Sunday, April 28, 2019

Why is the USA attacking Iran and Venezuela?

This is the English version of an interview I made for Kayhan news of Iran, on April 15, 2019. The interview was published in Persian.

My interview was made prior to the USA announcement of April 22, 2019, that it would enforce zero-export of Iranian oil with heavy penalties against any non-compliant nation.

My interview explains why the aggressive warring sanctions should be expected, from the consistent USA campaign for world dominance, and why the USA wants war in both Iran and Venezuela.

<< Overall, the USA will continue its vile wars of sanctions against the peoples of all independent nations that have energy resources — Iran, Syria, Russia, and Venezuela — in a bid to reserve profit from oil and gas for itself and the allies it controls. The USA will also do everything it can to limit the development of China. China is responding with Eurasian trade development, by developing its massive coal reserves, and by energy security agreements with free nations. >>

I explain that the drive to war follows a clear longstanding pattern, anchored in preventing development of independent countries and regions, by imposition of the US dollar as the world currency, rather than being primarily the result of partizan politics or the interests of allies (see interview with Iran's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif).

Here is the full unedited interview:

K:  What is the aim of America by designating IRGC as a terrorist group? What is Trump looking for by doing such an irrational international act?

DR:  The USA wants to control the Middle East because it wants to control both a high price of oil and who can benefit from selling oil; and gas, by extension.

Let us start at the beginning. The USA has been negotiating a dilemma since 1971 when it unilaterally cancelled the Bretton Woods trade agreement with its post-World-War-II allies and its controlled jurisdictions. The allies were developing too much. I explained this in my recent report entitled “Geo-Economics and Geo-Politics Drive Successive Eras of Predatory Globalization and Social Engineering”.

The dilemma, since 1971, is that on the one hand the USA must have high oil prices and force oil contracts to be signed in US dollars in order to secure the US dollar as the de facto world currency, its main financial instrument of global exploitation, whereas on the other hand, nations not under USA control can produce oil and gas and greatly benefit from the high price, thus driving their independence and development.

Development of sovereign nations outside of USA control inescapably leads to a multipolar world with balanced competing regional interests, rather than a world dominated by the USA and largely held in underdevelopment. The USA is desperate to delay the inevitable natural emergence of economic and military multipolarity. The USA is insecure, rationally fearful of revenge, and addicted to its power. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov states this in his characteristically pithy and diplomatic words as: “The United States has a fear of fair competition”.

High-price commodities other than oil and gas also serve to artificially maintain the US dollar as the world currency. These include the payments on forced loans made in US dollars, US military hardware sales imposed on its subservient allies, and opium (Afghanistan) and USA-patented pharmaceuticals. 

In this context, Iran threatens USA domination in two ways. First, Iran is the anchor of an axis of resistance against USA-Israeli domination in the region. Iran is a rare entirely sovereign and strong nation. Second, Iran produces oil, which can be used to fund its own sovereign security, its own popular development, and its defensive influence and ties with neighbouring countries Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. As such, Iran has been identified by the USA regime as the main threat against USA-Israeli domination of the Middle East. Iran is a focal point of opposition against USA hegemony, so USA aggression against Iran will not end until the USA experiences sufficient backlash, producing a more balanced world.

That is the aim of putting the IRGC on the USA list of terrorist organizations. The unprecedented move is part of a USA declared war of sanctions, aimed at destabilizing and weakening Iran, in order to create opportunities for political interference, terrorist attacks, and military strikes, to provoke a collapse. The targeting of Iran is a long-term goal of Republican administrations. This goal was rejected by the Democratic Obama administration as too risky. Democrats wanted “containment”, although Hilary Clinton is an extreme war hawk. Republicans want war.

In terms of partisan factions, war in the Middle East (or Venezuela) helps the Republican energy (shale oil and gas) and arms sectors. Whereas contained stability with USA domination helps the Democrat base of financiers (Wall Street). War in the Middle East also props up Israel by giving it an expanded role within the USA regime.

Overall, the USA will continue its vile wars of sanctions against the peoples of all independent nations that have energy resources — Iran, Syria, Russia, and Venezuela — in a bid to reserve profit from oil and gas for itself and the allies it controls. The USA will also do everything it can to limit the development of China. China is responding with Eurasian trade development, by developing its massive coal reserves, and by energy security agreements with free nations.

K:  What would be the security and intelligence consequences of America’s decision for the region?

DR:  The USA has become an unlawful rogue regime, and the illusion that it created in the United Nations now frustrates its intentions to intimidate and destabilize in order to delay the inevitable emergence of independent nations and regions.

The unlawful, vicious, and rogue USA behaviour is now clearly seen on many fronts: Economic and trade sanctions used as weapons of mass suffering, covert wars by supporting terrorists, such as in Syria, support for the genocidal war against Yemen, fomenting deadly instability in Ukraine, the recent cold-blooded murder of the nation of Libya, interference and direct war threats against Venezuela, deciding that it can use its courts to prosecute alleged crimes in foreign sovereign nations, in absentia, demanding arrests of citizens of foreign sovereign nations (Julian Assange, Meng Wanzhou), running torture camps (Guantanamo), declaring sovereignty over militarily occupied territories (Golan Heights), and so on.

The USA is the main global security threat at this time, without any close competitor. Naming the IRGC as a terrorist organization is the new norm in its outrageous behaviour. Imagine that: Unilaterally deciding that a national military organization, created to defend against the main rogue regime on the planet, is a “terrorist organization”.  The USA is asserting that those who defend themselves are terrorists.

This is an interesting development. It means that the USA is setting the precedent that a national military can be termed a terrorist organization. There is no basis in international law for such nonsense. But if such are the new rules, then surely the greatest terrorist organization at present, occupying entire continental regions, has to be the USA military and the CIA.

In other words, Trump’s irresponsible move puts USA occupiers and covert operatives at risk everywhere, of being detained and prosecuted as terrorists. That is why top USA intelligence and military officials, including General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, opposed the designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization.

The USA is in the throes of trying to slow the development of the free world. There will be more and more episodes of USA miscalculations. The designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization may turn out to be such a miscalculation. If so, it will not be the last.

K:  American intelligent services are blamed for murdering innocent people and covertly supporting terrorist groups, still they point to IRGC for terrorist acts while the entity has devoted itself to fighting terrorism. How does this paradox get answered in West?

DR:  My definition of stupidity is a chronic inability to perceive objectively, due to class immunity and subservience. The paradox (reality) is not perceived because of self-image-based allegiance to the USA regime. Therefore, there is no paradox, no perceived reality that could cause cognitive dissonance.

