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Nederlog

 Nov 15, 2016

Crisis: Greenwald, Chomsky, Goodman, Engelhardt, Fulton, Whitehead
Sections                                                                     crisis index
Introduction

1.
In the Trump Era, Leaking and Whistleblowing Are More
     Urgent, and More Noble, Than Ever

2. Trump in the White House: An Interview With Noam
     Chomsky

3.
A White Nationalist & Anti-Semite in the Oval Office:
     Trump Taps Breitbart's Bannon as Top Aide

4. With President Trump, Is the American Experiment
     Over?

5.
There's No Normalizing President-Elect Trump (Or at
     Least, There Shouldn't Be)

6. Stay Alert, America: The Worst Is Yet to Come
Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of Tuesday, November 15, 2016.

A.
This is a crisis log with 6 items and 6 dotted links and it consists of some further deliberations on the meanings of Trump's election as president of the USA:

Item 1
is about Greenwald on whistleblowers; item 2 is about Chomsky on Trump's election; item 3 is about Goodman on the anti-semitic alt right man Bannon, who was appointed by Trump as his chief of staff; item 4 is about Engelhardt's expectations (and I agree - it seems - that the American experiment is over, now that a neofascist like Trump has been elected as president); item 5 is about Fulton on the normalizing tendencies of the
propagandistic and lying mainstream media; and item 6 is about John Whitehead who braces himself for the worse that is yet to come.

-- Constant part, for the moment --

B. In case you visit my Dutch site: It was OK for two days now, but again didn't work out in Holland the last days: It keeps being horrible most days. And it still does (on 11 - 14.xi.2016).

In any case, I am now (again) updating the opening of my site with the last day it was updated. (And I am very sorry if you have to click/reload several times to see the last update: It is not what I wish, nor how it was. [1]

C. In case you visit my Danish site: This worked correctly on 11 and 12 xi.2016, but not the day before nor on 13.xi.2016. It was OK on 14.xi.2016.)

And I think now this happens intentionally on both my sites, for this did not happen for 20 years on the one, nor for 12 years on the other.

I am very sorry, and none of it is due to me. I am simply doing the same things as I did for 20 or for 12 years, that also went well for 20 or for 12 years.

I will keep this introduction until I get three successive days (!!!) in which both providers work correctly. I have not seen that for many months now.
---

1. In the Trump Era, Leaking and Whistleblowing Are More Urgent, and More Noble, Than Ever

The first item today is by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:

This starts as follows:

For the past 15 years, the U.S. government under both parties has invented whole new methods for hiding what it does behind an increasingly impenetrable wall of secrecy. From radical new legal doctrines designed to shield its behavior from judicial review to prosecuting sources at record rates, more and more government action has been deliberately hidden from the public.
Yes indeed - and that was the beginning of systematic govermental totalitarianism, which often predates dictatorship, simply because it is both
very authoritarian, done by a very small group with large governmental powers,
very anti-democratic, and is mostly done in secrecy.

Here is praise for the few who did something against
systematic govermental totalitarianism:
One of the very few remaining avenues for learning what the U.S. government is doing — beyond the propaganda that it wants Americans to ingest and thus deliberately disseminates through media outlets — is leaking and whistleblowing. Among the leading U.S. heroes in the war on terror have been the men and women inside various agencies of the U.S. government who discovered serious wrongdoing being carried out in secret, and then risked their own personal welfare to ensure that the public learned of what never should have been hidden in the first place.
Yes, and here is what the few who did this did succeed in releasing:

Many of the important, consequential revelations from the last two administrations were possible only because of courageous sources who came forward in this way. It’s how we learned about the abuses of Abu Ghraib, the existence of torture-fueled CIA “black sites,” the Bush warrantless eavesdropping program, the wanton slaughter carried out in Iraq and Afghanistan, the recklessness and deceit at the heart of the U.S. drone program, the NSA’s secret construction of the largest system of suspicionless, mass surveillance ever created, and so many other scandals, frauds, and war crimes that otherwise would have remained hidden. All of that reporting was possible only because people of conscience decided to disregard the U.S. government’s corrupt decree that this information should remain secret, on the ground that concealing it was designed to protect not national security but rather the reputations and interests of political officials.

