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How Social Justice Ideologues Hijacked a Legal Regulator

I have been a Toronto-based litigation lawyer for 30 years. My politics are progressive and strongly egalitarian. About two decades ago, I started my own law firm, specifically so that I could serve disadvantaged individuals and communities. I have sued governments and large corporations, often on a pro bono basis. I have acted for Indigenous clients—including the family of Dudley George, an Ojibway man who was shot and killed by police in 1995 at Ipperwash Provincial Park in Ontario. I have represented a regional Cree First Nations tribal council on the James Bay coast for more than 25 years, and for eight years a group of indigenous Mayan women in an ongoing claim against a Canadian international mining company for alleged rape and murder at its facility in Guatemala. I act in a class-action for almost a thousand people who claim to have been wrongfully mass-arrested by Toronto Police at the 2010 G20 Summit. I am a recipient of the Diane Martin Medal For Social Justice Through Law, the Human Rights Award from the Ontario Federation of Labour, and the Champion of Justice Award from Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto. In 2014, and again in 2015, Canadian Lawyer Magazine put me on its national Top-25-Most-Influential list because of my advocacy on behalf of those seeking access to justice.

I recite all this not to blow my own horn, but rather in the hope that my progressive credentials may convince otherwise skeptical readers to take seriously the arguments that follow. For all of my adult life, I have worked to advance social justice. Now I am horrified by what my own professional regulator is doing in the name of that same cause.

In Canada, the legal profession is regulated provincially. Seven years ago, the Law Society of Ontario (which then was still called the Law Society of Upper Canada) created a working group to address “challenges faced by racialized licensees” in Ontario’s legal profession. The working group reported in 2016 that it had discovered “systemic racism” in the profession. While no one will dispute that elements of racism can be found in parts of Canadian society, the collected survey data did not support the conclusion that racism in my profession is widespread and serious. Nevertheless, in December, 2016, Convocation (the legislative body that governs the Law Society) adopted a set of 13 recommendations on the topic. Times being what they are, no one felt comfortable putting the brakes on this process, despite misgivings. The idea that racism was rampant, and that heavy-handed measures were required to address it, took on a life of its own.

One of the listed recommendations was that the Law Society should “require every licensee to adopt and to abide by a statement of principles acknowledging their obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally, and in their behaviour towards colleagues, employees, clients and the public.” When the Law Society announced this new requirement the following September, its advisory also stated that we Ontario lawyers should “demonstrate a personal valuing” of these principles.

Despite the fact that I always have been a strong advocate for “equality,” this development left me flabbergasted: Our regulator was demanding that lawyers and paralegals draft and then obey a set of specific political ideas—both in their personal and professional lives—as a condition of their license.

Failure to prepare a personal statement of principles in keeping with the Law Society’s directive would likely result (after a short reprieve for re-education) in sanctions, such as an administrative suspension. (The Law Society has not formally announced what the penalty will be, except to say that “progressive measures” would be applied.) Lawyers who are suspended are not permitted to practice law. Their refusal to embrace these values would put their livelihood in peril. The Law Society was prescribing, effectively with the force of law, what to say and what to think. I never imagined that I would ever see such a thing in Canada.

*     *     *

I was raised a devout Mennonite. Most of my ancestors settled on the Canadian prairies in the 1870s, having fled religious persecution in Russia. Some chose to stay in that country, but that did not end well. During the Russian Revolution, and in the civil war that followed, Mennonite villages were attacked in waves by the Red Army, the White Army, and hordes of peasant anarchist brigands bent on pillage and rape. Those who survived eventually were subjected to the anti-religious scourges of Stalin, with many Mennonites ending up imprisoned or executed. Most of the villages eventually were destroyed.

My grandmother left Russia in the early 1920s as a war refugee, coming to Canada when she was 14. I spent my summers with her on the farm and sometimes asked about her time in Russia. She always refused to discuss it. I think she saw some terrible things.

My family members were not the ultra-conservative Mennonites of the type you see dressed in black and traveling by horse and buggy. But we were very conservative in our lifestyle. My parents, wonderful and loving people, were devout, conservative Christians. We spent countless hours in church, and my father gathered the family every day for a period of Bible reading and prayer together at home. In those prayers, my parents frequently would express thanks to God that “we live in a free country.”

As a boy, I developed a voracious appetite for reading. I did not have much access to books, but I read whatever I could get my hands on. At some point, my parents bought an encyclopedia set to use with our school work. I loved those 24 volumes, which I would open to random pages and read whatever entry I found there. Eventually, I had difficulty finding an article I hadn’t yet read.

I did not know anyone who had gone to university, except for the teachers at my small rural high school, who had gone to teachers’ college. After high school, I attended a conservative Bible school in Manitoba. There, I sometimes felt that there were parts of my belief system that didn’t make sense to me. I couldn’t talk to anyone about these thoughts since I didn’t know a single person in my life who was not at least formally a Christian or who had seemed to even consider any other way of life or thought. My curiosity eventually led me to university, where I reveled in a landscape of debate and truth-seeking. Over time, I became non-religious, although that is not something I make a point of proclaiming.

In short, I would not be the person I am without freedom of thought and expression. I will not be told what to say or what to value—especially by the regulator of what is supposed to be a body of independent lawyers. And so I have decided that I must contribute, in my little corner, in my limited way, to the defence of those freedoms. I did this knowing that taking a stand on this issue might destroy the career and law firm I had built. And it has, although it has been a disaster I have been able to manage.

*     *     *

Compelling speech is unconscionable regardless of the principles a person is made to parrot. Today, we are being told to promote “equality, diversity and inclusion.” But once this line has been crossed, the content doesn’t matter. And tomorrow, we might be asked to pledge allegiance to some other ideological doctrine.

I believe in treating people as equals. I have always tried to be colour-blind. That does not mean ignoring a person’s background or disrespecting it. It can mean trying to help to offset any disadvantage they may have faced. But that is not what the Law Society means by “equality.” According to the new lexicon, treating people as humans of equal worth is considered unequal. Instead, they must be treated as numbers in a ledger, contributors to a quota.

To many Quillette readers, this perversion of language may not come as a surprise. I have been late to this party, and perhaps I have been naïve about how ideology has corrupted the ideal of social justice and the words we use to describe it. The Law Society’s working group declared that one of its objectives was to ensure “better representation of racialized licensees, in proportion to the representation in the Ontario population, in the professions, in all legal workplaces and at all levels of seniority.” Note the specificity of this objective. Every lawyer and paralegal is now expected to adopt and promote racial representation according to proportion in the general population “in all legal workplaces” and “at all levels of seniority”—an enforced mosaic or grid of de facto quotas in vertical and lateral compartments based, essentially, on skin colour.

But if the proportion of some skin colours and ethnicities is too low, then the proportion of others must be too high. And while the authors of these rules no doubt would be quick to deny this plain corollary, the arithmetic truth is plain as a matter of simple logic. Without having the nerve to say so directly, the Law Society is telling us that there are, in effect, too many white Jewish lawyers—for there is no single group that has had more success, on a per capita basis, in gaining representation in the Ontario legal market. (The Law Society also has determined that the same rule shall apply to “all equality-seeking groups,” but shrewdly avoided the awkward step of explaining what these are. And it may be assumed that the list of such groups will expand continually according to ideological fashion.)

As an egalitarian and progressive, I always have been favourably inclined toward “diversity and inclusion.” But I thought those ideas meant a spirit of open-mindedness and respect toward others regardless of their personal characteristics. In fact, that is the opposite of what the Law Society means and intends. In this context, “diversity and inclusion” is code for identity politics—by which we are all slotted into factions defined by appearance, ethnicity and gender (usually through “self-identification”), supposed antagonists in an altogether imaginary and endless zero-sum game of dominance and oppression.

That is a world I do not recognize. I know well that Canadian society includes many people who are disadvantaged and require help. In some cases, these disadvantages do indeed have some connection to group identity. I have dedicated my career to such causes. That does not mean that we are defined by our ethnicities or that we are locked in a group-on-group struggle for power.

When it became clear that the diversity faction had captured my profession’s regulators, I felt I had no choice. My first step was to tell the Law Society to, in effect, go to hell. I did so in a long letter, to which I have not yet received a reply. The second step was to refuse to comply with the new requirement. (The Law Society announced that there would be penalties for such failure, though not during the first year—so, thus far, I still have my license.) The third was to wind down my law firm, because I no longer feel that my legal practice is viable in this climate. The fourth was to join in a court challenge to the compulsory Statement of Principles, which is ongoing. Finally, I have joined a group of other lawyers and paralegals who oppose the Statement of Principles and who are organizing a campaign in the upcoming Law Society elections in April. In a surprising development, I will be running for “Bencher” (the somewhat quaint term used to describe the Law Society’s directors), with the goal of changing the Law Society from the inside.

I realized that all of these steps would have reputational consequences for my firm. My opposition to the new rules would create serious internal conflict with my younger associates, who might either agree with the new policy or seek to avoid the notoriety associated with opposing it. My conflict with the Law Society also would become known to my clients, my professional contacts, potential recruits who are still in law school, and my wider circle of progressive friends and supporters. I feared that the principled nature of my stance would be lost on many of these people, who would simply see my efforts as being aimed at undermining the goals of “equality, diversity and inclusion.” Given all this, I believed that I had no choice but to wind down the firm.

Had I tried to keep the firm going, I would face years of increasingly bewildering and dubious claims based on race, sex and other forms of “identity,” all of which could be based on nothing more than “self-identification,” and all of which would now have the official imprimatur of the Law Society. As noted, the required Statement of Principles is just one of 13 measures adopted by the Law Society designed to force identity politics on law firms. Instead of being encouraged to promote an ethos of high professional competence, hard work and teamwork, I would be called on to play the role of full-time equity officer, conscripted to implement an ideology and a system I considered to be intellectually and morally wrong, not to mention, in some ways, simply ridiculous.

I have now largely completed the wind-down of my firm. My associates have formally transferred to other firms, and my firm now consists only of me. I have had a good run, and I can, with sacrifice and deep regret, say goodbye to both the business I built and the vision I had for the remainder of my career. Unlike me, unfortunately, most younger lawyers and paralegals have no realistic option for resisting the Law Society’s authoritarianism. As the new rules make plain, they will increasingly be judged more on the basis of ideology, skin colour and sex chromosomes than by their competence, skills, effort and professional contributions. That is not a career that I would wish upon anyone—including those individuals who are nominally considered as potential beneficiaries of these new rules.

*     *     *

My constitutional challenge to the Law Society’s rules—which I have undertaken with law professor Ryan Alford of Lakehead University, and with the support of the Canadian Constitution Foundation—argues that the Statement of Principles abridges freedom of speech, thought and conscience, as such freedoms are guaranteed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (which is part of our Constitution).

The case may sound like an easy case to win, but unfortunately it isn’t. The Canadian approach to judicial review is messy and unpredictable. Our resilient team of lawyers, headed by lead counsel Asher Honickman, has difficult work ahead. But we have found a number of supporters, and we invite more to join our cause.

In the coming Bencher elections, I will campaign with a diverse group of lawyers and paralegals, organized collectively as StopSOP, and led by London, Ont.-based lawyer Lisa Bildy. We hope to elect enough like-minded candidates to reverse the policy inside Convocation, or at least begin to turn the ship around. We seek to return the Law Society to its proper role as a regulator of professional competence rather than an activist body dictating political values and championing fashionable ideological causes.

It’s an uphill battle. Social justice mantras, in their newly mutated form, are everywhere. “Diversity and Inclusion” has taken on the character of an unquestionable orthodoxy within governments, regulators, universities, corporations, schools, unions, political parties, advocacy groups and the media—not only in Ontario but across North America, Europe and beyond. Yet despite their co-option by clannish ideologues, these institutions are supposed to serve the broad citizenry. They belong to the people. Though they have been infiltrated by social justice mobs, there is no reason why we cannot reverse the process.

The directors of the Law Society are democratically elected—which offers us some hope and opportunity. This pushback has to start somewhere. If lawyers, of all people, cannot defend themselves against tyranny, then what use are we to anyone?

 

Murray Klippenstein is a litigation lawyer based in Toronto, Canada.

Bruce Pardy is Professor of Law at Queen’s University. You can follow him on Twitter at @PardyBruce

Featured image: The main library in Osgoode Hall, Toronto, photographed in 2017 by David Arthur.

228 Comments

  1. Dan Love says

    It’s amazing to me how some non-leftist Canadians and Swedes haven’t offed themselves yet.

    • Angela says

      All I have to say is thank God for the First Amendment to the US Constitution, and the decades of judicial precedent that mean we dont face the type of BS Europeans and Canadians face regarding speech. At least not from our actual government.

        • Daath says

          @Col Poulter

          Yeah… Hate speech isn’t free speech, and so-called fighting words are apparently already unprotected by the 1st. Those refer to words that “by their very utterance, inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace”. Now consider that a lot of progressives consider emotional pain an injury, and are quite convinced that hateful words will inevitably lead to hateful, violent deeds. It’s quite a stretch to make the case that hate speech qualifies as fighting words, but I’ve seen people argue it.

          There’s a lot to say about Trump presidency, and not much of it is positive, but I think USA dodged a bullet there anyway. Hate speech laws would end up in Supreme Court, and now there’s not much chance of those passing, unless progressives seriously escalate and succeed in packing the court (in which even FDR failed, as powerful and talented as he was).

          Some Americans (not so many that post here, I suppose) also overestimate how important it is to be protected from government in this regard. I mean, my government has the power to punish me for “incitement to hatred” but that just means paying a fine. I’d almost be willing to buy an official thought-criminal diploma that way. Unfortunately, the troubles probably wouldn’t stop there. Social stigmatization, getting fired from my job on some pretext, being banned from platforms I use to communicate – now those would actually hurt. And Americans have as little protection against those than I have. In some ways less, because corporations have more power on that side of the Atlantic, and they play a huge part in enforcing our current speech codes.

        • mehboring says

          Also, take race into account. I mean, not to judge people, as much… to see where things are going.

          A) Ethnic voting. Non-whites vote overwhelmingly democrat, support outlawing hate speech & gun control at much higher levels than whites.

          B) Demographic change (whites becoming minority in 15 years)

          C) All of this spreading to schools (I’ve seen some say how it must start from preschools…).

      • hail to none says

        @Angela- required pledges to a particular ideology highlighted in the article have come to a number of U.S. institutions, including public ones. UCLA, for example, requires all individuals applying for tenure-track positions or pursuing promotions to submit an “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion” statement. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has a write up about it here: https://www.thefire.org/ucla-diversity-requirement-threatens-academic-freedom-trust-in-academia/

      • @ Angela I always see things from a longterm perspective and think that the challenges to the Second Amendment are all about this. The idea being that once you can repeal one part of the Constitution then guess what, others will follow. So pick the weakest and most emotive one as the test case. Then wait and wait until you get your chance.

        • I don’t think the 2nd Amendment has anything to do with it. If the 2nd “defended the 1st” then there are a number of falsifiable prediction which can be made. The suspension of Habeas Corpus would not be possible, PATRIOT Acts I and II would not be possible, the NNDA would not be possible, military tribunals would not be possible and that torture could not happen. Yet where was the 2nd amendment in all that? No where! Looks like the 2nd does not protect the right of Americans because it has already failed to do the above.

      • Pragmatic says

        You are incredibly naive if you believe this. The first amendment truly only protects you from government retribution. Private industries – such as those who produce the testing agencies who are gate-keepers to all professions- are free to do what they want. If you are not ideologically on the left in America, you cannot get a teaching job or pass any of the tests to enter medical professions AS IT ALREADY STANDS. If you don’t think this is already in full swing in the US, let me sell you some ice over the internet.

        PS? Take a look at the requirements set forth by the government on what you legally have to disclose to do business in LA. If they don’t like your politics, they can deny your entry into business. Even though, in CA, it is illegal to discriminate by political ideology. The first amendment is long dead.

    • Thylacine says

      Non-leftist Canadians are a dying breed, through suicide or otherwise. It’s a function of {immigration + diversity politics}. Canada’s policy is to add 1% to the population through immigration and refugee in-takes each year, almost entirely from “disadvantaged groups.” That’s 25% in only 25 years.

      Suppose you are a European (white) couple in your mid-20s, thinking about starting a family. Or suppose you are this couple’s parents, contemplating the prospects of your grandchildren. By the time they are ready to join the workforce, in 2040 or 2045, Canada’s presumptively “disadvantaged” population will have increased from 27% to 50% of the nation. And every single one of them will be deemed to be in line for preferential treatment. Half the population will have legislated advantages over your children, for no other reason than their ethnicity.

