HOW dangerous in terms of threatening fundamental democratic freedoms is Justin Trudeau’s invocation of emergency powers against the Canadian truckers?
Deeply disturbing scenes of police aggression in Ottawa over the weekend, accompanied by unprecedented raids on the personal bank accounts of protesters, make it clear that this is descending to very sinister levels of government by diktat.
Trudeau, of course, claims to be a right-on, tolerant liberal and environmentalist. He believes everything he does is unquestionably in the national interest, even though in the last election he secured only 21 per cent of the national vote.
He and his supporters have condemned the truckers as racist, anti-Semitic, transphobic and – by association – Nazis. His ultimate intent in raiding and suspending their bank accounts appears to be to make them non-citizens.
As Godwin’s law observes, comparisons with the fascism that national socialism in Germany became when Hitler grabbed power in 1933 are often exaggerated. Here, they may be valid.
Hitler also claimed to be a political progressive. He zealously espoused so-called green agriculture and massive state investment on socialist principles in public works.
His fanatical idealism meant that whole sections of the population were viewed as defective on criteria that included political views, nationality, ethnicity or physical or mental capacities. Such citizens could be arrested and placed at the whim of the state in concentration or forced labour camps, where millions died.
Less widely known about the Third Reich is that when Hitler took over as German Chancellor in 1933, one of his first acts was to declare a national census. This was to be a primary instrument in his ruthless campaign to get rid of those he saw as defectives and to silence all opposition to his rule. His purpose was to find out where Jews and other unacceptable ethnic minorities such as Romanies lived.
He was confident in commissioning the census because he had already established a strong relationship with the American company IBM (International Business Machines Corporation). They were among the first in the world to have developed punch-card data handling, a precursor of computers which enabled the recording and manipulation of census-related information in unprecedented volumes.
To meet the demands of the Reichstag, during 1933 IBM invested the equivalent of $20million into Dehomag, their German subsidiary. Thomas Watson, the founder CEO of IBM, travelled to Germany to supercharge operations, to liaise with Nazi top brass and kickstart the creation of a gleaming new Berlin HQ.
The full extent of IBM’s role in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945 was pieced together by the US journalist and historian Edwin Black, who in 2001 published his book IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation.
He states in the chilling and relevant introduction: ‘This book will be profoundly uncomfortable to read. It was profoundly uncomfortable to write. It tells the story of IBM’s conscious involvement – directly and through its subsidiaries – in the Holocaust as well as involvement in the Nazi war machine that murdered millions of others throughout Europe.
‘Mankind barely noticed when the concept of massively organised information quietly emerged to become a means of social control, a weapon of war and a roadmap for group destruction. . . Der Fuehrer’s obsession with Jewish destruction was hardly original . . . But for the first time in history an anti-Semite had automation on his side. Hitler did not do it alone, he had help.
‘In the upside-down world of the Holocaust, dignified professionals were Hitler’s advance troops. Police officials disregarded their duty in favour of protecting villains and persecuting victims. Lawyers perverted concepts of justice . . . doctors defiled medicine to perpetrate ghastly experiments . . . statisticians used their little-known but powerful discipline to identify their victims, project and rationalise the benefits of their destruction, organise their persecution . . . Enter IBM and its overseas subsidiaries’.
Black details that one of the first consequences of the new data handling capability was that identifying as Jews individuals in Germany with only one or two Jewish ancestors resulted in the previous estimates of the German Jewish population of between 400,000 and 600,000 expanding to more than 2million.
As the Nazi war machine occupied successive nations of Europe, a census using IBM technology soon followed. Black notes that every German concentration camp maintained a records department facilitated by IBM punch-cards and machines.
Trudeau, of course, has access to much more efficient data capture and manipulation technology than Hitler. He also has the support of the big tech companies such as GoFundMe, which cancelled the payment to truckers of almost $10million raised on their behalf.
Other tech giants as well as most of the MSM are distorting, censoring or ignoring the truckers’ perspective and have tarred them with the same far-Right, anti-vaxx brush as Trudeau.
The emergency powers being deployed by the Canadian prime minister are, it is said, temporary. But the goal is to crush dissent and those who disagree with his regime. What will come next?
Steve Bell, interim police chief of Ottawa, has given a disturbing insight into the plans: ‘If you were involved in this protest we will actively look to identify you and follow up with financial sanctions and criminal charges, absolutely.
‘This investigation will go on for months to come. It has many, many different streams, both from a federal financial level, from a provincial licencing level, from a criminal code level, from a municipal breach of court order, breach of court injunction level.
‘It will be a complicated and time-consuming investigation that will go on for a period of time. You have my commitment that that investigation will continue and we will hold people accountable for taking our streets over.’