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My American Problems & Ours
by H. D. Forbes

Thirty years ago this coming summer, I attended a conference of political scientists at the University of Michigan on the weighty theme of political socialization. It was the summer, and indeed the week, of the greatest of Detroit's race riots. After the conference I flew from Detroit to New York, to get to New Haven, where I was a graduate student. As the plane banked and turned after takeoff I could see downtown Detroit spread out in the distance, with a thin plume of black smoke rising from its smouldering ruins. A few minutes later, I struck up a conversation with a young woman sitting next to me. We exchanged a few words I cannot recall, then she said something that has stuck in my mind ever since. She said, gazing northward out the window of the plane, "All those 1940s people!"
Why has this memory stayed so fresh while so much else has faded? Perhaps the young woman stirred some deep desire that was suddenly inhibited by the thought of baring my Canadian soul to her dismissive gaze-a possibility that might interest a depth psychologist. But the incident can also be regarded as a little allegory of Canadian-American relations, the memory of it refreshed each time I read my newspaper. Hidden desires can be political as well as sensual.
Canadian-American relations as they affect and express the feelings of Canadians are the subject of the latest book by one of Canada's most eminent historians, Jack Granatstein. It aims to clarify the web of historical associations within which we deal with Americans and thus to purge our souls of disturbing emotions so that we can more actively pursue our own real interests in these inescapable relations.
Countries define themselves in part by contrasting themselves with their neighbours. What does Canada represent vis-à-vis the United States? What characteristic deformities of spirit grow out of our standard ways of contrasting ourselves with them? That is the problem of anti-Americanism for Granatstein. It is as much "psychological" as historical. He is reluctant, however, to discuss psychology and he seems unaware of a basic principle of psychotherapy, that disturbing emotions are not overcome simply by presenting more accurate images of reality, but only by activating stronger contrary emotions.

Before delving any deeper into these delicate matters, let me declare some of my own biases. A pretence of absolute objectivity is annoying when discussing things that touch such tender parts of the psyche.
My mother was, technically, an American. She was born in North Dakota, the daughter of a Canadien who in 1885 had left his young wife and infant son in Acton Vale to find good free land on the American frontier. Sixteen years later and much more prosperous, he brought his family (now numbering seven children) back to Canada, to homestead in Saskatchewan.
I grew up in the heart of Canada, Winnipeg, where the closest really big city, with a skyscraper and TV, was Minneapolis. I spent two memorable vacations in the Detroit Lakes region of Minnesota playing with an exciting American youngster. (He had a B-B gun.)
Two older cousins, real role models, migrated to California's sunny climes and lucrative medical practices in the 1950s, but returned regularly to Winnipeg as living symbols of success. Their proud father, another Franco-North-Dakotan, who had been for many years the banker in Pangman, Saskatchewan, with a loaded revolver in his desk, liked to show photos of their palatial homes and backyard pools.
Toronto, where I now live, was no part of my early life. For my father, "head office" was Montreal. Our summer travels took us to Quebec and the Maritimes, but we bypassed Toronto. I vaguely remember the strange feeling of surprise when I first realized, some years later, that maps can be deceptive: Toronto is the real centre of Canada. But my Canada has never included-except as an object of scientific curiosity-Ontario's rancid Loyalism. People like the late Donald Creighton who flatly declare their dislike of all Americans ("I never met one I liked") have always struck me as slightly insane. The craftier kind of Ontario insanity, the kind that was put on display last winter in the CBC mini-series about the Avro Arrow, rubs me the wrong way.
Still, I cannot always resist sharing the glee that Canadians sometimes feel when things go badly in the United States. I can picture myself in one of those Toronto movie audiences of the 1950s that Jack Granatstein describes, who laughed and whistled when they saw newsreel footage of American rockets blowing up on their launching pads. I have not attended any faculty dinner parties like those Granatstein describes, where a lone Canadian squirms as the other guests, all Americans, regale each other with stories about the quaint customs and general mediocrity of the people among whom fate has decreed they live. But I have been the lone Canadian among convivial Americans often enough to know the feeling that Lester Pearson once described: touchy about being overlooked, but uncomfortable about being looked at too hard.
