The Guardian July 11, 2001


Editorial:
Privatisation and "friendly" fascism

The privatisation of all arms of government took another step recently 
when a firm of private spooks, Business Risk Services, won the contract to 
vet applicants for the most security sensitive government jobs. Such tasks 
were previously performed by ASIO but not any longer. Consider yourself 
sidelined ASIO!

According to The Australian, BRS staff is made up of former spies, 
military intelligence and law enforcement specialists.

Every private company has as its bottom line, not service but profit, and 
BRS will be no exception. But this step has other implications when taken 
together with other developments introduced by the most conservative 
Federal Government since the time of Menzies.

It is also part of the step by step fascisation of the government and its 
agencies.

More and more surveillance cameras are being installed in streetwalks, at 
places of employment, in banks, railway stations and elsewhere so that the 
movement of pedestrians can be continuously monitored. When a demonstration 
takes place it is videoed and later, behind the scenes spooks note down 
every participant who can be identified. It is kept on computer records and 
later dragged out for any purpose that the authorities or private data 
collection agencies decide, not excluding blackmail.

There are similar databanks, recording the financial transactions of those 
who take out a credit card, or a home loan, use EFTPOS, or conduct other 
financial transactions. It is all on the record somewhere and this too is 
being bought and sold and is undoubtedly in the hands of private 
corporations.

The spooks looking into the applicants for any government job are also 
going to look into their personal relationships and the people they 
associate with.

The collection of data on the conduct and lives of individuals is only one 
side of the slow but steady fascisation that is taking place.

The authorities know that the savage exploitation that is being 
intensified, the cutbacks and conservative social policies and attitudes 
will cause and are causing widespread anger and opposition. So they are 
gearing up their repressive agencies. The concentration camps are already 
constructed  at present for refugees  but later for political 
prisoners, whowill be branded as trouble-makers, anarchists, communists, 
disrupters, etc.

The army has been given the powers (with the blessing of both Liberal and 
Labor Parties in Federal Parliament) to be involved in industrial, 
political or other civil disputes. For example, a big demonstration against 
some policy which causes mass opposition (such as the big Workers' 
Compensation demonstration outside of Parliament House which was branded as 
an assault on democracy by Premier Carr) could, in the future, not only see 
baton-wielding police but gun-totting troops as well.

Only two weeks ago, police in Port Moresby shot and killed a number of 
students who were protesting against the IMF/World Bank programs being 
implemented by the PNG Government.

A statement from the protestors says: "Let there be no mistake  while the 
police of PNG pulled the trigger, Alexander Downer and John Howard are 
responsible for the death of our students as they are the ones who have 
demanded that the Government of PNG implement the World Bank and IMF 
programs and they are the ones who supply the technical 'expertise' to 
train and turn the police into brutal and vicious murderers."

Modern-day fascism does not come with the trappings of German Nazism - the 
uniformed storm-troopers and Nazi salutes. It puts on a "friendly" face  
it is in your interests! We are protecting the country's "security" they 
claim. We are protecting the country from being overrun by "foreigners". 
But it is the security of the capitalist system and the big corporations 
they are really talking about.

Fascism has been well described as the "terroristic dictatorship of finance 
capital". We already have the dictatorship of finance capital. The terror 
part will come as the Australian people more and more reject the policies 
and the consequences of the policies being dictated by the big corporations 
and Australian governments attempt to suppress the people's anger and their 
demands for a better world.
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