The End of America

I was mindlessly channel surfing last night and just happened to land on C-Span. Now this is not a channel I normally watch, but something caught my eye and I watched for a few seconds. That is all it took before I was hooked and had to watch the entire interview that was on. I wish I had caught the beginning of the segment because it was a very interesting session with Naomi Wolf, author of The End of America as well as other books such as The Beauty Myth.

To quite one of the reviews, “Readers will appreciate her energy and urgency as she warns we are living through a dangerous “fascist shift” brought about by the Bush administration. Her chapters outline the “Ten Steps to Fascism” citing historical corollaries (as well as the pigs in Orwell’s Animal Farm), with headings like “Invoke an External and Internal Threat,” “Establish Secret Prisons,” and “Target Key Individuals.” In other words, fascism can exist without dictatorship. Her book’s publication through a small press in Vermont that is committed to “the politics and practice of sustainable living” rather than through a large trade house is itself a political act. Highly recommended for all collections.”

It was a very interesting interview and she made some very good points – especially about the move to silence opposition through such things as the Patriot Act and being able to label people as “enemy combatants”. The main thing that she kept pointing to is the current administrations removal of the checks and balances. And where those do exist, they have tried to make sure that people of their same mind or even under their control are in those positions. For example the justice system and the attorney generals.

Now, truthfully, I believe she may go a bit far and especially interview may be a bit caught up in hype and hyperbole, but she does have extremely good points. Often it takes something akin to a 2 x 4 to hit you upside the head and get you to pay attention. I think that is what she is doing here. You must realize that when rights start to slide away, or be stripped away, they go very quickly. It is up to each and every one of us to be vigilant and not say, “it couldn’t happen here.”

If you are so inclined, you can also watch a speech she gave on this same subject in Kane Hall at the University of Washington. It has been published to YouTube, here.