02.02.2015 03:00 PM

You’re a fascist

Here’s the thing: I’ve met, and interviewed, real fascists.

Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, you name it: I’ve gone face-to-face with most of them. Ernst Zundel, Jim Keegstra, Terry Long, Richard Butler, David Irving, Klan leaders, and on and on. For Web of Hate, and for Unholy Alliances before it, I have met with no shortage of people who are honest-to-goodness fascists.

That’s why it pisses me off – really, really pisses me off – when someone, usually online, calls someone they disagree with a “fascist.”

Stephen Harper isn’t a fascist. Neither are Messrs. Trudeau or Mulcair or anyone else you happen to dislike, actually. Fascism, you see, is the ideology of murder. You will know you are dealing with a real fascist when they want to kill you. For an opinion, or your religion, or the way you look or the way you are.

There. I got that off my chest. It will have no effect on anyone’s behaviour, but it will hopefully explain why I still need to block idiots on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere.

Because they’re fucking idiots.


  1. Ray says:

    That should effectively put the boots to anyone contemplating an evocation of Godwin’s Law.

  2. Al in Cranbrook says:

    Thank you. Definitely needed to be said.

  3. edward nuff says:

    so what do we call fascism without the murder part? fascilite or fasciness. I thought the G20 in Toronto was a clear example of fasciness. God I miss Stephen Colbert.

    • DerekTO says:

      Fasciness, that’s excellent! I shall use that. I miss Colbert too.

      • Edward nuff says:

        Please do, Use it that is. Though I made it up it exists because of Colbert, but I did register the word today. Great name for a satire site or blog about fascism lite.

    • Patrice Boivin says:

      I think national socialism (fascism) tends to promote racism and eventually murder, because a core part of the belief system is that stronger nations ought to prevail over weaker ones. That means strong nations have a responsibility to crush weaker ones, to teach the weaker people how they can become great. Pretty twisted stuff.

      It also means that within the nation, weaker people are obvious targets for rehabilitation or eradication because they weaken the Nation (capitalized). A country must be strong.


      Perfect playground for what Erich Fromm called “the Authoritarian Personality” — people who think in terms of hierarchies and pyramid schemes.


  4. Richard says:




    noun: fascism; noun: Fascism; plural noun: Fascisms

    an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.


    Oh no, Canada isn’t becoming fascist at all. *rolls eyes*

    Just because you say something Kinsella, doesn’t mean it’s true, I’m pretty sure that’s the argument you just put forward, isn’t it?

    • Warren says:

      It’s my opinion, moron. And, when I call you a moron, it’s because I think I can prove it. Now beat it.

      • Richard says:

        I’m sure plenty of Germans had the opinion Hitler wasn’t fascist either, but I’m glad you’re clarifying that the very definition of fascism you use is your own _opinion_ of what constitutes fascism and not the official definition.

        So from my understanding Canada won’t be fascist – in your opinion – until we start mass murdering those we arrest on what is becoming flimsier and flimsier standards for “terrorism”. Expanding on this logic of yours Hitler wasn’t fascist until after he implemented the final solution then? Or was he already fascist – in your opinion- when his government started the Reichstag Fire to unite the German people against the invisible threat of “communists” and push through the laws that began the destruction of German civil liberties in the name of “national security”?

        If you can “prove it” I’m curious why you didn’t do that instead of calling me a moron? Insults generally indicate the person doing the insulting in reality has no argumentative legs to stand on.

        I can prove it too.

  5. Peter says:

    Stephen Harper is not a fascist? For most of the left, that’s like telling a four year old there is no Santa. You’re a cruel man, Mr. Kinsella.

  6. davie says:

    1960’s, pal of mine in Winnipeg began to agree with fascism, argued and acted out fascist ideas, declared himself a fascist. He once told me that the roots of his thinking were in his reading of Dryden and Pope. We talked about it, some people agreed with some of his points, He and I did a few things together, we disagreed sometimes…but ‘murderous’ just was not a part of this fellow.
    I guess my fascist and his sympathizers were a different group than the people you spoke to.

    When, as in 1914, we again went to war in Europe for King and Empire, I do not think we initially went to fight fascism. Just months before we declared war, we turned away refugees on the good ship St Louis, so we did not seem too concerned with the grubby side of what was happening in Europe. In 1945, we stood down and came home, leaving two European fascist regimes to carry on for three more decades, including being our allies in NATO. It was as the war continued, and with the interpretations after 1945 to today that ‘fascist’ like ‘communist’ were successfully made into conversation stopping pejoratives.

    Button words work like sixty.
    Right now we have a PMO and Prime Minister on the campaign trail working hard with the term ‘global jihadists.’ Our military is attacking a Sunni rebel group in Iraq in alliance with Shia Iraqis, Kurd Iraqis, Jordani military, and with support from mostly Muslim countries in the region. I assume most of our allies are fighting a jihad.
    ‘Global jihad’ is a button word that should grab the Prime Minister a few votes, because button words work.