This explains why ordinary citizens do not actually oppose the USA regime’s domestic and foreign violence. The regime does everything to indoctrinate by effective propaganda, rather than allow individual thought. When propaganda and institutionalized indoctrination are not enough, then the USA regime jails its own citizens, at the highest incarceration rate in the world (almost 7 incarcerated citizens per 1000 population).

On the other hand, USA elite planners should be concerned about the paradox that you describe, because such incongruities produce vulnerability for the empire. An empire can topple very quickly by a cascade of reactions if it produces fertile ground for such reactions.

The USA has lost its ability to produce and promote great statesmen and has become a cauldron of often pathological special interests. At the same time, it pursues an arms race, and is itching to use nuclear weapons. The world needs to limit USA adventures and ambitions. This is the most urgent problem of our era. Thankfully, Russia, China, Iran, and others are highly mature nations, with strong institutions and internal incubation of thoughtful leaders.

K:  It is reported that the Pentagon severely disagrees with the Trump decision. What is the reason?

DR:  Yes, as I mentioned earlier, the Pentagon seems to be the voice of reason in this matter. Military men have strong classical educations, at military academies, and this education includes the societal conditions for national stability and successful military campaigns.

Wars are not won solely by technology. Advanced technology can be defeated in unpredictable ways. Furthermore, coercive systems are by nature unstable. I think the Pentagon often does everything that it can to inject components of “reality on the ground”.

Unfortunately, the Israel model is too often followed by the USA, both domestically and in its foreign projects. The Israel model is one of brutal occupation by overwhelming force, combined with a massive system to recruit, bribe and blackmail collaborators. This may or may not, in the end, achieve the desired genocidal outcome in Palestine, but it is not a model that realistically can be applied on the global scale, without major diplomatic concessions, in my opinion.

K:  Could this decision relate to the Israel election?

DR:  Of course, yes. Netanyahu publicly thanked Trump on twitter for declaring the IRGC a terrorist organization: “Thank you for accepting another important request of mine.” This would have given Netanyahu a boost of credibility in time to influence the Israeli election.  This would explain why the designation was done in such a rush by the Trump administration, according to insider accounts.

Geo-Economics and Geo-Politics Drive Successive Eras of Predatory Globalization and Social Engineering: Historical emergence of climate change, gender equity, and anti-racism as State doctrines

“Geo-Economics and Geo-Politics Drive Successive Eras of Predatory Globalization and Social Engineering: Historical emergence of climate change, gender equity, and anti-racism as State doctrines”,

by Denis G. Rancourt,

Ontario Civil Liberties Association, OCLA Report 2019-1, April 2019.


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The matters in dispute between the University of Ottawa and professor Denis Rancourt have been amicably resolved

Denis Rancourt in front of his office door at the University of Ottawa in 2006.

I'm happy to report that all the matters in dispute between the University of Ottawa and me have been amicably resolved, through voluntary mediation that occurred on January 16, 2019, with the help of expert mediator William Kaplan.

The terms of the agreement are confidential.

The protracted litigation started before I was dismissed from my Full Professorship on March 31, 2009. The most current aspects of the conflict were described by me in an article in the January 2019 issue of the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship's SAFS Newsletter (LINK).

I am happy with this development. I am thankful to my union, the Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa (APUO), for its continuous and unwavering support, and for the many students and friends who over the years signed petitions, wrote letters, attended hearings, followed the events, and publicly expressed their opinions. Thank you all very very much!

On the professional side, I am now going to more fully devote myself to my volunteer work as a researcher at the Ontario Civil Liberties Association (, to helping folks that way; and to my social theory explorations (author-page at Dissident Voice), plus some basic and environmental science. Follow my agitation on current issues on Facebook.

Check out my researcher page on Research Gate (LINK), and see my profile on Google Scholar (LINK).

[updated on 2019-03-31]

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Stability and Dynamics of Individual Personality in a Dominance Hierarchy

By Denis Rancourt

First published here:

In this article, I develop a physics model of the bimodal personality of the social animal. The model uses free-energy barrier-crossing theory and provides a new and testable paradigm of individual behaviour and perception in a dominance hierarchy.

A realistic theory of social organization must use a correct model of the individual. The said correct model must not only contain correct elements but it must also be sufficiently complete to be predictive and to produce observed social behaviour.

For example, it is correct to say that the individual is intrinsically driven to seek safety, resources and to reproduce, however actually expressed in society.  By “intrinsic” I mean “hard-wired” or “evolutionary” or “physiologically prescribed”.  But these correct biological characteristics of the individual are not sufficient by themselves to explain that dominance hierarchy is virtually always the organizational type in societies of social-animal species.

Nor do these correct characteristics of the individual explain the long-term stability of a given class-structured dominance hierarchy, or the phenomenon that many individuals in society can choose to forgo reproduction or even forgo striving to obtain optimal levels of safety and access to vital resources.

Having posited the internal drivers for safety, resources and reproduction, the next level of complexity of the model of the individual is to describe the individual’s intrinsic response function to external (i.e., societal or environmental) signals. Such signals include both positive and negative social feedback, and include both aggression and rewards from the dominance hierarchy.

Regarding the individual’s intrinsic response function, in a 2011 article I postulated that the strong causal relation between poor individual health and subjection to dominance-hierarchy stress was a biological reality that both enabled the formation of dominance hierarchy and provided a mechanism to cull burdensome individuals from the society.1

However, this was a linear response function that incorrectly does not admit any beneficial effect from stressor events, in any circumstances. It also did not make the important distinction that the “stress” that determines health is not an objective consequence of the external stressors but, instead, must be understood as the “experienced stress”. I described the important additional concepts of “experienced stress” and comparative “self-image” in 2014.2 These modulators move us towards the needed non-linearity of the response function, and in themselves explain many health outcomes.

Independently, it has been a major theoretical breakthrough, in the area of individual health, to explicitly posit that the individual’s intrinsic response function is not linear and has a “U” shape. This is scientist-reviewer Sapolsky’s “inverted-U” function.3 I have reviewed these advances in my critical assessment of cancer science.4  The inverted-U idea is that there is an optimum degree of stress, not too little (isolation) and not too great (overwhelming oppression), which maximizes individual health.

While the inverted-U curve of stress response is a useful unifying concept, it does not account for the capricious nature of experienced stress, which in turn is the actual determinant of health in a given individual.  The same objectively measured external stress can have opposite health effects in different individuals in the same social class, and opposite effects in the same individual at different times while remaining in the same social class, for example.

