Self-beheading

Image result for cambodian genocide

An interesting article in Manhattan Contrarian today reminds me of the importance of envy as a way to understand the root of leftist politics. Envy is one of the seven deadly sins. Unlike the other six (wrath, sloth, gluttony, pride, lust and greed), envy cannot exist without comparison to others. Envy is always about how one feels about another, be it a person or some abstraction, like a nation or a political system. We shall return to envy shortly. In the meantime, contemplate these facts.

The author of Manhattan Contrarian, Francis Menton, was touring Cambodia and describes the Cambodian genocide.

“When the killings started in 1975, there were fewer than 8 million Khmer in Cambodia (and not too many more outside). Four years later, the population of the country was well under 5 million. Historian Ben Kiernan has estimated the number murdered at 1.7 million. Others place the number at between 2 and 2.5 million. Most died in actual one-on-one executions, although there was also plenty of mass starvation. Literally everyone lost multiple friends and/or family members.

“Recognizing that causation is a very complex subject and that a series of events can have many causes, it is still true that in every version of the Cambodian genocide that I have found the causation story comes back to the same thing: ideology. In this case the ideology was communism, that pernicious European quasi-religious idea that somehow got taken up in the twentieth century by various Asians as the preferred route to utopia. New dictator Pol Pot got it into his head to impose a “pure” form of Maoist communism, which involved getting rid of all vestiges of capitalism and forcing everybody into a collectivized agrarian economy. Before the killings even got going, the entire populations of the cities and most villages were marched out forcibly into the countryside and resettled. From The Culture Trip:

[After Pol Pot assumed power in April 1975] residents were immediately rounded up and sent to the countryside as part of the communist regime’s plans to create an agrarian society. Personal possessions were confiscated, money abolished, family ties severed and the almighty Angkar [political police] set the brutal laws, which saw the population sent to work the land under appalling conditions.

“How did they decide whom to kill? The basic concept was, anybody who did not subscribe perfectly and in every respect to the ideological script, or who was suspected even a little of less than perfect loyalty to the regime. As the genocide got going, the criteria came to include anyone who had achieved any success in life, however minimal: every owner of significant property, every professional, every entrepreneur, every academic, every teacher. From Wikipedia:

The Khmer Rouge regime arrested and eventually executed almost everyone suspected of connections with the former government or with foreign governments, as well as professionals and intellectuals.

“According to information I got from one of our local guides, at the end of the “killing fields” period, there remained in Cambodia only about 40 medical doctors, 52 university-level teachers, 200 high school-level teachers, and 2000 elementary school-level teachers. These people had survived by lying low and not admitting who they were. The country had been substantially set back to the stone age.”

There is a theory that explains this behaviour, and another that justifies it. The justification for class extermination comes from Karl Marx. The explanation for the motives that drive the extermination of the intelligent and the accomplished comes from a man called Helmut Schoeck.

The power of envy is not sufficiently appreciated, either for its pervasive negative effects, or that it takes political forms. The great book on the subject was written by a Austrian-German professor who taught in the United States, Helmut Shoeck, (3 July 1922 – 2 February 1993) and it is called simply, Envy.

Schoeck sees envy as a pervasive force throughout human affairs, stifling and even deadly in its effects if unconstrained, and in constant need of containment. He argues that envy is one of the chief forces causing underdevelopment in many parts of the world. Further, that until the social power of envy was abated, economic development as we have come to experience was blocked at every turn. Avoiding the “evil eye”, he says, is one of the expressions that the power of envy takes in many parts of the world. Entire societies, from Andean peasants to Arabs, are held back by the need to avoid the envy of one’s neighbours by visibly succeeding, which means, in essence, by accumulating, more property than one’s neighbours.

His interpretation of Protestantism connects to the struggle against envy and the takeoff of modern economic development in some parts of the world since the Reformation. Schoeck writes that the idea of God in Calvinism was crucial to the liberation of those personal and social forces and self-authorizations that underlie capitalist development. This idea was of a God who envies us nothing. If God does not envy, why should we?