      If this hypothetical European couple is university-educated, have professional careers, and stand to inherit wealth from long-time Canadian parents or grandparents – if they are part of Canada’s ruling elite – this prospect might not bother them so much. Their children’s futures are assured, anyway. And this fact puts even more downward pressure on the prospects of families like that of the author of this piece: rural, uneducated, relatively poor. You can begin to see why some benighted rubes are opposed to high levels of immigration, identity politics, or both.

      • What is depressing is not how good guys like Klipperstein feel now about the imposed values in their workplaces by their regulator (by the way, not by his employer and not by the government) but what his “newly” adopted position encourages.

        Take a look at the comments that follow his article. It is a string of conservative writers, pretending to be “non-leftists” whatever that means, vilifying the left and some enjoying what they see as Klipperstein’s complicity over his long “progressive” career enabling racialized persons to get the upper hand against “non-leftist” people. As if the left is always “far left”, as if it’s the “left” is always against the rest of those so called nice “non-leftist” good people.

        There is no real balance in any of the arguments that follow about the substantial legal and political damage being done by “non-leftist” people (read, conservatives) in their decimation of affirmative action programs that came out of the sorry racist heritage of most Western democratic societies (I can hear the distant echoes of “we’re in a post-racist society now, aren’t we?”), their current and ongoing efforts at cynical gerrymandering for political and undemocratic motives, their other ‘radical’ schemes to limit or remove voters rights, their policing and incarceration of minorities in numbers vastly exceeding the minorities’ representation in society, their constant demonization of immigrants, their privileging and institutionalizing of the 1%’s interests and values and biases and prejudices over the majority of hard working citizens, (shall I go on…).

        It goes to show you that there are unintended consequences and unwanted associations that come up when a good person takes a stand against what is truly a clear breach of the right to freedom of expression iin his profession when it finally comes home to roost for that person.

  2. Morgan Foster says

    The only thing you can do is fight. And die, professionally, if it comes to that. Good luck.

    • Heike says

      Quillette is making a very worrisome habit of these “I was part of the SJW mob until the mob came for me” articles. This is happening more and more often in society, and the really frightening thing is how in every case the youth seems puzzled why it’s a problem.

      • JE Stubbings says

        The author certainly doesn’t say “I was part of the SJW mob” – so that’s a silly and unhelpful exagerration. What he does say is that he believed (and still believes) in basic values like equality of opportunity and civility – but that the fanatics on the left/’liberal/progressive side of the fence have got such a bandwagon rolling that it has lost sight of the essential decencies that he still supports. There are an increasing numbers of us who feel this way – and I really don’t see what is ‘worrisome’ about Quillette publishing such pieces. I have been aware for a while now how intolerant and quasi-religious these beliefs have become in the eduction system and across the arts and much of the media – so for me the ‘worrisome’ thing is to hear that it has also infiltrated the legal system as well.

        • bumble bee says

          Since I found this site, I too was extremely concerned that the left had jumped the shark with social issues. I noticed it back in 2016 before the election how venomous it had become. I am so glad that others have seen how things have not changed for the better, but has become a malignancy. Any dissension, any questioning and like the creatures from the 1970 version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” they will point at you and screech to out you as defying the narrative.

          I firmly believe that the radical left needs to be amputated as that is the only way sanity and respectability, will return. Why such drastic measures, because any attempt to reason with them only brings more bullying from them. Their hypocrisy at wanting that future of kindness, peace, and caring for everyone is not done by being what they want, they have turned into what they and most others do not want. They either need to be cut off, or all the hopes we all had will never materialize.

          • Andrew Vanbarner says

            Radically leftist views aren’t truly liberal values, because by definition radically leftist views trample the rights of the individual.
            Identity politics and state control – which are almost the entire platform now of the left – by definition are collectivist, and hold that the individual must always be sacrificed to “the greater good,” as determined by whoever has the most political power.
            These are funny times. The right has a much lesser adherence of these flaws, and is now emerging as the party of individual freedoms, while the left has succumbed to such radicalism that it ignores property rights, free speech, due process, and individualism.
            Politically, most people would not wish to trade individual liberties and private sector prosperity for gay marriage and legal marijuana, and I suspect that even the LGBT or legalization proponents are similarly turned off by leftist extremes.

          • @bumble bee “Bullying”. From what I have seen and experienced personally I think of words like “vicious” and “mean” which goes beyond bullying which can often be stopped by third party intervention or a punch to the offenders nose. The Left has gone beyond the part of bully.

        • Heike says

          The worrisome part is how it’s become so commonplace.

          This author establishes his far left credentials in the first paragraph, and then laments that the far left that he helped has taken their values to their logical conclusion. There have been 4-5 of these in the past few months. Far too many.

          • Why too many?

            I find them to be instructive about where others draw their lines and say thus far and no further.

            Their testimony is important.

          • Some realized it when they came for them like Solzhenitsyn.

            I totally get your point because they didn’t see it when it was harming others or question what was happening in other venues. Or, they were not wise enough to see where it would lead or the long term consequences. I often think of this: http://bastiat.org/en/twisatwins.html

          • Cornfed says

            That’s a good sign, not a bad one. The struggle for freedom is gonna need all the Murrays we can find.

          • I don’t believe the current embodiment of radical SJW progressivism is “the logical conclusion” of traditional/historical liberalism. A majority of people don’t think too deeply about much of anything. But among those who do, I think there was, and maybe still is, a majority of liberal-sympathetic people who actually believe(d) in equality of treatment rather than equality of outcome, and viewed deviation from that principle (e.g., in affirmative action policies) as a necessary evil at best.

          • @Heike Perhaps this SJW stupidity will come to an end when enough of the left eat each other? See for example “Governor of Virginia”.

        • David MacLean says

          @Heike, @JE Stubbings

          First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
          Because I was not a socialist.

          Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
          Because I was not a trade unionist.

          Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
          Because I was not a Jew.

          Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

          Martin Niemoller

          Murray Klippenstein cannot be said to be a dewy-eyed youth who seems “puzzled why it’s a problem”. He is a lawyer, trained in logic, rhetoric and the law. When he was arguing all those cases he describes for the “social justice” side, did he not give any thought at all for the relevance of the opposite side? Such “willful ignorance” could be forgiven in a youth, but Mr. Klippenstein is far from this.

          One of the cases he mentioned was “for eight years a group of indigenous Mayan women in an ongoing claim against a Canadian international mining company for alleged rape and murder at its facility in Guatemala.” Did he not stop and think just once at the burden his firm was imposing on HudBay by attempting to make it valid under Canadian jurisprudence that Canadian extraterritoriality applies! A quick review of the case said that the accused were military, police and private security guards. What he was saying was that Hudbay was financially responsible for the actions of members of the Guatemalan military, and Guatemalan police, and private security guards that were licenced by the self-same Guatemalan police. They did NOT have control over the military nor the police, and while the natural assumption in Canada is that a company has overwhelming control of any private security hired, that may not be the case anywhere else.

          No, Mr. Klippenstein’s firm went galloping in on a white charger to impose what it considered to be “right” with his Canada steeped experience.

          How would Mr. Klippenstein responded to a suit raised in Guatemala under Guatemalan civil law against his firm? Unlikely? How about if the Guatemalan government had imposed legislation in opposition to foreign companies “interfering” in Guatemalan law.

          How about the United States imposing its law on Canadian citizens living in Canada? The issue of sovereignty raises its head.

          Remind you of anything? How about the committee of the Law Society of Upper Canada that imposed the diversity rules he now has a problem with. They are just like him; modern day Don Quixote’s, imposing their rules on the unwilling. Of course, a modern interpretation of Don Quixote is that of an impossible dreamer, tilting at the corrupt in the world. What people fail to realize is that reading the book, the figure of Don Quixote, becomes a figure of pity, insanely attempting to impose laws that would provide more problems than solutions.

          Don’t get me wrong – “progressives” who have woken up to the problems with social justice should be encouraged.

          But first, they should examine their “conversion” to ensure that their stance is not merely selfishness.

      • Pragmatic says

        @Heike – Why is Quillette’s reporting on how irresponsible SJWs are worrisome to you? Do you agree with the idea that people should be run out of polite society over political ideology? If so, you are the problem. And sober or later, you, too will be ruined by the mob. No one is safe.

  3. Tarstarkas says

    The barbarians did not just arrive at the gates, the gates were opened by traitors within your midst seeking to mollify or find favor with ruthless enemies. Fighting within the city will now ensue. Good luck from south of the border!

    • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

      @Tarstarkas

      As in the past, it will probably be up to America to save civilization. Canada, Australia and Europe are lost to the enemy. But America must save itself first. This is Stalingrad and there must be no further retreat.

      • Tall order, but one I think we can handle. But (and I wanted to grasp Murray’s hand when I read most of this) the concept of “diversity and inclusion” as a mallet with which the Left would hammer the rest of us was already being introduced. Not a new concept at all.

        Twenty years ago, I did a stint mid-career as a deputy city attorney (in California, where I practiced for 33 years altogether), and one of my projects was to evaluate a program that would use “disparate impact studies” to determine whether our City departments were sufficiently “diverse and inclusive” — and that was well before some of the more recent groups were identified. The legal analysis of this as a constitutionally wobbly program was easy; convincing my clients of same was much harder.

  4. martin macdonald says

    Social Justice is a concept that should have been tossed away decades ago. There is only Justice. The two are not compatible.

  5. Morgan Foster says

    There appears to be a gathering sense of doom among white male Canadians.

    • There appears to be a gathering sense of doom among white male Americans as we look at voting patterns, immigration patterns, and political trends over any substantial time period.

      • @Ted Shepherd I agree with your comment. It seems to me, based on my experience talking to the very young, that much of the problem comes from K-12 indoctrination. Of course, college and university indoctrination (insanity) is not not helping.

    • Federico Angel says

      Similar to the doom that has always been felt by marginalized groups now and throughout the history of Canada.

  6. Farris says

    More proof those advocating for social justice have no idea what that actually entails.

    As the United Nations put it a decade ago: “Present-day believers in an absolute truth identified with virtue and justice are neither willing nor desirable companions for the defenders of social justice.”
    Jonah Goldberg

  7. Persecution and the Art of Science says

    This a great center of rationality and sanity in a world of violent and unpredictable extremes. This article, like others on Quillette, provides a feeling of safety and familiarity for me and my 15 children. Thank you for changing the energy of the chaotic universe into something calm and orderly for the new establishment of low neuroticism fitness coaches.

    • Angela says

      Jesus Christ. 15 children? What NBA team do you play for? Sorry couldn’t resist.

      • Persecution and the Art of Science says

        Keep doing those yoga poses as you talk about how healthy and civilized you are, sweetcakes. I’m sure you can enlighten us all with your rational hottakes on how irrational other people are. Western Civilization salutes you for being ordinary. Hope you enjoy the next weather change.

    • David Turnbull says

      Hmmm. Your comment bot isn’t ready for prime time.

  8. derek says

    Thank you for taking this stand at great personal cost. My heart soared when i read the phrase “I will not be told what to say or what to value—especially by the regulator”.

    It will be a long hard fight, the things are easier to stamp out in their nascent stage.

  9. Morgan Foster says

    “For all of my adult life, I have worked to advance social justice. Now I am horrified by what my own professional regulator is doing in the name of that same cause.”

    I’m going to give Mr. Klippenstein credit for owning up to having been one of the agents of his own destruction.

    I won’t ask him to apologize for what he has done over the years to create this revolting situation, but I suppose I do expect him to stand fast at Thermopylae and go down with his sword in his hand.

    • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

      @Morgan Foster

      “one of the agents of his own destruction”

      No sir. You seem to suggest that any leanings away from the hard right must inevitably lead to ‘this’. Taking one step to the left, any concerns for the marginalized or the poor at all, must inevitably lead to Ingsoc. It does not follow. There is such a thing as the Center. The author, has not been an agent of his own destruction. Yes, the left has gone mad, but the right can go mad too. Sanity is in the Center and the lunatics on the far right as just as dangerous as their counterparts of the far left — the SJW/DIE freaks.

        • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

          @Dan Love

          So he does, but the center is where he should be able to find a new home. There must be millions of lefties who see the excesses, but to abandon the left would seem to cede the field to the hard right and they don’t want that to happen. So, let’s rebuild the center, and save ourselves from the freaks on both sides.

      • I keep looking for the far right danger guys. You mean the ones with tiki torches and a protest permit at Charlottesville? If they had been left alone to parade around the statue and give speeches, maybe it would be tacky but likely benign. That’s all I can point to. Have seen many Antifa sightings. Riots. BLM riots. The thought police in the administration at just about every job, organization and govt entity. Now, they pose a danger to making your mortgage!

        Maybe the far right dangers are in compounds in Utah counting their magazines? David Duke has been praising Rep Omar for her stand against Jews. Does he count? What am I missing?

        • Let me add, one of my favorite possessions is a video of great political speeches. So why do JFK, Barbara Jordan and Hubert Humphrey sound conservative?

        • ms100 says

          You’re not missing anything. The far right is being used as a scapegoat, a boogeyman. There are extremists in the far right like Neo-Nazis but they certainly don’t define the far right. Individuals, groups, and policies are also being mislabeled as far right in order to demonize them, policies like restricting immigration. Ray Andrews is being quite naive if he thinks that leftists like Klippenstein will be supportive of a new center.

        • Ladder says

          Not to mention – the Charlottesville event – the only instance you can point to – was organized and executed by a Bernie Bro. So even THAT doesn’t work as “far right.”

          You can’t find examples because the violence, intolerance, bigotry, hatred, racism, misogyny, misandry, “phobe” behavior is, and has always been, on the left.

          The “crimes” they apply to everyone else are either thought or fake in nature. The most recent example having taken place in Chicago, as it would happen.

      • Andrew Vanbarner says

        Except that the far right is very fringe, without power, and generally condemned.
        The far left is ascendant, and is generally tolerated by the center left. Both of them completely dominate the media, academia, and government bureaucracies.
        Very few moderate leftists are as brave as the author of this article.

      • Pragmatic says

        @Ray Andrews- Nope. Morgan is right, you’re wrong. Period.

  10. aainee says

    dear Murray
    I share your pain. I am a racialized person yet I do not like where the law society is heading.

  11. Robert Tyre says

    “Quotas” as the type you describe make the assumption that all within an identified group are equal and have the same opportunity or the same disadvantage. I can tell you that is not true and is as destructive as any discrimination

    • Farris says

      SJW theory is fundamentally flawed. It is premised on the notion that two wrongs make a right. In other words society should discriminate in favor of those once discriminated against. Under this formula equality can never be achieved. Of course I am not under the delusion that SJWs seek equality. Their actions make it readily apparent they desire a hierarchy and the power to determine its structure.

    • ga gamba says

      You ever read or heard someone accused of racism for criticising Islam? Makes no sense, right? Islam is a religious faith not exclusive to any race or ethnicity just like Christianity and Moonieism. Yet, in the progressive world of double dealing and deck stacking, religions that are not comprised of the white majority are considered alike a race.

      My guess is “racialized person” is used to include Muslims under the big tent and probably immigrants, legal or not, of any race and ethnicity. I wouldn’t be surprised by socialists and far-left progressives declaring they too are a racialised group deserving government mandated and enforced protections because they advocate on behalf of racial and ethnic groups.

      It’s a mad scramble by all to get protections before what’s in store. It’s an establishment of an aristocracy or caste beyond reproach.

      • D.B. Cooper says

        @gg

        The term ‘Islamophobia’ has long held a special place of contempt… in my heart. Honestly, the term – and those who use it – is not only an assault on the English language, but also on reason itself. In what world can an otherwise sane person be said to have an irrational fear (phobia) of a belief system (Islam)? How is that possible? How???

        • Daath says

          @D.B. Cooper

          In theory it’d be possible to be so excessively afraid of Muslims or gays, that their very presence produces anxiety strong enough to make one freeze in terror or run away screaming. Of course I’ve never heard of such a person. Most ‘Islamophobes’ just have some politically incorrect opinions, such as preferring less immigration from Islamic world. Even the more extreme types don’t seem to feel much fear. Rather, it’s a combination of utter contempt and disgust, sometimes even hatred.

          But here’s what’s really dishonest. Progressives treat these ‘phobias’ both as mental illnesses that need not be debated on account of them being wholly irrational and stupid, and as moral transgressions that merit punishment. Imagine someone having an anxiety disorder about spiders, and me screaming at her face that she’s stupid, that vast majority of spiders are harmless and useful creatures, then opening a box of them in her house so she’d be exposed to them, and being cruelly delighted by her terror. You’d have to be a psychopath to even think of treating a mentally ill person that way. Of course, progressives don’t really believe that these things are real phobias. They just adopt that belief whenever it’s convenient and drop it the second it’s not.

