John Robson: David Suzuki’s ‘blown up’ pipelines comment symbolizes a lawless left

, John Robson: David Suzuki’s ‘blown up’ pipelines comment symbolizes a lawless left, Nzuchi Times National News

Article content

Nice pipelines you have there. Pity if something were to … happen to them. Thus spake St. David Suzuki, guardian of all that is good and nice in Canada, channeling the mafia.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

Not that he was threatening violence when he said “there are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on.” Sure, he was speaking at an Extinction Rebellion event and they routinely break the law because they can’t prevail in free votes. But they are clad in the armour of the Lord, or Gaia, and fully justified by their faith.

As the National Post reported , when asked if he supported bombing pipelines, Suzuki replied, “Of course not.” But just in case, “The violence is coming from the authorities, from government, from the RCMP. They’re declaring war against those that are protesting.” So it’s self-defence, à la Andy Capp’s “I thought he was going to hit me so I hit him back first.”

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

The idea that metaphorical violence justifies smashing people’s stinking faces has an enduring appeal to the viciously virtuous. Like those who storm platforms to assault speakers whose “words are violence.” Or the peaceful pipeline protestors on whom the authorities declared war for no better reason than stealing and vandalizing heavy machinery and destroying roads on which some grubby workers depend for oppressive luxuries like food and water.

If you struggle with the notion that sticks and stones are a righteous response to names, you must be a deplorable. And while nobody is entirely innocent here, such logic has typically come from the left: 19th-century anarchists; 20th-century union militants; the Baader-Meinhof gang. And it has too often been justified by the radically chic.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

Why, Pierre-Jospeh Proudhon declared that “Property is theft” back in 1840. And he was channeling the Marquis de Sade, whose gruesome Histoire de Juliette explained that “theft is only punished because it violates the right of property; but this right is itself nothing in origin but theft.”

  1. , John Robson: David Suzuki’s ‘blown up’ pipelines comment symbolizes a lawless left, Nzuchi Times National News

    David Suzuki Foundation disavows Suzuki’s warning that ‘pipelines will be blown up’ if there is no climate change action

  2. , John Robson: David Suzuki’s ‘blown up’ pipelines comment symbolizes a lawless left, Nzuchi Times National News

    Tasha Kheiriddin: David Suzuki’s ‘blown up’ pipelines comment is a winking incitement to eco-terrorism

So go for it. Swarm a Nordstrom for social justice. And if anyone tries to stop you, well, they’ve declared war on you so bust their head with a skateboard or something. And when they hit back, blame white supremacists.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

Here I would write more on Kyle Rittenhouse if Adam Zivo had not already hit that nail on the Post head. It was foolish to go about with a rifle not understanding what he was getting himself into. But the people he shot were far more stupid, and vicious, because they attacked a man with a gun in the apparent belief that their wokeness made them bullet- as well as reproach-proof.

The mainstream press who cheer-led for the prosecution, and the activists, politicians and journalists who circulated lies about Rittenhouse are poisoning the well they think they are purifying. For instance this Chicago Sun-Times headline on acquittal day: “Rittenhouse verdict was message to white youth: If you believe Black lives matter, your life means nothing.” See, they declared war on us, so …

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

My old friend David Frum tweeted Tuesday that “Those who are intensely politically engaged — myself included — need to work hard to remember what the world looks like to the tens of millions of Americans who are not.” Indeed. They are a diverse lot, as he notes. And many hold views on public affairs that can fairly be called low-information. Or insane. But so do many intensely politically engaged people. So let us not condescend.

Let us instead reflect that to many people the world appears to be going to perdition in a wicker container. And a major reason is lawlessness. Like flash mobs looting California stores because shoplifting was basically decriminalized, while local politicians deny any connection. Or Frum himself routinely pouring scorn on the right to bear arms from his well-policed upscale habitat. But if urban rioting is not punished by the state, those who can will defend their families and bourgeois property like homes and businesses. Those who cannot will suffer, and turn to the dark side of the political force.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

The election of Trump was meant to be a warning. Instead it mostly triggered pompous virtue-signalling. And it won’t be easy to explain such things to a Canadian environment minister who broke the law with a smug grin, appointed by a prime minister who thinks rules are for chumps.

, John Robson: David Suzuki’s ‘blown up’ pipelines comment symbolizes a lawless left, Nzuchi Times National News

Or his voters. My own intensely disgusted political engagement must not blind me to the fact that millions of Canadians admire Trudeau and have no more idea of his ethics violations than of health care waiting lists. But I can say this much to the Davids of this world.

If you are appalled at the rise of the populist right, please try to remember that ordinary people hate disorder, especially flavoured with hypocrisy and scorn. Given your acute awareness of your mental and moral superiority, surely you can win hearts and minds without cheap shots.

Let alone cheap threats.

The big issues are far from settled. Sign up for the NP Comment newsletter,  NP Platformed.

Advertisement

Story continues below

  1. Advertisement

    Story continues below

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.