    • Ian says:

      I don’t understand what you mean. M.S. St. Louis was 1939 and WWII, not 1914 and WWI… And what two European fascist regime kept going for three decades after WWII and were our allies in NATO (which was created in 1949)? Do you mean Turkey and Greece? I’m confused…

  7. Felipe Morales says:

    Dear Warren:

    I actually looked up the definition in the CONCISE OXFORD DICTIONARY and says that FASCIST comes from the Italian FASCES which was a bundle of rodds with a blade axel representing the power of the Praetors in Rome. Mussolini seems to have evoked the power of the Romans to unite behind his anti-communist and anti-socialist coalition of parties.
    It was also a xenophobic “Italian First” ideology. So it is supremely unfair to use it for sensationalist purposes. No Mr. Harper is not a fascist and neither are Messrs. Trudeau and Mulcair and we should keep the tone if not civilezed at least accurate

  8. .. argh .. but I like the territory you’re opening up for comment, discussion .. vision or rhetoric..
    We now live in a world where ‘middle class’, ‘combat’, ‘democracy’, ‘surplus’, ‘terrorism’, ‘poverty’, ‘election fraud’, ‘fascism’
    are uh .. being used, abused & re-defined by mainly mainstream media
    some of which seems awfully aggregated (not aggravated)
    and often unable to spell, proofread or even re-read once

  9. alice says:

    Hi Warren,

    Which (if any) of these commonly used criteria to assess fascism do you feel Mr. Harper has NOT done? (The list is from Laurence W. Britt’s work).

    1 Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism
    2 Disdain for the importance of human rights
    3 Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause
    4 The supremacy of the military/avid militarism
    5 Rampant sexism
    6 A controlled mass media
    7 Obsession with national security
    8 Religion and ruling elite tied together
    9 Power of corporations protected
    10 Power of labor suppressed or eliminated
    11 Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts
    12 Obsession with crime and punishment
    13 Rampant cronyism and corruption
    14 Fraudulent elections
    ~ Laurence W. Britt

    • Lance says:

      And the other two parties have done at least half of that list at some point. So what is your point supposed to be?

      • smelter rat says:

        Please elaborate.

        • Lance says:

          Naw. How about the first person posting the original comment in the first place elaborate first?

          • ben burd says:

            I was going to reply – faking a silly voice – “Nah nah and nyah” but decided just to let Lance’s replies stand by themselves and make him look silly and puerile.

          • Lance says:

            And what is “silly and puerile” about asking someone to back up what they are saying BEFORE demanding someone do likewise about an original outrageous comment?

            *SIGH* Give your head a shake.

    • Steve T says:

      OK, let’s deconstruct your list.

      1 – there is a problem with nationalism? When other parties do it, it’s called patriotism.
      2, 5, 8, 11, and 13 are highly subjective – anyone can allege them, since there isn’t an objective measurement.
      6, 8, 10, and 14 are patently false.
      3, 4, and 7 are done by every ruling party when there is military conflict occurring during their tenure. 4 is also done by every party at all times. How often do we hear the Libs and NDP talking about how poorly the Cons treat veterans?
      9 is true, but again is done by every ruling party
      12 is also true – so I guess you have to decide if punishment for crime is a good or bad thing.

      It seems the list by Mr. Britt is like a lot of political measurements – it is used to fit the narrative desired. Heck, I’ll freely admit that my deconstruction of the list itself is politically biased. It’s the nature of the beast; nothing is objective.

    • Peter says:

      Alice, I took your list to International Fascist Headquarters and they weren’t impressed. “How come he hasn’t put his enemies in jail or seized their wealth?” they wanted to know. “How many newspapers and media outlets has he shut down?” (they were amazed Heather Mallick is still employed.) “Why does he just stand by and watch judges strike down his laws–doesn’t he have an army?” “Plus the man’s won three elections and still keeps going back to the polls? Why isn’t he Prime Minister-for-Life or something? ”

      I mentioned robocalls and their reply was “That’s all you’ve got?” I also reminded them that he once prorogued Parliament with the support of public opinion and that some parliamentary committees think he was high-handed with them, but they sneered. When I tried to argue that his War of 1812 celebrations was proof of his militaristic nationalism, they just said insulting things about Canadians.

  10. patrick says:

    Murder. Harper and much of the right wing’s blood lust to get our soldiers killed in a pointless, and counter productive battle against a tactic, I think fulfills your definition of fascism. Further, the party that Harper has formed attracts much of the crowd that if the time was right would be goose stepping proudly over asphalt. I suspect that the fascist insults at Harper are much about the “feel” of the man as much as his actions.

  11. graham watt says:

    “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” – Benito Mussolini
    I think we have a slightly different situation here in Canada. 
You might call it Phasecism.
 Phasecism is the merging of corporate and state operations in phases until a new form of government in which the people’s laws and other structures of the previous democracy are replaced by global corporatist interests which can then overrule a particular nation’s interests in the name of an improved economy and subsequent job opportunity.
 Economy therefore trumps democracy. All of this happens incrementally. Proponents of phasecism (phasecists) support the present governments’ belief that economic efficiency is more important than a people’s involvement in traditional democratic practice, therefore elements of explanation and approval by legislative bodies are of lesser importance and may be replaced in phases. The “closed door” is a critical part of this phasecist process. 
Canada’s involvement in the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations is a current iteration of phasecism which will seriously alter our democratic rights.
    Also phased in is a revisionist approach to the country’s history with specific instances of past militarism, however vague and inconsequential.

  12. wsam says:

    Isn’t fascism, at root, a disdain for anyone, or any group, deemed as weak? Especially, but not always, weaker than ourselves.

    Fascism celebrates that all men are not born equal, seeing this as natural and right, and in the political sphere seeks to organize society along those lines. Everything flows from the divide between weak and strong and what you make of that divide. Socially, culturally, politically, economically, like in some nightmarish Neitzchean opera, the strong must be allowed unfettered access to dominating the weak (however that is defined).

    I am an atheist. But I have always thought Christianity offers an excellent counter to the fascistic impulse, in whatever guise it is found. Jesus died for our sins and he loves us all equally. We are all worthy.

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