How Stephen Harper and His Think Tank Colleagues Have Transformed Canada

Book - 2014
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Margaret Thatcher transformed British political life forever. So did Ronald Reagan in the United States. Now Canada has experienced a similar, dramatic shift to a new kind of politics, which author Donald Gutstein terms Harperism. Among its key tenets:

A weakened labour movement--and preferably the disappearance of unions--will contribute to Canada's economic prosperity Cutting back government scientific research and data collection will improve public policy-making Eliminating First Nations reserves by converting them to private property will improve conditions of life for aboriginal peoples Inequality of incomes and wealth is a good thing--and Canada needs more of it

These and other essential elements of Harperism flow from neo-liberal economic theories propounded by the Austrian economist Friedrich von Hayek and his U.S. disciples. They inspired Thatcherism and Reaganism. Stephen Harper has taken this neo-liberalism much further in many key areas. As Donald Gutstein shows, Harper has successfully used a strategy of incremental change coupled with denial of the underlying neo-liberal analysis that explains these hard-to-understand measures.

The success of Harperism is no accident. Donald Gutstein documents the links between the politicians, think tanks, journalists, academics, and researchers who nurture and promote each other's neo-liberal ideas. They do so using funds provided by ultra-rich U.S. donors, by Canadian billionaires like Peter Munk, and by many big corporations--all of whom stand to gain from the ideas and policies the Harperites develop and push.

This book casts new light on the last ten years of Canadian politics. It documents the challenges that Harperism--with or without Stephen Harper--will continue to offer to the many Canadians who do not share this pro-market world view.

Publisher: Toronto :, James Lorimer & Company,, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781459406636
Branch Call Number: 971.073 Gut
Characteristics: 288 pages


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cl342 Sep 17, 2015

Lets just begin with the term "Neoliberlism" distinctly different from Classical Liberlism. The former a move directed toward social planning or engineering,
the latter is a Lassize faire practice. Massive difference between the two. One is social engineering the other free unencumbered markets or if you wish capitalism. But we have neither what we have today is Fascism. So start the understanding of these true definitions before attempt is made to grapple with a severe distortion of the subject matter.

Jun 30, 2015

Fascinating account of development of Steven Harper's ideology. Interesting to find he studied all the same theories beloved by Maggie Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Even though their belief in these theories and development of policies to match led to the disastrous financial collapse of 2008, Harper is still a believer! Too bad for us!

redban Jun 16, 2015

Truly outstanding!

Not just a MUST-read for the average Canadian, this is well worth the read for anyone, particularly if you live in North America, but truly Neoliberalism affects the entire world.

This book introduces the "Free Market" propaganda attack on the post-WWII Social Democratic movement. It details how the Think Tanks set the groundwork that helped prop up the puppet politicians (Reagan, Thatcher, Mulroney), allowing them to systematically dismantle any attempt at democracy, labor unions, environmental protection/scientific research, basically a "screw you" to the working class. Then, it concentrates on (for us Canadians) our dear leader Stephen Harper: his incremental assault on the working class.

Please open your eyes.

Also recommended: Matt Taibbi's "Griftopia", David Graeber's "The Democracy Project" & "Debt: The First 5000 Years", Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia", Chris Hedges' "Death of the Liberal Class"

Jan 04, 2015

I would encourage everyone to read this book before the next election. It is written in a style that is easy to read and shows how our country is being transformed little bit by little bit to a country that soon we will not recognize.

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