*This post is a copy of Adirondacker’s call for an American village revival, with the photos, and some references, adapted to the Canadian context. While this is a continuation of the discussion on the Euro-Canadian rural strategy, I certainly do not mean to put down resistance efforts currently underway in the cities, as these are also highly valuable.*
“Canada’s dying hinterlands are depressing to some. To me, they appear to offer the greatest opportunities ever afforded a single generation in our nation’s history – if we move carefully and deliberately. The precipitous decline of the Canadian village has been one of the greatest blows to our culture to date. While many forces are responsible, what matters most today for young people is the ‘power vacuum’ created by this decline.
Village populations are aging, leaving, and having fewer children. Economic prospects are dim, tax bases are shrinking, and cultural traditions are being forgotten. Either an intrepid generation of young ‘village revivalists’ will intervene, or the towns will simply crumble.
This comes at a time when two sentiments are widely present in those under the age of 35: 1. A vague sense that a return to the ‘old ways’ is in order. 2. A dire need for genuinely affordable housing. Our ‘dying towns’ have an answer to both.
Presently, there are two ‘default’ fates for Canadian villages and towns: 1. Slow death and eventual abandonment (à la countryside in Japan, Italy) 2. Rapid buyout from financial interests + Work From Home migrants with no interest in assimilating into or reinvigorating local culture.
In general, which of these fates a village succumbs to tends to depend on the level of market interest they can generate in the real estate market. The more remote the town and unremarkable its landscape, the less likely it will be ‘bought up’.
Obscure and less scenic towns are even less interesting to investors and Work From Home migrants if they are overwhelmingly white and conservative. Such towns present fantastic opportunities for young white conservatives and traditionalists seeking to establish a ‘heartland’.
Developing an IRL (In Real Life) ‘heartland region’ for online Ring Wing and ‘trad’ communities should be a priority we are all striving for. We know progressives have their ‘Meccas’: Toronto, Victoria, Vancouver. A tremendous amount of their wider success originates from solid IRL community.
Initial establishment of a ‘Mecca’ seems to require a glut of cheap housing in order to usher in a first wave of settlement. These early adopters tend to be intrepid, adaptable, and overwhelmingly working class. For them, the poor areas they settle are their frontier.
The first wave establishes a golden era – they are cool, they are doing something new that speaks to a broader strain in the national subconscious. They make it easier for others to follow until a critical mass is built. From there, money and political clout follow. We can do the same. If we have a genuine desire to reinvigorate the traditional values of Canada or even Western culture at large, doing this would be one of the most strategic things we could do. ‘Dying towns’ offer many mutually beneficial possibilities on this front.
This can be done in a fashion that is not at all at odds with the culture of the locals. Where Covid Work From Home migrants and developers ignore or even detest the local culture, the natural impulse of the traditionalist is to respect it, learn it, and assimilate.”