Corruption and the Harper Government

You may have noticed a pattern in recent posts. I suddenly switch from discussion of the psycho-dynamics of the Late Modern soul to current events. It’s a kind of surfacing, a way of keeping my balance, for I am, by nature, a very solitary beast. Still, I need to maintain occasional contact with the events of the day, even when showing how they reflect the very psycho-dynamics we’ve been discussing.

Does the corruption spreading outwards from the Harper government concern anyone but Canadians? After all, there aren’t many Canadians who read The Chrysalis anyway. My only response to that is that the decline of political standards isn’t unique to Canada, but is also symptomatic of the decay of the Modern Era more generally. I have not noticed much difference at all between the corrupt and defective political practices of the Canadian government and those of any other government currently in power.

The recent spate of resignations of cabinet ministers and Conservative backbenchers from “Team Harper” seem to prove the case, even if few have been willing to say what needs to be said — the Harper government is corrupt, and the tentacles of corruption are extending and spreading outwards from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) itself, and not “reaching into” it, as the usual churnalistic cliche goes. But few have had the courage to say so except, perhaps, the journalist Andrew Coyne,

“Secretive, controlling, manipulative, crude, autocratic, vicious, unprincipled, untrustworthy, paranoid … Even by the standards of Canadian politics, it’s quite the performance. We’ve had some thuggish or dishonest governments in the past, even some corrupt ones, but never one quite so determined to arouse the public’s hostility, to so little apparent purpose. Their policy legacy may prove short-lived, but it will be hard to erase the stamp of the Nasty Party.”

(Phew! That’s a relief. I thought I was the only one who had noticed.)

A case of misplaced loyalties and obediences:  to whom or to what do Conservative Party members owe their loyalties? Is it to Mr. Harper? Or is it to the Conservative Party? Is it to Canada? Is it to their much ballyhooed (and usually faked) “principle”? Is it to truth, or is truth now “inconvenient”? The conservatives had best decide, because if Mr. Harper is allowed to sear his “brand” into — and impose the weight of his narcissism upon — the Conservative Party, then that Party will be out of power for a generation or longer because it will come to be known as the “Party of Stephen Harper” or “Team Harper” or, as Coyne calls it, “The Nasty Party” (and that sounds awful close to “Nazi Party” doesn’t it?).

The Conservative Party is due to have its Party Day and leadership review this fall. Conservatives had best decide by that time to whom or to what they owe their loyalties if they don’t owe it to the truth or to themselves. The tentacles of political corruption radiating out from the PMO are also reaching deep into the Conservative Party — the robocalls scandal, the Duffygate scandal, the black ops conducted against political opponents, contempt of Parliament, muzzling of public servants and assigning party “minders” to scientists to ensure they stay politically correct, intimidation of NGOs and environmental groups and attacks on free speech, (unless it’s conservative “free speech”), rule by propaganda and “perception management” (euphemistically called “managing the optics”), deceit and concealment disguised behind the rhetoric of “transparency & accountability”, “a culture of lying”, as Mr. Coyne calls it; attempts to subvert the checks and balances on the exercise of power; and now, today, suggestions of interference with a police investigation, and the revelation that the PMO is keeping an “enemies list” a la Richard Nixon.

Personally, I am no Conservative, and I especially despise so-called “new conservatism” as a perversion, a pretense of “revolutionary conservatism” that is nothing but a euphemism for reaction and a smokescreen for “reactionary” — another species of contemporary nihilism; a conservatism that conserves nothing at all. It isn’t even conservationist. The “new conservative” is an Orc through and through.

But I realise that any democracy needs to maintain a healthy conservatism — an intelligent conservatism — as a counter-balance for an excess of progressive or liberal zeal. Nonetheless, what we have today is neither. This so-called “new conservatism” is neither healthy nor is it the least intelligent. It is a diseased conservatism masquerading as a “principled conservatism” that it ain’t. Not a bit. That is mere rhetoric and empty sloganeering, even if it is, sadly, the effective propaganda of “managing the optics” and “controlling the message”. Canadian conservatism is infected, literally crown to root — leader to party base — with the rot of double-talk, double-think, and double-standards. It deserves to perish, actually, as its ideology is no more than a pastiche of self-contradictory dogmas designed to disguise its manifold hypocrisies, its degeneracy, its lack of integrity, and indeed, its complete absence of scruple or “principle”.

The “new conservatism” is basically the very thing it claims outwardly to despise, but which it inwardly is —  a “post-modern” conservatism, a pastiche and a facade of pretenses. And as such, it is itself an outgrowth — a cancerous outgrowth — of the culture of narcissism.

There. I feel much better already.

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4 responses to “Corruption and the Harper Government”

  1. Scott Preston says :

    Supplement: should be clear, I think that what Harper and his cronies are aiming for is a Conservative dictatorship, or, in the Newspeak of the day, to make the Conservative Party the “natural governing party of Canada”.

    But, in any case, all this is not unconnected with civil unrest in Canada and globally, too. Today’s Guardian has a very interesting interactive global “map”, prepared by some boys at the Pennsylvania State University, showing the global hotspots of current civil unrest. http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2013/jul/17/global-map-protests-2013

    I might suggest that this map is the shape of an incipient World Revolution, and that the real reason for the mass state surveillance, and the emergence of a transnational “oligarchic collectivism” called “international community”, is not especially to intercept terrorist threats, but to forestall and suppress this eruption of civil dissent against an oligarchic collectivism that disguises itself as “neo-liberalism”.

  2. abdul monem says :

    It is concepts and their applications. Unity precedes diversity. I enjoy your deciphering of events. Humanity is one ,their problems despite the place, the time and the people that reveal them are one. I do not see release in your posts but a testimony on the events of our world, that will be recorded in your personal book. Thank you.

  3. Scott Preston says :

    What I utterly loathe in the “new conservative”…

    Canadian Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has been rebuked by the Conservative Minister of Immigration, Jason Kenney, for speaking to the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Mr. Kenney, possibly “forgetting” that he himself has spoken to the ISNA, has also promptly expunged the historical record of his speech from his personal and Ministerial website, as reported by Maclean’s Magazine

    http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/07/18/jason-kenneys-speech-to-islamic-society-of-north-america-removed-from-government-and-personal-websites/

    Surely we aren’t indulging in expunging the official record? Surely a “Right Honourable” gentleman member of Parliament — and a “principled conservative” to boot — wouldn’t think of engaging in such duplicity? in such double-talk, double-think, and double-standards?

    ….Would he? Or have I simply failed to understand the meaning of the word “principled” in the New Conservative Newspeak?

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