Fearful Symmetry: The Fall and Rise of Canada's Founding Values Hardcover – Sep 18 2009
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??Fearful Symmetry is an audacious, provocative and impressively researched volume. In setting out a new way of looking at the country`s development, it will open more eyes than it closes." -?Lawrence Martin, Globe and Mail
"It`s an attack on everything I believe, so it`s very bracing and interesting.... He`s saying that Canadian liberalism has damaged Canada, and as the Liberal Party leader I have to disagree. But it`s very intelligent and it`s very important to take your adversaries seriously, so I`m taking him seriously.") "It`s an attack on everything I believe, so it`s very bracing and interesting.... He`s saying that Canadian liberalism has damaged Canada, and as the Liberal Party leader I have to disagree. But it`s very intelligent and it`s very important to take your adversaries seriously, so I`m taking him seriously." - Michael Ignatieff, Foreign Policy
?[O]ne of the most insightful books ever written about this country?.
I know I am prone to exaggeration which is probably why I was able to have a 15-year career in politics, but I do not exaggerate when I say this is the best book I have ever read about our country.? ? Monte Solberg, Sun Media
"Founder of the Halifax-based Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, Brian Lee Crowley has written a courageous book with absolutely unique analysis and interpretation. Part lament, part celebration, Fearful Symmetry is most of all a profoundly optimistic book. Why? Rush to read it as soon as you can. " - Globe and Mail
About the Author
BRIAN LEE CROWLEY is the author of the bestseller Fearful Symmetry. The Globe and Mail publisher William Thorsell called him "the best writer on public policy in Canada today." He lives in Nova Scotia.
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I should mention Crowley is a free-market economist, which will cause some potential readers to raise a suspicious brow reflexively. In the book's foreword, Andrew Coyne says Crowley started a PhD at the London School of Economics bent on debunking Friedrich Hayek, one of the great economists of the Austrian School. "But in the course of his research," remarks Coyne, "[Crowley] had found himself first unable to answer [Hayek's] arguments, and at last persuaded by them. In a word, he had become a convert." (p. 11)
The book takes its title from a phrase found in William Blake's poem, The Tyger. According to one source, the fearful symmetry of the tiger in Blake's poem speaks to the juxtaposition of opposites: the perfect beauty and perfect destruction of the animal (which, of course, symbolizes more abstract concepts).
The uniqueness of Crowley's book is not the title. A simple search of Wikipedia reveals that "fearful symmetry" has become a catch phrase for various works in the music, film, and publishing industries. No, the memorable feature of this book will be not the title though it is a very fitting summary of the content.
According to Crowley there is an Old Canada (Confederation-1950s) and a New Canada (1960s-present). The Old Canada is a making state, characterized by small and limited government, personal independence, personal responsibility, commitment to the family as the most important social institution, and productive citizens of strong character and work ethic.Read more ›
This book is well-written and well-researched. Agree or disagree, it's a must read for the Canadian policy wonk.
If like me you were born at the tail end of the baby boom you have grown up with the common wisdom that Canada has historically been a more center-left progressive state than the United States. However, in Fearful Symmetry Brian Lee Crowley presents substantial evidence to the contrary with an inventive mix of historical record and cogent analysis of present day ills.
Crowley argues that Canada until the latter half of the 20th Century was clearly a centre-right country whose founders and leaders put a clear emphasis on the values of both "liberty" and "freedom." It was only during the latter half of the 20th century, he argues, that Canada, in its life and death battle for survival with a surging separatist Quebec nationalism that Canada's leaders discarded these values, in a headlong competition with the Quebec state to massively expand and demonstrate the value of "Canada" to the Quebec populace. An unintended consequence of this expansion in Quebec brought massive statism and big government to the rest of Canada as well. The grave consequences of this were manifested in the stagflation of the 1970s and the current huge government apparatus, which crept into and then ran, across the country.
To prove his argument Cowley frequently quotes many leading Canadian Prime Ministers - particularly the classically liberal first French Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier - who said "Canada is Free and Freedom is its nationality." As well he notes a 1957 quote by Prime Minister Louis St.Read more ›
He is a Canadian and obviously trained in believing he is always correct.
Good to get another opinion...but otherwise, we must hope this person stays in his day job and is never in Govt.