1. Sheldon Wolin: A kind of fascism
replacing our democracy
2. Glenn Greenwald
"Challenging the US Surveillance State"
Yesterday I wrote about
Sheldon Wolin on inverted totalitarianism; today my topic is another brief article by
professor Wolin from 2003, published briefly before he became 81. Part
of my text and my links and my notes are the same as yesterday, since
they provide the same background to the same man and the same subjects,
but my quotations and comments are not:
Sheldon Wolin: "A kind of fascism is replacing our democracy"
I mentioned Sheldon Wolin,
an American political scientist, who is meanwhile in his 90ies,
yesterday and also said you can see him interviewed by Bill Moyers here:
Late last year I
formulated a number of hypotheses about what I called "corporate
fascism + the surveillance state" abbreviated "CF+SS", that seem to
have interested very few:
Indeed, I suspect this
may have irrated some of the Dutch "social scientists" that follow my
sites (without having the guts of ever mailing me, and quite possibly
"borrowing" from me without attribution), for their attendance to my
site has fallen .
I was quite pleased to find out that there is a man like Sheldon Wolin
in the US, about whom I do not know much, but who clearly has brains
and guts. Yesterday I mentioned, linked and quoted his
Today my subject is a brief
article he got published a few months after the previous one, also in
I quite agree and note this is
from nearly 10 years ago, during which time the situation has grown
No administration before
George W. Bush's ever claimed such sweeping powers for an enterprise as
vaguely defined as the "war against terrorism" and the "axis of evil."
Nor has one begun to consume such an enormous amount of the nation's
resources for a mission whose end would be difficult to recognize even
Like previous forms of
totalitarianism, the Bush administration boasts a reckless
unilateralism that believes the United States can demand unquestioning
support, on terms it dictates; ignores treaties and violates
international law at will; invades other countries without provocation;
and incarcerates persons indefinitely without charging them with a
crime or allowing access to counsel.
First, the economic crisis was added in 2008 - but nothing effective
was done against it, while it seems to have been used on purpose to
destroy or undermine or cow the middle class; and second, Obama was
elected in 2008, and did nothing effective against the totalitarian
tendencies I cannot believe he did not know were mentioned by professor
Wolin, Gore Vidal, Noam Chomsky, and others. Instead, under Obama the
powers of the US state grew, and grew illegally, against the rulings of
the US Constititution, as Obama also must know very well indeed, as a
former professor of constitutional law.
So the situation now is much worse than it was in 2003. As to the "war
on terrorism": As I explained in 2005 in Dutch 
this was a fraudulent pretext
to vastly increase the powers of state terrorism from the start, and it
still is. (I repeated it in the crisis series 7
Professor Wolin continued the above quotation as follows - and I also
provide links to the original of
Totalitarianism" and my comments on that:
Indeed, and it is
noteworthy that Stalin, except perhaps towards the very end of is life,
was not an antisemite, or a racist, and also noteworthy that while
Hitler had concentration
camps from the start, that clearly had the purpose of terrorizing
the population over which he ruled, the extermination
camps were started in 1941.
The drive toward total
power can take different forms, as Mussolini's Italy, Hitler's Germany
and Stalin's Soviet Union suggest.
The American system is
evolving its own form: "inverted totalitarianism." This has no official
doctrine of racism or extermination camps but, as described above, it
displays similar contempt for restraints.
It also has an
upside-down character. For instance, the Nazis focused upon mobilizing
and unifying the society, maintaining a continuous state of war
preparations and demanding enthusiastic participation from the
populace. In contrast, inverted totalitarianism exploits political
apathy and encourages divisiveness. The turnout for a Nazi plebiscite
was typically 90 percent or higher; in a good election year in the
United States, participation is about 50 percent.
I considered the widespread apathy in the face of much evil, cruelty
and evident state terrorism earlier this year
and while this has
probably many reasons, one important cause that effects almost everyone
born since 1960 in Western Europe and the US is that they have been
"educated" on a daily diet of TV, have for the most part been more
poorly educated than their parents and grandparents, and have heard,
seen and read more advertisements, public relations, and lies and
exaggerations of many kinds than any generation before them.
Professor Wolin continued
As I quoted and said repeatedly:
Another example: The
Nazis abolished the parliamentary system, instituted single-party rule
and controlled all forms of public communication. It is possible,
however, to reach a similar result without seeming to suppress. An
elected legislature is retained but a system of corruption (lobbyists,
campaign contributions, payoffs to powerful interests) short-circuits
the connection between voters and their representatives. The system
responds primarily to corporate interests; voters become cynical,
resigned; and opposition seems futile.
While Nazi control of the
media meant that only the "official story" was communicated, that
result is approximated by encouraging concentrated ownership of the
media and thereby narrowing the range of permissible opinions.
