Wegierski: Prophets of rootedness: Sam Francis and Friedrich Nietzsche

In his eulogy for Sam Francis in the Middle American News, Jerry Woodruff tells of Sam’s profound interest in Friedrich Nietzsche. In his office, Sam kept a framed print of his favorite words from Nietzsche given to him by Woodruff. The quotation comes from Die Fröhliche Wissenschaft (“The Gay Science,” today more usually translated as “The Joyful Wisdom” section 283 of book four). Woodruff cites part of the passage, which, he writes, “might provide a fitting epitaph”: I welcome all signs that a more virile, […]

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: Thirty years since the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement

Mark Wegierski looks at Mulroney’s main “right-wing” achievement. It had appeared, in the summer of 1987, that Brian Mulroney’s Progressive Conservative federal government was headed for one of the worst defeats in Canadian political history. In many of the 1986 and 1987 polls, the federal P.C. party stood at about a quarter of committed popular support, behind both the Liberals and the New Democratic Party (NDP), Canada’s social democrats. Indeed, the NDP had temporarily surged into first place. Despite the early hopes placed on him, […]

Wegierski: George Parkin Grant in Canadian Context

This year is the centenary of George Grant’s birth, and thirty years since his passing. George Parkin Grant (1918-1988), is Canada’s leading traditionalist philosopher. The main expression of George Grant’s thought occurs in his four major books: Lament for a Nation: The Defeat of Canadian Nationalism (1965), Technology and Empire: Perspectives on North America (1969), English-Speaking Justice (1974/1985), and Technology and Justice (1986). Philosophy in the Mass Age (1959), and Time as History (1969), are his two major earlier works. Grant is a complex philosophical […]

Wegierski: Commemorating the centenary of George Grant’s birth, and thirty years since his passing

2018 marks the centenary of George Grant’s birth, and thirty years since his passing. George Parkin Grant is still probably the most prominent Canadian traditionalist philosopher. One could sharply ask today — is there still really a place for Grantian-type traditionalism in current-day Canada? First of all, it should be remembered that Grant’s profound and subtle definition of conservatism is very remote from what is its more common definition today, as mostly a tax- and budget-cutting ideology. Despite his greatly impassioned writing, Grant did not […]

Wegierski: The professor and the philosopher — Thomas Hurka and George Grant

In commemoration of 100 years since the birth of George Grant; 30 years since the passing of George Grant. This essay arose out of a piece defending George Parkin Grant – originally written in 1992 — that the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper had refused to publish. In the last three or so decades, there seems to have emerged a tendency, in the Canadian establishment media, to criticize George Parkin Grant (1918-1988), one of Canada’s pre-eminent thinkers (on those rare instances when he is noticed at […]

Wegierski: Whither Québec? Past, Present, and Future (II)

In the case of a long-serving Liberal Prime Minister like Mackenzie King, and a Liberal Party that could be called “centre-traditionalist” or “traditionalist-centrist” – the consequences of Liberal government were more-or-less salubrious for most Canadians, and did not imply the revolutionary transformations of “regime-change”. However, from 1963 forward, the federal Liberal Party came under the spell of revolutionary-transformative ideas. Indeed, some have argued that Trudeau largely “hijacked” a “centre-traditionalist” Liberal Party as a vehicle for his agenda of radical, total transformation. In the years 1968 […]

Wegierski: Whither Québec? Past, Present, and Future (I)

The October 1, 2018 provincial election in Quebec recorded a historical result. The centre-right Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) won an amazing 74 of 125 seats. The Liberals were reduced to 32 seats. The very left-wing Quebec solidaire, with 10 seats, came ahead of the Parti Quebecois, which was reduced to 9 seats – one of their worst results ever. The results of the provincial election in Quebec on April 7, 2014, had also been somewhat unexpected. It was a huge win for the Liberals, led […]

Wegierski: Regionalism and Nationalism in Canada

Historical Context The problem of center-periphery relations in a society, and of how a geographically extensive country extending beyond the confines of a city-state, is to be effectively governed, are some of the most pressing problems in political theory. One of the failures of the Ancient Greeks was that they found it difficult to extend their political units beyond the city-state. One of the reasons for the prominence of Athens was that the surrounding area, Attica, had been forged into a quite unified entity, a […]