The modern lib-left establishment is normally very careful in disguising its true nature. But every once in a while, they let the veil slip a little bit, and reveal their true face.
As I tortured myself this week listening to hours of Toronto City Council debate over the future of the downtown Gardiner Expressway, the city’s Chief Planner, Jennifer Keesmaat, said this in a friendly exchange with one of council’s Luddite leftists.
“We’re moving away from a model of moving vehicles, to a model of moving people”.
How many times over the past decade has the left denied the existence of their obvious “War on the Car”? And yet here is proof-positive, with Keesmaat bragging about it in an uncharacteristically candid moment. Their goal is to get us plebians out of our beloved cars, by carrot (with false promises of reliable public transit), or by stick (by making driving as expensive and inconvenient as possible).
On a micro level, her “moving people” comment was saying: our Utopian vision is to take the little people out of their evil individual vehicles, and groups them in electric trains powered by windmills, delivering them daily from intensified suburban hubs to downtown office towers, where they will ascend to their desks for a 9-to-5 weekday. It’s a sadly out-of-touch view that can only be held by someone who went straight from grad school to political employment, but sadly that is the path of much of today’s political ruling class.
On a macro level, it exposes the elitist ideology of our political planning class – people who have mostly never actually built a thing, but who have studied Urban Planning at a university near you. The “moving people” philosophy says: we, the planning-gods of society, see you, the masses of humanity, as annoying little figurines on our scale models, to be moved around like trees, buildings, and choo-choo trains.
You must look pretty and do what you are told. You are a problem to solve; a unit of input; a subject who must conform to our value judgements; and in your present form of overbreeding, erratic fossil-fuel car-drivers, are forcing us to save the planet from your unsustainable destruction.
The arrogance runs very deep. In another fascinating bit of unintentional candor, Keesmaat quoted a leading academic figure in the field of city planning when explaining the main frustration of her profession. She admitted that the computer modelling they use to formulate their plans is “unreliable, due to the huge amount of variables involved in any urban situation”.
No kidding, said anyone listening with a reasonable level of common-sense and a lack of a Masters in Urban Planning. And yet when these political elitists inevitably descend to passive-aggressive insults by bragging about their “evidence-based decision making”, the “evidence” they refer to always comes out of their admittedly unreliable computer models.
Of course the variables in city life are innumerable. Human behavior is indeed individualistic and unpredictable; that is what makes us human! The Bible has instructed mankind to embrace this side of our nature for 3,000 years; when God scrambled our communications at Babel and spread us out across the earth, it was to stop us from enslaving ourselves to serve the misguided Utopian dreams of the charismatic leader Nimrod.
As a more recent example, we can look at the incredible attraction of the American dream - a big home in the suburbs with two cars in the garage and the freedom to do what one pleases – which has made the U.S. and Canada magnets for immigrants from every corner of the world, an unprecedented phenomenon in human history.
Keesmaat is a young, smiley-faced, garden-variety true believer (just browse her prolific Twitter feed,) who grew up in Hamilton, but was fast-tracked to the top planning job in Toronto just a decade out of a York University Masters program as a protégé of notorious leftist politicians Joe Mihevc and David Miller. Her pretty face and polished image only serve to mask the totalitarian underside of the modern left.
Hannah Arendt would get her in a heartbeat.
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