Thursday, December 29, 2005

They thought they were free.

Here's a comment off of Smirking Chimp. Very sobering:

What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if he people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with ______, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.

They say, "It's not so bad" or "You're seeing things" or "You're an alarmist."

And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can't prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don't know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic.

Excerpted from They Thought They Were Free : The Germans, 1933-45 by Milton Mayer. The blank left in the above for effect is very easy to fill.

Sometimes I wonder if the complete descent into fascism is just what's inevitable and that it will just have to play itself out. If only the Democrats are able to take back the House in 2006 we'll be able to impeach Bush. But with Diebold voting machines owned and operated by Republicans, that's not very likely.

In looking for a link for the above book, I came across this one entitled, The Twilight of Democracy : The Bush Plan for America by Jennifer Van Bergen. Here's the description:

In The Twilight of Democracy, Jennifer Van Bergen dissects the signs of something gone terribly wrong. A massive superstructure is being constructed, whose shape can be discerned by the 2000 election, the enactment of the PATRIOT Act, the detentions at Guantanamo, the invasion of Iraq, the withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, the promotion of the FTAA, the eradication of environmental protections, and a policy of increasing secrecy.

Jennifer Van Bergen helped raise the alarm with her six-part series "Repeal the Patriot Act." She is an adjunct faculty member of the New School for Social Research in NYC since 1993. She lectures on the antiterrorism laws and the Constitution.

One of the reasons I am so obsessed with finding news sources other than the mainstream press is that I don't want to wake up one day to a completely fascist tyranny being in place and have to admit to myself that I didn't even notice it happening. I have noticed and I fear it may already be too late.

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