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Wednesday, April 25, 2007
When Fascism Comes to America....

Naomi Wolf will say that she knew it all 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.

Ah, I've been meaning to get into a 10-step program for awhile now; let's see what they entail:

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

After we were hit on September 11 2001, we were in a state of national shock. Less than six weeks later, on October 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 civilisation". There have been other times of crisis in which the US 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."

Okay, so your rule should be "Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy with no defined end?" You can tell that Wolf is going off the deep end already if her Rule #1 doesn't really quite fit. And Wolf does not even pretend that Bush has created an "internal" enemy.

2. Create a gulag

Of course, Wolf is referring to Camp X-Ray, but the Russians did not create a gulag for outsiders, they created a gulag for their own people. Ditto with the Nazis and their concentration camps.

3. Develop a thug caste

Here Wolf has in mind the Brownshirts, the Blackshirts and those terrifying security company thugs here in the US. Seriously.

It goes on, but you get the point. As I've said many times in the past, the idiots who claim America is turning into the Third Reich are not minimizing the evils of Nazi Germany, or overblowing the supposed evils of the Bush Administration. They are fancying themselves the noble heroes who resisted Hitler.

Our buddy Gaius at Blue Crab Boulevard notes that Wolf's article could apply just as well to the Global Warming zealots.

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