JR'S Free Thought Pages
The Disturbing Transformation of Traditional Conservatism
Many of today’s Conservatives are Far Right Wing Extremists, some leaning toward and embracing Fascism
By JR, June, 2021
Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest - Denis Diderot
Scepticism is the first step towards truth - Denis Diderot
I’ve never been able to find very much enlightening about political conservatism, from its resistance to change, anti-enlightenment polemics, contempt for the poor and working classes and contempt for justice and real democracy. Most conservatives, other than many of the indoctrinated masses that have internalized their values, tend to be elitist, privileged and often wealthy, generally religious, authoritarian and typically adhere to only two rules: “might is right” and “what’s in it for me”? And why are so many conservatives willing to be bull shitted and cajoled into mindless patriotism, nationalism and support for every war, none of which have ever been morally or legally warranted. Moreover, fascism has always lurked within political conservatism and even right wing liberalism which even a few decades ago would be considered an oxymoron.
Chris Hedges in his book The Death of the Liberal Class offers compelling arguments to the reasons for failure of classical liberalism that was epitomized in the works of philosophers such as John Stuart Mill in the 19th century and John Rawls in the 20th. Hedges’ book was written over ten years ago and the continued movement to the right wing and subsequent erosion of liberalism’s once held lofty ideas have reached the point at which it is barely distinguishable from calcified conservatism. Incidentally Hedges influential father was a liberal thinking Christian pastor who supported the civil rights movement, women’s rights and the rights of gays; Pulitzer prize winning journalist Hedges still refers to himself as Christian although has utter contempt for the Evangelical Christian right who he refers to as fanatics, charlatans and frauds. In an earlier book from 2008 called American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America he exposes these ultra-conservative people as neo-fascist lunatics, a serious threat to any semblance or sliver of democracy that exists in the United States and who fantasize about re-establishing a global theocracy - taking us back to the pre-enlightenment pre-scientific Dark Ages when religion ruled.
Throughout much of modern history anytime the political left happened to challenge the status quo in any serious way, fascism arose as the remedy as it did in the early 20th century and as it has since the 1970s as a reaction to unions, strong worker solidarity, the welfare state, anti-war and civil rights movements and counterculture of the 1960s. One could perhaps argue that fascism has its roots in European colonialism and in the United States, Canada and elsewhere with the era of settler-colonial racism and evolved into a coercive and violent intersection between the police and prison state and racist neo-liberal capitalism - which has become the latest embodiment of fascism.
An important lesson to be learned regarding the racial and class roots of fascism in the United States is that it is a lingering social and political process that can be understood as an historical curve that identifies the protracted extent of parasitic fascist politics in the country (and elsewhere) and its odious re-emergence in various mutant forms today. Philosopher Alberto Toscano rightly underscores this point in referencing the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and has argued that “the threat is not of a “return of the 1930s” but the ongoing fact of racist and class based state terror. This is the ever-present danger that incites present-day anti-fascist movements in the United States - and it cannot be simply reduced to the necessary but insufficient task of confronting only those who self-identify as fascists. 
