The End of America

Naomi Wolf

Contrary to popular belief, tyrants do not suddenly emerge within democracies overnight, with the obviously “evil” face that we all recognize when looking at documentaries of World War II. Rather, fascist dictatorships are an insidiously creeping phenomenon whose true character is not initially discerned by a trusting, patriotic and passive public. Naomi Wolf has delved into the history of fascism in the 20th century, and identified 10 “playbook” strategies that all dictatorships put into play in weakened democracies. We are reminded that both Mussolini and Hitler rose to power incrementally, and with an air of legality, to consolidate the power from which they then grasped absolute rule. Any review of this 155-page wake-up call would be inadequate if it did not simply list those strategies: 1) invoke an external and internal threat; 2) establish secret prisons; 3) develop a paramilitary force; 4) surveil ordinary citizens; 5) infiltrate citizens’ groups; 6) arbitrarily detain and release citizens; 7) target key individuals; 8) restrict the press; 9) cast dissent as “treason”; and 10) subvert the rule of law. Abundant historical examples are cited, as well as the modern examples that any informed American would recognize.