MARCH 1st, 2023 | Grant Johnson

Conservatives Should Avoid Activism

There are better ways to make things happen.
Like many Canadians, I was cheering on the Truckers For Freedom Convoy last year and felt inspired by the outpouring of emotion and celebration for the entire event. It helped to red-pill millions of Canadians and provided a sense of solidarity and comfort in knowing that we were not alone. The reaction of the regime against the convoy was also immensely revealing. The media was completely unmasked in such a way that even the dopiest news consumer couldn’t help but recognize the propaganda. Our ruling class was divided in varying levels of tepid support and heated condemnation. The overreach into bank account freezing and storm-trooping with horses, to finish everything off, was a cold lesson in reality that can’t be unlearned.
But after all that, what really changed? Sure, we got a glimpse of the truth and some camaraderie from supporters. It led to Erin O’Toole’s demise, but that was in the cards anyway.
Ostensibly, the convoy was about the requirement that cross-border truckers get vaccinated in order to deliver their cargo to and from Canada and the United States. Did the convoy stop the cross-border vaccine mandates? No. They are still in effect at the time of writing this in 2023.
One could argue that the protests precipitated the end of provincial mandates across the country. The protests sent a message to lower-tier politicians that the people had had enough, and they better temper their tyranny.
Or maybe the culture was changing anyway and the end of Covid tyranny was on the horizon with or without the Ottawa protests. By February of 2022, it was becoming apparent that the Omicron variant was a game changer. Everyone was getting Covid with or without the vaccine. The hospitalization rates had peaked on January 29th, 2022 with almost 11,000 people in hospital, from or with Covid. Two months later, it was down to about 4,000.
Around this time some provincial premiers began scaling back the data reporting and soon thereafter the daily blast of Covid death counts from legacy media dried up. Public health officials realized that the Covid hysteria was ending and by April they cautiously endorsed putting things back to normal. The general vibe, with or without the Convoy, was that people were done with Covid and the world was moving on.

“There’s no point in fighting the tide. It ebbs. It flows. You ride it.”
– Karen Marie Moning

Conservatives often lament modernity and question why they can’t seem to battle back against the tide of woke progressivism. The ratchet effect of society lurching ever towards the left can be disheartening to conservatives hoping to push for positive change. What strategies or tactics can we as conservatives use to set things right?
On a broad scale the answer is: not much.
The world is a big place and there are billions of variables working in tandem every minute of every day to shape and aim the culture. For every action there’s multiple reactions and then multiple reactions to that. There is no 4-D chess being played… it’s just chaos.
I’ve advocated in these pages before in favour of the Jordan Peterson method of self-improvement, first and foremost. Build yourself and your competency and increase your abilities and value sets. From there take responsibility for a family and maybe a business. If you can succeed with this much, you’ll be doing great.
Rod Dreher takes things to the next step and advocates involvement with neighbourhoods, communities and schools. Volunteering for local organizations or running for local office has more immediate impact than getting involved in big picture issues. Keep things manageable.
Trying to do big, national, historical change is very difficult and fighting the establishment is likely going to cost you more than you ever gain. The Freedom Convoy organizers are being made to pay a steep price for their obstinance and they’ll likely be left with criminal records, bankruptcy-level income loss and possible jail time. We see similar martyrdom throughout history, and often these well-meaning people are simply wasting their time and efforts, while history unfolds regardless of their efforts.

 The founders of The New Abortion Caravan, a project of CCBR’s EndtheKilling campaign, say they hope to redeem   the old Abortion Caravan and reverse its effects—in 18 years. “That’s our deadline for the pro-life movement to end   abortion in Canada,” said Stephanie Gray, Co-Founder and Executive Director. “We’re convinced this new abortion   caravan is the beginning of the end.” – 2012

