The rise and popularity of right-wing nationalism, extremism and religious fundamentalism in the United States, Brazil, India, Europe, and Canada are very troubling. The last one hundred years reveal the danger of tipping the scales too far right leads to fascism. The word fascism conjures up all kinds of emotions when spoken in public, invoking Mussolini and Hitler and dictators and death camps. Italian fascism began with Italian nationalism and a policy based on three principles order, discipline, and hierarchy.
The fascists’ goal is power for the sake of power at all costs. The means to power is divide and conquer, accurately stated divide and rule (Latin: divide et impera). The right-wing has become very proficient at dividing Canadiens by providence, religion, race and immigration, women rights, abortion rights, gun rights, and gay rights, are just a few. Many on the right have embraced extreme groups like the Proud Boys and QAnon conspiracies.
The enemy of fascism is truth, and fascist propaganda becomes the tool of choice to destroy it. As truth crumbles to the wayside, the fascist leader fills the vacuum with empty words, promises and ultimately lies. Policies are shallow, and much hinges on personality. Personality litmus tests include celebrity status and the likeability to have a beer. It was no accident that Ontario Premier Doug Ford campaigned on a buck a beer.
Fascists destroy. The Canadian right-wing historically comes from the conservative movement. The movement died as conservatives stop conserving. Conservatives, a shell of the past, have dismantled and weakened more than maintained and strengthen our many great Canadian institutions. In short, they are destroyers, not creators. They destroy by selling off Canadian assets and resources to private corporations. For-profit destruction for the benefit of the top of the hierarchy is the cornerstone of Canadian fascism.
The placement of a Canadian’s value within the pyramid is dependent on a benefit-cost ratio. Benefit-cost are measured by order and discipline and valued by the daily contribution of labour and skillsets and devalued by the inability to work for whatever reason. Fascists have no empathy for those who are not staunch to the state.
Fascists are anti-intellectual. The right-wing funded by the fossil fuel industry continues to deny climate change and the future consequences to the planet. Many fascists deny science because they are intellectually bankrupt and do not have the necessary mental processing capabilities for the complexities needed for creating solutions and diplomacy. The Covid-19 pandemic displays the ineptitude of Provincial Premiers Doug Ford of Ontario and Jason Kenney of Alberta. Both are dropouts with no formal completed education. A research study will show that many right-wing elected officials have a degree only in political science.
Fascists have a hatred of socialism or what they call socialism. In an interview on Democracy at Work hosted by Richard Wolff in January 2021, Noam Chomsky states that the current broken capitalistic system has two ways out, fascism or social democracy.
In conclusion, the fascist end game is power, and we should heed Lord Acton’s assertion, Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.