          • D.B. Cooper says

            @Daath

            In theory it’d be possible to be so excessively afraid of Muslims or gays, that their very presence produces anxiety strong enough to make one freeze in terror or run away screaming.

            I think you’re misunderstanding my point. Islamophobia is a compound word, which if taken literally, means an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. In this case, that ‘something’ is Islam. Islam is a religion, which is to say, a set of beliefs/ideas about the ultimate nature of the reality that is. Put differently, Islamophobia is an irrational fear of an idea or set of ideas. The question then becomes, is possible to have an irrational fear of an idea(s)?

            What you’re suggesting is that it’s possible to have an irrational fear of Muslims or gays, which I agree with. You can have an irrational fear of a person. But Muslims aren’t ideas, they’re people who hold to a particular weltanschauung or set of ideas, i.e., Islam. Gays are an entirely different situation. Being gay, I would argue, is a lifestyle. A further distinction can be made in that Muslims are people who choose to hold a particular set of beliefs (as define by the religion of Islam), while gays are not choosing to hold any belief; since, again, being gay describes a particular lifestyle just as being straight describes a particular lifestyle.

            For example, if I were a so called ‘Islamophobe’ and I had an irrational fear of my co-worker who was Muslim. But then the following day my co-worker returns to work having converted to Christianity the previous night, as an Islamophobe would I continue to have this irrational fear? According to you I would not. How could I, they’re now Christian? And if that’s the case, it follows that my fear was not specific to the person, but rather the beliefs that they held. And so, the problem remains: is it possible to have an irrational fear about an idea or set of ideas? It makes just as much sense as you claiming someone has an irrational fear of the theory of general relativity. Honestly, this where the Left has taken – to absurdity.

          • Daniel says

            Daath and D.B. Cooper,
            You guys’ comments are delightful. Keep it up.
            My two cents: Islamophobia is real, and there are many Islamophobes. For the most part they are minority-religion groups that live in Islamic countries. Asia Bibi is the most public example, though her story is tragically common.

          • ga gamba says

            @Daath,

            I think Islam being racialised actually has to do with how progressives give it carte blanche, seeing Muslims as no different from blacks or gays and therefore deserving hyper protective mollycoddling.

            Can you think of other religions that are given such an esteemed status? Certainly not Christianity. It’s been maligned for centuries. Mormonism is ridiculed for its founding story, its sacred undergarments, its dietary restrictions, and its long-prohibited polygamy. The successful Broadway production The Book of Mormon won numerous Tony awards mocking the church. Could you imagine a musical comedy about Islam being as well received by the chattering class? News organisations cowered before Islam by refusing to publish cartoons of Mohammed when reporting the controversy involving the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. It’s astonishing when you think about it because newspapers most often rally in defence of each other when fundamental principles such as press freedoms are attacked. Scientology is a more eccentric belief, and countries like Germany refuse to recognise it as one. Elements of the Christian Democratic Union, Germany’s ruling conservative party, once called for a boycott of Mission Impossible simply because Tom Cruise starred in the film. Is that a phobia of the church, Hollywood, or Cruise?

            Compared to other religions, Islam is accorded a lauded status, so when progressives see it not treated with the same deference they give it, it strikes them as a phobia. The problem isn’t Islamophobia, it’s progressives’ reckless and blind Islamophilia.

          • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

            @Daath

            Remember that in the USSR, those who opposed ‘socialism’ were often sent to mental institutions — they were obviously mentally unbalanced, no?

        • In Islamic circles ‘Islamophobia’ is a coded word that means heresy. Heresy: “Any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with…the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization.” (wiki) Political Islam is all about demolishing separation of church and state.

          Sobering article but this is the prevailing wind under our present Trudeau government.

          • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

            @WG

            “Political Islam is all about demolishing separation of church and state.”

            In Islam there is no separation. The Caliph is both political and spiritual head. Sharia is both the law of God and the law of the land, there is no distinction.

      • watching and learning with interest says

        In Canada at the moment, the term ‘racialized’ has largely replaced the previous term ‘visible minority’, meaning anyone who is not white and English-speaking, (or white and French-speaking) regardless of how long that person and their family has lived in Canada. Sometimes it is code for ‘black’.
        Someone from the Middle East who practises Islam may be considered as racialized in a way that a recent immigrant from Russia or the UK is not. A person of Jamaican or South Asian or Iranian descent who grew up and whose parents and grandparents grew up in Canada may still be considered ‘racialized’. Indigenous peoples are considered racialized. Asians may or may not be. The definition and its application are ever-shifting.
        Although there has always been some degree of identity politics in Canada, (the country was founded upon this) this has been ramped up by the present federal government. This is most unwelcome in Canada which has long taken pride in its largely welcoming stance towards ‘newcomers’,(another new word meaning immigrant), despite some disgraceful historical exceptions. This may play a role in the next election, as we are very tired of the divisiveness that has ensued, with group pitted against group, and accusations of some sort of ‘ism’ levelled against any form of critique. Some extremely brave people are beginning to speak up. Bravo to Murray for doing so.

    • Dan Love says

      “Racialized” sounds like something producers would do to ice cream to keep it from accumulating freezer burn.

    • David Turnbull says

      If you accept that there are races, then logically we are all racialized persons. But in the world of the victimized, only whites are not racialized.

      • ms100 says

        What’s going to happen is that whites are going to have to misrepresent themselves in order to get a job or anything really as it’s much more advantageous now to be “racialized”. New backgrounds will be created, names changed, even melanin shots if necessary. I particularly recommend this civil disobedience for whites applying to college. Use the system against them.

        • ga gamba says

          Likely it’ll be decided by your ability to pass. If you pass as white, you’re white. Yes, this runs counter to the progressives’ claim that anyone may claim anything, but progressives aren’t known to apply standards uniformly nor coherently.

          But you are right that people now ought to start subverting the systems to render categorisation meaningless. Lie like mucka suckas on censuses and other gov’t documents.

          • Pragmatic says

            @ ga gamba – I mean, it sure worked out well for Elizabeth Warren.

        • Marian Hennings says

          My late mother-in-law worked at a large public university in Washington state. She told me of a young woman of Norwegian ancestry who satirically completed an application identifying herself as native American as she and her parents had been born in the US so what else could she be? Her joke was not appreciated by the powers that were in the admissions office, but my mother-in-law was amused. I personally am appalled that Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of a day when people would be judged by their character rather than their skin color is being shattered by the very people who claim him as a hero.

    • Thank you. I knew I loved Australia (there in 1985, as a single young woman traveling alone — had lots of fun and several guys who really just wanted to make sure I got safely to my hotel room at night — no s*t. Almost moved there).

  12. Apex Predator says

    I’m only marginally sympathetic to you and your ilk. The reason being is when you start agitating for the ‘underserved’ and ‘disprivileged’ or any other buzzword you’d like to adopt you immediately are at the inception of resentment.

    Your frankenstein monster has now burst forth to eat and terrorize you so you put forth your credentials in the same way that hardcore virtue signaling leftists do when called out by the ‘Other’. “Hey not ME, I’m down with the struggle!” They do not care, and never will. This is the gentle glide path of all radical leftism for most of the 20th century, this time will be no different.

    You wind up the masses and then stand back in horror when they take it up to the mass slaughter level. What made you think this time would be any different or you were somehow going to control it? Hubris, you are a lawyer, clearly you know this word and its meaning.

    • I’m going to have to ride with apex on this drive by.

      As intelligent and accomplished as you may be, you come across as ignorant when you continue to claim your progressive titles as though they are some badge that will offer protection or legitimacy during your “fight” against these ideological tyrants.

      You were wrong. You backed the wrong side in the culture wars and now, when the ideals that emerged victorious begin to come to fruition, you see how horrible they are in practice and effect. Instead of admitting your error, you pretend some line was crossed that wasnt supposed to have been crossed. Wrong. The losing side was warning you about that line through every battle, but you chose to dismiss these warnings as “racist, bigoted, small minded, conservative, corporate capitalist, religious” self interest.

      You’re about to be called all these things in turn. You don’t deserve to be, but neither did the people before you.

      • Ellar S says

        An awful lot of generalising from very little information going on in these comments. It’s funny that the more rabid right wing commentators here think there is an equivalence between legal counsel for victims of abuses of power, and disenfranchisement of non-pc lawyers.

        They must be too ideologically rigid to perceive the consistency here, and imagine that the same principles are motivating the writers in both cases.

        • Jim Gorman says

          “Told you so”, and “see what you started” comments don’t accomplish much. Hopefully some SJW will see this and come to realize that “eating your own” can and will happen. I applaud the author for describing his travails as we proceed down the slippery slope. Maybe someone won’t have to say (to paraphrase), “I said nothing while people were taken until there was no one left to help me when they came for me”.

          • Second line, direct quote…

            “My politics are progressive and strongly egalitarian.”.

            For the record, mine were too. I was on the wrong side of the culture wars. Most recently converted centrists, if they’re honest with themselves, were too.

            I can admit it though. I have the sense to change my ideals to match the facts of how those politics eventually (possibly only seeing the beginning) played out.

            Can you still have progressive and strongly egalitarian politics, but be for free speech in 2019? Uh, no. They are mutually exclusive by current definition. Maybe 10 years ago, but that was then, friend.

            So my point wasn’t to say “I told you so.”, because I didn’t. But the people who said it back when then was now did…and they were right on the money. I can admit it and change, can you?

          • @Jim Gorman, you’re right, they don’t accomplish much, but it can be therapeutic.

    • ga gamba says

      I understand your feelings. I think it’s important to reiterate these lawyers are taking genuine and personally costly steps to undo the damage they helped create.

      I suppose for all their trouble they’ll be denounced as racists, and to their credit they appear to recognise this eventuality and are at peace with it.

      Until the battles are taken from the readers’ comments sections into the institutions themselves the march continues on. It must be stopped.

      I wish them well.

      • Murray has indeed made a bold move — taking himself out of what could so easily have been a comfortable spot. Just sign the paper, just mouth the words. When reading his account, I alternated between wanted to say “I told you so!” And holding his hand and telling him “it will be all right. Really.”

        I didn’t read his articulated CV as being a “look at me!” So much as a confirmation that he’d spent his career on THAT side, so that when he publicly gave it up and took up arms for THIS side, he had some street cred to bring to the fight. Good on him.

        He should also know, and God willing will soon recognize, that he’s made a change that will not only save his life (and make it much more fun, once he adjusts to retirement) but also his soul.

    • Jay Salhi says

      I agree that the first paragraph of the article is unnecessary and should have been left out. If the author had been the greediest, sleaziest lawyer in history of jurisprudence that would not make his argument in this case any less valid. The argument stands or fails on its own merits.

      There is, however, some value in knowing that resistance to this insanity is not just coming from the political right. Also, in seeing how the modern left devours its own.

      • “There is, however, some value in knowing that resistance to this insanity is not just coming from the political right.”

        That’s the point. As much as many of us believe the argument stands or falls on its own merits, we *also* know that people are human/fallible and have their own biases, and that political opponents will cynically dismiss criticism based on alleged political biases. The initial paragraph undermines those counterarguments.

    • Daniel says

      Apex,
      I share your incredulity that the author didn’t see this coming. Is that really possible? He seems to have some nostalgia for the good old days of diversity, inclusion, and (real) social justice, but that genie ain’t going back into the bottle!
      His point is that the social justice platform has been corrupted, but I would say that it was doomed from the start; would you agree with that sentiment?
      I’d ask our author: what was it that corrupted it? Who are these bad actors that are responsible?
      I also wonder how you’d answer the question: what doomed the social justice platform from the start? I suggest that it was only ever greed, envy, and resentment masquerading as generosity and altruism. And now those particular vices have taken over. Thoughts?

      • scribblerg says

        Gents – There never was a good “social justice” movement. There were many classical liberals perfecting liberty and a classically liberal social order though.

        Most folks don’t know that the KKK was formed to oppose white Republicans who traveled south after the Civil War to register blacks to vote. It was only later that they targeted Blacks too. This was after the Republicans started the Civil War which cost us 600k lives – is that not a commitment to “social justice”? Or did they need to be leftists? Just curious…

        The Sufragette movement culminated in giving women the right to vote (without having to be subject to military draft) and passed with massive Republican support, but much less Democrat support.

        The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was supported by more Republicans than Democrats in absolute terms and percentage terms.

        Barry Goldwater, 1964 Republican candidate who opposed “affirmative action” and “public accommodations” in the 1964 Civil Rights Act, was dismissed as a racist when in fact he’d been campaigning for racial justice at the state level in Arizona since the late ’40s. The idea that he was a racist for having valid, principled objections to this violation of constitutional order was absurd.

        I could go on. The right and Republicans in general have been on a campaign for “social justice” since our party was founded. But we don’t frame it as such because we aren’t revolutionary maniacs.

        The Left’s conception of “justice” is always and everywhere revolutionary and demands state action that violates the rights of others in favor of protected groups. Since when is that actually just in any way?

      • So called progressivism has ALWAYS been about “power”. No matter how altruistic its fellow travelers or useful idiots were—They just saw government as the only solution.

        • scribblerg says

          But why do the Progressives crave power so much? Because they know individuals will not support their ideas without coercion. They fundamentally reject individual sovereignty and the crucial nature of individual liberty. They are totalitarian, authoritarian maniacs. Their ideas require absolute power to implement, hence the need for power.

          • Marty says

            I’ve had this thought before – how valid, fair or just is an ideology that must be implemented by force?

      • Jim Gorman says

        They didn’t see it because they are ego driven. Politicians, billionaires, professors, young people all have the answers we need, just ask them. Usually at some point, young people grow up and become more conservative as they earn wealth, raise families, buy houses, learn to live independently, etc. The others just want the power to tell people how to live in order to achieve their version of Utopia. That’s one reason we need term limits on politicians

        Can you imagine the people who originally populated this land wanting government bureaucrats tagging along telling them where and how to build sod houses, where, when and how to plow, plant and harvest their crops? They were rugged individualists who wanted nothing more than to do it their own way.

        We have reached the point where the takers, i.e. non-producers, are able to tell everyone else, i.e. the real producers how to live their lives. It won’t end nicely!

  13. Yet another regressive leftist who is on the verge of admitting something isn’t quite right with his entire ideology. However, the author clearly isn’t quite there yet.

    One can’t build a society on “diversity, inclusiveness, and equity”. At least one can’t build a fair society on these values as the highest values.

    I’m reminded of Lord Sidious in Episode 6: “Young fool, only now at the end do you understand…”.

    Join us on the Reasonable Right. The Left is a lost cause in its current iteration.

    • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

      @Mark

      Or join us in rebuilding the center, which is always reasonable because it is not the servant of any narrative or just-so story, as both the left and the right are. I try to tell the truth irrespective of which narrative it might offend because I am not the servant of any narrative. But every narrative can be dangerous. The author has nothing to apologize for except perhaps that like most of us, he did not take up arms (figuratively, and one day perhaps literally) soon enough. Neither did I.

  14. UK and Canada seem to be lost causes waiting for a revolution, which I happens soon. Please hurry, so this rot does not take hold in Australia! It has already infected our universities and half of our state governments – the so called “progressive” ones.

  15. aainee says

    it’s a great sign that more and more people are waking up.

  16. Bravo to the author(s) of this piece! Prescribing speech is even worse than proscribing it, and some commenters might want to remember that support for free speech is not limited to conservatives.

  17. jimhaz says

    http://welpartners.com/resources/WEL_Pages_from_convocation_april_2015_equity.pdf

    If one looks at the organisations invited to lodge submissions so many are racially based organisations or other groups promoting ‘Diversity’. Naturally such an approach will provide skewed results, particularly where the reviewing committees also have a larger proportion of people who are actively involved in promoting diversity. This includes women, who even though might have fair representation come into the committee with a mindset that change is required – because that was their experience in breaking glass ceilings, that is what they are used to, that is how they think.

    What I want to know is how does a rational person determine the merit of the proposals VERSUS the underlying vested interest that each submitting group and/or decision making group will have to promote their own type of person. I do not believe for a 2nd it is not driven by the exact same ‘racsim’ they are seeking to avoid.

    We are at the point where the latter must be taken into account. I cannot help feel that migrants have no gratitude for being allowed to migrate to these richer western countries and now wish to take over using the same “get into the power positions strategies, then constantly talk lots of shit
    and call out strategies” used by women and gay rights movements.

    I say a lot of negative things about women in power, because ultimately I believe they are driving this decline in true fairness (merit and rationality) and neither they or most others realise this, because it is not so much a widespread conspiracy, but simply the way the majority of women naturally look at such problems. What percentage of males are driving the current PC culture in Authorities (as opposed to males going along with it or being sycophants)?

