Right-Wing Cabal?

Is there a right-wing cabal in this country?

Reviewing Donald Gutstein’s Not a Conspiracy Theory: How Business Propaganda Hijacks Democracy, Evert Lindquist does a stout job of arguing that business-friendly think tanks, and right-wing pundits who sound off in the public sphere are not part of a cabal. And they’re not anti-Canadian. They’re merely participating in democratic politics in the manner expected of democratic countries (Literary Review of Canada, November 2008).

I’ll buy that.

But it seems that the book’s author, Donald Gutstein, like Naomi Kline, Linda McQuaig, and others can’t shake the feeling that Canada should not be business-friendly. Canada’s supposed to be tolerant, of course; but from its beginnings this country was supposed to stand for an idea of the common good that is not markedly individualistic and business-friendly. That’s the usual argument. It follows that Canadians who are true to their roots, real Canadians with a sense of the Canadian identity,  will look askance at business–friendly think tanks, the “Calgary School,” neo-liberals, etc.

Gad Horowitz invented this notion of the Canadian identity in the 1960s, with a little help from his friends. There’s no truth to it. At Confederation there was no thought of embedding an idea of the common good. The Fathers did their best – they did what they could – to leave us a neutral constitution, one that would allow the contestation of political parties on an equal footing, and free debate on all political and economic issues. Socialists are not disadvantaged by our constitution. Nor are the right-wingers. Go for it, friends. Place your bets in the political game and play it out.


2 Responses to “Right-Wing Cabal?”

  1. 1 Seneca November 11, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    It makes one ashamed that men of our advanced years
    should turn a thing as serious as this into a game.

  2. 2 janetajzenstat November 12, 2009 at 9:59 am

    I am justly reproved by Seneca.

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