Canadians are the most brainwashed people on Planet Earth

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ikosmos ikosmos's picture
Canadians are the most brainwashed people on Planet Earth

Richard Sanders piece has got me thinking. Are Canadians truly the most brainwashed people on Planet Earth?

Discuss.

The Canada Syndrome, a Captivating Mass Psychosis

 

See also

Yves Engler for more related writing.

 

I think a good case can be made.

Issues Pages: 
ikosmos ikosmos's picture

OK, I will admit that the well documented public surveys indicating that Filipinos love the USA more than they love their own country could be some strong counter evidence. But, what with the popularity of the current "strong man", who seems to be very good at tweaking the nose of the Obama Emperor, things may be changing there ...

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

More argument in favour: the microscopic, sectarian, fratricidal left in Canada, seemingly smaller than a flea on the backside of a rhino, could be drawn attention to as evidence of an inculcated mass stupidity, false consciousness, etc.

Yes, I know, our "American" cousins usually are put forward as the prize winners here. But, be honest. Given the overwhelming mass media from the USA, swamping Canadian content, Isn't it true that many Canadians sound confused when legal and  cultural questions come up in public life? As in, they are confused about which country they're in? They think US law is Canadian law, etc. ?

Yup. I think we're winning the race. Totally.

lagatta4

Why do you come on here to insult us?

By the way, what you affirm isn't even true where I live.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

lagatta4 wrote:
Why do you come on here to insult us?

 

What are you talking about? I'm Canadian. It's a critique, or lament. As I'm sure you are aware, there is a long history of "laments for Canada".

However, if it's true, then everyone knows that acknowledging a serious problem is the first step to solving it.

I think a good case can be made. At least in RoC and not Quebec. Prove me wrong.

swallow

I've read George Grant. You, sir, are no George Grant.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Bahahahahaha..yeah right. If any country is 'brainwashed' it's that shithole to the south of us.

lagatta4

Most, if not all, countries and socio-economic systems brainwash the people, or attempt to do so. It is called the ruling ideology. Nowadays abetted by publicity.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

This thread is pathetic. Say what you will about Canadians but we are far more informed than our American neighbours. There's no debate about it.

ygtbk

Um. Brainwashing is not, so far as I know, country-specific. Some people are capable of critical thought, in each country. I would even go so far as to venture that not all Americans are stupid (but that's just because I know some Americans).

(* Types, deletes. *)

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

The brainwashing of America. How billionaires brainwashed America.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWnz_clLWpc

BTW, the vast majority of Americans are stupid. Case in point,President Donald Trump. And I say this as someone who knows a lot of Americans.

Webgear

What determines if people are brainwashed, uneducated, or stupid?  What is the metric we are using to judge people? I am just wondering, it might be easier to stereotype and label people if we were all on the same theory or principal?

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I think Americans are not well educated and are bombarded by a never ending stream of propaganda. Canadians are better educated. Only 30% of Canadians are stupid. Compare that wit at least 50% of Americans. Europeans are even more educated than Canadians.

Webgear

What is your metric for that statement? How are only 30% Canadian's stupid?

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

30% of Canadians are far right Conservatives. Hence,stupid.

Webgear

Oh I see. What about the 40-50% of the population that don’t align themselves with a political party? How do you judge them

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Webgear wrote:

Ohh I see. What are the 40% of the populatiion that don't vote for a party?

 

Certainly smarter than the 30% that vote Tory.

BTW,where do you get that 40% number?

Webgear

Sorry, I was using the average stats from the 2008 and 2011 elections. In 2015 only 32% of the population did not vote.  

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Webgear wrote:

Sorry, I was using the average stats from the 2008 and 2011 elections. In 2015 only 32% of the population did not vote.  

OK..and of the 68% that did vote,30% went Tory,39% Liberal and 31% went Green,NDP,Bloc and all other sub sets.

So 15-20% of Canadians are stupid.

lagatta4

I'm an old gauchiste, and here there is someone calling me a running cat of imperialism (hard for lagatta to be a running dog). I guess the best thing, after many travails, is to simply have a good laugh.

A golden oldie: Neither Wall Street nor the Kremlin!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I think it would be fascinating if just one time, someone would follow the familiar "we're all brainwashed" or "mass marketers rule our lives" or "we're all just displaying false consciousness" or whatever with some FIRST PERSON discussion of this brainwashing and mind control and false consciousness.

But in over a decade here, all I've ever seen is assertions that OTHERS are brainwashed.  It's like gathering your family together and saying "we, as a family, are very dysfunctional... except me.  Discuss."

