By Ruth Cohen
Serious essays at the contemporary Tory executive in Ontario; A Globe and Mail bestseller.
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Additional resources for Alien Invasion: How the Harris Tories Mismanaged Ontario
It rules by sudden and disruptive decree, replacing civic debate with public scapegoating and smearing opponents as subversive or belonging to 'special interests'. Totalitarianism's hallmark characteristic is 'the big lie'—blurring fact and fiction by the saturating repetition of mind-shackling falsehoods. Its ultimate apparatus of social control is a pervasive propaganda system that appeals beneath reason to the primordial hatreds and fantasies of economically destabilized masses. The prior social conditions required for totalitarianism to grow as a social movement are deepening unemployment and insecurity of livelihood, decay of civil infrastructures, and a corrosive cynicism about old-style government.
I thought, "Sure, these folk are going to look after themselves. They'll provide for their own old age. They'll buy their own health insurance. " I used to fret over how much blame to attach to the people who are running things—you don't want to judge people unfairly. What I know clearly from the Eraser experience is that it doesn't matter. Whether they do what they do out of a stunted world view, or from a demonic, unparalleled arrogance and greed, the 'collateral damage' is the same in either case.
This will produce the Golden Key: the budget crisis. The fourth stage occurs when we finally have the Golden Key in hand, the key that will unlock every door. With a good budget crisis running we can do almost anything we want. We can savagely cut spending and roll wages back to the 1978 level—or lower. Spending too much on schools? Slash. Don't you know we have a budget crisis? Doctors making too many people well? Cut their salaries. Close half the hospitals. Don't you know we have a budget crisis?