Fascism And Contemporary Canada. Part VIII
Left Nationalism. Canadian Survival. And The Great Brainwash.
Written by Robin Mathews
Informed younger Canadians (under the age, say, of 50) are aware of the One Per Cent, are aware of “offshore” tax and banking havens hiding illicit funds in the trillions of dollars: free of taxes, and the law. Younger Canadians are aware of Canada being made a Pollution Centre of Tar Sands and Fracked Gas operations, of economic ‘agreements’ built to hand foreign corporations power over Canadian legislation ... and Canada’s wealth. They are aware of losing, for instance, CN Rail, once a Crown Corporation, now U.S.-owned and headquartered in Texas which has added – by staged corruption – the former B.C. Crown Corporation BC Rail.
Younger Canadians know that since (Lyin’) Brian Mulroney (1984-1993) Canada has increasingly signed over power to legislate for Canadians – signed it over to foreign (largely, so far) U.S. corporations that can sue (and do sue) the government of Canada for blocking “the right” of those corporations to make profit in Canada!
The old joke that Canada went from (British) colony to independent nation and back to being a (U.S.) colony is a bitter joke.
No more perfect colonial puppet exists than Stephen Harper who has inherited the sell-out posture of Brian Mulroney and perfected it in the direction of greater sleaze, dishonesty, and sell-out. Brian Mulroney’s lies were usually undertaken to hide alleged shady dealing made for his own personal advantage. Stephen Harper makes statements about his own dealings and government actions – in every direction - that turn out, repeatedly to be false. In the matter of falsehood, you might say that for Stephen Harper it’s nothing personal - the sky’s the limit.
Many informed younger Canadians still glue themselves to U.S. experts, U.S. gurus, U.S. issues, U.S. personalities, U.S. trivia. That is always what some colonials do – become hypnotized by the Imperial Centre. Many colonials disappear into a no-man’s-land which is neither Canada nor the U.S.A. Colonials in their own country can never become imperials – no matter how hard they try – because their own country: raped, bled, and ridiculous is there all around them.
In our time the only way to prevent the increase of colonialism is a move to the Left. There is no other direction available. That means change for the good can only be effected by careful, precise, staged removal of corporate capitalist power over Canada and Canadians. It means the end of – or the complete re-writing of - all economic agreements with other countries.
In 1993 prime minister (1993-2003) Jean Chretien vowed he would leave the Canada/U.S. Free Trade Agreement unless “dumping” and “subsidy” were defined and “observed” in the FTA. Just for instance (briefly) – U.S. branch plants in Canada often “subsidize” head office as a way of masking profit. The branch plants ‘subsidize’ head office by “buying” from head office all kinds of ‘permissions’ and patent leases, etc. – which make them seem hardly profitable (fewer taxes for Canadian use). As well, the gigantic military research budget in the hands of private corporations in the U.S.A. gives them enormous research and development advantages over Canada well beyond weapons production. U.S. taxpayers subsidize those corporations in the trillions of dollars. The U.S. refuses to discuss those (and dumping) advantages. That is so because they would be penalized richly and would owe Canada billions annually for what is called “unfair competition”.
Two years after his vow Chretien admitted defeat on the two points, and, incidentally, signed ratification of the enlarged North American Free Trade Agreement - “subsidy” and “dumping” were never defined (or mentioned again).
In China (briefly) “managed” currency rates provide gigantic subsidy to Chinese enterprise. In addition so-called sovereign (state-owned) enterprises employing non-union workers earning slave-labour-imposed wages add gigantic subsidy to China-produced products. Neither fact is mentioned in the latest economic agreements inked (but not yet ratified) with China.
Decolonization of Canada means many, many things. It means leaving ALL - or restructuring ALL - foreign economic agreements. It means restructuring the Bank of Canada as a supplier of credit for Canadians and for chartered banks. It means leaving NATO – a front for U.S. global military adventurism. It means a significant increase of Crown Corporations in Canada – the only major oil-producing nation in the world without a State-owned oil/energy corporation. If anything demonstrates Canada’s colonialism, it is that.