The above considerations, the overwhelming importance of dominance hierarchy as the main organizational principle in animal societies, and a review of the science of the monoamine neurotransmitter serotonin in relation to social status, aggression and dominance interactions led me to propose the simplification that “social animals have two modes of being”, which I explained in the following way:5
I propose that the animal has two modes of being, which are binary end-points on an attitudinal, self-image and behavioural psychological-state-scape.

I’m not saying that each individual is permanently in one or the other mode of being. Rather, I propose that the individual shifts and slides into one or the other mode depending on his immediate social circumstances and on his history (biological and metabolic memory) of being predominantly in one mode or the other.

The modes of being that I propose map onto the social dominance hierarchy, and are consistent with the roles of different individuals within the hierarchy.

Specifically, one mode is the mode (and strategy) adopted by the dominated individual. This mode is one where the individual seeks “fairness” and minimal aggressions in their environment. The individual seeks a “safe space” and has no actual design to displace dominants. The culture of individuals that coalesce into such a stratum of the hierarchy is one where “kindness” and “being a good person” are the highest social values that are encouraged and rewarded. Altruism and “goodiness” are elevated to a status meriting religious indulgences. Viciousness actuated by enforcers within the social stratum is turned towards violators of this code.

The other mode is the mode (and strategy) adopted by the individual who intends to be and to remain dominant. It is an outlook of waging and winning battles for dominance. This is the climber with a “killer’s instinct”, prepared to joust for relative advantage and eager to dominate.

These modes are distinct mental and physiological states of being. …
In the present article, I want to extend and formalize the proposal of two modes of being by casting it within the physics paradigm of thermally induced transitions between two free-energy minima of different depths. My intention is to optimally capture the biological, metabolic and social dimensions of the problem with a minimalist model that is sufficiently realistic to explain non-trivial social phenomena.

Within this new picture, the individual’s intrinsic response function (response to external signals), realistically depends on the state (or mode of being) that the individual temporarily occupies and on the landscape of possibilities for given expenditures of metabolic energy.

The single-variable “free-energy” function that I will draw has a y-axis labelled “E”, which is excess metabolic energy expenditure that the individual needs to use in changing their circumstances on the road to transitioning between modes of being.  “E” is analogous to the so-called free energy in physics and chemistry. However, it is excess energy expenditure (or effort) and is therefore on a per-unit-of-time basis for the individual. It is a rate of energy expenditure. It is an “excess” rate because there is always a basal metabolic rate of energy expenditure simply to sustain the life of the inactive individual (beating heart, etc.).

In chemistry, one could be looking at transitions between two bonding configurations of a molecule. In physics, one could be modelling transitions between two orientations of a supermoment on a magnetic iron-oxide nanoparticle. In all cases, the x-axis (or variable) in the “free-energy” picture is a quantity that represents the “state” of the system (molecule, nanoparticle, individual animal) at a given instant.

I label the x-axis “S”, for “state”. In the chemistry example, “S” is a parameter that captures the molecular configuration (a bond angle or an inter-atomic separation). In the physics example, “S” is a parameter that captures the magnetic state of the nanoparticle, such as the angular orientation of the supermoment relative to the ambient magnetic field.

In the case of the individual in a dominance hierarchy, “S” is defined to capture the bio-metabolic state of the individual. For example, we could posit that “S” is the concentration in the blood of a neurohormonal substance that determinatively modulates animal behaviour and perception, which in turn can be interpreted to map onto a “mode of being” or some intermediate transitional mode. Several researchers and scientist reviewers have suggested that serotonin is a candidate to be this substance, but the details of the candidate substance(s) or metabolic quantities do not alter my model.

The possibility of transitions controlled by a modulating substance and occuring in a bimodal state-scape was envisioned for animal behaviour in the landmark 1988 article of Kravitz:6
Such compounds, therefore, can influence large areas of the nervous system in a way that parallels the manner in which transmitters, acting through second messengers, alter the properties of individual nerve or muscle cells: they bring the system (a cell for a transmitter or a circuit for a hormone) from one stable state to a second new stable state that now shows a changed response to selective stimulation. This is done by the alteration or sensitization of a logical set of component pieces that together modify the output of the system.
To continue, here is my picture of the excess metabolic rate versus the state variable value (E-vs-S) function. In fact, five different E-vs-S functions are represented for five different individuals in a dominance hierarchy, subjected to five corresponding different degrees of perceived dominance signaling from their social environment:

The curves “1” to “5” for the five different individuals are labelled in order of increasing dominance oppression perceived by the individual. In most circumstances (2, 3 and 4), there are two troughs (labelled “L” for “loser” and “W” for “winner”) in the E-vs-S functions, separated by a barrier maximum labeled “B”.

Here, L and W correspond to the “two modes of being” described above. L is the dominated mode, whereas W is the dominant mode.

At small values of S, such as small blood concentrations of serotonin, say, the individual naturally settles into the L-mode simply by minimizing its rate of excess metabolic energy expenditure. Moderate expenditures of excess metabolic energy do not allow the individual to escape the L-mode, as it simply relaxes back down to minimal expenditure after the temporary exertion.

Similarly, at large values of S the individual naturally settles into the W-mode by minimizing its rate of excess metabolic energy expenditure. Moderate expenditures of excess metabolic energy do not bring the individual into the L-mode.

A winning fight, requiring expenditure of metabolic energy up to the barrier value (L to B) can allow an individual to cross over from the L-mode into the W-mode. Likewise, a losing fight that requires metabolic energy expenditure from W to B can push an individual out of the W-mode and into the L-mode.

Some individuals (curve-1 in the figure) cannot escape the W-mode that, for them, is the only stable mode. This shape of E-vs-S curve occurs for individuals that get constant re-enforcement of their high “dominant” societal status, and that are not subjected to threatening hierarchical oppression. An example would be a high-status government or industry leader that is always accompanied by a small army of ego-boosting sycophants.

Similarly, some individuals (curve-5 in the figure) cannot escape the L-mode that, for them, is the only stable mode. This shape of E-vs-S curve occurs for individuals that are constantly reminded of their low “dominanted” societal status, and that are subjected to threatening hierarchical oppression. An example would be a forced coal-mine worker or a prisoner of war in a forced-labour camp.

Importantly, however, the degree “dominance oppression” that determines the shape of the E-vs-S curve for a given individual is subjective rather than objective. It is the “perceived dominance signaling” from the individual’s environment. As noted above, the said signaling includes both positive and negative social feedback, and includes both aggression and rewards from the dominance hierarchy.

Therefore, a low-social-class individual can be in a stable W-mode although this will be rare, on a population basis at a given time, and so on. Put another way, on a time basis for a given individual, such a given low-social-class individual will, through the metabolic expenditures of interacting, spend most of their time in the L-mode but some of their time in the W-mode. And these outcomes are similar but inversed for high-social-class individuals.

