KEEPERS OF THE FLAME Submitted by Archbishop Lazar Puhalo Retired Orthodox Archbishop Of Ottawa. The most firmly Canadian cultural, social and political tradition is Red Toryism. With deep spiritual and political roots in the development of the Confederation, the Red Tory factor was at the root of commonweal over the radical individualism that shaped the republic to the south of us. Canada chose a peaceful evolution toward statehood rather than a bloody revolution, and constitutional system based on the principle of “peace, order and good government.” Among the leaders and philosophers of our Red Tory tradition are many voices too often forgotten and neglected, to our social and cultural peril. The most well-known voice in the mid 20th century, George Grant, gave voice to this peril in his most poignant work. He anguished over the decline and loss of Canadian nationalism in his famous Lament for a Nation. If George Grant can be said to have a literary successor, it is surely Ron Dart. Keepers of the Flame is his latest contribution to jolting our collective memory to recall the spiritual and social foundations of our nation. Dart calls upon us to rediscover the Red Tory treasure which has made the Canadian experience unique, given us the means to resist both the anarchism of the American left and the sometimes brutal and destructive individualism of its political right. In page after page, Dart sweeps us along the stream of great Canadian men and women of letters, philosophers, poets, novelists, clerics and often colourful politicians who made the Red Tory experience the roots of Canadian sovereignty and ethos. Keepers of the Flame is essential reading for all who love and value the Canadian experience, sense of commonweal, ability to compromise when necessary, and continue a peaceful national evolution. We will see much more from the pen of Ron Dart, and look forward to it with anticipation. KEEPERS OF THE FLAME Submitted by Bill Blaikie Former Member of Federal Parliament In December of last year I was on a panel at a public meeting about religion and politics in Chiliwack, B.C.. One of my fellow panelists was Ron Dart, Professor at University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford B.C., who recently authored a book entitled Keepers of the Flame - Canadian Red Toryism. The book is a collection of essays by Dart that explore in various ways the possibility and the need to challenge "the imperial nature of liberalism" in Canada and North America. In Dart's view the successful challenge is to be found, if it is to be found at all, in the Red Tory tradition in Canada, and certainly not in the "icy blue Toryism" characteristic of the Multoney Tories, or especially the current Conservative government. In an essay clearly written before Stephen Harper became Prime Minister, Dart criticizes the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives as the unfortunate creation of a new right of centre republican party that is no real alternative to a Liberal party by then already more Americanized and heading futher rightward under Paul Martin. The first thing to be said about the book is that it deserves a wide readership if for no other reason than that it redeems the notion of Red Tory from what it has come to mean in conventional political chat, as referring merely to a Conservative politician who is progressive on some social issues. To be a Red Tory is to be much more , and even different than that, in terms of one's attitude towards society, the individual, the state, and the economy. Dart's essays on the Tory intellecual and literary tradition in Canada , including Stephen Leacock, Donald Creighton, Eugene Forsey, Robin Matthews, Milton Acorn, and George Grant, are a welcome source of both historical insight and an alternative to the liberal lens through which many such Canadians are viewed. As someone on the political left who has had a longstanding appreciation of George Grant's critique of liberalism, and his Canadian nationalism, I was particularly interested in the book's treatment of the affinity between the left and the Red Tory tradition, an affinity illustrated in the book by two quotes from Grant. The first"When everything is made relative to profit-making, all traditions of virtue are dissolved, including the aspect of virtue known as love of country", and the second," Yet what is socialism, if it is not the use of government to restrain greed in the name of the social good.". Dart rightly laments the bad-mouthing of the state by the political right and the anarchist left, both of which contribute, one through ideology and one through cynicism, to the devaluing of the state, the one institution that can "stare down the dominance of the multi-national corporations". In the same vein, Dart is critical of Noam Chomsky, arguing that he is a good example of how the Canadian intellectual landscape, even on the left, is colonozed by America, in this case by one exaggerating the importance of protest and advocacy politics over against the politics of making sure, by electoral means, that the state is governed by those who will do the right thing. The point is well taken, but could have been accompanied by observing that Dart's preferred approach was very much the view that prevailed in the debate that New Democrats had in 2001 over the New Politics Initiative. Instead, Dart's commentary on the NDP seems strangely stuck in the late 1960's, and early 70's, when the Waffle movement within the party was purged. Dart sees this as an example of the NDP doing what in his view all political parties have done , which is to turn on their nationalists, as the Tories did to Diefenbaker, and the Liberals to Walter Gordon. This analysis of the NDP ignores the extent to which, after the institutional defeat of the Waffle for institutional reasons, the NDP remained a strongly nationalist party, largely adopted the stance of the Waffle on many issues, and was stalwart in its fight against the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement and the NAFTA. Dart's treatment of the NDP is a symptom of the way his view of Canadian political, intellectual, and literary history is littered with what he refers to as "compradors", those who "genuflect" to the laberal/American empire, and "warm up Canadians to do the same". Only Red Tories escape being categorized in this way, and the only recently politically active Red Tory mentioned , David Orchard, is problematic in his own right. Dart's list of compradors includes David Frum and Michael Ignatieff, but also John Ralston Saul and Charles Taylor, who is singled out for especially harsh language in an essay entitled Charles Taylor and the Hegelian Eden Tree. My reading of Charles Taylor is that he has done a great deal to illuminate the inadequacies of modern liberalism, and the ethos of individual choice by positing the need for a "moral horizon" to address what I presume Dart means when he talks about the agnosticism of liberalism. Neither do I think that Taylor's work on secularism, pluralism, and dialogue diminishes his status as a Canadian nationalist. Keepers of the Flame identifies and articulates an important source of light in Canadian history, the Red Tory flame, now barely a flicker. The flicker will have more of a chance of becoming a flame again, or starting an equally important related blaze, if those who see its importance are keen to see where and in whom it still smoulders, and fan it, as opposed to seeing mostly where it does not, or in whom it does not smoulder. This approach, it seems to me, would be less sectarian and more in the broad church High Canadian Tory tradition that Dart laments.

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