This can be augmented by
having "homeland security" envelop the entire nation with a maze of
restrictions and by instilling fear among the general population by
periodic alerts raised against a background of economic uncertainty,
unemployment, downsizing and cutbacks in basic services.
may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the
people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the
postmodern democracy, you only need to fool the majority of the
badly educated to run what is effectively a disguised
Then again, power is like gas:
It tries to occupy all available space, so I would not be amazed at all
if state power will soon start to show a far more terrorist face than
it has so far, as indeed has been happening already with the clothes
and weapons of part of the US police.
Even so, as in Stalin's Soviet-Union, there may be retained a semblance
of democracy, with regular elections from state-approved politicians,
also because the surveillance state that meanwhile has been surrected,
for which also see section 2, will be able to repress any and all
opposition, also without this ever becoming mentioned in the
There is more by professor Wolin that applies specifically to the US,
but the following has turned out to hold for parts - at least - of
Western Europe as well:
institutionalizing the "war on terrorism" the Bush administration
acquired a rationale for expanding its powers and furthering its
domestic agenda. While the nation's resources are directed toward
endless war, the White House promoted tax cuts in the midst of
recession, leaving scant resources available for domestic programs. The
effect is to render the citizenry more dependent on government, and to
empty the cash-box in case a reformist administration comes to power.
There are benefit cuts
for the poor and unemployed in Europe now as well, while the taxes on
the ever poorer middle classes are raised to pay for the crisis,
while the rich managerial classes still take home their millions
of yearly salaries plus perhaps millions of bonuses as if there is no
crisis, no moraity, and no justice, and as if greed of the rich is
good, while the masses of the unemployed and ill suffer.
Finally, while professor Wolin may have hoped for "a reformist administration", and while Obama promised change,
what he delivered was more of the recipe Bush Jr. followed, in part
even by the same men Bush Jr. employed, though indeed with another
style of rhetorics - "Yes, we can!"
- for what were essentially the same policies, that seem to be directed
by lobbyists for corporations or the military-industrial complex rather
than by honest politicians.
2. Glenn Greenwald
on "Challenging the
US Surveillance State"
I mentioned Glenn
his column On
Security and Liberty in The
repeatedly, and found there a link to a good speech of his
in June 2012 precisely on the threats the surveillance state aka
postmodern state terrorism aka inverted totalitarianism aka a new kind
of fascism - choose your own favorite terms, as long as you are free to
Here he is as found at the end of his recent "Domestic
drones and their
unique dangers". The talk is from June 29, 2012, and good,
clear, and has the title "Challenging the US Surveillance State":
Also in the context of my note , retained from
yesterday, about my Dutch generation
of traitors of civilization and education 
and in view of my courageous parents
and grandparents: Glenn
Greenwald and Chris
Hedges, mentioned yesterday, strike me as very intelligent and very
courageous persons, who have few likes and deserve much support.
Another reason may have been that I have been quite unfriendly about
social psychologists. Well comrades: I think the lot of you should not
be in a university (unless you can prove your IQ is higher than 140,
and I cannot believe more than very few of you qualify); you are - as
long as you don't have the courage and the brains to speak up about the
current crisis - part of the problem that maintains the crisis; and I
also admit I deeply despise the
class of moronic and parasitic quasi-intellectual to which you nearly
all belong, whose members had the impertinence of scolding me
many times for "a fascist" and "a terrorist" because I was not, as many
of you pretended to be, a marxist, and also had the courage of saying
so, even while I was ill and knew I would be discriminated for it.
Indeed, none those who scolded me thus, with sadistic glee, protected
by belonging to groups of quasi-radicals, who then had the power in the
Universxity of Amsterdam, knew that - unlike each and all of you - I
come from a genuine marxist revolutionary family. Also, you were nearly
all then, as you nearly all are now, impostors, frauds,
pseudo-scientists, both morally and scientifically. Compared to my
parents and grandparents, who risked their lives in the communist
resistance against the Nazis, most of you are sick cowards; compared to
me, most of you are morons and ignoramuses.
 I have fast internet only since the
summer of 2009. Before that, my internet connection was by a slow and
expensive phone-modem depending on the Carlos Slim company of the
"Dutch" KPN. This is a pity: I probably would have learned more than I
did if I had acquired fast internet sooner.
 I think the linked piece may have pissed off
quite a few of the
pseudo-progressive traitors of my generation, many of whom have been parasiting in the Dutch
universities for decades. Well, there is more on them here, here and
here - for example - and the
only reason I am not sharper about this lot of rot is that I want to
avoid problems with these rotters to save what little energy I have on other Dutch rotters.
(that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate
search machines) which
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: