Cartoon politics is far too common, often because people intuitively feel that something is notoriously wrong, but they just can’t quite articulate their grievances. Since this is in fact the case for most American political dissidents, what necessarily follows are numerous petitions to the State listing their grievances, which are never redressed by the political rulership. Rarely is it the case where someone is able to distinguish the petty grievances from the serious tyranny infringing upon our common bedrock of individual liberty.
This author’s thesis contains two parts. First, she says there are ten steps, a blueprint if you will, that every tyrant and despot follows whenever they are in the process of closing down a (formerly) open society. Second, all ten of those steps have been fulfilled here in the United Police States of America. Her ten easy steps to tyranny are as follows:
- Invoke an external & internal threat
- Establish secret prisons
- Develop a paramilitary force
- Surveil ordinary citizens
- Infiltrate citizens’ groups
- Arbitrarily detain & release citizens
- Target key individuals
- Restrict the press
- Cast criticism as espionage & dissent as reason
- Subvert the rule of law
For the remainder of this literary review, I’d like to examine each one briefly by comparing the examples Naomi Wolf uses to other ones I have blogged about in years since.
Hyping the non-existent threat by Al-CIA-da to Americans, the Bush, Jr. White House scared the living bejesus out of everybody following the events of 9/11. Wolf is correct in saying that “terrorism” was the excuse used for a massive power grab by the federal government, and that Muslims, as well as Arabs more generally, were scapegoated as being somehow “collectively responsible” for the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York City. Neo-con theory by Carl Schmitt says that you must have an enemy image by which to hold the entire society together; every facet, from industry, to media, to the arts, to academia, to social life in general, is essentially held together by what Webster Tarpley called “a monstrous myth.”
Although I certainly agree with Wolf that the U.S. military’s entire death cult atmosphere at Guantanamo Bay is nothing short of repulsive (and is still ongoing, even today), I would suggest that why should the rest of us worry about being extraordinarily renditioned and tortured at some CIA black site, when such activities are performed here domestically as normal, pseudo-transparent daily procedure? How is KC Massey’s arbitrary incarceration, in solitary confinement for two weeks no less, nothing to write home about, especially considering he has not been convicted of anything? Was Jim Hogshire exaggerating when he described the politics of prison rape? While everyone and their uncle in the corporate and even alternative media were waxing eloquent about the truly horrific abuses foreigners are experiencing at the hands of the U.S. military, what about the equally nasty treatment received by American citizens at the hands of the criminal injustice system? Isn’t the latter more of a tyranny that strikes just a little too close to home?
For all of the abuses Blackwater and the other modern-day Hessians have committed, I find it rather telling that Wolf completely neglected to mention the violently coercive monopoly known as government policing. Not only is it thoroughly unconstitutional, but they are militarized jackboots who have committed democide against 5,000 Americans since 9/11. Despite the fact that a Belgian economist debunked the whole notion of government policing over 150 years ago, and more importantly, offered a vision for truly free market security services as his solution, statists have nevertheless insisted that the “price” of freedom necessarily requires the sacrifice of citizens upon the altar of the State.
While it is true that authoritarian governments engage in disrupting the activities of the citizenry, this is nothing new here in America. Dragnet wiretapping and chilling dissent is routine and normal, and the social justice warriors might as well be the blackshirts and brownshirts of last century. The arbitrary detention and release of citizens, as Wolf puts it, could easily be applicable to those who suffer from police interrogations, whether it be in the context of a traffic stop, a house raid, or an airport screening.
Depending on whom one may consider to be “key individuals,” I think the American political prisoners could fill the bill. Let’s examine a selection:
- The Hutarees were made an example of, despite getting acquitted, because the federal government can’t afford the citizenry arming up and training collaboratively in how to use those arms against their democidally statist enemies.
- Darren Huff, for the victimless crime of traveling on the roads while carrying his own private property across state lines, was sentenced to 4 years in prison, and he was subsequently released last April 15th.
- Larry Myers’ habeas corpus ad subjiciendum was denied by the United States Supreme Court, twice. For the “crime” of mailing some strongly worded letters to some judges for being tyrannical, Myers is rotting away in a government dungeon until his release sometime in 2019.