The said “perceived dominance signaling” that determines the shape of the E-vs-S curve for a given individual plays a central role. Let’s simply call it “H”, for the sake of convenience. H is analogous to the ambient constant magnetic field experienced by the nanoparticle in our physics example, and it is analogous to a uniaxial stress (pressure) experienced by the molecule in our chemistry example.

In our case of an individual in a dominance hierarchy, H can be defined as H = fp.Mp − fn.Mn, where the first term is the product of the occurrence frequency (fp) of positive signals and the average magnitude (Mp) of a positive signal. The second term is the product of the occurrence frequency (fn) of negative signals and the average magnitude (Mn) of a negative signal. A signal is a social feedback, such as a facial expression or a look, or an interaction in the dominance hierarchy, including aggressions and rewards.

H has a value that is measured on a certain sensitivity or measurement time (ts) of the individual. The value of H is not sensitive to environmental changes that occur within times smaller than ts, and H may vary in time on timescales larger than ts. The sensitivity time, ts, is the integration time for establishing a long-term memory that modulates perception. For adult humans, it can be as short as days and as long as years. In other words, the frequencies (fp and fn) of signals in the above formula are determined on the time window ts, where fp and fn are necessarily (much) larger than 1/ts.

All this to say that social environmental changes occurring on a timescale larger than ts can change an individual’s E-vs-S curve that in turn determines both (a) the relative amount of time the individual spends in either the L-mode or the W-mode, and (b) the kinetics of the individual’s transitions between the L-mode and S-mode. See below.

The picture I have described so far gives a statistical-mechanics view, based on animal metabolism of a social animal in a dominance hierarchy, to explain an individual’s inertia regarding personality, perception and behavioural changes, and provides a model for an individual’s transitions between the dominated and dominant modes of being, as follows.

If we define a correct “temperature” of the system, then the model will give quantitative predictions for time spent in each mode and kinetics of transitions between modes.

By analogy with the systems in physics and chemistry to which free-energy barrier-crossing theory applies, we can define “temperature” as follows. Let the temperature, T, of an individual in a dominance hierarchy be the mean magnitude of the rate of spontaneous excess metabolic energy expenditure, which is self-generated by the individual (same units as E). This is the rate at which the individual expends metabolic energy to act in the world, beyond just being alive.

Key predictions follow. Let E(L) be the E-value at the bottom of the L-trough, E(W) be the E-value at the bottom of the W-trough, and E(B) be the E-value at the barrier maximum (see figure). And write the natural exponential function (of x) as “exp[x]”.

Then the average time, t(L), spent by the individual in the L-mode before transitioning to the W-mode is given by this simple formula:

t(L)  =  t(TLW)   exp[ (E(B) − E(L)) / T ]

where t(TLW) is the average time between temperature events (of average magnitude T) that constitute attempts to crossover into the W-mode.

The corresponding formula for the average residence time in the W-mode of being is:

t(W)  =  t(TWL)  exp[ (E(B) − E(W)) / T ]

where t(TWL) is the average time between temperature events (of average magnitude T) that constitute attempts to cause cross-over into the L-mode. Here, 1/t(TLW) and 1/t(TWL) are the so-called attempt frequencies of free-energy barrier-crossing theory.

The ratio of residence times is independent of E(B):

t(L)/t(W)  =  (t(TLW)/t(TWL))  exp[ (E(W) − E(L)) / T ]

The latter equation can be tested experimentally, since all the quantities are times and rates of energy expenditure that can be measured.

The above equations may be the first physics equations that predict average residence times of individuals in given L and W metabolic states (modes of being), and that describe the underlying statistical mechanics of animal transitions between the two modes of being.

My model predicts how an individual embedded in a class (characterized by “H”) within a dominance hierarchy is confined to react to their environment to adopt a mode of being. Is your E(L) larger or smaller than your E(W)…? Dominants have E(W) < E(L), whereas dominated individuals have E(L) < E(W), assuming t(TLW) = t(TWL). Arguably, the single number that best characterizes the main coarse features of the individual’s true personality is the dimensionless ratio E(L)/E(W), which largely results from the individual’s environment (H).

The model shows how the dominance hierarchy creates two kinds of individuals that predominantly reside either in the L or W (dominated or dominant) modes of being. In this way, the animal’s intrinsic bio-chemical response to environmental signals provides a foundational mechanism for creating a stable dominance hierarchy, irrespective of the individual health consequences of an individual’s mode of being.

Dominance hierarchies are highly successful from an evolutionary perspective, such that social organization and individual metabolic reaction mechanisms would have co-evolved to be inseparable.
For humans, therefore, while complex institutions, technology and resource extraction efficiency theoretically permit individual emancipation, nonetheless the human animal cannot escape its intrinsic socio-bio-metabolic nature. Dominance hierarchy rules.7,8
  1. A Theory of Chronic Pain – A social and evolutionary theory of human disease and chronic pain”, by Denis Rancourt, Dissident Voice, December 26, 2011. []
  2. Self-Image-Incongruence Theory of Individual Health”, by Denis Rancourt, Dissident Voice, October 26, 2014. []
  3. “Stress and the brain: individual variability and the inverted-U”, by R.M. Sapolsky, Nature Neuroscience, October 2015, vol. 18, no. 10, pages 1344-1346. And see: “The Influence of Social Hierarchy on Primate Health”, by R.M. Sapolsky, Science, 29 April 2005, vol. 308, pages 648-652. []
  4. Cancer Arises from Stress-induced Breakdown of Tissue Homeostasis. Part 1: Context of Cancer Research”, by Denis Rancourt, Dissident Voice, December 4, 2015. []
  5. Social Animals have Two Modes of Being”, by Denis Rancourt, Dissident Voice, July 2, 2018. []
  6. Hormonal Control of Behavior: Amines and the Biasing of Behavioral Output in Lobsters”, by Edward A. Kravitz, Science, 30 September 1988, vol. 241, pages 1775-1781. []
  7. Cause of USA Meltdown and Collapse of Civil Rights”, by Denis Rancourt, Dissident Voice, September 7, 2017. []
  8. Humanity against People. Nature of the maturing geographical and global Western class conflict of Trump and Macron”, by Denis Rancourt, Dissident Voice, December 16, 2018. []

Denis G. Rancourt is a former tenured full professor of physics at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He is a researcher for the Ontario Civil Liberties Association. He has published more than 100 articles in leading scientific journals, on physics and environmental science. He is the author of the book Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism. Read other articles by Denis.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Humanity against People

Gilets jaunes: Investment-predation globalism for the mobile urban elites versus rural nationalism for the sedentary and threatened middle-class

In the West, there is a global class conflict, decades in the making, which is a direct consequence of the globalization of investment predation. For the good of humankind, and for the good of the planet, and for social peace and stability, we should side with the deplorables.

by Denis Rancourt, PhD

First published at Dissident Voice:

Nature of the maturing geographical and global Western class conflict of Trump and Macron
Thanks to the Gilets jaunes in France, a few astute social theorists are finally being heard on YouTube, despite mainstream resistance and diversion. They are finding words more lucidly than could be achieved in the absence of such revolutionary upheaval.

