22 Comments

  1. pheadrus September 25, 2007 @ 4:01 pm

    how can we fail to love the upcoming expression of NUSAmerican totalitarianism.

    oh yeah, because it has been attacking other cultural groups for centuries. including those who want control of their bodies.

  2. Survival Acres Blog » A Primer To Living In A Totalitarian [Police State] October 9, 2007 @ 9:56 am

    […] from bankruptcynews.com […]

  3. Winston October 12, 2007 @ 6:16 pm

    We’re living the book 1984. Ironically, it started around 1984. Remember when Iraq was full of good people fighting the bad people of Iran? Interesting how Iraq is now chock full of “terrorists”. For that matter, wasn’t China the great red menace? Now, who’s our friend? How short our memories are.

    Just like in the book, we also have a mythical terrorist type person too. Someone who will stop at nothing to destroy us all. His name is Bin Ladin. His followers occasionally are caught, but he’ll never be unless he starts being ineffective as a symbol. He’s at large, always a threat, always seeking more followers. He’s the perpetual excuse for more security, more wiretapping, less civil rights and of course more taxes (directly and indirectly). He’s also spouting just enough sensible things to tempt would be terrorists to seek him out too.

    Oh, and even if he was once alive, he’s dead now. Can’t let a real person contaminate the symbolism by being caught! The threat of what Bin Ladin might do is much too useful to those who want to stay in power.

    Also, like the book, writing isn’t permanent either. Thanks to web editors, all copies are revised or discarded when they become too dangerous.

    So, enjoy my comment for now. For tomorrow, it will be gone – as I might be too if I keep writing such subversive things. Hopefully, this isn’t one of those sites that is read by the minions of our elite who make a living by turning in their fellow citizens.

  4. TheBankruptcyNews October 13, 2007 @ 2:40 pm

    Winston,I understand your concerns. Regarding “Hopefully, this isn’t one of those sites that is read by the minions of our elite who make a living by turning in their fellow citizens.” Let me tell you that we do not save any personal information on the site other than what the users volunteer. For instance, in the case of your message, nobody can know who posted it. No IP address, no email, no record that can be ever requested. So I guess that no “minion” can ever use the information on this site to “turn in their fellow citizens”.Thanks for your comment!

  5. yellahbeetle1 October 12, 2007 @ 11:57 pm

    we citizens live each generation in a functioning illusion that seems like democracy to the millions of erstwhile patriotic Americans who have yet to be screwed by the system.

    Once that illusion wanes in enough people’s hearts and minds (and empty wallets and stomachs)…it will be replaced by more terrorism attacks, state-sponsored fear, Jayyyyyysus, papparazzi shots of Britney’s hairless clam, media disinformation, advertising, repressive inflation and taxation, and individual civic ignorance.

    After these “soft” control tactics fail….perhaps after another generation of state-sponsored ‘sheeple-ization’ via the public funded educational system…THEN we will feel the true sting of old-money sponsored totalitarianism through the complete corporatization of our government.

    By then, there will be nobody left amongst the “electorate” who will be able to recall what it was like to freely think for oneself or to speak out on matters of politcs or ethics.

  6. STEVEBONZAI October 13, 2007 @ 5:25 pm

    1984 WAS A LONG TIME AGO

  7. Phil Withhope October 14, 2007 @ 11:17 am

    The greatest threat to America…

    30 million illegals and counting (8 to 10 thousand more each day)
    who have been pre brainwashed to believe that this is there
    Country. And will burn it down if they don’t get their way.

    As far as I’m concerned, everything else is secondary.

  8. TheBankruptcyNews October 14, 2007 @ 5:18 pm

    Phil,
    The number of illegal immigrants is 8 to 9 million, not 30 million (http://www.cis.org/topics/currentnumbers.html).
    The only group of people in the US who are not descendants of immigrant are the Native Americans, every one of the rest of us is just another descendant of some immigrant or other.
    I think that historically, governments that wanted to turn totalitarian used the threat of some enemy that justified the hard line politics. I don’t think we should let the issue of the illegal immigrants to cloud our judgment and be used to advance anti democracy policies.
    Reagan solved the issue of the illegals by legalizing them, so did Clinton.
    I would like to invite you to read http://services.thebankruptcynews.com/blog/?p=49.
    Remember, some issues are not so important, are manipulated to reduce our liberties.

