This is a Guest Post by my Canadian colleague Howard Rotberg – A Lawyer, the Publisher of Mantua Books, and most recently, the author of The Ideological Path to Submission …and what we can do about it.
It is a moving plea that by historical juxtaposition exposes the intellectual weakness and moral folly of the Western world’s current fixation on cultural and moral relativism.
In 2015, German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said: “Too many who bore guilt covered for each other” in a discussion of why so few Nazi judges were prosecuted at war’s end, and in fact many remained as Judges, some of them instrumental in making sure that other Nazis were not prosecuted after the war.
In an interview with Associated Press, Maas revealed: “Even at the start of the 1960s, 80 percent of the judges at the Federal Court of Justice had been judges under the Nazis. That illustrates the extent to which the German justice system failed.”
Haas said that a project to study the Nazi judges who remained in place after that war is to acknowledge the greatest mistake of Germany’s post-war legal system, which was that the justice system — which between 1933 and 1945 was nothing but a stooge of the Nazis — didn’t help to atone for the Nazi crimes after World War II in the young Federal Republic.”
The German atonement for their sins, in the age of Merkel, seems to consist of an open-door immigration policy where inclusion and diversity are extended to those with a culture of rape and violence. To women, gays and observant Christians and Jews, that inclusion and diversity is problematic.
The corruption of lawyers and judges in systems of totalitarian group-think holds a special interest for me, as I obtained degrees from University of Toronto in both Law and History. Also my father was slave labour in Auschwitz where his parents and then 8 year old sister were murdered in the gas chambers.
That may well be the reason I have so little tolerance for the present totalitarian group-think that has contaminated real human rights by a process of political correctness and post-modern moral and cultural relativism. That is perhaps why I specialize in my studies and my writing on the concept of Ideology. The Nazi lawyers and judges put the horrible ideology of Naziism ahead of their duties to further Justice.
Whenever someone alleges that all cultures are equal, I ask whether that means the culture of the Nazis was equal to Canadian political culture.
And so I have a problem with the moral and cultural relativism and the denial of truth that has swept even our best universities in the West.
When the University of Toronto became the first university to host the bizarre “Israel Apartheid Week”, I wrote to then President Naylor pointing out that whatever one thinks of Israeli responses to Arab terrorism and advocacy of genocide against Jews, the word “Apartheid”, given its essential ingredient in South Africa being complete separation of races, was in no way what is happening in Israel. There, Arab doctors work alongside Jewish doctors, Jewish and Arab patients receive equal medical care in adjoining beds, universities like Haifa University have one-third Arab students, and those Arabs who are willing (mostly Druze) serve in the army, the diplomatic corps and as Judges, alongside their Jewish colleagues.
I wrote to him that a political dispute, whether as the Left says, is a dispute over land, or whether it is, as the Right says, an unwillingness by Islamists to allow a Jewish presence on any land ever controlled by Muslims (such ideology referred to as “Dar al-Islam) is not helped by distortion of facts.
I wrote to President Naylor (whose background was Medicine) that the issue was not one about free speech or diversity of opinion but was in my view one about the intellectual standards to be enforced by the University before allowing its space to be used for such an event. I asked him: “Would you allow a conference to take place at the University called “All U. Of T. Professors are Fascists”? I suggested that he would not, and the reason is that we require our universities to meet certain standards of truth as to the facts underlying opinions. Otherwise, distorted facts and distorted opinions might well conduce, in this case, to the ideology of anti-Semitism. University events about Israel and the Jewish people using double standards, demonization or delegitimization, are anti-Semitic and there is no reason for the University to provide support.
Of course, I was unsuccessful in my argument, and now “Israel Apartheid Week” has spread to many if not most universities in Canada and the United States. At the same time, anti-Semitism sweeps the west and while Islamist Muslims hunt everywhere for evidence of “Islamophobia” (which nobody has ever defined with any degree of intellectual clarity), anti-Semitism in the West remains the most prevalent form of racial hatred.
As the University of Toronto refused to even discuss the issue with me, I became ashamed of my two degrees and returned them for cancellation. I had already ceased practicing Law and switched over to the development of affordable rental housing for low income working people in converted unused heritage buildings. And after 9/11, I began to write, penning many articles and now four books, including Tolerism: The Ideology Revealed and its recent sequel, The Ideological Path to Submission… and what we can do about it. I am also President of Canada’s sole conservative (or more properly termed “classical liberal”) book publisher Mantua Books (www.mantuabooks.com).
My background as a Lawyer, Historian and child of a Holocaust Survivor obviously makes me more sensitive than most people to certain ideologies and certain facts.
And so, I recently became appalled (to put it mildly) when I saw what looks to me like the results in the legal community of the Leftist take-over of university curricula. We now have lawyers required to adopt what I call totalitarian group-think, manifested in anti-liberal ideological policies by the ruling body for Ontario lawyers, the Law Society of Upper Canada.
In a document called “Equality, Diversity and Inclusion”, the Law Society tells lawyers that they “are required to create and abide by an individual Statement of Principles that acknowledges your obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally, and in your behaviour towards colleagues, employees, clients and the public.”
The Law Society states that individual Statement of Principles should be drafted by each lawyer but that it needs to “help in creating your personal Statement of Principles.”
And so, it provides templates of two sample statements. “To satisfy the requirement you may adopt and abide by either statement. Please feel free to modify the statements or create your own that meets the requirement.”
