Initially, citizens tend to support the secret prison system; it makes them feel safer and they do not identify with the prisoners. But soon enough, civil society leaders - opposition members, labour activists, clergy and journalists - are arrested and sent there as well. This process took place in fascist shifts or anti-democracy crackdowns ranging from Italy and Germany in the 1920s and 1930s to the latin American coups of the 1970s and beyond. It is standard practice for closing down an open society or crushing a pro-democracy uprising. With its jails in Iraq and Afghanistan, and, of course, guantánamo in Cuba, where detainees are abused, and kept indefinitely without trial and without access to the due process of the law, America certainly has its gulag now. Bush writing and his allies in Congress recently announced they would issue no information about the secret cia "black site" prisons throughout the world, which are used to incarcerate people who have been seized off the street. Gulags in history tend to metastasise, becoming ever larger and more secretive, ever more deadly and formalised. We know from first-hand accounts, photographs, videos and government documents that people, innocent and guilty, have been tortured in the us-run prisons we are aware of and those we can't investigate adequately. But Americans still assume this system and detainee abuses involve only scary brown people with whom they don't generally identify.
Or the terrifying threat can be based, like the national Socialist evocation of the "global conspiracy of world Jewry on myth. It is not that global Islamist terrorism is not a severe danger; of course. I am arguing rather that the language used to convey the nature of the threat is different in a country such as Spain - which has also suffered violent terrorist attacks - than it is in America. Spanish citizens know that they face a grave security threat; what we as American citizens believe is that we are potentially threatened with the end of civilisation as we know. Of course, this makes us more willing to accept restrictions on our freedoms. Create a gulag, once you have got essay everyone scared, the next step is to create a prison system outside the rule of law (as Bush put it, he wanted the American detention centre. Guantánamo bay to be situated in legal "outer space - where torture takes place. At first, the people who are sent there are seen by citizens as outsiders: troublemakers, spies, "enemies of the people" or "criminals".
Less than six weeks later, on October 26 2001, the usa patriot Act was passed by a congress that had little chance to debate it; many said that they scarcely had time to read. We were told we were now on a "war footing we were in a "global war" against a "global caliphate" intending to "wipe out civilisation". There have been other times of crisis in which the us accepted limits on civil liberties, such as during the civil war, when Lincoln declared martial law, and the second world war, when thousands of Japanese-American citizens were interned. But this situation, as Bruce fein of the American Freedom Agenda notes, is unprecedented: all our other wars had an endpoint, so the pendulum was able to swing back toward freedom; this war is defined as open-ended in time and without national boundaries in space. "This time fein says, "there will be no defined end.". Creating a terrifying threat - hydra-like, secretive, evil - is an old trick. It can, like hitler's invocation of a communist threat to the nation's security, be based on actual events (one wisconsin academic has faced calls for his dismissal because he noted, among other things, that the alleged communist arson, the reichstag fire of February 1933, was.
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As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today brief in the United States by the bush administration. Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even considering that it is possible for us to become as unfree - domestically - as many other nations. Because we no longer learn much about our rights or our system of government - the task of being aware of the constitution has been outsourced from citizens' ownership to being the domain of professionals such as lawyers and professors - we scarcely recognise the. Because we don't learn much about European history, the setting up of a department of "homeland" security - remember who else was keen on the word "homeland" - didn't raise the alarm bells it might have. It is my argument that, beneath our very noses, george bush and his administration are using time-tested tactics to close down an open society. It is time for us to be willing to think the unthinkable - as the author and political journalist joe conason, has put it, that it can happen here.
And that we are further along than we realise. Conason eloquently warned of the danger of American authoritarianism. I am arguing that we need also to look at the lessons of European and other kinds of fascism to understand the potential seriousness of the events we see unfolding in the. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy. After we were hit on September 11 2001, we were in a state of national shock.
Perhaps this is the hidden meaning in the howl of the wolf, long known among mountains, but seldom perceived among men. C/o 6 Tilbury Place, brighton. BN2 2gy, uk pgp key this is a dead trees ef! Eco-action Homepage - get active! Last autumn, there was a military coup in Thailand.
The leaders of the coup took a number of steps, rather systematically, as if they had a shopping list. In a sense, they did. Within a matter of days, democracy had been closed down: the coup leaders declared martial law, sent armed soldiers into residential areas, took over radio and tv stations, issued restrictions on the press, tightened some limits on travel, and took certain activists into custody. They were not figuring these things out as they went along. If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy - but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.
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So also with cows. The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf's job of trimming the herd to essay fit the range. He has not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have dustbowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea. We all strive for safety, prosperity, comfort, long life, and dullness. The deer strives with his supple legs, the cowman with trap and poison, the statesman with pen, the most of us with machines, votes, and dollars, but it all comes to the same thing: peace in our time. A measure of success in this is all well enough, and perhaps is a requisite to objective thinking, but too much safety seems to yield only danger in the long run. Perhaps this is behind Thoreau's dictum: In wildness is the salvation of the world.
Since then I have lived to see state after state extirpate its wolves. I have watched the face of many a newly wolfless mountain, and seen the south-facing slopes wrinkle with a maze of new deer trails. I have seen every edible bush and seedling browsed, first to anaemic desuetude, and then to death. I have seen every edible tree defoliated to the height of a saddlehorn. Such a mountain looks as lateral if someone had given God a new pruning shears, and forbidden Him all other exercise. In the end the starved bones of the hoped-for deer herd, dead of its own too-much, bleach with the bones of the dead sage, or molder under the high-lined junipers. I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer. And perhaps with better cause, for while a buck pulled down by wolves can be replaced in two or three years, a range pulled down by too many deer may fail of replacement in as many decades.
at the foot of our rimrock. In those days we had never heard of passing up a chance to kill a wolf. In a second we were pumping lead into the pack, but with more excitement than accuracy: how to aim a steep downhill shot is always confusing. When our rifles were empty, the old wolf was down, and a pup was dragging a leg into impassable slide-rocks. We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes - something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, i sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.
Those unable to decipher the hidden meaning know nevertheless that it is there, for it is felt in all wolf country, and distinguishes that country from all other land. It tingles in the spine of all who hear wolves by night, or who scan their tracks by day. Even without sight or sound of wolf, it is implicit in a hundred small events: the midnight whinny of a pack horse, the rattle of rolling rocks, the bound of a fleeing deer, the way shadows lie under the spruces. Only the ineducable tyro can fail to sense the presence or absence of wolves, or the fact that mountains have a secret opinion about them. My own conviction on this score dates from the day i saw a wolf die. We were eating lunch on a high rimrock, at the foot of which a turbulent river elbowed its way. We saw what we thought was a doe fording the torrent, her breast awash in white water. When she climbed the bank toward us and shook out her tail, we realized our error: it was a wolf.
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Thinking like a mountain by Aldo leopold - wolves and deforestation. Wolves and Deforestation, a deep chesty bawl echoes from rimrock to rimrock, rolls down the mountain, and fades into the far blackness of the night. It is restaurant an outburst of wild defiant sorrow, and of contempt for all the adversities of the world. Every living thing (and perhaps many a dead one as well) pays heed to that call. To the deer it is a reminder of the way of all flesh, to the pine a forecast of midnight scuffles and of blood upon the snow, to the coyote a promise of gleanings to come, to the cowman a threat of red ink. Yet behind these obvious and immediate hopes and fears there lies a deeper meaning, known only to the mountain itself. Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf.