Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Punitive Moral Absolutism


I don't agree with Jonathan Kay very often. But in yesterday's National Post he wrote:

The most shocking thing about the government’s 2012 changes to the Interim Federal Health Program is that, despite its Scrooge-like spirit, they haven’t actually saved any money: The cost for treating people simply was downloaded to charities, pro bono doctors, community healthcare organizations and the provinces. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that this move was made mostly for other reasons — i.e., to show voters how tough the Conservatives are in sticking it to a politically unpopular group of medical patients.

What the changes did reveal was an extraordinarily mean spirited sense of righteousness:

If moral relativism was the defining sin of the left, its intellectual opposite — punitive, obsessive, politically cynical moral absolutism — has become the hallmark of Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.

It was punitive moral absolutism which was behind the witch burnings in Salem and the American invasion of Iraq. Mr. Harper supported the invasion of Iraq. One wonders what he would have done if he had lived in Salem.



Edstock said...

"One wonders what he would have done if he had lived in Salem" — got marshmallows?

Owen Gray said...

That's not hard to imagine, Ed. The man probably would have gone home and slept soundly.

Anonymous said...

To me Harper is a sociopath and a paranoid dictator. Harper is totally incapable of caring about anyone, rather than himself.

Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini were all paranoid dictators too. Their characteristics and personalities are very, very similar. They are my barometer to measure Harper. I look at their early political days and then, look at Harper. However, Harper is not as extreme, as the other dictators were. But, Harper is every bit as underhanded as, the dictators of the past were.

Owen Gray said...

Harper would be content if his control were absolute, Anon.

Toby said...

Owen said, "Harper would be content if his control were absolute, Anon."

No, I don't think so. His personality always finds more and more that needs his control. Push him far enough and he will want to punish anyone who sneezes in his presence.

Owen Gray said...

It's called meglomania, Toby.