Now that the do nothing Budget for Canadians has been presented and the Fair Election Act is being rammed through Parliament, it is perhaps time for progressives to understand what they are really facing.
Now, no one is saying that Harper himself is a Fascist, but the word fascism has been bandied around a lot by people angry with Mr. Harper, so let's take a look at the 14 defining characteristics of fascism to see if they're truly relevant to the situation Canada finds itself in.
The original 14 points article started circulating during the 2004 election cycle in the US. The origin was an email chain letter that began circulating, attributed to one "Dr. Lawrence Britt, a political scientist," who had apparently written a 14-point article listing the defining characteristics of fascist regimes.
First let's address a few misconceptions. First of all, there is no "Dr. Lawrence Britt." The author of the 14-point fascism inventory, Laurence Britt, is a former corporate executive who wrote and published a dystopian novel about right-wing extremism, titled June 2004, during the height of the Lewinsky scandal. That is, to the best of my knowledge, his only published volume.
In the real June 2004, he achieved some level of fame with an op-ed published in the humanist magazine Free Inquiry. This op-ed was forwarded around from inbox to inbox, and readers eventually began putting a "Dr." in front of his name and referring to him as a political scientist who had compiled the fascism inventory independently of the Bush administration. He had not done so, and had never claimed to do so. The article was, and had always been intended to be, an argument against the Bush administration.
Does that mean that his article is invalid? Not at all. All of the 14 points he identifies can potentially threaten our civil liberties, and they are all points that Canada has in common with the twentieth century's most frightening fascist regimes. The trouble is that they also point out that the Canada has many traits that are common with many non-fascist regimes, and in some cases represent longstanding elements of Canadian. political culture. Here is the link to the 14 points. http://www.rense.com/general37/char.htm
Powerful continuing Nationalism
Obsession with National Security
Corporate Power is Protected
Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Disdain for Human Rights
Supremacy of the Military
Controlled Mass Media
Religion and Government Intertwined
Labour Power is Suppressed
HS said Some of those are certainly a tad hyperbolic, but we're definitely stepping way too far in that direction.