I watched closely, in 2015, the trial of one John Nuttall, and his wife Amanda Korody. Basically, they were rather derelict recovering heroin addicts on welfare who had fallen from street-punk anarchism into radical terrorist Islam. They wanted to attack and destory Canadian society in a Boston Marathon Bombing style attack, or possibly shoot rockets at parliament, or take a train hostage, or steal a submarine, or storm a military base with an AK-47. They couldn’t really decide, being somewhat mentally disordered.
But with the extremely patient help of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) undercover agents, who had gotten wind of them after they had gone around talking with loose lips about their plans at local mosques and with friends, they were able to settle on a plan to bomb the British Columbian Parliament buildings with a pressure-cooker bomb loaded with RCMP-supplied “C4,” which was actually just modeling clay. Throughout the whole process, they were most of the time distracted and off-track, and often forgot what the plan even was, though they eventually “succeeded” in building and placing the “bombs.”
The RCMP were trying to get a terrorism convinction. They recorded the whole thing, and very carefully tried not to directly influence Nuttall and Korody so as to avoid an entrapment ruling, though they definitely influenced them, and certainly did not try to talk them down. I reviewed all 170 hours (I think) of video evidence, and the legal instructions to the jury, and they were obviously guilty as charged of conspiracy to commit a terrorist act. Instructed not to consider the difficult matter of entrapment, but just to confirm the Crown’s view of the facts, the jury ruled the same.
But it was not that simple; the defence pleaded entrapment, and the trial dragged on for another year. More than a year. It only just resolved, and the judge ruled entrapment and let them go. I stopped paying attention once they were found guilty, so I don’t know the details of the entrapment ruling and release conditions. The Crown may appeal.
Two things are obvious to the casual, or more-than-casual observer: the cost of this whole mess, in terms of years of people’s lives, jury time, public attention, salaries, supplies, and so on, surely totaling over $10 million of cost to the Crown, is grossly out of proportion with what was actually necessary to solve whatever problem actually existed.
The police could not have simply done nothing. These people, dysfunctional as they were, were apparently planning to murder Canadians and disrupt the peace.
Perhaps they could have been talked down by a “moderate” imam, arrested on some smaller charge earlier, monitored until they did something more than talk, or some other half solution. Within the constraints of liberal Canadain society, it is hard to think of much else.
But none of those solutions would solve the problem, they would only patch the symptoms, leave society with a still substantial bill, and leave Nuttall and Korody to rot.
The real problem, as I see it, was that this man and woman had, by lack of competence and lack of support, fallen into a dark life path, lost all sense of higher meaning, cultural identity, and civic loyalty, and hit rock bottom. On the bottom, they reached for something that could provide these things again, and promise some salvation, strength, and righteousness. The bottom being a dark place, and the righteous elements of our own society being unwilling to reach into the muck to pull people out, they found something evil to grab on to: radical Islamic terrorism, as preached by radical imams, funded by Saudi oil money, and created by dysfunctional US foreign policy. Idle hands are the tools of the devil, they say, and this case was no different.
Nuttall and Korody were failed by modern liberal society: cut loose from the wisdom and pride of their ancestors, supplied with all the degeneracy they could consume in their vulnerable youth, allowed to fall into despair, funded by the state in their dysfunctional habits, supplied with evil ideology created by liberal globalist dysfunction, encouraged by the police to commit a crime, and wrung through a dysfunctional legal system, which, if this is any salvation, at least had the good sense to end it there.
I would wager that a society with pride and strength and dignity, instead of bland liberal bureaucratic malaise, would never have produced these broken individuals. But the Devil is insidious in his works, so some less wishful way to deal with the fallen is needed.
When grappling with the Devil in the sphere of civic affairs, there is exactly one man to consult on the matter, and his name is Thomas Carlyle. He has much insight to offer on many topics, and as luck has it, he has much to offer on this one:
Vagrant Lackalls, foolish most of you, criminal many of you, miserable all; the sight of you fills me with astonishment and despair. What to do with you I know not; long have I been meditating, and it is hard to tell. Here are some three millions of you, as I count: so many of you fallen sheer over into the abysses of open Beggary; and, fearful to think, every new unit that falls is loading so much more the chain that drags the others over. … What to do with you? The question, What to do with you? especially since the potato died, is like to break my heart! One thing, after much meditating, I have at last discovered, and now know for some time back: That you cannot be left to roam abroad in this unguided manner, stumbling over the precipices, … and ultimate descent to the devil; that this is not the plan; and that it never was, or could out of England have been supposed to be, much as I have prided myself upon it!
