Thursday, November 22, 2007

In case you've been sleeping too soundly

This is a lecture Naomi Wolf gave last month.

Her new book is called The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, and there's an interview with her on AlterNet about it here.

The most horrible thing to me about the past six years has been the trending of the government of our country towards what amounts to a fascist dictatorship. We've seen the early attempts by this administration to shut down our democracy already. We've seen manipulation of elections, harassment and intimidation of dissidents, control of the press, the eviscerating of our system of checks and balances, and the president declaring himself to be above the law. We've seen the whittling away of our constitutional freedoms in the name of keeping us safe from a shadowy, terrifying, largely theoretical Enemy who could be lurking anywhere, hating our freedom and plotting to kill us all. We've seen, incredibly, the legitimization of torture, which to any sane person should be evidence that our moral compass has gone seriously haywire.

Wolf lays it all out. The speech is long, but you should watch it. In short, she describes how every dictator since Mussolini has followed a similar methodology for taking power, every single step of which is happening right now, here in the Home of the Brave:

  • Invoking an enemy to keep the populace afraid of

  • Creating a secret prison system where torture takes place (can you name a single regime in all history that did this without eventually devolving into totalitarianism?)

  • Developing a paramilitary force

  • Setting up a surveillance apparatus aimed at ordinary citizens

  • Arbitrarily detaining and releasing citizens

  • Infiltrating citizen groups

  • Targeting key individuals

  • Restricting the press

  • Equating dissent with treason

  • Suspending the rule of law

None of this stuff is new, but Wolf states it cogently and convincingly. If you think it's nothing but overblown laughable paranoia, I'd love it if you were right. But I don't think you are.

By the way, Naomi Wolf is on the No-Fly List. Interesting, don't you think?


Ed Bruske said...

Great lead, Rob. Thanks for posting this. I want to read. I think my wife will want to read it even more. She's been saying for years that Bush is the advent of fascism in our time.

An Briosca Mor said...

The situation is indeed dire, but there is at least some cause for hope: January 20, 2009. If only we can hang on that long.

And Ed, tell your wife that Bush is nothing but a puppet. The real culprit is Cheney. But she probably already knows that.

Rob said...

Well, this administration has already shown that it has no problem with manipulating elections, and there's a lot that can happen between now and then. Bush could declare martial law and postpone the election or cancel it outright, for one thing. You know he's looking at Musharraf and thinking, hm, why didn't I think of that?

Mike said...

Aaah, everybody who's anybody is on the No-Fly List. Verizon recently delivered a bound copy to my doorstep.

Robin said...

"We're all created equal, just some are more equal than others," or similar, Animal Farm, George Orwell. I can't watch the video (any videos right now), but interesting analogy. I despise the condoning of torture. Also bad is that it may legitimize other nations torturing our people now as well.
BTW, I've lurked here a few times, finding your blog while searching for another musicians. My daughter danced for your band at Strathmore this past summer.