HARDIN, Herschel (1936- )




Author Tags: Essentials 2010

"Read Hardin. You'll never be the same." -- Edmonton Journal

QUICK REFERENCE ENTRY:

In the 1960s, the likes of Ben Metcalfe and Robert Hunter could have their views regularly incorporated into the B.C. media. A half-century later, the two major Vancouver newspapers have been jointly owned, from outside B.C., for decades, and seldom threaten the status quo. The Fraser Institute has successfully infiltrated their editorial pages, preaching free enterprise. CKNW newscaster Bill Good sets the mainstream tone. An ex-sportscaster from Ontario handles the CBC Radio morning show for current affairs. Nobody rocks the boat. Nobody cares about heavy thinkers.

Herschel Hardin is a heavy thinker. Born in 1936 and raised in Vegreville, Alberta, Hardin studied philosophy and politics at Queen’s University and ran for the leadership of the federal NDP in the early 1990s—but his seriousness and brain power were next-to-ludicrous in an era of sound bites and photo-ops. A self-described “western-Canadian patriot” and polemicist, Hardin wrote Esker Mike and His Wife, Agiluk (1973), a theatrical satire about Inuit life and white society, and The Great Wave of Civilization (1976), a musical with composer John Gray that reveals how the Blackfoot Confederacy was destroyed. His best-known work, A Nation Unaware: The Canadian Economic Culture (1974), examines 200 years of Canadian economics. A Nation Unaware was described by Allan Fotheringham as “the most under-rated book published in Canada in this decade.”

Hardin’s Closed Circuits: The Sellout of Canadian Television (1985) argues on behalf of public broadcasting and reveals how the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has failed Canadians in its mandate to ensure broadcasting in Canada is “predominantly Canadian in character and ownership.” The New Bureaucracy: Waste and Folly in the Private Sector (1992) shows that the private sector is not necessarily more efficient than the public sector—contrary to propaganda that is strewn throughout modern media. Hardin catalogues countless corporate excesses and heaps scorn on the advertising industry. “We have to demythologize the private sector,” he says. The New Bureaucracy is a populist version of Hardin’s The Privatization Putsch (1989) for the Institute for Research on Public Policy. With Working Dollars: The VanCity Story (1996), Hardin tried to reinvigorate the soul of an initially progressive financial institution that has increasingly veered towards conventional corporate behaviour.


FULL ENTRY:

Herschel Hardin of West Vancouver is one of Canada's most provocative, independent thinkers. As a self-described "western-Canadian patriot" and polemicist, he wrote Esker Mike and His Wife, Agiluk (Talonbooks, 1973), a theatrical satire about Inuit life and white society, and The Great Wave of Civilization (Talonbooks, 1976), a musical with composer John Gray that reveals how the Blackfoot Confederacy was destroyed.

A Nation Unaware: The Canadian Economic Culture (J.J. Douglas 1974) examined 200 years of Canadian economics and was described by Allan Fotheringham as "the most under-rated book published in Canada in this decade."

Closed Circuits: The Sellout of Canadian Television (D&M 1985) argues on behalf of public broadcasting and reveals how the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunicaitons Commission has failed Canadians in its mandate to ensure broadcasting in Canada is "predominantly Canadian in character and ownership."

The New Bureaucracy: Waste and Folly in the Private Sector (M&S, 1992) shows that the private sector is not necessarily more efficient than the public sector--contrary to propaganda that is strewn throughout modern media. In the book, Hardin catalogues countless corporate excesses and heaps scorn on the advertising industry. "We have to demythologize the private sector," he says. The New Bureaucracy is a populist version of Hardin's The Privatization Putsch (Halifax: Institute for Research on Public Policy, 1989). He a;so tried to reinvigorate the soul of a initially progressive, cooperative financial institutional has ncreasingly veered towards conventional corporate behaviour with Working Dollars: The VanCity Story (D&M 1996).

Born in 1936 and raised in Vegreville, Alberta, Hardin studied philosophy and politics at Queen's University and ran for the leadership of the federal NDP in the early 1990s.

[BCBW 2010] "Media"