Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What Would Fascism Look Like In America?

As Americans we are born with what we believe is an inherent right to freedom and we mistakenly believe that this freedom can never be restricted or taken away.

As Americans we tend to place an enormous amount of trust into our system of "checks and balances" not realizing how easy it is for that system to be upset and replaced by a doctrine of strict interpretation and a system of unlimited executive power.

When we do suspect a suppression of our freedom [i.e. The Patriot Act and The Military Commissions Act, aka the "Enabling Act"] we attempt to dismiss these power grabs as being "for our safety" or "best interest" but is this actually true?

Even if the current Administration does not outright abuse it's power (as many will argue they have) there is no guarantee that a future administration will not seize upon the executive powers the Bush Administration has created.

With that written I would like to bring readers attention to a recent article titled "Fascist America, in 10 easy steps" in which the author opens with the words "From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all."

The article is very insightful and I believe it is well researched. The author provides numerous examples for the reasoning used in the article and is a must read for any American who is concerned that this great experiment could fail as a result mishandling and abuses of power.

The author identifies 10 steps any regime must take in order to abolish freedoms and descend into a nondemocratic nation. Each step has a thorough explanation of how the Bush Administration has met the "required" guidelines necessary to introduce a fascist state.

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

Read the full article "Fascist America, in 10 easy steps" at this link to read the explanations behind how the Bush Administration has met the 10 steps above.