The decline and fall of Canada – by John Ivison (National Post – April 30, 2024)

A state’s citizens must have the will for it to exist in the world. Has there been any moment in Canada’s history when that will has been weaker?

In his classic A Short History of the World, H.G. Wells asked why the Roman Empire grew, and why it so completely decayed. He concluded that it grew because the idea of citizenship held it together, creating a sense of privilege and obligation and a willingness to make sacrifices in the name of Rome.

However, the failure to explain itself to its increasing multitude of citizens, or invite their co-operation, led to the demise of its collective mission.

“The sense of citizenship died of starvation,” Wells said. “All empires, all states, all organizations of human society are, in the ultimate, things of understanding and will. There remained no will for the Roman Empire in the world, and so it came to an end.”

That passage came to mind as I read a column this weekend by the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, based on a new report from the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, written by the Rand Corporation.

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