    • I agree with your assessment. It pains me, but I find myself saying more and more that the problem is often women. However, I believe we should all be judged as individuals and I stand by that. I try to focus on the exceptions — for example Trump won a majority of white women.

    • Not all of us. Remember Thatcher, “Don’t go wobbly on me, George”. And Obama wasn’t female.

  18. This is a good cause to fight and I commend the author for doing so. However, like others on here, I do not have any sympathy for the author.

    He starts the article stating the good causes he fought and that he did pro bono work. Given he is a lawyer I believe he conflates the two on purpose to make it sound like he never earned much in the cases listed. The reality is that the legal fees paid when these cases were settled were enormous, much of it courtesy of the taxpayer.
    Maybe I am too cynical about lawyers, but I believe the opening paragraphs were spun to garner sympathy, where none is really due.

    Now, Murray, with the monster you created turning on you, you want our sympathy going forward.

    I wish you well in the fight for we are all affected, but do not expect any sympathy.

    • Jay Salhi says

      @Sean “The reality is that the legal fees paid when these cases were settled were enormous, much of it courtesy of the taxpayer.”

      I don’t know how the Canadian system works. In the US, a lawyer working on a contingency basis hoping for a percentage of the judgment is not working pro bono. The UK has a goofy hybrid system whereby lawyers can receive legal aid funding while also claiming a piece of the pie. The current mayor of London, when he was in private practice, represented millionaire clients for a fee (like Louis Farakhan) and called it human rights law.

      How does it work in Canada?

  19. MikeH says

    The opening paragraph relays a history of Mr. Klippenstein expertly exploiting the toxic social justice weapons of group and identity (disadvantaged … communities; indigenous clients, etc..) when it suited his short-term legal aims, forgetting in those rush-of-power moments that justice should only be about the individual (class-action lawsuits are mob-rule codified to enrich lawyers).

    And now he reaps the whirlwind (a certain kind of “justice” for Mr. K).

    The left always eats its own (Mr. K should be happy the guillotine is no longer available to this generation of SJWs to “fix” wrong-thinkers; at least not yet..). This is why the Burkean admonition to have respect for the status quo and be modest about what is achievable is the bulwark of solid, safe, sane cultures (as opposed to the progressive=totalitarian urge to urgently re-make the culture in order to save the whole planet NOW, or end ALL discrimination, or wage WAR on poverty, etc.).

    While there is no single cause for these periodic outbreaks of cultural lunacy (I like to call this one “Mad PC Disease”), the “progressive” urge to “perfect” mankind to conform to their superior vision is the primary culprit (and always made manifest via a leadership set of over-educated, over-sensitive, over-weening elites). Progressivism is evil..

  20. aainee says

    what’s wrong with representing the disadvantaged groups who were indeed wronged and harmed? it is a noble endeavour itself. what would be wrong us to prioritize one group over another and giving some “vicrimized” groups more power than the others. did Murray do that? it isn’t clear that he did.

    • Ellar S says

      Aainee, unfortunately many of the right-wing commenters here have a very simplistic view of the left, which they identify in its entirety with SJW types.

      Its symptomatic of living in an echo chamber populated by the kind of people who can’t tell the difference between a taxpayer funded healthcare system and North Korea.

      • Harland says

        Where are these reasonable leftists? They do a good job of staying hidden. Hillary should have put them in charge of her email server.

        • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

          @Harland

          The reasonable leftists have taken a slow motion blow to the solar plexus and are indeed either hiding or they are perhaps starting to wake up and realize what is going down. If they get their wind back I believe they will join with reasonable people of all reasonable views in fighting this shit. All fundamentalists are equally dangerous.

      • Eller, I have absolutely no problem with you funding a healthcare group. You guys can form your own collective, pay in voluntarily and hire tons of bureaucrats to administer and police it.

        Wait, the first part of that used to be the free market! Lol

        I like choice. And I adore the creativity and innovation that comes from it. Socialism kills creativity and innovation. I know, I am mean alt right, right? Lol.

  21. Dours_D says

    Don’t loose my time with new assets of Tavistockpian paradigms. I couldn’t even care less than the next ones, starting now. You couldn’t find you nose upon your face.

    • David Turnbull says

      Yet another malfunctioning comment bot. What’s going on today?

  22. Heike says

    “I recite all this not to blow my own horn, but rather in the hope that my progressive credentials may convince otherwise skeptical readers to take seriously the arguments that follow.”

    It didn’t work for Bret Weinstein. He had solid far left credentials too, and that didn’t stop him from being called an alt-right white supremacist and forced to leave his university. After the Day of Absence protests against him, the university paid a half million dollars in a lawsuit for failing to “protect its employees from repeated provocative and corrosive verbal and written hostility based on race, as well as threats of physical violence.” He was made radioactive, his career ruined, and he now wanders the Intellectual Dark Web, a group of academics and media personalities who publish outside of mainstream media.

    Being on their side didn’t work for him and it won’t work for you.

  23. D.B. Cooper says

    According to the new lexicon, treating people as humans of equal worth is considered unequal. Instead, they must be treated as numbers in a ledger, contributors to a quota… I have been late to this party, and perhaps I have been naïve about how ideology has corrupted the ideal of social justice and the words we use to describe it.

    On the contrary, Mr. Klippenstein, the ideals of social justice haven’t been corrupted. They haven’t been misappropriated in the least. The tenets of social justice are operating exactly as intended. To be sure, social justice has always been founded on the idea that the government and/or society at large should treat people who are unequal, unequally in order to make them equal.

    If anything about this seems naïve, then you’re in good company, because it is. And let’s be clear, this isn’t merely a naïveté of one’s legal or moral imperatives, although undoubtedly it is that too; but more specifically, it is an exercise in faulty reasoning to believe that society can treat different people differently for the purposes of making them no longer different, i.e., the same. In short, this isn’t a valid argument. In fact, it’s not in the neighborhood of a valid argument, and yet, despite this it remains not only a deeply held belief, but a widely utilized practice across many domains within Western societies. And just as an aside, what I find most amazing about this sordid affair is that the West has still managed to accomplish so much, in spite of a majority of its citizenry being handicapped with the reasoning faculties of a third-grader.

    And speaking of naïveté, I think it’s worth pondering aloud the question of whether Mr. Klippenstein’s late arrival to the party of the disaffected has been less a function of him mistaking ‘diversity and inclusion’ efforts for “a spirit of open-mindedness and respect toward others,” than it was him recently suffering the misfortune of being sacrificed on the altar of his own ideology. If this rumination seems to violate the boundaries of good taste, it should be noted that I’m not so much questioning the sincerity of the sentiments expressed in his article as I found them nothing if not genuine; but as a lawyer, I’m sure he could appreciate that while naiveté/ignorance may be a mitigating factor, exculpatory it is not.

    I mention this only because I keep wondering if – prior to his estrangement with the Left’s diversity and inclusion initiatives as detailed in the article – he gave similar consideration to private employers who’ve suffered and continue to suffer a similar fate at the hands of Canada’s Employment Equity Program.

    Put differently, I’m wondering if it is the case that – despite Mr. Klippenstein self-identifying as an egalitarian and progressive – he mistook ‘diversity and inclusion’ to mean “a spirit of open-mindedness…,” then it follows that that he likely would’ve also taken exception – as in prior to his recent estrangement – to many of the Employment Equity Program (EEP) initiatives aimed at private sector employers.

    As a result of the EEP, have private employers not also “face years of increasingly bewildering and dubious claims based on race, sex…?” Has compliance with EEP’ audits not also effectively required private employers to “implement an ideology and a system [they likely] considered… intellectually and morally wrong, not to mention… simply ridiculous?” It would certainly seem to be the case.

    Therefore, it stands to reason that if Klippenstein’s opposition to the Law Society’s obligatory directives are of a principled nature as he’s suggested, and if the Law Society’s recent directives are of a similar nature to the EEP’s equality initiatives (and they are), then one would have every reason to expect Klippenstein to have similar reservations about the EEP, which would necessarily predate his opposition to the Law Society’s directives.

    Obviously, there’s no way of knowing, but we can at least ask ourselves the question: What’s the likelihood that someone who self-identifies as an “egalitarian and progressive” holds, or more to the point, has always held a principled opposition to ethnic and gender equality initiatives?

    Whatever the case, Klippenstein seems like a decent guy, so I’m hoping the odds are better than chance.

    • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

      @ D.B. Cooper

      “The tenets of social justice are operating exactly as intended.”

      Geez D.B. for once you say something that (pardon) seems imperceptive. Recall 1984. How do they get control? In one sweeping attack? No, they take over the language, one word at a time. ‘Social Justice’ used to mean what one might think it means. Slowly, gently is started to mean something almost the opposite of what one might have thought it meant. Diversity now means almost the opposite of diversity, but the word retains it’s nice connotation doesn’t it? The meaning reverses but the ‘feeling’ remains good. That’s how it works. Virtually all of the SJW lexicon now have reversed meanings:

      Discrimination is the opposite of discrimination.
      Inclusion … inclusion
      Justice … justice
      Freedom … freedom
      Diversity diversity

      and so on.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEU-t-ANpdY

      But it’s done so gently that most people don’t notice. We have been frogs in the pot on the stove — we have not known when to jump out because the heat has been applied gradually. We have thought, reasonable folks that we are, that it might blow over, or fade away or that, nuts, it might even be good after all. We are waking up. The author is no different than any other reasonable person who has finally realized that we are not going to have Peace In Our Time. But the solution is not to be found jumping out of the pot and into the fire. We need to rediscover moderation and good sense.

      • D.B. Cooper says

        It is moments such as these – teachable moments, I call them – that I’m reminded of the simple fact that everyone is entitled to an error – to err is human, after all – which is why in this case, I’m willing to excuse your incautious dissemination of misinformation. Having acknowledge my errand of mercy, one should also be mindful not to conflate a willingness to excuse unforced errors with the expectation of them outright ignoring it. The former is in keeping with a sense of propriety and decorum, while the latter is a bridge too far.

        Besides, all things being equal, I very much prefer a good faith debate to glad-handing one another with assurances of how correct we are. And since someone has to serve as an example of how misguided we can be, I thought, who better than someone who has misjudged their gratuitous error.

        Having properly set the tone, I would first ask you to consider, what it is you think you’ve said, that I have not? If you look closely, I think you’ll see that your argument necessarily implies what I have explicitly claimed – the claim that you have taken exception to. Follow me, if you will. I claimed the following, which you describe as imperceptive:

        The tenets of social justice are operating exactly as intended.

        Now consider your refutation. Referencing 1984, you ask:

        How do they get control? In one sweeping attack? No, they take over the language, one word at a time. ‘Social Justice’ used to mean what one might think it means. Slowly, gently is started to mean something almost the opposite of what one might have thought it meant.

        By referencing 1984, are you not analogizing Leftist’s tactics to those employed by Big Brother, i.e., taking over the language? It seems apparent you are. And if so, is it not also the case that you’re suggesting the Left has enacted a strategy analogous strategy to that of Big Brother, i.e., gradually applied heat? Again, it seems apparent you are.

        But it’s done so gently that most people don’t notice. We have been frogs in the pot on the stove — we have not known when to jump out because the heat has been applied gradually. We have thought, reasonable folks that we are, that it might blow over, or fade away or that, nuts, it might even be good after all.

        So, what’s the corollary? What follows from your claims? What follows, is that the Left has intentionally taken over the language in a slow methodical approach. They haven’t done so accidently, they’ve done so purposefully. This is clearly implied in your rejoinder.

        And why would the Left act with intention, with purpose? For the same reasons Big Brother did, because they have a goal, an aim, an objective. Taking over language, one word at a time isn’t – nor has it ever been – an end for the Left, it has always been a means to an end. A means to a goal – perfect equality, i.e., a socialistic utopia.

        So, let me ask you again, what it is you think you’ve said, that I have not? My position is social justice is operating as intended. You’re position implies social justice is operating as intended. Do Leftists not intend to co-opt language? They’re certainly not doing it by accident, nor are you suggesting as much.

        In any event, I can imagine you might argue that the term itself was never intended to operate as it does today; in which case I would simply refer you to the apparent originators of social justice, Mr. Louis Brandeis and his associate Roscoe Pound. Feel free to peruse their Wiki pages at your leisure. Just to give you an idea of where this term (social justice) spawned from, Brandeis is admirably described by Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas as, “a militant crusader for social justice whoever his opponent might be,” while Pound’s jurisprudential movement is self-described as, “the adjustment of principles and doctrines to the human conditions they are to govern rather than to assumed first principles”. Let me repeat that last bit rather-than-to-assumed-first-principles. Yeah, modern day National Review members, these men are not.

        In summary, I find it disingenuous to believe social justice is operating in other way, than exactly as intended.

        • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

          @D.B. Cooper

          I only meant that at one time one might have used the phrase ‘social justice’ in it’s naive and literal meaning. Even a decade ago if someone asked me if I was in favor of social justice I would have replied that of course I am, who isn’t? I’d not make that mistake now.

          Sorry if I offended, the point seemed minor to me. I was just trying to defend the author in as much as he too at one time probably meant ‘social justice’ in it’s literal meaning, which I would maintain has indeed been slowly twisted around 180. Surely we are all the frogs in the pot? We wake up and jump at different times.

          I’m inclined to be charitable to those who did not jump when I jumped. I find the ‘you are getting what you deserved’ style comments here to be very mean spirited. Have we too forgotten about redemption? The author was trying to do some good in the world, and he still is. He’s prepared to go to the mat over a principal that we agree is vital. I applaud him. Ok, he was a bit slow coming around, so was Doubting Thomas. At the moment I call him a hero.

          I respect you greatly; again, no offense intended.

          • D.B. Cooper says

            @Ray

            Lol, noooo… I was just kidding with you Ray. Giving you a little business, as they say. No one writes anything that ridiculous – and it was ridiculous – if they’re sincerely trying to respond in a serious manner. To the extent you thought I took offense, you can chalk that up to me as a failed attempt at mischief. If nothing else can be salvaged from this moment, it serves as a good reminder of just how poor this medium is for expressing irony, metaphors, and other conversational implicatures (inferences), which when absent increases the likelihood of lexical and syntactic ambiguity, i.e., unintelligible discourse.

            It’s easy to forget that while I maybe be grinning about something I’ve half-jokingly said, people on the other end aren’t seeing the nonverbal cues of my sly duplicity, and therefore, they’re likely to take any given statement more ‘literally’ than they otherwise would in your presence. In other words, to them the shit ain’t funny.

            In any case, not that it’s of great import, but going forward, you needn’t worry about me taking offense. Whatever flaws I may have – and my wife/friends assure me they are many – being easily triggered is simply not one. If in the future, you ever expect as much, I would urge you to reconsider. Anyway, my apologies again.

            Oh, one last thing. I’ve been meaning to ask you what the hell does (the dolphin) mean?

          • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

            @D.B. Cooper

            Glad to hear it. You know, there’s lots of people, even here, that I wouldn’t mind offending one bit, but you are not one of them.

            “what the hell does (the dolphin) mean”

            I’m trans-species. I’m a dolphin. Here’s a selfie:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwEDgSECGiU

            In our wonderful world what matters is how I identify, and I identify as a dolphin. No cetaciaphobia please!

          • D.B. Cooper says

            @Ray

            I’m trans-species. I’m a dolphin… In our wonderful world what matters is how I identify, and I identify as a dolphin. No cetaciaphobia please!

            “I’m trans-species.” That’s just fantastic, really. We can pack it in boys, nothing this absurd should be happening in America – we’ve officially jumped the shark dolphin. Also, although that was a great selfie, I think the following is likely to be a more representative sample.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V7-5vq6iIo

        • Of course, the goal of the Left is not perfect equality, it’s perfect conformity.

          Also, we need new labels. Alt-Right, Red Tories, Liberal, Conservative. Left and Right are out dated and not useful.

          Being an old Leveller, I suggest the “well-affected” versus the “malignants.”

          • D.B. Cooper says

            @EK

            What a nice word that is, “well-affected!”

            For reasons, no more important than posterity, I’m interested to know what it was that originally drove you to embrace the ideals of equality (Leveller) as an article of faith. I say “faith” because such ideals are peculiarly obstinate to the appeals of rational argument.

            In any case, was it something as reductive as the ‘ignorance of youth’, or was it something more pernicious like the Left’s current historical grievance game?

      • Rev. Wazoo! says

        @ DB Cooper & Ray Andrews(dolphin)

        Both your observations are on-target though talking past each other a bit.