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

well, yeah, I was trying to raise that as a general point. I mean, if Canadians are the MOST brainwashed, as I stupidly allege, then, therefore, I must, as  a Canadian, be similarly .. .vicitimized.

And i certainly don't pretend to be smarter than the rest of you louts. heh.

Let's call the thread my "opening salvo". The Aurora fires once. It doesn't mean I'm correct. Just that I make an outrageous claim. And provoke debate. A Zizek moment.

The more general point, that the ruling ideas in a society are, well, the ideas of the ruling elites, and that, therefore, every discussion of ideas is a kind of warfare, in which either one side, or the other, prevails. And, so I argue, the other side is mostly ...

winning. 

I think we have to acknowledge that. We're losing, and badly. And, that sort of truth is important to say. Unvarnished.

The other side, in the battle of ideas, is kicking our ass. And it's good to ask about that, what we might do to change that ...

 

 

lagatta4

Get rid of abusive posters, for one thing.

More argument in favour: the microscopic, sectarian, fratricidal left in Canada, seemingly smaller than a flea on the backside of a rhino, could be drawn attention to as evidence of an inculcated mass stupidity, false consciousness, etc. 

 

lagatta4

Get rid of abusive posters, for one thing.

ygtbk

ikosmos wrote:

well, yeah, I was trying to raise that as a general point. I mean, if Canadians are the MOST brainwashed, as I stupidly allege, then, therefore, I must, as  a Canadian, be similarly .. .vicitimized.

And i certainly don't pretend to be smarter than the rest of you louts. heh.

Let's call the thread my "opening salvo". The Aurora fires once. It doesn't mean I'm correct. Just that I make an outrageous claim. And provoke debate. A Zizek moment.

The more general point, that the ruling ideas in a society are, well, the ideas of the ruling elites, and that, therefore, every discussion of ideas is a kind of warfare, in which either one side, or the other, prevails. And, so I argue, the other side is mostly ...

winning. 

I think we have to acknowledge that. We're losing, and badly. And, that sort of truth is important to say. Unvarnished.

The other side, in the battle of ideas, is kicking our ass. And it's good to ask about that, what we might do to change that ...

Didn't Timebandit already disprove this?

http://rabble.ca/comment/1591216#comment-1591216

Furrfu.

quizzical

na imv those who perpetually vote against their own best interests are suffering from a syndrome called upper class mentality

swallow

ikosmos wrote:

The more general point, that the ruling ideas in a society are, well, the ideas of the ruling elites, and that, therefore, every discussion of ideas is a kind of warfare, in which either one side, or the other, prevails. And, so I argue, the other side is mostly ...

winning. 

I think we have to acknowledge that. We're losing, and badly. And, that sort of truth is important to say. Unvarnished.

Your side - Putin's side - is winning. I acknowledge that its alliance with the nationalist far right in many countries is indeed winning, by making the battle about something other than ideas and facts. Congratulations. 

Fortunately, indigenous rights acvtivsts and feminists and others will continue to struggle. 

Richard Sanders Richard Sanders's picture

Canada itself is a fiction!

Thanks for starting this discussion ikosmos!

i'm honoured that you were inspired to do this because of my article: The Canada Syndrome, a Captivating Mass Psychosis.

Since writing that article (which is the introduction to Captive Canada) my thinking on this subject has evolved to a whole new level of skepticism about Canada.

I spent decades trying to debunk myths about Canada, I focused on various subnarratives under the general myth that Canada is a Peaceable Kingdom spreading wondrous "Canadian values" around the world, like multiculturalism, human rights, democracy, peace, etc etc

Now I can see that biggest myth of all is Canada itself.   Canada itself is a myth!

Yes I know that if I look at a map or my passport or our money and postage stamps, I can see that Canada is here, on the ground, occupying this space, with its name written everywhere in large flashing print and declaring its existence for all to see and accept as real.

But does the declaration and repetition of a fiction make it a reality? Actually, no it doesn't.  This does not make Canada real.

Just because a billion people say something is true, that does not make it true.

What is truth, what is reality when it comes to the existence of countries?  What makes them real?  Who has the authority to create a country, or a national identity?

If i take a flag and a cross and stick them in the ground somewhere and declare it a country does that make it real?

No because i am just a schmuck.  But what if some king and some pope had sent me out as an emissary to plant the flag and cross and declare their dominion over it?  And then they said it was a sovereign country, and all their lawyers agreed, and all the schools and writers and preachers across the land said it was true that this country existed and of course regular folk brought up to believe in this fairy tale all came to agree that this version of reality was accurate.

