Dr. Dawg

Can it happen here?

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Harper gesture up.jpg

A serious question, not necessarily answered in the affirmative, although I’m leaning heavily that way.

Two stories caught my eye this morning. The first was a bitter reminiscence of life in a series of concentration camps (although we didn’t call them that) for Japanese-Canadians rounded up in 1942.

The second deals with yet another example of Stephen Harper’s profound contempt for Parliament and the rule of law.

The lesson of the first story is, for me, how quickly the “normal” can be disrupted, our country taking a sharp and nasty turn to the extreme racist Right. When it came to safety over liberty, not a second thought was given by government or populace—and it didn’t hurt that the property of these instant-pariah Canadians was sold at firesale prices to their white neighbours.

The proclamation of the War Emergency Measures Act by Pierre Trudeau is another example of how quickly the “normal” can be transformed. In a trice, the country was effectively placed under martial law, our civil liberties suspended by decree. The mayor of Vancouver tried to use the legislation to round up hippies. And most of us just watched, as Trudeau suggested we do.

The lesson of the second story is that we frogs in the pot are in big trouble in 2012. We can reasonably expect that at this point the burner will simply be turned up full and a lid secured to ensure that none escapes.

The corporate media attempt to placate and soothe us into sleep, as, one by one, its more prominent government mouthpieces journalists are elevated to the Senate. The lazy, shoddy, money-losing SunTV is a diversion for many of us in the blogosphere—rather than paying undue attention to the crazies, who have helped, it is true, to shift the Overton Window to the right, we should be paying attention to what’s going on before our glazed eyes.

Lawrence Martin is one journo who has stuck his neck bravely out. But he and others with the same message are pooh-poohed by legions of slavish, unoriginal hacks like Margaret Wente, whose case against our alarm is that Harper isn’t as bad as the late Kim Jong-il—good God, what a benchmark!

The Harper team, too, has virtually unlimited access to the corporate media to publish drivel like this. And of course the regime has the Sun chain on-side, Canada’s very own Völkischer Beobachter, which, inter alia, called for the mass murder of Tamil refugees to prevent them from landing in Canada.

Indeed, the lines between the government, the media, industry (e.g., the Alberta oil sands) and the military (Harper’s Canada as “warrior nation”) have become blurred to the point of practical extinction. The unions are the largest independent counter-force remaining, but have been hobbled to the point of helplessness by barrages of legislation. And a crescendo of gratuitous slurs against them by Conservative front-benchers indicate that union rights, too, are on the chopping-block.

Are we ready to talk “corporatism” yet?

This sort of thing, suitably dumbed and broken into shorter sentences, could be a run-of-the-mill editorial in the Sun:

Now liberalism is preparing to close the doors of its temples, deserted by the peoples who feel that the agnosticism it professed in the sphere of economics and the indifferentism of which it has given proof in the sphere of politics and morals, would lead the world to ruin in the future as they have done in the past.

This explains why all the political experiments of our day are anti-liberal, and it is supremely ridiculous to endeavor on this account to put them outside the pale of history, as though history were a preserve set aside for liberalism and its adepts; as though liberalism were the last word in civilization beyond which no one can go.

In Canada the “normal,” as noted, can pivot into the totalitarian in the blink of an eye. But what is new in the relatively short history of our country is the massive preparation that appears to be underway on all fronts to transmogrify Canada—nothing less than a Canadian-style Gleichschaltung.

My single New Year’s resolution? To fight like hell against it. And it should be yours, too.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on December 31, 2011 1:03 PM.

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