One of the challenges faced by the emergence of this new era of neo-liberal fascistic politics and economics (what some have called mafia finance and gangster capitalism) is the need for a new lexicon and narrative capable of analyzing how neo-liberalism works through a wide range of oppressive proto-fascist practices in various locales within global capitalism in order to reproduce a totalizing system of endless marketing, mindless consumerism, manufactured techno-idiocy and addiction, mind control, propaganda, anti-intellectualism, coercion, police state brutality and gratuitous violence. The anti-intellectualism, loss of civility and vulgarization of our culture are especially disconcerting, trends that one would think even a typical traditional mid-twentieth century conservative would find repellent. But this previous brand of conservatism and traditional liberalism are on the extinction list. I admit to admiring at least one self-described conservative philosopher, the late Australian philosopher David Stove (1927-1994). Stove, a rebel, contrarian and iconoclast – unique for a political conservative - is located within the analytic philosophical tradition of the mid-twentieth century that I prefer and admire a great deal. I don’t agree with everything written by Stove as there is something to offend pretty much everyone in his polemical irreverent style of writing. His intolerance for dogma, obfuscation and bullshit is relentless (the urbane person’s George Carlin) and his lucid, witty and clever no-holds barred style of argumentation is a rarity for an academic philosopher. Stove’s books are becoming more difficult to find at a reasonable price but I still have two of his volumes in my library The Plato Cult and Other Philosophical Follies and Popper and after: Four Modern Irrationalists. Stove was against things for reasons that most of us would not have thought of ourselves, cogently arguing against religion, pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo, epistemic and moral relativism, philosophical idealism, the fad of postmodernism, political correctness and much more, dismantling and skewering obscurantism, and intellectual absurdity of every stripe in his own unique style and acumen. Stove was capable of turning sacred cows into hamburger in just a few incisive logically connected sentences. If Stove was alive today, he’d be appalled at the dreadful state of the deceitful world and its continuing moral, political, economic and intellectual descent since his death from throat cancer in 1994. He’s a much needed articulate contrarian voice in our docile, distracted, complacent, dumbed down and callous undemocratic unjust corrupt world that is slowly dying while Mother Nature screams “rape”.
In a post truth world we are increasingly subjected to inane patriotic and nationalist propaganda, the most nauseating being advertising which typically displays human beings as typically thoughtless, imprudent, often tedious grossly overweight bumbling blobs (more room for tattoos) devouring several 1500 calorie 12 inch thick greasy bacon laced hamburgers like it was their last meal. And people of all ages, regardless of what superfluous product is being peddled, people of all ages glued to their teddy bear surrogate cell phones, hopelessly addicted solipsistic zombies oblivious to the external world with seemingly no free will or moral compass, behaving like baboons. And there’s no need to lift your lard ass from the sofa, your cell phone is already there to simply ring up a Skip the Dishes, Uber Eats or Door Dash greasy fast food outlet. Or for the more ambitious, call one of those or those expensive ready to cook “meal kits” so you don’t need to visit the supermarket. This is slothfulness on steroids. The television ad captions assuage us with the notion that there’s no problem with you and your slovenly family and multiple pets on the sofa making a huge mess because there are Scott Towels. And as one advert informs us “there is no wrong way to eat”.
Then there are the brain dead self-absorbed discombobulated distracted drivers who can’t even figure out that on a left turn intersection they need to navigate their vehicle in a wide arc to stay in their own lane, just to cite one example of inept drivers. This is just one of many commons sense rules of driving a vehicle; if you don’t drive defensively and be aware of distracted idiots, you’d be in an accident every ten minutes. And in the roundabouts, based on people’s apparent innate sense of fairness, simply follow the vehicle ahead of them, prohibiting anyone already waiting to enter the circuit, out of luck. What we need is MADD, Mothers against Dumb Drivers. I’d rather be on the road with a drunk driver than some distracted fool on his cell phone while meandering over the median. Then there are the equally disturbing cell phone addicted undisciplined children of these uncaring unthinking parents who are portrayed in the boring anti-intellectual mind numbing corporate controlled mass media cultural wasteland, especially in television advertising, as badly behaved brats are surely one symptom among many of our collective malaise. Surely theses idiotic scenes are even more repulsive to conservatives as they ought to be for any well-mannered person whatever their political persuasion. Then there are people’s pets, typically shown on TV ads with scenes of several huge canines which are shampooed in their bath tubs, sleep with them and lounge on the leather seats of their $75,000 SUV. Perhaps I’m hallucinating; but when I was a kid this disgraceful conduct would be inconceivable and certainly never tolerated by my parents. Today it seems, anything goes, as long as a profit is made or someone gets their rocks off; like one of my neighbors who, at 5:30 AM yesterday morning, was smoking a crack pipe in his back yard. Whew, I feel better already, exhaling a few particles of all that annoying crud that’s been cluttering the overloaded mush between my ears.