And I have had a crucial experience that Granatstein seems to have missed. When I returned to Canada in 1969, I met an attractive young woman who happened to be an American. Eventually we married. By the time we separated in 1991, I knew her family and their America quite well. We have two children with claims to American citizenship.
In short, I bring some personal baggage, as we all do, to the discussion of Canadian anti-Americanism. I owe a debt of gratitude to Americans for my graduate education. In a sense, I owe them my children. Although I have no brothers, sisters, parents, or other close relatives in the States, I have six first cousins there. And you guessed it: some of my best friends are Americans.
I also have some professional baggage. I am now actively involved in politically socializing young Canadians: I teach courses on Canadian political thought. When I tell people this, their reaction is often revealing. "You mean [chuckle] there is such a thing as Canadian political thought?" This is, of course, a reaction of Canadians-either from cynicism about what they think is our unprincipled patronage politics, or else from a sophisticated belief that the ideas at work in our politics are best studied in the political thought of other countries, for example, in the writings of John Locke or David Hume from Great Britain or John Rawls or Ronald Dworkin from you know where.
This skepticism about things Canadian goes beyond cocktail-party chatter. Twelve years ago I published an anthology of Canadian political thought. Like most academic books, it got little attention, but in one of the few discussions of it by a professional colleague, my authors were described as a dispiriting collection of politicians, publicists, academics, prelates, and theologians who "shuffle awkwardly onto the stage, representatives of die zweite Gesellschaft [his words, not mine] in the presence of their betters, heirs to half a century or more of Canadian feelings of cultural inferiority. But at least they weren't turned back at the door."
More or less clever demeaning of things Canadian by Canadians is one of the constants of Canadian intellectual life. Canadians are inferior, is the refrain-not as human beings, of course, because on that plane everyone is equal, but as historical actors. Northrop Frye once compared the feeling a Canadian has teaching in the United States to that of a Finn in Russia or a Dane in Germany. "His students have been conditioned from infancy to be citizens of a vast imperial power; he has been conditioned to watch, to take sides in decisions made elsewhere." I have to report that sometimes a Canadian teaching in Canada feels that way.
We see ourselves (in part because we are seen by others) as people who live on the margin of great events, provincially behind the times, a timid people, né pour un petit pain, as we sometimes say, or living on a small flame, as the Germans sometimes say. When we finally had our own big city race riot-the looting of a few stores along Yonge Street in Toronto following the acquittal of the policemen accused of beating Rodney King-it was a pretty tame affair, nothing like the real race riots Detroit and Los Angeles have known.
Our cautious watchfulness, with an underlying sense of inferiority, can easily become a posture of defiance, however. Americans are trying to shove their culture down our throats, many Canadian now say. Others are blunter: we are being screwed, they say. But what exactly is wrong with what the Americans are pushing on us? Perhaps we should just relax and enjoy their distinctive fast foods, sticky drinks, popular movies, music, sitcoms, and talk shows.
Canadians disagree amongst themselves, as do Americans, about "American culture". On closer inspection, the standard Canadian-American cultural differences turn out to be mainly matters of internal division. Our myriad economic ties make it almost impossible to form any clear image of clashing material interests. We are simply not a "banana republic" whose national income shoots up with the price of bananas. Sharp cultural differences, like those that divide tyrannies from democracies, are obviously absent. Thus our anti-Americanism has a purity lacking elsewhere. It can easily be seen as a pure prejudice-a matter of imaginary differences rather than hard facts and obvious motives. Indeed, we may be projecting our own problems onto America, using it like a giant Rorschach inkblot. Is this perhaps our defining national vice, our real inferiority? Or do we know Americans so well that we can see profound differences and real problems beneath all the bewildering details, justifying our typical irritability about Americans?
These are questions I cannot escape as I try to rub the rough political edges off my students. What exactly should I teach them about our country's relations with its great neighbour? Should I gently suggest that their main task is to overcome the irrational complexes that youngsters naturally develop about their older, stronger, and more exciting caregivers (and grade them accordingly)? Or should I try to refine their crude stereotypes, dignifying their agitation, envy, and resentment so that it can be used for good political purposes?
First of all, of course, I have to determine the elementary facts of the matter, the ones that no-one can deny. What is the history that we could try to overcome or that lies ready to hand as a tool for political construction projects?

