Monday, December 27, 2010

America's Slide toward Totalitarianism

By Abby Martin
December 27, 2010

In George Orwell’s 1984, Britain is depicted as a totalitarian police state that is ruled by the Party, or Big Brother – an enigmatic, ubiquitous elite that controls society through heavy surveillance, nationalist propaganda and historical revisionism.

Read on.


Nat Parry said...

It might be "soft fascism" now, but it is increasingly looking like hard fascism to me. The FBI has dusted off the old COINTELPRO handbook and they are using it on organizations like the Palestine Solidarity Group and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. They are overtly, brazenly, unabashedly using the Patriot Act against non-violent dissident groups in the United States now, claiming that they provide ill-defined "material support" to ill-defined "foreign terrorist organizations."

There is truly no end to this madness, but one possibility that I see very clearly is one in which there are certain "legitmate" organizations that may be registered by the state, which is a very common tactic of authoritarian regimes.

Since we are a two-party state, any independent parties will be designated as subversive, or more likely, terrorist. Anyone associated with those parties will be guilty by association. You will be permitted to give money only to certain approved organizations like Sierra Club, but not to organizations like Greenpeace. This is where we are heading: a two-tiered authoritarian state, with two parties, but it is really just one. All real opposition will be crushed.

Big Em said...

What I found especially disturbing back around 2002 or 3 was when the Republicans were openly floating the idea of 'possibly suspending the US Constitution' IF there were another terrorist attack. This just seemed SO premature, SO over-reactive, and obviously SO self-serving for a vapidly authoritarian party like the Republicans, but I was disappointed in the minor reaction from the MSM and (as always) the Dems. While the Republicans can reliably go into apoplectic fits of indignant rage over the most minor of contrived ginned-up 'controversies', the MSM & the Dems just barely registered a negative word when these self-same Republicans suggest we 'temporarily' disband the government and put the then commander-in-chief ("W") in charge as a de-facto dictator!

While I'm not necessarily predicting it, it's also not hard to foresee a prolonged (10-50 yrs?) bout with an authoritarian/fascistic government here in the good 'ol USA. On the other hand, hopefully it'll 'just' be something as relatively short-lived as McCarthyism was -- about 10 yrs duration with a 2 or 3 yr peak.

What makes me entertain this idea is that I believe that 40-50% of the US voters have a short political attention-span and vote on the most facile of reasons. This probably prevents us from ever being a truly GREAT country (it's MUCH easier to continually SAY we're a 'great country' than to actually BE one), but it also prevents the country from sticking with one political position (be it good or bad) for much longer than a few years. The horrible part about all this is obviously the people that suffer and die (especially non-whites in oil-rich lands) while we diddle about..

JonnyJames said...

Sheldon Wolin's concept of 'inverted totalitarianism' is also an interesting way to view the situation.

Chris Hedge's latest article discussing Orwell and Huxley also fits very nicely with this topic.

One could crudely say that when we live in an economic dictatorship where corporations and banks call the shots, political democracy is merely window-dressing and largely meaningless.

I agree with Nat Parry's comment and I would agree that we live in a one-party Corporate Dictatorship already.

Anonymous said...

A very interesting article. And, I might add, very much in concordance with how I have seen "progress" not only in the US, but worldwide.

I run a civil liberties activism web sitein the UK (Rabel Christian Civil Liberties), and one of my main concerns is the growth of totalitarian governmental systems, which I believe will coalesce into a world governmental system.

I do not believe that this is some overarching "conspiracy" (and I am glad that the article didn't propogate this misconception) but rather that the corrupting influence of power; the supposed need for greater state control and co-operation; and the development of technological methods of control and power structures, will make this inevitable.

Eric said...

I probably have more to worry about from a local cop and his taser than I do from a Muslim terrorist. The more I see what's happening in the US, the more I am glad that, first of all, that my wife and I never had children; that she didn't live to see this; and, finally, that the human lifespan is finite and that I will eventually follow her.