Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism which has three major dimensions: economic, political and cultural.
* Economic fascism is based on a merger of big business and big government. In Canada: The Canadian government has proposed bill C-51 a far-reaching bill which criminalizes any act which threatens the ‘economic security’ of Canada. This potentially targets activists who oppose Canada’s fossil fuel industries among others.
* Political fascism includes an erosion of democracy, and a restriction of civil liberties. In Canada: After 9-11, the Canadian government, like the US government, passed a security bill which erased Habeas Corpus, and would allow authorities to summarily arrest without charges or counsel, and detain indefinitely and incommunicado anyone deemed a ‘terrorist’ (famous Canadian defense lawyer Rocco Gelati says this has identified Canada as a police state). The Canadian government has also brought in mass surveillance measures, diluted the Access To Information Act, stifled dissent in the House of Commons with omnibus bills and by shortening debate, and dramatically increased the military budget.
* Cultural fascism is based on a reaction against science, intellectualism, and diversity. In Canada: The Canadian government under Stephen Harper has consistently eliminated or starved for funds national science agencies whose job is was to inform the nation about scientific matters including environmental matters. It has also eliminated the valuable long-standing long-form census.
There are other examples of how the Canadian government has potentially embraced totalitarian fascism. There is no doubt that we will address these in our discussion on Wednesday.
Does the term ‘fascist’ apply to Canada?
Why was there so little serious opposition to the measures listed above? Was the media compliant?
Is terrorism a threat so large that we must endure these measures?
What oversights are in place in this country to protect civil liberties from being further eroded or eliminated?
Will the next election address these threats to Canadian democracy? Which political parties are addressing them?
Capt. Trevor Greene – “How The Harper Government Committed A Knowledge Massacre”: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/
Laurence W. Britt has identified 14 common threads of fascism: “Fascism Anyone?” (attached)
Bob Altemeyer, Assoc. Prof. Dept. of Psychology, Univ. of Manitoba: “The Authoritarians” is a long read, but contains a handy quiz on authoritarianism. (attached)
Henry Giroux, “The Specter of Authoritarianism and the Future of the Left: an Interview” lists the assaults on American civil liberties (most of which applies to the Canadian situation). http://truth-out.org/news/
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association speaks out against the abuses of the liberties of Canadians: http://ccla.org/our-work/in-
Another view: Valerie Deacon, “Love it or Hate it, Stephen Harper’s Government is Not Fascist” http://activehistory.ca/2014/
See you there! Bring a friend!