. Those with a score showing they could be beneficial to Canada's economy would be accepted. Immigrants from White nations would now enjoy the same rights of sponsorship as Third Worlders; the immediate family members of all accepted immigrants could be sponsored, while distant relatives would undergo the same points system evaluation. Immigration processing facilities would be opened outside Europe.
The effects of the 1967 Regulations were soon felt in a very significant increase in the number of arrivals, with approximately 525,000 arriving just between 1972 and 1974. But more importantly, there was a dramatic alteration in the ethnic composition of immigrants; 90 percent of all immigrants who came to Canada before 1961 were from Britain, and until 1967 Europeans accounted for about 80 percent of immigrants; however, during the 1970s, the proportion originating in Europe was cut by half, whereas the proportion coming from Asia almost quadrupled. The apprehension among Canadians about this sudden arrival of alien peoples was such that in 1975 the government decided to organize public hearings, which led to the tabling of the so-called Green Paper in the House of Commons. The key message of the Green Paper was that Canadians were "concerned about the consequences for national identity that might follow any significant change in the composition of the population." They wondered whether the arrival of "new racial groups into the population [might] outstripped the ability" of Canadians with each other in a harmonious way. When the Green Paper was released, a Special Joint Committee received close to 2,000 letters of opinion, formal briefs, and oral testimonies from Canadians, with a high majority, 83 percent, demanding firmer controls on immigration from the "Third World". In what seems like a very different age, writers during this consultation process were unafraid to state openly that Third World immigration would alter "Canada's racial composition" and destroy Canada's "distinct national identity". Some even demanded the deportation of all non-Whites and the restriction of immigrants to Anglo and Nordic peoples only. These were not the opinions of marginal individuals out of touch with the majority of Canadians. Gallup polls in the 1960s showed that only about one third of Canadians thought that Canada should bring any immigrants, and over 60 percent thought that the very low levels of Asian immigration (at the time) were already too high.
The views expressed in these polls should hardly surprise us. Current research abundantly shows that ethnic groups throughout history have exhibited a preference for their own kind, and a disposition to judge other ethnic out-groups by their own in-group standards. This preference is a healthy and practical evaluation of one's ethnic identity and interests consistent with evolutionary theory. Now, this disposition is less marked among Northern Europeans. As Kevin MacDonald has written, Europeans evolved cultures with a strong individualist orientation, monogamous nuclear families, less emphasis on kinship relations and more on contractual relations. This individualism encouraged a "relatively low ethnocentrism" and a high level of "moral universalism". This European culture, particularly with the emergence of modern liberalism, the Enlightenment with its universal credo about the "rights of man," followed by the spread of the norms I outlined above, has thus been inclined to be less in-group oriented. It has also been inclined to the universal belief that members from highly collectivist cultures will relinquish their millennial, genetically-based heritage, once they get socialized within European individualist cultures. They think that all humans have a natural disposition to act as individuals in open markets, carry contractual relations based on trust with members outside their extended families, so long as they are given the opportunity to do so. They don't realize that non-Europeans, as MacDonald shows, evolved in ecological contexts that "supported large tribal groups based on extended kinship relations" where individualism was suppressed. They don't realize that non-Europeans never developed liberal institutions, societies based on the equal application of the law regardless of one's social rank, separation of church and state, and freedom of expression and association. Non-Europeans developed cultures with a strong ethnocentric disposition, extended family units, and far stronger in-group behaviours and out-group derogation. Still, it should be made clear that Eurocanadians did have ethnocentric dispositions in the 1970s, did have a sense that "British liberties" could not be assimilated by non-Europeans, even as human rights and "anti-racist" norms were starting to spread rapidly from the top down, pushed by "progressive" elites and legislated by politicians.
What reveals how far the Canadian state had moved away from the concept of the political by the 1970s is the fact that the only individuals the political elites took seriously during the consultations carried by the Special Joint Committee were the members of the organized delegations of ethnic groups against "racists and bigots in Canada." Twenty-nine East Indian associations, the "Immigration Policy Action Community of the Vancouver Chinese Community", among others, defended the 1967 Regulations, and went beyond in calling for the expansion of sponsorship rights, while insisting that Canada was no longer a nation of two founding peoples, the English and French, but a nation of multiple cultures and races. While the Special Joint Committee recommended that immigration be reduced to about 100,000 per year, as a way of appeasing critics for the time being, it not only emphasized the continuation of the 1967 Regulations, but called for the re-education (read, re-engineering of the souls) of Canadians, backed by funding of community programs to promote "inter-cultural understanding," as well as amplification of human right's legislation in order to "protect Canadians and immigrants from racial and ethnic discrimination".
What is even more revealing about the radicalizing effects of the spiral during these years, and the ever weakening of concept of the political among Canadian elites, was the way MPs serving on this Joint Committee were impressed by the "vote-mobilizing ability of minority ethnic organizations" and the fact that ethnic groups represented the largest percentage of the groups that appeared before the Committee. Instead of pondering over the stronger sense of political grouping and identity among non-White immigrants, the liberal elites, the Liberal Party in power during these years, concluded the opposite: Canada should not impose tighter immigration controls, but should exploit the support of these groups by promoting mass immigration, never mind what the founding peoples were expressing in polls about their cultural dispossession. This was the beginning of what would become a major force in its own right accelerating the spiral: the rise, and the promotion by Canada's parties, of ethnic voting blocs against the ethnic interests of Eurocanadians.
Pierre Trudeau: Canada is a Multicultural Nation, 1971
During this time, though prior to the Green Paper of 1975, the Canadian government was conducting hearings between 1963 and 1969, organized by the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, "to inquire into and report upon the existing state of bilingualism and biculturalism in Canada and to recommend what steps should be taken to develop the Canadian Confederation on the basis of an equal partnership between the two founding races". It was hoped that this consultation process would result in policies that would promote better cultural relations between the Anglophone and Francophone communities, help Canadians become bilingual in English and French, and, in this way, work out a bicultural solution to the threat of separatist nationalism in Quebec. But the spiral was already gathering too much momentum, and so this Commission underwent a major change in its objectives during the consultation process. While commissioners were asked to report on the cultural contribution of other ethnic groups in Canada, the commissioners were taken by surprised when minority groups reacted negatively to the Commission’s assumption that Canada was a nation of “two founding races”. They insisted instead that Canada was not “bicultural” but “multicultural.” The commissioners responded positively to these ethnic groups, recommending that measures be taken to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions made by other ethnic groups to Canada's culture.
