Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Is the U.S. a Fascist Police-State?

I lived in Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship—I can spot a fascist police-state when I see one.

The United States is a fascist police-state.

Harsh words—incendiary, even. And none too clever of me, to use such language: Time was, the crazies and reactionaries wearing tin-foil hats who flung around such a characterization of the United States were disqualified by sensible people as being hysterical nutters—rightfully so.

But with yesterday’s Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project decision (No. 08-1498, also 09-89) of the Supreme Court, coupled with last week’s Arar v. Ashcroft denial of certiorari (No. 09-923), the case for claiming that the U.S. is a fascist police-state just got a whole lot stronger.

First of all, what is a “fascist police-state”?


A police-state uses the law as a mechanism to control any challenges to its power by the citizenry, rather than as a mechanism to insure a civil society among the individuals. The state decides the laws, is the sole arbiter of the law, and can selectively (and capriciously) decide to enforce the law to the benefit or detriment of one individual or group or another.

In a police-state, the citizens are “free” only so long as their actions remain within the confines of the law as dictated by the state. If the individual’s claims of rights or freedoms conflict with the state, or if the individual acts in ways deemed detrimental to the state, then the state will repress the citizenry, by force if necessary. (And in the end, it’s always necessary.)

What’s key to the definition of a police-state is the lack of redress: If there is no justice system which can compel the state to cede to the citizenry, then there is a police-state. If there exists apro forma justice system, but which in practice is unavailable to the ordinary citizen because of systemic obstacles (for instance, cost or bureaucratic hindrance), or which against all logic or reason consistently finds in favor of the state—even in the most egregious and obviously contradictory cases—then that pro forma judiciary system is nothing but a sham: A tool of the state’s repression against its citizens. Consider the Soviet court system the classic example.

A police-state is not necessarily a dictatorship. On the contrary, it can even take the form of a representative democracy. A police-state is not defined by its leadership structure, but rather, by its self-protection against the individual.

A definition of “fascism” is tougher to come by—it’s almost as tough to come up with as a definition of “pornography”.

The sloppy definition is simply totalitarianism of the Right, “communism” being the sloppy definition of totalitarianism of the Left. But that doesn’t help much.

For our purposes, I think we should use the syndicalist-corporatist definition as practiced by Mussolini: Society as a collection of corporate and union interests, where the state is one more competing interest among many, albeit the most powerful of them all, and thus as a virtue of its size and power, taking precedence over all other factions. In other words, society is a “street-gang” model that I discussed before. The individual has power only as derived from his belonging to a particular faction or group—individuals do not have inherent worth, value or standing.

Now then! Having gotten that out of the way, where were we?

Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project: The Humanitarian Law Project was advising groups deemed “terrorists” on how to negotiate non-violently with various political agencies, including the UN. In this 6-3 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court ruled that that speech constituted “aiding and abetting” a terrorist organization, as the Court determined that speech was “material support”. Therefore, the Executive and/or Congress had the right to prohibit anyone from speaking to any terrorist organization if that speech embodied “material support” to the terrorist organization.

The decision is being noted by the New York Times as a Freedom of Speech issue; other commentators seem to be viewing it in those terms as well.

My own take is, Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project is not about limiting free speech—it's about the state expanding it power to repress. The decision limits free speech in passing, because what it is really doing is expanding the state’s power to repress whomever it unilaterally determines is a terrorist.

In the decision, the Court explicitly ruled that “Congress and the Executive are uniquely positioned to make principled distinctions between activities that will further terrorist conduct and undermine United States foreign policy, and those that will not.” In other words, the Court makes it clear that Congress and/or the Executive can solely and unilaterally determine who is a “terrorist threat”, and who is not—without recourse to judicial review of this decision. And if the Executive and/or Congress determines that this group here or that group there is a “terrorist organization”, then their free speech is curtailed—as is the free speech of anyone associating with them, no matter how demonstrably peaceful that speech or interaction is.

