Natural Law, Science, and the Social Construction of RealityArt Matters: The Art of Knowledge/The Knowledge of Art
There is so much I want to say about this book that I am not sure where to start.
First, even though I have been here longer than my country of origin (U.S.A.)
I am an immigrant. I came with no intention of staying and I am not only still here 40 years later, I have been a citizen for 35 of those years.
One of the things I saw immediately in Canada, as opposed to the United States is a high degree of tolerance, especially of things different. I saw this not only in day to day life, but in our political system.
But, over the years, things have changed. Two of the reasons for the change were obvious: subservience to Washington and an acceptance of neo-con economics, both of which have certainly led to the decline of what can be considered Canadian values.
As a philosopher I have written about the cultural foundation of values. What Canadian governments have done in the past twenty five years has been to forget about what it means to be Canadian and to employ artificial policies, which have had the result of our loss of our cultural identity.
We not have known where that identity came from, but we were aware of it.
Voter turnouts have declined. Our leaders blame the electorate. But the real reason, as Saul so eloquently shows, is that very leadership. Our leaders do represent us and so we stay away from the polls. Of course, most of us have known that our political leaders have not represented the people ever since Michael Adams' Fire and Ice. And, all too often, those of us who do vote, do not vote for people who actually reflect our views.
In this book Saul gives a good explanation as to why this is so. We not only lost touch with our values, but we have lost touch with the origin of those values.
When Europeans came here they relied on the native populations to survive and in so doing, absorbed native values. But as we became more urban, we lost sight of the source of our values and of our identity with the land.
Read any good Canadian novel and you will find the land is at the center of the story. At least that was the case until recently. And in school we still learn that geography has been the number one factor in developing our culture.
Yet, by adhering to out-moded economic views, and by looking south, we are forgetting this.
We must return to our Metis roots and look North again through Northern, not Southern eyes, and we must return to what Saul calls our welfare concerns, not our concerns for order.
Indeed, that issue is really the heart of the book. Saul shows how, historically, the Canadian motto was "Peace, Welfare, and Good Government."
he shows how it got subverted and how the concept of 'order' transformed how we thought about ourselves and the roll of government. Now we have a government and a civil service more concerned with keeping order, even if that order is self destructive, than in providing good government.
So let us all read this book, and get back to what it means to be Canadian.