Indeed - but it was done by a few courageous individuals who worked for the government, and a few courageous journalists, while much of their stories were not told, or retold falsely, by the mainstream media.

Here is Glenn Greenwald's expectation for what the Trumpian presidency will mean for transparency:

Donald Trump has not yet been inaugurated, but all the signs point to a presidency that will be deeply hostile to basic precepts of transparency. During the campaign, he repeatedly violated long-standing norms of disclosure, including even a refusal to make his income tax returns public, and already has broken with tradition by refusing during the transition to provide basic information about his whereabouts or activities.

Beyond that, the institutions of the executive branch are well-trained to resist transparency as much as possible and have been vested with countless tools to conceal their most important activities. Institutional inertia by itself, let alone once exacerbated by Trump’s own anti-transparency impulses, all but guarantees the Trump presidency will be aggressively antagonistic to basic public accountability.

Yes indeed - and this did not even take into account Trump's attempts to ban parts of the press (like The New York Times and The Washington Post) and Trump's extremely vindictive campaigns and court cases against those who dared to criticize him.

And this is a recommended article (which underplays rather than overplays the totalitarian dangers of the Trumpian presidency).

2. Trump in the White House: An Interview With Noam Chomsky

The second item is by C.J. Polychroniou on Truthdig and originally on Truth-out:

This starts as follows:

On Nov. 8, 2016, Donald Trump managed to pull the biggest upset in U.S. politics by tapping successfully into the anger of white voters and appealing to the lowest inclinations of people in a manner that would have probably impressed Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels himself.

But what exactly does Trump’s victory mean, and what can one expect from this megalomaniac when he takes over the reins of power on January 20, 2017? What is Trump’s political ideology, if any, and is “Trumpism” a movement? Will U.S. foreign policy be any different under a Trump administration?

Some years ago, public intellectual Noam Chomsky warned that the political climate in the U.S. was ripe for the rise of an authoritarian figure. Now, he shares his thoughts on the aftermath of this election, the moribund state of the U.S. political system and why Trump is a real threat to the world and the planet in general.

These are all good questions and good points - and I have been following previous installments of C.J. Polychroniou's interviews with Noam Chomsky, for there were several, and they were all interesting and competent.

Here are three of Noam Chomsky's basic difficulties with the present political atmosphere (which is rightist and totalitarian):

It is hard to find words to capture the fact that humans are facing the most important question in their history—whether organized human life will survive in anything like the form we know—and are answering it by accelerating the race to disaster.

Similar observations hold for the other huge issue concerning human survival: the threat of nuclear destruction, which has been looming over our heads for 70 years and is now increasing.

It is no less difficult to find words to capture the utterly astonishing fact that in all of the massive coverage of the electoral extravaganza, none of this receives more than passing mention. At least I am at a loss to find appropriate words.

Note that the first difficulty is in fact about the environmental destruction that great parts of the corporations commit willingly and knowingly since 1972, when the first report on the environment appeared, in the form of a global model, with predictions: The Limits To Growth. And while there are some good criticisms of the model, it seems in 2016 that it was rather correct from the start and still is mostly correct. This is from Wikipedia (on "The Limits"):

In 2016 a report published by the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Limits to Growth concluded that "there is unsettling evidence that society is still following the ‘standard run’ of the original study – in which overshoot leads to an eventual collapse of production and living standards".

I think Noam Chomsky is quite correct this is an extreme danger for humanity.

The same goes for the second problem, which is "the threat of nuclear destruction", that with Trump's election as president of the USA got very much enhanced, because - I am a psychologist - Trump is not sane.

And about the third difficulty Chomsky registers, which essentially is the very outspoken totalitarian and propagandistic orientation of the present mainstream media, he is correct as well (and this really was the end of American democracy, which happened mostly during Bush Jr's presidency: I am sorry, there is no real democracy when most of the voters are systematically lied to and propagandized, as if they are cattle or subhumans).

