One tactic described by Naomi Wolff that has caused our open society to become a closed one is to invoke an internal and external threat. One of the ways to cause a once open society to become closed is through fear. All of these tactics play on the role of fear, which causes people to clam up and become less participating in their daily activities. Whether it'd be speaking against the government or not. Nonetheless, by creating a internal and external threat one feels the threat of 'terrorist' being present. An example of this being the 'terrorist warnings' presented in the bush era, as discussed by Wolff. This incited fear among the masses, and created America into being a 'loud' state instead of a humble one in pursuing these 'terrorist.' We can be aware of these political/social strategies, by educating ourselves to the 'real truth' (their is false truth, i.e. media corporations example fox news) and just seeing these 'warnings for what they really are. They are made to make us want to live in fear and feel unsafe at every moment and time. This particular tactic will weaken our democracy if we don't realize this tactic for what it truly is. A play on fear will discourage others to speak vocally about their issues and rights, while in fear of being a labeled a 'terrorist' or anything else associated with it.
A second tactic is to surveillance ordinary citizens. In recent weeks we've been discussing mass surveillance so this obviously stuck out. Nonetheless, in a transformation of a open society becoming a closed one, the government can provide false charges against a person through surveillance of their presence on/in certain places. A stated in the video, the point of this tactic is to make people afraid to speak. Speaking is at the root of every movement. Wanting to voice oneself of crimes and injustices or even protesting is fundamental to sharing opinions/sentiments on topics. Yet, one way of this being contemporary amogn us is mass surveillance in America. Varying from cities and the blocks of Oakland to the mass surveillance of everything we own virtually, as discussed in class. Even on Wikipedia ( not necessarily the most credible, but good just to get a taste/example of information) shows 14 other place/countries globally having mass surveillance stages. To put it plain, its not just happening here, its everywhere. As far as others knowing about this tactic, I believe it's through media outlets. Whether social media or newspaper, that's how the word spreads about this issue. This particular tactic will weaken democracy. Fear of being watched, even if your're "doing nothing wrong" can still be a threat to your well being. All it takes is someone questioning your actions and you can be lied about and violated. All in all, democracy is weakened through fear.
Hello Imani Sanders,
Yes, I totally agree with you that “tactic will weaken our democracy if we don't realize this tactic for what it truly is”. Of course, democracy is weakened through fear. The evidence strongly supports that: detain a U.S. citizen without a charge. Moreover, U.S. government announced “the Patriot Act” to make their surveillance easily. It can be said that tactic is going to weaken the American democracy.
Great post, I completely agree with what you had to say. I also feel that the government uses these “tactics” as ones to scare the American people into voting or supporting what they want them to support. Often time’s people agree or disagree with a topic when they do not have the nearest clue of what is actually going on. I too believe that our democracy would fall apart in the sense that I do not believe a democracy has that much of a strong government that only becomes stronger and stronger. Technology has allowed for the government to become even more powerful however, this has been going on since before the world war. I don’t know if there is a real solution for this problem but for us to become educated and know our rights as citizens and fight the system.
I agree that the tactics will weaken our democracy through the fear of people. the government has overused its powers to the point where it strikes fear in peoples eyes. This has caused some people not to speak up even though it is the right thing to do. Some citizens may want to speak up but due to these tactics that has scared them, they chose to be quiet.
Here are the two tactics that I really noticed: firstly, the people in charge get themselves a personal dictionary. Okay, that's not how she described it; basically the redefinition of words to avoid unfortunate implications. To whit, torture is bad. It cannot be torture if we are doing it, because otherwise we would be bad. Therefore, what we are doing is simply an enhanced interrogation technique, and we'll be happy to demonstrate for anyone who wants to know the difference. And that is certainly not a purely hypothetical example , seeing as many people were tortured for information whether or not they were likely to have it. Made worse by how completely pointless torture is; torture someone long enough and they will probably confess to shooting JFK, MLK, and Gandhi, putting fluoride in the water supply, and causing original sin. (I seem to have gone off on a bit of a tangent here...) Other redefinitions apparently include "combatant" to mean "anyone I disagree with", and "possession" (as in of weapons) to "potential to have".
Second tactic: censorship of any critical information sources. Anyone who disagrees with the views you are trying to propagate is an enemy. That runs so counter to the ideals of freedom we're supposed to be upholding that it's not even funny.
