Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Creeping tyranny

I am not sure if there is any way to get the general public to realize or perhaps even care about the radical nature of regime change that is going on today in America. Absent a single dramatic and disruptive event, like an old style military coup, there is a overwhelming presumption of normality, the assumption that things can't possibly have changed that much. It hasn't disrupted the rhythm and habits of daily life, so why bother about it.

Al Gore, of all people, actually tried to tell the American people. Just a hint of what is really going on, no scary words like fascism, dictatorship or tyranny, but still a noble effort all in all. By and large, even he was ignored. Ignored by the media, ignored even by his own party.

It is probably too late, but still we need to keep trying. William Rivers Pitt takes a 1995 Umberto Eco article delineating the core elements of ur-fascism as a starting point for examining how far we have traveled down that road.
  • "Parliamentary democracy is by definition rotten, because it does not represent the voice of the people, which is that of the sublime leader."

  • "Doctrine outstrips reason, and science is always suspect."

  • "The national identity is provided by the nation's enemies."

  • "Argument is tantamount to treason."

  • "Citizens do not act; they play the supporting role of 'the people' in the grand opera that is the state."
If the description fits, we can not acquit.

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