Vive Le Canada

Maqclean's Magazine: the Destruction of a Canadian Institution
Date: Sunday, January 25 2009

Maclean's Magazine has signed on as a part of Canada's Far Right Monolith.  It helps reveal the ten falsehoods pushed by the Monolith into the faces of Canadians every day.

Maclean’s Magazine:  the Destruction of a Canadian Institution

The destruction of a worthy institution is always a sad event.  Maclean’s Magazine, except as an empty, posturing parody of its former self, is finished.  Many of us grew up with it and subscribed for decades because – though open to criticism, of course – it managed to capture Canada and report on its condition in a way that was, overall, fair. 

I stopped subscribing and reading it – as others I know have done – when it became a driven huckster-sheet for Harperite inhumanity and hustling corporate opportunism.

Out of sight was soon out of mind. And then a complimentary copy arrived in the mail recently … and I turned its pages….

Maclean’s Magazine:  the Destruction of a Canadian Institution

The destruction of a worthy institution is always a sad event.  Maclean’s Magazine, except as an empty, posturing parody of its former self, is finished.  Many of us grew up with it and subscribed for decades because – though open to criticism, of course – it managed to capture Canada and report on its condition in a way that was, overall, fair. 

I stopped subscribing and reading it – as others I know have done – when it became a driven huckster-sheet for Harperite inhumanity and hustling corporate opportunism.

Out of sight was soon out of mind. And then a complimentary copy arrived in the mail recently … and I turned its pages….

What leapt into my mind immediately was the raw, shrieking voice of Ted Byfield’s now-ended magazine called Alberta Report.  That magazine, is faithfully misrepresented by the Alberta Arts Heritage website which says it was written “from a conservative, Christian perspective”.  No.

It was written from a Far Right, pro-U.S., vengeful point of view, very much – many would agree – unChristian in tone.  Indeed, I’m told that Ted Byfield left the Anglican Church of Canada because it was too tolerant, went to the Canadian Orthodox Church and found it, also, too tolerant.  He then is said to have joined the Far Right U.S. Orthodox Church.  Of course.

Visiting Alberta in the late 1980s, I observed that the head of the University of Calgary’s Strategic Studies program was a U.S. import whose father, I was informed, was a ranking officer in the U.S. military.  That head wrote “scholarly” (?) and op-ed pieces for Canadian consumption urging Canadians to accept U.S. military policy.  At the same time, students at University of Calgary were slowly building a fund (over a few years) to create a Chair of Canadian Studies there.  Three or four U.S. Branch Plants stepped in, ignored the Canadian student wishes, and plunked down a large sum to create a Chair of U.S. Studies, letting it be known that they were looking for a U.S. State Department kind of person to take the Chair.

When I publicly questioned moves of the kind, Ted Byfield devoted a sizeable space in his magazine to a sneering attack on me.  Of course.

Maclean’s Magazine has taken on the Byfield mantel while presenting itself as “Canada’s oldest and most distinguished current affairs magazine”.  Byfield is gone, but his progeny inhabit Maclean’s, the Fraser Institute, and the C.D. Howe Institute. They inhabit the National Post (all CanWest operations) and the Globe and Mail. And, of course, they inhabit the creation – surely  George Orwell inspired - which goes by the incredible name: “The Manning Centre for Building Democracy”.  Check the Orwell novel, 1984; it must contain an institute with that name.

Read the Globe and Mail’s latest propaganda piece (Jan 23 09 A13) by frequent contributor Preston Manning: ‘Yes. Yes,’ it says. ‘Government money is needed in the present crisis.  But “even more urgent” is to give the Private Sector the “infrastructure projects”, the initiatives in “science, technology, and innovation”.  And most important – get government out as fast as possible.’  Manning appears to be recommending taxpayers’ money for private corporations. 

He forgets the private sector had all those initiatives and chances before 2008 and brought the global economy crashing down upon us all.

Pretending to present thoughtful ideas about the economy, Manning pushes the line of the endlessly repetitive Far Right Monolith, a line carefully cultivated by the Globe and Mail and Maclean’s, along with the others.  Just what is that line?  We will lay it out.  But, first, Canadians have to know the Far Right Monolith succeeds in almost creating a blackout on any other ideas.  Since we’re in Canada, maybe we should say it creates a White-out: it wants everyone in the same Far Right bus. When Canadians look out the windows of that bus they are intended to face nothing but a White-out - everything else in the world blanked out but what is in the Far Right bus.

There is no doubt, then, that many Canadians in the face of the White-out by the Far Right Monolith are puzzled and uncertain about the best policies the country should be following. We’ll look at the face of the Monolith in the January 19 issue of Maclean’s.  (Note its apparently carefully chosen photo of bloc quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe seeming to be making a Nazi salute. That might be called ‘Maclean’s fairness’).