Marxism, in this view, is but the resurrection of the power of envy into a supposedly scientific theory. “It is only in Marxism, the abstract and glorified concept of the proletariat, the disinherited and exploited, that a position of implacable envy is fully legitimized.”

Schoeck was the first man, to my knowledge, to understand explicitly the force of envy as a destructive and pervasive social pressure, which needs all the power of religion to repress and to contain. I have managed to describe Shoeck’s thinking in bare outline here; I recommend the book. It is one of the most important I have ever read.

I end with a quote from Schoeck on the real nature of envy:

“But Chaucer also sees envy as the worst of sins because nearly all the rest oppose only one virtue, whereas envy turns against all the virtues and against everything that is good. It denies, as we would now say, every value in the scale or table of values. Because the envious man takes exception to his neighbour’s every virtue and advantage, the sin of envy is distinct from all others. Every other kind of sin is in itself pleasurable, to some degree productive of satisfaction, but envy only produces envy and sorrow. Chaucer holds envy to be a sin against nature because it consists in the first place of distress over other people’s goodness and prosperity, and prosperity is naturally a matter of joy. In the second place envy consists of joy in the ills and suffering that befall others. This envy is like the devil, who always rejoices in human suffering.”

Doctrines that unleash the power of envy end in massacre, as Cambodia’s attempted social purification attests, along with the massacre of Ukrainian farmers and Europe’s Jews under the Nazis, to name only the modern examples. I wonder how much of the abhorrence on the Covington kids by the outraged political left is essentially envy of their bright normalness, their happiness, their whiteness, which they disguise from themselves by calling it white privilege.

Diana Davison and the Lighthouse Project

“I’m Done with Feminism”(vid here) is the title of an extremely perceptive and rigorous analysis of the corruption of the justice system by pandering to feminism. The Lighthouse Project [here] is an organization that helps people falsely accused to work through the legal system and to reconstruct their lives after.

She pays particular attention to false rape charges and to the shameful trial by media of Jon Ghomeshi, and to the truly poisonous effects of false rape allegations, not only on the accused, but on society in general and the fundamental right to be held innocent until proven guilty.

I highly recommend her videos; we need more people like her.

Rebel Yell

The joys of not paying attention

The recent media kerfuffle about some boys from Covington high school and their supposedly awful attacks on some poor old Indian have turned around into a media catastrophe. The leftist press got everything wrong – no surprise – but was apprehended in the act, and had to back off. The entire incident will be forgotten in a week. I present this as an important reason why I try not to participate in the blogging of outrage.

In the time the entire event arose, spread, was refuted, and collapsed, I had to go to hospital for a cardiac procedure. (I am well thank you). The slight risk of actual death has a wonderfully concentrating effect on the mind. I turned to youtube videos about saw mills and cabin building. They are my way of engaging in escapist literature.

More than this, they concentrate me into practical efforts that bring exercise, accomplishment, and deep satisfaction in their wake.

The net tendency of Internet participation is to be constantly aggravated. If you are like me, it will be offended by the leftist assault on reason, history, religion, males, the white race, Christianity and morality. If you are anti-Trump, then everything happening these days will be offensive to you sensibilities. The best way to regain your poise and equanimity is to stop paying attention to the shadow play of politics.

Hokum and voodoo

I realize this is not what a political blog ought to say. Yet I am more concerned with my own health and sanity than I am with Trump, Trudeau or any of the dozens of points of concern, such as Brexit, Venezuala, or building pipelines in Canada. We have to remember that the reasons why we are conservatives is that most of life lies beyond and outside of politics, and it is to those wells that we go to draw our spiritual water.

More Fake News from the MSM

Remember a while back American diplomats in Cuba were complaining of a “sonic attack”, implying that the nefarious Russians were behind it. Twenty-four staff at the US embassy claimed all manner of symptoms including headaches, dizziness, nausea, vision problems etc.

