This book corrects an imbalance in Canadian political literature through offering a conservative account of Canadian political thought.
Across 15 chronologically organized chapters, and with a mixture of established and rising scholars, the book offers an investigation of the defining features and characteristics of Canadian conservative political thought, asking what have Canadian conservative political thinkers and practitioners learned from other traditions and, in turn, what have they contributed to our understanding of conservative political thought today?
Rather than its culmination, Canadian Conservative Political Thought will be the beginning of conservative political thought’s recovery and will spark debates and future research. The book will be a great resource for courses on Canadian politics, history, political philosophy and conservatism, Canadian Studies, and political theory.
Introduction: What is Canadian Conservative Political Thought?
Part 1: A Founding of a Nation among Strangers
1. "Little Platoons and Ancient Traditions": Edmund Burke’s Critique of Imperialism and Contemporary North American Indigenous Anti-Colonialism
Brian T. Thorn
2. Praying Alone: Tocqueville on the Present State and Probable Future of Quebec
Richard Avramenko and Noah Stengl
3. John Strachan’s Loyalist Political Thought: Tocqueville’s "Aristocratic Mores Without Aristocrats"
Jeremy Seth Geddert
4. The Sacred Temple of Truth: Thomas D’Arcy McGee’s Civic Nationalism
5. Canadian Conservatism and National Developmentalism: Sir John A. Macdonald’s Hamiltonian Persuasion
Ben Woodfinden and Sean Speer
Part 2: High Toryism, Liberalism, and Globalism
6. The High Tory Conservatism of Eugene Forsey and John Farthing
7. Globalist Nihilism, Liberal Relativism, and Tutorialist Statecraft: A Critique of Janet Ajzenstat’s Canadian Political Philosophy
Colin D. Pearce
8. Ajzenstat Versus the Oligarchs
Travis D. Smith
9. Charles Taylor’s Interculturalism and the Crisis of Liberalism
David Edward Tabachnick
10. "Even More Than International": Brock Chisholm and the Origins of Canadian Globalist Thought
Part 3: Culture, Technology, and Place
11. Marshall McLuhan: Canadian Political Philosophy for the Digital Age
Christopher S. Morrissey
12. History as Progress or Reversal?: The Mythical Prognostications of Kojève and McLuhan
13. George Grant, Time, and Eternity
14. Of Homesteaders and Orangemen: An Archeology of Western Canadian Political Identity
15. Globalization through Rose-Tinted Glasses: Schitt's Creek and the Power of Civic Virtue
Mary Craig and Sara MacDonald
16. Sources for Renewal for Canadian Conservatism
"Using a history-of-ideas approach, the editors have woven together several strands of Western Canadian conservative political thought. The focus, chiefly on the thinkers of Laurentian Canada, is well executed. Even Canadians will find these accounts stimulating!"
Barry Cooper, Professor of Political Science, University of Calgary
"The conventional story of Canada is that its Fathers of Confederation founded a conservative nation to guard against its plebiscitarian southern neighbor. In the twentieth century, this regime was replaced by a leftist, “Laurentian” liberalism. The triumphalism of “Laurentian” liberalism has led Canadians and foreign observers to neglect Canada’s conservative intellectual sources, including those that have contested liberal triumphalism. Trepanier and Avramenko have assembled a fine volume of essays that bring those sources back to life by engaging them with the perennial questions that confront Canadians. With essays on John A. MacDonald, George Grant, Charles Taylor, Marshall McLuhan, Indigenous anti-colonialism, and even the Schitt’s Creek television series, the authors demonstrate the variety of thought in Canadian conservatism."
John von Heyking, Professor of Political Science, University of Lethbridge
"There has come to be, sadly so, in the last few decades, a paper thin and reactionary notion of Canadian conservatism. Gratefully so, this bounty of a book by fine scholars digs yet further and deeper into the historic and mother lode of a heritage that has been caricatured and almost forgotten – a beauty of a remembering book worthy of many a read."
Ron Dart, Professor of Political Science, University of the Fraser Valley
"This book is witness to the fact that there is a rich legacy of conservative intellectual thought connected to Canada, and the life of the mind goes on. Canadians have lost representative government to an administrative state, yet they still attempt to work out their freedom in local communities, they are aware of the dangers of globalization, and so this book adds to a larger body of conservative thought about the fate of the liberal west which is still emerging in light of current events."
Roberta Bayer, Patrick Henry College, Front Porch Republic