Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Naomi Wolf's Give Me Liberty: We're Headed for Martial Law

A member's link at BlogHer pointed me to this video from Naomi Wolf about her latest book Give Me Liberty. Wolf believes we're in the middle of a coup in the U.S.A., already under the thumb of fascists and all will be lost if we don't act now to stop them. She appears to mean the Bush administration and its supporters.

Give Me Liberty is the sequel to The End of America by Naomi Wolf. In the first book and in this video she discusses her concerns about America falling into fascism, and she says in the video that her new book gives us tools to stop the demise of our democracy.

I touched on the subject of possible fascism and the dark side of nationalism we've glimpsed in McCain/Palin rallies in my post Six Degrees of a Nasty Nation. In that post I included a quote from Jeffrey Feldman who's responded to concerns that Sarah Palin rallies resemble Nazi Germany footage, but I did not mention Wolf. I'd intended to link to Professor Kim's post at BlogHer about The End of America, but the nasty nation post was already plenty long.

Wolf's saying some scary stuff in the Give Me Liberty video. She thinks we're being led toward martial law through an overblown financial crisis that will allow the president to declare a state of emergency. She cites California Rep. Brad Sherman's speech in the House of Representatives in which he alleged that some members of the House had been threatened with the downfall of the country and a collapse into martial law if they didn't sign off on the bailout, tactics he classified as "fear mongering."

Wolf believes troops have already been deployed to carry out martial law in the U.S. in the guise of protecting the public from possible violence sparked by the economic crisis. Uh, I dunno about that, but I did see this article at MSNBC, Officials: Financial crisis can lead to violence.
Across the country, authorities are becoming concerned that the nation's financial woes could turn increasingly violent, and they are urging people to get help. In some places, mental-health hot lines are jammed, counseling services are in high demand and domestic-violence shelters are full. (MSNBC)
However, I think the MSNBC story is about violence between family members.

Oh, Wolf's saying lots of other stuff in the video such as we're digesting propaganda more than factual news. You need to watch it to see if you can tell whether Wolf's paranoid or a scholarly prophet who's done her homework. She's brave to speak up, and while I shy away from people with conspiracy theories, I know that under President Bush, executive powers have been expanded enough to be dangerous to our freedoms, all in the name of homeland security.

Still, Wolf's declaration that we're "in coup time," while provocative, seems over the top. I'd rather believe that she's tripping, but watching some of the changes made to deal with the current economic crisis, looking at how many people don't see through Sarah Palin and believe whatever they're told, and hearing speculation that perhaps a terrorist attack might stop Obama from being elected, I can't write Wolf off. (On that terrorist attack, a journalist speculated possibilities of an Obama landslide with independent analyst Charlie Cook). Perhaps we're not in the immediate danger that Wolf believes, but we may be moving in that direction. I hope Wolf's wrong and that we'll never stand for it if she's right.

It seems she's trying to strike a more positive note in her blog posts.
The good news is that Americans are already awake: I thought there would be resistance to or disbelief at this message of gathering darkness -- but I am finding crowds of people who don't need me to tell them to worry; they are already scared, already alert to the danger and entirely prepared to hear what the big picture might look like. To my great relief, Americans are smart and brave and they are unflinching in their readiness to hear the worst and take action. And they love their country. (Wolf)
She also speaks in that same post, however, of a columnist being on a watch list, people being detained, and the "T" word, treason. And she's attracting strange bedfellows/supporters, at least one conservative blogger.

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