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Naomi Wolf: Ten Steps To Close Down an Open Society

Naomi Wolf wrote an excellent piece commenting on the state of our country. I’ve pulled out some excerpts here but its worth reading in its entirety here:

“. . .Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even considering that it is possible for us to become as unfree – domestically – as many other nations. Because we no longer learn much about our rights or our system of government – the task of being aware of the constitution has been outsourced from citizens’ ownership to being the domain of professionals such as lawyers and professors – we scarcely recognise the checks and balances that the founders put in place, even as they are being systematically dismantled. Because we don’t learn much about European history, the setting up of a department of “homeland” security – remember who else was keen on the word “homeland” – didn’t raise the alarm bells it might have. . .”

(Naomi Wolf: The 10 Steps)

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

Wolf elaborates on each of the 10 points here.

As Naomi indicates in her article, this blueprint for controlling a society is nothing new and has been used by tyrants and dictators throughout history. Take a look at some of the founding fathers’ and other patriot’s thoughts regarding these things on my quotes page.

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5 Responses

  1. “.. it is possible for us to become as unfree – domestically – as many other nations…” Haha! I am from Argentina, and beleive me, there is FAR more freedom in Argentina than here.

    The United States has become a police state with a police officer just about in every corner. Drive to work for 10 minutes and you are guaranteed to see at least one or two. You are arresting 10 year olds!!! Chemestry sets for kids are now being banned. You have 8 times more people in prison than any other industrialize nation. You call this freedom????

    You leave in the LAND OF THE JAILED!!!!

  2. I can’t argue with that. Thanks for your comments vtarot.

  3. People interested in these issues might find the historical analyses of Giorgio Agamben informative – there is a brief introduction in the context of Wolf’s work over at:
    <a href=”http://colonos.wordpress.com/2007/11/02/the-fascist-mask-and-the-continuity-of-the-state-of-exception-naomi-sheep-in-wolfs-clothes/”

  4. This is interesting colono, thanks. It seems as if you’re saying that, of course this is happening, thats the nature of a democratic form of government, to eventually collapse on itself.

    I think that is certainly true of democracies, for when the voice of the people choose iniquity, a system based on law and responsible adherence to an established Constitution can no longer function the way it was intended.

    The point needing to made is that America wasn’t intended to be a pure democracy, it was framed as a republic with an important system of checks and balances—— but now because of the corruption of laws there is a great imbalance and many serious problems are resulting from it.

    As John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    We have most likely crossed that threshold.

  5. The Ten Steps of the Fascist Shift as interpreted by Naomi Wolf and applied to the Bush administration, could equally apply to Presidents in the 1920’s, 1940’s, and 1950’s. United States history has been through many worse times and survived.
    While researching the 1920’s for my book “The Ragman’s War,” I learned many dark secrets about the Roaring Twenties hidden in union archives, news articles from that time, and in memories of old men.
    Applying the 10 steps to the administrations of Wilson, Harding and Coolidge would have made it the 1920’s the worst decade for fascism in US history. Steel and Rail Barons controlled all branches of government and wielded their influence to keep millions of immigrant workers laboring in the mills and mines for little or no wages. Dissidents and union organizers who riled against this serf system of cheap labor that kept the Twenties stock market roaring were branded as anarchists. They were detained, deported, jailed, or murdered.
    In the mining towns the mine families were forbidden to bear arms, to assemble, to have free ingress and egress to their towns, to sing hymns, and join unions. During the 1927-28 strike in the western Pennsylvania coalfields, they had their property seized and sold at auction and were evicted from their houses even when the rent was paid. Company agents had free access to invade their homes at whim.
    Constitutional abuses in the bituminous coalfields around Pittsburgh were so bad that members of the US Senate decided to visit the area to evaluate the situation. The ACLU did their own investigation and reported their findings in a booklet titled “The Shame of Pennsylvania.”
    Don’t believe me then look it up for yourself or read “Bucket of Blood the Ragman’s War,” “The Battle of Blair Mountain: The Story of America’s Largest Labor Uprising,” or “Storming Heavan.” Then there was the Red Scare of 1919, the Palmer Raids, and persecution of the IWW (Wobblies)? What about the Red Scare of the late 1940’s under Truman? How many communists and sympathizers were detained, deported, jailed, or went into hiding? Is Wolf an historian or a just sharp cookie out to sell books and bash Bush?

    The Ten Steps of the 1928 Fascist Shift:

    1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy (Communists, Wobblies, Labor Unions).

    2. Create a gulag ( Captive Coal Towns, Wobbly Interment Camps, Deportation Centers).

    3. Develop a thug caste (Coal and Iron Police, Pinkerton Men, American Legion).

    4. Set up an internal surveillance system (Paid Stool Pigeons, Mail Interception).

    5. Harass citizens’ groups (Company Sheriffs, State Troopers, County Sheriffs, Constables, Coal and Iron Police, KKK, Jim Crow Laws).

    6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release (union organizers, black lists, civil rights activists, Wobblies, innocent immigrant workers).

    7. Target key individuals (scientists, academics, journalists, artists, writers, social activists, movie producers, labor leaders and organizers).

    8. Control the press (coal, steel, and rail barons, judges, Hearst Syndicate).

    9. Dissent equals treason (Sedition Laws, Red Scare, Palmer Raids, Anti Union Laws).

    10. Suspend the rule of law (suspension of Constitutional rights for coal and steel families, Rossitor Injunctions, Coal & Steel companies rule the towns they own, their appointed agents are the law).
    OOPS!!! Wolf forgot about suppression of free speech.

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