Rather like those polygamous Mormon separatists who live right on the Utah-Arizona border and build their houses on skids so they can drag them just across the dividing line when the state police are coming to arrest them, Voltaire spent his last two decades on the French-Swiss border in the village of Ferney, near Geneva, just in case.
Canadian native Mark Steyn lives in a small American town, not far from the Canadian border. The wisdom of residing in a country with a constitutional protection for free speech (or should I say, the country?) was pointed out by his being called before Canada's Human Rights Commission to account for the crime of publishing an excerpt from his bestseller America Alone
in Maclean's, Canada's leading newsmagazine. Apparently, freedom of speech is not a human right in Canada.
The Canadian Islamic Council that filed the nuisance suit may not win against somebody as globally-connected as Steyn, but the lesson for anybody actually living in Canada is clear.
This abuse isn't as severe as what psychologist J.P. Rushton had to put up with a decade and a half ago in Canada -- he was under police investigation for over half a year. But, it is indicative of how diversity and civil liberties are increasingly in collision.
The future of the world may well look like the old Ottoman Empire writ large: multiculturalism on a remarkable scale, but public liberty close to non-existent -- it was simply too dangerous in such a diverse community.
In the short run, we may be able to slow down the arrival of the long run by organizing boycotts of tourism and conferences in countries, such as Canada, that are throttling free speech.