But first: just what ARE the false positions repeated and repeated by the Far Right Monolith?  Here they are in ten points.

No one (1) can frame laws and regulations to prevent huge business and commercial crimes such as those that have lashed the global community.  So don’t even try to deter wrong-doing in the economy.

Government (2) is incapable of efficient creation and/or operation in the economy, and it is incapable of innovation.  All economic activity that is profitable must be left to the kinds of people who are responsible for the present crash and crisis.

(Canadian governments created the Canada Pension Plan – one of the best and most secure in the world, but governments, we know, cannot create and innovate in the economy.)

Labour (3), organized and unorganized, is an enemy of the economy. Labour must fit, without regard for its well-being, the desires of the kinds of people who are responsible for the present crash and crisis.

Governments must consult (4) about procedures they wish to follow in order to solve the present crash.  They must not consult Labour, the Left, or anyone who questions the Far Right Monolith.

The U.S. Market Economy model (5) must be ours.  We must all believe the U.S., its privatized system, and its values are better than anything we have in Canada.

We must (6) actively support the (failed) Free Trade Agreements and (failed) Globalization, even though both, in Canada, simply mean U.S. takeover and colonization of Canadians.

We must (7) support all U.S. policies: Free Trade; Globalizaiton; uncritical support for Israel; uncritical support for Canada in Afghanistan; privatization of everything; destruction of social securities; destruction of regulation.

(Take note that the Harperites opened Canada, in 2006, to U.S. real estate ‘financiers’ and the 40-year mortgage.  The Harperites have removed regulation from Canadian food industries.  The Harperites have programs to remove all regulations from almost all “private” industries. The Gordon Campbell Far Right in B.C. has corruptly privatized BC Rail, has – in fact – destroyed and privatized BC Hydro, and is presently selling off all BC rivers to (often) US-connected privatisers.)

We must (8) believe all the lies about democracy that place the Far Right Monolith in power.  Here are the biggest lies: (A) a freely entered coalition of parliamentary members is “undemocratic”.  (B) Support of a coalition by legitimate and freely elected MPs of the bloc quebecois is “undemocratic”.  (C) The bloc quebecois cannot be, in any way, legitimate.  (4) If a parliamentary coalition overthrows the Harper government, the coalition is “undemocratic” and then must campaign as a “coalition”.

A system (9) of government subsidy to all political parties in Canada (as is present throughout Western countries) is “undemocratic” if it frustrates the power ambitions of the Stephen Harper Far Right forces.

Good ‘law and order’ legislation (10) should come down heavily on “individual” “social” crimes, increasing sentences, maintaining convict lists, etc .  But it should “deregulate” and erase categories of crimes committed by the wealthy and those involved in “white collar”, corporate, and public trust crimes.

I have already referred to the (January 19 09) Maclean’s which depicts Gilles Duceppe (in what I take to be a Maclean’s ‘set-up’) in a Nazi pose, decorating Andrew Coyne’s column.

Coyne tells us the conflict about the Canadian political party election subsidy is connected to the crash.  That is false, as I show further on.  He falsely alleges two “destabilizing” forces in parliament.  He does not mention the most destabilizing force: Stephen Harper’s dishonesty.  The two forces he names are red herrings to provide for a White-out of the real problem. And then he, falsely, says that no coalition can be made without the bloc – and that the freely and democratically elected bloc is a destabilizing force. Both statements are false. If he really means them, any party that challenges the Harperites is simply a “destabilizing” force. So much for Andrew Coyne.

Then Conrad Black’s wife, in her column, connects the U.S. Bernie Madoff ($50 billion) Ponzi scheme to anti-semitism and to “anti-Israeli propaganda”.  Dispute about the foolhardiness of equating anti-semitism and disagreement with Israel’s political policies never enters her mind, it seems.  Almost anything, it would seem – if we listen to Lady Black – spurs on anti-semitism.  But then Lady Black is a smart cookie.  If she can’t find causes for things, she can certainly invent them in support of the Far Right Monolith.

Perhaps the next piece to look at is Steve Maich’s column on Lord Black himself.  That column is pure Maclean’s/Monolith.  Maclean’s has probably spent more time and space arguing for Conrad Black than for any other person in its history.  The extraordinary argument is that a rich, talented person should not be in jail.  Maich wrote his column before the deadline for out-going president George Bush to finish his list of pardons, leaving a little room for hope.  But Bush didn’t care to pardon British citizen, Conrad Black.

