Time is running out for our democracy. The revolution had better happen soon. We are much further along than most Americans realize. In fact, I have met learned people who say that they don't fear the government's intrusion into our lives because they believe that they have done nothing wrong. Tell that to the Long Island woman who died in the Phoenix airport. Oh, if only we could dig up innocent people who suffered under Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Pinochet... We can read all the history books, but there isn't time. So let's listen to Naomi Wolf.
There is a blueprint for a dictatorship. It's time tested and it's happening. A quick read is Naomi Wolf's Fascist America, in 10 Easy Steps
And you can watch this video of a talk by Naomi Wolf author of "The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot" given October 11, 2007 at Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus... Nothing else is really all that important in the grand scheme of things. I took notes as I was watching it, which are below.
These are my quicky notes on the video (excuse the lack of sentence structure as I was typing as she spoke):
There is a blueprint of 10 steps every would-be dictator puts in place whether left or right. The history of Mussolini, Germany in the early 30's, etc.
Our founders knew in their bones that an American despot could easily arise and oppress the citizens. They wrote out of fear and knew what tyranny was and set a system of checks and balances- it was a radical but they knew that if power went unchecked, it was human nature for despots to rise.
Invoke a terrifying internal and external threat. Hyped threat- Stalin talked about sleeper cells described as capitalist agents who were dressed like Soviet citizens waiting for the moment to rise up and strike. It's as if the Bush admin followed this playbook.
Goebbels embedded journalists. Goebbels staged book burnings. Remember the Dixie Chicks?
Pinochet told Chileans about insurgents and used faked documents, plan Z, to blow up their democracy. Much like the US produced fake documents- yellow cake uranium.
Secret prisons. Military tribunal- No due process. Lenin was the innovator- confino. Eventually turn the abuse against its own citizens. History proves it.
The State uses terror against an individual group to push to end democracy. In early Germany, the anarchists and communists were the target group. Then there is a blurring of the line- always the journalists, labor leaders, educators, activists are next... Starts out little and then grows. People accepted it at the time. Most Americans don't even realize that the president claims that he can deem you an enemy combatant and nothing will protect you. He can deem any one of any party, of any persuasion an enemy combatant. Innocence will not protect you. You will be put in a brig and kept there indefinitely- up to 3 years. Prolonged isolation makes you insane.
Democracy closes down in a series of tipping points, not a smooth steady progressive line. At the end, it goes fast though where a democracy can no longer heal democracy.
The first time the state made it legal to torture people was a tipping point.
When the kid was tasered in the University of Florida, it was a tipping point. The university reported to the Board of regents, which reported to the state legislature and ultimately to the governor.
Goebbels pioneered the use of state legislature top put pressure on state universities and academic institutions. Ms Wolf says that the day she reads in the NY Times that someone whom she identifies with is declared an enemy combatant is the day she will stop talking because she will be too scared. That's how society closes down and it will happen really clearly. That's why we should worry about secret prisons.
Create a para-military force. You can't close down a democracy without one. They can be used to intimidate the citizens. Italy was a democracy when Mussolini sent black shirts out to scare civilians and make them drink laxatives and then Hitler copied it by sending out brown shirts to make citizens drink gross liquids. In Portland last summer, the TSA forced travelers to drink baby formula and breast milk after the liquid scare on planes. They weren't a majority party in Germany when this happened.
The founders knew the dangers of a para military force and that's why there is a Second Amendment. King George's men were roaming around the colonies bullying people, breaking into their homes and taking their stuff. In our country, Blackwater, which has close ties to the administration was patrolling the streets of NOLA after hurricane Katrina. They got a billion dollar contract to work IN AMERICA recently. A new law says that the president can declare state of emergency on his own say so and a new law says that the president, by federalizing the national guard can declare martial law and send national guard troops from say Alabama to another state to enact curfew over the objections of the governors of the states and not tell congress about it until after the facts. This is exactly what the founders were worried about.