  9. rewinn October 30, 2007 @ 4:37 pm

    Are you seriously saying that you’d be o.k. with a dictatorship, so long as it keep illegals out?

  10. Franklin October 30, 2007 @ 6:34 pm

    That’s how it starts

  11. underground November 4, 2007 @ 11:54 pm

    I think people would accept it in the name of immigration, or terrorism, or even equality. History says that most successful societies eventually face the consequences of complacency.

    I’ve got a strategy for the exile country already. Based on the voting results, I might even want to speed that plan up a little bit!

  12. TheBankruptcyNews October 15, 2007 @ 1:55 pm

    Thanks a lot!
    Thanks to http://survivalacres.com/wordpress/ for linking to this post.
    I also want to thank the people at http://lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/ for linking this post to their breaking news page
    Another big thanks goes to Carolyn Baker for linking to the post (thanks for the edit to the title as well) :) http://carolynbaker.net/site/component/option,com_weblinks/catid,21/Itemid,20/
    Finaly thanks to the people at http://zaplog.nl/zaplog/article/gids_voor_het_leven_in_een_totalitaire_staat/
    for translating this article into Dutch and publishing it!
    A special thank you to Dermot O’ Connor at http://idleworm.com/index.shtml . I love your work!

  13. Anonymous November 14, 2007 @ 11:11 am

    I still don’t understand how the majority of the people can be so blind to what is going on in our country. I talk to people all the time about what is REALLY happening and is going to happen. Alot seem to listen and be interested, asking questions, until I stop talking then they seem to just forget it was not a story I was telling but real life horror. What can I/we do to wake people up?

  14. Anonymous November 26, 2007 @ 4:26 am

    Actually, the fascists in Italy favored the Futurists, who developed a sort heroic and violent abstraction of real scenes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futurism_%28art%29

    It was only the Nazis who declared abstraction to be Jewish and un-German.

    This may seem like a trivial point but it’s indicative of a larger mistake you’re making. Fascism doesn’t play out the same way every time. An American fascism, should it arrive, would probably have a rock and roll theme and Disney-licensed action figures.

  15. Franklin November 26, 2007 @ 5:02 am

    Actually it is more than the Nazis that rejected abstract art. Most Latin American military regimes did as well. Not to mention the Stalinist regime.
    The case of the Futurists is an oddity to say the least, because the movement started in 1909, and Marinetti merged with the fascism rather the other way around.
    Regarding the mistake you mention, I would answer with the words of Sinclair Lewis “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”
    And I do agree with you that it may come with Disney-licensed figures, after all, old Walt was a white supremacist.

  16. chint November 26, 2007 @ 10:09 am

    You really need a tenth step to live in a totalitarian America:

    10: Accept without complaint your role and place within the existing hierarchy or class system but believe it is possible
    to be rewarded financially and advance upward by pleasing your superiors by doing whatever they ask, moral or immoral. Soon you will no longer be just a lowly prison guard if you work well, but you can become the camp’s chief furnace stoker.

  17. Obbop November 28, 2007 @ 5:24 pm

    There is much truth in what you write.

    Sadly, the elite’s propaganda that functions so well would have the average American spew the knee-jerk rhetoric that would lambast your view.

  18. Obbop November 26, 2007 @ 8:14 pm

    The elite’s government FEARS you!!!!!!

    Their fear is manifested in the laws they pass. Here is a law banning what MANY of the Founders wrote is a RIGHT of citizens when a government no longer represents them:

    Section 2385. Advocating overthrow of Government

    Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or
    teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of
    overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or
    the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession
    thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by
    force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any
    such government; or
    Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any
    such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates,
    sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed
    matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity,
    desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any
    government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts
    to do so; or
    Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society,
    group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the
    overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or
    violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any
    such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes
    thereof –
    Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than
    twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by
    the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five
    years next following his conviction.
    If two or more persons conspire to commit any offense named in
    this section, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned
    not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for
    employment by the United States or any department or agency
    thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.
    As used in this section, the terms ”organizes” and
    ”organize”, with respect to any society, group, or assembly of
    persons, include the recruiting of new members, the forming of new
    units, and the regrouping or expansion of existing clubs, classes,
    and other units of such society, group, or assembly of persons.