In fact, here is one of the results of the totalitarian propaganda that has been spread by the mainstream media for something like ten years now:

Exit polls reveal that the passionate support for Trump was inspired primarily by the belief that he represented change, while Clinton was perceived as the candidate who would perpetuate their distress. The “change” that Trump is likely to bring will be harmful or worse, but it is understandable that the consequences are not clear to isolated people in an atomized society lacking the kinds of associations (like unions) that can educate and organize. That is a crucial difference between today’s despair and the generally hopeful attitudes of many working people under much greater economic duress during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Note that at this time the many poor and non-rich know and understand a whole lot less about the real situations they are living in than did the many poor and non-rich during the Great Depression, and the main differences are the disappearance of almost any paper and of almost any TV-news that was honest and factual rather than dishonest and propaganda.

There is next this on the Democratic Party:

The Democratic Party abandoned any real concern for working people by the 1970s
(..)
One of the great achievements of the doctrinal system has been to divert anger from the corporate sector to the government that implements the programs that the corporate sector designs, such as the highly protectionist corporate/investor rights agreements that are uniformly mis-described as “free trade agreements” in the media and commentary. With all its flaws, the government is, to some extent, under popular influence and control, unlike the corporate sector. It is highly advantageous for the business world to foster hatred for pointy-headed government bureaucrats and to drive out of people’s minds the subversive idea that the government might become an instrument of popular will, a government of, by and for the people.

Yes, indeed. There is this on Brexit and Hitler:

There are definite similarities to Brexit, and also to the rise of the ultranationalist far-right parties in Europe—whose leaders were quick to congratulate Trump on his victory, perceiving him as one of their own: [Nigel] Farage, [Marine] Le Pen, [Viktor] Orban and others like them. And these developments are quite frightening. A look at the polls in Austria and Germany— Austria and Germany—cannot fail to evoke unpleasant memories for those familiar with the 1930s, even more so for those who watched directly, as I did as a child. I can still recall listening to Hitler’s speeches, not understanding the words, though the tone and audience reaction were chilling enough.

I agree for about half with this. First, while I do not deny there are similarities and analogies between Brexit and Trump's gain, I do not think these are very revealing (for logical reasons: they simply are not conclusive). And second, while I am quite willing to agree that Trump is a neofascist (in my sense, and see note [2]) he does not come with the very militaristic background of Hitler.

Here is Chomsky on the possible rise of fascism in the USA:

For many years, I have been writing and speaking about the danger of the rise of an honest and charismatic ideologue in the United States, someone who could exploit the fear and anger that has long been boiling in much of the society, and who could direct it away from the actual agents of malaise to vulnerable targets. That could indeed lead to what sociologist Bertram Gross called “friendly fascism” in a perceptive study 35 years ago. But that requires an honest ideologue, a Hitler type, not someone whose only detectable ideology is Me. The dangers, however, have been real for many years, perhaps even more so in the light of the forces that Trump has unleashed.

Hm. I think Trump's ideology is neofascist (in my sense, defined in note [2]) though I also agree that (i) Trump has said anything whatsoever during his campaigns that he thought might further his campaigns, and that (ii) I really think Trump is not sane, which makes him extremely difficult to predict.

Finally, there is this on the Supreme Court and the incredible riches that Trump will very probably give to the very rich like himself, and to the rich:

The Supreme Court will be in the hands of reactionaries for many years, with predictable consequences. If Trump follows through on his Paul Ryan-style fiscal programs, there will be huge benefits for the very rich—estimated by the Tax Policy Center as a tax cut of over 14 percent for the top 0.1 percent and a substantial cut more generally at the upper end of the income scale, but with virtually no tax relief for others, who will also face major new burdens. The respected economics correspondent of the Financial Times, Martin Wolf, writes that, “The tax proposals would shower huge benefits on already rich Americans such as Mr Trump,” while leaving others in the lurch, including, of course, his constituency. The immediate reaction of the business world reveals that Big Pharma, Wall Street, the military industry, energy industries and other such wonderful institutions expect a very bright future.

Yes, indeed. And this is a recommended article.

