Posted by: captainfalcon | August 7, 2011

Canadian Blackshirts

The study this post dissects seems bad for all the reasons mentioned, but I think its broader significance may be overstated:

A correspondent—I shall not identify the person but s/he is welcome to self-identify in comments—brought it to my attention that Canada’s University Affairs had published an article about a  bias in Canadian universities against PhDs from Canadian universities. A search brought to light an article published nearly two years ago by two philosophers, Louis Groarke and Wayne Fenske. It’s a bit late, I admit, to notice a piece of this sort, but I found it a deeply depressing manifestation of aggressive Canadian nationalism, a nationalism that tries to exclude anything or anybody that originates outside the country’s boundaries.

Sinister. I wouldn’t be surprised if more of this kind of thing started cropping up.

“This kind of thing,” of course, being the overheated invocation of bugbears by the sorts of people who, I’d like to imagine, can’t pour themselves a bowl of cereal without first inferring the propriety of their conduct from principles of justice, qualifying that it in no way commits them to endorsing “America the Beautiful,” and contrasting it with fascism. [Alright, I grant it’s a niche sortal.] We’ve commented on this attitude before; Robert Paul Wolff gives another example in his memoirs:

Our second year together, Charlie very kindly invited me to join his family for Thanksgiving dinner at their colonial Belmont home.  When we arrived, we found that the party was to consist of his father, his mother, his older sister, Anne, an anthropologist who tragically committed suicide some years later, and his younger sister, Susan.  Also present was his aunt.  Before the meal, we sat in the living room and drank little glasses of elderberry wine that the family had made on their New Hampshire farm.  This was in the days before yuppie rustication, and the farm was genuinely primitive, with no electricity and an outside privy.

A topic was proposed for discussion during the taking of the wine, and we entered into a lively debate, while papa sat in a corner with a pad and pen and wrote another book, nodding into the conversation from time to time without actually joining it.  At issue was whether it would be immoral for the aunt to buy a new car before her present vehicle had entirely worn out.  Strong views were offered pro and con, but in the end, a consensus was reached that this would indeed be immoral.  At no time, I am happy to say, did the discussion descend to the level of considerations of prudence.  It was all on a high moral plane.

Hat tip.

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