        Yes, the transformation of terms has happened gradually and for racism, sexism etc have now become inverted. Those opposed to such things are now called upon by the new definitions to support them and rightly feel blindsided.

        But DB rightly points out that the Canadian Employment Equity Act was a fork in the road when identity group discrimination was oxymoronically introduced as a tool (ostensibly) to prevent identity group discrimination. This was not just a redefinition of terms; ‘equity’ was substituted for ‘equality’ with clear intentions as the act clearly states: “employment equity means more than treating persons the same way but also requires special measures and the accommodation of differences.” While most might be forgiven for glossing over the difference in such similar sounding words, lawyers are specifically trained for years to identify such differences.

        Please note the special measures enshrined in this Act didn’t apply to law firms but only to federally regulated enterprises (list in the link below). This allowed federally unregulated law firms to sue federally regulated companies (perhaps pro bono on behalf of the protected classes) whilst feeling blithely immune to such rules themselves. That’s not just sitting in a slowly heating pot, it’s actively turning on the heat under another frog’s pot, falsely thinking that your’re safe despite the huge red warning flags.

        And there’s a socio-economic class element: forcing one’s “social inferiors” who are likely to have backward prejudices like marine, pipeline, telephone and grain elevator companies to get with the program and employ according to a demographically representational formula was fine because ‘professionals’ like lawyers often view such workers as largely interchangeable cogs anyway. It’s not like in *their* office which requires selecting the best person for the job because when each and every person is different; merit looms large and people aren’t just a pair of hands. Also, lawyers often aren’t “employees” at all but partners, independents etc so laws meant for lesser folk like mere “employers and employees” don’t apply.

        But then the provincial governments and professional associations predictably joined the party and hey presto! lawyers’ immunity to what they’d been busily forcing on others suddenly was revoked. That’s when the frog feels the heat and should look long and hard in the mirror, contemplating its own complicity in having reached this pass.

        I’ve no idea if the author participated in this (and hope not) but certainly many of his equals did. I applaud the author’s belated awakening and wish him the best in his quest but DB Cooper’s observation is apt; if he supported or even failed to object to the Employment Equity Act then he should admit his grievous error, most of all to himself. That’ll be needed to succeed in his current endeavor.

        Human rights and employment equity in federally regulated workplaces
        https://canadabusiness.ca/government/regulations/regulated-business-activities/human-resources-regulations/employment-equity-and-human-rights/human-rights-and-employment-equity-in-federally-regulated-workplaces/

        • D.B. Cooper says

          @Rev. Wazoo!

          You said what I wanted to, but better. A tip-of-the-hat to you, Sir! Keep up the good work.

          • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

            @Rev. Wazoo!

            Fair enough. I suppose as a Christian I still want to extend the hand of welcome to this prodigal son. Tho his sins are as scarlet, they shall be made white as snow. Let us not chastise him, he has endured blows enough, and is resolved to walk right into the lion’s den.

            BTW D.B, I suppose if I ever run for office you’ll be ambushing me with that video? I thought her hand signals meant ‘yes’, honestly.

          • D.B. Cooper says

            @Ray

            No, my friend, on the contrary, if you ever run for office I’ll be ambushing others for you. But I wouldn’t worry too much about the meaning of those hand signals. As long as your running for office in Virginia, I think you’ll be find; although I would recommend maybe giving your high school yearbooks a once – make that twice – over, before hitting the campaign trail.

          • REv. Wazoo! says

            @ DB Cooper

            And graciously accepted! Especial from one whose general eloquence makes it a compliment of a high order. Keep up the good work!

    • @D.B. Cooper

      The expression “social justice” is an empty vessel, an abstract concept of essentially rhetorical function. I wish Murray hadn’t used it, as it confuses what he was trying to say. This meaningless expression is not inherently right or left, or individualist or collectivist, although it has recently been heavily relied on for its rhetorical appeal by collectivist extremists, particularly in universities. If someone asked me whether I was in favour of or opposed to “social justice” I would have to answer “tell me what you mean by social justice and I’ll tell you whether I am in favour of it.”

      It is significant that there has been strong pushback against this Law Society directive by lawyers I know to be of all political stripes. Whether Murray’s politics or those of his clients are left or right doesn’t matter to me. I don’t think any of us wants a professional regulatory body to be trying to tell us what we have to believe, or profess to believe, in our private lives.

  24. Marko Novak says

    Well Murray, this is how it feels when there is nobody left, and they finally… come… for… *you*

    Btw, justice, like truth, is binary. If it is not justice then it is injustice. So if justice and “social justice” are not the same, “social justce” is actually an injustice.

    As a fellow Canadian and Ontarian, I hope you are successful in combating this, especially since you helped create this monster. I also hope lessons are learned for the future.

  25. AndrewS says

    Murray s position is more consistent than other posters state. It is perfectly possible to advocate for the cases he mentions from a universal human rights perspective or even just straightforward criminal prosecution. There is of course a problem with the human rights language which some activists have successfully manipulated for their own interests.

  26. C Young says

    Its a familiar story. Progressive zealots take over an organisation, hitherto rather dull, and use it to force ideas on the population that around 8% of them agree with.

    All opposition (even from centrists or the traditional left) is represented as semi-criminal – as hate speech, as an underhand play to the alt-right, whatever Is needed to suppress it.

    The strategy was clearly articulated by Gramsci as a march through institutions. Stalin executed a form of it when he took over the boring bureaucracy of the USSR. Something soviet intellectuals took no interest in until the bureaucracy put them in Lubyanka.

    One thing I would warn against, is the tendency towards catastrophizing in Quillette. Without the use of military force, it simply isn’t possible for 8% of the population to hold the other 92% to ransom in the long term.

    There is clearly a significant backlash developing among centrists. Mr Klippenstein provides an excellent example. He deserves every support in throwing these enemies of freedom out of their positions of influence. He is not going to be the last.

    • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

      @C Young

      In my view, yours is the sort of reasonableness to which we should strive. Fascism is not the cure for Stalinism. Tommy Douglas is not the same as Mao.

      • Who is advocating Fascism? Or do you think it’s that binary? You are doing exactly what the left does. It’s not making your centrism look inviting. The cure is self governing and individual responsibility. Not your sin sniffing. Some of us have encountered many Murray’s over the years. I am thrilled he woke up but it took being targeted.

      • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

        @ga gamba

        Yup. 8% can hold absolute power if they lust after it sufficiently and are prepared to be brutal enough in holding onto it.

      • C Young says

        @ga gamba. Good point. By coincidence I am reading that book right now.

        I’d say that Taleb’s point only applies to static movements long past their revolutionary phase. It also requires passive acquiescence on the part of the centre.

        This won’t apply to the postmodern left. It has a false diagnosis of society’s ills. Like all failing revolutionary movements, it will react to the failure of last year’s policies by proposing yet more extreme ones.

        Repeat until it breaks itself upon the rocks. In Canada at least, the centre is already fighting back. Surely this is only the beginning.

  27. E. Olson says

    What percentage of “under-represented” segments (i.e. women, black, Hispanic, Native American, Muslim, etc.) versus privileged segments (white, male, Jewish, etc.) graduate from high school?

    What percentage of “under-represented” segments (i.e. women, black, Hispanic, Native American, Muslim, etc.) versus privileged segments (white, male, Jewish, etc.) graduate from university with sufficient grades and LSAT scores to gain entry into a good Law School?

    What percentage of “under-represented” segments (i.e. women, black, Hispanic, Native American, Muslim, etc.) versus privileged segments (white, male, Jewish, etc.) graduate from Law School with sufficient grades, prestige, and honors to gain employment at a top law firm?

    What percentage of “under-represented” segments (i.e. women, black, Hispanic, Native American, Muslim, etc.) versus privileged segments (white, male, Jewish, etc.) that are hired by top law firms got help in one of the steps above via affirmative action, quotas, lower standards, self-esteem based promotion, etc. ?

    What percentage of “under-represented” segments (i.e. women, black, Hispanic, Native American, Muslim, etc.) versus privileged segments (white, male, Jewish, etc.) that are hired by top law firms go into the law specialties involving long hours, extensive travel, high stress/risk and other elements that often lead to higher pay and partnership versus less rigorous/family friendly specialties?

    What portion of variance is left after factoring in all these non-discriminatory factors in law firm/law career outcomes? My guess is that the remaining variance is approximately zero or less than zero (i.e. there are some under-represented lawyers who really aren’t earning their place at the firm who are kept around for diversity statistical reasons).

    The Manhattan Contrarian has talked about some of these issues in a very interesting and thoughtful fashion (see links).

    https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2017/8/17/yet-more-diversity-follies?rq=law%20partner

    https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2017/10/16/do-efforts-to-help-minorities-actually-produce-any-positive-results?rq=law%20partner

    • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

      @E. Olson

      It would be interesting, but probably next to impossible, to try to solve this equation:

      Discrimination/racism/oppression/…
      -Afirmative action/quotas/coddling/…
      ============================
      =Net bias

      Both real discrimination and of course the overt favoritism exist, but what’s the sum? I suspect the balance has tipped. It tipped long ago for women and gays who are clearly advantaged. In Canada Indians walk on red carpets if they but have the strength to stand up by themselves. Negroes in the States? Not sure.

      • Dan Love says

        @Ray Andrews

        That’s the generous equation. There’s another equation.

        We can take into account the idea that discrimination for opportunities on the basis of race/sex is itself racist/sexist, or that doing so increases racism/sexism.

        In which case, this SJW stuff is like fighting fire with fire. The equation that represents this way of thinking is

        Amount of racism/sexism due to “oppression”
        +
        Amount of racism/sexism due to quotas, affirmative action, coddling, etc.
        = 0

        The addition of two positive amounts will never be zero, and increasing either summand further increases the sum.

        • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

          @Dan Love

          I take your point. I wasn’t advocating any policy there but one might attempt some sort of measure. For example the feminists continue to whine that they are oppressed when it could not be more clear that they are favored. But it’s not that there is zero negativity against them anywhere, any time, it is that the affirmative actions on their behalf hugely outweigh the former. See what I’m saying? With negroes of course there is residual racism against, but also huge amounts of affirmative action for. How do they sum up? In Canada it’s almost funny when it comes to the Indians. Anyone who possibly can obtain Status does so, it’s like winning the lottery. I had a brother in law who tried desperately, but he failed in his bid to become Oppressed and was suck being an ordinary Privileged white person. Oh well, he tried. It would have meant free tuition for his kids.

      • E. Olson says

        Ray – your equation also does not include variability in ability or effort. The destructive urban black culture described in yesterday’s Quillette article on high school teaching, together with lower average IQ of blacks, would suggest that fewer blacks will graduate high school, do well in university, get into and do well in law school than white or Asians, and as such it should not seem reasonable to expect that black employment in law firms would equate with their proportion in the general public.

        From all accounts, and from personal experience, there are zero universities, zero law schools, and zero major law firms that are not bending over backwards to recruit members of “victim” class to move their diversity statistics closer to reflecting the overall population, so the only people getting discriminated against are the “privileged” who don’t get any favors and simply use their superior talent and effort to finish school and find employment and promotion based on merit.

        • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

          @E. Olson

          No is doesn’t, but I was trying to leave ‘internal’ effects out by design and speculating on the external ‘racism’ vs. the social engineering as to which is dominant.

          “there are zero universities, zero law schools, and zero major law firms that are not bending over backwards to recruit members of “victim” class to move their diversity statistics”

          Sure, we agree on that. Yet there is that genuine racism out there, including BTW ‘earned’ racism — we can’t help but know what we know about about various groups, thus even the most PC woman walking home alone at night and seeing two men walking toward her will relax a little bit if she sees that they are asians vs. blacks. She will say she didn’t but she did. Yet, any given black should not, in the best of all possible worlds, carry the stigmas that rightly accrue to his race, so that is a genuine handicap. How much affirmative action would ‘cancel’ it in aggregate? I suppose it is a question that can’t possibly be answered.

          But, if I could become an Indian I would jump at the chance. The Oppression would be a very small price to pay for the perks. Would I want to be an American negro? I’d have to think twice.

          • E. Olson says

            Ray – your “earned” racism example is interesting, but in the context we are talking it is the opposite. Thus the PC woman HR/school recruiter walking home at night and seeing two black men coming towards her would be more likely to stop and ask if they are interested in applying to law school than if they were two Asian guys.

  28. Aleph from Paris (France) says

    “Social justice” is an oxymoron. When they start with “social” people mean “just us”, not “justice”.

  29. Morgan Foster says

    One nagging question about this lingers.

    If Mr. Klippenstein is successful in his latest quest, will he then, triumphant, fall back into his old ways?

    Is this man destined to turn, broken, on the fiery wheel of social justice hell, forever?

  30. Gene Dorngheim says

    This guy needs an editor. Wait: Quillette is supposed to edit submissions. What happened?

    Cut two thirds of the length, then surface the key points in the first paragraph or two.

    “Canadian regulators are demanding proportional representation in law firms, not just overall, but in each role at each level of responsibility. The author dissolved his law firm in order to run for a seat on the regulator to roll back the rules from equality of outcome to equality of opportunity.”

    That’s it. The busy reader gets the gist and can decide to read the rest or not.

    Add some subheads.

  31. W. Couch says

    The only difference between the tactics of the Convocation and Joe McCarthy’s anti-communist crusade is that the consequences of denying the Convocation’s forced ideology do not yet result in criminal punishment. This is a giant step in the direction of establishing a system where thought crimes are punished by governments.

    “If my thought dreams could be seen, they’d probably put my head in a guillotine”
    –Bob Dylan, “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)

  32. To those commenting that, somehow, Murray Klippenstein is not deserving of sympathy because of what he and ‘his ilk’ have wrought, I say this: he isn’t asking for your sympathy, nor would he expect it. Having known and worked with Murray in opposition to the Law Society over the last year, I have come to see him as a man of unwavering principle. He does what he believes to be right, based on being a thoughtful, decent human being, rather than on what is expedient, lucrative or necessarily in his personal interest. Those are the principles that had him fighting so tirelessly for the ‘underdog’ during his long career (sometimes for free); and those are the principles that made him stop, reflect and switch gears when he realized that he was being co-opted as a foot soldier to a destructive ideology.

    Hopefully increasing numbers of otherwise decent people, who believe they are acting on the side of good, will come to realize that you can actually be a far more just, fair, principled and decent human being to all individuals, regardless of their immutable qualities, from outside of the ideology than from within it.

    Murray wrote a brilliant letter to the Law Society in the fall of 2017, which he graciously agreed to have published on the StopSOP (Stop the Statement of Principles) website. Worth a read for a better understanding of both the legal and moral basis for opposing this pernicious requirement of the legal profession: http://stopsop.ca/resources/your-letters-to-the-law-society/open-letter-to-the-treasurer-and-benchers-of-the-law-society/

    • C Young says

      Given the staunch opposition to collective responsibility for past wrongs (correctly) exhibited by Quillette readers, you expect them not to bring up the behaviour of ‘his ilk’.

      Good luck with your campaign.

    • Morgan Foster says

      @Lisa Bildy

      Your friend, Murray Klippenstein, puts me in mind of the character of Col. Nicholson in the film The Bridge on the River Kwai.

      As you recall, the British colonel, a prisoner of war in WWII, assists his Japanese captor, Col. Saito, in building a railway bridge that will further assist the Japanese army in killing more British soldiers.

      At the very end of the film, we see Col. Nicholson standing in the river’s shallows, a Japanese army train approaching the bridge that he built. He says to himself: “What have I done?” and falls forward, dead, onto a device that blows up the bridge, which he should never have built, and destroys the Japanese train, which should have been his aim at the very start.

      I see Mr. Klippenstein approaching the device with which he hopes to destroy SOP. I see him saying to himself: “What have I done?”

      He has not yet been killed, professionally speaking. (And if he can avoid destroying his career, good luck to him.) But if, at the end, he must fall, there will be many dry eyes.

      He surely helped to build SOP, even if he didn’t see, for the longest time, how it was taking shape behind him, over his River Kwai. The fictional Col. Nicholson died a decent man at the end. I hope Mr. Klippenstein can make amends with his skin left intact.

      • Cecil Lyon says

        I am always amused at how someone’s effort to illuminate a timely and critical issue descends into largely ad hominem jibes. Lest my colours (yes, with a “u”) are not clearly seen from the mast, I am a supporter of #StopSOP. In fact I am also a member of a group of – dare I acknowledge this – diverse (in its original and best meaning) individuals who are adamantly opposed to this abomination or anything of that ilk.

