Fascism - 10 Steps - BUSH HITLER MUSSOLINI
Talk by Naomi Wolf author of "The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot" given October 11, 2007 at Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus.
'End of America' shows threats to democracy
With so many Americans banking on the promise of change in the new presidential administration, it might seem counterproductive to watch a documentary about the perceived abuses of George W. Bush's eight years in office.
But it doesn't seem likely that Barack Obama will be able to settle the questions about power and democratic rule that are raised by "The End of America" (Indiepix).
The film by Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg uses the work of journalist and polemicist Naomi Wolf as a jumping-off point the same way that the early 1990s documentary "Manufacturing Consent" was grounded in the writings of Noam Chomsky.
Wolf's provocative books have included "The Beauty Myth" and "Fire with Fire," well-written and well-thought-out combinations of reporting and political analysis on the role of women in the post-feminist era.
"The End of America" is based on the book that Wolf subtitled "Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot."
The film adds archival footage and many new interviews to bolster Wolf's belief that policy changes made over the last eight years have curtailed individual liberties and expanded the power of government.
Wolf details the 10 steps that she believes precede a slide to fascism -- changes in government common to countries where dictators such as Hitler and Mussolini achieved their power.
"What became so chillingly clear to me is that these 10 steps are in place in the U.S. today," Wolf asserts.
Among the ominous post-9/11 changes analyzed in the documentary are the use of private firms for military operations, the creation of secret prisons and the increased surveillance of ordinary people.
Much of the film focuses on the "war on terror" that followed 9/11, as well as the creation of a Department of Homeland Security.
Obviously, "The End of America" is not "balanced" in the traditional TV journalistic sense, but it is a provocative presentation of an important writer's work.
The two-disc DVD version contains lots of extras, including extended interviews with government officials, journalists and activists like Daniel Ellsberg.
Sundberg and Stern also present a "2008 Post-Election Update" on the DVD.