I've been looking for good books that would cover this segment of history so I could learn more about how it happened then, so I could compare it to what is happening now. It seems obvious to me that, largely in the USA but also in Canada, Japan and Australia (the latter three being places I've lived in the last decade) freedoms and rights are being eroded. I want to fight back against it, but I worry that without a solid understanding of how it happened last time I wouldn't be able to successfully work against it this time.
I bought a book on the subject, but then I found an interesting post detailing the 10 steps to fascist America. Naomi Wolf (someone I've never heard of before) puts things in perspective quite succinctly:
- Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
- Create a gulag
- Develop a thug caste
- Set up an internal surveillance system
- Harass citizens' groups
- Engage in arbitrary detention and release
- Target key individuals
- Control the press
- Dissent equals treason
- Suspend the rule of law
She goes on to detail exactly how, in each case, these things are already happening in America. It's disturbing, not only because it's happening, but because it's happening with so little apparent resistance.
She doesn't believe it can go as far as it did in Italy or Germany:
Of course, the United States is not vulnerable to the violent, total closing-down of the system that followed Mussolini's march on Rome or Hitler's roundup of political prisoners. Our democratic habits are too resilient, and our military and judiciary too independent, for any kind of scenario like that.
I'm sure the people in those countries at the time never thought it would go as far as it did either.