But this was not enough; in October 8, 1971, the long held notion that Canada was a nation of "two founding peoples" was officially rejected by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, when he announced that Canada's official identity was "multicultural." Coming to intellectual maturity after WWII, Trudeau absorbed the strong animus in Western societies against the racial nationalism of Germany. He was convinced that any form of ethnic nationalism was inherently chauvinistic and aggressive, and incompatible with liberal values. Ethnic states fostered animosity and exclusionary attitudes against alien "Others" both beyond and within the boundaries of the ethno-state. True liberal states should overcome the notion that they were founded by, and for, particular ethnic groups; such states treat minorities as lesser members of the nation, never mind that in Canada all minorities enjoyed the same individual rights in 1971. For Trudeau, in fact, a critique of ethnic nationalism was not enough. In calling Canada a multicultural state, he was also saying that the Canadian nation should not be identified with a particular culture, neither Anglo nor Quebecois. Beyond the official languages of English and French, Canada should be seen as a nation based on liberal-democratic values rather than on Anglo values. Trudeau was thus rejecting cultural nationalism, the idea that Canada was based on British norms and customs, in the name of a civic form of nationalism that would be open to multiple peoples. His response to the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism was that "biculturalism does not properly describe our society; multiculturalism is more accurate". The contributions of "other ethnic groups" would not just be acknowledged; Canada would henceforth ceased to identify itself as a British nation, and Quebec too would be encouraged to see itself as culturally diverse. Individuals would be free to choose their cultural identity; the only expectation on the part of the government would be to ensure that all Canadians learned the official languages and abide by liberal values, and, in this sense, Canada would be officially identified as "bilingual" but within the framework of multiculturalism. There would be two official languages but no official culture "We believe," Trudeau announced, "that cultural pluralism is the very essence of Canadian identity. Every ethnic group has the right to preserve and develop its own culture and values within the Canadian context."
Rather revealingly, Trudeau went on to say that "vibrant ethnic groups would give Canadians of the second, third, and subsequent generations a feeling that they are connected with tradition and with human experience in various parts of the world and different periods of time". Canadians on their own, apparently, lacked a substantial culture other than a set of modern conveniences and a liberal constitution intended for humanity. This was a clear case of Third World romanticization. Trudeau's declaration that culture should be totally separated from the state, and made into a personal decision, was a clear demonstration of the separation of culture from the political. Not only race ("white man's country") and ethnicity (British nation) would be separated from the concept of the political in Canada, so would culture (Canada is a nation populated by people of French and British ancestry and traditions). This constituted a radical breakdown in the concept of the political, since the political hinges fundamentally on a sense of grouping by a people claiming a territorial state as their homeland on grounds of ethnic and cultural ancestry. The only remaining concept of the political was a liberal idea-based conception. Canada was a nation with a core constitutional identity, official languages, parliamentary rule, coupled with certain holidays, symbols, and institutional procedures.
Yet, this was only the beginning. Trudeau was not referring to an actual Canadian reality but formulating a program for the future. When he said in 1971 that “biculturalism does not properly describe our society; multiculturalism is more accurate,” he was not describing Canada as it was then, a nation with a population that was 74 percent British and French, and 96 percent European. The country was not multicultural in 1971; all the institutions, customs, religious beliefs, languages, modern infrastructure, legal system, education, architectural landmarks were overwhelmingly British and French. Canada was both ethnically and culturally a nation of "two founding races". Trudeau knew this. Historical accuracy was not the point: multiculturalism was a project for the future against the past. Canada was not going to become multicultural simply by acknowledging its diverse European identity or even by fighting discrimination among its own citizens. The goal was to create a new Canadian identity based on the cultures of the world. Multiculturalism, in Trudeau’s words, would be “an experiment of major proportions...a brilliant prototype for the moulding of tomorrow's civilization” By creating a Canada based on liberal ideas separated from any particular grouping with multiple ethnic groups co-existing together in a state of harmony and no culture claiming to be the political, Canada would show the world how nationalism and racial differences could be abolished.
Immigration Act of 1976, Human Rights Act of 1977, Charter of Rights of 1982
In pursuance of this future, the Trudeau administration increased Third World immigration immediately after 1971. Opening immigration offices in Third World countries to facilitate processing of applications was one measure heartily welcomed by Third World leaders long demanding that Canada open its borders to their wonderfully egalitarian minded inhabitants. The passing of the Immigration Act of 1976, however, was the main legislative measure. Unlike previous acts, the 1976 Act did not concentrate on who should be restricted from Canada but instead focused on who should be permitted into multicultural Canada. It created four new classes of immigrants: refugees, families, assisted relatives, and independent immigrants. This was the first time refugees were included as a distinct class and it established Canada’s commitment to consider as immigrants not only refugees but "persecuted and displaced persons" that may not qualify as refugees under international convention. Distant relatives, not just immediate family members, were no longer obligated to take part in the points system. From this point on, the number of immigrants coming to Canada from Third World nations would increase consistently and dramatically.
Before 1971, hardly any immigrants had come from the Third World; "people of Third World origin...represented less than 1 percent of the Canadian population" in 1967. But then things changed. Of the 1.5 million immigrants who came to Canada between 1971 and 1981, 33 percent came from Asia, 16 percent from the Caribbean and South America, and 5.5 percent from Africa. The Canadian Human Rights Act, passed by Parliament in 1977, was another measure initiated by the Trudeau government to promote equal opportunity to individuals deemed to be "victims" of discrimination on grounds of race, sexual orientation and beliefs. This Act, together with other legislative measures outlined above (and below), would increase the responsibility and power of judges and lawyers, and thereby reduced the power of elected representatives, in the enforcement of norms based on human rights laws. As Hugh Donald Forbes enthusiastically put it, the role of these judges and courts would be "to suppress the negative or discriminatory reactions of the dominant or majority group to the increasing presence of Others". This Act contained a "hate speech provision" criminalizing the expression of statements categorized as "hateful" toward identifiable groups, the purpose of which was to promote acceptance of mass immigration and diversification by threatening imprisonment against those expressing views considered to be "racist". Then came the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, which set out, in essence, to re-define Canadian citizenship, and thus promote a new conception of Canadian unity, strictly in terms of political and civil rights, to be ensured by judges rather than by elected representatives. In addition to basic liberal freedoms ("right to life, liberty, and security of the person"), including minority rights, this Charter "officially recognized" multiculturalism as a Canadian value, as part of the Canadian national identity. Judges and lawyers, "highly trained legal experts appointed by the politicians," untouched by the "uneducated" pressures of the people, would be in charge of interpreting the rights of citizens, and what it means to be Canadian, in a "society striving to become genuinely multicultural...a future home for all the world's peoples".
