More on BIPOC and FIVM

* Mémoires du Duc de Saint-Simon, XIII. 38, 39 (Cheruel,There has been some productive discussion generated by the op-ed that I published in the Globe and Mail on May 28th, as well as a certain amount of unproductive discussion and diatribe. (In the article, I questioned the use of the acronym BIPOC in a Canadian context. The claim, in a nutshell, was that while the BIPOC acronym does a tolerable job at capturing the major dimensions of diversity in the United States, it fails to do so in Canada.)

Mistakes nevertheless occurred. “Along with the honest people,” complains Mother Mary, “comes a great deal of canaille of both sexes, who cause a great deal of scandal.” *** After some of the young women had been married at Quebec, it was found that they had husbands at home. The priests ** Arrêts du 24 et 28 juin par lesquels cette affaire (desI have for the most part resisted the impulse to respond to the various criticisms that have been made, because they are in almost every case based on a failure to read the piece carefully. For example, many people took me to be claiming that the victimization of Francophones was somehow greater than that of Black Canadians. One need only read the piece more attentively to see that I said no such thing.… Continue reading

The Rebel Sell at 15

* Annales de l'H?tel-Dieu St Joseph, cited by Faillon. * Instruction au Sieur Talon.A funny thing about the book that Andrew and I wrote, The Rebel Sell, is that itwas a bestsellerin Spain. We recently did an interview with Manuel Maero to mark the 15th year anniversary of the publication of the book: 15 aos despus, la contracultura gira a la derecha. Here is the English-language, unabridged version of that interview (answers by both of us).

still preserved in the Archives of the Marine and Colonies.Meanwhile the Company of New France, feudal lord of Canada, had also shown signs of returning life. Its whole history had been one of mishap, followed by discouragement and apathy; and it is difficult to say whether its ownership of Canada had been more hurtful to itself or to the colony. At the eleventh hour it sent out an agent invested with powers of controller-general, intendant, and supreme judge, to inquire into the state of its affairs. This agent, Péronne Dumesnil, arrived early in the autumn of 1660, and set himself with great vigor to his work. He was an advocate of the Parliament of Paris, an active, aggressive, and tenacious person, of a temper well fitted to rip up an old abuse or probe a delinquency to the bottom. His proceedings quickly raised a storm at Quebec. 

67); Ordonnance du Roy, 5 Avril, 1669. See Clément,Denonville and Dongan.Q. First inevitable question: if you had to remakeThe Rebel Sell today, from what idea or theory do you start it?

*** “Beaucoup de canaille de l’un et l’autre sexe quiOne condition was imposed on him which may be said to form the distinctive feature of Canadian feudalism; that of clearing his land within a limited time on pain of forfeiting it. The object was the excellent one of preventing the lands of the colony from lying waste. As the seignior was often the penniless owner of a domain three or four leagues wide and proportionably deep, he could not clear it all himself, and was therefore under the necessity of placing the greater part in the hands of those who could. But he was forbidden to sell any part of it which he had not cleared. He must grant it without price, on condition of a small perpetual rent; and this brings us to the cultivator of the soil, the censitaire, the broad base of the feudal pyramid. *A. It depends on what you mean. If the question is, if we were writing a critique of counterculture and how it influenced the anti-consumerist movement of the early 21st century, then not much would change. The way we see it, The Rebel Sell is first and foremost a work in the history of ideas its a genealogy of the concept of counterculture, how it emerged in the late 50s and 60s, and the influence that it had on left-wing movements and subsequent youth culture.… Continue reading

How to solve the problem of diving in soccer

The zealous band at the Hermitage was aided inAnother World Cup, another wave of concerns about the plague of diving (or simulation) that afflicts the beautiful game. Every four years the most casual and ignorant of soccer fans become obsessives, and suddenly everyone notices that some of the best soccer players in the world are… a bunch of fakers.

[7] Denonville à Seignelay, 12 Juin, 1686. * “Ce commerce est absolument nécessaire pour attirer lesThis World Cup actually started out ok, but a week into it and it is business as usual, with the flow of the game regularly interrupted by a charade of flopping, writhing, grimacing, rolling, twisting, grabbing. So once again we are led to ask: What, if anything, can be done about it?

due to him, the vicar apostolic. * At the same time he sent another to the offending abbé, threatening to suspend him from priestly functions if he persisted in his rebellion. ** matters relating to the seigniorial system.First, diving is nothing new, its been a part of the game for a very long time. Theres even a Wikipedia entry about it for heavens sake.

Faillon from Archives of the Propaganda).But second, not everyone thinks diving is bad. The Globe and Mails television writer, John Doyle, wrote a piece two World Cups ago asserting that not only is diving perfectly respectable, but that complaining about it is nothing more than North American parochialism, a sign of our smug, small-minded notion of fairness, sportsmanship and manliness.

Unfortunately, many players agree.Continue reading

Is a ratings system for journalists a workable idea?

