Slowly but surely the fear driven Orwellian noose closes in as constitutional civil liberties and freedoms in America, which were once taken for granted, are gradually restricted or ended and always for the same reason, National Security and the War on Terror ~ but the tide is changing and an inevitable and unpredictable mass resistance movement is already under way:
“Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither.” Benjamin Franklin
George Orwell’s 1984 revealed that the key to social control is a never ending war, such as the War on Terror; for it keeps the masses fearful, silenced and obedient as their freedom and civil liberties gradually vanish.
In that regard, as I watch the latest government fiasco of collecting phone records of tens of millions of Americans unfold as well as rationalizing the illegal war, occupation and economic rape of Iraq and Afghanistan along with justifying torture as a means to these criminal ends ~ I increasing think of Milton Mayer’s classic THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE FREE ( The Germans 1933 – 1945 ).
For German exceptionalism in the 1930’s was really not too different, in many ways, than American exceptionalism in the present and very likely headed for the same disastrous fate.
Mayer’s book describes the slow but sure seduction of the people as their liberties, freedoms and moral values were gradually stripped away by Hitler’s fascist government while waving the flag of national security and patriotism.
Pg. 166 / 167 THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE FREE
But Then It Was Too Late ~ “What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it … this separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.”
Apathy sets in with each step, as it most certainly has in America, and Mayer knowingly describes the consequences for Germany in the early 1930’s ~ which is already happening for America in 2013.
Pg. 171 THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE FREE
“In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D ~ and one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in ~ your nation, your people ~ is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way… You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things that your father, even in Germany, could not have imagined … Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we do nothing).”
And that is Mayer’s main point ~ it is the spirit that dramatically changes when we accept if not condone the disintegration of our national moral values through illegal wars and occupations as well as crimes against humanity such as torture, secret renditions as well as intrusive full body scans and pat downs and mass illegal spying. The longer the war on terror continues, the more brazen the government becomes in reducing the peoples/s liberty ~ because they know they can get away with it .
What was the Cheney/Bush and now the Obama/Biden administration so afraid of?
They were and are obviously afraid of the Truth and, in particular, an informed public in possession of the truth.
We thought we were free but, in reality, like the Germans in the 1930’s, we are being manipulated and conditioned by fear to slowly give up our rights, liberties and freedom ~ and all in the name of National Security and the so called War on Terror.
Glenn Greenwald broke the story of NSA’s secret data grab from Google, Facebook and Apple and comments on the menacing repercussions in this five minute video interview ~
As Thom Hartman correctly wrote on Friday ~ ” Just because a secret FISA court declared these spying programs legal, does not mean they’re constitutional. Americans are angry, and they are demanding our government put an end to the invasive process of spying on citizens.”
Greenwald makes the same point in a recent interview on Democracy Now ~ “Well, first of all, the fact that something is lawful doesn’t mean that it isn’t dangerous or tyrannical or wrong. You can enact laws that endorse tyrannical behavior. And there’s no question, if you look at what the government has done, from the PATRIOT Act, the Protect America Act, the Military Commissions Act and the FISA Amendments Act, that’s exactly what the War on Terror has been about…The objective of the NSA and the U.S. government is nothing less than destroying all remnants of privacy.”
Charles Blow, New York Times, further defines the public anger since only 38% of Americans favor expanded Government monitoring of cell phones and emails to intercept communications ( CNN/Time/ORC poll 4/30/13) ~ ” the fact that this administration has continued or even expanded the practices began under the Bush administration is beyond unsettling and so far down the slippery slope that I can see the darkness of the valley… Look at it this way: this administration is taking unprecedented steps to make sure that the government’s secrets remain private while simultaneously invading the privacy of its citizens. This is a “Papa knows best” approach to security policy ~ we are told that this has helped to keep us safe, and that any loss of civil liberties and sense of privacy is but collateral damage, inconsequential in the grand sweep of things. Many innocents must be violated so that a few guilty people can be stopped. It’s a digital stop-and-frisk, using data trends and a few successes to do huge damage.” See article ~
Charles is correct ~ it is digital stop-and-frisk but there is something we can do about it and Papa (Obama) has clearly demonstrated that he does not know best when it comes to protecting our civil liberties and freedoms.
WSWS correctly writes that the Obama administration embodies the consolidation of power by the military and the CIA in alliance with the financial elite and clearly defines the real danger ~ “Obama defended these Orwellian surveillance programs with the standard, catch-all justification that they were needed to protect the American people from terrorist attack. He claimed they were legal because they were sanctioned by Congress and approved by the secret rubber-stamp courts that operate within the framework of the Foreign Intelligence Security Act (FISA). What is clear is that the real danger to the rights of the American people comes not from terrorists, but from within the American capitalist state. The police state measures put in place under Bush and expanded under Obama are directed against social opposition from the working class to the US ruling class’ policies of austerity at home and endless war abroad…The Constitution, the Bill of Rights and democratic rights as a whole are being shredded. In their place, barely concealed behind the increasingly hollow trappings of democracy, a dictatorship is emerging… The Fourth Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights, states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” See article ~
In other words, we are all slowly becoming enemies of the state unless proven otherwise and that is precisely what happened to Germany in the 1930’s under a fascist dictatorship ~ where civil liberties and freedom became secondary to National Security and an oppressive war against humanity.
It’s important now to be prepared for and join the inevitable and unpredictable mass movement which is already gathering momentum and its fueled by millions of people, like yourself, who are angry, seek justice as well as an end to militarism and are more than willing to take to the streets.
Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers ( AlterNet ) write in AlterNet ~ “So often, people who seek economic and social justice and an end to militarism feel like they are laboring in relative obscurity organizing seemingly unnoticed actions, but at some point a wave of mass resistance arises. We sense the United States is at that stage once again. Protests on various issues are occurring throughout the country, more people are getting active, and the undercurrent is once again forming a wave. What will grow that wave to a tidal force? We don’t know. But, we can prepare for it so when it does, the people are more effective… One of the goals of PopularResistance.org is to provide tools so that as people’s anger grows and as they become ready to get active, they are able to do so more easily and be as effective as possible.”
Paul Craig Roberts says that Washington’s claim that Americans have “freedom and democracy” is the sickest joke in human history ~ “Consider Bradley Manning. After three years of detention, including one year of torture, he is brought to a rigged trial as a national security danger. All that Bradley Manning did was to comply with the Military Code and report war crimes. As his corrupt superiors did not want to know, he complied with his duty, apparently, by going public. Now he is being made an example. The message is clear: Support Washington’s war crimes or be destroyed.
The Amerika that exists today has more in common with Nazi Germany than with the America in which I grew up. The young don’t know any different. But those my age realize that we have lost our country. America no longer exists.”
The Bush/Obama administrations have been building a dossier on all of us. But don’t worry, Obama says it’s only a modest encroachment and they say ~ they are only shredding the US Constitution “to keep us safe from the terrorists.”
They have all our emails, credit card transactions, Google searches ~ All our phone calls and text messages. All our online activity.
If we don’t fight back hard ~ the internet as we know it will die.
If you’re not concerned, you’re on life support.
Resistance is victory…
About the Author: Allen L Roland is a Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist. He is also a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his web site at AllenRoland.com. He also guest hosts a Truthtalk, a national radio show that airs monthly. He is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations via email at [email protected].