Much fatuous posturing followed from the State Department, complete with diplomats being recalled and travel advisories being issued, blah, blah.

Meanwhile, the Cubans investigated and cooperated (colluded!?) with the FBI and recordings were made of the alleged “sonic attacks”. These were shared and indeed, the Associated Press issued a video with the recorded sounds. The Cubans said that the recorded sounds were typical of a type of cricket or cicada that lives in that part of Cuba.

Fast forward to September 2018, and the “usual suspects”, the Russophobic NBC, and particularly the totally bonkers MSNBC, were fingering Russia as the culprit again. As reported on the Moon of Alabama [here]:

The NBC story came with a red flag. One of its authors was the CIA’s mop-up man Ken Dilanian who lets the CIA rewrite his stories before they get published. Whenever one sees that author’s name one must presume to read disinformation.

Other MSM lugenpresse outlets, like the Grauniad in the UK and the Daily Beast website, chimed in with “Russia main suspect behind illnesses of US staff in Cuba,” blah, blah.

But, reality began to poke its ugly nose into the whole sordid affair. In a rare moment of honesty, the New York Times reports[here] that US scientists found, just as the Cubans had, that the sounds were…

The song of the Indies short-tailed cricket …[which] “matches, in nuanced detail, the A.P. recording in duration, pulse repetition rate, power spectrum, pulse rate stability, and oscillations per pulse,” the scientists wrote in their analysis.

And, there’s more…

Alexander Stubbs of the University of California, Berkeley, and Fernando Montealegre-Z of the University of Lincoln in England studied a recording of the sounds made by diplomats and published by The Associated Press.
“There’s plenty of debate in the medical community over what, if any, physical damage there is to these individuals,” said Mr. Stubbs in a phone interview. “All I can say fairly definitively is that the A.P.-released recording is of a cricket, and we think we know what species it is.”[h/t Moon of Alabama].

Canadian expert on insect communication Gerald Pollack of McGill University concurred.

So what have we here? Another hysterical Russophobic story, unsupported by any evidence whatsoever, being spread around the credulous and ignorant “news Media”, the only intention of which would be to stir up more hatred of Russia and further poison international relations.

One wonders when, if ever, the fact-free lie-mongering masquerading as journalism will be held to account?

Don’t hold your breath on that one.

Rebel Yell

The cabin fantasy

If you have not seen the fascinating youtubes of Shawn James, you should. Shawn has been building a cabin and related outbuildings in the woods near Georgian Bay for the past three years. His filming technique has been improving steadily, and he now has a drone to get aerial shots of his territory. He has 670,000 youtube followers, and is in constant receipt of fan mail from all quarters of the world. Many people are having vicarious pleasure in following our pioneer as he labours to build his projects.

The fascination of Shawn James is his utter absorption in the task. In many films he works in complete silence for hours and then concludes his weekly upload with reflections on whatever he wants to talk about.

He is an introvert. He prefers the company of himself and his cute golden retriever. In three seasons I do not think he has cracked a smile twice, and then only fleetingly. You will wait in vain for any levity, any wit. He is as serious as Jordan Peterson.

What I like about James is his ordinary canadian-ness. He speaks in what for foreigners will seem as a thick Canadian accent. He lives in the woods, and James makes you realize that what for Canadians is quite ordinary Ontario bush looks to an Australian or to an Arab as exotic landscape. No vast prairies, no deserts, but a land bounded by trees and swamps and rivers. It is our home, but to the universe on youtube it looks as strange as anything on earth.

I used to live the cabin fantasy too. I inherited a square-log cabin built in the 1850s. It was very well built, had been vandalized, and we restored it to health. Gradually, as my family expanded, and our twenties turned into our thirties, the notion of using an outhouse, or washing in the kitchen sink, lost their charms. First came insulation and a wooden stove, then a well and cold running water. Then a propane stove for cooking. Then, in order, hot water, a shower, and finally an indoor toilet with septic tank. Eventually it was a well-insulated rustic cabin, with wood shed and tool shed attached.

