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Journal of No. 118

May 13th, 2003

Don't let it happen here @ 11:09 am

I'm the last person to lend credence to government conspiracies or equate the Bush Administration with fascism, but I certainly have disagreed with many of the Administration's most newsworthy actions of late.

How do these statements grab you?

"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."

Sounds like Colin Powell's 'proof' of WMD in Iraq.

"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."

Sounds very much like the cleverly-named Patriot Act, which was supposed to be temporary, but now the Bush Administration wants to get rid of the sunset clause. And of course, now Patriot II is coming along.

"[Our leaders] gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about - we were decent people - and kept us so busy with continuous changes and 'crises' and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the 'national enemies', without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful."

Sounds like US citizens, eager for anything to keep those foreign terrorists at bay.

But these quotes are not about the US of today, but about the rise of Nazi Germany. They come from Milton Mayer's _They Thought They Were Free_, a collection of interviews he carried out with Germans after WWII, discussing the rise of Nazism.

So keep your eyes open. As Jefferson said, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
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Date:May 13th, 2003 12:12 pm (UTC)

good point

Thanks for the documentation. I may cite it.
Date:May 13th, 2003 01:21 pm (UTC)


This is exactly the trap we are falling into. Even at war, we should be able to express our dissent of the President and the government (Teddy Roosevelt said something like that). I think this is a sad reflection of the Fear Culture we live in...people are so afraid (SARS, terrorists, criminals) that they are willing to sacrifice their freedoms to supposedly protect themselves.

My grandmother (and mother) lives in a gated community in Ocala, Florida. It's in the middle of nowhere. When I asked her why they have gates, suggesting it's to "keep the bad people out", she agreed with me. I don't know if she was humoring me, or she really believes criminals take the bus to suburban communities to rob, rape, and pillage. Personally, since it's a retirement community, I think the guards (they have patrols) are more to keep the residents IN, or at least in-line.

Anyway, the good thing I see about this is that the more people sit at home quaking in fear, the more movies they watch. Industry reports say the entertainment business is booming. Rather than face reality, in all its myriad variations of coolnees and suckitude, people would rather sit back and vegetate with trifling distractions.

[User Picture Icon]
Date:May 13th, 2003 03:26 pm (UTC)

Re: Yes

That was actually pretty poetic, Aaron (I'm assuming A=Aaron, 'cause it sounds like something you'd say.)

Journal of No. 118