Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ezra Levant, Hyde, and Appealing to the Id

Our erudite readers will all be well acquainted with this particular novel:

This writer is a fan of both Robert Louis Stevenson' and Sigmund Freud's work (though I actually prefer Jung and think his theories more relevant) so forgive me for the clumsiness when I discuss The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde through a brief Freudian analysis.

The character Hyde is the manifestation of "the id," the deep, reptilian part of the subconscious. The id is where our deepest impulses are located; lust, fear, hate:
[The id] is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality, what little we know of it we have learned from our study of the Dreamwork and of the construction of neurotic symptoms, and most of that is of a negative character and can be described only as a contrast to the ego. We approach the id with analogies: we call it a chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitations. ... It is filled with energy reaching it from the instincts, but it has no organization, produces no collective will, but only a striving to bring about the satisfaction of the instinctual needs subject to the observance of the pleasure principle. ~ Sigmund Freud, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis [1933] (Penguin Freud Library 2) pp. 105–6
It doesn't take a genius to realize the society that would exist if inhabited by people ruled only by their id would make anything Ayn Rand could dream up look like an altruistic utopia by comparison. Thankfully, in addition to the id we have the super-ego or, to overly simplify the concept, a conscious. The ability to discern right from wrong and to keep our id in check. In short, our Jekylls are stronger than our Hydes, at least most of the time.

Now, our readers will also be familiar with this good looking fella:

We won't go into a lot of detail as Ezra Levant's latest screed has been pretty thoroughly debunked. In short, the Greater Essex County District School Board sent out a memo to schools where parents might have safety concerns about their children attending public Remembrance Day ceremonies given the shooting in Ottawa that left a soldier who was standing as an honor guard at the National War Memorial dead. School-based memorials would continue, and for those concerned about safety alternative way to honor those who served in the military were suggested.

Levant took the opportunity to twist the intent of the memo and claim it was an attempt to appease Muslims who secretly hate Canada:

It’s a disgrace that any family would object to it – especially an immigrant family who came here to benefit from our country. It would call into question the basis on which they applied for and were granted citizenship.

And even if some old bigot from a backwoods village in Pakistan or Somalia doesn’t want to respect Canada, that’s where our schools come in and teach those bigots’ kids and grandkids what it means to be Canadian.


If I were a Muslim immigrant, I would sing O Canada extra loud. I wouldn’t just wear a poppy. I’d be out on the street selling them. I would be thanking Allah that such a generous and open and loving and giving country as Canada not only tried to fix their failed states, but has let in close to a million Muslims, half since 9/11.

It may be of interest to Levant that some pacifistic religious sects, such as the Hutterites, Doukhobors, Quakers, Jehovah Witnesses and others also object to the commemoration of Remembrance Day, though we don't expect Levant to question their citizenship. That said, there was nothing in the memo suggesting immigrants generally were opposed to commemorating Remembrance Day and nothing to suggest Muslims specifically were not willing to commemorate Remembrance Day. In short, Levant made it up.

Why would he do that?

Brings us back to our Freudian look at Jekyll and Hyde.

We aren't going to suggest that Levant and Hyde are comparable. Levant is not the id. He is fully conscious of what he is saying and we suspect he doesn't believe a lot of what he says or writes. For him, it's about self-promotion and shameless profiting from his misrepresentation of what happened:

Levant is not the id. Instead, he is appealing to the id:

The id is mindless. It is reactionary. It is fueled by fear and hatred of the Other. It doesn't matter that the story has been proven not to be true. Levant is very good and unleashing the id and directing it in a way that will benefit himself.

Levant isn't the id. He's not Hyde. He's worse because unlike the mindless, irrational, id, Levant knows what he's doing and the harm it can cause and he does it for the must cynical of reasons too.

Perhaps ironically, the same id Levant is appealing to in the Sun News audience also once in Canada three generations ago. At that time, the slogans weren't "Canada, love it or leave it" or "Opt out? Get out!"

The slogan then was "None is too many."

UPDATE (NOV 12): The justified backlash against Levant's screed has resulted in the little cockroach scurrying under a rock. He and his network are trying to save face, but this incident is yet another black eye for an already discredited "news" network.

Levant has also changed the "loveitorleave" website to remove mention of Muslims, however he still unjustifiably attacks the Greater Essex County District School Board. Levant also still tries to profit from his slur:

We would ask Levant is he has no shame, but we think we already know the answer to that question.


Wolfer said...

Finally. You people have stopped going on about Nazis nobody's ever heard of and are picking on Ezra Levant.

Unknown said...

"You people" is a dead give away.