Create surveillance apparatus against ordinary citizens. You don't even need to surveill everyone if everyone thinks they are being surveilled. The US is driven by profit motive, not ideology motive as in Germany and Italy. When Berlin wall fell, the defense industry (third of US economy) was losing its global enemy so it had to invent a new one- terrorists. Weapons manufacturers who used to make cold war weapons shifted their manufacturing to what's called security industrial complex technologies. Surveillance and security is a multibillion dollar industry. While other countries like Spain and England don't consider terrorism a global war, the American profiteers have to ensure their profits by creating an enemy which is us-- That we're in need of surveillance.
Naomi Wolf, for a year and a half, every time she flew, got an 'SSS' on her boarding pass. High risk, security threat. She got extra searches by the TSA and was told she was on the list. Richard Murphy, a Princeton U constitutional scholar, the leader of Code Pink, Greenpeace, ACLU, a decorated war hero's family is on the list... the level of surveillance is so high that they know what you read, who you sit next to, where you're going... Ms Wolf said she found a letter from Homeland Security in her suitcase when she arrived at her destination. (May I add that DHS did something similar to my luggage when I traveled to Texas in the spring. If I suddenly shut up, you'll know why.)
Arbitrarily detain and release citizens who are involved in totally non terrorist groups, like environmentalists and anti-war groups. They infiltrate citizens groups and then citizens lose trust. They target individuals like artists, journalists, celebrities. Words like Treason are thrown about. In a strong democracy, treason isn't such a big deal, but when you read about Stalin in 1937, an editor of a paper like the NY Times was actually charged with treason and executed. In a closing society, there is much talk of terrorists and traitors. When a law was passed in the US recently to expand the definition of a terrorist, 6 months later animal rights activists were deemed terrorists.
Regular people become terrorists. You know from history that the first people to be tried under a military commissions act that the first people to be tried were white, English speaking. The last time the espionage act was used was in the run up to WWI and critics, journalists, activists, people fighting against child labor were rounded up, without warrants, mass arrests happened and people were beaten. The arrests happened when people talked about the constitution. Journalists today are being held in abusive prisons and detained in Iraq. The arrests quieted dissent.
People who criticize are viewed as traitors and treasonous.
The government will Subvert the rule of law- martial law. Leading up to elections during an unstable time, you're likely to see acts of provocation, hyped threats, protests will be upset by agents provocateur who will spark violence which will give an excuse for a crackdown
If you know the blueprint, when something happens you can almost predict what is next. Wolf was reading Goebbels when she predicted that the US attorneys in the scandal were from swing states. It turns out that the emails that the WH will not turn over to Congress will show that they were planning to fire ALL of the US attorneys all at once in a mass purge. Night of the Long Knives. Had this plan not been outed, and the attorneys had been fired, the end of our democracy would be that much closer. This is because US attorneys prosecute voting rights violations.
A closed society and even a violent dictatorship can give the appearance of a civil society. There are still elections. But they are corrupted. Men dressed like you and me were harassing vote counters in Florida. There's still a judiciary but they are not free to adjudicate freely. Academics and newspapers still exist, but they don't act freely.
What can we do?
History shows that the window is closing on democracy and if the people rise up in time, they can push back on this tyranny in the US. We have no time to waste in America to insist on the rule of law. We can't do this legislatively alone. The violence is escalating now. The state department is protecting Blackwater in Iraq. There are increasing taser and pepper spray incidents. Women like the one at the Phoenix airport are being shown in eerily good quality video are being dragged away... these keep popping up on AOL. National Socialists did the same thing.
We need to ratchet up our efforts even as they ratchet up their efforts to squash grassroots activists.
History dictates that a national uprising is incredibly urgent at this time in America. But it will take more than that.. impeachment isn't enough... we need to prosecute.
If we all take on the patriot's task and have a revolution from within, we can can restore liberty. The founders did not intend us to delegate responsibility of holding to the constitution to a special class of people like pundits, lawyers, politicians. It was meant for ordinary Americans to assume the patriots task and lead the fight to restore democracy. It's our job to channel the founders faith in us and to stand up in order to give our children and grandchildren freedom. We must stand up now.
There are also more videos at this youtube link. I hope you'll take the time to watch at least some of it or ask your friends to check it out.