Between 1950 and the retreat of the Trudeau Liberals in the early 1980s, Left nationalism was slowly, slowly moving Canada towards independence. Not only were social insurance measures – medicare, pensions, union protections, and unemployment insurance created, but Canada was asserting some global independence. The NDP, for instance, was pushing hard to get Canada out of NATO.
The creation of PetroCanada gave Canada a watchdog in its own oilpatch (for the first time!). The viciously and unfairly aspersed National Energy Policy (approved of by 80% of Canadians – even in Alberta) was intended (a) to increase government revenues from fossil fuel exploitation in Canada, and (b) and to have Canadian enterprise and ordinary Canadians benefit from the Canadian resource. Alberta (fabulously rich in fossil fuels for the last fifty years) is, right now, in dangerous deficit and without a home-owned corporation, AND is among the lowest oil royalty structures (paid by foreign corporations) in the world.
Next to come in the early 1980s was a National Industrial Strategy, a way of re-industrializing Canada by using all its immense natural wealth with some general direction and purpose. The U.S. felt alarm. It threatened. Then the retreat happened. Jean Chretien, minister of Energy, Mines, and Resources, went to New York to announce Canada was open for business. Allan MacEachen, deputy prime minister, went to Washington to apologize and promise there would be no more independence moves. Pierre Trudeau took a walk in the snow … and left politics.
And then the U.S. ambassador in Ottawa, Paul Robinson, met (it was said, secretly) with “continentalist” interests to find a way to prevent Canada from ever again moving towards genuine independence. The instrument the group came up with was Free Trade. Shortly after, Ronald Reagan called for “a new constitution for North America”, a Free Trade agreement. The rest, as we say, is history ….
The result is that Canada has been moved Rightwards in its economy, political structure, and cultural integrity since at least the early 1980s, until today it may be called an incipient fascist state under the present Conservative government headed by Stephen Harper.
A fascist state, we remember, is one in which private corporations and governments work together to advance corporate interests by deregulation, privatization of public services, dramatic erasure of corporate taxes, destruction of unions and the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. The marriage of government and private corporations secretly (and then openly) employs police to prevent lawful assembly, free expression, and public meeting. The secret U.S. surveillance in Canada at the invitation of the Harper government during the G20 summit in 2010 and the gross misuse of police forces to terrify and brutalize freely assembling Canadians may be said to announce what is called here the incipient fascist state in Canada.
Anyone may take for granted that in a move Rightwards the main opposition forces will be subjected to attack, ridicule, disinformation, and harassment. In fact, the attacks reveal the obstacles to achieving a fascist state. In Canada – even in the ‘good days’ between 1945 and 1982 – attack was unrelenting upon the Left: socialism and social democracy. And attack never ceased against Canadian nationalism (even, ironically, from the brainwashed Left).
The reasons for the attack on nationalism are simple. Every liberation movement in the world begins with the real, visible oppression and injustice experienced by the population. Foreign/international theories of State reorganization come second. Liberation movements begin with the claim that “we, the people of this country” have the right to name our own leaders and to shape our own culture, economy and government. Liberators make perfectly reasonable “nationalist” claims – which threaten foreign interests controlling, exploiting, “governing” and profiting from supremacy in the country. And so “nationalism” is attacked tirelessly.
Even in the U.S.A., in 1776, when U.S. Capitalism was seizing power from British Capitalism, the language of “we, the people” was used – though the extermination of the native Indian people continued unabated and the employment of Black people as slaves actually increased after 1776. The English conservative and famous dictionary maker and writer, Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) saw the contradiction. “How is it”, he asked, “we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes.”
As in the more blatantly fascist states of Italy under Mussolini and Germany under Hitler nationalism in the U.S.A. was (and is) a drum beaten to support evil and repression.
It has continued until the U.S. use (especially) of global military oppression is undertaken under the hyper-nationalist (strangely) titled doctrine of “U.S. Exceptionalism” – which means the right of the U.S. to undertake any violation of human rights in order to maintain global supremacy. That doctrine was used early on to support the extermination of native peoples and the right to build a Capitalist economy on Black slavery.
The “nationalism” employed to oppress peoples should not be confused with the nationalism organically involved in every national liberation movement, empowering and directing the energies of liberation.
