Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
September 25, 2000
The supposed left-wing spirit of our times
Earlier this year, Barbara Amiel, wife of Conrad Black, wrote in Macleans magazine: "The reason I am called right wing today is only because the spirit of our times is left wing and most of our elites including the media are imbued with this spirit.
"They rarely see enemies on the left. But that's where most contemporary McCarthys are."
Perhaps we all suffer from selective perception. It might well be a common human trait.
I for instance was under the impression that the entire political spectrum had shifted a few degrees to the right in the last 20 years or so. The Liberals have taken over the old Progressive Conservative platform after swearing they would do away with NAFTA and any other legacy of the Mulroney government.
The NDP seems to have moved into the old Liberal spot trying to have it both ways and the Alliance party is somewhere to the right of the old Social Credit. That leaves Joe Clark hardly any space on the ideological continuum.
Maybe I've got it all wrong, but I thought that all the budget slashing in education and health and the dismantling of the social safety net were right-wing ideas, but Barbara seems to imply that these were simply reactions to left-wing McCarthyism.
I seem to recall that McCarthy, like Amiel, saw left-wing agitators lurking in every corner of every institution, threatening to destroy western democracy and drag capitalist civilization into socialist anarchy.
Anarchy is of course a dangerous concept. You can't have people thinking for themselves in a stable and well-ordered society. This is why pepper spray and stun guns were invented to keep the masses under control.
Now you could have fooled me, but I honestly thought that the routine intimidation of peaceful demonstrators by riot police was a right-wing thing. But CSIS, the secret guardian of our civilization, seems to think that there are too many "parading left-wing malcontents and fringe extremists" out there who "could get violent at meetings across Canada."
With all these "left wing nuts," as Mr. Klein called them, on the loose, it is no wonder that Amiel, a moderate at heart no doubt, considers herself "right wing today."
What about the rash of privatization we have seen in the last few years, and the mergers of big corporations into huge transnational conglomerates that dwarf most sovereign states in this world? Is that because "the spirit of our time is left wing" or has it something to do with the anti-social spirit of profit before people?
Perhaps I am mistaken and not patient enough. I know that we've been told that eventually some of that profit will trickle down to the people who most need it. And sure enough, every Albertan, 16 years old and over, will get a "Christmas turkey" from Ralph this year, just before election time.
In the meantime, keep a sharp eye out for those left-wing lunatics who could ruin it all. They might live next door, sit next to you in the church pew, or be plotting their devious plans just two desks over from where you try to make a decent living.
Some of them might have undetected slipped into the parent school council where they could poison our children's malleable minds.
Carefully scan the mass media, even those owned by husband Conrad. Everyone knows his papers are "imbued with the left wing spirit." Even the word "mass" has a pinko ring to it.
Perhaps even Amiel herself is an anarchist in disguise, writing her right-wing stuff just to stir up a guerilla revolution.
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