March 31st, 2014

Commentary | November 15th, 2012
Dear baton-licking pacifists
An open letter to Ethan Feldman and company
Written by

Thank you for composing yet another excellent article, “Dear Boot-Licking Apologists: Remembering the war that continues” (Commentary, November 8, page 8). I am delighted that you continue devoting such a large portion of your time to resisting the capitalist machine, all on top of academic responsibilities. Now don’t get me wrong; I categorically disagree with all the idle whining that you’re able to spew and have accepted by The Daily’s editors (I can barely imagine what it’d take for them to reject an article at this point). I love what you do because your whining is special. Unlike the majority of the radical leftist ideology propagandized by campus newspapers, your commentaries are more than just whining; they’re toxic.

Every year our school is flooded with politically ideological clean-slated freshmen; 17- and 18-year-olds desperate to label themselves with an “ist”; environmentalist, capitalist, Marxist, creationist, and so forth. I, for one, do my part to enlist them in the dark side (aka, liberalism). We herald the teachings of Frédéric Bastiat, J.S. Mill, and Milton Friedman, preach the virtues of property rights and civil liberties, and of course use basic facts and history to show how much better life is in laissez-faire economies.

I’m not sure what ideology it is that you support, but it seems to involve lots of yelling at anyone with a job, anyone who one day hopes to have a job, anyone who is white, a man, straight, cis-gendered (I had to Google that one), eats imported fruit, and virtually everyone else who isn’t a displaced child sweat shop worker laid off because of outsourcing. Fortunately for you, this ideology seems to appeal to lots of students, especially the upper middle class ones, its popularity manifesting itself in the success (and eventual decline) of last year’s Mob Squad. But recently, you’ve been tipping the scales in my favour.

Let me explain; last year, the poster boy of leftist propaganda masquerading as journalism (the position you’re currently trying to fill) was Davide Mastracci. His commentary pieces were mostly lively observations with a pinch of subjectivity and lots of self-deprecating remark. For example, “McGill students were born on third base and believe they hit a triple” (“Is McGill really progressive?” Commentary, February 2, page 8). It was usually a treat to read, and most certainly appealing to the aforementioned freshmen.

Ethan, you on the other hand, are something different altogether. I’m not referring to your fundamental misunderstanding of some of the simplest aspects of history. No, I’m referring to you equating getting hit by bicycles to mustard gas, comparing tuition hikes to Kristallnacht, labour courtinjunctions to the Gestapo. I’m referring to that deep, rudimentary confusion inside of you. To a Toy“R”Us Lego aisle temper tantrum you throw at the very first dissatisfaction that comes your way. But most of all, I’m referring to that searing hate that blinds you: blinds you to history, to facts, to reality. The all-consuming hate that makes you incapable of reasoning or logic.

Ethan, just consider how you ended your article for a moment: “The fastest way to stop imperialist killing is to rid ourselves of our colonial society…recognizing that it crosses every border and intersects every person.” What does that even mean? What is this indefinite, utopian course of action you have in your head? After spending an entire article raging on against some cancerous evil enveloping the world, I’d assume you’d flush out your conclusion slightly. Are we supposed to eat more organic food? Should we protest the imprisonment of Pussy Riot? Not do laundry on Thursdays? Please tell me, please!

You think you’re encouraging solidarity and community, but all you’re doing is spreading fear and despair. You’re not fighting for a cause; you’re creating disillusionment and despondency. And as philosophically raw as these freshmen may be, they are still smarter than you give them credit for. They can identify utopian hysteria when they see it, and you’re giving them plenty to look at. So please, continue. Continue spreading whatever this message is. Champion your movement and wear it on your sleeve for all to see. Just know that after they read your drivel and run away in disgust, we’ll be waiting for them, armed with respect and gratitude for the soldiers who lost their lives in wars they did not start, who sacrificed everything so that you have the freedom to shit on their graves. We who wear red poppies not because we are “jingoistic nationalists,” but because we recognize the tragedy of war. We who have the ability to differentiate between mortar shells and inflation-adjusted tuition fees. We who strive to achieve an antidote for the wrongs we see in this world, not hemorrhage and spasm at the slightest irritation.

And while the freshmen are here, I might just try to sell them on the benefits of free trade and right-to-work legislation. So please, keep sending them our way!

Alexei Simakov a U1 International Development student. He eats two species of animal with every meal. He can be reached at alexei.simakov@mail.mcgill.ca.

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