Canadian nationalism is almost more attacked than Socialism and Social Democracy in Canada. That is because nationalism is so potent a force in national liberation. Bafflingly, many (so-called) Left organizations in Canada join with U.S., Canadian, and global Capitalist interests to attack nationalism. U.S. union headquarters, for instance, profitting handsomely from Canadian union dues, do not want independent (read “nationalist”) Canadian unions, and so fight the concept.
Trotskyist organizations in Canada – twisting Leon Trotsky’s ideas out of recognition – always attack Canadian nationalism as parochial, as supporting the ruling class, and as leading inevitably to fascism. Some “Trot” organizations in Canada have even been accused of being quietly managed by the CIA.
As well, many soft-hearted “internationalists”, preaching the noble concept of global humanity, join hard-hearted Capitalists to scorn nationalism as a (misnamed) parochial and selfish concept.
But Left nationalists are different from many other kinds of nationalists. Left nationalists believe in the rights of other nations and their peoples. At home, Left nationalists are wiling to empower Crown Corporations, labour unions, other labour organizations. Left nationalists are willing to initiate programs of social care, to nationalize central activities in the economy (banks, energy enterprises, etc.) and to be open to possibilities of fuller socialism in the society.
Left nationalists may not be complete socialists, but they are wide open to programs of social ownership of the means of production and control of the economy. They are dramatically aware that unregulated Capitalism becomes Predator Capitalism and, finally, an intricate part of a brutal and repressive fascist state and system.
Canadian nationalism has been attacked at least as consistently as Left ideologies in Canada. The attacks have ALWAYS been to prevent Canadians from taking decisions and acting independently in the interest of Canada and Canadians. The U.S. government and U.S. capitalist interests have always attacked Canadian nationalism. U.S. unionism – built into Canadian labour organizations – has fought Canadian nationalism. Left political parties (including the NDP) have fought Canadian nationalism out of financial self-interest or because they believe “internationalist” rhetoric.
If Canada is to survive … and thrive as an independent, self-respecting nation, it will do so by the force of Left nationalism. The Great Brainwash against socialism and nationalism will have to be overcome.
As the thinkers of the Waffle Movement in the NDP of the 1960s and 1970’s pointed out Canada cannot have a reasonable measure of socialism until it gains more independence, because every capitalist and external force in Canada fights against the development of socialism. On the other hand, the country can’t have a significant degree of independence until it has enough socialism in place to hold off the capitalist forces sucking away Canadian independence. The two must be brought together – as a building force.
The move to liberate Canada must be guided by a Left nationalist force. That will be a force that is truly representative, that appeals to the care Canadians want taken of the environment and the whole population, the desire of Canadians for equality and justice (at home and abroad), their aspiration to have a well-developed and modern industrial and agricultural capacity, an effective educational system, and their simple desire to live in tranquil possession of their own lives and their country.
None of that is the case now with a Right, reactionary, incipient fascist government led by Stephen Harper in league with a Predator Capitalist system contemptuous of the Canadian people and their highest aspirations for the country. The answer to that suffocating force is a move to Left nationalism … and to a democratic political formation embodying the ideals of Left nationalism.
Written By Robin Mathews
In my heart and mind, can`t you feel it, I can.....Harperism is over, so how do you feel about Justin Trudeau...
He will be prime minister of Canada and one can point to the last federal by-election results as proof of our mood...Canadians want different, we aren`t sure about what type of different we want....through the years we have seen many advertised prime contenders, smooth talking spit polished and well heeled runners, we`ve seen blowhards and blustering partisans come and go for decades...However..
Never before has a contender been able to make females swoon and our youth smile, even smart, aware of important issues electors, even those voters like Justin Trudeau..maybe we need Justin Trudeau for democracy renewed, who else can drive younger generations and the disenfranchised back to Canadian voting booths..
I`m NDP and I like Justin Trudeau......We don`t need a leader who thinks his path is a chosen right, Justin will bend with the breeze...He`s not a hardliner and the masses are the wind of change..
And that in my opinion is why he`ll win....Don`t look for logic to explain his popularity, with Justin Trudeau it doesn`t apply..
Can`t hold back gravity..
The Straight Goods
Cheers Eyes Wide Open