Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Facist USA

  • Secret prisons – they’re back!
  • Torture – we’re doing it.
  • Spying on all citizens.
  • Arrests and indefinite imprisonment without trial.
  • Rampant militarism.
  • Secret detention.
  • Enforced disappearance.
  • Denial and restriction of habeas corpus.
  • Prolonged incommunicado detention.
  • Unfair trial procedures.
We’ve now gotten to the point where Nazi Germany was, say, in 1934. Remember, at that time, if you had told a typical German what his government would do over the next ten years, he would have looked at you as a madman. After all, his land had been civilized for over a thousand years. His was the nation of Albertus Magnus, Gutenberg, Goethe, Schiller, Beethoven, Bach, Kant, Hegel, Schelling, Fichte, Heisenberg, Reimann, Mann, Lessing, Herder, Handel, Dürer, Leibniz, Gauss, Helmholtz – he could have gone on, but you get the point. His nation could not possibly descend into barbarism! If you tried to tell him he was living in a police state, he would have pointed out that his government had used its vast new powers very judiciously, and only against a few trouble-makers. So far.

America is full of decent people, who could never believe their own government could become fascist. So were Germany and Italy in the 1920s. But they became fascist anyway. They passed laws suspending civil liberties, but the government promised the frightened populace that those laws would only be used against targets like "Communist terrorists." And, a little bit at a time, the target kept getting bigger and bigger, slowly enough that the people who weren’t paying close attention never detected it.

And, next thing you know, there were millions of people dead! So, it turns out, it would have been worth paying attention after all.


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