Canadians have always been anti-American, Granatstein says, but anti-Americanism has taken different forms and meant different things in different periods of our history.
This generalization presumably covers even our First Nations, thousands of years ago. Those north of the Canadian-American boundary must have fought with those south of it, and fought about various things, as well as with each other, as we do today.
The first recorded phase of Canadian anti-Americanism began in 1534 when Jacques Cartier planted a cross on the shores of the Gaspé, claiming the territory (little did he know how much he was claiming) for the King of France. A century later the rivalry between France and England in North America had become much sharper and better defined, with some armed clashes. (Champlain was taken prisoner by the British in 1629.) Before long the foundations had been laid for a "Canadien" identity in opposition to "les Bostonais".
There is an old image of New France as a devoutly Catholic colony-little more than a plantation of missionaries- that no doubt exaggerates the religious zeal of the fur traders and coureurs de bois. Most of them may have been better suited to be disciples of Mr. Kurtz than disciples of Christ. Nonetheless, the French-English rivalry was undeniably also a Catholic-Protestant one, and no account of its deeper meaning should neglect this fact.
The Protestants finally conquered the Catholics in 1759, as we all remember. But then the British, eager to consolidate their hold over their new colonial possession (sensing that they were losing their grip on their old ones along the Atlantic seaboard), dealt generously with their new subjects in the peace treaty of 1763 and the Quebec Act of 1774. This generosity added to the grievance of the American colonists. In their Declaration of Independence, they blamed their tyrant king, George III, "for abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies."
The American Revolution, or rather its aftermath, the migration of the defeated Tories or Loyalists, began the second major phase of Canadian anti-Americanism. During this long and important phase, from 1783 until roughly fifty years ago, our dominant anti-Americanism was almost indistinguishable from our loyalty to Great Britain. Canada (meaning the whole of the territory of today's country) was British North America, and the first or fundamental loyalty of its English-speaking population was to the Empire, not to any local political structures.
In 1879, this basic loyalty was bolted to strong commercial interests by Macdonald's National Policy of tariff-protected industrial development. Broadly speaking, this policy helped manufacturers by hurting consumers. "A British subject I was born, a British subject I will die," Macdonald proclaimed in the great free trade election of 1891. Many of his business friends echoed his loyal sentiments, but for less sentimental reasons. "British connection"-American disconnection-had given birth to their businesses, some of them American branch plants. Continentalism would kill them. Loyalism was good business.
Geographically and politically distinct communities inevitably develop distinct identities, however. A distinct Anglo-Canadian identity began to form with Confederation. World War I consolidated it. Before 1914, the great majority of British Canadians had been enthusiastic imperialists. The few who mocked imperialism and who pointed to the political advantages of continentalism, such as Goldwin Smith, risked being challenged to a duel, as Smith was by an especially zealous imperialist, Colonel George Denison. In the great battles of 1917 and at Versailles later, English Canadians ceased to be primarily British subjects. The disadvantages of imperialism were now much easier to see. Only a few staunch imperialists remained, such as Arthur Meighen and R. B. Bennett, who were "ready, aye ready" to answer any call from London. Only a few still truly believed, as Lord Bennett put it in 1943, that the British Empire was "no accident": "I believe the miracles of this war are indeed miracles and that we have survived and will continue to do so because we have a divine mission to rule the world."
In the 1920s, a new Canadian-American contrast began to take hold. Its roots lay, through the "British connection", in Britain's long history of class conflict and its more recent party politics. In the 1890s, the British Labour Party had come into existence. As early as 1929 Frank Underhill, the principal author of the CCF's famous Regina Manifesto and the most perceptive observer of Canada's political psychology, was noting our receptivity to Fabian ideas of public enterprise-in contrast to the economic individualism of Americans. And in 1946, with the Labour Party in power in London, he was writing about his amusement as he watched "the growing embarrassment of all those professional exponents in Canada of the English way of doing things, now that the English way threatens to become less conservative."
By 1950, Canadian conservatism had changed its political stripes, and our anti-Americanism, responding to the Cold War, was clearly becoming socialist or social-democratic in character. The free world, the home of free enterprise, was led by the United States, the great bastion of a kind of conservatism. Those who shared Bennett's political theology sided with the Americans against the Russians and the Chinese and began to forget that they had ever wanted to shield Canada from things of American origin. Canadian anti-Americanism would henceforth be strongest among those who were least worried about communism and most skeptical about the Cold War.
Horizons of political understanding do not change overnight, however, and practical politicians are often caught taking their bearings from conflicting landmarks. John Diefenbaker is a classic example. As an Ontario-born product of the polyglot West, with a hidden Scottish identity, he was pro-British and anti-American in the old way. On top of this, he was fiercely anti-communist and strongly in favour of free enterprise, but also deeply suspicious of big business and resentful about the influence of central Canada. Is it any wonder that he was, as people used to say, "indecisive"?
The great defence crisis of the early months of 1963 effectively put an end to the lingering pro-British anti-Americanism of English Canada's political elite. Diefenbaker maintained considerable popular support, and Pearson was never able to win a majority of seats, but Diefenbaker's kind of nationalism lost all credibility. If Britain could accept American leadership, why not Canada? If the communists were trying to bury the free world (as Khrushchev had proclaimed), then would any Western leader in his right mind entrust the defence of his country to the motley crew who ran the United Nations?
Many events during the 1960s helped to crystallize the new alignments, but those old enough to remember the 1960s probably remember most clearly the assassination of President Kennedy in November 1963. His assassination, the later ones, the civil rights movement, the race riots, Vietnam, the turmoil on the campuses, the police riot in Chicago around the Democratic national convention in 1968, Nixon and Agnew and their later troubles-all tended to transform the image of the United States in Canadian eyes. Those on the Left who used to look to it for inspiration ceased to do so; those on the Right who feared similar turbulence in Canada cheered its tougher leaders.
In 1968, Trudeau and Trudeaumania put a new spin on our national differences: we were now the gentler, more playful, more progressive, more sophisticated as well as more socialistic country. This image had some substance because of the rapid development of the Canadian welfare state in the previous decade and the reforms regarding divorce, homosexuality, and abortion that Trudeau had introduced as minister of justice.
The same image, or contrast of images, was still at work twenty years later, in the great free trade election of 1988. On the nationalist, pro-Canadian side were the Liberals, of course, but also the New Democrats, with their television commercials featuring nurses and social workers. On the continentalist, pro-American side were the Conservatives and their business allies, with TV commercials that featured men in suits wearing hard hats.
The Conservatives won handily-not as many seats as in 1984, but still a clear majority. They won only 43 percent of the popular vote, however, and outside Quebec, they won only a minority of seats (106 out of 220). Had it not been for Quebec, they would have lost the election. (Had it not been for Quebec, Diefenbaker would have won in 1963.) So what conclusions should be drawn from these basic historical facts?

Granatstein wastes no time getting to his conclusions. Anti-Americanism has had a central place in our history for two centuries, he begins, but it has never had any clear principles of its own and now it is dying. It has been a theoretical chameleon, blue in conservative times, pink when Canada became more socialist. Now it is colourless and fading into insignificance. It is best understood as a tool "exploited by business, political, or cultural groups for their own ends." But the social elites that used to employ it-the old family compacts, the businessmen who benefited from protection, the politicians who mouthed patriotic platitudes as they bribed voters with their own taxes-have succumbed to the homogenizing forces of the continent. Only among marginal minorities-among the literati, in the cultural industries, and in academe-does it retain some force.
The current low ebb of anti-Americanism is no cause for regret, however. "Hating the Americans was a fundamentally unworthy attitude, a barren, soul-destroying conceit that Canadians employed to explain to themselves their slower growth and lesser power." Now, as we teeter on the brink of a break-up because of separatist sentiments in Quebec, we need a new and better "national mythos".
"We need to shed the habit of seeking unity by letting politicians and cultural leaders denounce our neighbours. Instead, we must begin to understand what makes Canada unique. That is easier to say than to do, of course. What is certain, however, is that anti-Americanism now cannot, indeed never could, provide the glue to hold the nation together."
These bold generalizations are all from the book's introduction. Its concluding chapter strikes a softer note, as we shall see in a moment.