For example, if the Executive—in the form of the Secretary of State—decides that, say, WikiLeaks or Amnesty International is a terrorist organization, well then by golly, it is a terrorist organization. It no longer has any right to free speech—nor can anyone else speak to them or associate with them, for risk of being charged with providing “material support” to this heinous terrorist organization known as Amnesty International.

But furthermore, as per Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, anyone associating with WikiLeaks—including, presumably, those who read it, and most certainly those who give it information about government abuses—would be guilty of aiding and abetting terrorism. In other words, giving WikiLeaks “material support” by providing primary evidence of government abuse would render one a terrorist.

This form of repression does seem to fit the above definition of a police-state. The state determines—unilaterally—who is detrimental to its interests. The state then represses that person or group.

By a 6-3 majority, the Supreme Court has explicitly stated that Congress and/or the Executive is “uniquely positioned” to determine who is a terrorist and who is not—and therefore has the right to silence not just the terrorist organization, but anyone trying to speak to them, or hear them.

And let's just say that, after jumping through years of judicial hoops, one finally manages to prove that one wasn’t then and isn’t now a terrorist, the Arar denial of certiorari makes it irrelevant. Even if it turns out that a person is definitely and unequivocally not a terrorist, he cannot get legal redress for this mistake by the state.

So! To sum up: The U.S. government can decide unilaterally who is a terrorist organization and who is not. Anyone speaking to such a designated terrorist group is “providing material support” to the terrorists—and is therefore subject to prosecution at the discretion of the U.S. government. And if, in the end, it turns out that one definitely was not involved in terrorist activities, there is no way to receive redress by the state.

Sounds like a fascist police-state to me.

48 comments:

  1. "Disturbing The Universe" a film on PBS tonight, tuesday, is the rememberance of Lawyer, William Kunstler, who defended many against the fascist US for forty years.

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  2. Saw your essay posted at nakedcapitalism -- well done. Another commonly used and abused term deserves definition as well -- 'martial law' -- the suspension of constitutional protections during wartime or emergency.

    The USA Patriot Act effectively suspends constitutional rights indefinitely during the 'terrorist threat' emergency. It already has been renewed, and is effectively permanent.

    Unlike in the plain-spoken Thirties, today's 'rule by deception' regimes find it more convenient to soothingly claim that 'all your rights are intact,' even as blameless citizens are spied upon, arrested for protesting, put on 'no fly' lists without recourse, imprisoned for politicized, imaginary crimes such as 'aiding terrorism' and 'money laundering,' disappeared, or even assassinated with predator drones.

    Who you gonna believe -- the 'authorities,' or your lying eyes?

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  3. Fantastic work. I've shared it with my circle, however small.

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  4. Found this on Zerohedge -- excellent analysis. I too have shared.

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  5. Read this over at EPJ, thank you for the fine work! I'd like to repost a comment I made over at EPJ to get your opnion:

    'Are we on the road to anarchy in the United States? This type of repression can only go so far before there's major pushback. Our economy is on the road to becoming a super black hole within 2-5 years. President Obama and the Democrats have demonstrated such inability to deal with the country's day to day business that if REAL problems hit our shores I think the American people will panic.
    . . .
    What interests me is who might do the toppling. From WHERE or by WHO does the push back against this type of repression, in these circumstances, typically begin?'
    . . .
    What was your experience in Chile? How was Chile's police state dismantled? Or was it ever truly dismantled? Not trying to wear a tin-foil hat here, but since you have valuable first hand experience, I'd love to hear your comments.

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Don't think we have a police state? Try a visit to your local Swat Team Headquarters and see what they have to say to you. Hope you survive to tell.

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  8. Very little time left, oppression applied from many angles. 1A, 2A, dissent, debt collection (debtors prison), social unrest put down (this is where the liberal faction gets the surprise of their lives), when and where the catalyst? Got me. . .Good luck.