    The federal government is allowing MILLIONS of illegals to invade our country. Corporate America is becoming increasingly more powerful and influential. Yet, according to the government of for and by the elites YOU, a citizen, have to accept whatever the government does with NO recourse other than voting…… and there is sufficient proof that shows to me voting is worthless since the entrenched power structure ensures that the emplaced elite class can not be removed.

    Several Founders specifically wrote of the people’s right to abolish a government when it no longer represents them.

    We are forced to live under an elite’s TYRANNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. steve "the debt settlement man" November 29, 2007 @ 9:35 pm

    I would love nothing more than to see Steve Colbert invite this guy on his show. He knows how to slam these types in such a funny way

  20. Anonymous April 2, 2008 @ 9:29 am

    HIPPIES!

  21. scotty November 25, 2009 @ 6:05 pm

    I am struggling to understand the fears & paranoia of some of my fellow Americans. The notion that we are turning in to some kind of George Orwell’s 1984 totalitarian nightmare state is crazy.some people really need to sit down and have a serious think about this great country we have the privilege & fortune to be a part of. There are a lot of people in the world a lot worse of than us. A lot worse off! When Obama was elected i took great pride believing that we had made a giant leap forward in showing the world that we regard all men being equal. Given our history i felt we had made progress. I still believe Obama is our man after 8 years of embarrassment with a idiot who had no right managing a box of matches never mind the greatest country on earth. Bush left us bankrupt & at odds with the rest of the world. Obama had so much mess to clean up its almost a incomprehensible task to take on i wouldn’t like to bestow on to my worst enemies. People are going crazy over things like health care. when i see all these people protesting about it they are clearly not thinking about any misfortune that might happen to them self. what if you get ill can’t work and your insurance runs out or you can’t afford it.are you prepared to die or watch your children or folks die? for the sake of treatable health care.which is happened all to often over the years. are we really cruel or stupid society? especially with the economy the way it is. no ones jobs safe at the moment the job for life are becoming a thing of the past. Obama’s seeing the bigger picture we need to remain a strong and healthy nation and at the moment.we need all hands on deck so to speak. & as for our banking at the moment i would rather have the leadership of good government looking after things. After the complete fuck up bank manager & city traders made of things.people have to understand that only being united and putting the effort in through the good times & the bad times and looking after one another is the only way to keep America the greatest nation in the world. We need to give Obama the support he needs. regardless of race or cread. A man is measured by the goodness of his deeds, princables & convictions and a beleive this guy has it all in spades.

  22. Anonymous July 10, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

    I would believe in healthcare if there were any sort of plan in place to make it affordable. It’s useless to shell out for insurance if you can’t pay your deductible. It’s just another way to suck much-needed money away from the poor.

    At a time when more and more jobs are being lost and the ones that exist are paying less and less for longer hours, we don’t need this additional burden.

A primer for living in a totalitarian state

Democracy, Freedom Comments (22)

Unless you are black or a recent immigrant, you have no experience living in a police state. Then, you may want to consider this article as your primer for living under terror. If Naomi Wolf in her recent book “The End of America: A Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot” has it right, you don’t have much time to learn. Wolf’s book is scarier than any Stephen King’s fantasy (at least for me), I don’t recommend reading it at night.

The second book I started reading last night is “Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy” by Charlie Savage. I found this book even more interesting than “The end of America” because where Wolf’s book is prescriptive, Savage’s is descriptive (the Stewart-Colbert two-headed monster should invite the author to the program if it hasn’t yet).

The first thing you need to remember is that tyrannies are extremely popular. For one, they usually come to provide peace and order to societies that feel that things are out of control. It doesn’t seem to matter that societies end up being as bucolic as cemeteries instead of as chaotic as a County fair, we have, after all, our well-cherished peace and quiet. The other issue is that when people start being incarcerated, disappear, or begin to be otherwise “organized”, the rest of the society tends to shut down in a very human way. You see, our instinct is to avoid pain and seek reward, when the threat of pain becomes too high, it is just natural to withdraw into silence. Dictators usually herald this silence as the clear demonstration that the silent majority supports the system, hence the popularity of tyrannies. So, if you are human, you may need to be aware of this little flaw of ours.

