Mutual accommodation is an alternative to extreme individual rights at the expense of society, and divisions amongst different groups. Paul Volcker thinks that North America can learn from Canada. William A. Macdonald writes:
> Mutual accommodation is the opposite of what is happening in the United States. This great nation is being undermined by extreme emphasis on individual rights at the expense of society, on divisions among different groups, and on the never-ending struggle between good and evil. The global order now faces serious risks of destabilization and disruption. Mutual accommodation looks more and more to be the crucial ingredient needed for the survival of the best of our world as we know it.
> There are three kinds of stories: the “how” (the manner of journey), the “where” (the journey’s destination), and the “what” (specific events that happen along the way). Mutual accommodation is a how story – a way of doing politics and social living. Science is another great how story – the whats (the discoveries) and the wheres (the specific investigation goals) take place within the science way of doing things. In the years since the Renaissance, science has changed the world by the way it approaches knowledge and technology. Freedom, human rights, the rule of law, and democracy have also changed the world.
> Mutual accommodation is not itself a memorable event, although it can make possible uniquely remarkable events. It has changed Canada. It has not yet changed the world. But Europe’s postwar successes have come from the continent’s growing capacity for mutual accommodation. Europe’s current risks stem from those places where it has fallen short. With the right will, however, mutual accommodation can change the world – just as freedom and science have changed everything.
"To be a global role model, Canada must realize what sets it apart" | William A. Macdonald | February 19, 2015 | Globe and Mail at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/to-be-a-global-role-model-canada-must-realize-what-sets-it-apart/article25041223/
Paul Volcker wrote:
> Today, we need some of the Canadian genius of mutual accommodation, of a shared order. The ability of North America – Mexico included – to work together in the common interest has been well demonstrated.
> Critically important. Can we not, for instance, extend that degree of harmony and stretch it across the Pacific? Can we reason together deal with the common concerns about climate change? And at the same time, can we work together to make sure that a radicalized Middle East does not become a destructive force economically or politically?
> These days, eight centuries after the signing of the Magna Carta, we are reminded that it is indeed dedication to the rule of law that provides the basis for strong and open democratic societies.
"The world needs more of Canada’s commitment to accommodation" (address at U. of Toronto convocation, June 5, 2015) | Paul Volcker | June 16, 2015 | Globe and Mail at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/the-world-needs-more-of-canadas-commitment-to-accommodation/article24976721/
The essay by Macdonald was a second in a series, started at "The magic of the Canadian ideal" | William A. Macdonald | June 10, 2015 at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/the-magic-of-the-canadian-ideal/article24894099/
The Canadian Studies program at Trent University will facilitate a conversation about the country, starting fall 2015. "Canadian Narrative Project: In Conversation about Canada" | June 9, 2015 at http://www.trentu.ca/newsevents/newsDetail.php?newsID=9787
A 30-page book "Canada: Still the Unknown Country" is downloadable from http://www.canadiandifference.ca/
(both in English and in French!)