04 September 2007

Now in paperback, The End of America

Naomi Wolf's The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot was released in paperback today. I just went out and got my copy.

Like Chris Hedges' American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, The End of America sets a list of requirements for the closing of a free and open society, and explains how those requirements are being met in present-day America. Wolf lists ten steps to fascism, giving each a chapter in her book:
  1. Invoke an External and Internal Threat
  2. Establish Secret Prisons
  3. Develop a Paramilitary Force
  4. Surveil Ordinary Citizens
  5. Infiltrate Citizens' Groups
  6. Arbitrarily Detain and Release Citizens
  7. Target Key Individuals
  8. Restrict the Press
  9. Cast Criticism as "Espionage" and Dissent as "Treason"
  10. Subvert the Rule of Law
Most of us can probably think of a couple examples that fit a handful of those items. For a few more examples, Wolf gives a brief summary of her thesis in this Guardian article.

Personally, I'm most interested to see her take on the paramilitary. She mentions young Republican men and private security firms in the Guardian, but I'm sure fundamentalist religion will have a role to play somewhere along the line as well. I hope she addresses it.

I'll have more details when I've finished reading the book, which shouldn't take long. Hopefully the rest of the book will also include some tips as to how to fix what's going wrong with our country.

Speaking of fascism and fundies, something a bit more lighthearted: You've most likely seen the trailer for Jesus Camp already. Well, I just stumbled across the same trailer set to one of the best songs to come out of WWII. They sync up pretty spectacularly at times.

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