3. A White Nationalist & Anti-Semite in the Oval Office: Trump Taps Breitbart's Bannon as Top Aide

The third item is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:

This starts with the following introduction:

As the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center are slamming President-elect Donald Trump for naming Stephen Bannon to become his chief strategist, we speak with SPLC President Richard Cohen about Bannon’s role as former head of the right-wing news outlet Breitbart Media and as Trump’s campaign manager. "Two weeks after the Charleston massacre, [Breitbart News] ran an article talking about how people should proudly fly the Confederate flag," Cohen says. He argues that the alt-right that Breitbart is associated with "is nothing more than the rebranding of white supremacy, white nationalism, for the digital age," and calls on President-elect Trump to "speak out forcefully against all forms of bigotry, and then he has to follow talk with the walk."

I think Richard Cohen may be a little mistaken about Breitbart and Bannon, namely in the sense that both were or are (Breitbart died) rather clever and well educated. Here Cohen is on the difference between the two that he sees:

RICHARD COHEN: You know, when—Breitbart traditionally was a very conservative website. But under Bannon, it’s become a cesspool for white supremacy, according to one of his former colleagues. You know, the alt-right is white nationalism. It rejects multiculturalism. It’s opposed to immigration. You know, the godfather of the alt-right is a fellow named Richard Spencer. His motto is "All men are created unequal." He believes that black people are intellectually inferior. He calls for, you know, the peaceful ethnic cleansing of our country.
Cohen may be right - or perhaps Bannon is more dangerous than that. And here is Cohen's recommendation for the future:
RICHARD COHEN: You know, I would just urge people to stand strong, be careful, don’t give up hope. One of the sad things of the election was, you know, 43 million Americans who were eligible to vote did not. That’s 100 million people. I don’t know how those 100 million people would have voted, but I think our democracy will be healthier when everyone speaks.
Hm. This does not sound coherent to me. At any rate, the real figures are that something like 44% of those eligible to vote in the USA did not vote, and that indeed amounts to something like 100 million Americans (as opposed to the 120 million who did vote, of which around 60 million - about 1 in 5 of all Americans - chose for Trump).

4. With President Trump, Is the American Experiment Over?

The fourth item is by Tom Engelhardt on Truthdig and originally on TomDispatch:

This is from near the beginning:

The Wars Come Home

From the moment of the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, in fact, everything the U.S. military touched in these years has turned to dust.  Nations across the Greater Middle East and Africa collapsed under the weight of American interventions or those of its allies, and terror movements, one grimmer than the next, spread in a remarkably unchecked fashion.  Afghanistan is now a disaster zone; Yemen, wracked by civil war, a brutal U.S.-backed Saudi air campaign, and various ascendant terror groups, is essentially no more; Iraq, at best, is a riven sectarian nation; Syria barely exists; Libya, too, is hardly a state these days; and Somalia is a set of fiefdoms and terror movements.  All in all, it’s quite a record for the mightiest power on the planet, which, in a distinctly un-imperial fashion, has been unable to impose its military will or order of any sort on any state or even group, no matter where it chose to act in these years.  It’s hard to think of a historical precedent for this.

Yes, I think this is mostly correct. And there is this on the rise of neofascism (in my definition, for which see [2]) in the USA:

Imperial Overreach and the Rise of the National Security State

In the end, those seeds, first planted in Afghan and Pakistani soil in 1979, led to the attacks of September 11, 2001.  That day was the very definition of chaos brought to the imperial heartland, and spurred the emergence of a new, post-Constitutional governing structure, through the expansion of the national security state to monumental proportions and a staggering version of imperial overreach.  On the basis of the supposed need to keep Americans safe from terrorism (and essentially nothing else), the national security state would balloon into a dominant—and dominantly funded—set of institutions at the heart of American political life (without which, rest assured, FBI Director James Comey’s public interventions in an American election would have been inconceivable).  In these years, that state-within-a-state became the unofficial fourth branch of government, at a moment when two of the others—Congress and the courts, or at least the Supreme Court—were faltering.

I think this is also mostly correct - and I also note that Tom Engelhardt is here saying the same thing as I did (in Dutch) in 2005: The New National Security Neofascist United States of America [3] was based on enormous amounts of utterly false propaganda about "terrorism".