        Mr. Klippenstein and Professor Pardy’s effort is to be commended for the stand taken. Is it really so important how they achieved this epiphany? Homo sapiens’ penchant in not missing an opportunity to say, “I told you so” or “weren’t you the fool” entirely misses the point. It is the spirit of generosity and understanding that is absent both on the extreme left (Social Justice Snowflakes) or the extreme right (employ whatever appropriate metaphor comes to mind) and also from a great many comments here.

        However fraught with human frailty, their effort is to be applauded and encouraged. Too many are apathetic and more’s the pity. We have seen the hijacking of rational discourse by these extremes and in the case of the Statement of Principles, the Snowflakes on the left. I first recognized this over 35 years ago when I was in law school and was confronted for the first time by those espousing “politically correct” thought. To dissent as I most certainly did led to ridicule and being ostracized. I was glad to pay the price then as I am now. Like Mr. Klippenstein, I too am running to be a Bencher in the hope that we, together and unlike King Canute, hold back this wave of deeply flawed thinking.

    • Harland says

      The problem is that what he believed to be right was fighting for and enabling the far left. He spent his entire career doing this. And now that they’re proceeding to the logical end of their value system, he’s shocked and wants to stop? The time for that was 30 years ago.

    • Apex Predator says

      Since I was the originator of that phrase I’ll simply say this- “The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions”

      You well-meaning liberals will never ever understand this because somehow, some way, YOU are different and unique in all of human history. You will do it better, and do it right this time, won’t you Lisa?

      Smarter people than you have tried to the ruination of millions and the destruction of nations. Instead of keeping your head buried in law books why don’t you read a history book instead?

      Unwavering Principle is meaningless if it leads to the road to perdition. Physician (attorney), heal thyself.

    • Dan Love says

      @LDSBildy

      I do not think Murray’s selflessness, good intentions, and moral decency is what is being questioned here. I think what is being questioned is his cringeworthy naïvety, oblivious ideological ignorance, and lack of authentic rational introspection.

      He spent so much of his life never questioning the realistic, logical conclusions of his ideology or what a pragmatic realization of his ideals would lead to.

      He simplistically, conveniently believed he was doing good without ever seriously questioning if he actually was or the people who he caused to suffer. He never considered the legitimacy of the thinking of those he fought against or any way of thinking that differed from his ideology.

      These traits follow from a rampant holier-than-thou, self-righteous egotism.

      Quite frankly, I think a lot of it is still there. I bet you he thinks his social justice ideology is still pure and salvageable; that it was only some misguided agents who perverted it, because he doesn’t want to serious consider on the innateness of the absurdity of his ideology – that kind of reflection threatening personal identity is too painful.

      D.B. Cooper pointed out a good example in this thread – “the government and/or society at large should treat people who are unequal, unequally in order to make them equal.” This way of thinking is fundamentally misguided and irrational.

      Another example is treating people unfairly to “right the wrongs” committed by people they look like. It’s heinous – as if there is some platonic scale floating around in the 7th dimension whereby causing certain people to suffer will help society by balancing this scale.

      So much suffering could have been avoided if he had simply read Orwell’s “1984” and thought deeply about it.

      “I do not need to reflect or introspect because I am doing good. Good intentions, even if irrational, defeat reality and rationality. The less I think about this, the more time I have to do good.” – the motto of the crusader.

    • @lisa, I was thrown off by his need to still emphasize his left wing credentials. It came off like he was shocked they would target HIM, of all people!

  33. I just finished reading a book on negotiation entitled “Never Split the Difference”. The book came to mind when I read this:

    ‘While no one will dispute that elements of racism can be found in parts of Canadian society, the collected survey data did not support the conclusion that racism in my profession is widespread and serious. Nevertheless, in December, 2016, Convocation (the legislative body that governs the Law Society) adopted a set of 13 recommendations on the topic. Times being what they are, no one felt comfortable putting the brakes on this process, despite misgivings. ‘

    Never open the door to even a semi-falsehood. Say no to anything that is not proven. Say no to any change that isn’t absolutely focused and specific and limited to an obvious issue. And never trust a statistical argument, because while a measurement may be correct, its *interpretation* is open to debate.

    When Clarence Thomas was head of the EEOC, he wisely forced his department to *prove* that individual cases of disparate hiring were motivated by racism. No statistics for him. He took a huge amount of heat, but he’s done extremely well since then.

    • ga gamba says

      This is an excellent comment.

      If by spitting the difference establishes the legitimacy of an error or untruth, then the cause of that will be pushed in future negotiations because the precedent has been established. “You already agreed this issue needs to be addressed by accepting in part our demands previously. The problem still exists, and our diagnosis and proposed cure you endorsed. We ask you accept more now.”

      Not every dispute requires a compromised resolution. Impasses are preferable to undermining or surrendering one’s principles.

  34. Someone please summarize this story in a few sentences. It seems like an important story but it does not have to be the size of a novel. Sorry f this seems rude but if you really want to have an impact then brevity is essential or ar least an executive summary. Thank you.

    • ga gamba says

      Provincial Law Societies are requiring lawyers pledge themselves to the advancement of social justice goals by writing statements to that effect. Lawyers are directed to obey a set of specific political ideas—both in their personal and professional lives—as a condition of their license. If one fails to prepare a personal statement of principles in keeping with the Law Society’s directive, their licence to practice law may be revoked.

  35. C. White says

    I wonder what the two author’s positions were regarding the Trinity Western University proposed law school. The Law Society of Ontario was in the fore to deny students of this proposed school accreditation due to its Christian code of conduct. It is interesting that this controversy was not addressed in the article, because it was a major harbinger of the social justice direction the law society was taking. My assumption, both authors may have supported their law society in denying recognition to a Christian law school.

  36. pardoner says

    In reading these comments, I’m reminded of The Dude: “You’re not wrong, Walter. You’re just an asshole.”

    • sumpin says

      And The Dude is a what???? This is just another form of dismissal for others whose opinions are counter to their own precious ones. If those other opinions are not wrong, then they should be judged based on their merit, regardless of the perceived assholiness of the commenter.

      • pardoner says

        To the contrary, my opinions align closely with those of other conservative voices here. I take issue with their style, not their substance, particularly when the latter is subordinate to the former. Progressives don’t have monopoly on virtue signaling. Some here treat the comment section like their personal blog. It’s become tedious, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks so.

        Clever liberals and conservatives alike recognize our shared interest in preserving freedom of thought and expression, and I value Quillette as a heterogeneous collective. Conservatives have, in the past, had our own come-to-Jesus moments. The liberal contributors to this site (presumably) participate in good faith. I for one, will return the courtesy.

  37. Nate D. says

    Thank You Mr. Klippenstein for writing this article. I, for one, welcome you aboard and will be cheering you on as you push back against these dangerous ideologies. Please use Quillette to update us on your progress.

  38. Jim Gorman says

    Whenever a sentence starts with “You can’t, You shall, You will, You won’t, etc.” there is something not right. Someone is trying to assert power over another. The SJW adherents have never learned that real change happens through leaders that lead by example. Excluding politicians who simply latch onto ideologies of the moment for election, most of the SJW crowd have few if any real world accomplishments such as making payroll, dealing with creditors, satisfying customers, etc. and really don’t know what they are talking about. If it wasn’t so damaging and crazy, SJW types would be hilarious.

  39. scribblerg says

    This author enrages me. Why? First, he had no problem being an aggressive social justice warrior, radically progressive and “egalitarian”. when it didn’t gore his ox. But now? It’s hurting him, so now we must question it. I’m sorry, Murray, but you should have cared when so many others were being abused by campaigners for “justice” just like you. I have little sympathy cuz you are waking up now only cuz it effects you.

    Listen up, bunky. You lost the argument decades ago when you didn’t stand up against deciding “equality” based on social outcomes. You were part of the brigades promoting hysteria and “social justice” in a society that was more just than almost any in history. I wonder, did you ever notice the absurdities in that world? Did you never notice how little actual racist actions against people there are actually are? Did you ever notice how deep you were digging to find actual harm caused by mere speech or variance in statistics?

    Nope, you were and still are very proud of your progressive credentials. In fact, you had to parade them around for us here as I’m sure you do in many settings. Get this – YOU ARE A BIG PART OF THE PROBLEM.

    Here is the most crucial question for you. I hope you actually can hear it without clutching your pearls and gasping.

    – Equality – You do get that different people are by no means equal socially, economically, intellectually, culturally, etc, yes? And that these differences arise not only from social conditions but also as a result of genetics and biology? We aren’t blank slates, we have many differences and therefore the obsession with social outcomes being “equal” is intellectually absurd.

    Just look at men and women. The word “equal” means the same. Men and women are not the same, hence we are not “equal”. Nor should anyone expect the same social outcomes from very different peoples. Funniest for you “social justice” freaks? The more freedom women have, the more they choose “gendered” professions. The dirty secret of the Nordic countries asinine experiments in radical egalitarianism? Women choose to be in nursing more and engineering even less. It turns out that women only choose more male gendered professions in emerging societies as those are seen as a way out of poverty and there are fewer opportunities. But in Finland or Norway or Sweden? Women engineers are even rarer after achieving what most observers on the Left claims is the most advanced, gender neutral, feminist sympathizing policies anywhere.

    So, at your intellectual foundation, Murray, you need to ask yourself these basic questions about your commitment to a mythological “equality” and “social justice”. And then if your entire life of pursuing “egalitarianism” has been based on idiotic thinking – now what? Gonna keep campaigning for “justice” in the same way? What you are being subjected to in large part is based on insane thinking about equality and it won’t change until the radical Leftist maniacs running these institutions stop thinking about equality is such a sophomoric, ignorant way.

    And the change must start with you, Murray. Then maybe you’ll be supported by us. But as of now? I hope they destroy you. You deserve it.

  40. This is an ongoing theme — the good hearted do gooder who ends up done wrong. There’s something about the turtle and the snake…

    But the turtles appear to be awakening. I only hope it’s not too late.

  41. I am puzzled by the reactions of the author (and others) to this new requirement by the Law Society. I will grant that it comes in some of the trappings of a SJW, but the actual requirement would seem to be nothing more than the adoption of a rather anodyne policy of non-discrimination, of the kind that are already required in the US (and, presumably, Canada) of employers and service providers (public accommodations).

    Here is the requirement as quoted by the author:
    “require every licensee to adopt and to abide by a statement of principles acknowledging their obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally, and in their behaviour towards colleagues, employees, clients and the public.”

    Here’s my sketch of such a policy [text in square brackets optional according to taste]:
    “We will treat each employee, client and member of the public with decency, respect and fairness, treating each as an individual, and without regard to any irrelevant characteristic including, without limitation, race, gender, creed, national origin or affectional preference. Employees will be hired, trained, mentored, provided with opportunities to achieve, promoted and paid based on their individual contributions to the firm and the prospect of their future contributions, and without regard to any irrelevant characteristic, including those listed above. [We will take steps to monitor our adherence to these principles, and take steps to avoid having our professional interactions influenced by biases, conscious or unconscious.]”

    Such a policy would seem to be in full compliance with the quoted requirement. It certainly promotes equality, and from equality some degree of diversity and inclusion naturally follows. I grant that it will not result in representation in proportion to prevalence in the population, but the quoted statement does not require that.

    Perhaps there is more? The author does quote as follows:
    ‘The Law Society’s working group declared that one of its objectives was to ensure “better representation of racialized licensees, in proportion to the representation in the Ontario population, in the professions, in all legal workplaces and at all levels of seniority.”’
    This is a rather opaque statement that could mean something uncontroversial. But, even if we adopt the most extreme interpretation, it is an objective, not a policy. An objective may or may not be achieved by the introduction of a policy. Perhaps the Law Society believes that eliminating discrimination will result in representation in proportion to the population, in which case the rather anodyne non-discrimination policy requirement will be a step towards that objective. Perhaps the Law Society believes that their objective is only achievable in the short run through more coercive interventions that do take account of such individual characteristics as race, but if they do, they have as yet introduced no policy requiring such discriminatory policies. Perhaps the author is right to be concerned, but the concern is around policies that have yet to be proposed, not those already promulgated.

    Perhaps the concern is that the Law Society is distorting the meaning of words such as “equality”? Again, that is a possible concern, which is why my sketch of a policy above was written to make clear that “equality” means treating individuals without regard to such characteristics as race. Were the author to adopt such a policy in his firm in order to comply with the requirement, it is possible that the Law Society might challenge it, but such a dispute would be very much on the author’s chosen ground, where he would be defending the traditional meanings of words, and compelling the Law Society to justify distorted meanings. My guess, is that the Law Society would decline such a dispute.

    Finally, I do not see a major issue around “forced speech”. I will concede that the Law Society seems, regrettably, to have framed the new requirement to some extent in terms of speech, but the essence is requirement that an employer (and public accommodation) adopt and adhere to a non-discrimination policy. Those are actions, not speech, that are already required under US, and I would guess Canadian, law. Clearly the author does not agree with the new requirement, and has expressed that disagreement without obvious consequence. He could even adopt a policy in compliance with the requirements of the Law Society while issuing a press release to the effect that, while he will adhere to the policy (a required action), he believes (speech) that the policy, even the policy they themselves wrote and adopted, to be foolish on one ground or another. Unless that press release would itself result in discipline there is no speech issue.

    • scribblerg says

      Mark – Define what this statement means and implies. “obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion”. Does it mean I accept Tony now is Mary if he says so? Does it mean I have to hire a certain pct of minorities regardless of merit? Does it mean I have to say all people are “equal” when in fact, they are not. In fact, no two individuals are “equal” in any meaningful sense of the word.

      Remember, this also mentions “personal” conduct. So, in my personal life, if I join a men’s club, is that exclusionary? Or say I’m Catholic – am I required to never state that I’m opposed to abortion – will that be seen as creating a “hostile environment”?

      I think you are being intentionally obtuse.

      • @scribblerg – I gave you my (reasonable, I thought) interpretation of the requirement; it was right there in my comment. Paragraph 3:

        “We will treat each employee, client and member of the public with decency, respect and fairness, treating each as an individual, and without regard to any irrelevant characteristic including, without limitation, race, gender, creed, national origin or affectional preference. Employees will be hired, trained, mentored, provided with opportunities to achieve, promoted and paid based on their individual contributions to the firm and the prospect of their future contributions, and without regard to any irrelevant characteristic, including those listed above. [We will take steps to monitor our adherence to these principles, and take steps to avoid having our professional interactions influenced by biases, conscious or unconscious.]”

        “Does it mean I accept Tony now is Mary if he says so?” I think yes. Mary being transgender seems not relevant to her job, and my sketch policy prohibits considering irrelevant personal characteristics. That also seems like the just conclusion to me.

        “Does it mean I have to hire a certain pct of minorities regardless of merit?” Clearly not. In fact that would be in clear contradiction of my sketch policy.

        “Does it mean I have to say all people are “equal” when in fact, they are not” Clearly not.

        “Remember, this also mentions “personal” conduct. So, in my personal life, if I join a men’s club, is that exclusionary?” I agree that was also the author’s interpretation. I was going to push back on that by arguing that the most natural interpretation of the requirement’s language was that it related to professional actions only. However, now I see there is a pesky little “and” that makes me less sure: “…obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally, AND in their behaviour towards colleagues, employees, clients and the public”. I have capitalized the pesky “and”. Without the “and”, the natural interpretation would be that the conduct relates only to professional activities. With it, I agree it seems broader, and more intrusive. Lawyers do have obligations to conduct even their private lives in ways that do not bring discredit on the profession. I’m not sure I approve (I’m sure such terms were used in the past to disbar gays, for example), but that’s how lawyers are and have long been. If that were the focus of author’s objection, I’d be in agreement with him. If we remove the “and”, are we content?

        “Or say I’m Catholic – am I required to never state that I’m opposed to abortion – will that be seen as creating a “hostile environment”?” Remember again what the requirement is: “adopt and abide by a statement of principles”. I gave you what I thought would be an example of such a statement. Nowhere does my statement address the expression of opinion, even in a professional setting, so oppose away. Now, perhaps the statement of principles should include something about a respectful work environment, largely directed at issues of sexual harassment. Such expansion would have to be done in such a way that it would not become too expansive (a risk that I recognize!), but I think that could be achieved.

        So, with the possible exception of the extension to private conduct, my conclusion is that you and the author are both in terror of something that simply hasn’t happened yet. By all means warn about what the bottom of the slippery slope looks like, but I still do not understand most of your concerns around the current requirement.

        • Dan Love says

          @Mark Evans

          I think you’re missing something much simpler and deeper. The language used has been and will be manipulated to mean whatever the Law Society or a group with power wants it to mean. The definitions for many of the terms used have radically changed based on vogue political fashions.

