Quebec’s Brownshirts

During the rise of nearly every socialist/fascist regime, one of the ingredients has always been the formation of paramilitary, thuggish organizations that carry out the dirty work of the political leaders.  This is necessary to silence dissent and intimidate voters in to supporting the party.  Case in point during the rise of Nazism in Germany, the brownshirts would preside over Hitler’s public speaking engagements and would forcefully eject, beat and murder people who spoke out against him.  In Russia it was the Bolsheviks.  In Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge.  In Peru they were called the Shining Path.  If the revolution achieves success, these paramilitary organizations usually take over the actual military or morph in to the internal security organizations like the NKVD, Gestapo or SS.

The radical left has long despised dissent and informed critique because it exposes the lie covering their true intentions.  Rather than peace, they want power.  Rather than freedom and equality for all, more than anything they want to command society and expropriate what they want from it with impunity.  Many on the left truly believe that they have nothing but the best intentions and when their cruel methods are exposed, cognitive dissonance often leads them to violence because of their inability to reconcile their ends and means.  “How dare someone criticize me!  I only want to help others!” is the attitude amongst many of the left (and right) intelligentia who imagine themselves as the saviours and architects of civilization.

The radical left spins conspiracies about the right just as much as the right spins conspiracies about the left.  Both have a large amount of truth to them.  J. Edgar Hoover did have the FBI infiltrate communist groups in the USA and the Communists did have agents infiltrate and occupy some of the highest offices in the US government (most notably Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White).  The irony is that both extremes want the same thing, power over everyone else in order to impose their perfect vision of society.  They only differ with regards to the shape and form it will take.  Fascism and Socialism are but a stone’s throw away from one another.

Properly understood, both the radical left and right are but factions of a larger collectivistic movement that relies on infiltration, subversion, propaganda and intimidation in order to achieve their ends.  When those fail, outright violence is employed.  This was why Hitler’s brownshirts were referred to as “beefsteaks”, meaning their fascist exterior was merely the fig leaf covering their true, socialistic agenda.

Last Tuesday, a leftist group stormed the offices of the Montreal Economic Institute, a free-market think tank headed by Michel Kelly-Gagnon that has done nothing but point out the massive debt problems of the province and prescribe spending-cutting measures in order to balance the budget.  This great act of heresy earned them a visit from a gang of masked thugs last week.

Mr. Kelly-Gagnon has plenty of intellectual enemies. As economist Paul Daniel Muller notes, the so-called right wing is “almost a dirty word” in Quebec and those who harbour its views have always clashed with the province’s powerful labour movement and other entrenched special interests.

So far, those foes have mostly engaged the think tank through polite public debate. Now they’re literally at its door.

That door, by the way, happens to be made with a reinforced frame and heavy glass. And it’s just about the only thing that shielded the conservatively-minded staff inside this past Tuesday when militants bolted up nine flights of stairs and made a bee-line for the entrance.

The activists, some with their faces covered, shook the door violently in an attempt to get in. They let loose with spray paint, threw anti-MEI literature and voiced general disapproval of the think-tank’s positions, Mr. Kelly-Gagnon recounted Thursday. One of the leaflets read: “Si le capital attaque, on va attaquer le capital.” (If capital attacks, we’ll attack capital).[ref][/ref]

Now I wonder what these people mean by “If capital attacks”?  They can’t possibly mean that factory machinery and bank accounts will start rampaging through the streets.  Just who is “capital” and how would they “attack”?  This is a question never answered by the ideological left.  They have anthropomorphized a totally abstract concept like “capital”, given it an agenda contrary to theirs, and declared war on it.  Capital can’t attack anything, but irrational people driven by collectivist ideology can certainly cause harm.  Their true message is clear though; “If my government benefits are cut, I’m taking it out on you.”

If merely talking about budget cuts is enough to incite violence in Quebec, I shudder to think what will happen when those cuts come as a matter of economic inevitability.  The province is the most indebted in the whole country, driven in to this hole by the expansion of a massive social-welfare state and pandering to special-interest groups.  Every family of four is carrying a second mortgage made up of provincial government debt to the tune of $240,000.

Tuesday’s events also give the lie to one of the left’s supposed political pillars; freedom of speech.  Said Mr. Kelly-Gagnon “My goal is not to get under their skin but just to talk about what we believe to be good policies. Obviously it does disturb a certain number of groups. And that’s fine. That’s just part of normal democratic debate. But Tuesday went a step further. It was a clear attempt at intimidation.”

And this is what it all really boils down to when political ideology and economic reality collide.  It’s a pattern that has been repeated dozens of times throughout the 20th century and why Austrian Economics was all but completely driven out of the public sphere in favour of the pseudo-economics of John Maynard Keynes.  When reality opposes politics, the political get violent.

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6 Responses to “Quebec’s Brownshirts”

  1. TroubleCominEveryday says:

    Dude, get out of society if you are against "collectivism", society is "collectivism". Your article is specious.

  2. Anne McTwang says:

    Didn't Haper spend a billion on week-end in Toronto a while back to shut people up? he occupied down town Toronto in the name of shaking the King of Saudi Arabia's hand. Was he a NAZI as well?

    Anyone comparing anyone in Canada to Hitler is a MORON.

  3. We need to educate our youth about economics from both perspectives, and the reality of our provincial and national debt.(Ontario is not far behind Quebec.)

  4. jrmapaquin says:

    As a native Quebecker and French speaker, I cannot help but feel ashamed at the success of the Quebec Socialist, Nationalist idiots with no sense of economics but a great deal of success in populism and spreading ignorance. I thank God for enlightened souls and movements like the Mises Institute. I took refuge in Ontario many years ago only to find a delayed yet similar socialistic direction. I fear we may soon run out of enlightened places to go to…

  5. Alex says:

    Interested to know what happened to these thugs.

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