In episode 8 of Sweater Weather, I talk to Ian McKay, professor of history at McMaster University and director of the L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History. He is the author and co-author of numerous books and articles about the Canadian left, including Reasoning Otherwise: Leftists and the People’s Enlightenment in Canada, 1890-1920, as well as Rebels, Reds, Radicals: Rethinking Canada’s Left History. This is an absolute gem of an episode, a must watch for every Canadian leftist craving a comprehensive historical perspective on socialism and social movements in this country.
We begin our discussion, however, talking about liberalism and Prof. McKay’s now classic essay, “The Liberal Order Framework: A Prospectus for a Reconnaissance of Canadian History” which frames Canadian history as the progress of a ‘passive revolution’ towards liberalism as it became the dominant ideology in Canada. With this groundwork in place, we proceed to dig into the details of his fascinating analyses of Canadian socialism, at times a competitor to liberalism, as laid out in another of his influential papers, “For a New Kind of History: A Reconnaissance of 100 Years of Canadian Socialism.”
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