at Information Clearing House
“For a considerable length of time the normality of the normal world is the most efficient protection against disclosure of totalitarian mass crimes,” Hannah Arendt wrote in “The Origins of Totalitarianism.” “Normal men don’t know that everything is possible, refuse to believe their eyes and ears in the face of the monstrous. … The reason why the totalitarian regimes can get so far toward realizing a fictitious, topsy-turvy world is that the outside non-totalitarian world, which always comprises a great part of the population of the totalitarian country itself, indulges in wishful thinking and shirks reality in the face of real insanity. …”
This is completely wrong. She simply does not know what she is talking about. Show me one totalitarian regime that came in gradually, as a result of an eroding of a democracy over some long gradual period of time. Historically it has never happened. The Greek nation changed over time, yes. The Roman Republic? Anybody ever heard of Julius Caesar? “Crossing the Rubicon”? Julius Caesar SEIZED power. Adolf Hitler SEIZED power. Joseph Stalin SEIZED power. Idi Amin SEIZED power.
Do you see anyone seizing power in the US?
Hannah is putting this forth as if Hitler’s and Stalin’s totalitarianisms came about because of some gradual eroding away of rights or citizen participation. WRONG.
First of all, both came to power over weak democracies WHICH HAD SHORTLY BEFORE REPLACED MONARCHIES. Both their citizenry still had sizable numbers who were used to authoritarian, paternalistic, government. Stalin came in on the coattails of Lenin and implemented his bureaucratic infighting to eliminate his opponents. Once Lenin died, Stalin started eliminating his competition. He SEIZED power.
Hitler came in as a response to the ineffectual governing in the Weimar Republic AFTER their prosperous coattailing on the US economy ended up in a depression like the US was in in 1933. He SEIZED power. No one who helped put him in place thought he would pull the blitzkrieg assult on their government and nation that he did. They all thought he was a bit of a loose cannon, but they all thought they could manage him. If we are to go down that route, some maniac will have to seize power. It will not happen over the course of decades of rot. Hannah is simply wrong on that. Historically it doe not happen. If she or Hedges want to dredge up ancient history and use it, they need to look at more modern times, times that we have a whole lot more solid information on.
Most people are not cognizant that Hitler and FDR came into office within 6 weeks of each other – Hitler at the end of January 1933 and FDR in early Mar 1933. The same week FDR was inaugurated, Dachau prison camp was already being built – the THIRD camp built in those 6 weeks, and not the last. Hitler GRABBED power, right away. March 1933 was also the month of the Reichstag fire, the most successful false flag operation of all time; it made possible the Enabling Act, by which Hitler was granted sole governmental power. NONE OF THIS WAS GRADUAL.
Our certain demise will occur if we see a latter-day Reichstag fire. In a sense 9/11 was that, but George W Bush certainly was not up to the task, and why Cheney didn’t maneuver things in that direction we may never know. Perhaps he actually had SOME respect for the Constitution. I doubt it. More likely he was too old to take it on. So, perhaps we just got lucky that Bush was such a numbskull.
…Yes, Rome fell. Yes, the Greek democracy died out. And yes, there will come a time when the USA no longer exists. All nations fail eventually. Who among the “experts” in the west OR IN THE USSR – even a year after the Soviet Bloc fell apart (which should have been a clue) – would have predicted in 1990 that one year later that the Soviet Union would cease to be?
When it happens, if it is by dictator it will happen quickly. If it is by ennui, we will go by way of the British Empire, where we spend so much of our GNP on maintaining an empire that we simply won’t be able to do it anymore. In that case it is likely we will suffer for a few decades and begin to wake up to see that we are all in this boat together. Let us not forget how powerful the REAL MONOPOLIES were in Britain during its empire days. And when was the last time anyone heard from The British East India Company? And let us not forget how powerful the British Navy and Army were, and how they got what they wanted, not by being civilized, but by utter brutality. The actions of the US military and Blackwater – none of this is new in the history of the world. White-skinned uber-nations killing brown-skinned natives in “uncivilized” 3rd-world nations? People, it’s been done before. And WHY was it done then? Resources. England had only coal. Beyond that, everything else they had to grab by force. Sound familiar? The US used to have resources. But we used up the easily-gotten resources here, and now lay claim to those in other lands. We are in the thick of that Manifest Destiny, Part Deux, right now, so we have trouble seeing it. But it is there (here), nonetheless.
There is nothing new under the Sun.
We, as a nation, will relinquish our empire, simply because we will not be able to sustain it. We will slip into a lower-tier G-20 status.
But part of that flow of history is that some nations have vast untapped resources, and the will to exploit them. Among the BRIC countries, Russia and Brazil have natural resources, and China and India have cheap labor – ever the driver of up-and-coming world powers. And what does the USA have? Still large amounts of oil, still our farms. And what doe that bode? That we will be a plantation when the oil is depleted enough.