Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Northrop Frye, thank you.

The Fraser Institute's report on anti-American bias on the part of the CBC explains, at least to this Yank, a heck of a lot more about the mindset of that uniquely Canadian creature, the Liberal.
The report cites famed literary critic Northrop Frye's theory of the "garrison mentality."
From Frye's "Conclusion to a Literary History of Canada":
“...communities that provide all that their members have in the way of distinctively human values, and that are compelled to feel a great respect for the law and order that holds them together, yet confronted with a huge, unthinking, menacing, and formidable physical setting – such communities are bound to develop what we may provisionally call a garrison mentality....In such a society the
terror is not for the common enemy....The real terror comes when the individual feels himself becoming an individual, pulling away from the group, losing the sense of driving power that the group gives him, aware of a conflict within himself far subtler than the struggle of morality against evil.”
So the US of A isn't the real terror here. It's leaving the bosom of the Liberal universe that frightens these "garrison mentality" folks so.
The "garrison mentality" doesn't strive to provide a uniquely Canadian identity based on positives... instead, it focuses on certain USA characteristics which are not shared. An identity based on negatives isn't a very secure identity, now, is it?
This explains a lot.
This explains why a dramatically failing Medicare system is defended with the vigor of the Crusaders of yore; why the "conscience" promises hundreds of millions in aid in tsunami relief (most of which is no doubt tied up in the NDP budget promises, 'coz not a penny appears to have made it into the disaster zone); and a lot more.
This explains why corruption that would make Tammany Hall and the Chicago machine look like exemplars of public service is tolerated.
It's almost as if because blunt honesty is an American trait, stealthy dishonesty must be a Canadian trait in the minds of the "garrison mentality"-bound.
Can anyone come up with a better explanation?