In 2007, during the Bush administration, Naomi Wolf published an article on the ten benchmarks of fascism. This is what she wrote at the time (12 years ago): As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration.
What are these ten benchmarks?
1, Invoke terrifying internal and external enemies. And of course, find a catchy name for it: The Global War on Terror for example. Or an invasion by immigrants who are rapists and murderers.
2. Create a gulag (or several gulags). Guantanamo (see above) is only a beginning. It can proliferate to encompass immigrant detention. Now we have immigrant detention facilities and prisons which hold a larger percentage of our population (.7%) than any other country on Earth.
3. Develop a thug caste. Well, yes, private security guards in New Orleans in 2005 can proliferate. We now can invoke white supremacists, Proud Boys, and paramilitaries, like the ranchers who invaded the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and the citizens militias who carry arms on the U.S. Mexico border threatening the lives of immigrants. And shooters who target Mexicans in shopping centers in El Paso.
4. Establish an internal surveillance system. Google and Facebook now market millions of datapoints to the NSA, boasting they know more about you than you know yourself, can predict your behavior, and influence your decisions.
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5. Harass citizens’ groups. The Venezuelan Embassy protectors have been hounded, harassed, and now face prosecution as do the Plowshares who face trial for protesting nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release. A pattern which applies, among others, to Chelsea Manning, who served three years in jail, only to be incarcerated again.
7. Target key individuals. Here again we can reference Snowden, Assange, Greenwald, and Manning, among others.
8. Control the press. Chelsea Manning is in prison refusing to testify before the Grand Jury; Edward Snowden is in exile in Russia, and Julian Assange’s health is deteriorating as he awaits probable extradition to the U.S. Assange has made powerful enemies, among them Hilary Clinton, and Lenín Moreno of Ecuador whom he outed in the Panama Papers. And Glenn Greenwald is under threat from Bolsonaro for revealing the conspiracy which denied Lula the presidency. Bolsonaro’s agenda for the Amazon has much to do with the wild fire spreading relentlessly in the Amazon. And the New York Times, the newspaper of record admits to consulting the administration first before printing anything controversial.
9. Refer to dissent as treason. #45 referred to Jews who vote Democratic as treason.
10. Suspend the rule of law. The DNC has just voted not to include the Climate Catastrophe in the presidential debates. #45 has imposed sanctions (that is economic warfare) ag. Venezuela and Iran among others, acts in contravention to the UN Nations.
Twelve years later, we have an administration all too ready not only to take up where the Bush administration left off, but carry it to its reductio ad absurdum with a dictator who declares himself god and “chosen.”
Yet, Americans still don’t know how to spell F-A-S-C-I-S- M. They know how to spell White Supremacists, they know how to spell White Nationalists, they know how to spell Far Right, Islamophobia, Proud Boys, Christian Fundamentalists, but a simple 7 letter word (starts with F) eludes them.
How come? Wrote Chris Hedges: “The corporate elite will work with Trump..[who] has given them enormous tax cuts, [slashed] what is left of government oversight, and…increased the budgets for internal security and the military. For corporate elites it’s far more preferable [than] having to deal with a Bernie Sanders or an Elizabeth Warren. Capitalists throughout history have backed fascism to thwart even the most tepid reforms of socialism. …The hollowing out of our democratic institutions, which cannot be blamed on Trump, makes tyranny inevitable.”
Americans still can’t spell F-A-S-C-I-S-M because they’ve been conditioned to shy away from anything that looks “controversial”, because it’s not yet politically correct (unlike Capitalism, the C-word, of which we are now reading quite a lot) but mainly because to spell F-A-S-C-I-S-M would be to recognize that they are a defeated people.
But once they recognize the name of their enemy, they might learn something about it, the better to counteract it.
Greenland considering buying America.
Demand Blackrock stop financing destruction of the Amazon at