These changes in the 1970s and 1980s, it must be stressed, were introduced in the context of a new generation of liberals, radicalized as students in the 1960s, marching through the institutions of Canada, taking over the universities, the media, and all the political parties. However, contrary to the perceptions of certain conservatives, this march was not carried by rebellious radicals from the outside. It was facilitated and made possible by an establishment devoid of any concept of the political. Academics were in many ways the passive beneficiaries of government initiatives, numerous multicultural grants, ethnic development programs, funds for the writing of the histories of minorities in Canada, support for Canadian ethnic studies, “to set the record straight” by bringing to the forefront the contributions of non-British and non-French immigrants to Canada’s identity. There was, in the words of one observer, an “explosion of academic research into ethnicity.” Between 1971 and 1982, 88 scholarly works on cultural minorities were published, numerous collections of papers; many symposiums on Canadian ethnic groups. A new discipline, “Canadian Ethnic Studies,” was born, soon to proliferate throughout the halls of academe. This was the beginning of a “bonanza of remarkable proportions” in the late 1980s and 1990s in the promotion of multiculturalism. Certainly, within this hospitable atmosphere, academics with lucrative grants pushed the spiral further to the left, promoting ever more radical versions of feminism, originating half-baked programs such as "critical race studies," "women studies," aboriginal studies", enshrined with with a potpourri of postmodernist phrases. Soon the idea spread in academe that racism was more than a pathology of some employees not properly socialized; it was a "structural" reality in a Canada still dominated by Whites. Henceforth, what was initially a struggle to abolish race-based immigration regulations and implement a "neutral" and context-blind conception of employment, as we saw above in the Fair Employment Practices Act in 1951, and the Fair Accommodation Practices Act in 1954, as well as in the movement to abolish race-based immigration regulations in 1962-67, became in the 1980s a struggle for group rights to protect minorities against "institutional racism" as well as a struggle to augment and accelerate mass immigration.
Employment Equity Act of 1986, Multiculturalism Act of 1988
The institutionalization, diffusion, and radicalization of these norms, equality of races, civic nationalism, and the idea that Third World peoples are culturally enriching, eventually came to entrap even those who wanted to "conserve" Canadian traditions. Accordingly, as much as Canadian conservatives sought to defend limited government, self-reliance, private property, coupled with a traditional definition of the family and the importance of Christianity, they could not contain the radicalizing logic of these norms. The unwillingness of conservatives to contextualize classical liberalism as a way of thinking and living peculiar to Europeans, eventually led them to accept the idea that minorities needed special protections and affirmative action programs to achieve equality. In June 1984, the Conservative Leader Brian Mulroney told a cheering crowd that his party now stood for multiculturalism and would not allow itself to be called “the Party of White Anglo-Saxon Protestants”. Multicultural diversity, he said, was an absolutely obligatory part of Canada’s national identity and to reject it was to reject Canada. He then outlined future changes his party intended to implement in the hiring policies of the federal government, services in non-official languages, more funds for the preservation and advancement of non-European cultures and greater efforts to “stamp out racism wherever it rears its ugly head.”
Two key legislative changes and one mass immigration agenda were implemented right away. First, the Employment Equity Act of 1986, which states that "employment equity means more than treating persons the same way but also requires special measures and the accommodation of differences." Formal legal equality in hiring is not enough, it is also "necessary to amend historic wrongs and ameliorate the economic differences among groups." "Positive" policies for the hiring, training, retention, and promotion of members of "disadvantaged" groups would be encouraged. Everyone was lumped together, visible minorities, aboriginals, rich non-White immigrants, women from every class and colour, and people with disabilities. White heterosexual males were not covered by this act.
The second major legislative change was the Multiculturalism Act, passed in 1988, which aimed to "preserve and enhance multiculturalism in Canada," and allow citizens, immigrants and minorities to "keep their identities without the fear of official persecution." This was a rejection of the traditional policy of assimilation which encouraged immigrants to relinquish their culture and adopt the values of the dominant Anglo/European group in Canada. Canada would be a unique nation in encouraging multiple cultures to coexist within its national borders in a state of concord within the framework of Canada's liberal constitutionalism and official languages. Interaction between cultural groups would be expected, as well as integration into the liberal political system, but so would be the enhancement of the traditions of multiple cultures. Canada's liberalism, from now on, would be seen as inherently multicultural and therefore as an ideology that supported the rights of immigrant groups to preserve and enhance their cultural identity in Canada. The former Anglo/European host culture would be seen as a neutral site characterized by its provision of individual rights, for everyone regardless of race and culture, and of group rights for immigrants and minorities only.
The historical fact that Canada was built as a nation state around a founding ethnic core would be suppressed in the teaching of Canada’s history. Mandates would soon be imposed in public and private sectors for the inclusion of, and sensitivity to, minorities. Minorities would be exempted from Canada's traditional dress codes, dual citizenship would be encouraged, ethnic group organizations would be heavily funded, and affirmative action in the hiring of newly arrived immigrants would become the order of the day. It is important to understand that the people who fought for anti-discrimination legislation in Ontario, the Fair Employment Practices Act in 1951 and the Fair Accommodation Practices Act in 1954, were not intentionally trying to bring about special group rights for minorities and affirmation action programs involving differential, rather than equal, treatment for different groups of Canadians. But as these norms were given institutional expression, as new realities emerged from their actualization, and as new generations were radicalized with the spread of cultural Marxist ideas, ever more radicalized versions of the post WW II norms emerged. The anti-discrimination ideas were seen as incomplete, oblivious to the fact that minorities were not equal in actual cultural status and economic power, even if they were guaranteed the same formal rights for success. The Multiculturalism Act of 1988 would also be seen as incomplete, a piece of paper, unless there was a complete overhaul of the Anglo-European situation in Canada.
