A friend sent me a video by Matt Bracken titled Rules for Deep State Overlords.
I believe this video is very well done and I would like to recommend it. Though I must confess that two of my favorite people are “socialists,” Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I’m drawn to their open and kind attitudes and visions. I am not coming from exactly the same place as Matt Bracken.
This talk by Matt is reminiscent of the excellent Rules for Rulers video posted here several times, and Naomi Wolfe’s explanation of the universal blueprint used for fascist transformation of an open society.
From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms.
Last autumn, there was a military coup in Thailand. The leaders of the coup took a number of steps, rather systematically, as if they had a shopping list. [T]here is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship.
1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
2. Create a gulag
Once you have got everyone scared, the next step is to create a prison system outside the rule of law (as Bush put it, he wanted the American detention centre at Guantánamo Bay to be situated in legal “outer space”) – where torture takes place.
At first, the people who are sent there are seen by citizens as outsiders: troublemakers, spies, “enemies of the people” or “criminals”. Initially, citizens tend to support the secret prison system; it makes them feel safer and they do not identify with the prisoners. But soon enough, civil society leaders – opposition members, labor activists, clergy and journalists – are arrested and sent there as well.
3. Develop a thug caste
When leaders who seek what I call a “fascist shift” want to close down an open society, they send paramilitary groups of scary young men out to terrorize citizens. The Blackshirts roamed the Italian countryside beating up communists; the Brownshirts staged violent rallies throughout Germany. This paramilitary force is especially important in a democracy: you need citizens to fear thug violence and so you need thugs who are free from prosecution.
4. Set up an internal surveillance system
In every closed society, secret police spy on ordinary people and encourage neighbors to spy on neighbors.
5. Harass citizens’ groups
The fifth thing you do is related to step four – you infiltrate and harass citizens’ groups. It can be trivial: a church in Pasadena, whose minister preached that Jesus was in favor of peace, found itself being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service. … So the definition of “terrorist” slowly expands to include the opposition.
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
This scares people…. In 2004, America’s Transportation Security Administration confirmed that it had a list of passengers who were targeted for security searches or worse if they tried to fly. People who have found themselves on the list? Two middle-aged women peace activists in San Francisco; liberal Senator Edward Kennedy; … and thousands of ordinary US citizens.
Professor Walter F Murphy is emeritus of Princeton University; he is one of the foremost constitutional scholars in the nation and author of the classic Constitutional Democracy. Murphy is also a decorated former marine, and he is not even especially politically liberal. But on March 1 this year, he was denied a boarding pass at Newark, “because I was on the Terrorist Watch list“.
“Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that,” asked the airline employee.
“I explained,” said Murphy, “that I had not so marched but had, in September 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the constitution.”
“That’ll do it,” the man said.
7. Target key individuals.
8. Control the press
When citizens can’t tell real news from fake, they give up their demands for accountability bit by bit. [The oligarchy owns the press.]
9. Dissent equals treason
Cast dissent as “treason” and criticism as “espionage’. Every closing society does this, just as it elaborates laws that increasingly criminalize certain kinds of speech and expand the definition of “spy” and “traitor”.
10. Suspend the rule of law
The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 gave the president new powers over the national guard. This means that in a national emergency – which the president now has enhanced powers to declare – he can send Michigan’s militia to enforce a state of emergency that he has declared in Oregon, over the objections of the state’s governor and its citizens.
[T] New York Times editorialized about this shift: “A disturbing recent phenomenon in Washington is that laws that strike to the heart of American democracy have been passed in the dead of night … Beyond actual insurrection, the president may now use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack or any ‘other condition’.”
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