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Is Canada a Hotbed of Intellectual Development?

Americans have long suspected that Canada is even more liberal than California and New York, and the election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who hailed Fidel Castro as a “remarkable leader,” has left many wondering about the wisdom of women’s suffrage. Apparently, Canadian women voted for Mr. Trudeau in droves because he has nice hair and good looks.  Canada recently also passed a bill for compelled speech. If you do not use a person’s preferred pronoun, you can now be criminally charged for hate speech in Canada.

However, despite this political craziness – or perhaps because of it – Canada is producing a string of eloquent and highly vocal intellectuals. They all have in common that they are YouTube stars with a reach far beyond the borders of Canada and that they are conservative, libertarian or classically liberal. Each is worth a brief look-see to grasp the changing political landscape – not just in Canada but worldwide.

The biggest of these rising intellectual stars is Jordan Peterson, who we have written about earlier here at Liberty Nation. Peterson is a clinical psychologist who has risen to fame for being attacked by Social Justice Warriors. His lectures are changing minds and moving the political conversation in a new direction – and doing this is Canada is no small feat.

Not far behind is Stefan Molyneux who is running the biggest philosophy show Freedomain Radio on the Internet with more than half a million subscribers worldwide. Molyneux engages in conversations on a broad range of topics. Being the child of a single mother, he has spent much time focusing on the problems with single motherhood, promoting peaceful parenting and the importance of the nuclear two-parent family instead — all issues that support the conservative point of view.

During the U.S. primaries, Molyneux also came out in strong support of Donald Trump, which he sees as an agent for change. Previously he had no strong opinions on immigration, but after being confronted with the facts, he changed his tune and is now for closing the borders, as long as there is a welfare state.

Interesting people and intellectuals regularly come on his show for a conversation, which allows people across the world to engage in leading edge discussions about politics, philosophy, and religion.

A third popular Canadian intellectual is the Lebanese-born Gad Saad of Jewish descent, who came to Canada at an early age after his family escaped persecution and death in Lebanon during the civil war. He is currently an evolutionary behavioral scientist at the John Molson Business School of Canada and is known for applying evolutionary psychology to marketing and consumer behavior.

His greatest claim to fame, however, comes from his YouTube show The Saad Truth, which is mainly based on conversations with other scientists and political figures. He has had discussions with famous intellectuals such as Sam Harris, Jonathan Haidt, and Jordan Peterson.

His background as an Arab-speaking Jew in a Muslim-majority Middle Eastern country gives him a unique perspective on the controversial topic of Islam, and subsequently, these experiences have colored many of his conversations.

His experiences of persecution have led him to become a lover of liberty and a true Canadian at heart, while at the same time deeply concerned with the influx of people from freedom-hostile and anti-Semitic countries in the Middle East. He explains how — for the first time in his life — knew how it felt to live in security and freedom from chronic anti-Semitism when he came to Canada. More than 90% of Arabic Muslims express intense hatred toward Jews, and for him, it was an enormous sense of relief to come to a place where no one hated him for his ethnic and religious background.

Saad says he’s had this feeling of relief and freedom from anti-Semitism for thirty years but has observed that in the last decade or so, there has been a surge in hatred of Jews, coinciding with a massive influx of Muslims to Canada. Other Canadians of Jewish descent have reported to him that they no longer feel safe to reveal their cultural identity.

His background from the Middle East has allowed him to have difficult conversations about Islam, without immediately being branded as racist. He has talked to people on all sides of the issue, including to reform-friendly Muslims, such as Imam Tawhidi.

Apart from being Canadian, these three intellectuals have little in common. It remains a mystery why Canada is seemingly a hotbed of emerging conservative/libertarian intellectual development. Nevertheless, they are changing minds and starting meaningful conversations. As well, they are a sign that the scourge of identity politics and regressive leftism are meeting a sorely needed intellectual resistance.

Sometimes the help you need comes from unexpected places, in this case from Canada.

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