Mass Immigration, Conservatives, and the Ethnic Vote
This brings me to the third major change brought by Mulroney's conservative government when it was in power in the 1980s; just a year after the Multiculturalism Act of 1988 was passed, it announced that the long standing link between annual immigration intakes and existing economic conditions in Canada would be abandoned for a policy that would commit Canada to at least 250,000 immigrants per year regardless of fluctuations in the unemployment rate. It is worth detailing here the accelerating ethnic transformation Canada would experience from now on in order to understand fully the radicalization of the norms and, as we will see below, the emergence of a new force pushing the spiral forward, the "ethnic vote" coupled with the rise of ethnic groupings assuming the role of the political at the same time that radical new measures were diffused throughout Canadian society against any form of Anglo/European ethnic grouping. The growing political presence of ethnic groups was, of course, a direct result of the staggering number of Third World immigrants coming each year into Canada during this period. Through the 1990s roughly 225, 000 and 260,000 immigrants per year, mostly from non-European nations, arrived. In the period 1991-2001, immigrants of European origin fell below 20 percent, whereas Asian immigration soared to nearly 60 percent, with immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean, and South America accounting for about 19 percent. From 1981 to 2001, the number of visible minorities (excluding Aboriginals) increased more than threefold from 1.1 million people, or nearly 5% of the population, to 4.0 million people, or 13% of the population. By 2011 the foreign-born population increased to 6.8 million people, representing 20.6 percent of the total population. This number does not take into account second generation non-Europeans. The Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist faiths amounted to 33 per cent of those immigrants who arrived between 2001 and 2011. In 2012, 2.4 million Canadians (7.2 per cent) identified themselves as Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist, up from 4.9 per cent a decade earlier.
It is estimated that, by 2031, between 25 and 28 percent of the population could be foreign-born. Furthermore, Statcan informs us that “regardless of future immigration, diversity will grow among the Canadian-born population.” “By 2031, 47% of second-generation Canadians could belong to a visible minority group,” nearly double the proportion of 24 percent in 2006. (Second generation refers to those who are Canadian-born and have at least one parent born outside Canada). Visible minority groups are estimated to comprise 63 percent of the population of Toronto, 59 percent of Vancouver, and 31 percent of Montréal. Keep in mind, moreover, that Statistics Canada defines “visible minorities” as “persons, other than aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-White in colour.” If we take aboriginals into account, the projections are that between 21 percent and 24 percent of the population of Saskatchewan and between 18 percent and 21 percent of the population of Manitoba will have an Aboriginal identity in 2031.
What made these numbers all the more threatening is that immigrants were coming from strong collectivist cultures, whereas the Canada they were arriving to was increasingly committed to the elimination of the political among Whites and the promotion of group rights among immigrants, and thus the promotion of the political among non-Whites. Immigrants of colour were not being required to forego their ethic group identity, but were encouraged instead to behave in political terms, not necessarily in terms of the friend-enemy distinction, insomuch as these groups were not being granted territorial rights over parts of Canada, but certainly in terms of the US versus Them distinction. They were being encouraged to affirm their heritage, preserve it, enhance it, and seek restitution against the past wrongs of White Canadians. This is the context in which to ascertain in a realistic manner the growing influence of the ethnic vote in Canada. The "ethnic vote" was hardly a radical force when it began rather innocuously with the decision among Liberal officials in the mid-1970s to appeal to ethnic groups as a voting force. The proportion of immigrant minorities then was less than 4 percent. But as their numbers mushroomed, the Conservative Party, too, began assessing the potential "electoral benefits that might accrue from an expansive immigration policy," reminding ethnic voters how friendly the conservatives were to the needs of immigrants in passing the Equity Act of 1986 and the Multiculturalism Act of 1988. This was followed in subsequent years by incessant efforts to "get the ethnic vote" through the attendance of religious ceremonies, ridiculous donning of ethnic attire, granting interviews to the ethnic press, promising to maintain an expansive immigration policy, and reiterating that Canada's identity was no longer European.
It is often said that the difference between conservatives and liberals is that the former are a few years behind in their endorsement of progressive causes. In Canada, however, conservatives have shown themselves to be at the forefront of "progressive causes" whenever the opportunity has come, stealing the thunder from the most progressive movements; whether it was Diefenbaker's championing of human rights internationally by supporting the independence of many emerging non-European Commonwealth countries, or the stand he took against apartheid in South Africa at Commonwealth meetings in the early 1960s, or his legislation of a Bill of Rights (1960) that would entrust the enforcement of the discourse of human rights to impersonal and de-ethnicized judges, or whether it was Mulroney's promotion of mass immigrant multiculturalism, or, more recently, Stephen Harper's string of apologies to minorities, the Japanese and Chinese, "victimized" by Canada's "racist immigration policies". They have been no less devoid of a concept of the political than liberals and socialists, and no less naive in their supposition that non-European groups would easily assimilate to Canadian individualism as long as the cultural ways of these groups were respected. Canadians have always presumed that the ethnic vote is merely an expression of the ability of immigrants to become normal participants in the political process. But these liberal illusions took a realistic hit when former Quebec premier Jacques Parizeau could not but make the obvious observation that the separatists' defeat in the 1995 Quebec referendum was due to the ethnic vote. Quebec came within 55,000 votes of separation, and without the 90 percent of "new Canadians" who voted against separation the Quebecois would have been able to carve out a separate nation state. But making this simple observation occasioned widespread criticism of Parizeau, even by his own Parti Québécois, as a "shameful" remark, leading to his resignation as PQ leader. Instead of facing up to the reality of ethnic voting, politicians would go on to exploit this tendency to advance their careers.
Of course, the power of ethnic groups includes much more than their vote. The Liberal Party, and, in more recent elections, the New Democratic Party, have tended to attract immigrant voters because these parties are identified with welfare programs beneficial to immigrants, but this is hardly the only way to measure the ethnic factor, since Conservatives are almost identical in their pro-immigration stances, and many immigrants identify with their play on "traditional values". Another obvious way to measure the power of non-Europeans is to look at the demographic trends presented above, the sheer demographic replacement going on in Canada. This fact by itself speaks to the enormous power of ethnic groups since it is drastically altering the customs, language, religious beliefs, and political practices of the Canadian population. Another measurement is the sheer number of ethnic and racial associations dedicated to the promotion of the ethnic interests of non-Europeans across Canada. Here is a short list of Chinese associations: the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, "dedicated to enhancing Canada’s relationship with Asia" and thus weakening Canada's relation with the Anglo-European world; Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, "one of the most technologically advanced cultural centres in North America", committed to ensuring that millions of Chinese living in the West maintain strong cultural contacts with China; Chinese Professionals Association of Canada, dedicated to the promotion of Chinese professionals "in gaining recognition, cultural integration, career advancement, civic engagement" in Canada; the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations, an "amalgamation of 45 BC-based Chinese organizations with a shared mission to strengthen cooperation between China and Canada in economic development, trade, education, scientific research and technological development" — a group packed with "immigration lawyers, immigration consultants, immigration agents, and student visa services." Asian associations are found everywhere in Canada; the India-Canada Association alone, dedicated to the "preservation" of Indian culture among immigrants has centres in multiple Canadian cities. This is a tiny list of countless others at the federal, provincial, and city levels. Canadian universities are packed with Asian, African, Latin American, Muslim clubs. Almost all the "ethnic" clubs are non-European; see, for example, the clubs at York, Ryerson, Concordia, University of British Columbia. Whereas "White" student unions are prohibited in all universities, Asian, Black, and Aboriginal unions can be found in numerous Canadian universities. Ethnic associations have a sense of the political, not necessarily in the strong friend-enemy sense, since they don't have political sovereignty over a territory, but certainly in the sense of US versus Them, since they consist of members who separate themselves from Others lacking the "right" ethnic identity.