And this was the counterpart, that may be formulated as: Only the rich's interests matter, which indeed also was embraced by the majority of the Supreme Court:
At the same time, the basic needs of many Americans went increasingly unattended, of those at least who weren’t part of a Gilded Age 1% sucking up American wealth in an extraordinary fashion.  The one-percenters then repurposed some of those trickle-up funds for the buying and selling of politicians, again in an atmosphere of remarkable secrecy.  (It was often impossible to know who had given money to whom for what.)  In turn, that stream of Supreme Court-approved funds changed the nature of, and perhaps the very idea of, what an election was.
This article ends with a question:
Here, however, is a potentially shocking question that has to be asked: With Donald Trump’s election, has the American “experiment” run its course?

I think it has. I think the - democratic, Constitution-based - USA is dead, and the Neofascistic United States of America won the elections and gained all powers, including the extremely dangerous one of the incredible powers of the NSA, which must be assumed to know almost everything about almost everyone (and which may be used to silence almost any American).

5. There's No Normalizing President-Elect Trump (Or at Least, There Shouldn't Be)

The fifth item is by Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows:

From penning puff pieces to "pivoting to 'Trump as our kooky uncle'" to glossing over his promotion of white nationalist Steve Bannon, the media is helping to normalize President-elect Donald Trump, critics charged this week.

It was a trend that began during the campaign, FAIR's Adam Johnson wrote on Sunday, and it has only accelerated since the election.

"Oprah Winfrey, in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, said Trump's recent visit to the White House gave her 'hope' and suggested he has been 'humbled' by the experience," Johnson wrote. "The Guardian's Simon Jenkins told his readers to 'calm down' and that Trump wasn't the 'worst thing.' His college, Nouriel Roubini, insisted the Oval Office will 'tame' Trump. People magazine ran a glowing profile of Trump and his wife Melania (though a former People writer accused Trump of sexual assault). The New York Times' Nick Kristof dubiously added that we should 'Grit our teeth and give Trump a chance.' The mainstays—Washington Post, New York Times, and CNN—while frequently critical, are covering Trump's transition as they would any other."

Yes indeed. And this is very disquieting because Trump is not a normal president and because he does not have normal plans. Then again this also was to be expected, because all of the above are mainstream media - including Oprah Winfrey and The Guardian - and the mainstream media are not properly journalistic anymore, but have been repositioned, already ten years ago or more, as propaganda instruments for the government. [4]

There is this on Steve Bannon's appointment as the chief strategist to the president:

Needless to say, Trump's transition is hardly run-of-the-mill. Less than a week after his election, Trump appointed Steve Bannon as "chief strategist to the president." Or, as Charles Pierce put it at Esquire, "[t]he president-elect went out of his way to hire a white supremacist and anti-Semite to run his policy shop."

The selection of Bannon, despite his integral role in Trump's presidential campaign, is radical when one considers his affiliation with the alt-right movement and espousal of wide-ranging conspiracy theories.

"But if you picked up any copies of the nation's major newspapers, everything seems normal," ThinkProgress wrote, noting major outlets' portrayal of Bannon as an "outsider" and "loyalist."

Yes, indeed. (But as I said: "Major outlets" have been transformed into - very willing, quite well-paid - propagandizers for the government.)

And here is John Oliver's warning:

And John Oliver, in Sunday's season finale of his show "Last Week Tonight," urged against complacency when it comes to the "Klan-backed misogynist internet troll" who will serve as the nation's 45th president.

"It is going to be easy for things to start feeling normal, especially if you are someone who is not directly impacted by his actions," Oliver said. "So keep reminding yourself, this is not normal. He's abnormal. He's a human 'What Is Wrong With This Picture.' So giving him a chance, in the sense of not speaking out immediately against policies he has proposed, is dangerous."

Hm. I quite agree that Trump is "abnormal", for I think he is both insane (and I am a psychologist) and a neofascist (and see note [2]), but I also think that it will be very difficult or impossible to convince the American majority of that.

After all, the smartest people who write in the USA or were on TV the last year all warned against Trump, and were not heeded by the majority.