Between the introduction and the conclusion there are ten chapters of historical narrative, the best of which (five in number) deal with the 1960s and 1970s. The most interesting characters of those years-Diefenbaker and Pearson, Walter Gordon, Robin Mathews, the other nationalist academics, their "professional" opponents, and various artists enragés-pass in review. Granatstein is writing about people he knows and events he witnessed. He often hesitates before taking sides; his very ambivalence brings the narrative to life.
The first two historical chapters, devoted to the Loyalists and to the late nineteenth century, are the weakest. No-one is required to like the Loyalists, and I tend to share Granatstein's distaste for comfortable mythmakers who use other people's hardships to stir up national feeling. In an uncertain situation, most of the Loyalists may just have chosen the wrong side, with little understanding of what later simplifiers would say were the great issues of the time. But choose they did, and they suffered the consequences of their choice. Can it be right to dismiss-as "myth, not reality"-the idea that "the Loyalists stood for law and order, not rebellion"? Granatstein seems to lack the sympathy with the past that is the first requisite of a good historian. He crushes stereotypes rather than recapturing the living grain of truth they contain.
From the Loyalists he jumps to the late nineteenth century, passing over much of interest, including Confederation. Focusing on 1891, he pits rational patriotic Liberal free traders against hypocritical Conservative protectionists. An interesting individual who fits neither category, Goldwin Smith, is acknowledged in an offhand way and then dismissed. Can it be true that Smith was Canada's "one certified `intellectual'" in 1891? A population of almost five million must surely have contained more than just one that was certifiable. (What about Colonel Denison?) But if Smith was in fact so extraordinary, he clearly deserves more attention than the three passing references he gets. Granatstein's analysis of the uses of patriotism follows, incidentally, that of Smith's living disciple, Peter Brimelow, whose 1986 book, The Patriot Game, is never mentioned.
The period 1914 to 1949 gets one chapter, which is essentially a defence of Mackenzie King. Granatstein argues that it was Britain's weakness, not any conspiracy by King and C. D. Howe, that pushed Canada into the arms of the United States. King, he concludes, "deserves better than to be slurred by anti-American academics or ill-informed journalists who simply fail to understand or even to consider the full range of the complexities with which he had to deal."
The chapter on the 1950s contains a good description of James Endicott, the United Church missionary and Soviet dupe who led a communist front, the Canadian Peace Congress, during the Korean war and who charged the United States with using germ warfare against the Chinese. Plainly he was one of the "useful idiots" Lenin thought could be harnessed to Soviet purposes at almost no cost. The response he evoked from Canadians justifies the nine pages Granatstein devotes to him, for it shows that by 1952 anti-Americanism had indeed become "firmly entrenched in the left-wing Canadian psyche." But I wonder what Granatstein's reasons are for thinking that bacteriological warfare would have been a "monstrous crime" compared to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
There is not much point quibbling about details, however, when there are issues of substance to address.
The first is Granatstein's implicit denial that there is any such thing as a principled anti-Americanism among Canadians. He repeatedly says that Canadians use anti-Americanism as a tool for purposes that are essentially unrelated to the characteristics of Americans. (Anti-Americanism is in this respect like other racial and ethnic prejudices: it has nothing to do with the characteristics of its objects.) Thus businessmen have sometimes used it to increase their profits, by exciting the irrational envy and resentment of consumers to get them to vote for higher tariffs. (When the interests of big business are better served by continentalism, the businessmen push other emotional buttons.) Soviet dupes have used anti-Americanism to weaken the Western alliance. Perhaps fascists have used it in the past to promote their evil designs. Writers and artists use it routinely to pry grants out of the Canada Council. Other writers and artists sometimes decry it as a psychological crutch, using it to make the point that they are able to stand on their own feet and want to be judged by the highest international standards. Ordinary Canadians use it habitually, as a kind of drug, to overcome their feelings of insignificance. And so on.
Generalizations of this kind may cover most pro- and anti-Americans. But do they cover them all? Are there no Canadians whose opinions about Canada and the United States are best understood as reactions to realities, rather than as by-products of ulterior motives? You may be wondering about Jack Granatstein, but the test cases I have in mind are Goldwin Smith and George Grant. The first, as already noted, gets three passing references. Grant gets five pages, but they barely scratch the surface of his argument. (Incidentally, Granatstein must have been nodding, and his copy editor too, when he wrote that Grant's uncle, Vincent Massey, was his cousin by marriage.) In short, Granatstein never really tries to establish one of his most important contentions in the only way it could be established, by thinking through the argument of someone whose argument has a reasonable claim to be considered more than just a by-product of practical engagements and psychological quirks.