Why do I specifically mention those two? Because they are two of the cornerstones of the Ingsoc government from Orwell's 1984. Make of that what you will.
I think that to rail against these methods we need to start holding our politicians accountable. Perhaps even make impeachment a more viable consideration. Because this is a nation where they exist to serve us, and we don't have to put up with anything they do which we don't approve of.
I see the correlation of Orwell 1984 book and the descriptions of Wolff's observances. I totally agree, a number of these observances she received was from real life and non fiction possibly. Maybe they both looked into the past and connected the dots. (Enough of my tangent) Nonetheless, if we want to make more options open to us as a nation, your example being impeachment, then our strategies and communications have to be aligned with one another. And with the expected interference of government infiltration, this will definitely be a tough battle.
The second tactic where if you disagree with the views that you are trying to propagate is an enemy is ridiculous. Our belief system that our founding fathers had created back then, calls for freedom to believe in anything you want. The second tactic surely violates that. When you are view as an enemy and don't have much allies, theres nothing you can do. This is when powers becomes important.
Naomi Wolff describes ten steps for closing an open society and in these ten steps she cites examples from Europe during WWI, comparing what our society has become in relation to Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin. These steps she lists put us into war; it was not acceptable then, and certainly is not acceptable now.
Although all ten steps were disturbing, two particularly cause me major concern. One of the steps was #4, “Target Key Individuals” where certain groups, an individual, or individuals are shunned, criticized, and threatened because they voiced their opinions or views of another individual or government. Wolff equates this as an echo of book burnings and in the case of “The Dixie Chicks”, CD burnings (that don’t burn). The “targets” also include journalists. Once a target, many lose not only their dignity, but their jobs as well. When the Dixie Chicks made a derogatory remark about George Bush, they lost their fans. Ok, so maybe what I say next is a stereotypical statement, but they are country music and their fan base I find to be those type of individuals who are self-proclaimed patriots and love a good fight for their constitutional rights, what about the right to free speech and freedom of the press?
In step #10 “Subvert the Role of Law”, Wolff describes ways in which the government circumvents the legal system or in some cases, feels their position allows them to ignore laws completely. George Bush used 9/11 to bolster fear in America and used the tactic of “appeal to emotion” to pass his agendas. This also relates to Wolff’s step #1 “Invoke an Internal and an External Threat”.
We as citizens need to demand accountability. What better way to sum it all up, when General James Cullen said, “We lost our way. We just need to find our way back to the path that served us so well”.
I found it interesting when she talked about The Dixie Chicks, I found it ridiculous for people to even do that, but with the assumption of the demographics with country music in certain areas you may have a point. It seems like majority of their fan base rounds up to citizens who are a bit more conservative in a way where they follow the idea of patriotism to a high level without questioning their government or state. In a way they should understand that people have their own opinions and that they are allowed to have them. They can like Wolff says, criticize the government to any extent.
Here are two steps (tactics) that Naomi Wolff mentioned in the video.
a) Restrict the press
Some top of journalists got some problems just because of publishing some articles about the U.S. government’s monitoring program. For instance, Bill Keller, an executive of the New York Times, reported an article against on the U.S. government illegally tracks a corporation’s financial transactions
b) Secret prisons where torture takes place
It is creating a secret prison system outside of the law and rules where torture takes place. Moreover, under Military Order No.1, the U.S. president himself is to determine who is an accused terrorist. It means that the president can pick up any non-citizens anywhere in the world who the president thinks might be involved in terrorism. Then, in the video mentioned that torture could be used under absolutely no circumstances whatsoever.
Invoke an internal and external threat. Here is the example mentioned in the video, “In 1933, Germany government can open their citizen’s mail, taping phone calls, giving up authority of the leaders”. The video also mentioned “the U.S. government announced the Patriot Act that allows the U.S. government to wiretapping, electronic surveillance, medical records, bank records, credit card statements, and library books records”. Moreover, such as flight boarding pass, someone’s boarding pass has “SSSS” on it. Then, it requires more restrict searching before boarding. Not even on the person, their family members also have to.
People become more aware of political and social strategies by reading/watching news, taking Political Science lecture, and reading Wolff’s book “the End of America”.
Yes, the tactic (steps) described by Wolff will weaken the U.S. democracy.
This is only because the U.S. government said they respect citizen’s rights, such as Civil rights and freedom speech. On the other hand, the U.S. government also announced the Patriot Act that allows the U.S. government against their promise. So, the tactic will weaken the U.S. democracy.