My ideas changed too, from the 1970s. Back then I was an eco-catastrophist. I followed the Club of Rome sky-is-falling , resources-are-running out mantras. On his occasional forays into matters beyond construction, Shawn James will venture thoughts on man and nature, but mostly he sticks to the issues that make him so much himself: careful steady work, measuring twice, walks with his dog, explaining to the camera what he plans to do, and showing how he gets things done.

There are three seasons of his films available, and he provides many an urbanite, desert dweller, and inept non-builders a vary Canadian fantasy.

The Gilets Jaunes are unstoppable

One of the mysteries to me since Trump’s election has been the steadfast refusal of many intelligent people to contemplate the reasons why he won, why the gilets jaunes are rebelling in France, why the Brexit vote, why anything in the post world War 2 consensus might no longer be applicable, or might have to change. I see a failure of imagination comparable to that of the 1930s, when all well-educated Establishment opinion held that alarms about this Hitler fellow were just Winston Churchill’s bad judgment and war mongering.

The people pointing to the oncoming disaster are mistaken for the disaster itself. The perceptual failure is like the dog who thinks the finger you are using to point with is the thing referred to. You would think people with two university degrees would be smarter, but they are not. In fact the more educated they are, the more resistant to the idea that they might need to adapt their ideas.

I noticed on Facebook pages the first break in the ice-wall. This morning I saw the first reference in my circle of Facebook friends and correspondents to the work of Christophe Guilluy (pronounced Geewee with a hard ‘g’). The article occurred in Spiked, and is called “the gilets jaunes are unstoppable”.

Guilluy produced a study in 2014 called “La France Péripherique” (Peripheral France) that argued that the native French working class no longer lived in the large metropolitan centres of Paris, Toulouse and Lyon, as they had been driven out by real estate prices. They had been replaced by immigrant populations who would build and serve the metropolitan elites, who remain unaware of what is going on in the parts of France (or England) where they no one of their circles lives.

“Technically, our globalised economic model performs well. It produces a lot of wealth. But it doesn’t need the majority of the population to function. It has no real need for the manual workers, labourers and even small-business owners outside of the big cities. Paris creates enough wealth for the whole of France, and London does the same in Britain. But you cannot build a society around this. The gilets jaunes is a revolt of the working classes who live in these places.

They tend to be people in work, but who don’t earn very much, between 1000€ and 2000€ per month. Some of them are very poor if they are unemployed. Others were once middle-class. What they all have in common is that they live in areas where there is hardly any work left. They know that even if they have a job today, they could lose it tomorrow and they won’t find anything else.

spiked: What is the role of culture in the yellow-vest movement?

Guilluy: Not only does peripheral France fare badly in the modern economy, it is also culturally misunderstood by the elite. The yellow-vest movement is a truly 21st-century movement in that it is cultural as well as political. Cultural validation is extremely important in our era.

One illustration of this cultural divide is that most modern, progressive social movements and protests are quickly endorsed by celebrities, actors, the media and the intellectuals. But none of them approve of the gilets jaunes. Their emergence has caused a kind of psychological shock to the cultural establishment. It is exactly the same shock that the British elites experienced with the Brexit vote and that they are still experiencing now, three years later.

The Brexit vote had a lot to do with culture, too, I think. It was more than just the question of leaving the EU. Many voters wanted to remind the political class that they exist. That’s what French people are using the gilets jaunes for – to say we exist. We are seeing the same phenomenon in populist revolts across the world.

spiked: How have the working-classes come to be excluded?

