I have met University of New Brunswick sociologist and co-founder of the blog Council of European Canadians Ricardo Duchesne only once and found him reserved, thoughtful and modest. A brilliant writer and genuine scholar, he has authored two impeccably-researched volumes on the history of Western civilization and the settler domestication of pre-industrial lands.
In an earlier article for PJ Media, I had occasion to mention Duchesne, who writes in Canada in Decay — one of the most important books in our national literature explaining the emergence of the ideology of immigrant multiculturalism — that Canada is an extreme, though not unique, example of impending ethnocide, “promoting its own replacement by foreigners from other races, religions and cultures.” As Duchesne points out in The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, the same form of national self-deprecation we note in Canada is at work in most Western nations today.
Before multiculturalism took root, Duchesne argues, Canada was not an immigrant nation, as the cliché has it, but a European nation built by settlers and pioneers. The same formulation applies to the U.S. and Australia. He notes a critical difference between categories of newcomers: pioneers create, immigrants contribute (at their best). Multiculturalism, however, which radically changes the identity of a country, is neither a creation nor a contribution; it is “an experiment imposed from above.” Tensions inevitably arise between the rapidly shrinking European majority and the multi-ethnic, culturally alien brew that is displacing it.
Duschesne lays out his agenda in The Uniqueness of Western Civilization. His central contention, he writes, “will be that the West has always existed in a state of variance from the rest of the world’s cultures,” divergences that include, among a plethora of others, “the ‘Greek miracle’, the Roman invention of the legal persona, the Papal revolution, the invention of mechanical clocks, the Portuguese voyages of discovery, the Gutenberg revolution, the Cartographic revolution, the Protestant Reformation, the ‘rational’ mercantilist state and the ‘industrial enlightenment.’” He has no doubt that the “ideals of freedom and the reasoned pursuit of truth were cultivated and realized in the course of Western time.”
Predictably, Duchesne has been attacked as a white supremacist in the leftist media — The Huffington Post, the CBC, Global TV, and other venues — and by an open-letter cabal of 25 of his UNB colleagues engaged in a war against “hate” — that is, against anything that disagrees with their anti-Western ideology. He will almost certainly find himself under formal investigation by the university, which is now reviewing complaints against him. The administration is actively seeking student grievances to lodge against him and there have also been requests for complaints in social media from the student union representative.
Duchesne is now in the impossible position of responding to a loaded question, that is, one that contains an unjustified assumption and presupposes its own answer, of the “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” type. Such question-begging is a rhetorical sleight of hand that works as a form of entrapment — the defamatory “loaded” technique that culture hero Jordan Peterson, for example, has been regularly subjected to. In Duchesne’s case, the “white supremacist” tag is integrally associated with his name, as if one were a substitute for or translation of the other. The implicit question runs something like: “Have you renounced your white supremacy yet?” or “Are you still a white supremacist?”
Thus The Huffington Post headlines an article on Duchesne with “The White Supremacist Professor Teaching At A Public University” and informs its readers that “Ricardo Duchesne teaches students at a Canadian university while moonlighting on white nationalist podcasts and spouting racist conspiracy theories.” It glosses over the fact that “moonlighting” is a term intentionally designed to create an unfavorable impression and that the “white nationalist podcasts” and “racist conspiracy theories” may be nothing of the sort. These are allegations minus the standard qualifier “alleged,” accusations presented as proven fact.
The article can scarcely disguise its nature as a hit piece, brimming over with poisonous rhetoric that labors to tar by association, asserting that Duchesne’s publisher’s list features “fringe racists, as well as Adolf Eichmann,” and includes the outright lie that Duchesne defends slavery and eugenics. The claim that he supports slavery and eugenics is based on a piece by a Counter Currents blogger who sometimes re-posts Duchesne’s articles and who once argued in favor of eugenics, a practice which Duchesne abhors. Nor will one find anything in Duchesne’s work arguing in favor of slavery. The claim about Eichmann is the reverse of what the publisher says: “This book provides an incriminating account of Eichmann’s role in the wholesale murder of the Jews in Europe, and establishes the scope of the anti-Jewish measures undertaken in the Third Reich and the gradual development of these measures from emigration to concentration to large-scale murder.”
Duchesne is assumed to be a “white supremacist” on evidence that is either manufactured or fallaciously derived from statements based on historical documentation and empirical fact. Is Canada being “invaded by hordes of Muslims,” as Duchesne alleges? After all, such is demonstrably the case in Europe. A glance at local immigration statistics, the presence of jihadist terror, a reading of the Koran and the Hadith enjoining devout Muslims to conquer and slaughter in the name of the faith, and the installation of Muslims in positions of power and authority would indicate that Duchesne addresses a real issue.