The reality of our screwed up world and the unpleasant truth about our ugly history and our increasingly deteriorating precarious contemporary existence (despite a few rare brief periods of uplifting truth tellers such as Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, deemed enemies of the state by our banking mafia, capitalist oligarchs and their bought and paid for pimps in government) is often unpleasant which is why so many, especially the religious and other delusional homo saps, avoid it. Escapism and retreat into a fairy tale world seems to be the norm and the fact that most people in the world are apparently ingesting mind altering substances from the huge marketplace of religion, pseudoscientific hocus pocus and drugs seems to confirm this hypothesis. As Friedrich Nietzsche reminded his readers in the late 19th century, there are “two great European narcotics, Alcohol and Christianity”. Today there are countless ways, legal and illegal, to mess up your mind so unpleasant truths and realities don’t screw up your online poker or golf game.
As the lyric from the 1960s anti-war song “Eve of Destruction” (more relevant today than ever) by Barry McGuire informed us “You can't twist the truth, it knows no regulation”. There is an old adage that “the first casualty of war is the truth” which no thinking person today who knows unvarnished history can deny is a verity that cannot be refuted. And for anyone who knows the history of fascism between the 20th century’s world wars, it was wealthy elites, big business, the Christian churches and other conservatives, even those indoctrinated dupes within the deluded working classes that waved the flag for both world wars, supported Hitler, Mussolini and Franco while facilitating their rise to absolute power. After all, capitalists have never had a problem with fascism as their profits continued to roll in while cooperating with these tyrannies. It was Mussolini who coined the term “fascism”, defining it as the fusion of big business and the state, precisely what we suffer from globally today under the dogma of neo-liberal capitalism. Leon Trotsky was right when he introduced the notion of “Permanent Revolution” because once again as history will inform, all socio-political orders have been authoritarian and hierarchical. Despite many revolutions from below, never have any such regimes recorded in the past three millennia been replaced by what we call justice and democracy. This is true whether one considers theocracies, monarchies or capitalist systems that have prevailed over the past 400 years. Even efforts at reforming these tyrannies have ultimately failed. And the current state of affairs of neo-liberal global finance capitalism (the neo-fascist dictatorship of money) is as oppressive, coercive and authoritarian as any throughout world history. But the as far as the prospects of a revolution from below, given the fragmentation of the left, widespread anti-intellectualism, complacency, docility, flat lining of the moral arc and anaesthetization of an ADHD/ OCD afflicted zombie populace in a culture of the techno-feudalism the hoi polloi, the probability is zero.
However, despite the beleaguered FUBAR world we suffer under today, five or six decades ago I can recall a few rare conservative politicians I actually admired. This is certainly not the case today.
In the USA the House Freedom Caucus is routinely described as politically “conservative” by its members, the mainstream media and Wikipedia. The caucus brings together forty-five Republican Party members of the House of Representatives. With the exception of growing numbers of fascists, this collection of reactionaries is furthest to the right of any major political configuration in the United States. The most extreme conservative politicians in the United States, like the scandalous Matt Gaetz of Florida and gun loving red neck Lauren Boebert of Colorado, are proud to call the Freedom Caucus their political creed. Even Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, after threatening to form an explicitly racist America First caucus, chose ultimately to continue promoting her demented Q-Anon-inspired beliefs from within the Freedom Caucus. [1a]
I find it ironic that the increasing number of neo-fascist parties throughout our contemporary patently undemocratic, unjust and economically divisive planet typically include the words “freedom”, “democracy” and “the people” in their doublespeak party labels. For example, the People's Party of Canada, recently spun off from Conservative Party members who felt the current party was not sufficiently right wing, is one such political party which received a large number of votes in our local Fraser Valley Bible Belt constituency during the 2015 Federal election. Incidentally, the federal leader of the People's Party of Canada and former Conservative Party of Canada member Maxime Bernier was recently arrested by the police after appearing at a sparsely attended rally against covid-19 restrictions in a small southern Manitoba town.
