What If Fascism Has Come To Call And We Don’t Recognize It?

Know yourself, know your enemies. A thousand battles, a thousand victories. — Sun Tzu

By Stephen Gowans

March 1, 2022

Few people read Mein Kampf, Hitler’s autobiography, but it ought to be required reading, along with the other canons of conservatism. How can the enemy be fought, without knowing how it thinks or what it seeks or even who it is?

I was thinking about Mein Kampf this morning after reading a New York Times’ story titled “Threats Emerge in Germany as Far Right and Pandemic Protesters Merge.”

Reporter Katrin Bennhold had interviewed a 57-year-old accountant named Betina Schmidt at an anti-Covid restrictions rally in Dresden. Schmidt told Bennhold that “she was not just protesting government plans for a general vaccine mandate — but also a broader conspiracy by powerful globalists to ‘destroy the German nation.’”

The idea of powerful globalists conspiring to destroy the German nation is straight out of Mein Kampf.

In Hitler’s view, the Jews were the original globalists. They were a nation without a country, a reality that inclined them toward globalism and a preference for one world government. This was before Zionists created a national territory for Jews (or in their parlance “recovered” one) by stealing the land of Arabs in Palestine and parts of Syria (Golan).

As a “nation” without a country, Jews, in the National Socialist leader’s view, gravitated toward and controlled international business, with its globe-girding mission, and also gravitated toward and controlled Marxism, with its bold declaration that “The working men have no country” and its call for workers to unite across national lines.

Globalism, of both the bourgeois and proletarian kinds, was a bugbear for the Fuhrer. The idea of world Jewry controlling the globalization of business and, through its Marxist apostles in the working class movement, undermining the proletariat’s attachment to patriotism, fit into a theory that Jews were secretly conspiring to create a world government over which they would rule.

The idea among Covid-denialists that globalists are plotting to create a world government and destroy nations is “the clearest indication yet,” reported Bennhold, “that a protest movement against Covid measures that has mobilized tens of thousands in cities and villages across [Germany is] increasingly merging with the far right, each finding new purpose and energy and further radicalizing the other.”

But the merger of Covid-denialism with the far-right isn’t a purely German phenomenon.

“The dynamic is much the same whether in Germany or Canada, and the protests in various countries have echoes of one another. On the streets of Dresden one recent Monday, the signs and slogans were nearly identical to those on the streets of Ottawa: ‘Freedom,’ ‘Democracy’ and ‘The Great Resist.’”

Bennhold continues:

“Like many others, Ms. Schmidt cited ‘The Great Reset,’ a book by Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum in Davos, which Ms. Schmidt says reads like ‘a script for how a group of powerful globalists plan to destroy the German nation and create a mishmash of people that can be led easily.’”

I recall watching a pandemic protester in Ottawa earnestly tell a police officer that “this has all been planned—it’s called the Great Reset.”

Not only is the idea of a global conspiracy to destroy nations and create a mishmash of people straight out of Mein Kampf, it’s also straight out of a small online publication by Michel Chossudovsky, titled The 2020-22 Worldwide Corona Crisis: Destroying Civil Society, Engineered Economic Depression, Global Coup d’État and the “Great Reset.”

It’s very likely that Chossudovsky’s writings inspired the Ottawa pandemic protester who thought he could bring the police to his side by citing a Klaus Schwab paper. The former University of Ottawa economics professor has dedicated his pamphlet to what he calls a “Freedom Convoy”, whose collection of white nationalists, Islamophobes, and far right People’s Party supporters denied Ottawa residents their freedom for three weeks last month, blocking roadways, refusing to comply with public health rules, browbeating residents who wore masks, and forcing the shutdown of businesses.

Chossudovsky makes Hitler’s globalist conspiracy theory palatable by giving it a 21st century gloss and removing its anti-Semitism. Gone are the Jews, replaced by a conspiracy of billionaires, led by the “diabolical” Klaus Schwab (yes, Chossudovsky really uses that word.) Whereas in Hitler’s febrile imagination, the Jews controlled both the international bourgeoisie and their opposition (the trade unions and Marxist political parties), in Chossudovsky’s conspiratorial delirium, it is a cabal of World Economic Forum billionaires that does the same. Covid-19, along with climate change, and identity politics, are presented by Chossudovsky as fabricated crises and plots to divide people, engineered by a complot of billionaires to carry out “a diabolical project of Global Capitalism.” 

