Albert Nock was a noted 20th century American libertarian who along with H.L. Mencken, recognized the pre-conditions necessary to accurately foresee the onset of both the Great Depression and WWII. In his 1935 treatise “Our Enemy: The State,” Nock wrote that:
…there is an impression that the enhancement of State power which has taken place in recent years is provisional and temporary, that the corresponding depletion of social power is by way of a kind of emergency-loan, and therefore is not to be scrutinized too closely. There is every probability that this belief is devoid of foundation. No doubt our present regime will be modified in one way or another; indeed, it must be, for the process of consolidation itself requires it. But any essential change would be quite unhistorical, quite without precedent, and therefore most unlikely; and by an essential change, I mean one that will tend to redistribute actual power between State and society. In the nature of things, there is no reason why such change should take place, and every reason why it should not. We shall see various apparent recessions, apparent compromises, but the one thing that we may be quite sure of is that none of these will tend to diminish actual State power.
Today we are witnessing similar tension between society and the state. The once “True North Strong and Free” has lately become neither strong nor free. Libertarians like Nock and his colleague H.L. Mencken see the state as an inherently evil entity created by a corrupt ruling class that uses legally sanctioned violence to rob (through taxation) and oppress (through restrictions upon liberty) individuals and thus to reduce the economic, social, and political power of society.
The state machinery is a massive, comprehensive, complicated, and often seemingly contradictory tool for social plunder. Each state appears to be unique in a historical sense so that the methods and manners of using the machinery vary over time, place, circumstance, and culture. Different groups, especially under “democratic” regimes, like Canada and the U.S., vie for control of the state apparatus, often only having limited success, thus leading unaware citizens to conclude that class theories are phantasies rather than true depictions verifiable in reality. Nevertheless, in all states, various groups struggle for political and economic power, and over the course of time, one or more groups ends up considerably “more equal” than the others. It is to these more powerful groups that plundered wealth accrues. This group becomes entrenched both politically and economically through its success at plundering wealth. As the entrenchment becomes more secure and the plunder begins to move from the exploited class to the exploiting class, we begin calling the exploiting group a ruling class.
Those who gain access to state power apparatus and become adept in supervision of the political means, except in the most placid of times when they can afford luxury and sophistication of the noblesse oblige, generally are an unlikely lot to be tolerant or in any way chivalrous in their methods of administration, especially in times of “emergency”. In such turmoil, those most adept in the use of political means will take advantage of the situation to further solidify the class position of both themselves and their peers. As F.A. Hayek famously pointed out, it is an almost inevitable process of the worst rising to the top.
Justin Trudeau made some truly horrific comments only days ago on a Quebec television program, in which he questioned whether vaccinated Canadians should be forced to tolerate the unvaccinated:
We are going to end this pandemic with vaccination. We all know people who are deciding whether or not they are willing to get vaccinated, and we will do our very best to try to convince them. However, there is still a part of the population fiercely against it. They do not believe in science or progress and are very often misogynistic and racist. It is a very small group of people, but that does not shy away from the fact that they take up some space. This leads us, as a leader and as a country, to make a choice: Do we tolerate these people? Over 80% of the population have done their duty by getting the shot. They are obviously not the issue in this situation.
These comments from the leader of the Canadian ruling party, who represents only their interests, cuts to the heart of the matter. They also reveal the true source and purpose of the vaccine mandates now being imposed upon Canadian workers. The vaccine mandate is a politically expedient use of state authority to attack Canadian citizens. Here the state is attacking and usurping individual autonomy. The state turns an emergency into a resource for accumulating power at the expense of individuals. All the state’s institutional voices, especially the media and even WOKE corporate interests conspire in exhibiting the progressive conversion of individual rights into state power necessary for the public good.
Here then is the truth about vaccine mandates in Canada. There is no federal law invoking them. Constitutionally, the federal government has no authority over health. Section 92 makes health an exclusively Provincial jurisdiction. But just as this government has usurped provincial jurisdiction over natural resources, it has seized authority over health through bribery. It has thereby transformed a pandemic into an economic, debt, national security crisis, and an employment crisis The last one is particularly relevant because the federal government is now the nation’s largest and most ubiquitous employer.
It should therefore be obvious why the vaccine mandate policies targets all Canadians. The poor, the indigent, the elderly, prison inmates, unskilled labourers, and the unemployed have no economic or political power. The uber rich and ruling political class are similarly unaffected because their support is assured and thus not in jeopardy. Workers at companies like CN, CP, Westjet, Air Canada, CNRL, Imperial Oil, Telus, CBC, BDC, Universities, Health workers, Physicians, and others are all highly skilled, experienced, talented, loyal, and valuable.
