Utopian Danger: Freedom Feature with Dr. Ryan Alford


Dr. Ryan Alford, Professor at the Bora Laskin School of Law, Lakehead University, joins Dr. Bussey for a remarkable Freedom Feature discussion, recorded on February 23.

Author of Seven Absolute Rights: Recovering the Historical Foundations of Canada’s Rule of Law (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020), Prof. Alford explains that there are certain principles of law which precede the state and cannot be violated, even (or especially) in times of crisis.

Touching on topics from gnosis to hate speech to Davos to James I of England to the Nuremberg Trials to the influence of the CBC, Prof. Alford reminds us that we have to understand our history in order to maintain our constitutional rights.

This context provides a fertile field of ideas for their discussion on the recent Canadian crisis that saw Prime Minister Trudeau invoke the Emergencies Act to deal with the Trucker Convoy protest. As Prof. Alford and Dr. Bussey observe, when a utopian ideology provides the framework for the ruling class (without an appreciation for the past), this can lead to an abuse of power. Not wanting to miss the opportunity a crisis gives to gain more power, utopian leaders such as Mr. Trudeau capitalize on the moment. Trudeau’s use of the Emergencies Act is a wakeup call to utopian danger.

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