Monday, August 02, 2010

Is it Too Late to Resist the Beginnings?

Isn't it fortunate and/or convenient for those in power, that anyone who speaks of the possibility that unlawful, insidious,  or perilous plans may have been, or are being formulated in secret, by those in power, is immediately dismissed as a paranoid conspiracy theorist,  lumped in with extremists of all kinds,  essentially becoming persona non grata? 

This should alarm the rest of us average folk, because, increasingly, it appears that those who desecrate, destroy and demolish on behalf of the vested, moneyed interests are generously rewarded while those who act for the betterment of the common people and society at large are marginalized, incarcerated or worse.

Yet, like the proverbial frog who doesn't realize he's gradually boiling to death, we the people, grow accustomed to the inhuman barbaric conditions that began subtly and progress slowly like the growth of a vascular network of tumors that metastasize to every part of a living organism, eventually strangling its very existence.

They Thought They Were Free by Milton Mayer studies ten average Germans who were members of the National Socialist German Workers Party from 1933 to 1945, in an effort to find out how they did not see Hitler's National Socialism for what it was.

He discovered they had become corrupted by the desire to get along and as one of his colleagues, a philologist said,

"the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to be governed by surprise, to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believe 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 people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security."

..."Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done, for that was all that was required of most of us: that we did nothing.
They had become the proverbial frogs and violated a very important principle: Principiis obsta and Finem respice - "Resist the beginnings" and "Consider the end."

Mayer asked a German professor why he did not resist the Nazis, and he replied:
"One does not see exactly when to [take a stand]…Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow."
Conditions that slowly manifest, no matter how merciless, become ordinary within a very short span of time. In addition, we don't want to see what we don't want to see.  As they say, "De Nile. It's not just a river in Egypt, it's a freakin' ocean. So how do you keep from drowning in it?”  So, at what point do we draw that line in the sand and say enough is enough? Especially when we are not personally affected at the time, and even made to believe we benefit from our silence?

While George W Bush's cronies and policies continue on, and his favorite mercenary company, Blackwater, is thriving under the Obama Administration, and  it's become very clear that  Top Secret America and its intelligence-industrial complex is run primarily for the benefit of a small number of powerful, wealthy people, it's not all that far-fetched to consider we the people are still on slow boil, getting closer and closer to rolling boil.
"The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work."
Among the findings: An estimated 854,000 people hold top-secret security clearances. More than 1,200 government organizations and nearly 2,000 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in 10,000 locations.
More excerpts from Mayer's book:
"What no one seemed to notice was the ever widening gap, after1933,between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know it doesn't make people close to their government to be told that this is a people's government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing to do with knowing one is governing."

"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 - please try to believe me - 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 German" 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.


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