Canadian Authoritarianism: Prosecuting People With the Wrong Opinions

This comes to us from that bastion of freedom called Canada, where half of Americans wanted to run when Trump got elected.

It’s like something out of George Orwell’s 1984**.

Canada’s Competition Bureau, an arm’s length agency funded by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to the tune of almost $50 million annually, investigated three organizations accused of denying mainstream climate science for over a year, following a complaint from an environmental group.

The bureau discontinued its 14-month probe in June, citing “available evidence, the assessment of the facts in this case, and to ensure the effective allocation of limited resources”, according to Josephine A.L. Palumbo, Deputy Commissioner of Competition, Deceptive Marketing Practices Directorate.

But it will re-open its investigation should it receive relevant new information from the public.

The complaint was filed by Ecojustice on behalf of six “prominent” Canadians, including former Ontario NDP leader and UN ambassador Stephen Lewis.

It accused three groups, Friends of Science, the International Climate Science Coalition, and the Heartland Institute of making false and misleading claims about climate change, including that the sun is the main driver of climate change, not carbon dioxide, and that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

When it launched its complaint in December, 2015, Ecojustice told the National Observer it would press the Commissioner of Competition to refer the matter to the Attorney-General of Canada for “criminal charges against the denier groups”.

**I presume the author is referring to the general understanding of what 1984 was about, rather than Hillary Clinton's revisionist opinion that 1984 was a cautionary tale about the danger of not having enough respect for government authority figures.

  • Jesse Nelson

    Hillary is confusing two seperate concepts here: The goal of authoritarianism and the goal of criticism of that authoritarianism. The USSR's goal was diametrically opposed to Orwell's in writing the book. It was the Soviet's goal to instill blind confidence in and obedience to authoritarianism by any means necessary, not to erode it (one might also say if not confidence, perhaps just fearful obedience.)

    It was Orwell's goal to shed light on the lies and tactics of that authoritarianism and naturally, sow mistrust. Those in positions of great authority should be mistrusted out of sheer cautiousness if nothing else, and most of them display behavior that gives good reason to mistrust them.

  • jimc5499

    Coming soon to a college or university campus near you.

  • "1984" was Orwell's warning about the reality of British Socialism/Communism in the 1940's. He intended us to empathasize with Winston Smith, the one being tortured to accept the Party's demands and statements without question or thought. That is the only way the average citizen can read it.

    The amazing thing here is that Hillary identifies with O'Brien, the inner party leader who tortures Winston into submission. She sees the story just as O'Brien sees it. It is an unfortunate incident where a wayward low-party member is "treated" to cure his mental illness and accept the "truth" of the party.

    "1984" is not an exaggeration. It is a dire warning. Hillary has validated its reality by seeing herself as O'Brien.

    The full text of "1984" is online at: http://www.george-orwell.org/1984

    A famous passage appears near the end of the book. This is what Hillary sees as support for a strong state and party!

    http://www.george-orwell.org/1984/19.html

    (O'Brien is a member of the inner-party (eg. the politburo). Winston Smith is an ordinary party member, a worker for the cause, who has had doubts, and has been discovered. Big Brother is the iconic leader of the revolution, strong, wise, and firm in punishing those who stray from the revolutionary path.)

    === ===
    (O'Brien speaks to Winston during a pause in torturing Winston.)

    O'Brien: How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?

    Winston (after thinking): By making him suffer.

    O'Brien: Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

    Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself.

    Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy, everything.

    Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now.

    There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed.

    But always -- do not forget this, Winston -- always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless.

    If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- forever.
    === ===

  • jdgalt

    Now that the malicious "investigation" has ended, I hope those three institutions will sue and/or prosecute the persecutors, just as they are now doing in the US in the aftermath of the #ExxonKnew witch-hunt.

  • The_Big_W

    The left as lost it god damned mind....

  • irandom419
  • Dan Wendlick

    The whole point of Minitrue was to ensure that the Truth was what the party wanted it to be, and that the only truth was the will of the party. If the party willed that 2+2=5, then that would be the truth, whether or not it reflected reality. Smith's job was to continually rewrite history so it matched the will of the party, and in doing so, convince people that their personal memories were not to be trusted to recall the truth of events. There was to be no conception of past or future, only an unending present where the party, via Big Brother, ruled and everybody else was ruled. The weekly chocolate ration was being raised to 25 grams this week through the benevolence of Big Brother. The fact that it was 25 grams last week and 30 grams some time before that is immaterial. The will of the Party is that the ration be 25 grams, and that this represented an increase.

    The idea that everyone should trust the government, and the government alone, to be the sole and official arbiter of truth is exactly the idea that the Party was ruthlessly instilling. It used to be a joke that conservatives read 1984 as a warning, liberals as a how-to manual. I'm not sure that's a joke any longer.

  • rxc

    Remember the name of the organ of state information in the USSR -Pravda -Truth.

  • sean2829

    Perhaps poor government management of the power grid which has caused electricity prices to spike in Ontario, Canada has the powers that be nervous.

    "The report also found that between 2008 and 2015, hydro prices in the province have increased 2.5 times faster than income levels.
    “Electricity prices rose a staggering 71 per cent (from 2008 to 2016), more than double the national average increase of 34 per cent over the same time,” the report states. The study attributes the high electricity rates in Ontario to the provincial government’s phasing out of coal energy and poorly structured long-term renewable energy generation contracts. “It is the result of government projects and government planning, rather than fundamentals of inflation or economic growth or fuel availability. It’s really the choices made by governments in Ontario,” Green said."
    Better to prosecute a few contrarians than admit that people have been forced to spend $500-$1000 extra per year due to poor policy choices.

  • It's very interesting thing to consider CO2 a pollutant and that we must destroy all CO2 producers... I have to take a deep breath and think more about it.

  • "1984" was Orwell's warning about the reality of British Socialism/Communism in the 1940's. He intended us to empathasize with Winston Smith, the one being tortured to accept the Party's demands and statements without question or thought. That is the only way the average citizen can read it.

    The amazing thing here is that Hillary identifies with O'Brien, the inner party leader who tortures Winston into submission. She sees the story just as O'Brien sees it. It is an unfortunate incident where a wayward low-party member is "treated" to cure his mental illness and accept the "truth" of the party.

    "1984" is not an exaggeration. It is a dire warning. Hillary has validated its reality by seeing herself as O'Brien.

  • The full text of "1984" is online at: http://www.george-orwell.org/1984

    A famous passage appears near the end of the book:
    http://www.george-orwell dot org/1984/19 dot html

    (O'Brien is a member of the inner-party (eg. the politburo). Winston Smith is an ordinary party member, a worker for the cause, who has had doubts, and has been discovered. Big Brother is the iconic leader of the revolution, strong, wise, and firm in punishing those who stray from the revolutionary path.)

    === ===
    (O'Brien speaks to Winston during a pause in torturing Winston.)

    O'Brien: How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?

    Winston (after thinking): By making him suffer.

    O'Brien: Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

    Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself.

    Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy, everything.

    Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now.

    There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed.

    But always -- do not forget this, Winston -- always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless.

    If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- forever.
    === ===

  • mlhouse

    Hillary Clinton's views on 1984 speak for herself and the entire "Progressive" movement.