Grant’s main arguments deal with the forces manipulating Canada’s destiny both in a North American perspective and in a global perspective. He argues that the nineteenth century ideological conflict between liberalism and conservatism still resonates today in the forces that are shaping Canada’s fortune. Liberalism, the ideology of the free market and American republicanism, is putting pressure on all nations and cultures to unify and homogenize into a global, universal state. Conservatism, on the other hand, is attempting to cling on to traditional values, languages, and cultures through nationalism, tribalism, and restraint. In Grant’s Canada of the 1960’s, those espousing a liberal viewpoint were generally accordant, either consciously or not, with the American continentalist ideology that is inconsistent with the survival of Canada as an independent nation. Those who see themselves as conservative and nationalist generally ally themselves with the customs and ideology of the British conservative tradition espoused by the Fathers of Confederation in an earlier era.~ Excerpt from paper on George Grant’s Lament for a Nation

In the past, I have tended to regard the claims of “Canadian nationalism” to be simply ridiculous, but between my brief study on American Loyalism and my recent acquaintance with the 20th century Canadian political philosopher George Grant I am beginning to see how terribly mistaken this chauvinistic condescension towards Canada really is. If one imagines Canada to be simply the odd, social democratic neighbour to the north, then its continued cultural distinctiveness seems less meaningful, though not unimportant for all that. If, on the other hand, one imagines Canada as the refuge where the last serious American conservatives fled and built their vision of a free and successful society, then this would help account more fully for the distinctive characteristics of Canada and the European style of politics that might otherwise strike Americans as bizarre and frustrating. The important thing to note is that the persistence of Canadian nationalism is not, as the self-hating Canadians among the neocons might argue, a function of anti-Americanism as they mean it, but that its persistence is the natural and normal thing, while the universalist and homogenising tendencies in American history are the pernicious, bizarre and diseased ones.