But let’s be honest about political conservatism; it’s always been just a short waltz to the left of fascism and other authoritarian ideologies on the right. Fascists and the Nazis were supported not only by many conservative big business leaders, wealthy power elites and well-known Western politicians between the two World Wars, but many liberals such as Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada from the mid 1930s to late 1940s. In Canada we find a similar arrangement and overlap of right wing ideology combining Christian Evangelism and Conservatism that’s not unlike the mutation of the Republican Party that has evolved in the United States for the past four or five decades. The federal Conservative Party of Canada has undergone many modifications and transformations since Confederation in 1867. Most of these changes were only nominal, from Conservative Party, to Liberal Conservative and finally on to the ludicrous oxymoronic “Progressive” Conservative Party, the attempted moderated conservatism of the 1950s and early 60s under Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. Diefenbaker, an eccentric yet decent caring man attempted to re-establish Canadian cultural, political and economic autonomy to separate Canada from the dominating cultural and economic hegemony of the United States. For this he was vilified and denounced by limousine liberals, right wing members of his own party and the big business controlled mainstream media. This was the era of the seemingly endless inanities and insanities of the phony Cold War era with its hysterical anti-communist witch hunts, destroying the careers and lives of many who were on the political left. Canada’s greatest politician was Tommy Douglas, former CCF Premier of Saskatchewan for 16 years in which every year he balanced the budget of a province that was bankrupt by successive Liberal and Conservative governments when he took over in 1944 and yet was able to introduce free hospital care for its citizens. Later in the 1960s and 70s Tommy became the leader of the Federal NDP (formerly CCF) and, holding the balance of power during the Lester B Pearson Liberal government, he was the impetus behind Canada’s still existing universal state run health care system. For much of his political career, especially during the idiotic anti-communist Cold War Era, being a self-described social democrat he was referred to as “Tommy the Commie” by his conservative political enemies and the media while being ruthlessly subjected to surveillance by the secret service spy agency of the bungling racist crypto-fascist RCMP during the 1940s to 60s, accumulating an 1150 page dossier that his family descendents are still trying to have released. The ugly truth is that when their privileges and interests are threatened both conservative and liberal big business ruling power elites will invariably, as they have done for the past century, choose fascism over even mild social democracy. In the United States the corporate financial oligarchy and the owners of the country would have surely backed Trump in the 2016 and 2020 elections had the democrats run Bernie Sanders, the lefty liberal who voted with the war mongering imperialist to invade Iraq in 2003 and annually endorses the obscene bloated trillion dollar military budget, but yet insists on referring to himself as a "socialist".
By the 1980s and 90s, after a long period of Liberal governments, hapless Canadians were treated to Conservative Prime Minister Lyin’ Brian “On the Take” Mulroney who informed Canadians during an election “when I’m finished with this country, you will not recognize it”. What gullible Canadians didn't realize is that this was a threat, not a promise. It took the thieving bastard less than ten years to destroy the country socially, culturally, politically and economically. Canada is still one of the most corrupt countries and scam capitals in the Western World, with lax financial oversight and appalling immigration policies. You can read all the hideous blow by blow details of Mulroney’s wrecking crew in the book On the Take: Crime, Corruption and Greed in the Mulroney Years by Stevie Cameron. By the time Mulroney had rescinded most of the much needed reforms made by Liberal Party reformer Pierre Trudeau on both the American controlled economy and culture in Canada, he had become the most despised politicians in Canadian history.  After Mulroney the Canadian Conservative Party was literally reduced to a political non-entity but managed to crawl back to existence under various labels after finally becoming a reincarnated Conservative Party under Christian fundamentalist and neo-liberal theocrat zealot Stephen Harper. The Conservative Party of Canada came to resemble a laissez-faire anti-science neoconservative Evangelical Christian party, much like the far right wing Republicans in the USA under the bible thumping Ronald Reagan, the two Bush presidents – and Donald Trump. Canada suffered for over a decade with the creepy never smile anti-science bonehead Stephen “Tar Sands” Harper as he decimated social services, scientific research, environmental standards, financial oversight (our banks and several corporations such as GM Canada were bailed out by the taxpayers in 2008-09) , crucial government-run regulatory agencies and much more. The country has never recovered and with Liberal PM Justin Trudeau, Pierre’s dumb and dumber corporatist boot licking son, we likely never will. Justin Trudeau is merely Stephen Harper with the big smile but without the Jesus freak god talk gibberish and economic mumbo jumbo.
