The Harper Junta: From Bad to Worse
Canada is not immune to some of the uglier manifestations of the post-Enlightenment. As former readers of The Dark Age Blog know, I’ve never expressed an especial preference for one political ideology over another except as necessary to restore a socio-political equilibrium, being content to describe myself simply as a “counter-reactionary”. (In fact, passionately counter-reactionary). As a proponent of “integral politics” — ( that is to say, one who recognises some degree of use-value in all the formal political tools evolved through history, so painfully developed over the course of the Modern Era, for creating the Good Society, whether these tools be called liberal, conservative, socialist, or environmentalist) I have avoided hobbling myself by indulging in any strict adherence to a mere angular and narrow-minded nook-and-corner perspective that so often characterises the mentality of the vulgar ideologue or (what is equivalent) the politically oriented narcissist. Consequently, people who try to figure out my “political position” — the cliched term — often become frustrated with me.
But as you also may recall from The Dark Age Blog, too, I consider the present Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Stephen Harper, as close to being the Devil incarnate — and as much a thorough-going, self-involved narcissist — as any Prime Minister the Dominion of Canada has ever seen. Certainly he is the most reactionary, being one whose politics crosses the line of what is considered proper conduct in a democracy, and whose politics slides down the greasy pole into the cesspool of crypto-fascism.
He is also one of the most unpopular Canadian Prime Ministers of all time. In these times, however, that makes no difference. In these times, in Canada, a politician and his party can be assured of victory at the polls if it gains scarcely greater than 30% of the vote. This is a scandal. But the electorate is so fractured between the socialists, the liberals, the greens, the Quebec nationalists, and the (very much mis-named) “conservatives” that 30% of the vote now constitutes a plurality (though not a majority) sufficient to elevate even the likes of an Adolf Hitler to power (in 1932, the Nazis won over 37% of the popular vote, effectively consolidating their hold in that fractured nation over the liberal Weimar Republic, which they subsequently dissolved and replaced with a fascist dictatorship).
In other words, the German reactionaries came to power initially by largely constitutional means (along with a little violence and intimidation), and thereafter used quasi-constitutional instruments to subvert and destroy the constitutional state, establishing a dictatorship. Democracy, with its considerable shortcomings, is very fragile, and seizing control of state power in order to shape society to one’s preference is often far too tempting for the ambitious — and the weak. If you are more committed to your own political “perspective” than to the democracy (which means diversity) as a whole, then you are a political reactionary.
Now, describing the Harper Junta (the PMO or Prime Minister’s Office) as being cryto-fascist may seem like exaggeration on my part. But when even many self-declared conservatives have become alarmed by the direction in which a so-called (and mis-named) “Tory” government is moving, then it is necessary to conclude that “Canada’s new government” (as the present Conservative government likes to style itself) has crossed the boundary of what is considered acceptable conduct even to traditional conservatives. And the only boundary this might be, one that even traditional conservatives fear to cross, is into the wasteland of right-wing reactionary politics — the twilight zone called “fascism”.
I will point out, also, that even Josef Goebbels, Hitler’s chief appointed propagandist, could refer to the Nazi dictatorship and the politics of the pure ethnic state (der Volksstaat) as being “authentic democracy” (as opposed to “liberal democracy”) and that this was believed by many gullible and naive people as being the case.
There is a close relationship between the words “demos” and “demon”. (Plurality, thy name is Legion). And it was that relation that moved Nietzsche, after much reflection, to characterise democracy as “herd mentality”. And herd mentality is just what seems to be in vogue, at present, in much of current Canadian politics.
However, I will let you be the judge of whether the acts of the present Canadian government constitute the politics of the reactionary through the following links (even though this may be of more interest to Canadians than the majority of readers of The Chrysalis.)
Kelly McParland of even the conservative National Post: “Tory bodies are piling up” (the only parallel McParland doesn’t invoke here is the Nazi “Night of the Long Knives”, which purged the more naive “moderate” conservatives and socialists from the Nazi fold. But the continuing purge of even moderate conservatives and conservative appointees and progressives from the new Conservative Party of Canada by Stephen Harper means that this party has already crossed a line). The National Post, August 19, 2010.
Linda McQuaig: “Harper’s Foxy luncheon“. The Toronto Star, August 24 highlights the conspiratorial and secretive nature of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Harper’s reactionary politics.
Lawrence Martin: “Is Stephen Harper set to move against the CRTC?” The Globe and Mail, August 19, 2010. The PMO’s genteel version of subversion, or “coup from above” as it is sometimes called. This hasn’t disturbed (as it should have) many of the True Believers in the True (reactionary) Faith one bit.
Chantal Hébert: “Public servants find their voice; Harper MPs and Senators silent“. The toadyism and cowardice of the conservative MPs and the meekness of the Harper appointed conservative Senators (basically Harper’s window dressing). From The Toronto Star, August 20, 2010.
Neo-conservatism failed in the United States with the George Bush administration. But it seems some naive fools (Harper amongst them) believe — even more improbably — that it can succeed in Canada where it was a manifest and embarrassing failure elsewhere.
But, as I remarked in the earlier Dark Age Blog, Canada is almost always — invariably — 10 years behind everyone else in the world. There’s a word for that lag — “retarded”.