Destroying A Society
I was taking a shower when I came up with something to write about, as I often do – in the shower. A few days later, Margaret Thatcher died. Not caring much about her before her death, I stumbled across an important quote on Twitter. Thatcher once said, “There is no such thing as a society. There are individual men and women and there are families.” This is exactly what I was thinking in the shower, just days before the Iron Lady died. It's not a new idea. Decades ago, philosophers and individualists had determined that there is no such thing as community. Everything is and must be voluntary. Because of this inherent individuality, communities and societies happen naturally by choice and through the participation of individuals. Society is nothing more than a simple label used to describe groups of individuals living within the same borders and valuing a lot of the same customs. This label often leads to damaging stereotypes, conflict, and misguided principles. Worse yet, it leads to destructive government policies and forced participation.
One week after Thatcher died, the Boston Marathon bombings happened. The immigration debate came to a boil in both the US and Canada. Exactly one week after the Boston bombings, two terrorists were arrested in Canada for plotting to blow up passenger trains running from Toronto to New York. All North Americans were reminded of the dangers presented by radical groups. Most radical Islamic groups don't represent all of Islam, but they do represent a smaller group of individuals who have chosen to identify with an intolerant and dangerous ideology. This dangerous ideology threatens to destroy our current Western society and most of the things we supposedly value, like individual freedom.
In one way or another, a society will be destroyed. Either literally by radical groups who despise individualism and freedom, or figuratively by true individualists who respect and value personal liberty. The question is: will it be society or society that bites the dust?
Valuing individualism and rejecting group distinctions and collectivism seems harmonious with open borders and liberal immigration policies. But, don't kid yourself. Valuing individualism and laws that reject titles like “visible minority” doesn't mean you have to support liberal immigration. There are all kinds of radical groups that would love to destroy individualism and democracy. Since all individuals have inherent choices, we should hold everyone accountable for the choices they make and the groups they choose to identify with. All of this can still be done with laws and policies that only recognize people as individuals, not as groups.
From childhood, we're told that we are Canadian, or American, and something else. We have no personal identity. That's the type of society we're accustomed to. We're told that we should be proud of our country and that there are worse places we could have been born – as though we should just shut up and never criticize our superior heritage based on those grounds. We're always taught to identify with some sort of group and to put these groups ahead of ourselves, without any real reason. Fight for your country, fight for your religion, fight for your heritage – but never fight for your own personal freedom. Seldom do we teach our children to identify as individuals and fight for themselves. When parents try, the public school system quickly undermines their efforts.
Freedom isn't taken at once, it's taken in increments. When our groups and communities are threatened, we seem willing to give up our own personal rights and freedoms to protect the “greater good”. This is what we're taught to do. We're taught to forfeit our own individuality for the sake of some subjective, impoverished fantasy that tells us we are all the same and, if we aren't, we should try to be. Particularly, in North America, we are taught the importance of equality, but we're also taught that some groups should have entitlements and special privileges. This blatant contradiction begs to be dissected, criticized, and debased. However, political establishments and misguided ideologues are always on guard and ready to strike down any assault against their fallacious idea of equality.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with identifying with a group. There is nothing wrong with joining a group, supporting a group, and advocating for a group – as long as you're choosing to do so. When a country writes a constitution (similar to Canada's flawed Charter Of Rights) that legally separates individuals based on ethnicity, religion, and economic class, all equality and consistency become lost in a murky swamp of contradictions. Although they were conceived with good intentions, some liberal democracies have implemented laws that protect something called a “visible minority”. It's difficult to imagine how such an advanced society could fail to see the obvious implications of such a label.
As we face increased terrorism and other miserable realities – like another Trudeau – we need to be careful. Our personal freedoms are important and we can't afford to be generous about giving them away to liberals and paranoid conservatives. We all have to be careful and consistent when defending ourselves from the whims of majorities and from dangerous customs. It may seem contradictory to express disdain or concern towards any self-identified group, but when individuals choose to identify with certain customs, practices, and ideals that could harm other individuals who don't subscribe to the same values, we need to be reminded that all individuals have inherent choices. As a society that supposedly supports freedom, we can choose to either adopt draconian laws and grant our authorities dangerous powers, or we can choose to adopt a more selective immigration policy.