Nonetheless, Maich tries to make a case for presidential pardons even though they are mostly noted for the way in which they release the criminal friends of presidents.  Hardly an argument for a Black pardon. And then – Aha – Maich makes an argument I list as number one in the ten falsehoods of the Monolith.  You can’t deter white collar crooks. So don’t try.   

Then Maich delivers his tour de force.  Black, says Maich, wasn’t as bad as some people, and so he should be released.  Let him go. Maich actually says that!  That argument would empty most of the prisons everywhere.  As usual in a Maclean’s/Monolith argument, very few real facts are given and the so-called “case” put forward is so specious it is embarrassing. What the reader gets is a snow-job.  Embarrassing.

But it isn’t more embarrassing than the “exclusive” interview of Stephen Harper by Kenneth Whyte, Maclean’s editor-in-chief.  The interview is a set-up – two Far Right clones misrepresenting reality: the Monolith at work.  A fair way to describe the interview, I think, would be to call it a ‘Whyte-out”.

Harper begins by attacking the Opposition when Kenneth Whyte asks him what he has learned from the past two months.  When asked about how the Harperites “handled things” – that is, how they denied a serious economic situation in December and moved to punish their enemies with crackpot legislation – Stephen Harper, as clearly as I can see it, lies.  He accuses the Opposition (which actively disliked Harper policies and legislation) of engaging in “opposition-for-the-sake-of-opposition”. That is simply not true.  Forcing them into corners and twisting their arms and threatening election, Harper was forcing them to accept legislation they heartily disliked.  And so their organized opposition grew – which is exactly what should happen in a democracy.

Like Coyne, Harper tries falsely to tie his desire to destroy the (internationally practiced) election funding process to a “a time of economic recession”. Remember the facts: when he tried to kill that funding process it was in an economic review in parliament during which the Harperites denied any economic problems existed and they forecast a budgetary surplus coming up! So it was not presented in “a time of economic recession” as the Harperites saw things - unless Harper knows he was lying back then.

A further false position Harper takes is to ask the Opposition “to accept that the government is the government”.  But to say that in a minority situation is to falsify fact.  The “government” only governs in such a situation by the grace of the Opposition majority – which means the “government” is only the government if it gains the approval of the Opposition.  If Stephen Harper doesn’t know that, he should be removed quickly.  I believe he is trying another ‘Whyte-out’ on the readership: bury the truth in a snow-job.

Harper fudges and slithers more in the interview before delivering a final falsehood.  The parliamentary parties in Opposition can gather together and defeat the Harperites.  If they agree to do so, they are perfectly within their democratic rights.  But Harper says: “if they defeat us as a coalition they have to run as a coalition….”  They don’t.  Harper is fantasizing. I believe he knows very well he is not telling the truth.  I believe he is putting a falsehood forward as fact.  Again.

The ‘Whyte-out’ is complete.  Kenneth Whyte doesn’t ask any serious question to confront the real issues.  He doesn’t ask, either, if there will be safeguards against Harperite pork-barreling of friends in the new budget, if Harper will broaden employment insurance for the jobless, if Harper has genuinely sought input from environmentalists, unions, nursing associations, the Native peoples, etc.  Nothing like that.  “Private sector forecasts” have been consulted.  So?  So what.

Kenneth Whyte succeeds in a pretend interview – a ‘Whyte-out’.  He does not push for a single, serious answer.  In addition, Harper is shown in eight photo reproductions – all posed for Far Right Monolith propaganda.  The interview would do credit to Ted Byfield.  It is a sign that Maclean’s as a serious magazine – is finished and has taken up its role as a propaganda machine for Stephen Harper and the Far Right.

As a footnote, think of what could be done for Canada outside the Far Right Monolith, using economic stimulus and widespread Canadian innovation.  A federal/provincial pharmaceuticals industry could be founded, in public hands, to innovate and to bring health care costs down.  A system of federally and provincially-owned environmental initiatives and innovations could be created so that Canada might stand on the cutting edge of a continuingly developing program designed to bring cheap energy to Canadians and to sell into the world.  A whole new forestry initiative could be undertaken to develop Canadian forest materials into highly developed products which would be labour intensive and globally profitable.  And the National Research Council – repeatedly gutted by reactionary Canadian governments under corporate rule - could be released as a major innovating centre in communications, transportation, energy production, and agricultural renovation. Many more ideas could be shaped for publicly-owned activities that increase employment and guarantee decent lives for Canadians.

The role of the Far Right Monolith is to prevent all ideas of that kind from being considered by Canadians.  If the ideas mentioned above are new to you, you have proof that the Far Right Monolith White-out is working very well.  Ideas you need to prepare for a decent future in Canada are never placed before you by the Far Right major press, media, and ‘think tanks’ of the country or by members of government. Think about that.





This article comes from Vive Le Canada

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