The most inaccurate thing Ted Byfield ever wrote

As you may know, one of the greatest Albertans in history [we'll try to ignore the unfortunate born in Toronto bit, sins of the father yadda yadda yadda.. -ed], Ted Byfield (editor of the legendary Alberta Report and "godfather of Canadian social conservatism" as I believe Colby Cosh called him) , was lost to us just before Christmas. It's still honesty a raw nerve. And I've written before about how I own his greatest work, a collection of Alberta Report columns (excepting one written for, of all things, the University of Alberta Press which I'll discuss at a future date) under the title The Book of Ted.

Well, one of those columns is hauntingly appropriate today, as it opens with talking about "25 years into the future, when I will almost certainly be dead". That 25 years swung by on February 28th 2019, which as the post title implies makes it his most inaccurate column ever. But first, let's read the actual column.
Sixties people should tread carefully in considering the euthanasia question 

Twenty-five years from now I will almost certainly be dead - indeed, for all I know it could happen 25 minutes from now - so the following warning need not be considered self-interested.

If I were now forty-something, rather than sixty-something, I would be exceedingly cautious about leaping on the current bandwagon for legal euthanasia, propelled with the accustomed theatrics last week by Svend Robinson, MP, Burnaby's dubious gift to national politics.

That is, if I were a member of what is loosely termed the "Sixties generation," the generation that now runs everything, the generation with the great big numbers that has made the great big changes, I would think very hard about where this latest liberal social bonanza is likely to lead.

By the year 2019, when your generation is reaching retirement age, an enormous proportion of the population will be in their 60s and 70s, all requiring pensions and extensive, expensive medical attention. But since you have fully availed yourselves of the modern conveniences of birth control and abortion, assuring yourselves that the pursuit of personal advantage is the very essence of life, and thus you have produced relatively few children, you will discover there are far more people to support than there are to do the supporting. Indeed, the generation that will then be running things, and to whom this weighty burden of supporting you has been bequeathed, will not only be relatively few in number. They will also be carrying an enormous tax burden to pay the debts that you, their forebears - being the caring, sensitive, concerned group that you were - ran up heaped upon them.

Then again, these two groups of people - you, decrepit, gasping in your nursing homes, and your tax-burdened exhausted successors, straining to support you - are distinguished not only by numbers, but also by colour. You are almost uniformly white.

And everybody will know what awful people the whites are because for years you have been at such pains to describe in exhaustive detail the sins and failings of your race. Whereas our youngers will be that vast mix of hues and colours you so often and so admiringly envisioned.

Finally, the youngers will be free. They will not be burdened by the taboos, guilts, inhibitions and moral strictures that once haunted their ancestors. You will have liberated them from all that. They will have been taught - in fact had drilled into them - that the big thing in life is ME. My aspirations, my self-fulfilment, my self-esteem, my view of life, my this and my that, are the things that matter. And when they consider you, the pensioned mass of wheezing and unproductive humanity, they may just conclude that none of it is doing a great deal for ME.

How long will it take, do you think, before the obvious solution occurs to them? Surely the sensible, practical thing, the environmentally positive thing, is to implement...what will we call it? Genocide is such an ugly word. How about Populational Planning, administered under the direction of the fore-runner of so much other social advance by then known as Planned De-Parenthood? The name is important; so is the packaging. It will be seen as the Modern Way to Go. No fuss. No cruel months or years on sickbeds. And above all, no big cost.

Some of you of course may resist. There could be ugly scenes. Unscrupulous people might try to hide their parents away. Instances will be cited where the supposedly dying weren't dying at all. In fact were in good health and went about clutching a little note: "I do not want to die." And there will be stories of the wealthy cheating the system. But with tranquilizing drugs, such evasions can surely be minimized. And, of course, there need be no legal hassles. Good old Svend Robinson and his crowd of advanced thinkers got rid of all legal obstacles back in the 1990s. That's what the euthanasia issue was all about, though few seemed to notice at the time.