The Ethnic Rights Revolution
Meanwhile, as immigrant minorities were growing in power and in demands, the ideas of Pierre Elliot Trudeau and the principles contained in the Multiculturalism Act of 1988, came to be intellectually developed into a full theoretical program from the 1990s on. Michael Ignatieff has called this program a "rights revolution" and thinks it is a uniquely Canadian revolution. Certainly, the "rights revolution" Ignatieff has written about "took off in the 1960s in all industrialized countries" in "women's rights, rights of gays and lesbians, aboriginal rights, children's rights, language rights, and constitutional rights" (p. 1). But what was particular to Canada, Ignatieff says, was the theoretical articulation of ethnic group rights and national rights. While the national rights component of the rights movement found expression before the 1990s, in Quebec's language laws (Bill 101 in 1977), territorial rights for aboriginals, such as the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act of 1999, and group rights for immigrant minorities, only found substantive expression during and after the 1990s, articulated in books, journals, and policy papers. Ignatieff identifies Will Kymlicka, "probably the world's leading authority on group rights for minorities," Charles Taylor, James Tully, Peter Russell, Stéphane Dion and Guy Laforest as the intellectuals behind this Canadian ethnic rights revolution. These authors pushed the idea that Canada's distinctiveness as a nation lay in its development of a new liberalism that would affirm group rights for immigrant minorities while still adhering to the principle of individual rights. This communitarian liberalism, as it came to be known, was not articulated in a clear way in Trudeau's vision of Canada. It was primarily in the work of Kymlicka that Canada came to witness a fully developed theory of group rights. He insisted that if Canada was to be a true multicultural nation, it had to grant special collective rights to immigrant minorities. These group rights were necessary as a means of protection against the power and prejudices of the "dominant" Anglo/European culture. Policies to end discrimination, encourage affirmative hiring, exempt immigrants from rules that violated their religious norms, as well as provide grants for cultural enhancement, had to be enacted. For immigrants “do best, both in terms of psychological wellbeing and sociocultural outcomes, when they are able to combine their ethnic identity with a new national identity”.
This theory of group rights has been central to the expansion of multiculturalism in the last three decades. Kymlicka has been an academic in intimate contact with the government of Canada, collecting huge grants since his graduate days, producing numerous papers commissioned by government agencies and corporations. Many think his theory of group rights, with its communitarian concerns for the wellbeing of immigrants, was a welcomed antidote to the excessive, abstract individualist tendencies of liberalism. This is very misleading. This communitarian liberalism is not only entrapped to the liberal illusion that a society is an aggregation of abstract individuals pursuing happiness, but pushes this illusion further by granting group rights to non-Europeans on the supposition that these rights will ensure immigrant integration into the individualist culture of Canadians, and on the supposition that English Canadians have no group identity worth preserving. The same Kymlicka who asserts that “most people have a very strong bond to their own culture” (1995: 8, 84), and that it would be wrong to force immigrants to “shed their distinctive heritage and assimilate entirely to the existing cultural norms,” insists that these group rights are intended to be temporary measures to facilitate immigrant integration into a multicultural Canada. It is also the same Kymlicka who ignores the attachment English Canadians have to their traditional ethnic heritage but expects them to relinquish it. The reality of mass immigration, with over a quarter million arriving yearly for the last 25 years, and current numbers increasing to over 300, 000 per year, suggests there is nothing temporary about these groups rights. Government funding for immigrant cultural enhancement and economic success, affirmative hiring in government and businesses, celebration of ethnic heritages, are still the order of the day. Therefore, it is a theory that is promoting the political among non-Whites and destroying the political among Whites, while naively expecting non-Whites to eventually become non-political liberals.
It needs to be understood, moreover, that the theory of group rights was never formulated for the sake of protecting historic minorities against discrimination, or "developing new models of democratic citizenship...to replace earlier uncivil and undemocratic relations of hierarchy and exclusion". Kymlicka, and the proponents of communitarianism generally, know that "in most Western countries, explicit state-sponsored discrimination against ethnic, racial, or religious minorities had largely ceased by the 1960s and 1970s". The ethnic rights revolution was from the beginning about ensuring the integration of masses of immigrants into Canada in order to create a new multicultural, not about the protection of existing minorities. The goal, in Kymlicka's words, was to compel "the historically dominant majority group [in Canada]...to relinquish claims to exclusive ownership of the state, and to abandon attempts to fashion publish institutions in its own (typically white/Christian) image". But if humans, as Kymlicka says, have a "deep attachment" to their ethnic heritage, and White Canadians need to respect the unwillingness of immigrants to assimilate to the "dominant" Anglo culture, why should we expect non-Whites to relinquish their ethnic group attachments and become deracinated in the way Eurocanadians are being forced to? This is a major contradiction which reality is exposing in the formation of ethnic ghettos across Canada, the growing power of ethnic groups and the ethnic vote. The communitarianism of Canadian multicultural intellectuals is best described as an "academic communitarianism," a form of community imposed from above by privileged elites determined to dismantle traditional-ethnic associations and identities among Eurocanadians while supporting new ethnic associations in Canada by administrative fiat, imposition of mass immigration, on the naive liberal supposition that Canada can become a nation made up of individuals who self-decide their cultural identities with government support, and everyone foregoes any sense of the political.
