January 27, 2006


The urban angle (David Warren, 1/25/06, Ottawa Citizen)

The future of Canada, as the U.S., is -- if we are lucky -- “ex-urban”. (As opposed to “rural”.)

Canada is different from the States in fewer ways than any of our city-borne media realize. We have the same basic Left/Right division, with the same sorts of views on both sides (both in English and French). The difference between countries is geographic -- and derives from the fact that so little of Canada is habitable. We lack the vast, occupied, American outdoors. Against the wind blowing from the Arctic, we are huddled together more densely in cities. A much higher proportion of our population is therefore to be found in typical “Blue State” environments -- where people have lost all contact with nature, and by increments, with the realities of life.

The over-urbanized are the willing clients of the nanny state. They are loathe to take responsibility for anything; they assume when anything goes wrong, some specialist or expert will fix it. Even when they have children they expect “child-care facilities”. They are salaried people; few have ever taken a risk on their own dime. Their taxes are lifted from them at source. They are easily frightened when a Paul Martin or a Jack Layton warns that a bogeyman from Alberta is going to take their entitlements away.

They think of the city and the government as something that was always there -- as a second nature. They are defenceless when primary nature reasserts itself (as we saw, poignantly, in New Orleans). Like isolated and primitive peoples elsewhere, they develop superstitions -- “urban myths” -- that account for the mysterious provision of their public services, and they worship their “rainmaking” urban political gods. Their lives are regulated by principles of “political correctness” bound in on every side by taboo.

I am giving you the profile of a “Blue State” voter, but it is not different in kind from a “Red Province” voter up here. In neither case do we have the boundaries right. Upstate New York can be as Republican as Texas; the difference between Vancouver and the B.C. interior is night and day. The attitudes that animate Toronto diminish, in concentric rings, as you move away from the CN Tower.

Canada was not built by the government; it was built by men and women taking responsibility for things. Yet the over-urbanized have lost this sense that anyone could take responsibility.

It would seem that urbanization's dehumanizing and atomizing tendencies are a necessary prop of Statism.

House Republicans To Get Presentation On 'Suburban Agenda' (Mort Kondracke , 1/27/06, Real Clear Politics)

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 27, 2006 7:02 AM

pol pot could help them out with those soft city dwellers.

Posted by: toe at January 27, 2006 6:04 PM

That is the silliest load of nonsense I've read for a long time. No entrepreneurs in the big city? Oh really? Who runs the hot dog stands on the streets of New York? How about the shopkeepers?

Atomized? You've got to be kidding! City folk live cheek to jowl, they don't have that luxury.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at January 28, 2006 4:55 PM

None of them live there.

Posted by: oj at January 28, 2006 5:00 PM