          Here’s some of the most hot and controversial words used – many of them often used implicitly and passively to virtue signal and dog whistle a leftist ideological authority: equality, diversity, inclusion, race, gender, racialized, representation, discrimination, speech.

          Huge portions of the populace disagree fundamentally about what these words mean, what these words should mean, and how to interpret the language of the Law Society.

          Why do you think your interpretation of their language is relevant? They don’t give a shit about your interpretation. Also, why should we? Why would anyone?

          Many people’s interpretation of equality precludes affirmative action. Many people think there are only two genders. Many people think diversity includes ideological diversity, so protects Nazi ideology. The Law Society doesn’t care what you or many people interpret, or want, their language to mean. The language means whatever is expedient for those in power. This is why the meanings of terms in this language game have changed so much and are loaded.

          • @Dan Love

            I spent the sixth paragraph of my original comment addressing exactly the issue of the distortion of language. Please read it.

            The requirement is for the law form to adopt and adhere to its own policy. The law firm gets to write it! They can draft it to make crystal clear the meaning of the potentially contentious words used. Either the law society now has to accept that the law firm is compliance, or it has to explain why the law firm’s policy is inadequate. This puts the law firm in a very powerful position. The Law Society might indeed act tyrannically, but it has not done so yet, and any dispute will lay bare any perversions of the plain meaning of words. The law firm may not win, but such a dispute provides the best possible rallying point for people of good will.

            So, to answer your question:
            “Why do you think your interpretation of their language is relevant? They don’t give a shit about your interpretation.” It’s because I get to define the terms as I use them in my formulation of the policy. I get to define terms like “equality” for the purposes of my policy. If you don’t understand how that gets done, go and read the sketch of a policy in the second paragraph of my original post.

          • Dan Love says

            @Mark Evans

            Mark, that is very naïve.

            Any document drafted by a firm can and will be used against them. Any semantic holes, which there will always be, will be filled with whatever interpretation is expedient. If you provide rope, idealogues with power who are displeased with you will use it to tie a noose, no matter how taut your rope is. We’re talking about lawyers and politicians here – they are literally experts at doing this.

            If you define terms they deem racist, sexist, or oppressive, they will use your own definitions for those terms as evidence against you. How often does a politician, media outlet, or attorney use someone’s own past declarations on controversial subjects against them? Like every five minutes. It’s a job requirement for god’s sake.

            “We’re considerate and flexible. We won’t pull the lever at your execution – we’ll let you pull the lever!”

            Some rational skepticism would be useful for you here rather starry-eyed trust. If the firms can define the terms to be whatever they want, then why draft this request in the first place?

  42. scribblerg says

    @Howard – Conservatives have always been classical liberals in the U.S., fyi. The Left arises out of a critique of classical liberalism so it can never be called “liberal”. Not for 100+ years. Progressives, Socialists, Marxists – German Historicists – none can be called liberal honestly. Their lust for state power is far too great.

    I liked your article but I guess I have to note that like many others, you were willing to go along for decades with the radical ideas of these maniacs but only now object. They have been wrong and insane and immoral and destructive to our liberty since the entire enterprise of the Left began.

  43. Do folks here acknowledge that sometimes real people face real injustice due to bigoted or prejudicial behavior from others? These things have happened.

    You can fight against these injustices under the heading of ‘simple’ justice rather than ‘social’ justice.

    I think the Quillette commentariat might uniformly agree that such injustices don’t in any way justify the top-down, large-scale, totalitarian-style system of social justice.

    But this whole “any idea sympathetic to the left in any small respect, any acknowledgement that maybe someone in a minority-category has faced injustice from bigotry = pure SJW totalitarian evil” seems both factually wrong and not helpful.

    • Cornfed says

      A fair point. But you are seeing the logical result of the Left declaring war on everyone who is not with them. You may have noticed, there doesn’t seem to be much neutral ground anymore, and this is primarily due to the absolutist orthodoxy of the SJWs. You’re with us, or you’re the enemy, seems to be the rule. So, what do you expect will happen? When someone declares you the enemy, you had better take them seriously and treat them accordingly, yes? I will add, the defenders of the downtrodden are usually the same SJWs who seemingly would throw us all in the gulags for the slightest offense, real or imagined. Don’t you think that might undercut their cause just a tad? The squawking you see here isn’t all fair, but it’s the predictable result of a movement that has lost it’s sanity.

    • The key to your question is “behavior”. Injustice is a “behavior”. That’s not going on. What is going on is conformity to thought.

      • Dan Love says

        @Cornfed and lydia00

        Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! –That’s the noise from “The Price is Right” when someone wins a prize.

  44. Don’t forget to come for the Realtors. I notice also “equity” is somehow not insisting on their fair share of combat rotations, logging, or ditch digging…

  45. Cornfed says

    Well, Murray, you may have a choice to make. I have mixed emotions when I read stuff like this. You admit you are late to the party, so I give you props for honesty and humility. And it seems like you have the right of it, broadly speaking. I simply am mystified however, that obviously bright people like you could not see that this is where we’ve been headed for quite some time. Then you are shocked when we arrive at a point that, as others have pointed out here, is simply the full flowering, the logical destination, of the movement you supported for so long. As I see it, the battle currently raging can be boiled down to this: individualism vs. collectivism. Put another way: freedom vs. conformity. You would have to have been willfully blind not to see that collective conformity is what progressivism is about. After all, the thought leaders of the movement have been saying it out loud it for decades. Regardless, here we are and it couldn’t be clearer these days that the Right is fighting for individual freedom, while the Left is fighting to destroy it. For all the right reasons, of course! So, Murray, welcome to the club. And good luck. We’re all gonna need it. And we’ll definitely need people like you with the gumption to get in there and fight, not just sit around typing on comment threads!

  46. As a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada since 1973, a couple of years ago I had been contemplating retirement, but still had several enthusiastic clients who wanted me to keep working for them. Then I received the Law Society’s documents requiring me to promise, as a condition of continuing to be a lawyer, to promote certain beliefs, whether I shared those beliefs or not. This helped me to decide: I’m out. I didn’t want to spend the next decade fighting the Law Society’s lawyers, at huge expense, for the right to earn my living honestly.

    There is a huge difference between the negative protections of Canadian federal and provincial human rights codes that say “thou shalt not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, etc., which are prohibitions, and a requirement to promise to promote certain vague and unspecified values, whether or not I agree with them.

    I agree with the two authors that the Law Society has no legal right or duty to impose such a requirement as a condition of licence as part of its duty to regulate fitness to practice law. I also agree with Bruce Pardy that the majority decision in the Trinity Western case was based on the view that the Law Society exists to protect the public interest, and that whatever the Law Society considers to be in the public interest is entitled to considerable judicial deference. Why? Why does the Law Society know what is in the public interest any better than anyone else? This public interest green light is not a good basis for judicial control of excess of jurisdiction, but will be used by the Law Society to defend the new requirement.

    By Canadian standards, Murray’s approach to law is neither left wing nor right wing, but the norm for most litigation lawyers. We are expected to protect the interests of clients who come to us regardless of their politics or ours. Like many other Ontario senior litigators, I have represented a variety of clients, including environmentalists opposing corporations, corporations opposing environmentalists, corporations opposing other corporations and governments, governments opposing corporations, anti-poverty groups and individuals in civil rights cases, Aboriginals opposing governments and other aboriginals, etc. I represented these interests while other lawyers represented opposing interests, and that’s how our legal system works. A litigation lawyer, like a taxi driver, works to carry clients to their desired destination, without asking them what their politics are and throwing them out the door if we disagree with them.

    When I was asked to swear an oath upon my call to the bar in 1973 I had no difficulty doing so, because that oath was to treat all clients fairly and to refuse no one’s case. That was about how lawyers were to treat clients, to ensure that unpopular clients, particularly in criminal cases, would still get legal representation. The goal was client protection. This new statement is not about protecting anyone.

    Neither Murray nor I deserve our licensing body attempting to coerce us to sign a statement that we support any particular set of social and political values, even if we do support these values. My values are my own business, not that of the Law Society.

  47. Saw file says

    I am surprised that the author is so surprised.
    This is simply the end product, of allowing CDN Human Rights Commission to exist.

  48. Lawyer in Ontario says

    @Mark
    You said: “Perhaps the concern is that the Law Society is distorting the meaning of words such as “equality”? Again, that is a possible concern, which is why my sketch of a policy above was written to make clear that “equality” means treating individuals without regard to such characteristics as race.”

    The Law Society has made the meanings of the words very clear, in its handy definitions section: https://lso.ca/about-lso/initiatives/edi/definitions. After reviewing the difference between formal equality (equality of opportunity) and substantive equality (equality of outcome), they go on to say:

    “Substantive equality, rather, is aimed at “recognizing and responding to difference and remedying discrimination and stereotyping.” It requires “acknowledgment of and response to differences that members of a particular group might experience” in order to be treated equally. To be clear, it is substantive equality that human rights/diversity policies in legal workplace should be aiming for.”

    So you can *mean* formal equality in your statement, but you won’t be in compliance unless you acknowledge and *promote* (in all aspects of your life) equality of outcome. Can you declare your principles to mean one thing, and cross your fingers behind your back? Sure, but cognitive dissonance is a real thing – that’s why freedom of conscience is a protected right under our Charter. You’re not simply being asked not to discriminate (I think the vast majority of people have no issue with that whatsoever) – you’re being asked to *promote* (again, in all aspects of your life, and even if you no longer actively practice law) an ideological definition of equality that pits group against group.

    We were told that this initiative was necessary to redress horrible systemic racism, but then, without understanding how it undermined their entire argument, the Law Society tacked on a “by the way, we’re extending this to other equality-seeking groups as yet undefined.” That’s what clinched it for me. This isn’t about addressing racism at all. This is a Gramscian march through the institutions, using humans’ natural aversion to being shamed for something like ‘racism’ as a tool for disrupting the status quo. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Gramsci#Hegemony

    • @Lawyer in Ontario –

      Many thanks for this…very illuminating, and gets to the crux of the matter in the way that the original article seemed to miss.

      I did follow your link to see the Legal Society definitions, and I agree that my sketch of a policy would probably be inadequate under those definitions. However, I’m not sure I read the definitions as being as dire as you describe. I should first admit that I am not a lawyer, let alone a Canadian lawyer, so please treat these thoughts as questions rather than opinions carrying any weight.

      As you say, it is “substantive” equality that is sought, but it was not clear to me that “substantive equality” is the same as “equality of outcomes”. I’ll illustrate this thought using a simplified model of members of Minority1 seeking to be lawyers. Minority1 lawyers may be under-represented for a number of reasons:
      1) it could be that a larger fraction of Minority1 grow up in impoverished environments and fail to achieve educational prerequisites to becoming a lawyer than whites;
      2) It could be that for a variety of reasons associated with that more disadvantaged background (and possibly assumptions that white Americans have about members of Minority1 as a result of seeing the effects of reason 1), that even those members of Minority1 who achieve the prerequisites for becoming a lawyer present themselves to potential employers in a way that appears less impressive than their more fortunate, predominantly white, peers, and, critically, less impressively than their subsequent performance would lead an employer to expect. For example, they may be less likely to be able to afford to dress well, less likely to have traveled widely, be less confident that their credentials will be accepted at face value (whether or not for good reason), less sophisticated and less broadly read. They may have been working their way up the prestige chain of education institutions, but not yet have reached the most prestigious…;
      3) it could be that employers discriminate blatantly (“I just don’t like African Americans, so I won’t hire them”).

      Formal equality only requires the employer to address the third issue…just treat everyone the same.

      Equality of outcome would require the hiring practices of the law firm to counteract all three issues. Clearly, law firms cannot themselves have any effect on mechanism #1, so, if that mechanism is important, it would seem that the only way to achieve equality of outcome is to hire by quota.

      Plausibly, “substantive equality” might ask law firms to address only issues #2 and #3, in other words, recognize that different candidates present differently, that some candidates have experienced challenges that make it harder for them to present well, but who nonetheless have qualities of, say, grit and determination, that will make them able to perform over time as well as or better than their better presenting peers. In other words, substantive equality might be seeking to select the best available candidates measured by how they are likely to perform over the long term, rather than how they would perform today. If this is what is meant by “substantive equality” (and the language used seems consistent with this notion to me), then it is really only asking a law firm to hire and manage its employees in a way that is more optimal in terms of outcome for the firm. Choose the best candidates…just do a better job of identifying them, and don’t be misled by irrelevancies that are a consequence of a candidates history and not his or her future.

      Perhaps a clearer example of substantive equality arises in the case of gender. Female employees are likely to give birth, and having done so, may have gender-unique needs such as the ability to breast feed or pump breast milk. It might be formally equal to deny all employees the opportunity to take off, say, 6 months, or deny all employees facilities for breast feeding or breast pumping, but clearly such decisions would fall unequally on men and women. To make reasonable accommodations, to recognize that the arc of a woman’s career is likely to be different from that of a man would be beyond being formally equal, but, done right, would be achieving substantive equality. This does not mean that a woman who chooses to work fewer hours than a comparable male in order to devote more time to child care would not suffer a commensurate career penalty, but it would mean that the law firm would be able to extract the maximum value out of the available work-force by being being flexible enough to recognize and accommodate its heterogeneity.

      Finally, it seems to me that it is worth comparing this model of “substantial equality” with affirmative action as practiced at prestigious educational institutions in the US. Affirmative action at such institutions is usually described as seeking to achieve diversity as a desirable goal in itself. That differs from the model of “substantive equality” that I sketched above, in that achieving diversity is distinct from seeking the candidates likely to perform “best” over the long run. Affirmative action as practiced by these institutions would seem to be somewhere between substantive equality (as I’m arguing the term be interpreted) and equality of outcomes.

      If I’m right, substantive equality would not seem to be a large step beyond formal equality. It would seem to be economically efficient (more so than formal equality) and so arguably “fairer to individuals”, and not be rewarding certain demographic characteristics as such.

      Of course, this may not be the actual intent of the Law Society. They may, despite the language used, be seeking something much more like educational affirmative action. If that is the case, the goal of those who do not share the aims of the law society should be to make as clear as possible what the policy does and does not require, so that Canadian society as a whole can wrest the decision-making from the hands of ideologues of all stripes.

      • I think distinctions between substantive and formal equality are intellectually interesting to debate, but beside the point. Whether the licensing body licenses lawyers, accountants or physicians, it is not part of its job to demand the promotion of any ideology as a condition of licensing.I would be no happier if the ideology is of the left wing or right wing or the bird’s sternum.

        My political views are my business, not theirs. Even if I shared their ideology and personally agreed with it, I would not want to be coerced by a licensing body to promise to promote it or lose my licence to practice. If this year it is lawful to impose promises to obey this ideology, next year it would be lawful to impose promises to obey another ideology.

        The statutory mandate of professional self-regulatory bodies is to protect the public from shady and unethical practices and to certify competence to practice through objective examinations, not to compel statements of virtue signalling in accordance with open-ended statements of debatable content.

        • @AR –

          We have long regulated the actions of employers in many ways, including seeking to prohibit employers from discriminating on the basis of characteristics such as race. Such regulations necessarily involve an element of ideology, enshrined in laws….but that’s how democratic societies work, and I would argue that prohibition of racial discrimination by employers has enjoyed consensus support in our societies for many years. You can disagree with that longstanding consensus, you can argue against it, but then I think you are the insurgent seeking to change the way our society operates, and arguments that the Law Society has made some sort of radical change in the way we do things are unlikely to be persuasive.

          If you concede the legitimacy of regulating the behavior of employers, the question then becomes one of whether the regulations are appropriate and narrowly tailored to achieve the consensus policy goal. That then does involve a discussion of the meaning of “substantive” versus “formal” equality and other similar nitty-gritty topics. And, right now, a requirement that an employer formulate and adhere to a policy to achieve non-discrimination seems to me to fit very clearly into the world of mainstream employer regulation. How is this some novel “promotion of ideology”?

          So, the key questions seem to me to be:
          do you deny the legitimacy of regulation of employers?
          If not, do you deny the legitimacy of the regulator seeking to prohibit employer behavior such as racial discrimination?
          If not, why the big claims that the Law Society’s requirement is some sort of takeover by the thought police? That claim still seems wildly overwrought to me…I continue to be genuinely puzzled.

      • D.B. Cooper says

        @Mark

        Equality of outcome would require the hiring practices of the law firm to counteract all three issues. Clearly, law firms cannot themselves have any effect on mechanism #1, so, if that mechanism is important, it would seem that the only way to achieve equality of outcome is to hire by quota.