I’m referring to the renowned French economic analyst and essayist Charles Gave who, in his near-twilight years, has broken rank with his class in order to impart a penetrating and devastating analysis of the current French melt-down, based on the original work of French social geographer and author Christophe Guilluy.1

Guilluy has been describing an emerging Gilets jaunes backlash for some fifteen years, through his analysis of the class structure, and its geographical, demographic and ideological basis, in France; which is virtually identical in most Western nations, certainly the UK, Canada, the USA and many more.2

Basically, what was a relatively stable, balanced and integrated post-second-world-war working-class / middle-class / professional-class / managerial-class societal structure, has, over the course of several decades, and accelerated by the fall of the Soviet Union, devolved into three classes separated by large geographical, wage, ideological and mobility gaps.

The dominant class is comprised of the “bobos” (“bourgeois-bohème”). This is the highly-paid professional class of financial managers, media pundits, politicians, corporate lawyers, institutional professionals, governance civil servants, and so-on. They are urban, and espouse humanistic global “values” such as “free trade”, “human rights”, climate concerns, immigration justice, and so on.

The recently manufactured underclass is comprised of the imported immigrants that serve the bobos. They are restaurant workers, parking attendants, child-care workers, cleaners, cab drivers, food producers, and so on. They are malleable and obedient, as they benefit from First World amenities. They generally live in the urban-satellite suburbs and are provided with efficient mass-transportation to work, and so on. They are kept in-line and policed as needed.

The third class are the “deplorables”.3 They live outside of the large urban centres, in rural France, USA, UK… They are Trump, Le Pen, Brexit, the Gilets jaunes… They were the white factory workers, farmers, loggers, miners, industrial plant workers… who have largely been made redundant by the globalization that is managed by the bobos, always to the great and increasing benefit of the bobos, of course.

As such, the societal structure has evolved towards two camps: Those who are mobile and could live the same life anywhere, and those who want to live their lives where they are; those who share grandiose global values and those who struggle to stay at the same level.

The bobos run the show and see little utility in the rural remnants of the former society; a “remnant” that comprises half of the national population and is fiercely proud and nationalistic, while being imposed “values” that are out of sync with their daily concerns.

The transformation, especially since the early 1990s, has been spectacular. Executive salaries have skyrocketed. Professional salaries have increased disproportionately. Taxing of the ultra-rich has been eliminated. “Democracy” has been mechanized, with virtual impossibility of grassroots representation. Globalization logic is the new mantra, and protectionism is made to sound Neanderthal.

National sovereignty has been eliminated wherever possible. Sanitized globalist doctrine is infused everywhere: climate alarmism, generic anti-racism, generic gender equity, generic human rights, political correctness of language and attitudes… Meanwhile, actual genocidal military campaigns of economic blockades (“sanctions”), regime change, conquest, and nation destruction are the main drivers of the whole system. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Venezuela, Palestine… to name just the most recent and ongoing trillion-dollar mass-murder and plunder projects.

Language is one of the strongest indicators of the new social-structure’s pathology. George Orwell could not write his novel today because it would be perceived as a second-rate current affairs report. Forced speech has reached epidemic proportions. Its importance cannot be over-stated. With virtuous regulated language comes the instant ability to recognize those who stand out and must be eliminated.

The conflict clearly opposes two distinct ideologies: Globalism and continued economic elitism versus nationalism and reconstruction of rural communities.  The elitist “Left” has been globalist and reckless. The rural Right wants to preserve place and home.  The battle is not capitalism versus socialism.  The battle is between re-establishing class balance within national boundaries versus continued and accelerating global class exploitation, carbon taxes and all.4

Both sides have much to lose, and the bobos can manipulate the two underclasses to oppose each other rather than cooperate to force restructuring. Will Western societies completely become managed serfdoms and parallel favelas?  Or will a more egalitarian and stable structure be imposed by the deplorables?

Theoretical physics studies of the stability of dominance hierarchies are relevant and provide a guide for the macroscopic approach that would newly stabilize society. From his PhD research, Joseph Hickey writes:5
The model thus suggests that the violence of societal interactions (δ) and the degree of authoritarianism (α) in the society must be kept in check in order for the society to retain its structure over long periods of time and not degrade into a totalitarian state. As either of these features of inter-individual interactions is increased the inequality of the society increases. When the level of inequality becomes large enough that the society nears the transition into runaway deterioration of its class structure, the society may be required to reduce one or both of the parameters in order to retain a viable structure. Analysts have suggested that several recent major political events, including Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, are best understood as backlashes against increasing societal inequality. According to the model, for such backlashes to have a stabilizing effect on the social hierarchy, they must result in decreases in the violence of societal interactions, the degree of authoritarianism in the society, or both.
The enabling institutional mechanisms that accompany the said “degradation into a totalitarian state” of gap-divided classes were described by me here.6
  1. Gilets Jaunes : Vers une Guerre Civile ?”, interview, YouTube channel Planetes360, uploaded December 12, 2018. []
  2. France is deeply fractured. Gilets jaunes are just a symptom”, by Christophe Guilluy, The Guardian, December 2, 2018. []
  3. Clinton: Half of Trump supporters ‘basket of deplorables‘”, BBC News, September 10, 2016. []
  4. Most Oil Sector Emissions Will Be Exempt From Federal Carbon Pricing: Report”, by Canadian Press, Huffpost Business, updated December 11, 2018. []
  5. How Societies Form and Change”, by Joseph Hickey, Dissident Voice, December 26, 2017. []
  6. Cause of USA Meltdown and Collapse of Civil Rights”, by Denis Rancourt, Dissident Voice, September 7, 2017.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Social Animals have Two Modes of Being

By Denis Rancourt, PhD

This article was first published on Dissident Voice:

I want to describe what I think is a fundamental truth about the individual bio-psychology of social animals, including humans.

Setting for the model

The setting for my model is arguably the greatest current scientific revolution: The formal realization and empirical demonstration that virtually all of social behaviour and individual psychology is encased in the evolutionary, biological and metabolic reality of dominance hierarchy.