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  9. Good Article

    The US police state has been here for a long time now in the form of a the US family court system

    http://stephenbaskerville.net/index.htm

    Read this guy's book

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  10. Mr. Lira,NO the U.S.is NOT a FASCIST police-state, but a MARXIST/ZIONIST police-state......(study real HISTORY)......

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  11. Mr. Lira ... I can't for the life of me figure out how you can equate the US Supreme Court to Allende/Pinochet/Operation Condor (they beget each other).

    I'm still trying to figure out how a man capable of writing such a great piece as "Why Corporations Matter" can also write such ... garbage as this.

    As to those "Anonymous" individuals who responded with agreement to your analysis ... well, at least the guy from the Ukraine was man enough to personalize his comments & not hide behind anonymity. You people are idiots.

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  12. @ Silver Bully, google "From Dictatorship to Democracy by Gene Sharp" free to download from several sources.

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  13. No state will tolerate a threat to its stability coming from a single citizen or a small group of citizens. Every state will do its best to oppress the potentual danger. Whether it is good or bad depends on intentions and claims of the citizens.

    You lived in Chile, but you have never lived in the USSR. Unfortunatelly, its law system was too mild and democratic, so the country was not able to protect itself from bastards who finally ruined it.

    Speaking to the point, you're right - the US is a typical Fascist state. By the way, they say that Mussolinni praised the American pragmatist philosopher James for giving him a cornerstone [philosophy of pragmatism]for Fascism.

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  14. Gonzalo, Bravo for this article and the one that I just read at ZH. A couple of things that I woukld like to add.
    I bumped into a grumpy old professor a couple of years back who taught and inspired a who's who list of modern day politicians, lawyers and administrators. He was ornery as hell on that day and very bitter. Anyway his thesis was this: The US is a Military Dictatorship that masquerades as a Corporate Democracy/Kleptocracy.
    And to come full circle on your recent essay in ZH--He said the truth will be revealed once the currency ceases to exists or is hyperinflated into oblivion. And in order for that to happen--a revolt must occur and that revolt must be global in nature.
    Gonzalo,we hit upon a lot of shit that day--he wanted to learn about the Fed and dollar's role as a reserve currency. But his bottom line was that all global kleptocrats hide behind the dollar. And because of that, he did not expect this will happen anytime soon.
    The kleptocrats in China have to be the first to fall.

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  15. Gonzalo . . Good article, and so too your hyperinflation scenario which I read earlier. Also noteworthy are the near universal militarization of the police force and the networked linkages between large corporations and the government. The abandonment of treasuries by the TBTF banks was a key insight. The power of scale in the American economy is a counterbalance and can foster an illusion of stability, though. Thanks for your contributions.

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  16. You write:

    "A police-state uses the law as a mechanism to control any challenges to its power by the citizenry, rather than as a mechanism to insure a civil society among the individuals. The state decides the laws, is the sole arbiter of the law, and can selectively (and capriciously) decide to enforce the law to the benefit or detriment of one individual or group or another.

    In a police-state, the citizens are “free” only so long as their actions remain within the confines of the law as dictated by the state."

    I never lived in Chile under Pinochet - but judging from you impressions of "police-state" that was not too bad, since you keep mentioning "law" in the same sentence as "police-state"... :)

    I was born and lived my first half of life in Soviet Union. The "law" was most irrelevant concept in my life.

    State bureaucracy, its organs, including notably police ARE "the law" in the "police state".

    "Police state" is not a state based on rule of law (however good or bad it is) at all - it is a state based on rule of one group people, belonging to the state machine over the others that don't - and even over each other. :) "The law" there is just a formal piece of bureaucratic paper to document your journey in the bowels of the state machine at the whim of any state organ that didn't like you very much for any reason.

    USA is full of bad laws and anti-terrorist campaign contributed greatly into this collection. But it ain't no "police state" according to my definitions. It is still a nation ruled by law. And if you're confused about that - you have naver seen a "police state"....

