The End Of America

November 22, 2007 at 7:27 am (Civil Rights, The Constitution)

On this Thanksgiving Day, which happens to coincide with the 44th anniversary of the assissination of President Kennedy, I have been pondering the state of our country. As you can tell from the theme of my web site (The Day The Consitution Died – http://www.kurtericson.com), I’m greatly disturbed by what seems to be a slide towards a police state and what is tantamount to a state of martial law.

While browsing the articles on one of my favorite news/op-ed sites, Alternet (http://www.alternet.org), I came across an interview with author Naomi Wolf about her new book “The End Of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot” (http://www.alternet.org/rights/68399/). It details the way in which she feels we are losing the foundations of our country. In the book, she outlines ’10 steps’ (http://www.alternet.org/blogs/video/65748/) or a blueprint for how fascists take over democracies. They are:

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

2. Create a gulag

3. Develop a thug caste

4. Set up an internal surveillance system

5. Harass citizens’ groups

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release

7. Target key individuals

8. Control the press

9. Dissent equals treason

10. Suspend the rule of law

As you may have noticed, many of these have already been implemented. We are well on our way to abandoning the very precepts which have made this country great, and a light to the World.

From her interview:

“I could tell last fall when a law was passed expanding the definition of terrorists to include animal rights activists, that people who look more like you and me would start to be called terrorists, which is a classic tactic in what I call a fascist expansion.”

“And then looking back at Italy and Germany, which were the two great examples of modern constitutional democracies that were illegally closed by people that were elected … duly elected … most Americans don’t remember. Mussolini, a National Socialist, came to power entirely legally. And they used the law to shut down the law. So that’s what I call a fascist shift.”

“History is particularly instructive in the early days of the fascist shifts in Germany and Italy, when things were really pretty normal. People go about their business, just like we’re doing now. It’s not like goose stepping columns of soldiers are everywhere. It looks like ordinary life. Celebrities, gossip columns, fashion, before getting caught up in a snare. People kept going to movies, worrying about feeding the cat. (laughs) Even while you watch the sort of inevitable unfold.”

“They can mow down democracies all over the world, but somehow we’ll be just fine. But what’s so ironic about that is that the Founding Fathers drafted the Bill of Rights in fear. They knew that you had to have checks and balances, because it’s human nature to abuse power, no matter who you are. They knew the damage that the army could do breaking into your home. … they knew that democracy is fragile, and the default is tyranny. They knew that. And that’s why they created the system of checks and balances.”

It’s a great interview and if you’re concerned about what’s happening to our civil rights in this country, I suggest you read it. I conclude this blog entry with a question from the interviewer, and a quote from Milton Mayer’s 1955 book “They Thought They Were Free”:

“So let’s talk about what could happen here. Is America in denial? Or is avoidance an attitude that seemed to be present in all historical examples? That people assume it’s not going to happen to them. Does the Americans’ denial at this point run parallel with the denial of Germans and Italians? Or do we have our own version of denial here?”

— …when the Nazis attacked the Communists, he was a little uneasy, but, after all, he was not a Communist, and so he did nothing; and then they attacked the Socialists, and he was a little uneasier, but still, he was not a Socialist, and he did nothing; and then the schools, the press, the Jews, and so on, and he was always uneasier, but still he did nothing. And then they attacked the Church, and he was a Churchman, and he did something – but then it was too late.
— from the book “They Thought They Were Free” by Milton Mayer – interviews with ordinary German citizens about the rise of Nazism in Germany

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3 Comments

  1. Bambi said,

    Yes, it’s all very sad. From the stories I have heard in the past from Germany, we are not far from where they were when they finally realized it was too late to fix it!

  2. revkharma said,

    Interesting. You’re not the only one thinking about all this. I’ve often wondered just what we are in for with the next couple of election cycles. Some dolt in the house has already proposed repeal of the 22nd amendment.
    And don’t forget the advice offered by The Great and Powerful Obama’s chief of staff:
    “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
    We are on the brink, and the abyss is deep and very dark

  3. Kurt Ericson said,

    Smoke all the cigarettes you want. As Bill Hicks says, just don’t buy the ones with the warnings that say “Lung Cancer” 🙂

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