Hard Right Turn Ontario

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1837 ... May 30, 2019
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Hard Right Turn Ontario

Greg Albo

A decade after the global financial crisis, few of the initial political calculations on the trajectory of world capitalism remain intact. The assessments made by liberals and social democrats alike on the end of neoliberalism and a revival of Keynesian state intervention now seem like a bad joke. And the reading from many on the radical left that the economic slump would be met by a wave of social resistance and an opening for political rupture have fared no better in either economic analysis or political guidance. Indeed, neoliberalism has regained its pre-eminence in economic policy through re-financialization and austerity despite its ideological discredit and the endless multiplications of its contradictions.

It is more than a little alarming... that it is right-wing political forces that have gained more and more political space in the wake of the crisis. The range of forms of this insurgent right defies a single classification -- electoral victories opening political space for a hyper-nationalist alt-right (USA and Germany); incorporation of neo-fascist forces into ‘formal’ liberal democratic states (Italy, Hungary, Poland, the Philippines, Austria, Poland, and others); exceptional judicial-political coups (Brazil, Honduras); authoritarian constitutional regimes (Russia, China, India, Turkey); military coups (Egypt, Thailand); and still others.

It is often claimed, in the simple-mindedness that passes for political analysis in Canada, that our inclusionary polity has been innocent of these developments (although Canada is, perhaps, the most orthodox adherent to neoliberal policy precepts in the world). But with the far right gaining political space inside and outside the Conservative Party -- as in the long years of the Stephen Harper governments (and now with Andrew Scheer as his successor as leader of the Conservative Party), the United Conservative Party in Alberta, the People’s Alliance in New Brunswick, and the Saskatchewan Party and Coalition Avenir Québec governments -- this claim bears no scrutiny.

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