My second big objection has to do with Granatstein's neglect of Quebec or French Canada. "My emphasis is on English Canada," he declares up-front. Indeed it is, but even a candid declaration does not overcome a major difficulty. Were it just a matter of where to begin the history-with the Loyalists rather than with New France-a brief explanation and a more accurate subtitle might solve the problem, but in fact the problem goes much deeper. Some of the book's main conclusions depend on ignoring Quebec, and its blinkered concentration on English Canada obscures its vagueness about anti-Americanism.
Two federal elections provide the clearest evidence for Granatstein's conclusions about the decline of anti-Americanism. In 1963, the Conservatives ran on an anti-American platform and lost. In 1988, it was the Liberals who were the main anti-Americans, and they lost. But in both cases, as already noted, these outcomes are explained in part by the way Quebec voted, and there is no reason to suppose that Quebec voters look on the issues of an election from the same standpoint as do English Canadians. In 1963, they had their own reasons for being dissatisfied with Diefenbaker, reasons that had nothing to do with Arrows, BOMARCs, fondness for the Americans, or harebrained schemes for nuclear disarmament. In 1988, the great electoral realignment caused by the Constitution Act of 1982 was still playing itself out in Quebec. If elections alone are the test, then Canadians outside Quebec are as anti-American now as they were in 1891 or 1911.
But perhaps elections are not a good test. The inundation of American imagery during the past century, thanks to technology and the mass media, must surely have changed Canadians. Can anyone deny that we are now more American than our ancestors were? Surely, then, we must have become less receptive to anti-Americanism.
Closer attention to Quebec would help to sort out the issues here. If we were to go back to the first recorded phase of Canadian anti-Americanism and trace its development from, say, 1629 to the present, the story would be much the same as the one Granatstein tells. We would find dislike of outsiders repeatedly being used by Quebec's elites to bolster their positions. Anti-Americanism would still go through phases: it would develop from an earlier more conservative or even "feudal" form to a more recent social-democratic form, as we ourselves became more American. But there would be one crucial difference.
From our new perspective, English Canadians would be the most important "Americans". The problem of anti-Americanism would be how to limit their influence over our lives. For more than a century after our conquest, Britain would be our most useful ally against the local Anglais. Independence would not be a realistic option-the attempt to achieve it would anger our English-speaking neighbours while alienating our British allies. A provincial enclave within some kind of federal structure would offer the best protection of our distinctive culture or way of life. To achieve this, we would sometimes have to pretend to share our English neighbours' loyalties, envies, and resentments, but we would not have much real interest in helping them to assert their British identity vis-à-vis the United States, for that would be uncomfortably close to helping them to tighten their grip on us. When they were "ready, aye ready" to fight imperial wars and daydreaming about a permanent hegemony to be achieved by imperial federation, they clearly wanted to make our province a municipality and to drag us into wars that were none of our business. When they lost their imperial zeal, having had a good taste of war, they developed an enthusiasm for building new Jerusalems run from Ottawa-again reducing our province to municipal status. For a long time their left-wing intellectuals seem to have entertained illusions about inveigling us to cut our own throats, but the 1988 election seems finally to have cleared their minds, even though they are still puzzled (as we sometimes are) that our growing Americanism coexists with our growing anti-Americanism.
At any rate, if they wanted a better understanding of our point of view, we would advise them to read our authors who have most clearly explained our perspective on Canadian and American politics-writers such as Etienne Parent, Henri Bourassa, Lionel Groulx, André Laurendeau, Pierre Vadeboncoeur, and Fernand Dumont. If this is expecting too much, then we would advise them to at least read their own authors who have had the intelligence and the breadth of mind to understand our perspective, even if they have not always sympathized with it, for example, Goldwin Smith and George Grant.

"Canadians are Americans who clearly do not want to be U.S. citizens," Granatstein says in his concluding chapter, and he patriotically identifies himself with this deep Canadian desire. The practical problem today, he says, is how to make a good use of this desire. "The real challenge for Canada, something vitally important for our survival as the other North Americans, will be to continue to resist absorption, formal or informal, into the American empire that threatens to engulf us. A healthy Canadian nationalism-in the best sense the desire to preserve an independent but interdependent nation-remains as necessary as ever in the past."