By any reasonable measure, the Freedom Caucus in the USA and its members are not traditionally conservative. Because of their disruptive tactics and rhetoric, their contempt for core conservative values like prudence, the precautionary principle and rule of law – at least for the working classes and poor but not the rich - and their disgraceful endorsement of the most radically right wing populist (aka fascist) in modern U.S. history, they are more like European far-right politicians such as those in the Alternative fur Deutschland in Germany, Golden Dawn in Greece, National Front in France, Fidesz in Hungary and numerous other neo—fascist and neo-Nazi parties cropping up throughout the world. Traditional Republicans surely recognize that the Freedom Caucus and its members have nothing to do with the party they joined many years ago. Unfortunately former House Speaker John Boehner, a more traditional Republican, gave an incredibly uninformed depiction of modern conservatives when in 2017 he declared “They’re anarchists. They want total chaos. Tear it all down and start over. That’s where their mindset is.” Boehner is merely repeating the standard distortions and glaring misconceptions of anarchism peddled by both conservative and liberal elites for well over a century. Demonstrating his ignorance of political philosophy, he surely meant fascists, not anarchists. Anarchism is the antithesis of both fascism and conservatism and clearly Boehner has never read any anarchist philosopher such as Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, Emma Goldman or contemporary anarchists such as Noam Chomsky or David Graeber. Anarchists are highly principled and ethical who argue against “chaos”, not endorse it. Anarchism has many nuances as do all political, economic and social philosophies but one principle that anarchists all share is “power corrupts” as all sources of power, hierarchy and immorality, including capitalism, must be questioned and, if necessary challenged and removed, since almost all throughout history have been or are currently illegitimate, anti-democratic and immoral.
Back in contemporary USA, the misidentification of the Freedom Caucus as “conservative” is not the only example of the misunderstanding and misuse of this term. At various points over the last four years, Donald Trump was frequently called a “conservative”. Certain policies, like the dismantling of environmental regulations or the promotion of laissez-faire economics, have also been erroneously called “conservative.” Various media outlets and personalities, from Fox News and One America News to the dim bulbs Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, have likewise been mislabeled “conservative.” When The Washington Post tries to rectify the problem by labeling far-right activist Ali Alexander an “ultraconservative,” it only adds to the confusion and misconceptions. An ultraconservative should be even more determined to uphold the status quo rather than, like Alexander, trying to undermine it. The only changes conservatives would implement to the already undemocratic and unjust political global order is to make it even more hierarchical and authoritarian by deferring to theocracy or fascism.
The recent expulsion of Liz Cheney from her position as the third highest-ranking Republican in the House has only further obscured the definitional landscape. Cheney may have upheld the rule of law regarding the defense of the integrity of the 2020 election against the reactionary proto-fascist fervor of the Trump First MAGA morons in her party but prior to her recent stand Cheney defied many of the traditional principles of conservatism by embracing the more reactionary and authoritarian policies of the Trump virus into the Republican Party, voting with Trump over 92 percent of the time on such issues as rescinding environmental standards.
The misuse of the term “conservative” is the result not only of a structural peculiarity of American politics but also the deterioration of political civility and ideology in the United States and throughout much of the rest of the Western World, including Canada. Hopefully the reader does not confuse political conservatism with the non-political conception of “conservative” as someone who is cautious and prudent in their personal lives. I abhor political conservatism but consider myself conservative in my personal and family life.
In Europe, multi-party systems allow for greater nuance in political labeling as third party candidates are generally not marginalized and ignored as they are in the United States and to a lesser extent, Canada. Political parties with loads of money from the wealthy and big business are the only ones who get recognized. But far left parties that still exist and conservatives in the various Christian Democratic parties in Europe compete for votes against far-right populist parties that embrace anti-democratic, racist, theocratic and even fascist positions. As in Canada with the Liberals and Conservative, America’s two-party system duopoly, on the other hand, collapses such distinctions into a binary opposition between a unitary “liberal” and a unitary “conservative” party. If a faction emerges within the Republican Party, therefore, it is by definition “conservative” even if it is so obviously not. It’s as if politics in America is a digital either or - either one or zero - while European politics reflect all the untidy gradations and ambiguities of the analog realm. But for anyone on the political left, Liberal v Conservative or Democrat v Republican is no choice at all.