For example, see Sapolsky’s influential 2005 review of primate studies [1], and my critical review of medicine [2]. The metabolism of the monoamine neurotransmitter serotonin and the associated evolutionary biology is now an established area of science [3][4][5][6]. In my opinion, the said area of science, although far from complete, constitutes a foundational building block of the new tectonic-plate theory of social science, whether social scientists are aware of it yet or not. And it has started to infuse the popular culture [7].

This knowledge implies that the metabolic biochemistry of dominance locks us in. No socialism theory that presumes altruistic cooperation as its organizing principle can ever work. Non-hierarchical anarchism and its libertarian cousin are useful conceptual end-points that can never be sustainably achieved. The best we can do is to have a responsive and optimally (evolutionarily) beneficial dominance hierarchy that is actively prevented from exercising pathological excess [8].

The model

In this setting, I propose that the animal has two modes of being, which are binary end-points on an attitudinal, self-image and behavioural psychological-state-scape.

I’m not saying that each individual is permanently in one or the other mode of being. Rather, I propose that the individual shifts and slides into one or the other mode depending on his immediate social circumstances and on his history (biological and metabolic memory) of being predominantly in one mode or the other.

The modes of being that I propose map onto the social dominance hierarchy, and are consistent with the roles of different individuals within the hierarchy.

Specifically, one mode is the mode (and strategy) adopted by the dominated individual. This mode is one were the individual seeks “fairness” and minimal aggressions in their environment. The individual seeks a “safe space” and has no actual design to displace dominants. The culture of individuals that coalesce into such a stratum of the hierarchy is one where “kindness” and “being a good person” are the highest social values that are encouraged and rewarded. Altruism and “goodiness” are elevated to a status meriting religious indulgences. Viciousness actuated by enforcers within the social stratum is turned towards violators of this code.

The other mode is the mode (and strategy) adopted by the individual who intends to be and to remain dominant. It is an outlook of waging and winning battles for dominance. This is the climber with a “killer’s instinct”, prepared to joust for relative advantage and eager to dominate.

These modes are distinct mental and physiological states of being. They occur inside the individual and cannot always be ascertained reliably from outside indicators. For example, climbers in a corporate or government office hierarchy may achieve success by “kissing ass” rather than by confronting superiors. Advancement in these institutions may arise from actuation of the goodiness mode rather than the competitive mode, or competition within an office level may be the selector used by superiors. Anything is possible in a given corporate enterprise, in terms of utilization of intrinsic human behaviours.

The two distinct modes are real regarding the individual’s experience and bodily biochemistry, in the circumstances, rather than ascertainable from superficial outside features such as house or car or ring size.

The psychological-state-scape is binary in the two modes because the metabolic physiologies of the two modes are incompatible. The holistic state of being cannot be both simultaneously. Different blood biochemistries and tissue and organ responses are in play. It’s one or the other: Vying for dominance or accepting subservience. Fight or flight. Challenge or hide. More than a billion years of evolution ain’t goin anywhere.

“Bosses” will find each other to fight. Subservient individuals, subservient in the circumstances, will lower their eyes, group to the edges of the room and exchange vital information about who is “a nice person”.

Application to politics

The establishment bosses that run the Left, more than the Right, exploit the population of individuals that are most easily corralled into the goodiness mode and seduced by goodiness promises.

The boss propaganda (mainstream media, institutional messaging) is clearly designed in this direction: human rights, minority rights, environmentalism, democracy, participation… whereas the state continues its vicious wars of dominance world-wide and its violent apartheid of aboriginal and low economic classes and of non-violent Criminal Code offenders.

It is a textbook illustration. Extreme social justice warriorism and safe-space obsessionism are, in my opinion, pathological and predictable outcomes of unchecked exploitation by those who ride the Left.

As a backlash against the overly successful establishment Left propaganda and institutional capture, individuals who are inhabited by the competition mode react in revolt by violating the goodiness rules of expression and behaviour, causing generalized and amplified outrage. They break the taboos, express racism, use the N-word, graffiti swastikas, speak their minds, and trigger and troll the masses.

The establishment bosses that run the Right have not been keen to use this relatively unmanageable population and have been only tentative in exploring how to use it. Trump changed that. There is no denying that Trump unsettled traditional Republican forces.

This does not mean that all Right-thinking voters are competition-mode individuals, not by any stretch. Most Right-thinking voters are conservatives who seek the “safe space” of traditional family and religious values. They are horrified at the prospect of an eroded institutional framework that could threaten this safe space and they seek the good-person representatives that would protect them.

The establishment bosses that exploit both the Left and the Right understand that goodiness is a winning electoral formula, since most individuals in a dominance hierarchy are goodiness-mode followers rather that competition-mode individuals who vie for higher echelons. This is the nature of a stable dominance hierarchy: Most people just want to be oppressed fairly, to know their place and to be safe. In a so-called “democracy”, since show elections are required, the only question is the flavour of the goodiness.

A problem arises when the flavours of goodiness are so different that the other side is threatened when institutions are captured. Then many will feel they are in danger and the conditions are ripe for competition-mode redress.

In these circumstances, the Right voters shift to seeking and supporting competition-mode leaders that will fight back on their behalf, and more of the Right adopts a competition-style stance. It could have gone the other way, like it did for decades. The Right could have accepted defeat, accepted the humiliation of being “bad persons”, and sought refuge in their own spaces. The Right could have stayed in a social state with most of its individuals in the goodiness mode being pampered by goodiness-mode representatives promising elusive “justice”.

In Canada, I think Preston Manning was a goodiness organizer (reform by rational argument) whereas Harper organized a coup and dismantled as much Left capture of institutions as possible. The Left stuck with goodiness and turned it on, screaming about the Right’s demolition of “human rights”, “environmental protection” and “democracy”. We got Trudeau. Now the Right is rightly pointing to some of the pathologies of going too far with Left goodiness, and its managers are exaggerating the institutional threats against family and against human nature itself, no less.

So goes the seesaw of political manipulation, perfectly in resonance with the intrinsic modes of being of the individual. The individuals naturally self-organize and are corralled into protective communities, both within and between strata of the hierarchy.

Application to religion

Institutionally organized religion is a perfected system of goodiness rules, which stabilizes and strengthens a dominance hierarchy. Even environmentalism can be understood as such a state religion [9].

Religious belief and practice, for most people, is deeply ingrained in the goodiness mode of being of the individual, as should be obvious from my above description. The rituals of recycling, healthy lifestyle practice, donations to The United Way and so on, while they have no positive effect on population health, systemic negative class bias or “the planet”, nurture and solidify a prolonged and robust adoption by the individual of the goodiness mode of being.