Through the 1990s and after, more than ever, Canadians would be told that what made them distinctive as a people was their multicultural identity, not the many centuries that went into the creation of the nation, the Quebecois and Acadians who were born as a new people in the soil of New France and created all the institutions and culture of Acadia and Quebec, without hardly any immigrants arriving until the 1960s; or the Anglo pioneers and settlers who created the rest of Canada's political institutions and culture, along with the settlers and immigrants from the British Isles and from Europe; no, this was a past to be overcome in the name of a new vision of Canada as a nation of diverse peoples. Citizenship and Immigration Canada would provide "strategic direction for implementing the Canadian Multiculturalism Act," by "helping federal and public institutions to respond to the needs of a diverse society," by supporting "public education programs and outreach initiatives such as Black History Month, Asian Heritage Month," as well creating a "Federal-Provincial-Territorial Multiculturalism Network". A key component of the "education programs" was the teaching of a new revised history of Canada's heritage that would accentuate the role of Aboriginals and "diverse" immigrants rather than the British heritage.
In a 2002 publication released by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, A Newcomer’s Introduction to Canada, "for new immigrants," it was announced that "Canada is a land of many cultures and many peoples". Other than the Aboriginal people, identified as the "first nation," everyone is an immigrant: "We have all come from somewhere else." "Through Canada’s history, millions of immigrants have helped to build this country." The liberal heritage of Canadians, with its traditional links to the the British people, their cultural Britishness, was reduced to mere civic values, ideas, that could be assimilated by anyone and that indeed belonged to "humanity". Only minorities would stand for authentic cultural traditions to be celebrated for their colour and vibrancy. This stamping out, promoted both in multiple government publications and integrated into the curriculum across Canada, was directed singularly against the British people and their legacy in Canada. The French in Quebec had successfully managed to portray themselves, from the 60s onward, as an oppressed minority within Canada with its own legitimate identity seeking a new constitutional deal framed against Anglo Canada. It was the British, and then the Europeans who had assimilated to English Canada, who would be asked to relinquish any sense of culture deeply grounded in ethnic bonds, ancestry, and cultural habits. The ethnicity of Native peoples would be viewed in primordial terms as deeply rooted in their lands, communities, histories, and customary identities. But normal British and English Europeans would be prohibited from binding themselves to a geographical and cultural “homeland”. There was no such thing as a Canadian identity that could be linked primordially to the British. The British-Canadian identity was to be witnessed only in multicultural tolerance, pluralist values, democracy, and diversity. Asians, Blacks, and Latinos would have hyphenated identities such as “I am really Chinese, but I live in mosaic Canada,” or “I have ethnic Chinese roots, but I identify with Canadian diversity and democracy.” Indeed, in the degree to which the British were identified historically as the agents of racist and exclusionary immigration practices, whereas the immigrants (including the millions who were not yet in Canada) were the victims of such practices, multiculturalism would promote a state of mind in which the agents of Canadian diversification, the immigrants and minorities, would be automatically viewed as progressive, whereas the Canadians who opposed this diversification would be seen as xenophobic and intolerant, and therefore as people to be investigated for hate speech violations.
We can only offer an overview of the thousands of acts, events, changes, and policies implemented during this period at the federal, provincial, and local levels to create a multicultural Canada, involving "economic integration into the labour market; political integration into the electoral process, and social integration into the networks and spaces of civil society, from informal networks of friends and neighbours to membership in more formal organizations." Writing about these programs and changes would take all the space available for this article. Suffice it to make this last point: the introduction of multiculturalism into the education of children would not be a matter of adding a course here and there in the curriculum, but would become "a pervasive and defining feature of schooling". The central component of this new schooling would be a curriculum focused on fighting "racism", "anti-Black and anti-Asian prejudices," not just "structural and institutional" forms of racism, but the "sometimes subtle" forms implicit in Canadian culture and in the psychology of White children. Children, high school and university students, would be taught about the "inequities in education in schools and universities, as well as in media, policing and law and the courts; in the provisions for health care; and in many other areas in communities from business to voluntary organizations." They would be taught about how the concept of human rights was critical "to support anti-racism" and how this concept had been progressively expanded over the years as a weapon to fight any perceived form of discrimination in Canada.
Convergence of the Business Right and the Multicultural Left
This radicalization of multiculturalism came along with successive waves of feminism, diffusion of critical race theories into government departments and private businesses, the complete takeover of universities in Canada by individuals on the Left. However, while much has been said about these Leftist forces, one cannot fully understand the spiral of radicalization without paying attention to the ways in which capitalist liberal forces came to welcome mass immigration and indeed agree with the Left on the supposed blessings of diversification. Let us recall that in Canada's past, the economic argument for immigration was embedded to the idea that Canada was and must remain a "white man's country". It was only with the 1962 Regulations that the economic argument for immigration began to take anti-racist and anti-British dimensions. It is true that after WWII, businesses began to make arguments in favour of bringing immigrants from non-European nations using the rationale that Europeans were not as keenly interested in emigrating to Canada by the late 1950s, at a time when Canada's economy was booming and in need of labourers. But the goal then was to bring a few thousand in response to the economic needs of Canadians, while also making sure that the cultural character of Canada was not changed. But by the time Brian Mulroney's conservative government was in power in the 1980s, Canada committed itself to an annual immigration intake of 250,000 immigrants per year regardless of fluctuations in the unemployment rate. By the time Stephen Harper arrived (2006-2015), we would witness a government that would make a habit of boasting about how it sustained immigration levels that made "Canada the largest per capita receiver of new immigrants in the entire world," and how the immigrants it brought deserved to be admired as truly Canadian for having "a much higher incidence of post-secondary degrees than the Canadian population at large." The same conservative leaders who were still pretending to be conserving "Western values" were announcing that immigrants from non-Western cultures were somehow better educated, more family oriented, and harder working than Whites.
But it is not simply that conservatives were being motivated by multicultural imperatives; rather, they were re-framing the economic argument for immigration without a concept of the political, not caring about the effects of mass immigration upon Canada's historical identity. They were acting as pure economic liberals in their search for cheap immigrant labour, their keenness in a bloated, Asian-like mass of consumers. The economy was thus fully decoupled from the political, separated from any nationalistic-mercantile obligations, within the context of a Keynesian socialistic state. This has been called a "neoliberal" capitalism because of the efforts during these years by "Thatcherite" governments to slow down the rate of expansion of the Keynesian state. In retrospect, however, a more accurate term would be "global capitalism," since this period saw intensified efforts to open borders, create free trade zones, and facilitate the movement of labour across nations. What is most revealing about this globalized capitalism is the way businesses and conservative governments came to the realization that the Left's promotion of multiculturalism and racial diversity was an excellent way to amplify the persuasiveness of global capitalism as a progressive phenomenon that would bring about racial harmony, extend human rights to the world, and overcome the "xenophobia" of European nationalism.