If you don’t mind a little bit of strong hand in order to have your well deserved comfort, here are a few simple steps that will allow you to participate in the social experiment of a totalitarian America:

  1. Do nothing

One of the best ways (although not the fastest) to achieve a totalitarian state is to stay away from the messy world of politics. This is easy, because it is also practical. While other paths require effort, nihilism requires only the continual search for mindless entertainment, the avoidance of any opinion that may disrupt digestion, and in general the avoidance of participation. This is due to the caking tendency of power, which forces it to clump together in the hands of the few, in order to avoid this you need some anti-caking agent (like a well written constitution enforced by all of society)

  1. Assume it can’t happen here

It does not matter that that’s the title of a 1935 book and that for “it” to not happen here it was necessary to actively fight “it”. For “it” to happen, repeat over and over “it can’t happen here” until it does happen.

  1. Think that American democracy is a God-given right

He loves us, right? And he bestowed upon us democracy and nobody can take it away from us, right? Yeah, right.

  1. Be proactive in your quest for ignorance

History is boring, politics is boring, and economics is boring. Besides, the fact that Paris Hilton picked up a pizza boy talks to me in a more direct way than abstract ideas about liberty and the pursuit of happiness (unless the pursuit of happiness means the pursuit of money, in which case I am all for it)

Remember, that those simple steps will not guarantee that you will live to see a strong hand commandeering the country on a sea of turbulence (they may kill you in the process).

Passionate as Wolf’s book is, I really don’t think we are on the verge of disaster. If any lessons can be drawn from history, one is that Americans tend to react very strongly against threats to American democracy. If we don’t make it, though, here are some simple steps to live under terror:

  1. If you are the rebellious type, good news! You need to do nothing, the government will declare you an enemy of the state sooner of later
  2. Keep an eye for the exile country of choice of your favorite writer, intellectual or scientist (you will learn about them because the press will tell you how unpatriotic of them it was to leave the country, and how we are better off without them)

Don’t worry about the language or weather of that country, make plans for joining them over there.

  1. If your favorite writer, intellectual or scientist happens to be unable to leave the country, do not try checking to which penitentiary facility they were transported. Pick a second favorite and do as instructed in 2.
  2. If you think that your duty is to stay and fight, good news! The government will declare you an enemy of the state immediately
  3. Be ready to enjoy a simple life, going from your job to your home every day, and never getting in trouble (for instance, never meeting with more than 3 people in the same place)
  4. If you like sports, be ready to excel at the sport the state decides your are more capable of playing (or else)
  5. If you are a writer, intellectual or scientist and you are not one of those mentioned in 2 or 3, you have more opportunities:
    1. You can bend like the bamboo in the storm
    2. You can crack
  6. In case of 7.a., here are some handy arguments you can tell yourself every night before drinking yourself to sleep:
    1. “At least “the terrible treat” does not exist anymore” (sorry, it is hard to tell what the terrible treat may be in the future)
    2. “My first duty is to my country, the form of government is secondary to the national integrity”
    3. “I need to remain alive for my family, things can not be this bad for ever”
    4. “This is not the right time to act, I am bidding my time and I will participate in the liberation movement when it’s safe to do so”
  7. If you are a painter or another kind of artist, and you are of the abstract persuasion, there is only one piece of advice for you: don’t.
    1. Totalitarian governments like realism and despise abstract art as degenerate (don’t ask me why, they just do). I suspect it’s because during totalitarian governments people without imagination are promoted to organize the cultural life of the country. Another reason may be that all those people without imagination you despised along your artistic career find an opportunity to shine under the sun. For whatever reason, if you don’t like realism, start to like it.
    2. When you become a realist artist, you will need to be aware that during totalitarian regimes reality is defined by strict rules. Do yourself a favor and check the official reality before the first stroke of enlightened inspiration.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, but I trust my readers to come up with deeper and wider ideas about what not to do when we are not there.

Commented

The End of America: A Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot” by Naomi Wolf

Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy” by Charlie Savage

[poll=4]

Franklin @ September 24, 2007

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