Saturday, April 28, 2007

Fascism: Coming Soon To America

      I've stated on more than one occasion that this country is headed towards a communist-like society and that George Bush wants to be the dictator in charge. Most of the people of America respond  by saying things like " that can't happen here " or " not in America."  I just happen to think that you are wrong. Even Bush said that things would be easier for him if this was a dictatorship as long as he was the dictator. That statement should have been a hint for things to come.

    Author Naomi Wolf, in her forthcoming book ( "The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot" ), says that there are ten steps to making the move from freedom to fascism, which have occurred in states currently under one person/government rule.

   Naomi Wolf's book will not be released until September but I have a few excerpts for you to read through, from Alternet.


Fascist America, in 10 Easy Steps

By Naomi Wolf, Chelsea Green Publishing. Posted April 28, 2007.

Editor's note: This is adapted from Wolf's forthcoming book "The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot."

Last autumn, there was a military coup in Thailand. The leaders of the coup took a number of steps, rather systematically, as if they had a shopping list. In a sense, they did. Within a matter of days, democracy had been closed down -- the coup leaders declared martial law, sent armed soldiers into residential areas, took over radio and TV stations, issued restrictions on the press, tightened some limits on travel and took certain activists into custody.

They were not figuring these things out as they went along. If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy, but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.

As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated in the United States by the Bush administration.

Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even considering that it is possible for us to become as unfree, domestically, as many other nations. Because we no longer learn much about our rights or our system of government -- the task of being aware of the Constitution has been outsourced from citizens to professionals such as lawyers and professors -- we scarcely recognise the checks and balances that the founders put in place, even as they are being systematically dismantled. Because we don't learn much about European history, the setting up of a department of "homeland" security -- remember who else was keen on the word "homeland"? -- didn't raise the alarm bells it might have.

It is my argument that, beneath our very noses, George Bush and his administration are using time-tested tactics to close down an open society. It is time for us to be willing to think the unthinkable -- as the author and political journalist Joe Conason has put it -- that it can happen here. And that we are further along than we realize.

Conason eloquently warned of the danger of American authoritarianism. I am arguing that we need also to look at the lessons of European and other kinds of fascism to understand the potential seriousness of the events we see unfolding in the United States.

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy.

After we were hit on Sept. 11 2001, we were in a state of national shock. Less than six weeks later, on Oct. 26, 2001, the USA Patriot Act was passed by a Congress that had little chance to debate it; many said that they scarcely had time to read it. We were told we were now on a "war footing"; we were in a "global war" against a "global caliphate" intending to "wipe out civilization." There have been other times of crisis in which the United States accepted limits on civil liberties, such as during the Civil War, when Lincoln declared martial law, and the Second World War, when thousands of Japanese-American citizens were interned. But this situation, as Bruce Fein of the American Freedom Agenda notes, is unprecedented: All our other wars had an endpoint, so the pendulum was able to swing back toward freedom; this war is defined as open-ended in time and without national boundaries in space -- the globe itself is the battlefield. "This time," Fein says, "there will be no defined end."

Creating a terrifying threat -- hydralike, secretive, evil -- is an old trick. It can, like Hitler's invocation of a communist threat to the nation's security, be based on actual events (one Wisconsin academic has faced calls for his dismissal because he noted, among other things, that the alleged communist arson, the Reichstag fire of February 1933, was swiftly followed in Nazi Germany by passage of the Enabling Act, which replaced constitutional law with an open-ended state of emergency). Or the terrifying threat can be based, like the National Socialist evocation of the "global conspiracy of world Jewry", on myth.

It is not that global Islamist terrorism is not a severe danger; of course it is. I am arguing rather that the language used to convey the nature of the threat is different in a country such as Spain, which has also suffered violent terrorist attacks, than it is in America. Spanish citizens know that they face a grave security threat; what we as American citizens believe is that we are potentially threatened with the end of civilization as we know it. Of course, this makes us more willing to accept restrictions on our freedoms.     

   You can read more of this, HERE