It was around the 1980s that the convergence of the Right and Left began. Today, both the Left and the Right endorse the argument that the entire world of Europeans must welcome millions of immigrants due to persisting low fertility rates among Whites, a shrinking domestic labour force, and an aging population in need of health care and pensions, coupled with the alleged unwillingness of Whites to work hard and take entrepreneurial risks. While the leftist side emphasizes the supports new immigrants offer to the maintenance of the welfare state, the right emphasizes the overall benefits of a growing population. The Left emphasizes the importance of creating a cosmopolitan community based on an "inclusive morality," "a shared economic relationship" in which individuals from different cultures and races learn to respect each other in their differing beliefs, "acknowledging the otherness of those who are culturally different" and thus overcoming the parochialism of the nationalist past. The Right emphasizes the ways in which trade liberalization has contributed to faster economic growth, higher incomes and less poverty in the world, diffusion of technologies and more productive workers, and how immigrants contribute to entrepreneurship. Both bicker with each other about tax rates and regulations, while promoting globalization and identifying nationalists as their main enemy. They believe that once this enemy is defeated, liberalism will finally triumph in the world. They do have a concept of the political, which is paradoxically seeking the negation of the political through the weakening of European national identities and the promotion of cosmopolitan "hospitality".
The major political division is now between globalists and nationalists. Business elites and cosmopolitans welcome the day when their nations will ceased to be "German" or "Swedish" or "British" in ethnicity. Both sides are thus caught up within the ongoing spiral of radicalization, committed to the creation of a world without borders, global citizenship and full recognition of the human rights of "strangers" no less than members of one's national group — even in the face of massive economic costs to the domestic population, systematic raping of women and regular terrorist killings. But what the globalists fail to realize is that only Europeans are relinquishing the political, whereas non-European nations and ethnic groups inside the West are playing up cosmopolitan values while maintaining their ethno-national identities. In the end, non-Europeans will win since the political ultimately exists in the context of a national community, and can never become universal. The US versus Them distinction cannot be abolished, for it is part of human nature, and it is very strongly felt among non-Europeans who have never experienced a liberal-individualist culture.
Canada is a Post National State: Civic Nationalism is Racist
When Brian Mulroney called upon Canadians in 1986 to join together in "extending their efforts to ensure the rapid eradication of racism and racial discrimination and the realization of mutual understanding, respect, equality and justice for all Canadians," he did not have in mind our current calls for policies intended to bring about equalization of results among different ethnic groups, the elimination of civic nationalism itself as racist, and the continued justification of mass immigration in the face of regular and recurring terrorist attacks in Western countries. He did not understand that adopting the notion that the races are equal and that existing inequalities can be overcome through the elimination of discrimination, makes it very difficult to escape from the in-built radicalizing impulse of post-WW II norms within a nation having a very weak concept of the political. If the races are equal, it follows that the persistence of racial inequalities between different races must be an indication of the lack of actualization of this principle. If Third World peoples are more benevolent than the colonizing Whites, and if advanced Western countries continue to exploit the economies of less developed nations, and White males still constitute the corporate and political elite in Canada, it follows that Whites are most likely the culprits of racism. The same radicalizing logic is built into the principle of human rights: if all humans have the same human rights, then the human rights of migrants without economic security are being violated when they are not welcomed into Canada. Likewise, if ethnic and cultural nationalism promote ethnic hierarchies, then civic nationalism is racist in prioritizing liberal values that originated in Western cultures. Why should the remaining cultural British symbols, Christian imagery and holidays, official languages, national anthem, and Anglocentric historical narratives be given special privileges over non-European symbols and narratives? Why other ethnic groups should be expected to abide by liberal civic values, and why should they practice multiculturalism in their relation to other groups rather than use multiculturalism to protect their monocultures?
This radicalizing logic is what we have seen with the onset of the new millennium. The Left in Canada, and the Western world, has been at the forefront pushing this logic to its ultimate conclusion, providing new concepts, brainwashing masses of students, and tilting the entire country in a leftward anti-White direction. The social sciences and humanities faculties in Canadian universities are currently monopolized by leftists with next to zero opposition. They are the writers of most of the articles and books promoting diversity and denigrating Canada's European heritage. The views espoused by Kymlicka are now seen as part of the "establishment". Canadian multiculturalism is still ethnocentric, conceived by "privileged White males" within the framework of Western liberalism. A true egalitarian multiculturalism, they claim, will blossom only when Canada ceases to be a "nation-state" populated by a European majority, and only when such symbols as the English maple leaf, the Quebec fleurs-de-lis, the RCMP uniform, and Christian religious oaths and holidays are fully displaced from their "supremacy" by the symbols of other cultures. The very notion of minority rights is unfair, according to these critics; ethnic groups must be allowed to have their own traditions, beliefs, and institutions without any subservience to Western liberalism.
These arguments, common in academia, are well articulated in the writings of Sunera Thobani, particularly her 2007 book, Exalted Subjects: Studies in the Making of Race and Nation in Canada. Thobani, raised to adulthood in India, is a widely known advocate of non-European ethnic causes, Professor at the Centre for Women's and Gender Studies at the University of British Columbia, and former president (1993-1996) of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, Canada's largest feminist organization. The adoption of multiculturalism, according to Thobani, was essentially a way to "stabilize white supremacy" in Canada in an age of civil rights for minorities and decolonization, when whites could no longer hold their power openly. The small population base of Canada, declining birth rates among whites and in Europe, coupled with the need for labor to sustain a growing capitalist economy, created a situation in which the "outright exclusion of people of colour […] was no longer tenable." Multiculturalism allowed whites to reconstitute themselves "as tolerant and respectful of difference and diversity" at the same time as non-white immigrants were expected to assimilate to this "tolerant" culture. Non-whites were from the beginning defined as "visible minorities", not quite as Canadians, and expected to forego "their primitive and backward cultural practices, their corruptions, misogyny, cronyism and violence". In exchange for Canada's recognition of certain "harmless" aspects of immigrant cultures, such as foods, exotic dresses, and songs, the immigrant was expected to join the world of "cosmopolitan sensibility" graciously offered to them by whites. Whites stood for individual rights and "progress" against such backward immigrant customs as arranged marriages or the wearing of the hijab. She thus calls for a new Canada that is truly multicultural in the degree to which Europeans are prohibited from dictating the terms under which non-Europeans should participate as Canadians.
