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From Freedom to Fascism in 10 Easy Steps

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Guardian has an excellent article written by Naomi Wolf that I recommend you read. She lays out in her article how America, under the leadership of the Bush administration, has been moving from a free democratic society to a fascist dictatorship through the process of erosion. This process isn't done by dumb luck, either. History, as Naomi Wolf illustrates, shows a clear roadmap for instituting a fascist dictatorship in an otherwise free society. Here's a quote from her article that bears this out:
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.
I'm going to list those 10 easy steps, but you really need to read Naomi Wolf's article to put each step into its proper context with recent events. In reaching the last of the list, if you don't believe we're well on our way to a fascist dictatorship, you're either a fool or an idiot.
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
Remember these steps the next time you see members of the Bush administration reminding you that we're at war with terror, that Muslim extremists mean to do you harm, that they hate us for our freedoms. Remember this when you look at the buildings that represent our once-great republic and realize that everything good they once stood for has been eroded away. All you're seeing is the empty shells of a great democratic society. Underneath the marble stone lay the rot and stench of a growing fascist dictatorship.


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