Guilluy: All the growth and dynamism is in the major cities, but people cannot just move there. The cities are inaccessible, particularly thanks to mounting housing costs. The big cities today are like medieval citadels. It is like we are going back to the city-states of the Middle Ages. Funnily enough, Paris is going to start charging people for entry, just like the excise duties you used to have to pay to enter a town in the Middle Ages.

The cities themselves have become very unequal, too. The Parisian economy needs executives and qualified professionals. It also needs workers, predominantly immigrants, for the construction industry and catering et cetera. Business relies on this very specific demographic mix. The problem is that ‘the people’ outside of this still exist. In fact, ‘Peripheral France’ actually encompasses the majority of French people.

spiked: What role has the liberal metropolitan elite played in this?

Guilluy: We have a new bourgeoisie, but because they are very cool and progressive, it creates the impression that there is no class conflict anymore. It is really difficult to oppose the hipsters when they say they care about the poor and about minorities.

But actually, they are very much complicit in relegating the working classes to the sidelines. Not only do they benefit enormously from the globalised economy, but they have also produced a dominant cultural discourse which ostracises working-class people. Think of the ‘deplorables’ evoked by Hillary Clinton. There is a similar view of the working class in France and Britain. They are looked upon as if they are some kind of Amazonian tribe. The problem for the elites is that it is a very big tribe.

The middle-class reaction to the yellow vests has been telling. Immediately, the protesters were denounced as xenophobes, anti-Semites and homophobes. The elites present themselves as anti-fascist and anti-racist but this is merely a way of defending their class interests. It is the only argument they can muster to defend their status, but it is not working anymore.

Now the elites are afraid. For the first time, there is a movement which cannot be controlled through the normal political mechanisms. The gilets jaunes didn’t emerge from the trade unions or the political parties. It cannot be stopped. There is no ‘off’ button. Either the intelligentsia will be forced to properly acknowledge the existence of these people, or they will have to opt for a kind of soft totalitarianism.

A lot has been made of the fact that the yellow vests’ demands vary a great deal. But above all, it’s a demand for democracy. Fundamentally, they are democrats – they want to be taken seriously and they want to be integrated into the economic order.

spiked: How can we begin to address these demands?

Guilluy: First of all, the bourgeoisie needs a cultural revolution, particularly in universities and in the media. They need to stop insulting the working class, to stop thinking of all the gilets jaunes as imbeciles.

Cultural respect is fundamental: there will be no economic or political integration until there is cultural integration. Then, of course, we need to think differently about the economy. That means dispensing with neoliberal dogma. We need to think beyond Paris, London and New York.

Christophe Guilluy was talking to Fraser Myers.

I shall watch with interest to see whether the kind of analysis offered by Guilluy will make greater headway among my acquaintances and friends because it comes detached from the kinds of associations that people like Steve Bannon bring with them.

And now for something completely inevitable

 

Theresa May, formerly the Prime Minister of England, has just lost by a huge margin, a vote in Parliament regarding the terms she negotiated with the EU over Brexit. These terms encompassed all the worst aspects of belonging to the EU without any of the benefits of a significant vote in the organization. May is now a zombie. She still occupies the office of Prime Minister but her career is effectively finished. Zombie-like, she will stagger on until someone puts the metaphorical bullet through her head, possibly by internal party revolt. She is enormously self over-rated, and in this she resembles a lot of women in power these days.

 

  1. Britain will leave the European Union, inevitably.
  2. Britain will make free trade agreements with all who want them with her, which includes the US, Canada and the English-speaking countries of the Commonwealth. Probably more will sign up with the UK.
  3.  The EU will last another ten to twenty years, though it will fracture into northern and southern economies, if not into more subgroups.

May is not the only political zombie. So is the EU, though the EU still thinks it is calling the shots.

Some changes take time to unfold. This is one of them.

It started to go bad a long time ago

Sometime ago the elites decided that we are all wrong, and that western civilization needs to be destroyed from inside. Heather MacDonald said this movement of decline and decadence began in the 1960s. She is the author of many good books, The Burden of Bad Ideas published in 2000, is among them.

