Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Is Harper running a Fascist government?

14 similarities between Harper's conservative government and known Fascist governments.

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 following information was posted on Facebook but I found that posts On Facebook sometimes get taken down or they do not receive a wide enough audience,so I am reposting here with the links to the original

Thanks to Shaun Fryer and to Michael Nabertfor compiling most of these links which saved me a ton of time.  Please, if you've got more links to share to back this up, share them in the comments. Every check mark on the fascism list brings our country closer to the equivalent of Mussolini’s Italy, Franco’s Spain, Suharto’s Indonesia, Pinochet’s Chile, and yes, even Hitler’s Germany. Even one is a problem. Buckle up, Canada.

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. 

Once you have read it, we can ask whether the Harper government demonstrates those indicators of fascism. It turns out there's more than a few damning examples. 

Powerful continuing Nationalism 
This link speaks for itself

Identifying Enemies/Scapegoats 
The term terrorism gets slung around a lot to justify all sorts of things

Rampant Sexism 
Mr Harper's government is surprisingly sexist. 

Obsession with National Security 
Canada's new National Security state
and here
It is in fact unsurprising that more than one journalist is connecting the dots on the national security state 
Here's extensive spying on activists
and on First Nations

Corporate Power is Protected 
Oddly enough, corporations don't seem to be struggling like ordinary Canadians in Harper's Canada. Why do you think that is?
and he is a cheerleader for new corporate super-rights that surpass and override those of citizens and indeed even the nation

Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts 
Arts? Seriously? Who cares about arts?
let's cut the arts
but the arts aren't nearly as much a target as intellectuals, science, and evidence. 
with cutbacks to research
And it's apparently not enough to suppress modern research, we are also destroying decades of previous research, to impoverish the entire scientific community with but only book burning, but effectively whole library burning
In fact, just watch this, it'll break your heart if you care about facts entering our decision making process at all

Rampant Cronyism and Corruption 
Ah yes, mustn't forget the rampant cronyism.
We're actually reaching for cronyism on an international scale

Disdain for Human Rights 
The Harper government has nothing but disdain for human rights.
FIrst nations rights violated here
Trying to keep human rights out of CETA
and more about how for Mr Harper, trade trumps human rights across the board

or how about the right to protest?
In fact, it's clear he really doesn't care for First Nations people at all

Supremacy of the Military 
Harper's military policy is decidedly imperialist
Here Harper refuses to sign an arms trade treaty to combat militarism out of control

Controlled Mass Media 
Here we've got taxpayers funding Harper's own version of 'journalism'
which is a little North Korean-esque in its obsessive message control
and taking control of the CBC

Religion and Government Intertwined 
Religion and politics together again in Canada 
You might even say he's on an evangelical mission,

Labour Power is Suppressed 
And here's an ongoing war on unions. 
more union bashing here
and clearly more to come
Obsession with Crime/Punishment 
So obsessed with crime and punishment that even Texas says "whoa, that's a bit much"
to the extent that we're making prisons unsafe
but if we point out that the evidence doesn't support the policy, there's no sanity on that front

Fraudulent Elections 
Not only did fraud absolutely take place, but the Harper government engaged in "trench warfare to prevent the case from coming to a hearing on its merits."
Feeding into a mindset that they have the right to whatever they can get away with

Some comments from Facebook

HS said Some of those are certainly a tad hyperbolic, but we're definitely stepping way too far in that direction.

MN said that "According to the CCPA Conservative corporate tax cuts have allowed corporations to hoard $572 billion -- over half a trillion dollars in taxpayer subsidized profits while increasingly shifting their workforce to precarious jobs."

HF said Same thing here in the U.S. There's a wave of fascism being spread around the world by the rich and corporations and gross inequality is also part of it.

DZ said This has a families ring to it

SH said And add to the list: colonial genocide. I don't really know if it's proper to say Harper's big on religion and government intertwining. I'll admit I don't know much to make a judgment, but whatever influence of religion in Canadian politics is certainly far less than what folks down south have to deal with it. Or at least, far less apparent.

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