Today's euthanasia advocates, of course, will scoff at such a vision. All their legal reform is intended to do, they will assure us, is to enable piteous sufferers like Sue Rodriguez to end their lives in dignity, not in agony. Moreover, this is almost assuredly all they do have in mind. But the advanced thinkers are making their customary mistake. They think always in terms of what nice people will do, and then are horrified to discover that the world is not populated entirely by nice people.

Thus over the twentieth century they have reformed the prison system so that nice people won't be mistreated behind bars, and can be quickly freed to make a positive contribution to society. They are then appalled to discover that the people in prison are not all nice, and many use their freedom as a further opportunity to rob, rape and murder. They designed a welfare system so people can be supported by the state until they are able to support themselves, and are astonished to find that not all welfare recipients turn out to be nice, so that many decide not to work again at all. They created medicare to help people in times of medical necessity, and then are amazed that so many people use the system when there is no medical necessity. They set up abortion clinics for dire cases, which might happen to a nice person once in several lifetimes, and then are shocked to learn that people not so nice were using them as a form of birth control.

This peculiar ignorance of how human waywardness seems to corrupt every social advance applies even to learned economists. John Maynard Keynes taught that nice governments could operate on deficits during economic downturns, so long as they ran on surpluses during economic booms. But governments didn't turn out to be quite that nice. They ran up deficits during hard times all right, and then ran up more deficits during good times. Doubtless Mr. Keynes was likewise shocked and appalled. He forgot or never knew the oldest lesson of all. Men sin. And any system established on the presumption that they won't is certain to fail.

Therefore, O younger generation rapidly growing older when you are considering a euthanasia law, do not consider it in terms of what Sue Rodriguez might do with it. Think rather what an impatient heir might do with it. Think what Stalin and Hitler and Pol Pot might do with it. Imagine if it helps you, the puritanical state envisioned in Margaret Atwood's novel, and consider what they might do with it. Because they, not Sue Rodriguez, are the people for whom you are legislating.
- Ted Byfield (RIP), February 28, 1994
The first thing you may notice is that many of Ted's predictions never came to pass. At least, not yet...one of the things to prevent it was the rise of the Reform Party and the decade of boring centrist legislation by Prime Minister Stephen Harper (pbuh). That movement, which set the leftist agenda back by almost two decades, was of course architected by the same Ted Byfield who wrote about it. Faggot Svend and his cronies didn't control the wheels of power to the extent they could push their euthanasia legislation into effect until Rat Bastard 2.0 brought it in a couple years ago (and after Ted's presumed future-death). This means you can't say whether Ted's predictions specifically about euthanasia were wrong for another quarter century. Meanwhile of course everything else he wrote about, which continues unabated, will make it a moot point.

Interesting that he already saw the Great Replacement as a threat even in the mid 90s where the rest of us were busy worrying if Mulder and Scully would get together, what exciting new music Kurt Cobain would be writing over the next year, and whether Tonya Harding was in on it. The idea of a lack of social cohesion caused by the brown generation of immigrants being taught to hate the (generally more successful) previous generation of whites was perhaps first given a voice here (Mark Steyn wouldn't put it in a book for another 14 years) and both Steyn and Byfield note that the anti-white rhetoric taught in schools (something conservative movements failed to stop across North America) means the generation gets less and less interested in keeping those racist whiteys around and paying to support them. When the Wuhan Flu swingback inevitably occurs, it may occur to them that they were busy putting their lives on hold so that old white people could be infinitesimally safer.

Also he noted, as so many of us have, that nobody seems to be a Keysian when given the reins of power. The Right (who, in fairness, utterly reject Keynes) cut government expenditures more readily in hard times than good times (when they do at all), while the Left (who, remember, embrace Keynes) never want to cut government expenditures at all.

But of course the reason we look back at this today is to celebrate that for just under three years we got to enjoy the existence of Ted Byfield contrary to his 1994 pessimism, and indeed many years of at least putting off the nightmare he saw coming. Rest in Peace dear sir, you've earned it.