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Name: Melinda
Gender: Female
Hometown: Central California
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 5,465

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Hey Kids! It's time to take a trip in the DU 'Way Back Machine'! Hows about September, 2003?

On September 4, 2003, DU's own realFedUP posted this OP on the subject of Fascism. The author of the piece linked to shared a story he'd heard many years previously...

...reminiscing about a professor's midafternoon lecture:

When he was a young man, he told us, he served in the U.S. Army as part of the occupation forces in Germany after World War II. He was put to work gathering information for the military tribunal preparing to prosecute Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg. His job was to spend time in the villages adjacent to one concentration camp and talk to the residents about what they knew.

The villagers, he said, knew about the camp, and watched daily as thousands of prisoners would arrive by rail car, herded like cattle into the camps. And they knew that none ever left, even though the camp never could have held the vast numbers of prisoners who were brought in. They also knew that the smokestack of the camp's crematorium belched a near-steady stream of smoke and ash. Yet the villagers chose to remain ignorant about what went on inside the camp. No one inquired, because no one wanted to know.

"But every day," he said, "these people, in their neat Germanic way, would get out their feather dusters and go outside. And, never thinking about what it meant, they would sweep off the layer of ash that would settle on their windowsills overnight. Then they would return to their neat, clean lives and pretend not to notice what was happening next door.

"When the camps were liberated and their contents were revealed, they all expressed surprise and horror at what had gone on inside," he said. "But they all had ash in their feather dusters."

"That story neatly compresses the way fascism works: in a vacuum of denial"

The above is derived from the essay "Rush, Newspeak and Fascism: An exegesis, by David Neiwert in collaboration by literally dozens of bloggers, published writers, Professors, and organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. 10 years ago it was a fascinating study - today it's downright prescient and scary.

"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.

They thought they were free

And, if I may, one of the responses to this 2003 DU OP almost 10 years ago; thanks indepat (and thanks also to scarletwoman, DrBB and all others who posted on that thread - read this and let it sink in, really, really read this:

indepat (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-04-03 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. Fascism might not have arrived in America, but all the seeds have been sown and are germinating in full regalia: the breakdown of the separation of powers doctrine; the Congress's abrogation of its Article 1, Section 8 powers; the Supreme Court's indifference/acquisence to seemingly unconstitutional law, such as the USA Patriot Act; a political party which marches to the beat of the drummer in virtual lockstep; a mainstream media which shill for the wars, regressive tax schemes, unilateralism, abrogation of international treaties, and other far-right policies; a mainstream media which fail to keep the public informed; an emerging corporatism; the branding of dissent and threatening of dissenters; the operation of government in secrecy; an indifferent and lethargic public cowered into not questioning any action of those who control the levers of power, i.e., an abrogation of the patriotic duty to dissent when elected and appointed leaders fail in their oaths of office and fail to uphold the Constitution, our own and international law, and the principles upon which this nation was founded. Topped off by Britney-types and other talking heads telling us to trust, go along with everything our leader wants. Does that about cover it?
- indepat

Apropos of where we find ourselves some 10 years later, isn't it?
Prescient essay which, unfortunately, I am limited by copyright to posting. And so, I hope those reading these words will make the time to read Neiwert's essay so that we might more thoughtfully examine and discuss the rise of corporatism and its take-over of this country before its too late.

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