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  17. A thoughtful article. It is my view, however, that the term "police-state" is itself something of a pleonasm: all states use violence or threats thereof to enforce their decrees. Indeed, a state cannot be called as such without claiming a monopoly on the use of initiatory force.

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  18. I think there are two things going on, and the arguments bounce between them.

    1) Is the US, on a day to day basis, feel like a Fascist state. Generally no. The commentors who are incredulous are saying, it doesn't feel like a place like that.

    2) Is the US setup organizationally, like a Fascist state. Absolutely.
    - Constant spying (see project Echelon or anyone who's gone on CNN leaking what the NSA does)
    - Ability to control physical population (yes, and do you have any doubt the Iraq and Afghani civil-combat trained army will be used locally as needed)
    - The president has the power to suspend the Constitution in a national crisis and turn over the reigns of govt to FEMA. FEMA was created in 1979 through executive order 12148 issued by Carter. The president then can appoint military commanders to control all state and local govts.
    - A separate executive order no 12656 declared that National Security Council would be the principal body directing national emergency powers. FEMAs enormous powers can be trigggered by the president during any perceived domestic or foreign crisis.
    - Executive orders e.g 10990 govt can seize all modes of transport
    - No 10995 govt can seize all communications media
    - No 10997 seize all fuels and resources no matter who owns them
    - No 11921 control over energy sources, wages, credit and flow of money in US financial institutions in national emergency. This order provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the president, Congress cannot review the action for 6 months

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  19. Great article, Mr. Lira, but I'd like to know what the next step is to help U.S. citizens reclaim their country from the elitists. I've come to the conclusion that another revolution will probably happen here. I'd be interested in your take on this. Do you think we're heading for revolution? What is the best thing that citizens can do to wrest control back from the elites?

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  20. Anyone ever watch Brazil...

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  21. The fascism is not only tyranny. It first of all is nationalism and racism.
    It’s very dangerous for others, but for themselves it’s careful and pleasant.
    US don’t have democracy (it’s only illusion) but fascism is not right word.
    You are individuals yet.

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  22. Costa Rica looks nice

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  23. The way it happened in viet nam was an increase in attacks on authority explained away as lawlessness.This allowed a semblence of normalcy to be maintained It took a few years for them to admit that it wasn't just a rise in crime but an attack on the system itself. That's when the US started sending "advisors". I believe that was 1959

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  24. Great write! I'm adding your blog to my RSS. Good stuff here.

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  25. 14th line down, insure should be spelled "ensure". It's funny though because the same mistake is on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's website, but I didn't bother pointing it out to them :)
    Nice blog.

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  26. United states already is a corporate-zionist/fascist-government, And it's very obvious to see who's controling the political/financial arena with incestuous interventions from the Federal Reserve/Treasury, and the most corrupted body...the Congress.

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  27. WAR IS PEACE
    FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
    IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

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  28. Those arguing that only the Soviet state was a police state, need to see that there are varying degrees of repression. The Soviet state was inhuman, with the Nazis among the worst in history. But that does not invalidate Lira's point that these court decisions set up a mechanism by which rule of law is subverted by rule of men, as he plainly stated, by simply declaring an entity to be "terrorist". You may argue that this power will never be used, but I would argue "then they shouldn't need it". I'd rather the law be more restrictive on the state, rather than the trend we're seeing, where you get a branch of the Federal Government (the supreme court) constantly finding new powers for the Federal Government, at the expense of the people.

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  29. You've defined tyranny broadly, not fascism, which is simply one way to achieve tyranny. Fascism is the union of corporate and state power, not simply the arbitrary application of the rule of law. If you had written about rent seeking legislation, the power of lobbyists, court rulings that bend all reason to favor a corporate entity, etc., you would have help clarify the issues and made clear the case of fascism in the U.S.. Instead, this muddles the definition. "the beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.". Socrates...I think.

    Police power are simply tools used by all forms of tyranny.

