Wegierski: In search of a conservative sociology

One of the most salient points about the problems of meaning and  ideology, made by (among others) George Orwell in his dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, is  that semantics, far from being  unimportant, are critical for the  maintenance of a given social and political system of ideas i.e., “Newspeak is Ingsoc, and Ingsoc is Newspeak.”  The coherence or  incoherence (in terms of definition),  and positive or negative  value (in terms of emotion), which are commonly associated with a  term describing a political ideology, will tell one […]

Wegierski: Who speaks for the working classes?

In Canada and the United States, the holiday honouring workers and the union movement is celebrated on the first Monday of September, as Labour Day, to avoid the radical connotations of May Day. In some parts of Europe, by contrast, May Day is still celebrated with enthusiasm by socialist and far left parties who share in the idealism of earlier, nineteenth-century workers’ struggles. However, relations between “the progressive intelligentsia” (who style themselves the vanguard of the proletariat) and the so-called proletariat itself have almost always […]

Wegierski: Problems of Current-Day Conservative Thought

There is currently underway a big debate about the shape and future of conservatism in Canada. By looking to the debate about conservatism in America, we could draw some conclusions as to what a genuine conservatism should actually consist of. Conservatism today is, it could be argued, a bewildered philosophy -‑ an unwieldy morass of mutually incompatible, self‑contradictory, and amorphous ideas. Despite decades of internecine debate, the contemporary conservative movement in Western societies has failed, generally‑speaking, to provide a coherent and consistent account of itself. […]

Wegierski: Is Capitalism conservative?

Conservatism and capitalism are often equated today. The historical record, it could be argued, suggests a radically different view. Conservatism -‑ in the precise, historical, classical sense -‑ has not been defined by a defence of capitalism, civil libertarianism, “libertinism”, or the “minimal state”. “Capitalism” has never been a rallying cry for real conservatives. Indeed, classical conservatives were the first to provide a comprehensive critique of capitalism, that “great solvent of all tradition in the modern era”. Genuine conservatism requires strong (as distinct from big) […]

Wegierski: Resisting “soft-totalitarianism” in Canada?

Mark Wegierski examines the ethical challenges for sincerely-believing Christians of living in accord with their faith in current-day Canada. The idea of so-called “soft totalitarianism” has emerged from various dystopian novels and political writings of the Twentieth Century. In his dystopian novel Brave New World (1932), and a preface to it, Brave New World Re-visited (written after World War II), Aldous Huxley suggested a possible future society that would be mostly non-coercive, but at the same time embrace a thoroughgoing, totalitarian exclusion of traditional notions […]

Wegierski: On the 153rd anniversary of Canadian Confederation — the origins and development of Canada

Canada has indeed developed far away from its origins. July 1, 2020 is the 153rd anniversary of Canadian Confederation. That was the date on which the British North America Act (Canada’s original constitution) was passed in 1867. It was an Act of the British Parliament. Four provinces (Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia) formed Confederation. It was also a union of two, long pre-existent nations, English Canada, and French Canada (the latter mostly centered in the province of Quebec). The Aboriginal peoples were included […]

Wegierski: A Poisoned Imagination? Examining the excess of “late modern” imageries in various subgenres of the fantastic

This article looks at so-called late modern societies – especially America and Canada – that, it could be argued, have become increasingly influenced by an excess of dark and disorienting imageries, especially in the various subgenres of the fantastic.  Among the most prominent and absorbing of these subgenres are fantasy role-playing games (RPG’s) such as Dungeons and Dragons, launched in 1974. D & D arose from a convergence of interest in historical boardgaming, medieval miniatures gaming, and the huge popularity of Tolkien’s Lord of the […]

Wegierski: The need to challenge bad art

There is a popular revulsion to much of contemporary art on the basis that it simply does not measure up to the art of earlier times, nor does it have a real connection to common, but often highly profound, individual and social experiences. However, there is no “quick fix” for the problem of bad art. If, for example, one merely argues that there should be no government funding for art, what of the undeniably worthy parts of the art world that are supported by government […]

Wegierski: Private colleges could revive the humanities in Canada

Humanistic studies, or what are called the liberal arts (those studies, ideally speaking, that befit truly free men and women, and prepare them for a life of reflective freedom and civic responsibility) have faced an increasing crisis in current-day Canada. Philosophy, classics, literature, and history are the traditional focus of the humanities, although it is possible to carry out studies with a humanistic emphasis in other areas, such as political science, sociology, psychology, library science, and journalism. The liberal arts in Canada face a multi-pronged […]

Wegierski: Getting the Canadian Right, right

There is now occurring a major debate about the shape and future of conservatism in Canada, in the wake of the defeat in the October 2019 federal election, and the resultant leadership race in the Conservative Party of Canada. Andrew Scheer, although he was able to reduce the Trudeau Liberals to a minority government (a plurality of seats in the House of Commons), has proven to be a highly ineffectual leader. There are three main groups in Canada that do not understand what the Canadian […]