Your second tactic about the Secret Prisons where torture takes place was one of me tactics that I also chose. Isn't it crazy that people can be accused while they're innocent? Imagine being taken away to a torture cell for a year being torture 18 hours everyday. I would not be able to live through that. The government doesn't respect citizen's rights whatsoever. It's wrong in every way that Secret Prisons exist. What is the government hiding that we don't know about. We elected them and this is how they repay us.
I definitely agree that restricting the press and manipulating the dissemination of information is a crucial element of turning an open society into a closed one, but not so much with your second point about secret torture prisons. While the U.S. government definitely tortures prisoners both on and offshore, this is less a tool for closing a society and more a procedural practice that is synonymous with a government that would commit other atrocities, and attempt to tighten control of dissent and transparency.
Naomi Wolff presents various ways or “Tactics” that our open society has became a closed society. Two Tactics that wolf presented that most stood out in my opinion would be to create an internal or external enemy and the other would be to control the press. Most if not all tactics presented go hand in hand however, these work best together in order to subconsciously brain wash and instill fear in to our society. In present day we still see many examples of these tactics being used in order to control the American people. For example, the press releases and covers only what the government more or less allows/ wants them too in order to sway the audience which often times works as people begin to fear the unknowing (what if’s?). Perfect examples include terrorism, immigration, Mexican-American drug war, and other countries problems. The U.S. government uses the press in order to release information they want released and told in their words. The thought of terrorist invading this country, immigrants taking jobs, Mexican Drug Cartel violence spilling in to U.S territory and other countries needing help moves the American society to seek the Government for solutions and answers. As people grow fearful they allow the Government to make the first move or to handle the issues how they see fit when in reality people are not aware of the real underlying problems with each topic. This will definitely weaken and almost abolish democracy as we are moving towards a fascist/ dictatorship country as the government is ultimately doing whatever they want in the end.
Naomi Wolff caught and kept my attention the second she began to compare what our society is becoming, by measuring it up to Hitler's, Stalin's, and Mussolini's Europe. Of the ten tactics that Naomi Wolff mentions to depict the way an open society is transformed into a closed society, the two tactics that have stood out to me are the invoking of internal and external terror, and enhanced interrogation. The United States used the 9/11 attacks to launch a "war on terror." Recognizing the fear of its citizens, the United States was easily able to manipulate citizens and raise their fear to higher levels. This fear, that had now been instilled into many United States citizens, helped the government gain more power over its citizens. Soon, they were able to invade the personal lives of citizens, through listening in on phone calls or opening people's mail. We have mentioned before in our weekly blogs that privacy is something foreign in the United States, and we see ourselves constantly under watch today. The enhanced interrogation tactic was code for torture. Despite the fact that the Constitution forbids cruel and unusual punishment, detainees were being exposed to torture under the justification that it was a method of enhanced interrogation. Detainees were unable to hear what they were being accused of, and basically stripped of their innocence. As citizens, I believe we need to speak up on issues we do not agree with. We need to demand liability and hold the people who are responsible for these actions, responsible for their actions.
Naomi Wolff had hope and felt like she had protection due to the documents of the constitution of the bill of rights but she soon felt that those feels were soon destroyed which lead her to feel threatened and unsafe. She wrote a book called "The End of America" because she enjoyed expressing her views without fearing anyone but that has now has all changed due to the tactics used in the open societies to close societies.
One tactic Wolff mentioned was "Invoke an internal and external threat." War on terror was the example mentioned in the video. This leads to National socialist receiving power.The State and Government have the power to open the people's mail, listen to their phone calls, and they lose their authority to the leader. In our country, that's happening now because The Patriot Act was passed to give government the access to wire tapping, electronic surveillance, medical records, bank records, and credit card statements without a warrant. This is suppose to help prevent terrorism by accusing those who they thought could be at risk of causing terrorism in the country. Supposing it helps protect the civilians.
The second tactic Wolff talked about was the "Secret Prisons where torture takes place." Secret prisons were created outside of the system and rule of law where people get tortured and no one will ever find out. It may be that America shows they don't torture civilians or those who are criticized, but they do. It's been said that torturing these prisoners will help save American lives. Back then, torture was more taken beyond limitations because if you had confrontation with one thing, you're taken to torture cells to get tortured. Torturing doesn't help save citizen lives. In the US, the President gave the power to detain those who they thought was a suspect of any sort. For instance, there are Special courts in the US that people get trail in secrecy called the military commission where torture happens, the death penalty is heavily used, or even being executed asap. Due process is accusing civilians for something they actually did do but to Wolff, our innocence won't protect us in a closed society because of power, authority and fear.