At the same time, ideologies have evolved considerably in the United States over the last half-century. “Conservative” once stood for preserving traditional arrangements in society such as family, separation of church and state, freedom of and from religion, community values, good neighborhoods and small business as opposed to the corporatization, financial predation, monopolization, frequent stock market booms, busts and bailouts and the increasing economic inequality and manipulations of the deregulated stock markets which have come to resemble a casino in which the game is rigged.
The Reagan/Thatcher reactionary revolution changed all those traditional values of political conservatism with what has been called first neo-conservatism and then neo-liberalism. Conservatives eventually became rabidly liberal in the deregulatory economic sense. They unconditionally endorsed the so-called “free market” (there’s nothing “free” about it) in their eagerness to deploy any powerful force against what they considered to be the primary evil in the world: radicalism and contrarianism within academia, unions, worker rights and big government with its protections and benefits for the poor and working classes. They supported imperialism, regime change for any governments contemplating left wing policies, neo-liberal laissez-faire economics - essentially, no government controls on economic practices as long as someone profits - even though unrestrained market forces destroy worker solidarity and sense of community, fragment families, undermine notions of the common good, destroy family farms and undermine and destroy small businesses. But since such an anti-neo-liberal market model served as a counterforce to government regulations and authority, the neo-liberal and neo-conservatives were quite prepared to throw out the baby with the bath water.
It was the French Revolution that marked the end of French feudalism and its transition to capitalism, but not genuine democracy as one form of tyranny was simply replaced by another, the tyranny of money and finance. The revolutionaries’ slogans promised the transition would bring with it “liberté, égalité, fraternité” (liberty, equality and fraternity). Egalitarianism in the sense of economic and political freedom and fraternity were never considered in this triad slogan and liberty was restricted to the freedom to exploit with impunity. In other words, equality which is the key criterion of real democracy has become a cruel joke. The French Revolution was essentially a bourgeoisie revolution and a program for capitalism’s establishment and finally replacing the decadent monarchy and feudalism’s lord-serf organization of production with capitalism’s very different employer-employee system, albeit still exploitive. Transition from the Ancien Regime and feudalism to capitalism would ostensibly eliminate the gross inequalities of the French monarchy, nobility and feudalism. This did not happen and is still a distant mirage, becoming even worse over time. The American Revolution likewise broke not only from its British colonial master but also from the feudal monarchy of George III. “All men are created equal” was a central theme of its profound commitment to equality together with capitalism. But “all men are created equal” (no mention of women, indigenous or black people) is patently false. People are born with vast differences in both physical and intellectual attributes; the program of justice and democracy is to mitigate these birth advantages; in this respect capitalism has failed miserably, even in its claims to a meritocracy - which has become farcical.
Anyone who knows the history of the Russian Revolution that created the USSR, the subsequent three year civil war incited by reactionary Russian conservatives and Western capitalist countries and Japan to restore the Romanoff monarchy and the Stalinist aftermath and the nature of political ideologies would never confuse Stalin’s tyrannical regime with socialism. And surely no mainstream media newspaper believes that North Korea is “democratic” simply because its official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. And hopefully no journalists would mistake the far-right neo-fascist Swedish Democrats for the U.S. political party of the same name. As for Putin’s Russia’s, the current Liberal Democratic Party is nothing of the sort, since it’s only the personal political vehicle of the raving extremist Vladimir Zhirinovsk which has little to do with either democracy or liberalism.
If the average citizen in any country in the world really understood the true nature of “democracy” as traditionally construed as equality, the will of the people and creation of an economically just egalitarian society and economic order would realize that democracy does not exist anywhere in the world, has never existed throughout history and likely never will. Rather, what we have are parliamentary and congressional frauds in which oligarchy prevails in the form of corporate power, financial tyranny and the rule of money- exploitation and profit over everything that exists.
It’s long past time for the mainstream media to apply these common-sense rules of nomenclature to international politics, whether in the USA, Canada or Europe and anywhere else in the world that claims to be “democratic”.
