Creeping fascism like boiling a frog

I spent four months in Franco's Spain, the quintessential fascist state. The Guardia Civilia were everywhere, both in uniform and undercover.

They and the Cathollic Church were the authority. Their attitudes and authority of the GC and the priests were indistinguishable, serious and not to be messed with.

One stormy day, I went out on a deserted street for cigarettes. A GC came up to me and started questioning me at the cigarette machine. Why was I out on the street? Another crept up behind me during the questioning. They eventually accepted my explanation.

I lived several weeks with a Spanish family, and was fully accepted by them. If anyone raised any question about politics, the entire extended family would go quiet, until someone went out onto the sidewalk to make sure the coast was clear before the discussion continued.

There was a huge rally to support Franco, while I was there, and the entire population turned out. It was considered suspicious if you didn't. Anything that drew attention to your behavior would have repercussions.

I did hang out with a small group of French anarchists in Malaga. They took great delight in panhandling the undercover cops, who had to play along so as not to blow their cover, but that was the only challenge to authority that I saw in four months.

A very good Fellini film based on his experiences growing up under Mussolini's fascism is Amarcord. If you want to know what fascism is, watch it. It is available at the Kamloops library. It communicates what fascism is far better than any academic discussion.

That is important because we definitely have embarked on a path that can lead to fascism with the government infiltrating groups opposed to its policies, its secrecy, its forays into religious games with its office of religious freedom and the constant expansion of individual monitoring.

The old story of the frog put into cool water that is then gradually brought to a boil is potentially us.

Sun TV and its ethical oil and denial of global warming is there to prepare us. It came about after a meeting PM Harper and one of his major backroom boys had with Rupert Murdoch in New York.

After looking at Murdoch's track record, one can describe Sun TV as spawn of the devil. Harper's backroom boy is now managing it. As a cable TV subscriber I am obliged to subsidize it if I want any news options.

HUGH JORDAN

Kamloops

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