Mark Steyn in Toronto

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Mark Steyn at the end of the talk

 

Mark Steyn, a world-class gadfly and one of Canada’s “most prominent free-speech extremists” (as a dumb professor defined him in The Globe and Mail) made his appearance in front of a Toronto’s audience earlier today.

While I was listening to his excellent presentation, I had that eerie feeling that if six years ago the Jennifer Lynch and Barbara Hall’s storm troopers had their way, we would have never heard him speak. After all, the “human rights” attack against him has as its purpose to ban him from speaking about Islam ever again.

At the time the barbarians failed to silence him, so we could enjoy his wit for about an hour and a half at the Holy Blossom Temple. The talk was scheduled for 8 p.m., but by 7:30 the hall was full and they had to open the balconies.

After a short introduction by Jonathan Kay (from National Post), the event proceeded as a conversation between Prof. Melamed (from York University) and Steyn. Despite his superb sense of humour, the topics he covered were anything but humorous. The questions revolved around the issues he covered in his newest book (After America) – namely the decline of the Western civilization.

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Mark's new book

 

The role of the USA is diminishing, not only because of the mounting debt, but also due to the loss of traditional values. From an undisputed world power, the USA turned into a confused entity, which frantically looks for a new agenda – from Ron Paul’s isolationism to the odd ideas that come from Canada. The problem with the decline is that once the beneficial influence of England and USA, expressed in the common law as a basis of democracy, disappears, the loss will be felt throughout the world.

At that point Prof. Melamed asked him about the roots of terrorism – if we could blame it on poverty or evil. Mark’s opinion was that we can’t explain it with poverty – all terrorists we have dealt with in the West were university-educated. There is nothing strange about that – you have to be educated to be a good terrorist. A poor uneducated person simply can’t handle the complicated logistics. It seems that the hatred is based on their contempt of the material goods our civilization can provide, although the Left would never abandon its theories about the non-existent harm we’ve done to the Muslims.

The handling of those threats has been made difficult by the cultural relativism, which has overtaken our media and universities. It has paralyzed our ability to tell good from evil. For example, it was beyond belief that here in Ontario we could have the Shafia quadruple honour killing – one may expect something like that in Afghanistan.

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Mark Steyn is signing my copy of the book

 

Yet the media had to be dragged to recognize the horrible nature of that crime. The collective “rights” imposed by multiculturalism have brought us to the point where, for example, feminists have created a two-tier system, in which Canadian women have all the rights and can fight, while Muslim and other immigrant women should be left alone in their suffering, because that’s their culture. The future generations will definitely condemn us for that betrayal of liberty and individual rights.

Steyn also talked about the suppression of free speech. When Salman Rushdie was condemned to death by Khomeini, he received at least some support from the intellectuals. And recently, when a few cartoonists from Western Europe “offended” Muslims and were threatened, they were completely abandoned not only by their intellectual peers, but also by the Left as a whole. This is a troubling trend, because it avoids taking responsibility in the fight against primitive hostility, and that results in the evil taking over.

The Western European attempts to “prevent” conflicts by suppressing free speech have always failed. In the Weimar Republic in Germany they had the strictest hate speech laws – Hitler’s party had been charged over 500 times under those laws, yet they didn’t prevent him from coming to power.

The same applies to Canada – the hate speech laws, initially introduced to protect Jews, now are used against everybody who has an inconvenient opinion (including Jews). It is naïve to think, as some leaders do (e.g. Bernie Farber), that you can fight the anti-Semitism in the world by policing free speech.

Mark Steyn also covered the issue of Israel – the country is being singled out as a convenient scapegoat for all incompetence and self-inflicted misfortune in the Muslim countries. Every action of Israel is scrutinized – its enemies ignore terrorism, while considering every response “disproportionate”. The Palestinians are used like pawns in that game, still held in refugee camps by their Arab hosts, thus creating fourth generations of totally useless people, who get hundreds of millions of dollars in charity from the West. At the same time, the Palestinians are deceived to believe that through terrorism they can defeat Israel and take control over the Jews.

The concluding remarks covered again the cultural relativism – we are gradually abandoning the English traditional culture, which provided the highest level of democracy. Instead of looking for the substance of a civilization, we are being deceived by the appearance – it is ridiculous to think that the foreign minister of Sweden has the same functions as the foreign minister of Syria. The roots of a culture determine the reality – that’s why Barbados is Barbados and Haiti is Haiti, with all the negative implications in the latter.

Yet the cultural relativists create the illusion that everything is almost the same. As a result, we are losing the common sense, which would help us what is important to preserve our civilization.

The most horrifying sign of that is the brainwashing going on in our schools, which deprives the kids from knowing their heritage. A third-world culture is not the same as the Western culture, which took several centuries to establish the science and art forming the bedrock of our civilization. We can’t expect a government to reverse that process – the only solution is to fight back at every level. Preserving a meaningful curriculum at school; fighting the petty regulation in businesses; protecting our privacy and free speech – these are at least some of the things we can do to make our civilization survive.

At the reception after the talk, I managed to get Mark Steyn to sign my copies of his books (after waiting in line for over half an hour).

Anyway, the talk is over, but the problems remain.

The struggle to fix them continues…

 

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2 Comments

  1. Well done, and congratulations on getting to meet him.

  2. The Lone Ranger says:

    Hope Mark comes to Calgary!

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