2004 Essay

904 WordsOct 9, 20114 Pages
CHIRRA PLSC 102 CRITICAL THINKING OPPORTUNITY – 100 Points In her book, Naomi Wolf discusses ten steps that must be used to shut down a democracy. These steps are: 1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy. 2. Create secret prisons where torture takes place. 3. Develop a thug caste or paramilitary force not answerable to citizens. 4. Set up an internal surveillance system. 5. Harass citizens' groups. 6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release. 7. Target key individuals. 8. Control the press. 9. Treat all political dissidents as traitors. 10. Suspend the rule of law. Wolf, Naomi. The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2007 She indicated that, by 2007, each of these steps had been initiated by the administration of President George W. Bush. Later, in an online post, she wrote: If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy—but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps… Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even considering that it is possible for us to become as unfree—domestically—as many other nations. Because we no longer learn much about our rights or our system of government - the task of being aware of the constitution has been outsourced from citizens' ownership to being the domain of professionals such as lawyers and professors - we scarcely recognize the checks and balances that the founders put in place, even as they are being systematically dismantled. Because we don't learn much about

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