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  30. There is much validity here, and repression is even more pervasive and mundane than that related to speech and 'terrorists.' As has been documented elsewhere ('Three Felonies a Day'), the law in the US is so thick and complex that virtually no one can fail to transgress many 'rules and regulations,' daily. That renders virtually everyone subject to prosecution for something (calling Kafka), and prosecutorial 'discretion' is all that stands between any of us and a long jail sentence and/or a huge fine and financial ruin. That makes ever word and deed political. The message to individuals is. "Don't make waves. Don't get noticed." If you have transgressed the rubrics of political correctness of the moment, you will be legally crushed. Today, anyone may be destroyed by 'due process' alone, even without conviction by men abusing 'law.' In short, the American experiment is over. Brain death has occurred. Soon, the heart will stop beating.
    P.S. The comments are generally excellent. They are besmirched only by a couple of effete anti-Semites.

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  31. As George Orwell said, fascism is anything the author doesn't agree with. He noted that pretty much every group in Britain had been called fascist, so he wanted restraint. And he showed this restraint at the height of anti-fascism, during WWII no less.

    So let's follow his example. Not every state that is a police state is fascist. Fascism is a belief in dictatorship, where the state regulates but does not own the means of production. It combines traditional values with workers' interests - this was specifically to address the situation in industrialized post-War Europe, where communists were agitating the workers. Fascists wanted to offer them an alternative that addressed their economic issues, but without attacking their traditional culture.

    Contrast that with the U.S., where the "neocons" and their allies, like John McCain, approve of mass immigration, Affirmative Action, and pretty much every attack on conservative Americans that the Left has ever dreamed up. It is not fascism. It is socialism.

    Rather than comparing these people with Pinochet, they should be compared with Allende, who looked the other way while the communists were beating up shopkeepers, went to Cuba for military training, and smuggled in weapons from Cuba to prepare a takeover.

    I don't approve of the habit of some libertarian writers today to call the rules "fascists" - it is cheap, use the word no one can defend. Like the Left does. But why buckle under the Left's criteria for slurs? The huge welfare state is socialist, not fascist. If they would ever actually do something to protect conservative values through law, rather than pretend they will come election time, then you might be able to call it fascist.

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  32. @Carpenter: Your analysis of the use of the term "fascism" fails on multiple levels.

    First, to characterize the social values of the German Nazi party, rather than the political and economic, as the lynchpin of fascism is the tail wagging the dog. If you look at the actual personal beliefs of Hitler and his cohorts they seldom shared anything in common with traditional German values. The social values were just a populist propaganda tool, insincere in the extreme and increasingly ignored as the fascist state's power consolidated. I challenge you to find anything resembling the Hitler Youth in "traditional" German or Italian values for instance (it did somewhat resemble Prussian education, which directly evolved into the American education system, but that's another topic entirely). Let alone the weird occult fascination that occupied many of the Nazi upper ranks.

    Second, what you characterize as against "traditional values" - specifically, pro-immigration and affirmative action positions, are hardly the most representative of traditional american values - especially if "tradition" is considered from the perspective of the past three generations. That is not an endorsement or rejection of either on my part, just a point of fact.

    Third, McCain is not a neocon, or at best he's not a very "good" one. As a matter of fact neocons nearly perfectly fit your characterization of fascism (which for the most part I agree with). Please see for further reference the writings of Leo Strauss, Wolfowitz, and other major leaders in that cabal.

    As to socialism, fascism is a subset of socialism, not an exclusive political view. It's really just an extreme authoritarian/totalitarian take on socialism - aiming to achieve the socialist ideal through the use of state force (or, if you like, aiming to exploit the socialist vision in order to further the power of the state). A cursory examination of fascist and proto-fascist (e.g. fabian society) political philosophy indicates this clearly. If you look at the means and methods proposed by fabians and other early fascists, the United States of the 20th century is nearly a perfect model of their implementation. That people are surprised about this *now* at the end of it all, and not 20 or 30 years ago when it became blindingly obvious, is beyond my comprehension. It may be that the information age has allowed us all to compare notes and research better, but I digress.