Each of them were produced by and then plucked from society via a market selection process which emphasized and compared their competing individual characteristics and qualifications. They accepted situations with these employers at the opportunity cost of not following other career paths. They worked hard, were advanced, promoted, given raises and titles. They made their employers wealthy and successful. Many of them were the same first responders celebrated for their courage, sacrifice and dedication during the first wave of the pandemic last Spring.
But now, suddenly, their individual characteristics, dedication and experience, are irrelevant. Employers want only one thing and makes continuation of employment wholly conditional upon it: get jabbed, or else. This is nothing less than a shocking, vile, extortive, and abusive betrayal of Canadian workers. These are Canadians who have educated themselves, acquired skills, contributed to RRSPs, volunteered their time and money to worthy charities, coached and administered youth sports, served on local school boards, bought homes, and raised families. They are the highly skilled people that our country has been trying to produce and import for decades. Some of them are anti-Vaxx, of course, but most are pro-freedom. They claim the right to decide what does or does not enter their bodies. They assert the ancient doctrine of informed consent and in support cite the Nuremberg Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Meanwhile, if they don’t get at least three doses of the COVID vaccine they are involuntarily placed on something called an unpaid leave of absence, a sort of employment purgatory during which they are neither working or terminated. They turn to their unions only to discover that unions won’t help. While this is going on, the Federal government disqualifies them from applying for employment insurance.
This then is the awful dilemma that the unvaccinated face: to trade their liberty and the integrity of their own bodies for the security of a job that allows them to support their families. This transcendent choice was explicated in a September 2021 letter penned by Dr. Eric Payne, an eminent pediatrician, to Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Province of Alberta. In 20 pages of brilliantly clear prose, copiously documented both medically and legally, Dr. Payne amplifies the historical, medical, and political significance of the doctrine of informed consent. Essentially, once individuals permit the state to dictate what is done to their bodies, that is the end of personal autonomy. No Charter of Rights or Nuremberg Code can ever bring it back. Informed consent is a watershed, and this is precisely the point. In September of 2020, Justin Trudeau delivered a speech to the UN in which he endorsed the World Economic Forum’s “Great Reset,” during which he described the Covid-19 pandemic as providing the “opportunity for a reset.” The WEF believes in global governance and in global wealth redistribution, arguing that capitalism is inequitable even though its members are responsible for that wealth-creating system.
Trudeau has been a keynote speaker at the WEF twice since becoming PM. Deputy PM and Finance Minister Freeland and former Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney are listed as members of its board of trustees. One of its earliest supporters was the late Canadian globalist, Maurice Strong. The Great Reset Initiative was the theme of the WEF’s 2021 meeting held in Lucerne, Switzerland. The Initiative argues that the pandemic and climate change demonstrate the need for global governance because individual nations are incapable of addressing these effectively or equitably under capitalism. Here again is precisely what Nock wrote about 90 years ago, but taken to a new extreme. No longer should individual sovereign nation states exist. Now we must have a world government, a global state to govern “post-nation” states—which is how our PM has described Canada: a nation without a core identity.
The UN Agenda 2030 is indistinguishable from The Great Reset. Its mantra is “you will own nothing, but you will be happy.” To get there, it is necessary to dismantle capitalism by disarming, dispossessing, and destroying the once strong and free Canadian citizen. Weaponizing a faux health crisis as a means by which to eliminate the ability of workers to work, to maintain private property, and to accumulate wealth is a rather effective strategy to reach our PM’s stated objective of deconstructing Canada.
Can there still be any doubt that the most oppressed Canadian minority is the individual, and that our greatest enemy is blind faith in a benign state even when it plunders and oppresses individuals in the collective public interest? H.L. Mencken expressed this perilous state of affairs back in 1926:
The State has taken on a vast mass of new duties and responsibilities; it has spread out its powers until they penetrate to every act of the citizen, however secret; it has begun to throw around its operations the high dignity and impeccability of a state religion; its agents become a separate and superior caste, with authority to bind and loose, and their thumbs in every pot. But it still remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men.
Frontier senior fellow Leighton Grey Q.C. is a lawyer practicing in Alberta and B.C. He is also a status Indian whose Great Grandfather was once the Hereditary Chief of the Carry the Kettle or Jack Band at Sintaluta, Saskatchewan.