Sunday, January 26, 2014

Jan. 26: The issue in the NB election.

I was just old enough to remember them coming to the house to say goodbye. And though it was long ago, I can still see their faces and hear their voices. They were boys who had belonged to  my father's boy scout troop, come by to show off their uniforms before they left.

I remember  how thrilled I was when Jack Westwater reached into the pocket of his navy whites to let me handle his navy issue knife. It was super-neat.

Jack was severely sounded when he was blown of the bridge of the corvette HMCS Sackville on D Day. (The Sackville still sits in the harbour in Halifax as a sort of floating museum.)

I remember Leslie Bibewell. He was navy, too; and he went down when a torpedo tore a gap in the rusted hell of the elderly destroyer "HMCS St. Croix." Then there were the boys in the Black Watch like Bertie Danielson who lied about his age, and was dead before he reached seventeen.

Why were they going? They were going because the world had to fight fascism. They were going because it was the only way to save democracy. You can hear all about it any November 11.

Two years later, it was my father who came home to say goodbye. I hardly knew what to say to the big man in the blue uniform of a Chief Petty Officer, RCNVR. And, really, he was gone before I had a chance to say much of anything.

They all went to fight fascism.

And what was fascism?

Well, none of them really knew. Even today, scholars argue over the precise meaning of the word fascism. But there was at least one man of the time who could claim to be an authority on what the word 'fascism' meant.

He was an Italian named Benito Mussolini. He was the first fascist dictator, a man much admired by Hitler and Franco. Indeed, he, far more than we like to remember, had admirers all over western Europe and even North America, especially in big business circles.

Mussolini knew better than any man then or now what fascism meant. And he defined it as politicians and corporations coming together to form the government.

What could better describe the government of New Brunswick?

Shortly after the last election, Mr.  Irving announced he was a member of the government. Then he called a province-wide conference of his buddies and his toadies to determine New Brunswick's future. And the government welcomed these illegal and/or improper intrusions into the democratic system.

Just recently, another Irving was appointed chairman of a committee largely of businessmen (and other unelected people) to 'brainstorm' on the future of Moncton. That was an intrusion on democracy. We elect a city government to do that.  (And please don't tell me these businessmen and "social leaders" know better how to run a city. They don't. They know how to make money for themselves. That's all they need to know and all they want to know. And watch for their big recommendation to build an events centre that just happens to be of great interest to the chairman.)

Then there are the "Private/Public Partnerships". In a democracy, we don't elect people to be partners with anybody. Government is supposed to regulate business, not to be buddies with it. If Benito Mussolini could see the government of New Brunswick today, he would know exactly what it is. It is fascist.

I'm not using fascism as a sort of swear word. I am using it as a precise description of governments of this province, of this country, and of the US. We have become the fascists that Jack Westwater and Leslie Bibewell and Bertie Danielson and hundreds of thousands of other Canadians risked their lives to destroy. We live under a system that over 40,000 Canadians died to put an end to.

No. I am not exaggerating. Words have meanings. A society in which politicians share government power with private corporations is called fascism. It is not called a democracy because it is not a democracy.

Yes, I know that Mr. Alward and Mr. Gallant are nice people. I also know that millions of Italians thought Mussolini was a nice person, too. (Later, they would change their minds. When guerilla fighters caught Mussolini and his mistress, they were hung upside down and butchered - as is done with pigs.)

Controlling people is important in a fascist state. That's why Mussolini had strict control over the newspapers. The same can be said here where virtually all private news outlets routinely lie. Even worse, they ignore much of the real world to spread nothing but trivia. New Brunswickers are largely ignorant of what is going on here and in the rest of the world.

The same thing is happening in the US, though there the public is rebelling at least a little bit. Reading and viewing the news in the US has dropped to it's lowest level in a century. Few believe the news any more.

Unlike democracies, fascist states need to be ready to meet defiance. That's why the US is equipping its police with military weapons -including tanks - and is giving them para-military training. And that probably explains the existence of those highly trained young men with combat rifles and camouflage suits (and with an armoured personnel carrier) at Rexton.

By contrast, the police and the press have been remarkably casual about the much more serious situation at Lac Megantic where 47 people were killed. All we've heard about so far is a police search of Irving offices.  And that's it. No results that we've heard of. No young men in camouflage suits and with combat rifles.

Ditto for Plaster Rock.

By the way, in both those incidents the cause of the damage seems to have been faulty tankcars carrying oil.

Are those same, faulty cars still carrying oil through this province? Our news media haven't bothered to ask. But I'm sure those tankcars are still coming. The oil must go through. So it's worth the risk.

And precisely which tracks are they using? And why are governments allowing this to go on? We haven't heard. And we won't.

Democracies are generally pretty peaceful because they,broadly, reflect the will of the people.

Fascist societies are generally not peaceful. That's because they don't reflect the will of the people. They have to rely on force to control people. The US knows that very well. That's why it has more people in prison than any country on earth; that's why the whole prison system is a hotbed of torture and abuse. That's why the president of the US has assumed the power to imprison Americans with no charge or trial.

That's why American police and large elements of the US army are being retrained and re-equipped to fight - American citizens.

If there is going to be violence in the US, it could well be southern California with its atmosphere of racial and semi-racial hatreds and fears, its near bankruptcy, its high unemployment and, now, it's record-breaking period of heat and drought.

You didn't read about that in Irving press? What a surprise! But why would we read about it?  All those ace journalists in the Irving press know that climate change isn't happening.

Yesterday, Norbert Cunningham wrote a column on big, election issues. I mean - big. For example, he applauded a liberal proposal to teach computer programming in the schools.  Wow! And his columns on the election have mentioned only the Liberals and the Conservatives.

Norbert, we're at the crunch. There is only one issue, one that stands above all the others, one which will define our future.

That issue is the restoration of democracy in the province. That is the only issue, and this may well be our last chance to deal with it because it's going to get worse, much worse.

The province desperately needs a government that answers to the people of this province, and only to them. Neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives represent anything that could be called democracy. Both are caught up in the fascism of what they like to call Public/Private Partnership.

It's not going to be easy. The people of this province are the most passive, placid and fearful people I have ever encountered. I saw freer speech in the countryside of communist China than I have seen in New Brunswick.

This is it. Either you decide now, or you pack up your family to move to some other fascist province that at least isn't as passive as this one.


  1. Anarchy & Fascism. Both sound ominous. Believe me, despite the images provoked in one's head of the masses run amok on a murderous raping and pillaging spree as society falls victim to radical anarchists, living under the corporate control of a fascist regime pales what anarchy truly represents. As well as a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, a little anarchy could be a saving grace. Know the terminology, recognized by what they actually infer, not by that which they are commonly portrayed, commonly conceptualized as.

  2. Good comment James, and Graeme, keep on rocking the boat...