From: Sandra Finley
Sent: October 17, 2023
To: thecurrent @ cbc.ca
Subject: re Rachel Maddow’s book. Oct 17
I kept waiting to hear the name Thomas Watson among the list of very influential American fascists in lead-up to WW2.
Watson was advisor to the President of the U.S., and simultaneously feted by Hitler.
He was IBM President, came from poverty, a smart and ruthless guy. Sole goal in life, make money.
IBM and the Holocaust is a fascinating read. And revealing.
The use of Technology was critical to the Nazi’ superior ability to construct detailed files on citizens, especially Jews. Watson understood the value to the Nazis of data collection and mechanized data retrieval through IBM’s Hollerith machines and punch cards, precursor to computers. Pre-war, he set up IBM census subsidiaries in many European countries, ready to go with lists of Jews when the German Nazis marched into town. (The mechanization of data is also what enabled the Nazi to run a complex network of trains on efficient schedules.)
Appreciate the value of the Canadian Chart Right:
“In fostering the underlying values of dignity, integrity and autonomy, it is fitting that s. 8 of the (Canadian) Charter should seek to
protect a biographical core of personal information which individuals in a free and democratic society would wish to maintain and control from dissemination to the state.”
The development of Canadian case law in support of Charter Rights gave eloquent voice to the need for Privacy of Personal Information – – for a reason (help prevent what the Nazi did from happening again).
Many of the influential characters in Maddow’s book, as told in the interview, were rich people (industrialists like Henry Ford. Add Thomas Watson to the list).
Fascism by definition involves the marriage of state and corporations.
Jane Jacobs wrote a little book, “SYSTEMS OF SURVIVAL, A dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics”. In it she describes what happens when the two functions, commerce and politics (guarding the public good) become entangled with each other. The result is CORRUPTION. I think that the word “fascism” can be used interchangeably with corruption in this instance?