This is what she sounded like in the year 2000, which is what she says in 2018. She has been right for a long time.

Sally Satel, MD, is worth listening to as well.

Check your aboriginal privilege at the door

I read today the article by Terry Glavin on why yet another attempt to build a pipeline is failing.  It is not a caricature. It is not a spoof. It is the real world outcome of policies launched by our Supreme Court years ago,  and in so far as the Court has consistently done its best to make Canada an ungovernable mess, it is succeeding.

The backers of the pipeline hired Indian groups to do the preparatory wood clearing and road building for $620 million. They obtained the permission of 20 band councils through whose territory the pipeline would pass. Was this enough? No!

“The thing is, it doesn’t much matter what those 20 band councils have to say for themselves. What matters is what the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and their clans and their house groups say, and for several years they have been saying, fairly consistently, thanks, but no thanks, no pipeline, no damn way…

…In Wet’suwet’en country, the law is the ancient feast system, and the hereditary chiefs are bound to uphold the law. That’s not just some hippie anthropologist’s point of view, either. It’s the view of the Supreme Court of Canada, in its specific findings in the landmark 1997 Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en case, Delgamuukw versus the Queen. It was the hereditary chiefs who fought and won that court battle. In Wet’suwet’en country, Aboriginal rights and title are vested in the hereditary chiefs and their clans and their house groups.”

In the Supreme Court judgment summary of the Delgamukw case, we read as follows:

The appellants, all Gitksan or Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, both individually and on behalf of their “Houses”, claimed separate portions of 58,000 square kilometres in British Columbia.  For the purpose of the claim, this area was divided into 133 individual territories, claimed by the 71 Houses.  This represents all of the Wet’suwet’en people, and all but 12 of the Gitksan Houses.  Their claim was originally for “ownership” of the territory and “jurisdiction” over it.  (At this Court, this was transformed into, primarily, a claim for aboriginal title over the land in question.)

133 individual territories, claimed by 71 houses. For 1500 to 2000 people, as the Court said. See below.

I continue with the Delgamuukw case because more people should be aware of how profoundly the interest of the larger society of Canada were trammelled and thrown aside by the actions of the Supreme Court.

The issue concerned the treatment by the trial judge of oral histories of the Aboriginal claims, and it was held that he had not properly given them the weight the Supreme Court thought he ought to have done. So the upper court dismissed the judgment of the trial judge, and allowed the claim and a new trial.

The oral histories were used in an attempt to establish occupation and use of the disputed territory which is an essential requirement for aboriginal title.  The trial judge refused to admit or gave no independent weight to these oral histories and then concluded that the appellants had not demonstrated the requisite degree of occupation for “ownership”.  Had the oral histories been correctly assessed, the conclusions on these issues of fact might have been very different.

So are the claims of the Kings of Gondor to be descended from the Andurin of Atlantis to be judged by the oral history of one J.R.R.Tolkien? More close in time, and somewhat more realistic, are the claims of the Kings of Scotland to be the Kings of England to be adjudged by the oral traditions of hereditary clan chiefs of the Celtic Highlands faithful to the Stuart cause? As those clan chieftains recalled in 1975? Or were those claims not finally ended in fire and sword at Culloden?

If the Supreme Court of Canada were adjudicating the legitimacy of the House Windsor to be the legitimate rulers of the United Kingdom the claims would depend on some daft crofters in Skye and Uist who remembered their great grandmothers’ fairy tales of Bonnie Prince Charlie. No serious state should allow a court to determine its legitimacy.

These thoughts may seem absurd and overdrawn. Even I can at times when I can see the dilemma of the courts. They were thrust into the position of inventing law on the spot: to give substance to the term “aboriginal rights” as mentioned in section 35 of the 1982 Constitution Act. In the legal treatment of aboriginal rights by our courts we see the action of judges trying to make sense of the claims of the original inhabitants against the claims of the larger society.