But what should be the content of such a healthy nationalism? What political substance should we historians and political scientists try to pour into the empty shell of our compatriots' desire to be different?
Granatstein mentions two main possibilities, multiculturalism and social democracy, in that order.
Social democracy now provides the most conventional way of contrasting Canada with the United States. Canadian nationalism is set in opposition to American neoconservatism, especially by those whose grants and subsidies are at risk. Americans (Martin, Harris, Klein, Romanow, Bouchard) are the tax-cutters, downsizers, and budget-balancers; we are naturally more caring and sharing.
Granatstein gives this version of Canadian nationalism a peck on the cheek. He does not snort in derision, but half a page out of three hundred is hardly a passionate embrace. He knows too well that social democracy is a faded beauty, not just in the United States, but here too. Its vehicle, the NDP, he says is on the verge of extinction. For the past fifty years, the whole trend of world politics has been away from the idea that nations can find satisfying identities through public ownership, economic planning, and generous social welfare programs. The source of that hope, Marxism, Granatstein knows, is brain-dead: it is the stock-in-trade of some second-rate academics and no-one else. In Canada, there is plenty of class conflict, as Marx predicted, but right now it is mainly between taxpayers and those at the trough, not capitalists and proletarians. Granatstein keeps his distance.
So what about the first possibility, multiculturalism? Granatstein is exceedingly brief on this point, too, so let me outline some modest proposals to show what a healthy Canadian nationalism along this line might achieve.
The basic idea would be to give Canada's formal political independence some meaningful content by making our country truly a mosaic in contrast to the melting pot south of the line. By doing so we would accentuate our differences from the Americans and get ahead of them in the race to the future: the two basic ingredients of a firm modern identity.
What might this involve? First of all, affirming the importance of the Charter, with its interpretive clause about multiculturalism (Sec. 27), as the framework for our politics. We would clearly have to reject any and all proposals for entrenching a "distinct society" clause for Quebec in the constitution. All provinces would be treated equally and there would be no "founding nations" (apart perhaps from the First Nations). All Canadians being in a sense immigrants, none having literally sprung from the soil, all must be on a footing of equality.
Some groups have been here much longer than others, however. Our First Nations naturally enough regard themselves as the original settlers of the land who were deprived of it by force, not right. Our European settlers, by contrast, tend to think that might is right-or if they don't, then that cultural superiority somehow gives them a title to most of the land. A genuinely multicultural Canada would affirm neither of these exclusive forms of political consciousness. Rather it would make the finding of a fair settlement with the Native peoples its most urgent task. My vision of the Canadian mosaic is one where there would be an equal division of the land between the indigenous peoples and later settlers. This may seem idealistic-certainly it would involve some sacrifices by so-called white Canadians-but can we envision a truly distinctive identity without putting some faith in the goodness and generosity of Canadians?
The second great task of a genuinely multicultural Canada would be to make sure that its mosaic does not become a vertical mosaic. Good employment equity laws (with firm numerical targets, not quotas), an electoral system based on proportional representation (with party lists controlled by party leaders with the assistance of the Human Rights Commission), a new roster of public holidays (based perhaps on the birthdays of our prime ministers), real Senate reform (for example, the selection of Senators by lot), good programs in the high schools for rooting out racism, sexism, and homophobia, and vigorous enforcement of anti-discrimination legislation and our existing laws against hate-all this would help to strengthen the natural tolerance of Canadians and to ensure that newcomers quickly take their places in positions of power, without any unreasonable expectations about "assimilation".
One great barrier to the full participation of newcomers in Canadian society is of course their lack of knowledge of our official languages. More resources would have to be devoted to language instruction, but in the long run the more satisfactory solution might be to add to the number of our official languages. For example, there would be no need to teach so many Asian immigrants English if Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin, or whatever) were one of our official languages.
