Canada is fake | The Outline

I mean that Canada is a scam — a pyramid scheme, a ruse, a heist. Canada is a front. And it’s a front for a massive network of resource extraction companies, oil barons, and mining magnates.

If you’ve never attended a Canadian history class, here is the short version: European settlers spent their first years in this part of the continent hunting beavers en masse in order to turn their pelts into fancy hats. Founded through the fur trade, the Hudson’s Bay company operated as the de facto government in large portions of what is now Canada for nearly 200 years between 1670-1869. Private enterprises like these, with backing from the French and then the British governments, claimed larger and larger swathes of the continent to claim more and more fur, lumber, and ore, often directly stealing from and overpowering Indigenous trading systems that had been sustainably in place for thousands of years. Eventually they spread their land grab all the way to the Pacific Ocean and the northern coastlines in pursuit of gold, silver, iron, copper, nickel, and diamond reserves. The eventual formation of Canada as “Canada” came about in the late 1800s for nakedly economic reasons, primarily to benefit the companies and conglomerates that were trading Canadian natural resources with the British, but also to facilitate railroad construction (using slave labor) in which civic leaders had investments.

On some level, this history closely mirrors that of all colonial states. It’s a pattern that Marx once described as “primitive accumulation,” the principle economic drive of colonialism. Through the enclosure and seizure of resources, for the purposes of their privatization, entire populations and regions are brought into the scope of a ruling class which now owns the means of production and has the power to exploit workers with no choice but to accept the conditions forced upon them. So while Canada is not unique as a colony, it’s done a particularly poor job of adapting to its new status as a “country.” Canada lacks a cohesive identity or sense of itself as anything besides “not the US.” Our population is tiny, spread mostly along the southern border, and in most of the land mass — the parts claimed by “the crown” and private companies, and largely inhabited by Indigenous communities that have lived there since the beginning of human memory — anything resembling state services or essential infrastructure is few and far between. Even the few defining things we can claim as “Canadian,” like socialized medicine or pristine wilderness, are under threat by conservative politicians with an eye for privatization. The pattern of primitive accumulation continues.

Canada is fake | The Outline