Some things people are aware of are surveillance. But majority of these things I wasn't. I didn't even think about torture cells and the plane tickets with the four SSSS. I'm being more aware of these political and social strategies because of this class. I think that all these tactics are supposed to be designed to prevent terrorism or bad things from happening but it's clearly shown that it has strengthened the democracy to have more control and power of the society. Wolff's responses and feelings toward this is the same responses I have. It scares me and upsets me.
My family and I have believed for a while that the "War of Terror" that was undertaken after 9/11 was too much, too fast and now too long. I believe it was a horrific event that many people died in yes but I believe that our government decided to use it to promote fear, more fear than was necessary, to control us. I had always thought this but this documentary really helped me to understand why. I don't believe our country has any intention of ending this war, or stopping future ones. Why when they are so profitable, monetarily and by the fear we are possessed with because of them.
We both see that Wolf is just trying to protect her rights as American citizen and wants others to be aware as much as she it. I agree with Wolf because the Constitution was written to protect us as citizens and not to forget how much power we are giving up. The tactic that she talks about as some you have mention are easy to follow and have all happened before our eyes. It all happened very fast and now that someone has realized what is going on, we should take advantage and open our eyes. The more knowledgeable we are the more we can unite and work to fight for the constitution. We are on the same page and on the same team. We should all work together to help spread the word to keep people aware.
Two tactics present by Naomi Wolf in The End of America are mass surveillance of one countries own citizens and set up a paramilitary force. Wolf says the one of the key means of closing an open society is by surveying the population and, more specifically, creating “The List.” I thought this was a very part of the film as is says over a million people are on the United States Terrorist Watch List and, “There can’t be that many terrorists in America.” This state really spoke to me as it is true. There can’t possibly that many terrorists in America. That’s almost 1/3 of our population! It really drove in the massage of what the film and saying. This surveillance closes a society by making everybody believe they could be at fault from something. That they could get into trouble for their actions and become visible in the government’s electric eye. The second point presented by Wolf is the idea of military forces outside the people’s control. In the movie Wolf says that United States company, Blackwater, is this force. She says that Blackwater’s action and ties to the Government go hand in hand with what happen in Nazi Germany almost a hundred years ago. One example of a tactic used to close an open society is to establish a kind of threat or enemy that everyone can rally against. This is present in the United States’ war on terrorism. As stated in the film, terrorism is a real thing but, we the U.S. have amplified and hyped the concept to the point that it’s at today. Where government and the military can step outside the rules of law in or to find and capture enemies of the state. I don’t think awareness is really the issue. I think connecting the dots is more of the concern. This idea of closing a government is not necessarily foreign to your average person. It’s seen in history with Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia and its also seen in popular culture and fiction with plots like Star Wars and 1984. I think what’s more important is to connect the dots and alert people that this isn’t necessarily in a movie or book but is happening right now.
Out of Wolffs ten tacticss of how our open society is becoming a closed society a few really stood out to me. First was creating an internal or external enemy and second was enhanced interrogation. An example of the first is the war that has stretched on since 9/11. I'm not saying that something didn't need to be changed after the 9/11 attacks but I do believe that the war our government started afterwards was more for their benefit than the benefit of the people. Keeping us afraid and subdued is a necessity for creating a closed society. As for enhanced interrogation, our government and our society will swear up and down that we do not participate in torture. I suppose this ties into the government having their own definition of words, what they call not enhanced interrogation everyone else calls torture. With the passing of the Patriot Act and other such laws we have allowed our government to participate in many things that we as citizens should be appalled by and one of them is torture. I have to stop myself from getting upset everytime I hear of our government arguing our moral high ground over other countries. We lost our moral high ground the moment we started using "enhanced interrogation" techniques. All of these tactics she mentioned all come back to fear and invoking it on the citizens of our country and using that fear as a control. I wholeheartedly believe that this is making our democracy weaker. When the government takes things into it's own hands without the input of their people we have most definitely veered away from democracy and towards tyranny.
