In episode 8 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 anyone craving a comprehensive historical perspective on socialism and social movements in Canada.
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 move through several historical periods of Canadian socialism, at times a competitor to liberalism, as laid out in another of Prof. McKay's influential papers, “For a New Kind of History: A Reconnaissance of 100 Years of Canadian Socialism.”