Accordingly, under the idea that lawyers have the freedom to adopt these templates, the Law Society practically dictates the contents. In the first Template, it is said that lawyers must state that:
- the Law Society is committed to Inclusive legal workplaces in Ontario, a reduction of barriers created by racism, unconscious bias and discrimination and better representation of Indigenous and racialized licensees in the legal professions in all legal workplaces and at all levels of seniority;
- My special responsibility as a member of the legal profession to protect the dignity of all individuals, and to respect human rights laws in force in Ontario;
In part of the second Template, it is said that lawyers must state that:
To promote diversity and inclusion I agree to:
- review, understand and abide by any and all of my legal workplace’s policies that encourage diversity and inclusion on Human Rights Code or other grounds;
- encourage a culture of inclusion and diversity at my legal workplace, in order to help attract and retain the best talent and better serve my clients’ needs;
- support strategies in my legal workplace (and beyond it, where appropriate) that prioritize diversity and inclusion on Human Rights Code and other grounds in hiring, promotion and retention decisions;
- cooperate and engage in any efforts of the Law Society, my legal workplace and others to advance equality, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and in the broader community;
The Law Society defines “Inclusion” in part as “the state of being valued, respected, and supported.” Why are we being told who to respect?
It defines “Workplace Inclusion”: Human diversity means differences among people that can be used to distinguish groups and people from one another. As a concept in the workplace, it means respect for, and appreciation of, differences between people and groups of people, (my emphasis), based on:
grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code …
and/or other distinctions between people, such as: education, work experiences, cultural differences, income, geographic location, appearance, communication style, or political ideology.
Canadian lawyers now are compelled to support diversity and inclusion, but once the thought police begin to investigate this, we are going to have some bad problems.
In my recent book, The Ideological Path to Submission … and what we can do about it…., I look at the ideological confusion that is going to get a lot worse under Trudeau and the politically correct folks at the Law Society. Perhaps I can shed light on my concerns with the Law Society by quoting what I have written about the values of tolerance, respect, diversity and inclusion when it comes to Trudeau:
Trudeau recently visited the site of the infamous Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz, where he signed the memorial book in this way: “Tolerance is never sufficient. Humanity must learn to love our differences. Today we bear witness to humanity’s capacity for deliberate cruelty and evil.
However, Trudeau’s stated goal of “inclusive diversity” does not know how to deal with “humanity’s capacity for deliberate cruelty and evil.” Trudeau’s compassion, trust and inclusive diversity are no equal to deliberate cruelty and evil, nor is it a force that can “vanquish intolerance, radicalism and hate.” I do not “love” our differences, especially those differences which are immoral, such as propensity for violence against minorities, rape, and illiberal legal systems based on religious intolerance.
I cannot accept that diversity, respect for all communities, whether good or evil, is a moral policy. It is a component of moral and cultural relativism – the belief that there is no good and evil and that all truth and morality is relative, and no cultures are better than any other cultures, so we should include them all, and respect them equally and import them into our country and interpret our laws to accord respect.
Trudeau advocates for loving differences without any moral judgment on those differences. For if a cultural heritage is anti-Semitic, anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-child, how do we celebrate cultural diversity in the aftermath of Auschwitz? Evil exists. The lesson of Auschwitz is that we must eradicate evil and recognize that some nations become evil and we should not want their people in our communities enhancing and sharing their cultural heritage and asserting “group rights” over the individual rights that should be the bedrock of our civilization.
Once you make unconditional diversity your goal, you can easily descend further down the ethical hole you are digging. In a recent press conference, Trudeau told the media that Canada, having been tolerant enough to admit many Muslim immigrants, including some 25,000 Syrians between November 2015 and February 2016 and another 10,000 in the rest of 2016, should now go “beyond tolerance.” “Beyond tolerance” sounds like “submission” and that really scares me; or perhaps he means active steps to test our tolerance by importing only the “intolerant.” I don’t like that either.
The Law Society, whose directors (called “Benchers”) are all quite well-off and perhaps given their many working hours and their ability to afford all kinds of leisure activities including travel, may not have noticed that there is currently a War by radical Islamists against the West. And so, these Benchers, seem to think a lot like Hillary Clinton, who, in 2016 in a speech at Georgetown University advocated theuse of “every possible tool…leaving no one on the sidelines, showing respect even for one’s enemies, trying to understand, and insofar as is psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view, helping to define the problems (and) determine a solution” (emphasis added).
So Hillary wants to show “respect’ even for one’s enemies. We can’t be sure what Hillary meant in her own mind, but the Oxford Dictionary defines “respect” as “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements.” But to me, Islamists who use beheading, rape and sexual assault, torture, persecution of ethnic and religious minorities and gays, and disregard most human rights, do not deserve our “deep admiration” and do not show any great “qualities or achievements.” The fact that Hillary as candidate for President argued otherwise worried me about the possibility that she would have placed in her hands the responsibility for war and peace and the fulfillment of American values for liberty and human rights, not admiration for enemies.
Now our lawyers must be respectful to evil ideologies, and must sign a statement that gives the illusion of individual input but in reality is controlled by totalitarian thought police who demand respect for, and appreciation of, differences between people and groups of people, based on, inter alia, distinctions between people, such as: education, work experiences, cultural differences, income, geographic location, appearance, communication style, or political ideology.
And so we are told to respect cultural differences and other political ideologies. It may come to the point that we cannot judge people by the laws originating in our liberal traditions, and that we must tolerate the enemies who would strip us of our freedoms – all in the name of equality, diversity and inclusion, the new gods of our secular age.