August 05, 2006

Aug. 5, 2006: #12 Trudeau & Adam Smith

This serves as #12 in the series of posts on Aug. 3, 06. This rounds out my exploration of why leftist thinking is so ubiquitous in Canada and how its tentacles wind throughout just about everything. How this happened and continues I explore a little with the Cultural Tentacles #1 & Cultural Tentacles #2. There is much more information for anyone interested.

For the rest, scroll down the page from Aug. 3, 2006: Gotcha, Gremlin -&- Table of Contents

First Series

#11 Why ... [Why does leftist thinking permeate Canada?]
#10 Charisma, the intellect ... [Trudeau, Laski and Hayek]
#9 Trudeau, China, Laski & Socialism ...
#8 Christianity and Liberalism ... [Two Alternative Religious Approaches]
#7 Hayek and Capitalism, London Sch. of Econ.
#6 Come By Chance Refinery, Vitol, UNSCAM & More
#5 Global aspirations ... [Background ... Many Voices, One World]
#4 Maurice Strong & UN University / UPEACE
#3 UPEACE Toronto
#2 UN University: Learn how or what to think?
#1 Pugwash conferences ... [Nova Scotia, Cyrus Eaton and Others]

Second Series

Culture's Tentacles #1
Culture's Tentacles #2

Trudeau & Adam Smith

The review, the responses, the final irony

The book that (almost) saved Trudeau -- He became "something less than a classic Smith liberal", Terence Corcoran, Financial Post, July 22, 2006

Reviews of Young Trudeau, Max and Monique Nemni's remarkable biography of Pierre Elliot Trudeau's first 25 years, have rightly focused on Trudeau's shocking adherence to and flirtation with some of the worst ideological features of the 20th century: fascism, corporatism, anarchism, Marxism, syndicalism, anti-Semitism, cultural nationalism, religious bigotry.

[....] There's a certain Harry Potter quality to the story as the young Trudeau falls in and out of the clutches of one set of bad ideas after another, only to escape seemingly within days of having picked them up and before moving on to the next set. [....]

We know far too little of our history, especially our intellectual history, buried as it is under mountains of politically correct rewrites from our official historians. The Nemnis' book is one of the truly great contributions to Canadian political history. [....]

Too many totalitarian tendencies in Trudeau

Trudeau was beyond [Adam] Smith's salvation , Brian Purdy, National Post, August 05, 2006

[....] Despite accepting Smith [Perhaps "reading" Adam Smith" would have been more accurate, considering the following.], Trudeau still had strong totalitarian tendencies. He moved power more and more into his own office. He quintupled the size of the civil service. He spent money he didn't have so that the national debt was 14 times larger than when he first took power. He did not hesitate to impose martial law and condone mass arrests over two kidnappings. He expanded federal power into provincial jurisdictions and punished those not on his side -- think National Energy Program. He also imposed wage and price controls. [Trudeau imposed the first, but not the second, though he campaigned on a promise of both, if memory serves.]

Trudeau was a man full of destructive and unworkable conceits.

Trudeau was beyond [Adam] Smith's salvation , Calvin Hayes, Financial Post, August 05, 2006 [Calvin Hayes, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ont.]

[....Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments ] He recognized both that humans are not pure egoists, nor does self-interest always lead to the common good, something he would never have been foolish enough to say.

Without a proper set of laws and institutions and, yes, moral virtues (such as sympathy and justice), we get the war of every man with every man or a set of prisoner dilemmas or imperfect competition. Consider the following examples of "the play of egotistical pursuits" which did not "result in the common good": Those of Louis XIV, Napoleon, Attila the Hun, Al Capone, the Mafia, Machiavellian politicians and military leaders, or the list of names Mr. Corcoran cites just before the quote from Trudeau: Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Petain. [....]

[Adam Smith] was critical of businessmen of his own day, accusing them of discussing how they could rip off the public whenever they got together, and his main object of attack was mercantilism -- a system of government regulation in his day that benefitted many businesses at the expense of others.

To sum up, the Invisible Hand does not work wherever competition is not permitted to function or is not subject to the rule of law

Does that last part not describe what occurred under several Liberal governments. Think of the grants to some businesses at the expense of others, CRTC regulations that benefit some media organizations while preventing others from forming and competing ... because of rules set in place to protect one segment over another, one group's jobs and influence over others, one political party's hegemony over the country.

The final irony, the gravesites

A towering figure -- The great 18th century 'father of capitalism' has been monumentally uncelebrated, but a statue in his honour may yet grace the Royal Mile -- re: Adam Smith , Peter Foster, Financial Post, July 22, 2006

Last month, a commemorative flagstone to Adam Smith was unveiled at the entrance to the Canongate Church on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, along with signs to the tomb of the great 18th century philosopher and economist.

The tribute was initiated and paid for by a prominent Calgarian of Scottish descent, Bob Lamond. It represents a six-year struggle against the forces not merely of bureaucratic inertia but also continuing ideological distaste for the "father of capitalism." [....]

Bob Lamond's quest to raise the Edinburgh profile of the great man had its roots in a 1990 article in Forbes magazine titled "Tale Of Two Tombs." It compared the gravesites of Smith and his nemesis, Karl Marx in London's Highgate Cemetery. "Karl Marx's cemetery is haunted by the spirit of Adam Smith," the article said. "[I]t is privately owned and produces a tidy profit for its owners.... Adam Smith's cemetery in Edinburgh is state-owned, open free of charge to anyone, and is in a terrible state of neglect."

And here endeth the lesson.


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