Surely the most bizarre culmination of the ten years of Harper's political tenure was seen yesterday with the Globe and Mail's surreal endorsement of the Conservative Party with the addendum that Harper should resign as soon as he has been handed an election victory. One can only imagine that this is the method by with the world's elusive .001 percent of extremely wealthy, de facto rulers, pass messages to their corporate lapdog Stephen Harper, through the voice of Postmedia outlets. These ultra-rich don't pick up the phone and tell Harper to vacate their office, they make a public announcement to that effect through their staff.
Of course, this endorsement cum not endorsement is incredibly interesting because it actually demonstrates a deep-seeded fear among the largely hidden rich and powerful over what Harper is doing to the effort to corporatize the world. He is giving the rightwing, corporate agenda a bad name and in so doing adding fuel to the growing fire and to the realization that the international neo-liberal effort is one that seeks to dictate a world economy that exists solely to serve the wealth accumulation of the very few. The Globe and Mail's endorsement is a blatant attempt at endorsing the neo-liberal agenda while distancing that agenda from the anti-democratic, anti-judicial, hate-filled politics of Harper. Of course, the so-called 1% understand that neo-liberalism is, by its very nature, anti-democratic, but they are also afraid that the realization of this fact by the masses (a realization that is being enhanced by Harper's personal, blatant political style) will threaten their national (not to say global) hegemony. The hegemony and legitimacy of the neo-liberal agenda rests, at least in part, on the illusion of support that the 'democratic' system provides. The startling, and ever expanding, inequality of our system can only exist if there is a perception that people have the right (at least theoretically) to reject it through some vaguely representative form of democracy. If if becomes too clear that the political leaders are actively trying to undermine that system of democratic participation, then the process of legitimation breaks down, the illusion is exposed, and the ballon is burst.
The Western Democracies have largely outgrown blatant fascism. The mass of people are not willing to endorse a return to the kind of capitalism that the European fascists of the 1930s were selling - one where the army was more or less an extension of a single political party, where people had no real right of privacy from the intrusive state, where the government could arrest people without charge, and imprison them or exile them at will, where blatant racism was a mechanism of the state, and where the government talked about representing the people but slowly crushed every vestige of those people's voice out of the system. Neo-Liberals would love this fascism to still be acceptable because it would make their job of world domination so much easier. But even the world corporate elite know this kind of blatant fascist agenda won't sell in Western democracies nowadays and that if their agenda becomes too clear people are going to wise up and catch on. This is threat that Harper represents to the small elite and so they instructed their lapdog editors of their biggest Canadian newspaper to endorse their basic economic agenda of corporate control and wealth, but to jettison the leader of that effort whose overly angry, abrasive, abusive, and anti-democratic style threatens the very existence of that agenda by threatening to expose the real face behind the mask of contemporary capitalism.
Admittedly, many people are startlingly slow to catch on to the corporate, anti-democratic agenda that Harper so blatantly represents. Many people know so little about their own state and nation that they have no real idea what Harper has done through a fairly stealthy ten-year effort. They don't understand his voter suppression tactics, they don't know the way he has attempted to manipulate (or ignore) the judicial system, they don't seem to understand the degree to which he has gutted the environmental rules, they don't understand the implications of his voter frauds, they don't get the ways he has manipulated the House rules to hide the money path and hide legislation in omnibus bills - a path that led Harper's government to be the first in the history of the Commonwealth to be found in contempt of parliament. Many people don't get any of that. But the problem for the corporate elite is that enough people get it to expose the real face of the corporate agenda. And when enough people start making the connections, the efforts of radical groups such as the occupy movement will no longer seem so crazy and then the elite will face a real threat.