Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fascism Within

It's not hard to spot resurgent fascism. Hungary, Poland, Turkey, Israel, the United States, India among others. It's also struggling to get a toe hold elsewhere - Germany, France, the U.K., the Netherlands come to mind.

What about here in tolerant, gentle Canada? Do we have fascism taking hold here? Is it a threat?

Consider Canada in the context of the British experience. The Guardian's columnist, Owen Jones, asks "Who has fanned the flames of fascism?" and settles on his country's politicians and its newspapers.

They pour the petrol and then wonder why it burns. Fascism is on the rise in the west, and it is emboldened, legitimised and fuelled by “mainstream” politicians and newspapers. When we mourn a hero like Bernard Kenny – who courageously tried to stop a fascist terrorist murdering Jo Cox – we have to ask ourselves: who are those with power and influence who helped create the conditions in which racists and fascists breed?

“Cannot believe we’re seeing Nazi salutes in 21st century America,” tweets Nigel Farage about Charlottesville, dragging a can of petrol behind him. Perhaps next the chief executive of a fast-food company will express disbelief at levels of obesity; or a tobacco company will issue a press release spluttering about lung cancer deaths. Farage: the man who stood, arms outstretched, in front of a poster featuring dark-skinned refugees and the words “Breaking Point”. Farage: the man who expressed his “concern” at having Romanians move in next door, and made apocalyptic warnings of Romanians and Bulgarians flooding Britain. Farage: the man who cheered on the ascendancy of Donald Trump, a US president whose most fervent supporters are now triumphantly chanting “Heil Trump!” as they menace minorities and progressives.
...Across the western world a media and political elite scapegoats migrants for the crimes of the powerful, portrays Muslims as a homogeneous violent fifth column, and demonises opponents as unpatriotic saboteurs and internal enemies. Trump’s initial refusal to attribute blame to racists and fascists after a far-right terrorist attack – his subsequent coerced denunciation is worthless, and was followed by his retweet of a leading “alt-rightist” – underlines why those marching in Charlottesville see him as their leader.
And then the media report on the frothing racist and fascists of Charlottesville – and Britain, for that matter – like David Attenborough in a nature programme. Where did they come from? The truth is their hatred and bile are legitimised and echoed by media moguls and mainstream politicians alike. In this country, the rightwing Brexiteers portrayed immigrants as a morass of potential criminals, terrorists, rapists and murderers; in the aftermath of their repellent campaign, they portray critics and progressives as enemies of the people and saboteurs who need to be crushed.

Yes, racists and fascists are enabled and empowered by elites on both sides of the Atlantic; and yes, not just by their hatred, but by an economic order that generates needless misery and insecurity, which the bigoted can exploit.

They are the guilty men – the hatred, the chaos and the violence is on them. And as the racists and the fascists continue to march and unleash violent chaos, their enablers must be held accountable.

Is Canada immune to this sort of venom? Is it fomented and spread by our political caste and our corporate media cartel? Think Kelly Leitch. Think Omar Khadr and the opinion pages of our newspapers.  Think Levant and Rebel Media. The difference between Canada and so many other countries is that we have the benefit of so many examples where this contagion was dismissed or ignored and allowed to establish a toe hold. We don't have to go down that same path.


Owen Gray said...

We have been afraid to call fascism what it is, Mound. The Conservatives' Snitch Line was fascist. Donald Trump bellowing at his audiences to punch out some of his attendees was fascist.

The examples are all around us. And they must be named for what they are. This is no time for euphemism.

Jay Farquharson said...


An old (1947) infomercial/propaganda film/short about how the facists use/create divides in order to gain popularity and take power.

It's relevant still today.

Anonymous said...

Anyong...."Is Canada immune to this sort of venom?" It is very much alive and well in the province of Alberta. There are many Natzis from the WWI deceased now and WW2 relocated in Alberta. There is a certain element and it is coming out loud and clear in Alberta.

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes, Owen, I've been as bad as most sometimes in not speaking out against the Leitches and Levants in Canada. That has to stop.

The Mound of Sound said...

Jay, thanks a lot for that link. I watched the video and added it to this post.


The Mound of Sound said...

Anyong, we joke about Alberta being redneck but I wasn't aware of a Nazi presence. I used to know a fellow who headed the Simon Wiesenthal effort in Canada and he told me of a number of former SS officers who had been living for decades in Abbotsford, B.C.

Jay Farquharson said...

ARC Canada's been tracking them for a while,


I read them every time they post.

Others point them out from time to time.

I remember being a punker taking on the Skinheads back in the day,

They never went away, they would just get driven underground, metatastize into new "movements", like the militia's, resurface a decade later, only to get driven underground again.

What's different now, is the internet has allowed networking, new disguises, and a certain faction that to all intents and purposes, ( judgeing by the turn outs at "their" events), get's their "lutz" by playing at Nazi online.

Politicians of a certain stripe, and "conservative media" has been throwing out the dogwhistles to their base for a long time, with out getting "called" on it, and now, with one of their own in the alt-Reich House, the Nazi's feel (falsely), that they are safe to come out into the open once more.