Would that make it real? No, sorry, that would not make it real.  It is still based on a fiction, a deception, a confidence scheme.

The thing is that all of the people involved in the scheme may themselves believe it.  They are not lying or trying to trick people.  It is such a huge lie that massive institutions prop it up and they are filled with people who actually believe the fiction is true. 

Sure, Canada exists on paper, and in the minds of people, but here's the thing.  The fact is that it is all based on fiction.  It is a fabrication.

It is an officially and widely-held belief.  Does that make it real?  Real in what sense?

Not only is Canada based on a "legal fiction,"  it's based on religious fiction and political fiction.

These are fictions or untruths that are accepted as if they were real in order to fulfill some other purpose that is of benefit to those who hold the fiction to be true.  Actually, with a legal fiction, those using these fictions in court are supposed to know they are fictions and tht they are merely pretending they are real, like the fiction that corporations are people, or that Canada is made up of "crown land."  

Now I'm not saying Canada is unique in this kind of national delusion.  Other nations are similarly based on fictions: legal, political and religious.  And I'm not saying Canada is the worse case of this peculiar psychosis.

As a result of my new perception that Canada itself is a fiction, I have to wonder who or what I am. 

Sure, on paper, I'm a Cdn, but my sense of identity does not include being a Cdn.  I don't think of myself as Cdn.

It's hard to explain and i'm still working it out. I'm very curious to know what other folks here think.  I am now finishing up a new issue of Press for Conversion called "Fictive Canada" which focuses on Indigenous issues, slavery and various forms of fiction from Papal Bulls and royal decrees, to history books and the daily news. It will be ready for early 2017 (Canada's big birthday).

 

quizzical

richard if you go by your stated basis of perceptions then all countries of the world are a myth and a confidence scheme not just Canada.

you could be right but what does it matter? countries exist people exist within those countries and Canada too.

would one mythological world be better?

6079_Smith_W

Of course all nations are a construct. So what?

That doesn't mean they don't exist. If you don't believe that, try getting into one, or staying there without the right paperwork.

 

 

lagatta4

Ths sad part is that ikosmos is quoting Marx on ideology, though Marx wanted victory for the downtrodden. I've ordered a new biography of Karl Marx's youngest daughter, Eleanor, who was a remarkable radical socialist writer and activist, and one of the foremothers of socialist feminism - I discovered that it is in the Montréal library system (the system is named "Nelligan" after the poet) and we can order books from other branches now.

All nation-states are fictions to some extent; like all others in the Americas, Canada rests on the cultural and sometimes physical genocide of Indigenous populations, as well as "La Conquête" with the ensuing national oppression of francophone populations. But I wouldn't say it "doesn't exist", of course it does, in the primal form of "bodies of armed men".  And bolstered by the underpinnings of ideology, as in other nation-states, an ideology that evolves according to current needs. But I'm sure that Richard Sanders has already written that or something similar, though I haven't had time to read through his accounts yet.

lagatta4

If they didn't exist, I'd be somewhere far warmer today...

6079_Smith_W

And I thought the whole anti-globalization argument was built on the importance of national sovereignty and self determination.

Same goes for anti-imperialism.

And just because First Nations and Quebec, are nations does not mean that Canada is not. For that matter, some of those nations are themselves inventions. Whitecap, our nearest FN (which was actually responsible for the existence of Saskatoon) was not traditional territory. They received that land in part because of their service in the war of 1812. That does not make them any less a nation.

The notion that nations do not exist actually undercuts parts of many people's struggle, for example recognition of Metis nation and its claims. The question isn't that Canada doesn't exist, but that it made agreements in bringing the west into confederation which it has broken.

 

lagatta4

Yes, it is an odd argument, and could actually be used to justify imperialism and colonialism. US interference in the countries to its south comes to mind "after all, you are just imported from Spain, Portugual and some other motley places, and are living on the lands of the X, XX, and XXX peoples" (while of course granting no more rights to those Indigenous peoples). It is an issue long covered in historiagraphy, for example, the narratives of competing nations about specific events, such as the Great War. It is like the whole issue of Invented Culture.

Now can I go live in the south of France or central Italy for a few months? Though I'd like to think that Marine Le Pen is just a bad dream.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Canada may be something of an arbitrary construction, but it exists in very practical terms. What's up next in this discussion? Will we be diving down the Sovereign Citizen/Freemen on the Land rabbit hole?

