In Canada, notions of anywhere between "free markets" or the "profit motive" is considered offensive and blasphemous. Why is this so? Why aren't they any anarcho-libertarians in this country?
Dustin Jussila:Why aren't they any anarcho-libertarians in this country?
^ all generalizations are false...generally.
Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine - Elvis Presley
Another Canadian an-cap here.
My pet theory:
The "Canadian" identity is one that defines itself in terms of what it isn't, as opposed to what it is. "We are not Americans" is one of the stronger elements, if not the core part of Canadian identity. Since people in general view America as being a truly free market, and Canadians view themselves as "anything but American", they tend to turn down the idea of the free market because it's an American thing.
Overall, I'm glad the housing market here is crashing. Now the blindly patriotic American-hating segment of the population up here can eat some humble pie.
One more, or close enough, right here. The political views of my 'fellow Canadians' have bothered me to no end.
One theory I have is that we Canadians are taught to love our socialized medicine, and it follows that people make the jump to scorn the profit motive in general.
Everyone loves profit, even Canadians, what we're trained to do from an early age is to resent anyone who has more than us, and to disguise our desire for wealth by blending in and not making a fuss.
The further you get from Ottawa and Toronto (in particular), Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, the more libertarian people become, because they are not under the social pressure to blend in, which can be overwhelming in the major centres. It's also easier to enjoy your wealth when you've got empty space around you.
Canada also has a history of laissez faire that puts America to shame in MANY respects.
The Bank of Canada was created much much after the Federal Reserve, and there was no genuine cenral or chartered bank in Canada throughout the times of the first and second Bank of United States of America.
August 24, 2010 - Ontario's growth slows as levels of economic freedom decline; Alberta has highest level of economic freedom in Canada and third highest in North America
It's the same reason why these concept are scorned in Europe and it's very simple.
People think a country's level of prosperity is based on much wealth it will "redistribute" and it's grade of civilization is based on how many "services" the State will provide "free of charge". Children are exposed to so much propaganda (and not just during mandatory schooling) and grown people are daily hammered by the concept that the Welfare State is not an overbloated monstrosity but a good father, stern and generous at the same time. People feel that getting, say, retirement benefits is their "fundamental right" and won't hear anything about it. If the State has problems coming up with the money it's either because the Beast is not "efficient" enough or because of those accursed tax-dodgers.
Try saying people that Social Security is a scam. Chances are you'll be insulted. How dare you! I pay my taxes so it's my right! Not to mention all that gobbledygook about starving children and elders.
Sneering European elitists (the kind that lectures you on how you must reduce your lifestyle while they own three or four cars, a couple of giant flats etc) have brainwashed people into thinking that Europe is so much greater than the US because we are much more "generous". There's a saying around here "it's very easy being generous when you are not footing the bill". Actually the saying, if directly translated, would be much more vulgar but I won't go that far...
"People feel that getting, say, retirement benefits is their "fundamental right" and won't hear anything about it."
The concept of rights in Canada is so rotten. Ask a Canadian to name one of their rights and they'll, predictably, say healthcare. When a libertarian counters, say, questioning how can you have a right to someone else's services, they get all flustered and offended. Canadians are taught that people are not naturally born with God given rights, rights are given to us by the benevolence of government through the democratic process.
It's a vicious cycle of government interference in the market that creates more poverty. More poverty is blamed on free markets which to the statist can only be fixed by more regulation. Eventually a permanent underclass is created that comes to dominate the culture that chooses to elect anti-capitalist politicians who are entrenched in their comfortable political jobs. Certain things about Ayn Rand tend to rub me the wrong way, but I do like this quote of hers:
"One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary."
In a democracy, people do not bear the costs (or benefits) of their political opinions, so everyone just acts according to fashionable norms.
First of all, lots of good ol' indoctrination in the public schools. Far more so than in American schools, I think.
Second, because people seem to believe in Positive Rights rather than Negative Rights. Canadians believe that we are entitled to just about every "need" under the sun, and that it is the government's job to provide for us.
Though Alberta is reasonably free market beyond nationally enforced rules.
I came from Tuscaloosa, AL to Edmonton, AB a year ago. Canada is really...backwards in a lot of ways (not counting Dragons' Den, which is only the greatest thing ever). however, Alberta seems to be somewhat sane when it comes to economics and liberty. they're still Canadians, but they are Canadians living in a place that has the potential to be a gimongous cash cow - which seems to have the effect of forcing people into more sensible positions on economics and business. from what I can tell, there are pockets of libertarianism alive in Edmonton. for instance, my wife was at a tobacconist picking up some tobacco for my pipe and caught a whiff of cigar smoke (smoking in such a place is apparently illegal). she innocently asked if that was a cohiba she smelled and he slyly grinned and said 'of course not.' she was worried that he misconstrued her question as being a busybody democrat and cleared it up, eventually saying something along the lines of 'well I'm of the opinion that you should be able to do whatever you desire with your property, etc.' the tobacconist then invited her to a cigar dinner. unfortunately we can't afford it but perhaps we'll try to attend in the future.
Jackson:(not counting Dragons' Den, which is only the greatest thing ever)
Spent many a night playing at Dragons' Den. :)
I spent some time thinking about Canada today. I don't think we're backward. Unfortunately, I think the dominant culture in this country is what we have to look forward to if the tide of statism isn't pushed back on. Statist progressivism wants to beat in many of our hearts.
The battle of ideas and for liberty will not be won in a year, a decade or a generation. Evolution is a persistent process, not an event.
truthfully, I don't think the battle for ideas and for liberty will ever be won, at least not permenantly. I'm increasingly convinced that the best we can hope for is a momentary victory vis a vis The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress.
in all of north america, though, I do think Alberta has the greatest chance of being a place where liberty and prosperity can flourish...though in the long run I think civilization in the west is in a steep and permanent decline. my money says the torch will be passed to southeast asia.
Born and raised in Canada. The schools, for starters. For example, as far back as I can remember we were taught how glorious our health care system was, how superior it was to the American system, and how beautifully Canadian it was. To think otherwise would be un-Canadian. Most carry these views over into adulthood without ever thinking it over.
Jan Narveson is in Canada...