6. Stay Alert, America: The Worst Is Yet to Come

The sixth and last item is by John Whitehead on Washington's Blog and originally on the Rutherford Institute:

This starts as follows:

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”—Philosopher George Santayana

Stay alert, America.

This is not the time to drop our guards, even for a moment.

Nothing has changed since the election to alter the immediate and very real dangers of roadside strip searches, government surveillance, biometric databases, citizens being treated like terrorists, imprisonments for criticizing the government, national ID cards, SWAT team raids, censorship, forcible blood draws and DNA extractions, private prisons, weaponized drones, red light cameras, tasers, active shooter drills, police misconduct and government corruption.

Yes, indeed. And concentration camps to lock in those whose political opinions are not close enough to those of The President/The Leader, although we may need to wait a little into his presidency. (Hitler had the concentration camp Dachau (<-Wikipedia) opened a week after Hitler's becoming The Leader of Germany).

There is this on the fact that the USA has been played (which I agree to, though not only by Trump and his associates, but by the mainstream media as well, and since 10 years at least):

It’s early days yet, but President-elect Trump—like his predecessors—has already begun to dial back many of the campaign promises that pledged to reform a broken system of government.

The candidate who railed against big government and vowed to “drain the swamp” of lobbyists and special interest donors has already given lobbyists, corporate donors and members of the governmental elite starring roles in his new administration.

America, you’ve been played.

Yes, although - in fairness - Trump has said so many incompatible things that he
has to dial back (or at least makes the impression he tries to) many of his sayings.

There is this on "the Left", which I put between quotes because I do not believe that the majority who regards themselves as on "the Left" is really on the real left [5]:

Unfortunately, in this instance, we all lose because of the deluded hypocrisy of the Left and the Right, both of which sanctioned the expansion of the police state as long as it was their party at the helm.

For the past eight years, the Left—stridently outspoken and adversarial while George W. Bush was president—has been unusually quiet about things like torture, endless wars, drone strikes, executive orders, government overreach and fascism.

Yes, but this showed two things, in my opinion: (i) "the Left" made its opinions and values depend not on the real facts, but on what would support "the Left"s power (and it failed: Clinton was beaten), and (ii) "the Left", at least in so far as these were leading politicians from the Democratic Party and their followers were no longer the real left, but were in fact either quite similar to the degenerates of the Right (the Democratic leaders) or else to the many who were successfully deceived by their own politicians.

There is this on Trump and Obama:

As The Federalist declares with a tongue-in-cheek approach, “Dissent, executive restraint, gridlock, you name it. Now that Donald Trump will be president, stuff that used to be treason is suddenly cool again.”

Yet as Greenwald makes clear, if Trump is about to inherit vast presidential powers, he has the Democrats to thank for them.

A military empire that polices the globe. Secret courts, secret wars and secret budgets. Unconstitutional mass surveillance. Unchecked presidential power. Indefinite detention. Executive signing statements.

These are just a small sampling of the abusive powers that have been used liberally by Obama and will be used again and again by future presidents.

Yes, that is all true - and it is a bit optimistic, at least in my opinion, in assuming there will be future presidents after Trump, of which I think there
may only be a 50/50 chance (for with an insane hothead like Trump I think
mankind may praise itself as very lucky if there is no major nuclear war before 2022 - and if there is, this will destroy human civilization).

Then there is this:

After all, presidents are just puppets on a string, made to dance to the tune of the powers-that-be. And the powers-that-be want war. They want totalitarianism. They want a monied oligarchy to run the show. They want bureaucracy and sprawl and government leaders that march in lockstep with their dictates. Most of all, they want a gullible, distracted, easily led populace that can be manipulated, maneuvered and made to fear whatever phantom menace the government chooses to make the bogeyman of the month.

I do not think that the president of the USA is a mere puppet on a string, but I agree there is something like the Deep State, that probably exists in a fairly full blown form since 2001, but that did exist in part at least for some 30 years previous to this. The problem is that its existence is secret, or at least it was until now.

Then there is this:

This is the terrible power of the shadow government: to maintain the status quo, no matter which candidate gets elected.