Another academic, Richard Day calls for the abolition of the Canadian nation state in his book Multiculturalism and the History of Canadian Diversity (2000). He argues that Kymlicka's minority rights are unfairly temporary and only meant to facilitate integration into the dominant culture of Europeans. He also thinks that Charles Taylor's stronger communitarian argument, according to which immigrants should be allowed to retain their identities without expectations of integration to the dominant culture, is also insufficient in allowing the European "colonizers" to maintain a majority culture while disallowing immigrants to develop their own fully developed political and social institutions. How can the "equal worth of others" be acknowledged unless other cultures are "unconditionally" given the same right to maintain and develop their cultures within Canada? Why are majority Canadians imposing an "Immigration Points System" that excludes certain categories of individuals from entering Canada? Everyone and anyone who wants to come should be given the same right to immigrate. The current Canadian nation state is inextricably associated with the "capitalist European male"; accordingly, the only way to achieve racial equality is to abolish Canada and create a de-territorialized culture with porous borders characterized by "deep diversity" and the acceptance of "the necessity of an ongoing negotiation of all universal horizons".
The full actualization of these ideas lie in a future that is nevertheless on the horizon. A key message of these arguments is that the eradication of Canadian ethnic and cultural nationalism is not enough; civic nationalism, the notion that Canada is based on ideas with roots in Western liberal principles, is also ethnocentric, including multiculturalism itself. This is what our current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meant when he said a few months ago that “there is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada. There are shared values — openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice. Those qualities are what make us the first post-national state.” He thinks that Canada must now make a final step in eradicating not only the remaining vestiges of cultural nationalism but the presumption that Canada is a nation with civic values that are connected to her British and French heritage. Canadians must now see Canada as a "post-nation" with values that are global and multiracial in character. Even if these values emerged in Canada and the West, Trudeau means to say that they are generically human. Canada is a place for global citizens. Its values are shared by humanity and the citizens of the world. He is calling for a final, complete end of the Us versus Them distinction. This attack on civic nationalism was also evident in the recent widespread opposition to conservative candidate Kellie Leitch when she simply considered putting a question in a survey to her supporters asking: "Should the Canadian government screen potential immigrants for anti-Canadian values as part of its normal screening for refugees and landed immigrants?" This was deemed to be an extremist, intolerant question, even by some conservatives. Yet what Leitch meant by screening was ideas that are contrary to leftist values like equality of the sexes, tolerance, gay rights, diversity, and multiculturalism. How can this be "unCanadian"? Because this question still presupposes the concept of the political, US versus Them, and the spiral of radicalization has reached a point in which the separation of peoples in terms of whether they are more or less likely to assimilate to liberal multiculturalism is seen as a form of exclusionary discrimination, an inability to show hospitality toward those who belong to cultures that are not liberally-minded.
This idea is found in Sunera Thobani's Exalted Subjects. She explains how the Western multicultural discourse still draws an Us versus Them dichotomy in separating "good Muslims" who are "moderate" or more Westernized, and "bad Muslims" who follow Islam more strictly. Thobani consistently shows that this is a form of discrimination in that it violates the universal principle of equal rights, since this dichotomy divides immigrants into those who are fully "human" and can be afforded human rights of citizenship, and those who cannot be afforded such rights. But should not Westerners protect the values of liberal multiculturalism and exclude those who don't abide by these values? This is what some conservatives are saying, sheepishly begging Leftists to understand that civic nationalism is not racist just because this nationalism is Western in origins. But these attacks are seen for what they are, weak efforts by White males holding on to the last vestiges of the political. The Left wins every time, for every argument one makes for the exclusion of some Muslims has to draw on the political in drawing a distinction between good and bad immigrants. Civic nationalism prioritizes "Western values" and thus excludes Others, even if it says that these values are "for humanity". The only consistent argument is that of including all Muslims and calling for more programs to assimilate them into a multiculturalism that paradoxically recognizes their collective nature.
In the end, the only group that can be consistently excluded are those Europeans who want to retain the concept of the political through the affirmation of their particular cultural and ethnic identity. Muslim are agents for the diversification of Western cultures and, therefore, for the negation of the European concept of the political and the creation of universal states in which the US versus Them distinction is abolished. Ethno-nationalist Europeans are the last enemy which must be eliminated in order to bring an end to the political. This is evident in the appeasement Europeans have shown in the face of regular and recurring rapes of thousands of White women and girls by Muslim immigrants. It is not merely that they fear being labelled "racist" if they single out Muslims/Africans as the ethnic groups responsible for these acts. This is what ordinary people fear, but what the elites fear is the resurrection of an Us versus Them distinction countering directly the liberal-cum multicultural ideal of ending the political. European authorities have decided instead to target European nationalists because they are the main threat to their efforts to create a universal community without outsiders. European nationalists are the final enemy to be transcended in the creation of this utopia. A situation has in fact been reached today wherein elite members such as George Soros appear to have become conscious of this spiral, and are openly envisioning ways in which to accelerate the spiral by importing, in rapid waves, millions of migrants in order to create a situation which this becomes the "new normal" in Europe, what Europe is, a racially diverse society working towards creating racial togetherness, and in which European nationalism is made to appear abnormal, "outside" normal Europe. In this new situation, Islam can then be portrayed as an European religion, with academics using any degree of Muslim presence in Europe as a demonstration of the historical roots of the new normal.
This is where the spiral stands today. I could go on writing about the endless demands for further racial equality; the complaints that "foreign-sounding names have lesser chance for interviews"; that there are "uneven displays in federal institutions" of Asian, Aboriginal, and African faces and cultural symbols; that there is "unfair labelling" of Muslims, and men of Indian nationality, as "suspected terrorists"; that the RCMP "investigates missing women selectively," preferring to investigate "blue-eyed missing women"; that victims of police brutality" vary along racial lines; that Police officers "target men of colour"; that there is "selective airport screenings"; that the curriculum is still heavily Eurocentric; that White males still dominate the upper echelons of Western society; that science and algebra are Western ways of thinking which should not be imposed on blacks; that the government needs to do a lot more to overcome "subtle forms of racism"; that Canadians of colour still have unequal access to education, housing, public services, and jobs; that income is unfairly distributed along racial lines. But we have seen enough in the last decades to fully apprehend the nature of the spiral Westerners have been trapped within since WWII, a set of norms with an in-built tendency for radicalization in the context of a liberal ideology that lacks a concept of the political and is now fully committed to the negation of the political.
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