Immigration and refugee programs have made a vital contribution to the Canadian mosaic, and they must continue to do so. We cannot build a multicultural society without the raw materials that immigration provides. But I do not agree with those, such as Andrew Coyne, who advocate dropping all barriers to immigration. We should continue to select immigrants to serve our own needs and we must unapologetically limit their numbers so as not to strain the absorptive capacity of Canadian society. But a modest increase in numbers together with a greater effort to draw immigrants from previously under-utilized sources (we don't really need more Americans or Europeans) would allow us to build a better mosaic more quickly. What I am suggesting is that we consider adding a mere 2 percent to our population each year, and that most of these new Canadians come from Asia and Africa. Although the annual increase would be smaller under this proposal than it was in the greatest period of our nation's growth, from about 1900 to 1914, we would soon-by about the middle of the next century-have a population of about 80 million, a good half of which would be non-white.
More rapid population growth would have a number of incidental advantages. For example, it would keep our labour markets flexible, boost the value of urban land (keeping our banks and mortgage companies solvent), and take the demographic pressure off the CPP and medicare for our old age. As well, it could solve the French Canadian problem. The main source of that problem, the Québécois pure laine, would soon be less than half of Quebec's population. The French Canadian element in Canada as a whole would shrink to less than 10 percent of the total, and national unity would be secure indefinitely.
The Canada I envision would engage the passionate commitment of Canadians, and each year we would be more clearly distinct from the Americans. There is no reason to think that they are quickly going to be able to overcome their bitter legacy of slavery. In dealing with it, they are hamstrung by the growing presence of other minorities, Hispanics and Asians, in their society. Before long, our success would be in striking contrast to their failure. Soon we would be able to criticize them more openly than we do today for their unwillingness to live up to universal principles of fairness and tolerance. We could speak out at the United Nations against their mean-spirited immigration and refugee policies and call them to account for their violations of human rights. We could even demand the release of their "political prisoners". The resulting recriminations would strengthen our sense of moral superiority and dramatize our separate identity. Our national enemies would then be clearly outside our borders, where they belong, rather than inside them. There would be a kind of synergy, lacking today, between our national commitments and our national quarrels.

Niceness is sometimes said to be the Canadian national virtue, but with respect to Americans, it has definite limits. Scratch a Canadian and watch an anti-American emerge.
Granatstein begins his book by loudly decrying anti-Americanism as an unworthy, soul-destroying conceit. He ends it by gingerly endorsing the current, standard forms of the vice. Irrational anti-Americanism, based on deliberately contrived fearmongering, was once the Canadian way of being different, he says. But fortunately this old anti-Americanism has faded away, and now we are free to look for better ways to preserve our national identity, ways that lie beyond the glib, mindless prejudices of the past.
These prejudices were the myths about Canadian-American differences that once served the interests of powerful groups and individuals. Dispassionate historical research shows their mythical, self-serving character. But we still need a "national mythos", it seems, so whose interests should it serve? What use should we now make of our tendency to compare ourselves to the Americans and to feel diminished by the comparison? Granatstein says, admittedly without much enthusiasm, what others are now saying: the myths of multiculturalism and social democracy.
What really sets this book apart from others is its treatment of Canadian-American relations as a psychological problem. Wounded vanity is the emotion we must beware, it seems, for not only does it poison the lives of individuals, but it can distort the politics of great nations.
The weakness of the book is the thinness of its psychology. How is vanity to be overcome? Simply by showing how it affected our ancestors? Only by experiencing something higher than the attention and approval of others, I would suggest, can we reduce our craving for it.
Granatstein claims for his book a novelty it lacks. He says that it is the first to survey the history of Canadian anti-Americanism from the Loyalists to the present day. In a sense he is right, even though others before him have attempted to give a systematic historical account of the roots of Canadian attitudes towards the United States. In fact, every history of Canada does this. But has anyone previously probed the core of our political neurosis "psychologically"? Has anyone dared to put Canada on the couch to listen to what she has to say about her neighbour?
Dr. Granatstein's case notes have some gaps, however, indicating his emotional involvement in the stories his patient is telling. Fortunately, these gaps are themselves revealing. A future doctor, examining the same patient, perhaps after a violent split in her personality, will know where to take up the analysis.

H. D. Forbes is the author of Canadian Political Thought Oxford University Press) and Nationalism, Ethnocentrism, & Personality: Social Science & Critical Theory (University of Chicago Press).


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