There are several ongoing efforts to repair and restore what is left of the Republican Party and its toxic affections for the odious con man, racist and serial liar Donald Trump. Perhaps a more important first step would be to reclaim the term “conservative” so that it applies in the United States to the same system of values that inspires some conservative parties in Europe that have not yet descended into fascism. Only then will the Republican Party have a chance of becoming once again a defender of the status quo rather than its wrecking ball.
About ten years ago I wrote a piece on the banality of political conservatism in all its odious, calcified, reactionary and philosophically vacuous and lifeless forms. Read it here:
People like me who want to abolish prisons, police and military have a vision of a much different society, built on living, not scrambling to survive, egalitarianism, cooperation and compassion instead of grotesque inequalities, ruthless exploitation, greed and individualism: on mutual aid rather than mere survivalist austerity and grinding self-preservation. What would our country look like if it had proper redistribution of wealth, freeing up billions of extra dollars to spend on housing, nourishment, health care and education for all? This transformation of society wouldn’t necessarily happen overnight, but the widespread social unrest and protests show that many people are ready to embrace a different vision of social and economic arrangements based on universal justice, sharing and caring. There is nothing stopping us from implementing such a vision or some variation that involves worker control of the economy and markets. Markets, after all, are not the invention of capitalism as exchange has existed throughout human history. One of the problems is scale. Anything that grows uncontrollably and exponentially, whether it is human population or the gargantuan size of authoritarian hierarchically structured business enterprises, invariably ends in social, political and economic failure for everyone but the owners and managerial elite. Failure to impose limits is the very opposite of the moral life. Moreover, there are existential threats to our very existence as global warming is a huge threat as is much ecological damage that is irreparable as humans and their pets are perhaps the only species not on an extinction list. And it does not take a PhD in mathematics to realize that the current economic model of infinite growth and profit is unsustainable on a finite planet.
Cooperatives in which a democratic process is involved in workers electing managers, sharing in profits and recommending strategy is the very antithesis of what currently prevails in businesses both large and small This is also true of hierarchies and authoritarian vertical systems in politics as opposed to genuine democratic and egalitarian horizontal ones that offer a more just alternative, the latter being well understood by visionaries such as Leopold Kohr and E. F. Schumacher. But the possibilities beyond the current corporate monopolistic tyrannies and financial dictatorships of mafia banks and the many other forms of financial parasitism are seemingly endless. Are our minds so unimaginative and barren that we can’t think of something better than the global dystopian nightmare and death cult of techno-feudalism and neo-liberal fascism that currently prevail?
 Alberto Toscano, “The Long Shadow of Racial Fascism,” Boston Review, October 27, 2020.
[1a] Eighteenth century enlightenment philosopher and contemporary of two famous other famous free thought Frenchmen, Denis Diderot and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire wrote, “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” The context for this insight was a piece he wrote regarding the countless absurd claims and murderous crimes committed by the powerful Catholic Church, fully supported by the feudalistic and tyrannical monarchy of Louis XV. This theocratic totalitarian socio-political order was called the Ancien Régime and it was courageous radicals and heretics such as Voltaire, Diderot and Rousseau who provided the intellectual impetus for the French Revolution.
As Voltaire wrote subsequent to the aforementioned quote, “If the God-given understanding of your mind does not resist a demand to believe what is impossible, then you will not resist a demand to do wrong to that God-given sense of justice in your conscience. As soon as one faculty of your mind has been dominated, other faculties will follow as well. And from this derives all those crimes of religion which have overrun the world.” While religion generally has achieved a reluctant uneasy truce with the modern secularized state and what we call “democracy” in our capitalist dictatorships of winner take all greed, monopoly and money, the Christian conservative far right who openly hate and regularly work to destroy free thought and any minor eruption of democracy have found Q-Anon and the general credulity it creates in its disciples to be particularly useful. The only democracy we humans have experienced was likely the anarchic indigenous societies, demonized by Christianity, the ruling classes and their deeply flawed democratic states and their capitalist sock puppet politicians as “savages”, justifying theft of their land, genocide and the horrific residential schools that continued to exist until the 1990s.
