It is becoming more common for the mainstream media to warn Canadians about the threats posed by domestic extremists. This was emphasized by Vic Toews, the Canadian Minister of Public Safety, in his article entitled “Building Resilience Against Terrorism: Canada’s Counter-terrorism Strategy.” He warns that the peace, order and good government of Canada is in jeopardy due in part to domestic extremist groups – groups fueled by new, extremist ideologies (such as animal rights, white supremacy, environmentalism and anti-capitalism).
Toews is definitely on the right track. Extremist ideologies do pose a threat to Canadians who value peace and order. However, perhaps some home-grown extremist ideologies are not so new. Ironically, and unbeknownst to Toews, perhaps some of the most extreme ideologies belong to his employer. Let us examine a few examples which highlight political ideologies that are viewed as extremist by those of us who value peace and freedom.
Consider the fact the federal government is currently funding an ad campaign to remind us that “Canada is proud, strong and free.” If we are strong and free, then certainly we should have the right to exercise our strength to remain free by defending ourselves against violence and theft. Well, the government doesn’t see it that way. Consider the case of Michael Woodard of St. Stephen, New Brunswick. Mr. Woodward shot at three home invaders and was consequently arrested by the men who “always get their man” – the RCMP. The same thing happened to Ian Thomson of Port Colborne, Ontario, after he shot at men who attempted to burn down his house with him in it. Shouldn’t the idea that arresting those who are attempting to defend their lives be viewed as extremist?
The government also believes that while it has the discretion to label its own information as “top secret”, it has the right to deny citizens of their own privacy. The government believes that it is normal to rob each man of his privacy by recording all personal electronic communications and documenting all financial transactions. To those who value freedom, the idea of abolishing privacy for the public while maximizing privacy for the state is extremist.
Also, consider the Canadian Army’s recent invasions of Eastern Europe and the Middle East and the fact that it is considering going to war with Russia supposedly to protect peace, order and good government. However, how can the launching of one unjust war after another and the laying of the foundation for nuclear war do anything other than destroy peace and order? It is not good government but extremist beliefs and actions that are driving the government’s wars abroad. Towes wrote, “Events in other countries are inextricably linked to extremism in Canada.” He was correct.
Consider these additional extremist ideas promoted and acted upon by the state:
1) That tens of thousands of acts, statutes, regulations, bylaws and bureaucratic rules are needed to ensure a well functioning society.
2) That stealing from the poor and middle class and the transferring of that wealth to the state and favoured state-connected corporations and special interest groups are a normal and necessary thing to do.
3) That continually inflating the money supply thereby destroying the purchasing power of money and the savings of the elderly help make Canada strong.
4) That children are not the property of parents, but of the state.
5) That specific people, such as lawyers, pharmacists, engineers or translators, need government permission to work. And those who disobey state rules, such Dr. Karen Dockrill (a doctor who charged a fee for her medical services), should be persecuted and their careers destroyed.
6) That government permission is needed to perform construction work on your property whenever you wish to improve it.
7) That if you do not pay a yearly tax for the “privilege” of owning your property it will be stolen from you and you will be evicted from it.
8) That we need to accept arrests without warrants, secret detention and a militarized CSIS. The upcoming Bill C-51 will lay the legal foundation for future laws that will ultimately turn Canada into a military gulag where dissenters and those who oppose the state will be disappeared and tortured.
9) That the government has the power to change the earth’s climate but that it requires billions of tax dollars to do so.
Any rational person who desires to live in a country whose people are “strong, proud and free” would consider all the above ideas to be extremist. Vic Toews wrote:
“[Canadian] society rejects intolerance and violent extremism… When [Canadian values] are imperiled, the safety and prosperity of everyone will be threatened… Building a resilient Canada involves fostering a society in which individuals and communities are able to withstand violent extremist ideologies … and challenge those who espouse them.”
He was bang on the money. It is up to each of us to reject extremism and to help build a society that can withstand extremist ideologies. As recommended by Towes, challenging those who espouse them is a great first step and is a role played by websites such as Mises.ca, Lewrockell.com and Pressfortruth.ca.
Toews also recommends that we work towards ensuring that the rule of law remains strong. The rule of law can remain strong only when:
1) The laws of the land are moral, limited in number and widely known and accepted by individuals (moral laws such as “thou shalt not steal” and “your property is yours to keep and use as you see fit.”)
2) The laws apply equally to everyone including the state. The government’s creation of “public law” that is different from “private law” is an extremist corruption of the law. The government should have no more right to steal from you than you have to steal from your neighbour, nor should it have the ability to advance the interests of one group or person over another.
3) The system of justice rejects any law that treats one individual or group differently than another.
It is apparent that, based upon the above, the government has destroyed the rule of law. Due to its destruction, it is our moral duty to reject laws that run contrary to the non-aggression principle, our natural right to the ownership of our bodies and property and the right to protect ourselves against unwarranted aggression. This is not to say that we should intentionally violate laws that we know will have us charged or arrested. Adherence to existing laws must be made on a best-effort basis. (Due to the thousands of laws and regulations that exist at the federal, provincial and local levels, the “best-effort” adherence to existing laws is as good as anyone can possibly provide.) We can, however, refuse to cooperate with those who are complicit in the application of unjust laws when legally permissible.
Toews also suggests that those who oppose extremism must build cooperation and partnerships. It is essential that those who believe in freedom connect with one another and attempt to do business with one another as far apart from the tentacles and influence of corrupt state operations. Building an “overlay society” of freedom-minded individuals, one that operates above the chaos and criminality of that run by the state, is an excellent goal. An overlay society is one that logically, not geographically, secedes from the state.
For example, perhaps it is possible to build financially sound credit unions or banks that provide a 100% reserve. Perhaps it is possible to create gold-backed certificates that could be used in place of money when transacting business (Bitcoin has already proven a need for money that is not corrupted by the state). Perhaps an overlay society could operate its own legal system with freedom-minded judges. Perhaps individuals would be willing to pay for insurance that provides financial and legal aid when attacked by the state, similar to that offered to gun owners by Capri Insurance of Kelowna, B.C. The aim of staying far away from state operations, its employees, enforcers, private contractors and state-connected businesses and special interests groups is a noble goal.
The Internet is playing an increasingly important role in the battle against political extremism. Not only is it helping to accelerate the more widespread recognition of domestic extremism and its ill effects, but it is allowing individuals who value freedom and peace to share ideas and build new relationships. The Internet may be the very mechanism that helps us to build a society that, as Toews recommends, “can withstand domestic extremist ideologies” and one that ensures the “peace, order and good government of Canada.”