As long as a majority of citizens reside in the goodiness mode of being, the dominance hierarchy cannot be challenge and major displacements will not occur. Public peace will prevail.

Of course religious seminal texts, nowadays including much of the so-called scientific literature, are more complex than state propaganda and can be used, as needed or desired, to incite individuals into the competitive mode of being, into the confrontational state, to be manipulated by political organizations.

This is actively seen today in Zionist Israel with Torah and holocaust scholarship, where the texts are used to incite and rationalize genocidal displacement, confinement and suppression of the native population. Interestingly, hard science (genetics) has established that white European Jews that have always run the modern state of Israel do not have a relevant ancestry that originated in Palestine.[10] If science mattered.

Conclusion and verification

It is in our animal and human nature — inherited on our evolutionary path — to occupy either the goodiness or competitive modes of being, which represent biochemical and physiological states of either accepting or challenging the dominance of others.

The reality of my model of individual modes of being can be tested (experienced) by experimentation with LSD, which alters serotonin metabolism.[11] A common description of mild LSD experiences is that the subject is able to escape their persona and become conscious of their identity programing and conscious of the identity or motivational programming of others.[12] Dominance hierarchy is dissolved by blocking serotonin receptors on neurons. No wonder that’s illegal.


[1] “The Influence of Social Hierarchy on Primate Health”, by R.M. Sapolsky. Science, 29 April 2005, vol. 308, pages 648-652. DOI: 10.1126/science.1106477.

[2] “Cancer arises from stress-induced breakdown of tissue homeostasis”, by Denis Rancourt, Research Gate, December 2015, DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.1304.7129.

[3] “Serotonin, social status and aggression”, by Donald Edwards and Edward Kravitzt, 1997, Current Opinion in Neurobiology, vol. 7, pages 812-819.

[4] “Serotonin modulates behavioral reactions to unfairness”, by Molly J. Crockett et al., Science, 2008 June 27; 320(5884): 1739. doi:10.1126/science.1155577.

[5] “Serotonin selectively influences moral judgment and behavior through effects on harm aversion”, by Molly J. Crockett et al., PNAS, October 5, 2010, vol. 107, no. 40, 17433-17438.

[6] “Serotonin and Dominance”, by Anna Ziomkiewicz, January 2016, In: Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1440-1.

[7] “Jordan Peterson and the Threat of Working-class Intellectual and Attitudinal Liberation”, by Denis Rancourt, Dissident Voice, June 3, 2018.

[8] “Cause of USA Meltdown and Collapse of Civil Rights”, by Denis Rancourt, Dissident Voice, September 7, 2017.

[9] “The Climate Religion”, by Denis Rancourt, Dissident Voice, September 15, 2016.

[10] “A substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages”, by Marta D. Costa et al., Nature Communications, vol. 4, Article number: 2543 (2013).

[11] “Serotonin and Hallucinogens”, by GK Aghajanian and GJ Marek, Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 21, pages 16S–23S (1999).

[12] “Larry Hagman 'All Politicians Should Use LSD'”, interview of Larry Hagman, YouTube, November 24, 2012 upload by xBehindthetruthx.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Urban landowner rights versus zoning bylaw practice in Old Ottawa East by Denis Rancourt

This article was first published in the July 1, 2018 issue of the Ontario Landowners Association:

Basically, a small neighbourhood in Ottawa is being devastated by large three-storey multi-unit buildings being built next to family homes, sometimes encasing and isolating a given home or small cluster of homes. The general bylaw prohibits three-story buildings on the small lot sizes. The City’s Committee of Adjustment is allowing this abuse by improperly using a loop-hole in the law. The Committee has virtually always decided that erecting a different species of building onto too small a lot size constitutes a “minor variance” from the bylaw. On the contrary, the bylaw is intended to protect residents from exactly this type of de facto expropriation. ...

Here is the article:

I’m a volunteer researcher for the Ontario Civil Liberties Association ( and I have seen many non-stop government violations of individual rights in several arenas but recently I got a front-row seat at the violations of my own landowner rights.

I fought them and won. This is how I did it.

Landowner rights are two-sided: You have a right to use your property. And you have a right not to be subjected to undue nuisance from other landowner’s uses of their property. The latter is the so-called nuisance tort of common law.

In an urban or community environment, the municipality or city in addition is given statutory rights intended to optimize service provision and to minimize conflicting ambitions. The resulting creatures are called zoning bylaws, which are enforced by police powers.

Virtually all the problems arise at the boundaries between lots and between differently zoned areas, where owners on either side of the boundaries have different designs.

Badly zoned residential areas allow multiple and changing problem boundaries between lots, where constant impositions are forced on established residents by changing uses of lots. This can in-effect amount to forced expropriation out of one’s residential neighbourhood that historically had a definite character and lifestyle culture.

My own neighbourhood of Old Ottawa East (formerly Archville, which was incorporated as the village of Ottawa East in 1888 and in 1907 was amalgamated with the growing community of Ottawa) is particularly bad in this regard. The bylaw zoning allows both single-family dwellings to co-exist with rental multi-unit four-floor-level buildings. And it allows single-family dwellings to be demolished and replaced with such multi-unit buildings.

This is what that looks like for my neighbour at 39 Chestnut Avenue (the small white house):

My neighbour is in a wheelchair and her house was adapted for her at great expense. She is now suddenly surrounded by noisy air-conditioning units, shade-casting buildings, privacy-vitiating high windows, and many near-proximity noisy neighbours. She opposed the out-of-character developments but the Committee of Adjustment (“Committee”) and the Ontario Municipal Board (“Board”), in their infinite wisdom, decided that the developments were “minor variances” and were “desirable for the appropriate development”.

In my own recent case, my wonderful immediate neighbour died of cancer and her husband moved to a managed home. They owned two lots because the second was a large vegetable garden and a utility building. They supplied their extended family and many neighbours with tons of vegetables.

The developer who bought the two lots made applications to sever the lots into three and so-called “minor variance” applications to build a large two-unit three-story building and a large single-unit home. Full-lot-footprint affairs.

This would have had deleterious effects on my family’s enjoyment of our property.

It was the beginning of my crash course in the corrupt practice of “minor variances” in Ontario. I was to learn that the minor variance provision (s. 45(1)) of the Planning Act is unconstitutional, and that both the Committee and the Board most-often do not have jurisdiction to approve variances.

I also learned that Ontario is the only province in Canada whose bylaw-variance provision in its planning act sets a jurisdictional threshold as “minor variance”, without defining “minor” and without providing the established criteria of undue harm from compliance with the bylaw and absence of injury to neighbouring properties.