Now let us fast forward to 21st century Mein Trumpf America: The Q-Anon spectacle is a case of typical American political theology, the migration of Christian doctrine into the political domain. Q-Anon is eerily familiar because it reflects the Book of Revelation, in which the world is divided into the Manichaean forces of good confronting the forces of evil. This was George W Bush’s approach to the invasion of Iraq (the moronic Bush called it a “crusade’) in 2003, based on a pack of lies about Saddam Hussein having a role in 9-11 and his country having weapons of mass destruction. On one side is Satan, whose allies are the sceptics, unbelievers, heretics, atheists, murderers, whoremongers, liars, idolaters, and the “great whore of Babylon.” On the other side is the heavenly City of the beneficent God, with his angels, the virgin who violating biological fact gave birth to the “man child” whose blood paid the wages of sin and the faithful who follow God’s silly commandments.
Q-Anon followers believe that an international liberal cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles controls the global instruments of power. This global child-trafficking operation involves the torture, rape, and murder of children whose blood these celebrities drink for their enjoyment and longevity. At the head of this godless liberal conspiracy are the prominent Democrats that Donald Trump demonized: Hilary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, George Soros, and Anderson Cooper. Accordingly, Q-Anon supporters carried signs saying “Save the Children” and “End Pedophilia.”
Thanks to bat shit crazy Pentecostal preacher Paula White it was not hard for Trump to galvanize the righteous anger of followers who believed that political foes were satanic forces. White has been Trump’s spiritual advisor since 2002 and is famous for speaking in tongues and commanding “all satanic pregnancies to abort.” She became very rich charging a lucrative fee from the wealthy detecting demons and offering various degrees of protection. Accordingly, all of Trump’s speeches had but one purpose which was to reveal the demonic enemies. Imagine “Crazy Nancy” or “Crooked Hilary” as the great whore of Babylon, arrayed in purple and decked with gold and precious stones, sitting on the “scarlet coloured beast with seven heads and seven horns” (Revelations 17:3–4).
 At best, Moose Jaw Mulroney belongs behind bars permanently. But if and when the revolution arrives, he, along with good buddy and fellow corporate criminal Conrad Black (who still thinks Mulroney is a swell guy and was a great PM, perhaps even more admirable than himself) and Stephen Harper, will be among the first led to the firing squad.
Mulroney was a swinish parasitic pathological liar, a bag man and corporate crony who lined his pockets each day in office while dishing out patronage* and selling off Canada to the Americans. A good buddy of another incompetent conservative doltish pecker head known by friend and foe alike as Ronny Ray Gun whose primary attributes were raw sociopathic ambition, driven by unmitigated desire for power and corporate motivated wars combined with fiscal mismanagement and ineptitude. Mulroney managed to triple Canada's national debt, duplicating the time frame it took his buddy Ronald Reagan to do the same in the US. Mulroney ran up more debt than the accumulated peacetime debt combined since Confederation (that's excluding the two World Wars).
* In his first year in office Mulroney set an all-time record, making 1,280 patronage appointments, filling the ranks with his school pals, relatives, business associates and boozing buddies.
Like his pal Ronny Ray Gun, Mulroney's dreadful regime in the 1990s was like an endless tilt-a-whirl or möbius strip horror story that was as painful for the citizens of our country as chronic hemorrhoids and passing kidney stones. Even Willy Shakespeare could not have concocted such a tragic comedy.
Mulroney was the corporatist ass kissing jerk who signed the phony free trade agreements such as NAFTA (basically blank checks for corporations to operate with impunity throughout the world) thus throwing the Canadian middle and working classes off the bus for good. Thanks for nothing Brian. This is the same twit who once said "Don't talk to me about free trade. Free trade is a threat to the sovereignty of Canada". He wasn't called Lyin' Brian “Bagman” Mulroney for nothing.
As mentioned, Mulroney became one of the most despised Prime Ministers in Canadian history, his popularity reduced to 8% during his last months in office. After politics he continued unabated his life of crime as a professional influence peddler and corporate lickspittle.