Wegierski: Exploring social alternatives through eclectic media — looking back at a 1977 game about Canadian civil conflict

Canadian ‘Civil War’: Separatism vs. Federalism in Modern Canada was a board wargame published by Simulations Publications, Inc. (SPI), then the premiere gaming company, in 1977. On the game’s cover-sheet, it is called “A Political Simulation Game”, and it is said that “the time is: 15 November 1976.” This is a game with mostly political, rather than military conflict, played on an abstract map, where the four different factions struggle with each other. These are the Federalists (Red counters); the Provincial Moderates (Orange counters); the […]

Wegierski: Earth Day 2019 – tradition and ecology

The happenstance that Easter Sunday and Earth Day fall within a day of each other in 2019, leads the author to attempt a sketch towards the synthetic nesting of ecological issues within notions of culture and tradition. What are some of the affinities between traditionalist and ecological thinking? The United States and Canada certainly participate today in the worldwide trends to technology (sci-tech); urbanization and migration; media; tribalism; and violence. Together, these might generally be seen as constituting the ongoing crisis of national sovereignty and […]

Wegierski: The Polish-Canadian community: Apolonja (Pola) Maria Kojder — representative of a fragmentary tradition

Canada today is officially and juridically a multicultural society. This means, among other things, that the distinctive cultures of various diasporas are – at least in theory — encouraged, and, to a greater or lesser extent, supported by Canadian federal, provincial, and major-municipal governments. In practice, most funds are given to so-called “visible minorities” – as opposed to most of the “white ethnic” groups. At the same time, the so-called main Canadian culture also receives extensive support from all levels of Canadian government. The Canadian […]

Wegierski: Questions of Ethnic Identity Persistence in Mass-Media Dominated North America

The persistence of the cultural identity of some so-called “white ethnic” groups such as Polish-Canadians has become increasingly problematic in the North American (U.S. and Canada) cultural space, dominated by mass media. The official declaration of Canada as a multicultural society has not led to an increased profile for some of these “white ethnic” groups such as Polish-Canadians. Indeed, there is a marked contrast between the major emphasis placed today in Canada on so-called visible minorities – as opposed to the so-called “white ethnics”. Canada […]

Wegierski: Examining the historical defence of Christendom as the conceptual template for the defence of “Westernesse” in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) is widely reputed to be the archetypal author of fantasy in the modern period, or what has come to be termed “high fantasy”. Some have said that Tolkien both inaugurated and closed out the high fantasy subgenre, since anything that follows him is bound inevitably to appear derivative. Over the years, there has been a wide-ranging debate on whether Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, are more “pagan” or “Christian” in spirit. In this presentation, we will be looking […]

Wegierski: Third parties in Canada

“Third parties” are an endlessly fascinating topic of study for political theorists. The notion of “third party” arises in polities characterized by “first-past-the-post” voting systems, where there are usually only two major parties. Polities characterized by proportional representation (PR) voting systems, tend to have a multiplicity of parties. Particular popular attention – although scant electoral support — is given to “third parties” in the U.S. – where the “two-party” system is so strongly entrenched. Since the 1850s, with the rise of the Republican Party, there […]

Wegierski: Conservatism and Globalization

Many of those who are demonstrators against the various international and economic summits conventionally define themselves as anarchists or radical Left. Opposition to capitalism and globalization today is said to belong to the Left. However, it could be argued that some of the profoundest critiques of capitalism, technology, and globalization have historically come from the traditionalist Right (for example, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, G.K. Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, T.S. Eliot, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien), and from “social conservatives of the Left” such as John Ruskin, William Morris, […]

Wegierski: Brian Mulroney and the failure of Canadian conservatism in the 1980’s

Brian Mulroney may be one of the most disappointing Prime Ministers Canada has ever had. As leader of the federal Progressive Conservative party, Mulroney at that time ostensibly represented the main focus of what could be called the “Centre-Right Opposition” in Canada. The use of the term “Centre-Right Opposition” is meant to suggest the perennial underdog status of that option in Canadian politics, especially after the federal election of 1963, when Liberal Lester B. Pearson defeated the staunch Tory, John Diefenbaker. As each successive decade […]

Wegierski: Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the regaining of Polish independence amidst the megapolitan world-city

Mark Wegierski shares some recent Polish experiences in Toronto. On October 24, 2018, I attended the event “Celebrating Poland” at the showcase Harbourfront Centre in downtown Toronto, as part of the 39th edition of the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA). There were three young Polish writers featured: Dorota Maslowska – author of, among others, Snow White and Russian Red (originally published in Polish in 2002 when she was only nineteen) – set in the social milieu of a low-life Polish gangster; Jakub Zulczyk – […]

Wegierski: Polish language knowledge and Polish-Canadian identity

Mark Wegierski asks, can there exist a Polish-Canadian identity with declining Polish language knowledge in Canada? In the statistics of the Canada Census, over the last few decades, the percentage of persons of Polish descent who claim knowledge of the Polish language, is not particularly large (around a third). Indeed, it can be seen that knowledge of the Polish language is declining among the generations of Polish descent born in Canada. In my opinion, this places the Polish-Canadian newspapers, most of which appear almost exclusively […]