Being the good Liberals they were, the Supreme Court was extravagant in its definitions of “aboriginal title”.

Aboriginal title was specifically detached from those traditions specific to the continued maintenance of Indian economic or cultural existence.

Aboriginal title encompasses the right to exclusive use and occupation of the land held pursuant to that title for a variety of purposes, which need not be aspects of those aboriginal practices, customs and traditions which are integral to distinctive aboriginal cultures.  The protected uses must not be irreconcilable with the nature of the group’s attachment to that land.

Terry Glavin’s article on the latest blockades assigns some blame to Trudeau and Premier John Horgan of British Columbia. What did they mean when they said “that their consent should be required, as per the United Nations’ guidance, for industrial developments such as pipelines to proceed in areas subject to some degree of Aboriginal title.”

Let me give you the straight Canadian redneck version of events, and it is very simple, as you would expect. For the political Left, and I include the Supreme Court as a leading exponent of leftism, Indian title is a white-created tool to frustrate economic development. Aboriginals are mascot groups. Thomas Sowell described the use of mascot groups as the way in which liberals show their moral superiority. “See how concerned I am!” In Canada, “aboriginal title” is a tool of left-wing lawyers and courts who are committed to seeing resource extraction come to a halt, so that they simultaneously grow wealthy in court cases and frustrate the legitimate claims of Canadians to participate in the wealth of this country by elevating the claims of bands of one or three thousand over the claims of all the people.

The jurisdictional confusion,  the wrecking of the National Energy Board, the over-consultation, the refusal to throw down the gauntlet at the courts, or even to take them on in reasoned debate, as one ought, suits the interests of the anti-development portions of the Canadian Left.

In the Delgamuukw decision of 1997, the Supreme Court said “Wet’suwet’en consist of approximately 1,500 to 2,000 persons, who also predominantly live in the territory claimed.” Keep that number of people in mind when you read the following paragraph from Terry Glavin.

Whatever the region’s band councils have to say, the Coastal Gaslink pipeline route enters Wet’suwet’en territory at a place called Honeagh Bin, which is under the authority of the Thin House (Yexsowwiten) chief, whose people are members of the Big Frog (Gilseyhyu) clan. The pipeline route then traverses Small Frog (Laksilyu) property held by the House of Many Eyes (Ginehklaiyex), and on and on like this until it passes through the house territories of the Bear/Wolf clan (Gitumd’in), one of whose chiefs, Madeek (Jeff Brown) was a leader at the roadblock the RCMP dismantled on Monday. Eventually, the pipeline route reaches Talbiits Kwa, another Big Frog territory, which is where the Unist’ot’en have been controlling traffic on the forest service road for the past several years. The route then leaves Wet’suwet’en country at Lho Kwah, and enters the Haisla Nation territory. The Haisla are organized mainly into the Kitamaat First Nation, which generally supports the LNG Canada project.

We have reached an absurd point when such intra-tribal arcana is required to be considered when we try to make pipelines work. We are endowing villages of backwoodsmen the might, majesty, and power of states. If they were white, we would see the situation much more as Billy-Bob MacAuslan and his  clan of rednecks holding up the pipeline against the will of the Tysons down the valley who want it. I do not deny Billy-Bob his agency or his human rights, but they do not include his right to reduce our GNP because the moral equivalent of his teddy bear told him so, or because his ancient clan animosities require him to oppose whatever project the tribe of ancient enemies over the next mountain range favours, nor even when he believes a pipeline is not in his interest.

We invented statehood for a reason. One of the main ones was to bring an end to the power of local lords.  Canada should not be prevented from being a state because Billy-Bob Delgamuukw thinks he is heir to the Winged Serpent, the Holy Grail, the Revelations of the Spirit Bear, or the Second Attention. He is just a guy living in the woods. He has been consulted, and he doesn’t want a pipeline. Too bad. Buy him out (at a reasonable price) and build the thing.