War will continue. Surveillance will continue. Drone killings will continue. Police shootings will continue. Highway robbery meted out by government officials will continue. Corrupt government will continue. Profit-driven prisons will continue. Censorship and persecution of anyone who criticizes the government will continue. The militarization of the police will continue. The government’s efforts to label dissidents as extremists and terrorists will continue.

In such a climate, the police state will thrive.

In fact, I think all these "continue"s may very well be understatements: My own fear is that each of the items that Whitehead says "will continue" (and I agree) not only will continue, but will grow very much worse.

And there is this:

We’ve already torn down the rich forest of liberties established by our founders. They don’t teach freedom in the schools. Few Americans know their history. And even fewer seem to care that their fellow Americans are being jailed, muzzled, shot, tasered, and treated as if they have no rights at all. They don’t care, that is, until it happens to them—at which point it’s almost too late.

This is how the police state wins. This is how tyranny rises. This is how freedom falls.

I agree. Here is the ending of the article:

Indeed, if we’re repeating history, the worst is yet to come.

Yes indeed. And "the worst" may be worse than anyone can imagine now.

And this is a recommended article.

--------------------------
Notes
[1] Alas, this is precisely as I said it does, and it goes on for months now. I do not know who does it, and I refuse to call the liars of "xs4all" (really: the KPN), simply because these have been lying to me from 2002-2009, and I do not trust anything they say I cannot control myself: They have treated me for seven years as a liar because "you complain about things other people do not complain about" (which is the perfect excuse never to do anything whatsoever for anyone).

[2]
I am saying this not because I want to offend but because I want to explain, and my own explanatory definition of neofascism is this:
Neofascism is a. A social system that is marked by a government with a centralized powerful authority, where the opposition is propagandized and suppressed or censored, that propounds an ethics which has profit as its main norm, and that has a politics that is rightwing, nationalistic, pro-capitalist, anti-liberal, anti-equality, and anti-leftist, and that has a corporative organization of the economy in which multi-national corporations are stronger than a national government or stateb. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a social system.

Also, I am rather certain that most (not: all) of those who style themselved as "neoliberals" in fact are neofascists as defined (even though they probably do not like the term).

And this is fascism as I defined it:
Fascism is a. A social system that is marked by a government with centralized authority and a dictator, that suppresses the opposition through propaganda, censorship and terror, that propounds an ethics founded on discipline, virility, and collectivism, that has a politics that is totalitarian, anti-liberal, anti-individualist, anti-equality, and anti-Marxist, that is also authoritarian, rightwing and nationalistic, and often racist, and that has a corporative organization of the economy, b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a social system.
See the following if you are interested: On Fascism and Neofascism: Definitions. (This lists 22 definitions of the term "fascism", and critically reflects on them.)

[3] I am sorry, but with a neofascistic president with neofascistic plans that is what the USA has become: the NUSA (and you can read the added "N" as "New" or as "Neofascistic").

[4] Yes, indeed - and the same holds also for The Guardian and The Huffington Post, as can be seen from the fact that both made copying their stuff (which means: discussing the lies of their journalistic propagandists) very much more difficult than it would otherwise be. (In case this is not obvious to you: They play their mainly "leftist" mainly well-educated audience in a different manner than do their rightist competitors who write for the badly educated. But in the end they are Clintonite, Obamite or Blairite, very much rather than honest leftists.)

[5] I am sorry but I know: Both of my parents were communists for 45 years; one of my grandfathers was a communist; and my mother's parents were anarchists. And while I gave up Marxism aged 20 because I disagreed with its economic treachings and its totalitarianism, I have been a leftist since then.

So yes, I know that my parents and grandparents and myself all were genuine leftists, whereas the vast majority of the "leftists" I"ve met since the late 1970ies (!!) were not proper leftists, but were in fact dishonest careerists (and indeed everyone I met as a "leftist" - very often members of the Dutch Communist Party - in the University of Amsterdam now (and quite often since 1992) is a "neoconservatist" (again not because they honestly believe this, but because this seems their best bet to try to keep their large incomes).

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