Tuesday, April 3, 2018

This Isn’t the First Rise of the Far-Right in Canada

hate racism xenophobia fascism white supremacy politics books Quebec
Adrien Arcand
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’’

This often repeated, posted, and talked about saying was first made popular by American philosopher George Santayana. Looking at the return of “mainstream’’ fascism today, it’s a wonder we learn anything at all.

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, fascism was on the rise all over the world, for a variety of social, economic, and political reasons like communist fear, post-war instability and upheaval, and later the Great Depression. While the most famous were Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s fascists, these were absolutely not the only places where fascist thought gained popularity. Movements sprung up in the United Kingdom, the United States, and in many Eastern European countries as well as Spain and Portugal. Of course, Canada wasn’t exempt from that list.

With the fascists came those who opposed them and their views: the anti-fascists. Today we often call them antifa, but they’ve always had the same goals in mind: quash fascists by any means necessary, wherever necessary.

Fascist groups sprang up all over the country during the interwar period: The Canadian Union of Fascists were based in Manitoba, and in the east Ontario was home to Swastika Clubs. Most prominently, in Quebec, was Adrien Arcand’s Christian National Social Party.  (more...)

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