    So yes, the U.S. is in socialism. It is in fascist socialism, which you could otherwise characterize as "corporatism", "socialist police-state", "authoritarian protectionism", "socialist totalitarian dystopia" or whatever else you prefer if the political f-word is too poisonous for your lips.

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  33. I like Johana Goldberg, Fascism. JG defines as essentially the State and business sleeping together.

    Individual rights are non-existent and all energies and resources are used to promote the state and business.

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  34. The United States is not A Facist, police state, if the US was such, you would have pennies on your eyes and cotton balls stuffed up your rear.

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  35. Dude,
    and what is the difference between what you wrote and the message "This post has-been removed by the author.." I guess it was something not like a lot of you.

    Perhaps now you're forgetting that privacy was went to hell after the phone was born.

    The difference between this state and others is the scope they have and the infrastructure. Your country does not have that ability to come where you are and censure, kidnap and threaten you in any condition.

    If you do not like this government, why you don't go to Cuba, Venezuela, Rwanda, Congo, Nigeria or any other country in the middle east and demand freedom of speech there?. You should know what the minimum penalty in those countries are and not even have the right to counsel.

    I think this guy was his hand and under the name of freedom of expression is going to publish it much more dangerous.

    One thing is cheap gossip among embassies, another thing is to publish to the entire world your bank account, pin number, when you public health records. If that happens you would be sure to fascist state claiming lack of security or incursions to a lawyer to protect you anyway.

    I agree with an anonymous that says just that .. "you have no idea what a police-state".

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  36. So the Emperor that came to the American shore wrapped in the flag and brandishing the Bible now stands naked before the world. This Emperor knows no shame and caters to the lowest of human urges. Bit by bit it is dismantling the mechanisms that pose a threat to it's existence. The Emperor is never content with what it has and it never has enough power.

    The best idea that the Emperor has had has been to lure the population into an economy of consumerism sans manufacturing where eventually all logistic support as "Enterprise Software" negates the need of people to provide logistic support.

    As long as the answer is something more complex than Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh can explain, the feeble minded majority will support the police state to give more power to the Emperor.

    This is the New Atomic Age where the vast potential of individual human beings is reduced to human beings as basic elements that the Emperor can mold the molecules that the Emperor can decide if they are useful compounds to construct itself with.

    The Emperor would be God.

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  37. It's refreshing to read a post that brings light to the darkness that most American citizens are blissfully unaware exists. Consumerism and hedonism have lulled the populace to sleep while liberty and freedom have been traded for a sense of security.
    For those who disagree with your views, I say give it some more time and you will see the plan for total control unfold. Of course you will still be able to be "entertained" and have your toys, that is their control.

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  38. I don't wish to add further to debates about the nature of fascism and socialism, except in pointing out that fascism's objectives are principally aligned through a pragmatic approach to the right, though the left has informed it as well. Fascism is facilitated when the entire political spectrum shifts right, as negotiating its objectives becomes simpler.

    My main concern regards the disfunction of the fourth estate ( media and ideologically neutral journalism ), which, because it always concords with these shifting political tendencies to some extent, ( and the more so the general political spectrum moves rightwards carrying with it a greater conservatism ), means that a tendency towards fascism is facilitated by them.

    Such is the danger of a weak media within a militarized society, and its accelerating capitulation is a defining characteristic of a states slide into fascist behaviour.

    What has fascinated me recently having read copious amounts of text about Wikileaks and related issues, is the amount of confused and unsubstantiated inference present in the main news media. In a democracy, the authority of all overseer power is meant to originate from the public ( generally speaking ), and it cannot do this while uninformed, or misinformed through presumption or factual misrepresentation.

