Friday, June 26, 2009

Winning the war of ideas

Non-Michael Jackson related news: I have a column in today's National Post based on a speech I gave yesterday at a Fraser Institute event.

It's about why Canadian conservatives must focus on asking themselves one simple question: Is it right?


Francien Verhoeven said...


I wondered if you had noticed 'The destruction of early education" piece, right above your written piece in the NP today. And if you have read that 'early education' piece, it might become clear why the war of ideas is an idea in 'passing'.

You talk about the need for adhering to ideas rather than adhering to political parties, yet, political parties are ideas within themselves; the entire political system is based on one idea or another. Some call it democracy, in which political parties are free to engage for bringing ideas into fruition. How would an advocay group of any kind be able to bring words into action if not for the existence of the political system? Any political system (itself being an idea) is but a mechanism to bring ideas into existence.

The fact that an open and frank debate within political realms is no longer possible (methinks), one needs to read 'the destruction of early education' as a supplementary to your write-up (Hugh Segal's piece is all over the map, and is therefore not of much help in trying to decipher the challenges laying ahead).

Our modern society is marked by disconnection; we seem to think now that, although all is one, we need to compartementalize everything. In other words, we no longer seem 'willing' enough to draw connections, but:

"Just yesterday I met up with a neighbourhood home-care mother who had buckets and shovels for use at the local park where sand and water can be mixed (in contrast to the classrooms in which I taught where never the twain were allowed to meet due to health and safety concerns)". So states 'the destruction of early education' write-up.

Well said, and what else could added???

To fully understand the meaning of ideas, ideas need to be 'tasted'. Without instilling the taste for ideas, there is no hope in hell that future generations will be readied to serve themselves helpfull portions of ideas of any kind.

When Alberta Minister Evans talked about 'properly' educating our kids, she did not indicate that she would have the right to choose for each and every parent to do what's right (stay-at-home moms versus the need for two-income families); she merely drew the connection between future economic stability and properly educating our kids currently. And please notice how quickly her 'ideas' were being shot down by the onslaught of 'how-dare-you's'. So much for debates about ideas, I'd say. Or better put: so much for trying to put one and one together.

Yet, for ideas to flourish, the twain must be allowed to meet, somewhere, somehow.

Francien Verhoeven

Anonymous said...

I think it's still Michael Jackson-related. Both he (or rather his estate, such as it is) and the The National Post are swimming in debt.