Proud Member of the Reality-Based Community

(JavaScript Error)




linked to

Friday, July 29, 2005

Think, Remember and Think Again.


History should be your guide. Here are some quotes to think about.


"No people ever recognize their dictator in advance. He never stands for election on the platform of dictatorship. He always represents himself as the instrument [of] the Incorporated National Will. ... When our dictator turns up you can depend on it that he will be one of the boys, and he will stand for everything traditionally American. And nobody will ever say 'Heil' to him, nor will they call him 'Fuhrer' or 'Duce.' But they will greet him with one great big, universal, democratic, sheeplike bleat of 'O.K., Chief! Fix it like you wanna, Chief! Oh Kaaaay!'"
---- Dorothy Thompson, 1935

"This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter. ...

"To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it... unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, 'regretted,' that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these 'little measures' that no 'patriotic Germans' could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.
_--- Milton Mayer quoting a collegue in They Thought They Were Free; The Germans, 1933-45 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955).

"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security...".
---- They Thought They Were Free, Milton Mayer, 1955"
(Above quotes taken from Bill Berkowitz Lurching toward theocracy)

And finally...let's go way way way back
"This is what extremely grieves us, that a man who never fought should contrive our fees to pilfer, on who for his native land never to this day had oar, or lance, or blister in his hand." ---- Aristophanes (450 BC - 388 BC), Wasps, 422 B.C.




|