Martin N.

quizzical wrote:

na imv those who perpetually vote against their own best interests are suffering from a syndrome called upper class mentality

A mother, watching a parade claims: "oh look, everyone is out of step except my Johnny".

Martin N.

ikosmos wrote:

well, yeah, I was trying to raise that as a general point. I mean, if Canadians are the MOST brainwashed, as I stupidly allege, then, therefore, I must, as  a Canadian, be similarly .. .vicitimized.

And i certainly don't pretend to be smarter than the rest of you louts. heh.

Let's call the thread my "opening salvo". The Aurora fires once. It doesn't mean I'm correct. Just that I make an outrageous claim. And provoke debate. A Zizek moment.

The more general point, that the ruling ideas in a society are, well, the ideas of the ruling elites, and that, therefore, every discussion of ideas is a kind of warfare, in which either one side, or the other, prevails. And, so I argue, the other side is mostly ...

winning. 

I think we have to acknowledge that. We're losing, and badly. And, that sort of truth is important to say. Unvarnished.

The other side, in the battle of ideas, is kicking our ass. And it's good to ask about that, what we might do to change that ...

 

 


Are we losing or are the 'values' espoused by the ruling elites, manifested by the musings of Trudeau the Lesser permeated by such an odour of opportunistic cynicism that the great unwashed simply pay no attention. As a door knocker for the NDP I found the average voter is not attuned to political issues and policies but vehemently attuned to 'Canadian values' as they see them.

quizzical

Martin N. wrote:
quizzical wrote:

na imv those who perpetually vote against their own best interests are suffering from a syndrome called upper class mentality

A mother, watching a parade claims: "oh look, everyone is out of step except my Johnny".

there's something at work when people en masse vote for millionaires and billionaires to get wealthier. or when they think jobs are more important than environment. or they're ok with guts to education and health care so the rich can get richer.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Just because a billion people say something is true, that does not make it true.

Problem is, if seven billion people believe something, even if it's all just an illusion, there isn't really anyone left to take counterpoint.  And pretty much all seven billion of us live in one or another of the hundred-and-something countries on Earth, and we seem OK with it.

Let me also suggest that the computer monitor, or tablet, or gadget you're looking at right now is also not real.  You know it only as a sensation that we call "vision", which may be stimulated by the activity of photons on cells in your retina, or may be as imaginary as a hallucination.  You also think you can "touch" it and the sensations of pressure on your nerve endings may lead you to the conclusion that it must be a real thing, but your brain has a bit of a conflict of interest, in that it receives this "sensations", and also sometimes generates hallucinations, however it's the sole arbiter of whether something is an authentic sensation or a self-generated hallucination.  When you think about it, this is exactly why hallucinations are what they are.

So never mind that Canada doesn't exist (and by extension, no other country or nation either) -- nothing exists.  A billion people may believe things exist, but that doesn't make it true, right?  If we're going to play silly buggers and act like annoying Philosophy grad school students then let's at least bring our "A" game.

Edzell Edzell's picture

Further: If Sanders' aim is to gain support for the COAT - Coalition to Oppose Arms Trade - this item is maybe not helpful. No doubt many who cherish some of the myths he details, would nevertheless oppose arms trading.

Edzell Edzell's picture

Although I can agree in general with many of the ideas in Richard Sanders' piece, it seems silly and dishonest to refer to them as "The Canada Syndrome." The attitudes & mythical beliefs he talks about are typical of the citizens in many, if not all nations - as any truly open minded persons will tell you, who grew up elswhere. "The Nationalist Syndrome" or something like that, would be more appropriate, with specific reference to Canadian symptoms & examples.

Likewise, ikonos' assertion that "Canadians are the most brainwashed people on Planet Earth" is not credible. Look around.

I get quite skeptical about the objectivity of people when they use such over-the-top pejorative language as "intoxicating swill of political hogwash that has been lapped up as the gospel truth" and "Canada’s soothing elixir ... strange brew laced with hypocrisy, duplicity, artificial maple flavour and patriotic Red Dye" Reading this kind of stuff I judge that the writer is over-intoxicated with his own pre-emptive rhetoric, ridiculing in advance any criticism of his statements. If I were to adopt his style I'd probably call him a self-important fanatical raving & foaming at the mouth etc, etc.

But I won't do that.

I do agree with the general thrust of his piece, but not with the implication that the "Syndrome" is peculiarly Canadian, or that no one elsewhere is as brainwashed or more so than Canadians. Having grown up in 1940s-50s Britain I'm an authority on that subject.

Excerpt from "Land of hope & Glory" which we sang with gusto at the prom concerts:
"By Freedom gained,
By Truth maintained,
Thine Empire shall be strong."

