Having been in Sri Lanka at the time, I missed my chance to comment on Scott Reid’s famous observation that rebates direct to parents to pay for daycare would just be “25 bucks a week to blow on beer and popcorn.”
Martin’s Director of Communications has apologized and withdrawn the remark. So perhaps it is unfair to harp on it. But I do think it pulls back a curtain on left-wing thinking generally.
Those on the left are essentially undemocratic in their sentiments. They do not believe in human equality. They believe they are themselves superior sorts, and should be controlling the rest of us as much as possible. For our own good, of course—and I believe most of them are perfectly sincere in thinking it would be for our own good. Making sure we wear seatbelts, teach our children all the correct thoughts, and spend our money wisely.
This is, in a word, conservatism; the terms “liberal” and “conservative” have been more or less reversed in modern Canadian usage. It is fundamentally the belief in class, and in the right and duty of the upper classes to manage the affairs of the lower.
Pierre Trudeau used to claim his political model was not Marx or Smith, but Plato’s Republic.
He was being sincere. Unfortunately, few have actually read Plato’s Republic. It does not advocate democracy. It calls for rule by a specialty groomed elite. It also calls for serious restrictions on free speech--welcome to the Hate Laws--and for the right of the government to lie to the people. It also calls for the abolition of the family.
Plato was a great admirer of Sparta. As Karl Popper pointed out, his “just society”—Trudeau’s tag for his political vision was direct from Plato’s Republic--was and is totalitarian, and a closed society.