Talk by Naomi Wolf - The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot (~48 min. - well worth the listen!):
How To Become A Dictator In Ten Steps or Less...
In this concise lecture Naomi Wolf systematically goes through her 10-point list of actions that according to her research and analysis have been taken by would-be dictators in order to overturn the democratic (or at least more democratic) societies in which they operate and establish dictatorship. She uses as her main examples Italy in the 20s, Germany in the 30s, Russia in the 30s, East Germany in the 50s, Czechoslovakia in the 60s, Chile in the 60s and... of course... the United States today.
While I must put forth the caveat that I do not always appreciate her sometimes too-lighthearted personality (unlike her, I don't think it's amusing that she's OK with her daughter watching America's Top Model; behavior such as that definitely contributes to the distraction and apathy of the citizenry), I respect the depth of her research and her non-stop activism over the past couple of years, and think that this lecture provides an excellent introduction to how fascist societies have developed in the past. Furthermore, she makes it very clear that this is happening in the United States today, and puts forth the urgent call that the window of opportunity to stop this change is closing, and that we must RISE UP NOW!
I especially recommend this video to those who think that it's "crazy" when people make comparisons between the United States today and Hitler's Germany. The comparison IS clear. This IS happening now. As Wolf says, fascist states don't start off with midnight raids and domestic mass murder, they are able to develop to that stage because the people of those nations allow their own and others' rights to be slowly eroded away until they no longer even have the capacity to do anything about it. It is important to note that while fascism is set up slowly, once it really gets to the point of mass implementation, the process rapidly accelerates.
This lecture was fifteen months ago, and because of the aforementioned acceleration, it is important to understand these concepts now more than ever. We, in the United States, are every day confronted with more and more martial law, and of course we continue to allow our military to slaughter persons throughout the world. Although I will never give up the fight, there will be a point at which this process will become virtually irreversible, and every moment that we wait to STOP THE EMPIRE means more lives and liberties lost, and increases our impotence to do anything about it. Wake up!
Here are Wolf's 10 Classic Steps to Destroying a Democracy and Establishing Dictatorship:
1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy (may be real or fictional, but is always hyped)
2. Create a secret prison system (gulag) where torture takes place that is outside the law
3. Create a paramilitary force (thug caste)
4. Establish a surveillance apparatus used against ordinary citizens
5. Arbitrarily detain and release citizens
6. Harass and infiltrate citizens groups (e.g. antiwar groups, environmentalists groups)
7. Target key individuals
8. Restrict and control the press
9. Make Dissent = Treason
10. Subvert the rule of law, declare martial law
If you prefer to read rather than listen, basically the same information may be found in the following article by Wolf: