In an interview with CBC News Yale University law professor and author Amy Chua discusses a phenomenon that has worried and continues to worry me: political (and social) tribalism. The “”ethno-nationalist movements, backlash against both the establishment and outsider minorities — and above all, the transformation of democracy into an engine of zero-sum political tribalism,”” she says are all danger signs and ““if we want to save our nation, we need to come to grips with its [ethno-nationalist tribalism] influence at home.

We see that here in Canada, too, despite the CBC journalist saying that we are somehow or other “better” because we stress multiculturalism rather then the US “melting pot.” But the ongoing verbal dust-up between Conservative Maxime Bernier and Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes … one member of an ethno-nationalist minority (a French speaking Canadian) and another member of another ethno-nationalist group (an African-Canadian female) trade nasty verbal barbs ~ perhaps because both feel like they are oppressed by the mainstream ~ shows that ethno-natlionalist tribalism is alive and well in multicultural Canada, too.

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But the group that frightens Professor Chua is white Americans who, she says, may be destined to become an ethno-nationalist minority in the USA before 2050. She thinks that President Trump understands their fear and is tapping into it … enough, perhaps, to be re-elected in 2020 for four more years.

Ethno-nationalism is on the rise all over the world … sometimes it is relatively benign, at other times it takes on violent overtones …


… it is, it seems to me, always driven by fear; usually by fear of change.

Notwithstanding what Prime Minister Trudeau, the Laurentian Elites and their sycophants in the media think, Canadian multiculturalism is NOT some sort of magical shield. In fact it may make us weaker because, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel has explained: most often multiculturalism is a lie. We, Canadians, want to welcome immigrants of every race and creed but, using Bundeskanzlerin Merkel’s definition, we should wish to integrate them, which is a big step beyond welcoming; M. Bernier should see himself, above all, as a Canadian who happens to have French as his first language; Ms Caesar-Chavannes should see herself as a Canadian who just happens to be a woman of colour. But that’s not what she says; she believes that because she is a black woman she has a duty to speak out to and about black women in Canada. She is, I think, fostering exactly the same sort of fear that convinced millions and millions of angry white men in America to vote for Donald Trump.


There’s nothing new in this. I can remember when the Orange Lodge paraded in almost every Ontario village, town and city promoting the “pride of place” of the WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) majority in Canada … they still do in some places. …


… it’s a pretty benign sort of thing, today, but a few decades ago it had a nasty, anti-Catholic tone that was clearly enunciated. And it’s not much different than this sort of thing …


… except that the lines between ethnic and political and nationalist gets blurred.

Professor Chua says that a certain amount of tribalism is both natural and a good thing. The family, she, notes is the root of all tribalism and (almost) no one suggests that we should do away with families or that strong family ties are bad things. We form strong, sometimes enduring tribes at school and in sports leagues … we, in the Canadian Army, are resoundingly and proudly tribal …


… where’s the danger?

When and how does this …


… devolve into this?


Sure, that’s an extreme example but there are still people, all over the world, including in Canada, in 2018, who want to drive out or suppress all but their own tribal group:


I need to reiterate that I support increased immigration to Canada, especially from Asia; I support Prime Minister Trudeau’s goal of growing Canada by more than a million each decade until, by 2100 we may even have a population of 100 million Canadians. I am married to a recent immigrant and she is a visible minority. I believe that fully integrated multi-ethnic ‘nations’ are both possible and desirable. I, personally, am not dismayed that most of the people in “my granddaughter’s Canada” will have darker hair, darker skin and different shaped eyes than did “my Canada,” the one in which I grew up in the 1950s. I want it to be united by strong, common bonds of respect for individual liberty, secular, liberal democracy and the rule of law. I don’t know (and I suspect I don’t really care) if Mandarin might become the dominant language in my granddaughter’s Canada, or perhaps Hindi … although I suspect that English will continue to flourish in the world, especially in North America; I wouldn’t be surprised if French is, by 2100, little for than a folk language in North America. What I don’t want to see is too much more of those “blackshirts” pictured above, in Quebec City, trying to defend something that is indefensible.

3 thoughts on “Ethno-nationalism

  1. “We see that here in Canada, too, despite the CBC journalist saying that we are somehow or other “better” because we stress multiculturalism rather then the US “melting pot.””

    But Canada is decidedly “tribal”. It’s base characteristic is that it is not American. That is the definition of tribal. It has a very clearly defined “other”.

  2. Ahh can you see it a Scottish Canada ? That would scupper all the ethno nordics it would bring about a 3rd language Gaelic that would truly put the anglo-french language debate on the defensive.

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