We live in an age of ratings systems. On any given day, many of us interact with any number of schemes that involve the rating of movies and restaurants, Uber drivers and Air BnB owners, online retail transactions from Amazon to Ebay, and professional service providers including doctors and professors. Sometimes we are the ones being rated, sometimes we are the ones doing the rating, but more often we use the crowdsourced ratings to guide our behaviour and our choices. Some of these systems are better than others, but for better and for worse they have become part of our social infrastructure.

So it was interesting last week to see what happened after Elon Musk took to Twitter to suggest that he was going to start a ratings system for journalism:

Going to create a site where the public can rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication.

Continue reading

Social constructivism: the basics

One of the reasons that my colleague Jordan Peterson has become such a celebrity is that so many of his critics are so confused. On more than one occasion, he has come out of debates looking like the guy who brought a gun to a knife fight (if one can excuse the metaphor). One area in which this is particularly apparent is in his various discussions of social constructivism, some of which have a shooting fish in a barrel quality. This is largely because so many people both academics and activists are really confused about what it means to say that something is socially constructed, and what the political implications of this are.

As a philosopher and a critical theorist, I feel some responsibility for this, because those of us who trade in these concepts for a living have not done a good enough job at saying what we mean.… Continue reading

Tanya Talagas Seven Fallen Feathers

Those who pay attention to the republic of letters in Canada will have noticed that Tanya Talagas book, Seven Fallen Feathers, has been cleaning up the awards for literary non-fiction, having won the RBC Taylor Prize, and now the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing (announced yesterday at the Politics and the Pen gala in Ottawa). Since I was a member of the jury that awarded it the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize, I thought I might say a few words about why the book stands out among all others published this past year.

With the release of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, there has been an enormous amount of discussion of the need for reconciliation (or even just normalization of the relationship) between Canada and its First Nations. A great deal of this discussion has been rather fruitless, in part because it has been confined almost entirely to the plane of symbolic politics.… Continue reading

Against the racialization of everything

Race, as I and many other academics never tire of reminding people, is a social construct. Many people who say this, however, do so in a perfunctory manner, before going on to treat it as though it were a natural kind, eternal and unchangeable. For me, the point of emphasizing the constructedness of race is to emphasize that is it not an inevitable social category. It is a particular way that many people have of framing certain aspects of individual identity and social interaction. It is, however, not the only, and not a necessary way, of framing things. Thus it always makes sense to ask, in any particular circumstance, whether race is the best way of framing an issue. The question is whether race, as a category, is really getting at what’s important in a given situation.

This question has particular salience at the moment, because many social justice advocates in Canada have been pushing fairly hard for a number of social problems that were traditionally framed in terms of immigration and ethnicity (and multiculturalism) to be reframed in terms of race (and anti-discrimination).… Continue reading

How our culture treats boys

My children are a bit older now, so I don’t shop at The Children’s Place as much as I used to. I happened to stop in the other day though, and I found myself worrying about the sort of messages that we are sending to boys in our culture. For those who don’t know, it’s a clothing store. The layout is always the same: they are split right down the middle, with girls’ clothing on one side and boys’ clothing on the other. This provides a particularly convenient opportunity to compare what is being sold to girls and boys, at any given moment, and to contemplatethe various assumptions about gender that go along with it.

For instance, looking the graphics tees section, I noticed a very striking difference in the type of images and messages being marketed to girls and those being marketed to boys. Here is a selection of the girls’ T-shirts.… Continue reading

Redefining racism

Theres a little semantic game thats being played a lot these days, which seems to me worthy of analysis. (And since philosophers are so often of accusing to getting hung up on semantic questions, who better to comment on it?) It has become quite standard in many quarters to condemn Canadian society, along with all of its institutions, as being thoroughly and systematically racist. There is however an important ambiguity in the way that the term racist is being used, with critics often shifting back and forth between two quite different meanings of the term, in a way that vitiates the force of their criticism.

When most people hear the word racism, the way that they understand it is in terms that would have been familiar to civil rights activists of the 1960s. This type of racism was interpreted first and foremost as a derogatory attitude certain individuals have, that leads them to engage in discriminatory behaviour treating some people better than others based on their racial characteristics.… Continue reading

Is this time different? What can we learn from #MeToo and #NeverAgain

At first blush it is tempting to just assign #MeToo and #NeverAgain to the growing pool of hashtagged social movements that happen to get their teeth into the media cycle for an extended period of time. They both benefit from being related, in one way or another, to the infinite-scroll train wreck that is the Trump presidency. And most importantly, both are at the spearpoint of what looks to be rapid and in many ways shocking social change.

But these two movements are interesting for another reason: They force the question of why this is happening. Or to put it more forcefully, why is this happening now? After all, in both cases the triggering events or circumstances are far from unprecedented. Harvey Weinstein had been threatening, harassing, and abusing women in Hollywood for a very long time. And in the case of the Parkland shootings, it is unfortunately far from the first time a student in the United States has gone into a school and massacred some students with a semi-automatic rifle.Continue reading