        Putting aside the question of whether equality of outcome is even an eminently desirable goal (much less a reasonable one), your premise here creates an ‘either/or’ scenario, where it almost certainly doesn’t exist. Put differently, it is a false dichotomy. To be sure, this line of reasoning fails to recognize – never mind take into consideration – the effects of capitalist market forces. Namely, the benefits of risk. While most would accept that success within any market requires a sufficient tolerance of risk, it is (I would imagine) only slightly less well-known that the same principle also applies to the labor market. And why wouldn’t it? Labor is a capital good, after all.

        I can see no good reason to assume that the “only way to achieve equality of outcome” is for regulatory bodies to hard-code it into society via policy prescription. In effect, you’re assuming what you need to demonstrate. Therefore, if it is, in fact, the case that “some candidates have experienced challenges that make it harder for them to present well… but who nonetheless have qualities of, say, grit and determination, that will make them able to perform over time as well as or better than their better presenting peers,” then you would expect the market – in this case, law firms in aggregate – to respond to those “qualities” favorably. The rate at which this occurs, of course, will differ from market to market relative to other forces (ex: number of competitors & intensity of rivalry among competitors, etc.) but, ultimately, there’s no reason to expect it not to respond, and in fact, we have every reason to expect that it will. Again, why would it not? We can see this ‘backward causation’ with even a cursory glance at any capitalist/mixed economy.

        Presumably, like with any service industry, one of the chief aims of law firms is to make money. While this isn’t a particularly novel insight, it is relevant to the premise that firms will create conditions – to the extent that they – that will allow for a competitive advantage. In other words, if it is the case that some lesser presenting candidates are, indeed, imbued with qualities that would create an advantage within that environment, then we can and should expect law firms to respond on average, in the aggregate, to such candidates. To not do so, would require either stupidity or willful negligence, but in either case, the result would be the same: the loss of business, i.e., income.

        Just to give you an idea of how important this principle is, natural selection operates under, or is guided by, a principle of competitive advantage. In other words, it needs to be in one’s calculus, and not simply dismissed. If the end results – the ‘outcomes’ if you will – are not what one would expect or desire, it may be the case that such lesser presenting candidates are not in fact being unduly, or unfairly maligned any more than say, the LA Lakers are maligning my lesser presentation of 5’10”, despite my sincerest belief that I would dominate in the post.

        • @D.B. Cooper –

          Sorry….I probably wasn’t clear about what I was doing in my post. I was replying to @Lawyer in Ontario, trying to analyze the meaning of the term “Substantive Equality”, as defined by the Law Society. I’m not sure I fully understand the first part of your post, but I was not arguing, in your initial quote, in favor of enforcing equality of outcome. Rather, I was pointing out reasons why I did not think “substantive equality” was necessarily the same as equality of outcome, disagreeing with what @Lawyer form Ontario seemed to suggest.

          Regarding your last two paragraphs…if I understand correctly, you are making arguments as to why economically inefficient discrimination should be eliminated by efficient markets. I agree…it should. However, empirically, it didn’t seem to happen in, for example, the US South during Jim Crow. Another failure for the efficient markets hypothesis!

          Finally…if the requirement of the Law Society would, in fact, make no difference because market forces are already enforcing these results, that would seem to be yet another reason to greet the Law Society requirement with a big yawn…which is where I started in my first response to the original article. We seem to be arriving at the same conclusion, albeit by different routes.

          • D.B. Cooper says

            @Mark

            It seems we are both confused. With that in mind, allow me to say that it was not my intent to misrepresent you in my original post and to the extent that I did, I apologize. I can assure you it was not purposefully. Having said, I’ll be happy to address a couple-three passages from your response.

            if I understand correctly, you are making arguments as to why economically inefficient discrimination should be eliminated by efficient markets.

            If by ‘discrimination’ you mean firms discriminating against candidates who would not provide a competitive advantage versus candidates who would, they yes, that is precisely what I mean.

            I agree…it should. However, empirically, it didn’t seem to happen in, for example, the US South during Jim Crow. Another failure for the efficient markets hypothesis!

            There are one of two conclusions that can be gleaned from such a claim. Either you are debating the issue in bad faith, or your understanding of market economies is dangerously qualified. To suggest that the “US South during Jim Crow” is a representative sample of efficient markets is a claim that does not rise even to the dignity of error. To be sure, if anything can be said of the “US South during Jim Crow” it is that such laws are an apt example of how gov’t (and/or regulatory bodies) intervention acts to constrain the efficiency of capitalist markets. I’m often surprised at how easily some people forget that the Jim Crow era was a result of government intervention – via anti-black segregation laws – and not the result of decisions of individual businesses and/or their policies.

            If an example is needed, I would think the integration of Major League Baseball (Jackie Robinson) more than supports my position. Did the 1947 Dodgers take a “risk” calling Robinson up to the major leagues, despite his ‘lesser’ presentation of being black? Of course, they did. Did Jackie Robinson provide the Dodgers with a competitive advantage? Well, he won rookie of the year in ’47 and was later inducted in the Hall of Fame; so, yes, I think so. As a result of Robinson’s success, did other teams begin responding favorably to lesser presenting candidates (read blacks) that might provide their team(s) a competitive advantage? I think it’s fair to say, yes, they have.

            In short, it was the efficiency of markets that integrated baseball, not gov’t or regulatory body interventions; which, in fact, acted to constrained market efficiency via Jim Crow laws.

            Finally…if the requirement of the Law Society would, in fact, make no difference because market forces are already enforcing these results…

            It’s difficult to see how an honest reading of anything I’ve said would get you to this conclusion. At no point, have I suggested that market forces would, necessarily, produce at state of equal outcomes; which is, precisely, what the Law Society directives hope to achieve. Market forces may produce equal outcomes across ethnic/gender lines, but there’s nothing to suggest they necessarily will produce equal outcomes. In a free society – by which I mean, one that is absent of coercive measures such as those the Law Society is attempting to perpetrate – equality of outcomes can only be achieved if two conditions are met: (1) the environment is absent of coercive measures; and (2) the actors within those environments are themselves equal, or at least have qualities (grit, intelligence, determination) that are on average equal across ethnic/gender lines.

            The difference between you and I is that you seem to grant the validity of the (2) condition, while I do not. In fact, I’ll go one better, I think the weight of the evidence suggests this is entirely not the case; which begs the question, why would you assume as much?

    • When I retired from law practice I no longer wanted to be a member of the Law Society because of this requirement. However, I received several phone calls from the Law Society staff seeking to persuade me to keep my membership because all of my fees would be waived, so membership would be free. But it wasn’t freedom to be obligated to agree to this new pronouncement to retain my membership.

      Amusingly, I needed permission to resign, and had to fill out a form seeking permission. One of the questions was why I no longer wanted to be a member. This made me laugh at the silliness. If some staff bureaucrat didn’t like my reason, could they reject my application and force me to remain a member against my will until I died? Were there undisclosed lists of acceptable and unacceptable reasons? It seems that there is a new culture of thought control in the name of someone’s idea of virtue. I am glad to be rid of this control, and hope the remaining members are able to fight against it effectively.

  49. Sydney says

    Glad to hear there’s serious internal pushback to the horrifying and Orwellian Law Society initiative. It was shocking for many ordinary Canadians to read about when it was vomited out of the Gates of Intersectional-Left Hell. I’m no fan of lawyers, but this affects us all.

    Similarly, WHEN the Liberals lose the October election [insert praying hands here], millions of reasonable Canadians hope to see Bill C-16 and Motion 103 both scrapped to the dung-heap of TOTALITARIAN legislation/quasi-legislation that should never have seen the light of day.

    The Trudeau government is an insult (literally and figuratively) to everything Canadian. The Law Society initiative, although provincial and limited to a specific guild, would not have belched itself out of its left-wing hell without this sad excuse for a leader in the PMO.

    • The Law Society is created by the Province, not the Federal government, so it has nothing to do with Trudeau. It is now under Doug Ford’s authority. He could amend the Law Society’s Act to make it clear that it has no authority to require this. That could save a decade of costly litigation.

      • Sydney says

        @AR –

        Can you read? My third paragraph makes that clear. Are you just dying to run around correcting people? Dried prunes work for that.

        My point is that the Canada-wide cultural shift that brought in this uncommonly-leftist, globalist Liberal government made the soil favorable to the Law Society’s initiative. It’s no coincidence that many totalitarian initiatives popped up at the same time in Ottawa and across Canada. Yes, it all “has to do with” the Trudeau government in a broad and important sense.

  50. Morgan Foster says

    This is addressed to AR, Lawyer in Ontario, the authors of the article and any other Canadian attorney who has commented, from any province:

    There seems to be a broadly based feeing that if the courts can be made to see reason, the Law Society will back off, and the danger will be passed.

    It will not. The men and women of the Law Society will never give up. They will regroup and try again from a different direction.

    It is terribly important that these men and women – they have names – be removed from positions of authority in the Law Society, and never be allowed to regain them.

    It is perhaps even more important that those who are not already tenured faculty members at law schools be prevented from becoming such.

    These men and women – they have names – are not your friends. They mean you lasting harm.

    Their names need to be kept on lists, and you must follow them throughout their careers. Every opportunity to suppress them must be taken.

    Totalitarian socialists of this kind cannot be rehabilitated. They cannot be trusted. You cannot ever stop fighting them.

    This is civil war in everything but the killing.

  51. Francisco d'Anconio says

    It all boils down to confusing equality of opportunity with equality of outcome. Jordan Peterson has been sounding this alarm for quite some time. Most dismissed him as getting all worked up about crazy stuff that happens on campuses, but he said it is coming, and now it is here. Of course, people in the US think this will somehow stop at the border, but it ain’t stopping. Which is actually good for me as a black disabled vegan atheist trans person, I will now have my pick of jobs. I am shooting for becoming CEO of some Fortune 500 company- doesn’t really matter since I have no skills anyway, but they gotta hire me to fill the quota. I check all the boxes in one fell swoop!!!

  52. Bubblecar says

    “perhaps I have been naïve about how ideology has corrupted the ideal of social justice and the words we use to describe it.”

    I think you’re still being naive if you think most of the commenters here have ever had any respect for the “ideal of social justice”. Most of them are shamelessly hard right.

  53. Aaron says

    If basic freedoms protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights fall in Canada, in the US, in Europe, in Australia – what hope do the rest of us have?

  54. Joe A. says

    This is what happens when we allow groups to have rights and and legal standing that does not give primacy to the rights and responsibilities of the individual – and where we have a real problem is that a group can transcend the lifetime and circumstances of any the individuals – thus a group can have a perpetual legal rights and responsibilities that no longer make sense if we were to look the situation of individuals who make up the group today.

    That groups of people were discriminated against because they were member of a particular group is historical fact, but nowhere do I see the necessary analysis that justifies the privileges that groups ask for whose membership does not contain a single individual who actually suffered directly the discrimination.

    Historical injustice is empirically something we can never truly solve, because the direct victims are dead, the direct perpetrators are dead, and those that survive the guilty and the innocent are alive today because the guilty, the innocent, have made the decisions that they made, plus all of the subsequent generations. Those with group grievance today are alive today, because history evolved the way it did. You cannot have the modern Portuguese citizen, Spanish Citizen, French Citizen, German citizen, British Citizen and others without the Roman and barbarian invasions that each brought ideas and culture. You simply cannot be a modern Spaniard today without the Romans having invaded.

    At some point, we just have to move on, accept that we are Canadians, accept that the history that unfolded is what gave us Canada. The West’s greatest idea is the primacy of the individual.

    If I were to find fault with the author of this article, it would be that the author may have chosen to taken on clients whose case was based on arguments that asked for justice based on historical events that his client was not directly present, and wanted redress from people not involved in the original injustice.

    Courts are INCAPABLE of correcting for historical injustice because the Laws of Physics renders ineffective any legal construct that attempts to reverse the thermodynamic arrow of time. Human Existence is path dependent, and your existence depends on the path taken by those before you. Justice is impotent at modifying the future to redress the past. There can only be settlement and closure in the current reality, not perpetual redress based on a history that will never change.

    The legal profession has done its share to perpetuate the foolishness, and those in the profession should be addressing their governing boards, because if it doesn’t, society will start to demand that the legal system should lose its independence, because it has gone off the rails.

  55. Yeah, well that’s Leftist Canada for you. The author embraced Leftism and then failed to recognize its inevitable, authoritarian conclusion.

  56. Julie says

    The last line of the article suggests the author received at least a crumb of Classical education.

  57. The world’s been turned on its head. It used to be we aspired to get to the point where people were dealt with based on who they were as a person, an individual, rather than what they were (colour, creed, sex etc), now we seem less interested in their merits as an individual and just care about what they are. The ‘liberal-progressive’ agenda is neither liberal nor progressive.

  58. Throughout the OECD, the elite colleges have been discriminating against the Right, in the US against Republicans. For decades this has been an “open secret”, and allowed. The discrimination against Reps has allowed, even encouraged, ever greater amounts of demonization. Instead of assimilating into a country where people are judged on their character, countries are being tribalized. And tribe vs tribe demonization and domination is being encouraged by the elite.

    Good to fight back, within the system. We need more fighting back at the college hiring level — but the vast majority of college grads are already more indoctrinated, rather than educated.

  59. It’s the same old story – you guys didn’t leave the Left, the Left left you.

  60. Pingback: How Social Justice Ideologues Hijacked a Legal Regulator - Sovereign Nations

  61. david of Kirkland says

    Centrally planned coercion is the new liberty and equality. Too many know that democracy on its own suggests this to be fair and good. Majority rules, even when the majority is saying that we need more benefits for minorities who cannot do better without the majority’s help.

  62. Stuart Whitby says

    Many people are attempting to take a stand against this kind of “progress”, despite the personal cost involved. It may not mean much, but my thanks for the strength of principle you show in doing this.

    I’d be surprised if my contract’s renewed in my own current role for making my own thoughts known on similar (non-legislated) issues.

    All the very best of luck to you and those others in StopSOP.

  63. Jason Preston says

    Very encouraging to see someone in your position lend his weight to sanity and decry the zero-sum identity game. Thank you.

  64. brad gillespie says

    Frankly, the diversity, inclusion, racism language that is used to preface nearly any social comment, is really just plain repulsive. The ever expanding numbers of people identifying with all sorts of idiot groups has pretty much drowned out any concern about the number one non- group — the individual. And the magnetism of all these odious groups signifies one thing: that individuality is no longer experienced: only facile group affiliation, as if belonging to some beleaguered group is worthy of status. And, if it is, you are an empty shell. Where is the individual voice? Or is it against the laws of social justice to claim yourself as the most important element in society, and that groups are made up of individuals — the primary component. But this group identity thing defies individualism. Real individuals don’t seek groups for identity. Social justice isn’t individual justice. There’s something very wrong with this.

  65. My concern is that the rationally based fears of authoritarian government and loose-cannon ideologues on the left has been transferred by the libertarians into an irrational tirade against climate change science and the scientists who study it. Spiked as well as the Academy of Ideas (formerly Institute of Ideas, formerly Living Marxism) are leading examples of this. Simultaneously Peterson’s muscular defense of free speech and autonomy have been picked up by uninformed right wingers and libertarians and distorted into the own
    ideology and model, something I am sure Peterson did not intend but which has brought down the wrath of liberals and leftists who depict him as right wing because they refuse to actually listen to what he says. In the end it seems that Quillette is virtually alone in clearing away the patho-ideologies that stand in the way of truth and rational thinking.

  66. Eric D. Tarkington says

    When you’re feeling bad, think of this: Somewhere, right now, there is a lawyer having a horrible time. OK, if you get to know an actual lawyer, this joke might not do much for you.

    In 2016, in Ontario (that’s in Canada) the Law Society’s “Convocation” recommended that the Law Society should “require every licensee to adopt and to abide by a statement of principles acknowledging their obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally, and in their behaviour towards colleagues, employees, clients and the public.” Fine principles like this can be twisted to hurt people, but it sounds OK at first. What’s wrong?

    Some lawyers see this as a huge joke on Ontario’s lawyers delivered by the law profession to itself. They anticipate having a horrible time. The problem is forced speech. “Our regulator was demanding that lawyers and paralegals draft and then obey a set of specific political ideas—both in their personal and professional lives—as a condition of their license.” Yeah, that could turn into something horrible.

    So what is shockingly new here? I don’t know why people are “nose blind” to the feminist bias in the structure of the Law Society. It only takes a few minutes to find on any of my extremely rare visits. I’ve taken the occasional quick look a few times in the last few decades, for the moment, take a look at The Justicia Project. You won’t find anything comparable for the special problems of men in the profession. They don’t openly call themselves feminist any more I reckon, but the project is the same. If the Law Society can have one ingrained ideological bias, why not another?
    https://lso.ca/about-lso/initiatives/the-justicia-project

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