Really.

Martin N.

quizzical wrote:

Martin N. wrote:
quizzical wrote:

na imv those who perpetually vote against their own best interests are suffering from a syndrome called upper class mentality

A mother, watching a parade claims: "oh look, everyone is out of step except my Johnny".

there's something at work when people en masse vote for millionaires and billionaires to get wealthier. or when they think jobs are more important than environment. or they're ok with guts to education and health care so the rich can get richer.


"Jobs are more important than the environment"? No. I'd say: their own job is more important than the disinformation and fearmongering about potential environmental concerns. Environmental brainwashing via fearmongering about 'oil spills' is accomplished using emotional rhetoric and avoiding any technical discussions.

Edzell Edzell's picture

Quote:
Environmental brainwashing via fearmongering about 'oil spills' is accomplished using emotional rhetoric and avoiding any technical discussions.

"Environmental brainwashing via fearmongering ..... using emotional rhetoric and avoiding any technical discussions." IS emotional rhetoric avoiding any technical discussion.

Or was the post intended as deliberately ironic humor?

Martin N.

Edzell, What is peculiarly Canadian is the ease with which foreign interests can manipulate some Canadians opinions against their own economic interests. The foreign interests, of course, have no intention of following their own advice.

Edzell Edzell's picture

Martin N. wrote:
Edzell, What is peculiarly Canadian is the ease with which foreign interests can manipulate some Canadians opinions.

I don't believe that.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

OK, so

 

1. The microscopic size of the Canadian left, I'm arguing, is proof that my claim holds water. Why is the left so tiny and fractured? Because the other side, the ruling elites in this country, are so successful at "brainwashing" the masses.

Forgive my over the top language. But the point still stands;

This point is particularly important for those on the left who spend all their energy, it seems, on sectarian denunciation of other elements in the left. It draws attention to the harmfulness of this. I think that's useful. Just as saying the left is smaller than it should be because of the success of the "brainwashing" of the ruling elites.

2. Ditto for the pathetically small peace movement, characterized by a kind of sterilization of anti-imperialist sentiment, putting far too many Canadians in the "pro imperialist" side of things;

3. what Yves Engler has been doing a very good job of exposing lately; unlike our American cousins, Canadians subscribe, in enormous numbers, to a mass delusion of "the peaceable kingdom" , raining blessings on humanity whereever we go.What i mean here is that plenty of Americans understand their country is an Empire ... and they don't care, or even approve.

Canadians are in mass denial about similar phenomenon here in Canada.

OK, more later. I just want to be clear that Lagatta's original criticism is off the mark; this isn't spite or whatever on my part. It's something that I see and I would like, as well, to explain it.

4. Astonishing Russophobia is off the scale. It afffects all sorts of attitudes in international issues. I put this last here because I do not want to claim this is the strongest evidence. Just that it is part of the picture.

 

swallow

ikosmos wrote:
This point is particularly important for those on the left who spend all their energy, it seems, on sectarian denunciation of other elements in the left.

Quoted for irony. 

Edzell Edzell's picture

swallow wrote:
Quoted for irony.
There's a lot of that, unwitting, (or witless) going around.

Edzell Edzell's picture

ikosmos wrote:
... plenty of Americans understand their country is an Empire ... and they don't care, or even approve.    Canadians are in mass denial about similar phenomenon here in Canada.

Eh?

Martin N.

Edzell wrote:

Martin N. wrote:
Edzell, What is peculiarly Canadian is the ease with which foreign interests can manipulate some Canadians opinions.

I don't believe that.


Ironically, you prove my point.

lagatta4

I dunno, where I live, my MP is NDP, my MNA is Québec solidaire and my borough mayor and district council member are Projet Montréal. The left was elected where I live - perhaps only Québec solidaire is really "anticapitalist left", but our NDP MP is Alexandre Boulerice, who is far to the left of Mulcair. Hardly microscopic. Stop insulting people.

ikosmos, I suppose you know nothing about the Printemps érable, ou étudiant.

US Americans aren't my cousins any more than other people in America (or the "Americas", as anglos say).

Criticism of the current government of Russia is not "Russophobia". Hatred of Russians would be Russophobia, and I haven't seen much of that.

I guess he needs advice on how to attack my thoroughly Marxist criticism... Just stop insulting people, that would be a start, eh? I am so pissed off at your calomnies - I'm an old lefty who has protested both Gulf wars, in bitter winter weather. No friend of any imperialists. Or Stalinists.

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