Reading Chossudovsky is like reading what I imagine Mein Kampf would be like had it been published by The Weekly World News. “The World Economic Forum’s Great Reset consists in installing a Worldwide totalitarian regime,” thunders Chossudovsky. “What is contemplated is a system of ‘Global Governance’,” he rails, shouting out for a string of exclamation marks, suitably in bold. “190+ UN member nation states are slated to be weakened and undermined.” Note the word “slated,” as in, this has all been planned by a cabal of Jews (1925) or cabal of billionaires (2022).

If you’re alarmed, there’s cause for more alarm. The “diabolical plot” won’t be stopped by the Left. That’s because the Left is controlled by the globalist billionaires, just as, to Hitler, it was controlled by the globalist Jews. The unions, community organizations, and communist and socialist parties that have organized against the truckers’ convoys—the “lockdown Left” as a Chossudovsky-simpatico Max Blumenthal calls it—are mere tools of the diabolical Schwab and his coterie of ultrarich globalists.

Unfortunately, Hitler is understood these days as an aberration, yet he is anything but. Mein Kampf, beyond the biographical details, is a synthesis of ideas culled from the Western conservative tradition dating to Burke and de Maistre and shared by the moustachioed Austrian’s conservative contemporaries, including Churchill. Because so few have taken the time to acquaint themselves with Hitler’s thought, and because his thinking is erroneously understood today as sui generis, it’s impossible to use the shorthand “this idea is straight out of Mein Kampf” without being accused of resorting to rhetorical hyperbole.

All the same, the reality is that one of the central ideas that animates the Covid-denialist movement comes straight out of Hitler’s autobiography, though with a few nips and tucks here and there to bring the style up to date. Small wonder, then, that as Chossudovsky supplies pandemic protesters with a Hitler-inspired conspiracy theory, a movement calling itself patriotic socialism—evoking obvious parallels with the national socialism of Hitler—rhapsodizes about the truckers’ convoys.

Know your enemies.

The Occupation of Ottawa is a Far-Right Assault on Labor and Democracy 

February 10, 2022

By Stephen Gowans

Some people believe the occupation of Ottawa is a leftwing, pro-working-class phenomenon, but that’s hardly the view of trade unionists, community organizers, activists and frontline workers here in the city.

We see, feel, hear, and experience the occupation first-hand, on the ground. That might be why we understand the occupation differently: not as a leftwing phenomenon and democratic expression, but as a far-right movement of racists, evangelicals, union-haters, and conspiracy-minded lunatics, inspired and supported by the likes of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Elon Musk.

A supporter carries a US Confederate flag during the Freedom Convoy protesting Covid-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions in front of Parliament on January 29, 2022 in Ottawa, Canada. – Hundreds of truckers drove their giant rigs into the Canadian capital Ottawa on Saturday as part of a self-titled “Freedom Convoy” to protest vaccine mandates required to cross the US border. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP)

To be sure, you don’t have to live in Ottawa to grasp the true nature of the occupation. Ben Norton, who lives in Nicaragua, is under no illusion about what Occupy Ottawa is all about.

Norton recently tweeted:

I've seen enough right-wing, foreign-funded, astroturfed "protests" in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Belarus, Hong Kong, etc. to immediately recognize one in Canada. Yes the neoliberal Trudeau gov't is awful, but allying with even more reactionary right-wingers against it is stupid.

Also…

It's so ridiculous that there are so-called "leftists" insisting we should oppose Canada's largest trucker union, representing actual working-class truck drivers, and instead side with Donald Trump and far-right US billionaires to support the rightwing capitalist convoy in Canada.

Teamsters Canada opposes the occupation and calls Covid-19 “the real enemy of truckers.”

Pierre LeBlanc, a local activist, recently wrote to Matt Taibbi, who has written an substack article describing the occupation as Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s Ceauşescu Moment.

In his response to Taibbi, LeBlanc summed up quite effectively why the Ottawa occupation is an anti-labor, far-right phenomenon.  