- Robert Beecher took a plea deal in order to spare his daughter Jessica from prosecution, and as a result, he is currently serving a 10-year sentence, and if he survives, he is expected to be released sometime in 2025.
- Ross Ulbricht, for the victimless crime of providing a market service for customers to safely trade in illicit narcotics, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole; this means he is expected to rot away for the rest of his life in a government dungeon.
Similar to these folks, except for the fact that neither of them were ever charged by the government for anything, are Chris Broughton and Debra Medina. The demonization of both, by both the corporate and alternative media, just goes to show that Americans are not allowed to have authentic heroes and heroines, because to do so would be for the State to tacitly acknowledge the bravery of colonial-era women like Sarah Tarrant and Captain Prudence Wright. Needless to say, I think Wolf using the cancellation of Bill Maher’s lame Politically Incorrect statist propaganda as some bastion of freedom is, quite frankly, laughable.
Certainly the harassment Josh Wolf (no relation to Naomi) was unconstitutional, as well as Amy Goodman getting arrested while covering the street demonstrations protesting the 2008 GOP national convention, I’d worry more about hate speech censorship laws being used against libertarian opponents of the Free State Project. With the sheer regularity that Texans are snitching to the gendarmiere whenever the Open Carry Texas membership go on their open carry walks, I wouldn’t be surprised if the police started confiscating the tapes of said encounters whenever they get a democidal urge, like they had wanted to do when a few of them murdered Eric Garner last year. Remember, the penalty for resistance, or even disobedience, is always death.
If stolen elections and the Bush White House declaring that the entire planet is a battlefield in the hoax that is the “Global War on Terror” are what Naomi Wolf claims is what subverts the rule of law, then apparently she is ignorant about how the 14th Amendment’s incorporation doctrine is used as an end run around the 10th Amendment, and by extension, state citizenship. Worse, how about when the American Bar Association drafted the Administrative Procedures Act in 1944 that Senator Patrick McCarran admitted when it was passed two years later, after the Second World War, was the unilateral creation of a brand new fourth branch of government, namely, the bureaucratic Administrative Agencies? As Fred Rodell put it, the law is a racket!
Before I address what Wolf suggested that this “young patriot” she addressed in her book should be doing, I’d like to offer a few observations regarding expressing grievances. Although some of Wolf’s grievances are rather serious, I hate to say that relative to the ones I’ve written about in more recent years, they seem rather tame. While her use of historical comparisons is good, yet, I wished she bothered to mention the democide those same regimes used, because that is the inevitable end of statism. If anything, what’s most valuable about Wolf’s book is that it demonstrates just how deteriorated personal liberty has become in this sad excuse for a country.
What Wolf essentially recommends to “Chris,” the young patriot in question, is for him to not have any secrets, simply because his dissent might become chilled if he were ever blackmailed; in other words, he should expose his darkest, most intimately personal secrets with his spouse, family, and possibly colleagues in order to not be cunningly coerced into silence. I think a better remedy for those who chose, as a matter of conscience, to express their grievances publicly, is to also exercise their right to privacy, to the extent that they realistically can, through good security culture. If it’s good enough to keep the monkey-wrenchers out of prison, then it’s good enough for me and you who aren’t violating mala prohibita, if we care enough about personal privacy as a matter of principle. As with the rest of our natural liberties, use it or lose it!
Naomi Wolf’s The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot is a snapshot in time before the rise of the Tea Partiers and the later Occupy Wall Street reformists. Considering how the patriot faction has now ostracized David Stone, Ryan Payne, and KC Massey, I’d say America has already ended, in any real way that matters. Let’s get real for a moment about something, shall we? Any idea of “America” died a long time ago with the banishment of classically liberal American republicanism, and seeing through the fog of illusion entails a phase upon where one understands what never was, and never will be. No amount of documentaries is going to make up for the fact that Naomi Wolf is no Wendy McElroy. While it was good that Wolf mentioned that Obama continued the Bush Doctrine, again, her continued expression of her grievances, as she did during the New Hampshire Liberty Forum last year in 2014, is little else than the reformist echo chamber.