…How Canada became such a laboratory is an interesting question. But a more important question is how the whole idea of rights has been transformed into a cover for monstrosities like the HRCs—for an intellectual, moral, and juridical violence that has turned rights into the enemy, rather than the friend, of basic human freedoms. That question has an answer too long to attempt here. Even to raise it, however, is to bump up against a curious fact: The mainstream media, for the most part, has turned a blind eye to this violence, even where it threatens (as in the Levant and Steyn cases) the freedom of the press.
The explanation for that, I think, lies in the myth that the concept of human rights is entirely a modern invention—and an invention that defines the morality of our own secular age. The thought that the very foundations of our morality should prove so flimsy is more than we can bear. Are we not the great generation of rights? The truth is, of course, that authentic human rights discourse belongs to a tradition that the West has now largely abandoned, and that what passes for that discourse today is something else.
The threat that this something else poses can scarcely be overestimated. Those in Canada who think repealing Section 13 will solve the problem are mistaken (though that would be a good first step); likewise those in America who think it will be enough if the creation of HRCs, which some states are considering, is prevented. A society with a bad conscience, we may be sure, will always find ways to police speech and pursue thought crimes.
And we do have a bad conscience. Not merely because we have broken with the past but because we have committed ourselves to the obvious absurdity of claiming that pluralism is our only norm, multiculturalism our only cultural foundation, diversity our only basis for unity, and tolerance our highest virtue. (Source)
Indeed. If we think that some kind of legal change is going to fix the problem we’ve created for ourselves, we’re one really stupid people.
Fundamental change must begin with a change in the fundamentals. Window dressing simply will not do.