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View Diary: Proto-Fascist Infrastructure: The NSA, Booz Allen, Unysis, Verizon... And The Koch Bros. (158 comments)

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  •  You might enjoy this excerpt of a review of (2+ / 0-)
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    Ray Pensador, mrkvica

    Milton Mayer's They Thought They Were Free:

    But more importantly, because all Germans were wedded to the Nazi worldview through its benefits, both tangible and intangible, there were few incentives for them to "rock the boat" by pointing to Nazi excesses. Dissension was left for victims and outsiders. However, being identified as an outsider or as a dissenter at a minimum, could ensure social exclusion and a slow social death; and if one were very unlucky, it could mean disappearance into a concentration camp, or even a swift bullet to the temple.

    Ordinary Germans thus were willing contributors to their own self-imposed trap: They needed the community's approval on its own terms. Sometimes this meant turning a blind eye to community sanctioned criminal activity such as was the case in the event that set off a cascading sequence of pogroms against Jews, Crystal-nacht. Ordinary Germans did not want to approve of the criminal behavior involved, but was it not the community to which they were bound that decided what was criminal and who should be rewarded and punished for community-defined criminal behavior? It is easy enough for outsiders to exaggerate the actual relationship between man and state under tyranny, but from the inside, it is always made to seem justified, normal and seamless.

    Like a thief in the night, tyranny always descends upon sleeping societies in a cloak of super patriotic conformity. It attacks when one is unguarded psychologically and least wary of an assault. By the time the citizen is prepared to raise a dissenting voice, in the name of state security, his throat (and presumably his vocal cords) have already been cut and he has been rendered mute. Once the national conscience has been drugged, sedated, or put to sleep through racist demagoguery, it is difficult to reawaken it.

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