Free speech is too damn American

Canadian Human Rights Commission investigator Dean Steacy has provided an elegant example of what I most despise about the Canadian cultural gestalt:

“Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don’t give it any value.”

(source: Jonathan Kay: “A disaster for Canada’s Human Rights Commission”)
(hat tip: The Liberty Papers)

Perhaps half a dozen typically Canadian traits put my dick in a knot, but none pulls that knot tighter — then slathers it with Loctite — than our tendency to define ourselves as “not American”. American is (not)Canadian, and therefore must be bad. There are plenty of good reasons to dislike, say, some aspects of American foreign policy, or American government, but America — as a noun, not an adjective; as a national ideal — is one of the best things going. A nearly pathological focus on liberty and the unfettered potential of the individual; separation of church and state; checks and balances against unchecked government abuse (remember, this is the ideal, not the reality): these are all good things.

Freedom of speech is a good thing. (Even if it is “American”.)


9 Responses to “Free speech is too damn American”

  1. April 12, 2008 at 02:12

    But really, imagine how much better the world would be if the government made it illegal for idiots like him to say such astonishing drivel!

  2. April 12, 2008 at 14:43

    Better? What would I blog about? :-)

  3. April 13, 2008 at 13:42

    The surprise arrest of 3/4 of the government, naturally.

  4. April 13, 2008 at 14:59

    That has a nice symmetry to it — government passes a thoroughly excessive law, which immediately turns around and effectively abolishes that same government. Rather a novel answer to quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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