I talked to many people and decided, with my wife’s permission and support, to make full legal arguments against the applications. I’m not a lawyer but I have made constitutional arguments before in the courts.

The staff of the Committee and of the Board were professional, competent and helpful, a nice change compared to Ontario courts!

I was shocked by the Committee at its hearing of my challenge because it did things that no administrative tribunal in Canada is supposed to do:

    It expressly stated that it would not hear or receive any constitutional arguments whatsoever.
    It expressly stated that it would not hear or receive any challenge to its jurisdiction to decide the minor variance applications.

These statements by the Chair of the Committee, Helena Prockiw, are equivalent to deciding that the constitution and the Charter do not apply in a committee of adjustment hearing and that, unlike with the mere Supreme Court of Canada, the jurisdiction of the Committee cannot be challenged.

I expressed my dismay to no avail.

Only one out of five Committee members opposed the variance applications, even though a strict interim control bylaw was in force that was grossly violated, in addition to the general bylaw.

I then filed a notice of appeal to the Board. The developer hired two lawyers from a large law firm and lined up an expert witness. The partner at the firm in an email to me said: “We are of the preliminary view that your constitutional argument is not properly brought to the OMB, but should be the subject matter of a court Application. You may wish to research this before filing your notices.”

That is plain wrong and is echoed by City lawyers. So you have to be careful.

Then I filed my Notice of Constitutional Question, in view of the scheduled Board hearing, to the Attorney Generals (Ontario and Canada). When the Attorney General of Ontario’s counsel responded to me, there was no mention that “your constitutional argument is not properly brought to the OMB”, to the contrary.

My Notice of Constitutional Question prompted the City to request standing to intervene at the Board on the constitutional question. The Board in-effect granted this and I advised that I did not object.

Next I served and filed my full legal argument, with much of my evidence and a description of what my main expert witness would say. I also sent it to the Attorney Generals and to the City’s lawyer. The 53-page document is posted on the OCLA web site here:

It tells the full story in evidence and lays out the legal arguments.

Here are all my legal arguments, in notice of appeal format:

>>>>Unconstitutionality and Violation of Charter rights

    Section 45(1) of the Planning Act (henceforth, the Act) is unconstitutional because in-effect it infringes or denies the complainant’s s. 15(1) Charter right of equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination:

(a) The applicant’s common law property rights are kept intact, whereas the common law property rights (nuisance tort) of the complainant are prejudicially negated, disregarded and violated.

(b) The residents living near the applicant’s land are denied the full protection and benefit of the zoning bylaw whereas other residents are not.

    In the alternative, the complainant is discriminated against as an ordinary resident of a dwelling, acting in personal interest to protect his living environment, compared to a non-resident developer acting with a business interest.

    The said discrimination is established in the body of the decisions made by the Committee to grant the requested relief from the bylaws. It is quantitative and palpable, and is thus not saved by a s. 1 Oakes analysis. It is not prescribed by law nor demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

    The Committee refused to hear or consider the appellant’s constitutional argument. On the contrary, the Supreme Court has been clear that constitutional challenges should be heard by the administrative tribunal (hence the Committee, and now the Board): Cooper v. Canada, 1996 CanLII 152 (SCC), [1996] 3 S.C.R. 854.

>>>>Constitutional vagueness of the Planning Act

    Section 45(1) of the Act is unconstitutionally vague, in that it does not establish transparent boundaries for the domain of jurisdiction of the Committee to authorize variances from the provisions of the by-laws in effect (in this case the Interim Control Bylaw 2017-245 and the Zoning Bylaw 2008-250).

    The doctrine against vagueness in the laws is founded on two rationales: a law must provide fair notice to citizens and it must limit enforcement discretion, e.g.: R. v. Nova Scotia Pharmaceutical Society, [1992] 2 SCR 606, 1992 CanLII 72 (SCC).

    The doctrine against vagueness applies to all law, from the criminal code to regulatory enactments. Any provision of law, which does not satisfy both rationales of the doctrine against vagueness, is invalid and without force or effect.

>>>> Jurisdictional argument

    Section 45(1) of the Act provides conditional jurisdiction to the Committee and to the Board to authorize variance from provisions of bylaws enacted pursuant to the Act. The jurisdiction to authorize variance from bylaw provisions is limited to “minor” variances, which is a true jurisdictional question.

    The historical jurisprudence of allowing minor variances is to admit the difficulty of imposing codified bylaw conditions on the complexities of real land-use circumstances.

    Any jurisdictional question must be answered both objectively and correctly; it is not a matter of discretion; however the Act does not provide a definition of or a test for the jurisdictional threshold expressed as “minor”. Therefore s. 45(1) of the Act is unconstitutionally vague. In the alternative, if the impugned provision is not constitutionally vague (which is denied), then the meaning of “minor” must be taken from the common-law jurisprudence, not solely from Ontario case law that has developed in a statutory context in which a test for “minor” is not specified.

    On this basis, the Committee did not have the jurisdiction to substantially override the prohibitions of the Interim Control Bylaw 2017-245 passed by the elected Council, nor did it have the jurisdiction to override the general bylaw. The Board also does not have the jurisdiction to do so.

>>>> The variances are not desirable for appropriate development

    In the alternative, if s. 45(1) of the Planning Act is constitutional (which is denied) and if the Tribunal has jurisdiction (which is denied), then the applications should be denied because the applied-for variances are not desirable for the appropriate development of the lots:

    There are unacceptable and easily avoidable deleterious effects for the neighbours in this established community.
    There are unanswered and proven concerns of soil toxicity and public health, without a city plan to prevent health risk.

The following are some particulars in this regard. [And so on…]

Within hours, the applicant (developer) had abandoned all his applications and suggested that the hearing was not necessary.

He implemented a plan B and is now building two single-unit homes on the two original lots. He has been respectful, responsible and responsive to the community in the on-going building process.

I responded that I was willing to proceed with the constitutional questions, which I argued were not moot.

Within days, the Board released its formal order that the applications are denied for the reason that the applicant advised he would not make submissions. The matter of the appeal is closed.

However, the minor variance provision of the Planning Act remains unconstitutional and continues to be misused. It is unlawfully a planning instrument that gives the tribunals virtually unlimited discretion. Also, the general bylaw must be changed.

I’m helping neighbours and the community association to continue the battle, and some have adopted my legal arguments.

Recently, zoning law procedures have been overhauled in Ontario. The Board has been replaced by a “Local Planning Appeal Tribunal”. But, unfortunately, the “minor variance” statute provision and the legal culture in Ontario have not changed. Appeals of minor variance decisions are run essentially the same way as before. I will witness the procedural differences soon. I hope that things have not been made worst for ordinary landowners and residents.