10 Steps That Close An Open Society
[Edit – Added 1 more notable link. Thanks for the pingback Walski]
The events of the past few weeks have prompted me to put this out since I believe this information is important in influencing our reaction(s) towards provocation.
Invoke an internal and external threat
– People who are afraid are willing to do things that they wouldn’t otherwise do.
Establish secret (unaccountable) prisons where torture takes place
– In a secret system, the government does not have to provide any proof of wrongdoing by those it holds, so it can incarcerate anyone it wants.
Develop a paramilitary force
– A private military force — under the exclusive direction of the “commander in chief” with no accountability to Congress, the courts, or the public — blurs the line between a civilian police force and a militarized police state.
[Edit – This is part that scares me the most.]
Surveil ordinary citizens
– People who believe they are being watched are less likely to voice opposition. To scare a population into silence, the government need only monitor the activities of a few to make everyone fear that they are being surveilled. Every closed society keeps a “list” of so-called opponents it tracks.
Infiltrate citizen’s groups
– Spies in activist groups put psychological pressure on genuine activists by undermining their trust in one another. They may also disrupt legal activities, undermining the effectiveness of group efforts.
Detain and release ordinary citizens
– Detention intimidates or psychologically damages those arrested and also lets everyone know that anyone could be labeled an “enemy combatant” and “disappeared.”
Target key individuals
– People are less likely to speak out when those who are highly visible, like journalists, scholars, artists, or celebrities, are intimidated or have the livelihoods threatened. Targeting those who are especially visible makes it less likely that people will speak out and robs society of leaders and others who might inspire opposition.
Restrict the press
– The public is less likely to find out about government wrongdoing if the government can threaten to prosecute anyone who publishes or broadcasts reports that are critical of the government.
Recast criticism as espionage and dissent as treason
– People who protest can be charged with terrorism or treason when laws criminalize or limit free speech rather than protect it.
Subvert the rule of law
– The disappearance of checks and balances makes it easier to declare martial law, especially if the judiciary branch continues to exercise authority over individuals but has no authority over the Executive branch.
Now, these 10 points are from Naomi Wolf’s book, The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, which is spawned a documentary with the same name. I’ve not changed the text above to fit the Malaysian context, but does ANY of this sound familiar to you?
It should be noted that the steps detailed in the book, undertaken by Bush-era America, themselves mirrored the steps taken by Nazi-era Germany in the years before WWII.
Believe me when I say that the screws are being turned slowly, day by day. There will be more and more provocation, designed to elicit a specific response. We must not play their game.
Notable links below:
The End Of America Movie
The Huffington Post – Noami Wolf expands on the 10 steps
The documentary is available on *cough-cough* certain file sharing sites, or you can buy it online, or you can ‘borrow’ my copy.