The Super State File: Canada now has thought police
August 07th, 2012
The first major gun control legislation came out in 1972. There had been a senseless murder in Vancouver, followed by a campaign started by the grieving mother. Since the murder was done by gun, it followed if there were no guns, there would be no murders – a form of logic that fortunately has not yet been extended to cars, bicycles and motorboats.
Parliament’s knee jerk reaction was to pass a new law. I didn’t join in the protests. The new lat struck me as both trivial and familiar, ‘cosmetic legislation’. Cosmetic legislation does no good but it feels good and can cover a few irremediable blemishes in society.
Then I felt somebody walking on my grave. I read a news story in a major Canadian daily in which the reporter pointed out that, unlike Americans, Canadians have no established rights to guns whatever; such rights aren’t mentioned in our constitution.
There stood the new totalitarian spirit with bloody sword in hand. Hundreds of years of British judicial principle had been cast aside like a gum wrapper. Instead of being born with the right to do any damn thing until and unless the rulers prohibited it – something they did with care and with a natural reluctance – we had no rights whatever unless and until our rulers chose to grant them to us.
I realized that this young woman saw nothing wrong in what she said. Neither, as far as I know, did any writer of letters to the editor in that paper. Our course was set. We may expect that within a few years, everything in Canada which is not compulsory will be forbidden.
Now we have a new gun law. It provides that policemen may enter my house without warrant by day or by night. They may seize my property and keep it, without compensating me – a process known as theft when done by the ruled class. Not only is the tradition that I am innocent until proven guilty reversed – that, after all, applies also to possession of stolen property – but my most fundamental right to silence is removed. Under pain of fine or imprisonment, I may be required to give evidence against myself in a criminal matter.
When introducing this, Alan Rock made a chilling statement. “The business of government is to govern.” Robespierre had the same view but not the famed U.S. Supreme Court judge Learned Hand who said the business of government was to interfere with the free citizen as little as was practical.
Anne McLellan, our new Gauleiter for Justice and Crowd Control, has since dismissed 10,000 demonstrators on Parliament Hill as being mere paranoids. She has referred a plan to legalize lawbreaking by police to the Senate, Parliament’s chamber of somnolent second thought. They’ll approve it.
How far are we from the point where the whole tiresome justice system can be eliminated and the chief constable shall send you and I to the slammer by scribbling his signature on a document which states he thinks Canada would be a nicer place without us in it.
My Superstate File grows year by year, month by month, sometimes, it seems, day by day: the steady shift from presumption of innocence to the Napoleonic Code’s presumption of guilt, the retroactive legislation, the relentless increase in the powers of faceless, nameless bureaucrats.
Alas, the courts are now politicized and can’t be counted on to defend our rights. The Supreme Court of Canada recently dismissed a case of discrimination because the couple involved were not members of the visible minority envisaged in the law – stating in effect that although all Canadians are equal, some are more equal than others.
Canada now has thought police, sniffing out racist witches and subjecting them to trials where the modern Judge Jeffries may say “Jail him. He may not be guilty but he has the air of a man who is likely to be guilty at some time.”
The situation is worse, in one way, than George Orwell’s 1984. Canada’s Big Brother tries to watch everybody. Recently we learned of files containing as many as 2000 items apiece being made on every Canadian alive. The original Big Brother watched only a few members of his elite ruling party. The overwhelming majority of the people, the prols, were left to poverty and drunkenness but they escaped surveillance. It was from them, Winston perceived, that the flag would someday be raised in the fight for freedom.
Where can Canadians look for help? After all, they bow to all the laws our rulers can invent except, now and then, when one applies to them specifically, at which time it’s a bit late to fight.
Do not look to universities for leadership. Remember that the students at famed Heidelberg were leaders in the Thousand Year Reich’s oppression of the Jews. There is scarcely a university in our land where free speech is not under steady attack, usually losing. I expect to live long enough to see the first book burning.
Do not look to Parliament, unless it has an epiphany of which there is now no sign. Parliament has passed over much of its power to the courts, where judges are even further removed from change, reprimand or correction.
What happens here has often already happened in the United States. For all the racket from a few noisy minorities, Americans have largely ceased trying to control their rulers. Only one in three Americans vote for their Congress; only one in two for their President. Most voters have dropped out of the process and hope their rulers don’t notice what they are up to. Most of them, like many Canadians including me, see nothing to choose from among their political parties.
We hope for a reshaping of the entire system. Meanwhile I am confident freedom of thought will eventually prevail. It always has; it’s safe to say it always will. But collective desire for freedom of thought may not be roused until we have reached that final stage in which our health is maintained for us by experts, our diets are all tasty and nourishing, sex is safe, we have ample leisure time, our recreations are well structured, our housing secure and everybody knows the rules of the game – the perfect prison.
Essay Date: 2000