The canard of “white supremacy” relentlessly pushed by the media and the academy is nothing less than an attempt to suppress the undoubted historical truth that the benefits of Western civilization and its Promethean impetus, which we take for granted and depend upon in every facet of our daily lives, stem from European discoveries and exploration, now routinely denounced as “white settler colonialism.”
Is former Muslim Ibn Warraq a white supremacist for his spirited and comprehensive defense of Western Civilization in Why the West Is Best and his dismantling of Islam in The Islam in Islamic Terrorism? Is Jean– François Revel, among the major political thinkers of the modern era, a white European chauvinist for analyzing in Last Exit to Utopia the catastrophic fissures and deficiencies in anti-Western polemics? The progressivist arguments we meet everywhere today, he warns, that “have so poorly understood history’s lessons…testify to a crippling cultural failure, or worse, to a troubled relationship with facts — a permanent legacy, perhaps, of ideological indoctrination.” Is our greatest living historian Niall Ferguson who, in his chef-d’oeuvre Civilization: The West and the Rest, rigorously analyzed the reality of and reasons for Western supremacy, less creditable than, say, the 25 obscure professors who slandered Duchesne in their open letter? One wonders if any of Duchesne’s detractors have even bothered to seriously consult his The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, which moves in the same discursive and thematic orbit as Warraq’s, Revel’s, and Ferguson’s major studies.
The arguments of the signatories and drafters of the open letter targeting Duchense tell us all we need to know about the nature of the vendetta waged against him. One of these professors, Mostaq Hussain (Business), states that his MBA class “is 98 per cent non-white,” which would seem to confirm Duchesne’s thesis, at any rate in little, that the country has an over-immigration problem. Hussain concludes that “we need more immigration.”
Gary Waite (History) objects to “any professor who uses his or her position to give credence or credibility to racist beliefs or notions of white supremacy.” This may be a perfectly legitimate position, except for two things. First, the phrasing is once again “loaded,” containing the presumption of guilt before guilt has been established. Secondly, there is nothing in Duchesne’s deposition that argues for racism or against immigration. His basic argument that Canada is gradually losing its founding character through rampant, third-world immigration — the fruit of multiculturalism — and that its European heritage is being systematically eroded is valid and well supported with factual evidence. Our own prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has said, approvingly, that Canada has no core identity. Duchesne’s reasoning is neither “radical” nor does it support “a false narrative.”
That the country was built by white explorers and settlers from Europe, mainly though not exclusively of French and English descent, is, like it or not, a fact that Gary Waite and his woke congeners cannot dispute. That its nature as a democratic and prosperous nation beholden to its history and to the fundamental armature of Western civilization, despite its internal dissensions, should be maintained is an unexceptionable claim. Duchesne is not anti-immigrant but anti-multicultural — an ideology that fosters indiscriminate and unskilled immigrants who exploit the nation’s hospitality, constitute an unsustainable expense, and are either hostile or indifferent to the country’s patrimony — an argument espoused, for example, by Muslim professor Salim Mansur in Delectable Lie: A Liberal Repudiation of Multiculturalism. I will grant that Duchesne’s discourse may seem at times injudicious and needlessly provocative, but it remains historically sound.
Another signatory of the open letter, Matthew Sears (Classics), is an active and well-known member of the social justice community, whose convictions were given prominence in a Campus Reform article quoting from his intemperate tweets: “We should name every white supremacist. Name every writer, blogger, YouTuber, and politician that inspires them. Plaster their faces in public. Fire them from their jobs. Hound them from restaurants. Expose them and those that fuel them for the hateful pathetic wretches they are … And that includes every vile little shi*lord in a campus ‘free speech’ club who spends his time platforming white supremacist trolls under the banner of ‘free speech,’ and every grifting liar that goes on about campus ‘censorship’ and the ‘marketplace of ideas.’”
When lawyer Robert Barnes appeared to demur, Sears said “there’s a difference between free speech, and those who use ‘free speech’ as a deliberate strategy to put hateful and discredited ideas into the mainstream and give them academic credibility. But you know that, you liar.” Naturally, Sears assumes that he is an infallible arbiter who can authoritatively decide for all of us what comprises the difference between hate speech and free speech.
The tenor of Sears’s ideas and animadversions is not confined merely to Duchesne. As the article informs us, “After U.S. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders got kicked out of a restaurant in June, the professor tweeted ‘forget “respectability politics,” forget the ‘politics of division,’ forget ‘civility.’ Let’s denormalize these folks.” The MAGA hat is “the functional equivalent of a [Ku Klux] Klan hood or Nazi banner.” “Appeals to civility often only manage to maintain the status quo, and benefit those in power.” A list of Sears’ tweets adds to the corpus. Sweet, as they say. Sears is clearly an eloquent spokesman for his group of revisionist partisans.
The reader gets the picture. Meanwhile, they’re still going after Duchesne.