Work, was I saying? My indigent unguided friends, I should think some work might be discoverable for you. Enlist, stand drill; become, from a nomadic Banditti of Idleness, Soldiers of Industry! I will lead you to the Irish Bogs, to the vacant desolations of Connaught now falling into Cannibalism, to mistilled Connaught, to ditto Munster, Leinster, Ulster, I will lead you: … In the Three Kingdoms, or in the Forty Colonies, depend upon it, you shall be led to your work!
To each of you I will then say: Here is work for you; strike into it with manlike, soldier-like obedience and heartiness, according to the methods here prescribed, wages follow for you without difficulty; all manner of just remuneration, and at length emancipation itself follows. Refuse to strike into it; shirk the heavy labor, disobey the rules, I will admonish and endeavor to incite you; if in vain, I will flog you; if still in vain, I will at last shoot you, and make God’s Earth, and the forlorn hope in God’s Battle, free of you. Understand it, I advise you! The Organization of Labor…
You really can’t get the full effect without the full text, but I’m afraid there is not room for Carlyle’s full magnificence on this page. Do read it all.
To summarize, John Nuttall and Amanda Korody, among many others, had fallen from the path of life and light, into the service of the Devil, and it is the responsibility of the rest of us not to stand by idly, but to pull them forcibly and preemptively from that path of darkness, and put them to some productive and uplifting work.
For these particular poor souls, they could be put to work for example, not on planning to blow up Parliament with a fake bomb, but on building hiking trails in the glorious untamed British Columbian wilderness, or some other meaningful and uplifting task. Ask the mountaineering community, or indeed any other group, what needs doing, and far more productive and far less costly work could easily be found for them.
Canada has a tradition of such things; the trails built in the 1970s by the federally funded youth crews are still in use, and still appreciated by those of us who wander in the woods. Nuttall, and his co-degenerates, could have had a new network of hiking trails proudly to his name, guidance by righteous authority and hardworking comrades through the most vulnerable part of his life, and some skills and discipline for the future. Instead he was left in the muck to have a miserable life culminating in a multi-million dollar boondoggle.
The modern apologist, too weak to take up the burdensome responsibility of Carlyle’s solution, will whine of freedom, rights, consent, presumed innocence, free labor markets, and so on. But look at the outcome for these people, stare into the abyss of these people’s lives, at the actual results of these “principles,” and agree with me that this is what respecting human rights and freedoms looks like, but then claim that this is somehow also Justice. Tell me that you wouldn’t rather be drafted into Carlyle’s Soldiers of Industry, than to be allowed to be drafted instead into the Devil’s legions of chaos to destroy yourself and become a nuisance to society.
Everything that is not governed by realistic, righteous, and virtuous human judgement is governed by the Devil, and falls to ruin. The liberal idea of shoving off the burden of responsibility to the foolish and unsupported individual, to the ballot-box, and to mechanical judgement-free system or computation, is nothing but surrender to this ruin. It is the half-remedy to its own dysfunction, pushed by the alliance of the coward and the parasite. This is demonstrated clearly and starkly in this case, where no one can be blamed, but the outcome of human action is still chaotic dysfunction.
Whatever it is, this result is not Justice, and the apologist of modernity has little coherent to say to its defense. But Carlyle, as always, has much to say to its condemnation:
I say, it is the everlasting privilege of the foolish to be governed by the wise; to be guided in the right path by those who know it better than they. This is the first “right of man;” compared with which all other rights are as nothing, mere superfluities, corollaries which will follow of their own accord out of this; if they be not contradictions to this, and less than nothing! To the wise it is not a privilege; far other indeed. Doubtless, as bringing preservation to their country, it implies preservation of themselves withal; but intrinsically it is the harshest duty a wise man, if he be indeed wise, has laid to his hand. A duty which he would fain enough shirk; which accordingly, in these sad times of doubt and cowardly sloth, he has long everywhere been endeavoring to reduce to its minimum, and has in fact in most cases nearly escaped altogether. It is an ungoverned world; a world which we flatter ourselves will henceforth need no governing. On the dust of our heroic ancestors we too sit ballot-boxing, saying to one another, It is well, it is well! By inheritance of their noble struggles, we have been permitted to sit slothful so long. By noble toil, not by shallow laughter and vain talk, they made this English Existence from a savage forest into an arable inhabitable field for us; and we, idly dreaming it would grow spontaneous crops forever, find it now in a too questionable state; peremptorily requiring real labor and agriculture again. Real “agriculture” is not pleasant; much pleasanter to reap and winnow (with ballot-box or otherwise) than to plough!