    There is a pertinent example in recent US history ( though there are others ) that can provide some insight into the mechanics of interplay between the military, judiciary, media and legislature, and that is the McCarthy trials, or mccarthyism. McCarthy was a decorated US marine, ( which is but a fragment of his importance ) from a less evolved and greatly smaller miltary establishment. The sheer scale of power now obviates the efficacy of comparable characters like McCain and Kerry now.

    It seems that it is the true nature of these stakeholders in the american politic that the US public is uninformed and misinformed about. This is a great worry for the republic.

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  39. The word "fascist" and the phrase "police state" are now so overused as to be almost worthless.

    I do share a sense of concern. My feeling is that the US is definitely approaching some kind of point of no return.

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  40. Half a dozen people have been shot dead in Spokane, WA in the last year by cops 'protecting' us... Judge, jury and executioners

    "Off with his head!"



    .

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  41. US is still a great nation and a democracy ! I was born in Albania and i know what is a dictatorship. I know what is a real police state. I spent my youth in a living hell. Your so called analysis it's just a demented exercise that can be cheered by idiots, criminals and self conceited stupid liars like you. You don't have the faintest idea of what you're "talking" about.

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    1. This is (Albanian) such a standard opinion of all immigrants from former Commie states. They are all have blinders on and LOVE US-Labor camp with the same devotion their fathers used to love Commie hell they all came from. Wel, all I can say is: You r right US does not = Albania, but that is not the point to be cheery about. Let's set the bar a little higher than Albanias, Romanias or Zimbabwes of this world , shall we ?

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  42. Thank you for this work. Yes, the USA has taken a very dark turn-- and we need to acknowledge that all of this is being done on behalf of the only remaining political constituency left in the USA-- corporate conglomerates-- the financiers of virtually all of the entirety of the US political system.

    The question becomes, what can we do about it? Regardless of the "opinions" of our now totally corrupted institutions, does the US Constitution grant us any means of relief?

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  43. What does it take for some people to wake up? Hey you are being spied on http://lewrockwell.com/rep2/govt-watching-you.html.
    Your rights can be suspended at any time Patriot Act.
    You can be declared a terrorist, imprisoned and tortured on the whim of some bureaucrats.
    The US may not have gone as far along the road to tyranny that some other countries yet but it is heading there fast.
    Why am I posting as anonymous, I really don't want to join the thousands on the no fly, possible terrorist list.

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  44. Excellent article!

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  45. In my opinion the United States is in trend toward a police state. It is like a financial market in a trend and that trend can go further than rational people can ever imagine. I hope the police state USA does not go parabolic.

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  46. In United States the number of victimless crimes are rising, whereas violent crime, according to FBI, is going downwards. Wrongful arrests are occasionally so wreteched to actually surface the media, such as Daniel Chong, Anne Lenhart, Aline Wright & Jesse Wright. ** The downside with victimless crimes, is that the state has nearly unlimited resources to pay for legal staff that drives prosecution and conviction. District Attorney's are well paid legal professionals, selected by the state from a group of lawyers of highest possible scholar (but not neccessarily ethical) merits. Imagine the difficulty of an ordinary citizen to pony up the money for legal fees, for a lawyer that is even half as good as the appointed District Attourney. The system is biased towards criminalisation of the citizen: police officers eager to arrest, DA's that are eager to prosecute, Judges that is eager to incarcerate and throw keys away, private companies running prison facilities eager to receive the per diem of $50 per day. ** With National Security laws, 4500 federal laws, many state laws, many local ordinances, and even by-laws, the only way to survive your entire life in United States without arrest is to "not make waves". Over 45 milion Americans have an arrest record, compared to a population of 310 million -- thats a lot of people that thanks to modern computer systems and databases, will receive a caste mark, the stigma of beeing 2nd or 3rd class citizens. The chain starts with the police, that will claim that they can arrest, and if the case is dismissed later, then no "harm" has occured. A simple question to ask yourself, next time you see a police on the street: Are you relieved or terrifed?

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GL