It is fitting that during a week in which both Canada and the United States have celebrated their nationhood, that the very nature of what it means to ‘be’ a nation is our topic of discussion. Can a nation with ‘open borders’ still be considered a nation? Can a nation that has incompatible cultures within its borders still be considered a nation?
Dr. Salim Mansur, professor emeritus of political science at Western University, whose outspoken opinions on this issue are considered ‘politically incorrect,’ nevertheless offers a politically incorrect prescription that he believes would reverse the growing cultural divide created by ‘multi-culturalism’: Assimilate!
Given North America’s successful history of cultural integration and assimilation into what has been called the ‘melting pot’, Canada’s about-turn in 1967 represented a cultural regression that would undo the hard won positive results that defined its first hundred years as a true nation.
Post-modern culture is really a return to a pre-modern culture, argues Salim, a return to a culture far less advanced than the modern culture it seeks to replace. “A culture of modernity is a culture of freedom and what free people do,” says Salim. “A society that allows for greater and greater exercise of freedom based on individual rights is of a higher culture than a society that constrains, abridges, and closes off freedom based on individual rights.”
Alarmingly, today’s politicians of the freer nations are actually working hard to abridge, constrain and close off freedom, restrict energy usage, and impose censorship – culturally and politically moving backwards instead of forward.
“I am somebody who came to Canada from a pre-modern culture – India – and I am defending modern culture and want everybody to be a Canadian – a Canadian fully given to defending the culture of freedom,” testifies Salim. “A liberal culture importing an illiberal culture, over time, will lose its liberal values.”
Therefore, the ‘modern’ challenge is to embrace freedom – as a culture and as a political ideal – before we lose it. It is tragic that so many who have been fortunate enough to experience individual freedom have come to take it for granted, with little understanding of its origins and nature. Perhaps that explains why so many who understand freedom in a way that is Just Right are found among those who have lived and suffered in its absence.