Dear Matt,
I regularly read you and find much of your writings instructive. This time, you have overreached to cartoonish effect. Attempting to link Trudeau to Ceausescu was gross, baseless hyperbole at its worst. And it seriously erodes your credibility.
I despise Biden, the Clintons and Trudeau as much as you do, and have often said so in my writings, but you totally misrepresent what is going on here.
What is going on here in Ottawa and elsewhere in Canada is a full-on assault on Canadians by organised cadres of the extreme, fundamentalist, rightwing evangelicals, recently or forcefully retired RCMP and other police officers, one of Trump's advisors and a whole raft of Canadian and American conservatives and rightwing wingnuts. Much of it financed by American so-called donors and whipped-up by Fox News and many others. That you should associate your good name with them is sorely disappointing. 
Firstly, this is not a truckers' protest. It is a planned insurrection, a version of color revolutions not unlike what went on in Ukraine, Georgia and Bolivia, and the ongoing attempted coups d'État against Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Peru, Chile and many other countries around the world, and the defense and promotion of Apartheid Israel. As well as the attempted,laughable political and economic throttling of Russia and China. 
Real truckers who make their daily living crossing the border are few and far between. Indeed, this occupation is deeply damaging to them and their families - they will be long degraded by this cynical hijacking of their good name and profession. Even at the Ambassador Bridge blockade, there are only 5 transport trucks involved in that blockade. The rest are the same people who have been attacking nurses, doctors and other health workers in front of hospitals for over 2 years, and who have suddenly discovered that using their supped-up half-ton toys, 4X4s, SUVs and tractors as weapons is very effective. Much like Kissinger and Pinochet organized a fringe of truckers in Chile in 1973 to overthrow the Allende regime.
The cadres leading this are the who's who of Canada's supremacist extremists (you know the list) linked up with former RCMP officers (the latest iteration of the spokesman is ex-RCMP). They are holed-up in the luxury of an Ottawa hotel with one of Trump's advisors, linked up with other yahoos of the US oligarchy/billionaire club (Elon Musk, etc., and the military complex deep-state agents). Collectively, they are highly experienced in sabotage, artificially creating infrastructure and economic gridlock to bring a society to its knees and whipping up disaffected and naïve citizens as their film extras, blackshirts and peons.
But you surely know all of this, Matt; you're a student of capitalist/imperialist/fascist history. What I don't understand is what motivates you to such drivel. Unless it is some kind of nihilistic desire to replace Canada's capitalist, racist, colonialist system by any means, even if that means creating an even more fascist state. 
You're either naïve, seeking attention or a classic disruptor, consequences and massive suffering be damned.
Pierre LeBlanc

The lunatic far right People’s Party is four-square behind the occupation, as are the interim leader and likely future leader of the country’s Conservative Party. When have anti-union, pro-business, social conservative parties ever embraced an authentic, pro-labor, left-wing movement?

The Ottawa police have done nothing to liberate the city, preferring to avoid confrontation and hob-nob with the occupiers, or avoid them altogether. The city’s chief of police, Peter Sloly, is an endless source of excuses for why he and his officers cannot act. Early on he declared “there may be no policing solution.” The chief’s inaction has led to calls for his resignation, along with that of the city’s mayor, Jim Watson, dubbed Mayor Milquetoast by a local newspaper columnist for offering nothing more than impotent pleas for the occupiers to go home. With what genuine leftwing, pro-worker, movement has the police ever been complicit?

A coalition of local labor unions, community organizations, and residents will hold a rally this Saturday in solidarity with frontline workers and Ottawa residents affected by the occupation.

It will

  • Call for an end to the occupation.
  • Show support for frontline workers.
  • Say no to white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia and all other forms of hate that the convoy has directed at residents.
  • Call for public health measures that protect our communities.
  • Call for immediate support for workers who have lost income due to the convoy, 14 paid sick days for all workers, decent pandemic pay, an end to the crisis in long-term care, and a strong public healthcare system.

A majority of Canadians and US Americans support Covid-19 restrictions. Occupy Ottawa is not a grassroots working-class movement, but an astroturfed corruption of far-right billionaires whose aim is to pressure governments to lift all Covid-19 restrictions and return to business-normal. As The Wall Street Journal, the mouthpiece of the hard-right billionaire class put it, “the message of Canada’s trucker protest” is that “it’s time for the pandemic emergency orders to end.” (How many legitimately leftwing, pro-worker, pro-democracy movements were ever endorsed by The Wall Street Journal?) If the far-right elite and its occupation shock-troops have their way, governments will transition from Covid-19 mitigation measures to a ‘living with Covid’ strategy, more aptly dubbed ‘dying with Covid’–over the opposition of a majority of their citizens.

The Journal acknowledged that most Canadians oppose the occupation of their capital. Musk, Trump, the Journal, Canada’s far-right parties, and the occupiers care not a fig for democracy, not one jot for the well-being of others, and not one iota for the welfare of labor. Their sole concern is to lift Covid-19 restrictions, and they appear ready to go to great lengths to achieve their aim, no matter how reactionary their goal and no matter how anti-democratic and thuggish their methods.

Pierre LeBlanc can be reached at pierrealeblanc@rogers.com