Sep 011996

by Robert Metz – September 1996

“IN THOSE DAYS a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the FIRST ENROLLMENT, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.” (Bible: Luke 2)

It is no coincidence that the world’s first census occurred during Rome’s transition from a strong republic to a weak empire. This is not to suggest cause and effect; the cause of all breakdowns of great civilizations occurs when the government of the time grows too large, has too many powers, and no longer guarantees the rights of its citizens. As such, Rome’s census, and the manner in which it was conducted, was symbolic of the political environment at the time: a totalitarian one.

It has been almost 2000 years since Caesar’s “first” census, and with Canada’s May 14 census now behind us, perhaps we should count our blessings that we, as Canadian citizens, were not forced to return to our places of origin to be enumerated. Could you imagine the chaos?

But perhaps we should start imagining it. Though our government does not force us to RETURN to our places of origin, it does now force us to REPORT, not only on our place of origin, but also on our race of origin.

I can think of no clearer warning to illustrate that the Canadian government is deeply entrenched in the process of abandoning its proper function of guaranteeing individual rights in favour of establishing false ‘group rights’ and engaging in social engineering.

Despite this ominous warning, most Canadians still can’t see what there is to be upset about when it comes to having to fill out a census: “So what’s the big deal?” they ask. “Censuses have been around for thousands of years. They’re only a head-count and the government simply needs the information to help them determine and meet the government’s goals and targets, don’t they?”

To which I cynically reply: “Yes. And that’s the big deal. That’s exactly why you should be worried.”

Of course, a questionnaire, in and of itself, is not an issue at all, regardless of what questions may be asked. People have filled out questionnaires that have included information on everything from the brand of tea or coffee they drink, to their favourite sexual position.

However, the fundamental issue is this: when Canadians are FORCED, by law, to provide personal information about themselves or face the threat of fines or imprisonment for failing to do so, those who have a moral disagreement either with the initiation of force, or with what the government is doing with the information, are placed in a serious dilemma. The law forces them to act against their conscience, and thus denies their fundamental freedoms.

The Statistics Act (Section 29) provides for a fine not exceeding $500 or three months in jail or both for “knowingly giv(ing) false or misleading information,” whether caused by “refusal or neglect, or false answer or deception.”

What makes this penalty doubly unjustifiable is that census questions are completely political. No one ever denies this. In fact, the questions on this year’s census culminated with Statistics Canada’s lobbying to get certain questions on the census, in full view of the public, and getting 55 million extra dollars from other government departments and agencies who had a stake in the census industry, including: Citizenship and Immigration, Heritage, Health Canada, Human Resources Development, Industry, and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

How the information from the forced census would be used was outlined in the 1996 census guide prepared by Statistics Canada: “Census results are used: to decide how much money is transferred from the federal government to your province or territory; to plan pension, health care, housing and employment programs; to determine where hospitals, roads, schools, day care centres and public transit are needed; to analyse markets, select sites for building locations and develop marketing strategies.”

From the standpoint of legitimate government activity, and of freedom, these are all destructive, immoral purposes.

For example, federal transfer payments dislocate capital and labour, keep unemployment high, and are immoral, arbitrary transfers of wealth based on nothing but statistical inequity. Likewise, Canada’s pension plan is actuarially unsound, built not upon a ‘plan’, but upon pyramid scheme principles that would otherwise (and justly!) be illegal and immoral in the private market. Our hospitals and schools have become government monopolies paid for by taxes extorted from people who are increasingly being denied their freedom of choice in either area. And as government grows and gets more and more out of control (by becoming more controlling), the questions asked on the census continue to reflect the political environment in which they are asked.

Thus, the highly controversial racial questions on the 1996 census had to be justified by Statistics Canada as follows: “This information is collected to support programs which promote equal opportunity for everyone to share in the social, cultural and economic life of Canada.” (Translation: “…so that employment equity laws can be properly administered.”)

If such are the purposes to which the government applies the information it forces from us, then our governments are forcing us to participate in the destruction of our country. Ironically, our being forced to participate in the process is already evidence that Canada no longer respects the freedoms it purports to protect. To think that any of us, who should each be free solely by our definition AS Canadian citizens, could face threats of fines or imprisonment for not completing a state-ordered census form, is unconscionable.

We must come to face the fact that the information collected by our government is being used against us, to the detriment of our individual well-being, and to the well-being of the country. Governments of free nations cannot be social “planning” instruments, even if everyone wanted government to run their lives. Every society ever built upon such a principle has perished.

Unfortunately, when politicians and bureaucrats run out of RATIONAL reasons to justify their existence, they know that they can count on the next best thing: they can (mis)use STATISTICS. Indeed, governments have promoted a CULT(ure) OF STATISTICS, at the expense of REASON, MORALITY, and just plain old-fashioned COMMON SENSE.

“20% of people are unemployed. Under-employed. Disadvantaged. Over-advantaged.” Whatever. The given assumption in quoting such a statistic is that the government has to ‘do something’ about them. But whenever governments ‘do something’, it means more laws, more bureaucracy, more taxes, and less freedom.

Statistics can be used to evade issues of morality, values, and ethics in the consideration of objectives. More specifically, governments can avoid identifying the FALSE morality on which THEIR actions are based: the IMMORALITY of EQUALITY OF RESULT.

The issues, for example, of whether it is moral or not to force, by law, working people to subsidize the unemployed, or employers to hire people based on race, or whatever other choices are forced upon (or denied to) people are completely avoided by using statistics.

It is simply not true that the census exists to help government determine its objectives, as so many people mistakenly believe. Remember, any collection of statistics PRESUPPOSES a given objective.

After all, if you’re going into the stamp collecting business, the statistical information you need would relate to stamp collecting: which stamps were valuable, how many in supply, how many collectors, which markets are the largest and smallest, etc. You certainly would NOT be collecting information on comic books or the number of comic book collectors.

That government is no different in this regard is documented by the government’s own admissions that it already has its objectives in place and that it only uses census statistics to carry out its agenda.

Thus, we can be certain that a government which collects and segregates information on the basis of personal income, racial or ethnic background, or any other such criteria, is a government that PLANS TO TREAT EACH GROUP DIFFERENTLY. If that were not the case, SUCH INFORMATION WOULD BE IRRELEVANT to any of its objectives, and would therefore not be collected.

Armed with its egalitarian philosophy, EQUALITY OF RESULT is both the standard and objective by which government interprets the statistics collected. The tragedy is that it is the very existence of government equity laws and the process of wealth redistribution that is tearing Canada apart.

It is simply not possible to make people economically, socially, or morally equal by law! It is a contradiction in terms. To even entertain such a notion requires making people UNEQUAL BEFORE AND UNDER the law.

This would require the violation of every individual right that exists: private property, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of thought and religion, and without them, we no longer have a free country. Game over.

The questions we are forced to answer in virtually EVERY government census are dangerously LEADING QUESTIONS — questions which are leading us to the abyss of social and economic stagnation in the name of the ‘collective good’ and for the sake of political power.

Statistics are a powerful weapon to use against the citizenry. That’s why Canadians have “STATISTICS CANADA”. And that’s why Caesar Augustus needed a census.     {end}

– Robert Metz      Consent #26    September 1996