I was a peripheral player in the pro-life movement around this time and as with many zealous young people who believe in changing the world, I was enthusiastic about our projects. A concerted effort by a hardcore few just might be enough to topple the whole rotten abortion culture. I was wrong.
On the plus side, reported abortion is down 25% since then. The total amount of abortions in Canada in 2012 was roughly 100,000 but by 2020 that number had fallen to about 75,000. Will the goal of eradicating abortion by 2030 be met? A linear projection says it won’t, but if it does…will it be because of aggressive pro-life campaigns, or a multitude of other things?
For instance, Gen Z kids aren’t having sex like previous generations. A variety of reasons could play a role; from The Boy Crisis, to social media (Instagram’s impact on girls and young women), to the ubiquity of online pornography (Pornhub debuted in 2005). The aging of Canada makes us older now and there are fewer child-bearing aged women in the country than in 2012. Probably the biggest reason for the decline, however, is the introduction and unrestricted access of Mifegymiso (the abortion pill) in 2017. Now women can get a prescription, overdose their hormones and induce menstruation in the first trimester, which may or may not be reported in the stats as a technical “abortion”. We do know that the company that manufactures the drug ships 50,000 to 80,000 doses to Canada per year.
On top of this, polls show Canadians are MORE in favour of abortion than they were ten years ago, although like most issues, Canadians are so ignorant on the subject that there are a lot of contradictions in their opinions. If the EndTheKilling campaign was responsible for changing hearts and minds, let alone behaviours, then surely there would be more direct evidence for this, but I suspect most Canadians don’t even know that this campaign is a thing.
Perhaps the abortion example is too muddy so let’s take a hero of many pro-lifers and apply the same skepticism regarding activism.
William Wilberforce.
Wilberforce is the point man for supposedly ending slavery throughout the British Empire. After a lifetime of struggle and grandstanding and tireless efforts, the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act was passed. Many fans of Wilberforce credit his grandstanding with getting this done, but if he didn’t exist, would slavery had ended anyway?
One thing never mentioned enough regarding the end of slavery is the impact of the Industrial Revolution. From 1760 until 1820 Great Britain exploded with advances in technology and invention, the likes of which had never been seen before. Blast furnaces, concrete, steam engines, boring machines, spinning jennys…it was one innovation leap-frogging the next. In this context, kidnapping and wrangling unwilling human slaves to do hard labour until they died was increasingly viewed as economically primitive.
Historians credit morality and activism for changing hearts and minds…but slavery was around for thousands of years…why did hearts and minds change only around 1800? The Industrial Revolution made slavery obsolete, and the culture followed along behind, slapping “morality” onto decisions that already made economic sense.
Let’s flip the script and look at climate activism. The powers that be, have been pushing climate change (formerly global warming, formerly global cooling) onto the public for decades. It’s an abstract problem with lots of grifting and pocket lining, but despite the avalanche of propaganda and the unified approval of our elite… it just doesn’t spark.
The world is using more oil than ever. China, India and Russia are actively rejecting the cries of the cult. Huge swaths of opposition can be found in every country and amongst prominent “deniers”. Every policy that is instituted is fought tooth and nail or circumvented in creative ways. Reality continues to resist the climate cult despite the Justin Trudeaus of the world doing everything they can to implement fealty.
Why doesn’t the climate cult win outright? Mostly because of reality. People don’t want their standard of living to plummet, and the climate cult is inherently anti-civilizational. When dumb ideas get implemented, they quickly get rolled back. If they don’t get rolled back, then the country suffers and if it suffers too much, the ruling class will hear about it…and pay for it.
Greta can Greta all she wants. Hopefully she lines her pockets, because if she measures success by her activism, it isn’t going to amount to much.
Anti-meat activists have been protesting grocery stores with theatrical demonstrations for decades. Yet more people than ever are eating meat. Should science ever replicate fake meat that is cheaper, healthier, and tastier than real meat, then guess what…society will likely begin to become animal empathetic vegetarians. Until then, it’ll be burgers and steaks indefinitely, because we’re humans and that’s what we do.
In March of 2003, I marched against the war in Iraq. Did it matter? Nah.
In Florida last year, I saw people protesting in front of Sea World. I’m guessing it was Blackfish-type, argy-bargy. Did I care? No. I happily toured Sea World and learned about all the great stuff they do for sea creatures big and small.
When I was in University, I protested a circus because they used animals in their performances. (Yeah, I know, pretty lame but there was this girl and… anyways) We basically shamed the people driving into the parking lot with signs and they scolded us right back through there windshields.
Today, circuses don’t use animals anymore. No elephants balancing on balls or bears riding tricycles. It’s all human performers walking tight ropes or juggling chainsaws.
Was it our protests that did it? I’m going to safely say, no.
The reality is that animal acts in circuses just got lame. Society got softer and softer and entertainment expectations got higher and higher. I don’t imagine circuses were exactly big money makers to begin with and caring for a bunch of elephants and bears is expensive as hell. Better to reinvent the circus with stunt drivers willing to set themselves on fire and flip end-over-end on dirt bikes for basically free.
Remember Earth Hour? What has that ever done?
How about that famous picture of the burning monk Thich Quang Duc? He burned himself alive in order to protest the favouritism that the then leader of Vietnam, Ngo Dink Diem, showed to Catholic minorities rather than Buddhist majorities. This led to the CIA backing a coup d’état which disposed of Diem and the north/south divide of the Vietnam war kicked into high gear. In 1975 the Vietnam war ended and atheist Communists took over the whole country.
Pretty sure this isn’t what Thich Quang Duc burned himself for, but hey…he was an activist…and he inspired Norman Morrison.
Who was Norman Morrison? He was a Quaker pacifist who in 1965, in order to protest the war in Vietnam, burned himself alive in front of Robert McNamara’s office. He left behind a wife and three kids. After this bold act the war in Vietnam came to an end ten years later. Slow clap Norman. Slow clap.
Here’s a key takeaway…

Many activists are just narcissistic losers trying to find glory for their pathetic lives.
By all means, get involved in things that interest you and live your life according to your principles, this isn’t a polemic in favour of nihilism or selfishness. Conservatives looking to effect change do however, have to be savvy and measured. We need to manage expectations, prioritize real impact and know how and when to pick our battles.
Rather than squander time, money and resources on “fighting the power”, conservatives need to adjust to the new normal. Life isn’t going to be what you want it to be, but adapting to reality is better than trying to change the world. If it’s raining, get an umbrella; don’t punch at the clouds. Afterall, the clouds will keep rolling by no matter what you do.
A lot of well meaning, but misguided conservatives don’t understand where we’re at. They need to upgrade their operating systems and realize that the Canada of 20 or 30 years ago is over. We are increasingly dissident living inside a hostile culture. The rules apply differently to us. The system views us suspiciously and with trepidation. Our ruling class is increasingly alien to our perspectives and way of life. The consequence of progressive hegemony is leaving Canada more lawless, with less economic opportunity, higher inflation and general instability precipitated by hysterical woke mental illness.
When it comes to activism let the blue-hairs scream and let your enemies punch at the wind and let the idiots stand trial or set themselves on fire. Apply your own efforts where they can have a direct and immediate effect and focus first and foremost on what is practically important.
Be smart. Be based. Beware.
March 2023