Juan Ramón Jiménez
!Siento que el barco mío
ha tropezado, allá en el fondo,
con algo grande!
sucede! Nada.. Quietud.. Olas..
-?Nada sucede; o es que ha sucedido todo,
y estamos ya, tanquilos, en lo nuevo?-
I sense that my boat
has foundered, below the waterline, deep,
against a great thing!
And yet nothing
happens! Nothing.. quiet.. the waves..
Nothing happens - or has everything happened
and we are already, unknowing, in the new?
Recently, Conservative candidate Brad Trost, addressing the Saskatchewan Prolife Association, claimed that the federal tories have "decided to cut funding" to the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Reason: they support abortion programs in third world countries. He went so far as to say that prolifer activism played a role in the decision. PM Harper was forced to scurry to deny his candidate's claims and re-iterated that his government has no plans to re-open the abortion debate.
The important point here is not whether the conservatives will or will not "reopen the abortion debate" at some future date. This is the tip of the iceberg, the less dangerous part. It is what lies under the waterline that is really disconcerting..
In this minor skirmish, we get a glimpse of an attempt by the American Right and their Canadian allies to open another front in the "culture wars".
Do not forget! Despite the nationalistic / militaristic blustering - "northern sovereignty", for example - Harperites are, in reality, neocon wanabes, "mirror imaged clones joined at the h/lip". Their economic "philosophy" (? sophistry ?) emerges straight from Milton Friedman's "Chicago School" of neo-laissez-faire capitalism. In other words, another undesirable "cultural transplant" from across the border. Nothing more, nothing less. If one really wanted to be nationalistic, one could hardly do better than follow in the footsteps of Tommy Douglas, the father of the Canadian "socialized" health care system which flag wavin' Harper and his Chicago School clones assiduously strive to dismember. Once again, the two sides of the mouth speak different languages..
The real question here is in what image do we want to create Canda (given that we accept that in democracies the populace is the ruler and electoral process the means by which that will is expressed..)? Our thesis is that the Harperite government, by appealing to populist emotionality, is opening the door to the forces of fascist reaction so well documented in Chris Hedges' American Fascists (Free Press, NY, 2006).
Hedges' book is required reading for anyone interested in Canada's future and worried by the direction the Harperites have take us in. American Fascists is a brave, a magnificent, a frightening book, a trip into the hell of moral chaos, family breakdown, economic insecurity, social atomization and existential vacuity of contemporary American culture. (Since we share much of the same culture and values, we too are prone to the same social forces as indeed Harper's election itself testifies..) These forces of cultural disintegration provide fertile soil for fascism to take root and flourish.
American Fascists, page 118 (numbers in parentheses refer to footnotes):
"creationist publications.. blame Darwin for spawning most of the evils of modernity including racism, apartheid (1), Stalinism (2), the holocaust (3) and the Rwandan genocide.. Christians must be prepared for battle, for war, against satanic forces that lie incubating within America's secular, evolutionist, materialist society, forces getting ready to begin a new round of mass exterminations, this time of American Christians"
Q: Where does this horrifc crap come from?
R: Keith Graham: Biology: God's living creation (A Beka, Pensacola, Florida, 1986) - a creationist high school "biology" textbook! Talk about the rape of the minds of the young, intellectual pederastry..
Is this the kind of society we want Canada to become? Are these our standards of truth?
Canadian's on the whole, are half as likely as Americans to believe that God created man within the last 10,000 years and 70% more likely than Americans to believe in evolution according to an Angus Reid poll. These are significant differences..
Nor, is all this a "matter of opinion", for if conservative "christians" actually do manage to get their way - in the US or in Canada - issues such as evolution or right to abortion and contraception will not be "matters of opinion" as the tone of the creationist high school "biology" textbook cited above indicates: the goal is to create nothing short of a theocracy (modelled on Iran of the Ayatollahs, ironically enough..). "One nation under God" - did you ever stop to think of what those words really mean?
Hot button issues, like abortion ("murder of the unborn") are deftly exploited by the American Right - and their clones in Canada - as the "thin entering wedge" of reactionary socio-political change agendas. Obviously, it would be absurd to import such attitudes or motives to all - or even to most - Harperites. Many, for example, are openly at the opposite end of the moral spectrum: upper middle class hedonistic libertarian narcissists possessing no social conscience whatsoever and who want to gut government simply to serve their own selfish ends. However, caution must warn us to see in these "thin entering wedge" issues a great danger for our democracy: the puppet masters who pull these strings are no democrats..
For less astute readers or those too naively liberal to grasp the full import and true nature of the "culture wars", Hedges, page 140, citing a speach given at a recent annual convention of American National Religious Broadcasters:
"'Ages of faith are not marked by dialogue but by proclamation (4).. truth.. does not rest in the wisdom of man but in the power of God'. And in a lisping imitation of liberals
(1) racism is, however, more regularly cited as a trait of the political Right than the Left and apartheid was a program initiated by the Dutch Reformed Church, a christian sect
(2) Stalin was actually a supporter of the anti-Darwinist crackpot biology of T Lysenko
(3) centuries of Christian bigotry played no role in preparing the holocaust??!!
(4) so are monarchies and totalitarian governments!
(5) the rather specific dating of the End Times in the New Testament is, of course, conveniently ignored:
Mark 13:24 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till these things take place
Mark 9:1 Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste of death till they see the Kingdom of God present with power