The stepped-up authoritarian, anti-democratic manner Stephen Harper conducts himself since obtaining his Parliamentary majority nine months ago raises serious concerns about how far right he is planning to push the country in his effort to forever change the face of Canada.
Harper hates many things about Canada—most of all the moderate liberalism that a majority of people have preferred over the years. He has adopted a ‘take-no-prisoners’ attitude, rushing ahead with destructive plans never before discussed in public, as well as doubling cuts to government compared to what he said before the election.
Elected with the support of only 25 per cent of eligible voters, Harper nevertheless is running roughshod over the wishes and interests of the majority 75 per cent of Canadians.
So, just how extreme is Harper’s behaviour?
In view of Harper`s behaviour of late, I think it’s time to look at Britt’s document again.
But, before proceeding, I want to say that I don’t think Stephen Harper is a fascist. His ideology is neoliberalism, which favours domination of society by laissez-faire capitalism. Interestingly enough, neoliberalism and fascism share some common characteristics.
Why raise this? It is important for the public to be well informed about the beliefs and practices of our government. Democracy is more fragile than we might think. And there`s no ‘law’ that will prevent our democracy from being taken away from us.
Below in italics are slightly condensed versions of Britt’s 14 components of fascism. They are followed by quotes from journalists and other sources concerning Harper’s actions and beliefs.
At the end of this post, you can rate Harper’s performance.
1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes.
Lawrence Martin, iPolitics, December 2 2011: “To look now however is to see the dramatic degree to which the political culture is being reshaped. Patriotism pivots on pride in a resurrected military and morality-based missions.
Pride in country is now linked to our refurbished armed forces and what Harper sees as moral crusades. National security, law and order, tighter immigration standards and bumper-sticker sports populism are among the features of a new right-wing nationalism. It is an accelerating trend and many Canadians worry that Harper, the anti-Trudeau, is taking it too far… .
“The Glorification of the Military: This is the new cornerstone of Harper nationalism. He boasts proudly that Canada is now a warrior nation and uses every opportunity to salute the armed forces.
A recent report by the National Defence Department, in contrast to other years, says the Canadian identity should be shaped in good part by the military. It is 200 years since Canada was last invaded, but safeguarding Canada, says the prime minister, is his and foremost priority.”
2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.
The regimes viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.
Jack Etkin, The Bridge, B.C., March 2011: “Mr. Harper is very likely a war criminal. In Afghanistan, he has forced Canadian troops to give innocent civilians to the Afghan police to be tortured. That is a war crime, but it is never mentioned by the corporate media.”
Alex Neve, The Toronto Star, January 3, 2011: “At the end of the day, what transpired within the official summits was overshadowed by the staggering assault on freedom of expression that played out on the streets of Toronto.
It still seems impossible to imagine that more than 1,100 people were arrested over the weekend, the overwhelming majority of whom were involved in peaceful acts of protest or were just passing by.
Susan Riley, Ottawa Citizen, January 27, 2012: “He (Harper) was never going to downplay China’s human rights abuses in the name of the “almighty dollar,” until it became useful to ardently court China as a customer for tars and oil.”