Protecting freedom and individualism can't be achieved by granting our authorities more power. Choosing to tighten our borders is a much simpler solution than increasing taxes to support a stronger police force and implementing draconian measures. A government's job is to protect individuals from harm and dangerous groups that threaten their lives and promote murder. The best way to do this isn't by passing laws that allow authorities to arrest any individual and hold them in custody without valid evidence.
Although anyone who isn't a terrorist has nothing to worry about, Bill S-7 still grants authorities powers that are somewhat unprecedented in Canada. S-7 is a Conservative bill that aims to give authorities the power to arrest and detain individuals for three days with very little verifiable evidence. This is being done instead of tightening immigration rules and implementing relevant forms of social, ideological, and religious profiling. That's right, I said what you think I just said. We need more profiling. We need to properly vet our new citizens, rather than expect our true, native-born citizens to make more sacrifices. As natural born Canadian taxpayers, our government owes us that much.
Again, it might sound contradictory to talk about the destruction of labels and discriminative legal definitions while promoting religious and ideological profiling. However, we need to consider this “inherent choice” that I've been talking about. As a legally born citizen, your taxes, your labour, and your time have helped build your country and employ the leaders who have been commissioned – by you – to uphold your freedoms. Immigrants can't say the same for themselves. As an immigrant, you are here as a privileged individual. You're not here because you have a right to be. As a terrorist or an extreme, radicalized ideologue, you have a choice. If you make the wrong choice and choose to identify with the wrong group, you aren't allowed into my country.
A common argument is that we have plenty of homegrown radicals and ideologues, many of whom want to destroy our society. That's right, we do. So why on Earth would we want to have more?
We also have plenty of unemployed Canadian citizens, so why on Earth do we want to ship in foreign labour instead of putting our own unemployed to work? Maybe because foreign labour is cheaper. Or is it? Foreign labour comes at a cost, just like everything else. It might not be a monetary cost, but more of a social cost. Since liberals and socialists are so dedicated to proving themselves as socially conscious and morally superior to selfish conservatives, they should be working not only to defend Canadian citizens from cheap foreign labour but from liberal immigration policies that open our borders to inappropriately vetted murderers.
Liberals (small L and big L) seem more concerned with sticking to naïve world views and protecting their image of fairness and equality. They don't want to step on anyone's feet, just the same as conservatives don't want to step on the toes of the business community and other potential voters.
Two mythical beliefs plague the minds of conservatives and liberals. One, the economy relies on foreign labour. No, that's bullshit. There are better ways to keep the economy growing – like by putting our own unemployed to work. Two, strictly vetting potential immigrants and denying some entry based on their worldviews and customs is unfair. No, it isn't. Letting them come in and practice their hatred and customs by killing eight-year-olds and blowing people's limbs off with explosives is unfair. Making taxpayers foot the bill and suffer through atrocity is unfair.
Another common canard that plagues the minds of our leaders and voters is the one about our national history. The story goes: we are a nation founded by immigrants, thus, we have no right to tighten our borders or deny entry to some people. My retort to this idea: so what.
If we want to get technical, we can say that everyone is an immigrant. According to science, Canada's First Nations migrated from Asia via the land bridge that once existed at the Bering Strait. Europeans migrated from Africa, like the rest of the human race that now populates the entire world. Based on these scientific facts and the canard I mentioned above, every single national border on Earth should be open for business, because we are all immigrants and descendants of immigrants.
Every nation on Earth is a nation founded by immigrants and that doesn't mean anything. The people who built (and build) a nation's infrastructure, laws, constitutions, and principles are the people who deserve to have a say. Visitors, whether temporary or permanent, have to prove themselves. What we build is our own. Our living rooms should only be open to those willing to live by our rules, which in this case would be rules to prevent too many rules.
Individual liberty and freedom are the principles that North America was founded on. Every new and potential citizen must respect these principles. Our society isn't perfect and we haven't successfully destroyed the problematic and collectivist labels that are eating away at individualism. Not yet. Maybe in the future we will successfully destroy society and collectivism and choose to strictly live by the values taught by Margaret Thatcher. At the same time, we will acknowledge that our society is one that requires all new members to reject society and adhere to individualism and voluntarism. Maybe one day North American society will be a label that only outsiders use, but a model that they strive to achieve.