Monday, November 01, 2010

Eww nationalism...

So, this week I thought I'd do a bit of personal reflection. As noted in previous posts I'm doing some research on the nationalism of the League for Social Reconstruction which has me reading on the history of Canadian socialism. While reading Ian McKay's article* I came across these passages:

"The charismatic aura which surrounds the great stars, especially the CCFers, suggests that they now figure in a nationalist myth-symbol complex, that they have become 'national figures' and not mere leftists" (p. 96)

"In highly selective CCF-NDP invented traditions the entire rationale of the party is, and always will be, the same: the provision to Canadians of compassionate and effective social programs through a liberal democratic regime. But, clearly, as we have seen, the paradigm of national management was never so narrowly bound..." (p. 107).

While reading them I god...I'm a...nationalist! (how very frightening).  Isn't it strange when you realize that you're intimately bound up with and a part of the subject that you're studying? It just seems odd, as if you've stepped back and are looking at yourself from an outside perspective. How deflating to realize that you've bought into the very myths that you're studying. I suppose this is the whole point? This isn't a new occurrence by any means and it happens frequently in university and life in general, but this one hit me with a but more gusto. Hopefully, and perhaps this is the point, this will let me look at the LSR in a much more open and intellectually critical light. Idealism...I shall miss you! All this is likely the product of Norman Hillmer's seminar. What angst you're causing me Dr. Hillmer!

 J.S. Woodsworth - perhaps the most mythical of them all.

 Tommy Douglas
Federal CCF Caucus, 1942
Founding of the CCF - Calgary, 1932


Jordan Kerr

*"For a New Kind of History: A Reconnaissance of 100 Years of Canadian Socialism" (Labour / Le Travail, Vol. 46, Special Millennium Issue (Fall, 2000), pp. 69-125).
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