I was astonished and almost frightened when presented with the similarities of or current society and previous ones of dictatorships and closed rule. The shocking part was how easily administered some of these tactics were to transform the nation over into one of fear and surveillance. Initially an enemy is created and it is a domestic one at that, unfortunately were lead into fear and the state continues to gather information on the people in order to identify potential new threats. This sort of interaction is already underway and it is important for the people to become aware of their governments limitations and their extent of watching over our shoulders.
Two tactics Naomi Wolff described has a way that an open society can become a closed one is first invoke an internal and external threat, second is restrict the press. For invoke an internal and external threat is all about taking an event that is tragic or scary and use that fear and rise the idea of a possible threat. Wolff uses the example of September 11th as an example, because every citizen was worried where the next attack could come from. When that happened Wolff stated that the president created a new department called Homeland Security. While operating homeland security began keeping track on the possible threat by color-coding the levels of risk. This according to Wolff was an example of high the government invoke greater fear within the citizens. The second tactic Wolff discussed was restricting the press, and with this the government would have over sight of what could be reported on and released to the public. In Wolff’s video she focused on how when the press was critical of things the government did the more they where silenced. Wolff focused on the matter of Dan Rather who was fired from CBS news according to him because of his release of a story critical of Bush Jr.’s service. Rather argued that he was fired because CBS gave into pressure from the white house who was not happy of the news story. According to Wolff when this happens people no longer have control over what they hear, because it is being shaped to be in favor of how things are currently being ran. Now how does a society reverse this system of closing it off? Wolff believes it is the people it needs to start with when wanting a change. The people need to come together and question what is being done, and protect the system are founding fathers originally wanted and strived for. Wolff used the idea of Benjamin Franklin who said it will be the peoples responsibility to make sure the government runs correctly.
Through the film Naomi Wolff mainly focused on the idea on fear and how it mostly ties down to the ten reasons to how the United States is becoming more and more like a closed up society. Two tactics of the ten she stated would be where there is surveillance of regular citizens such as us. Wolff talks about how through the idea of their being an “internal and external threat,” the government makes more laws and agreements to sign in order to keep American people’s lives “safe.” It has gone to the extent that if they see that you are questioning, writing, or speaking about what the government is doing, that you will be on their “list.” As she spoke about regarding the security check in airports, she was added to the list where she should be extra checked, as well as with other citizens interviewed in the film. It is also known that about a million or so citizens are added to this list with twenty thousand being added at least every month. Citizens are more manipulated through fear more than ever if they don’t know the way the government works. This tactic in a way keeps the fear within citizens more revved up to give consent to what the government is doing.
Along with surveillance, another tactic would be the restriction of the press, where journalist are being confined by the Espionage Act if they report or show anything that is classified as private or enclosed info to the public that could be faulty against the U.S. Government. It seems as though it is a crime for people to practice journalism itself let alone speak the truth to the people. The idea might be that there is being more restrictions to Freedom of the press. Anything being spilled out to the public is punishable when in reality it should be spoken. People can try to be more knowledgeable by reading about this stuff or even see videos or films such as this one. It definitely opened my eyes more to how the system is working. If people actually unite and ask for accountability and recognize what needs to be changed it would hold more power to the people instead of the government. Like Wolff says, it is our duty to criticize the government and fix what we don’t want to deal with if it is outright corrupt. Wolff’s method of bringing people together is reasonable and I think it would help to show people to step outside the box and think for oneself where they really stand in this society to see the reality of it. The democracy can be stronger.
One of the tactics described by Naomi Wolff that our open society is facing toward becoming a closed society is the utilization of fear. She remarks how the Bush Administration used the nine-eleven bombings as a tool to boost American’s fear levels as high as possible in an effort to amend and negate the constitutional guidelines set in place by our country to protect people’s rights. This looks like the NSA mass surveillance in terms of the constitutional 4th amendment right to lawful searches, seizures, and the motion of the exclusionary rule. The exclusionary rule faces many challenges upon violations of unlawful searches and seizures being done in good faith. She mentions how other countries allow their citizens to live daily life without fear, while the United States emphasizes the fear. This fear is used in a manner to systematically remove civil liberties. The USA PATRIOT ACT allows for any information collecting without requiring a warrant. This tactic of utilization of fear is followed by the secret prison system that exists outside of the reach of the law, and cannot be held accountable. “Different rules” are to be applied for people that are convicted of being evil. This includes allowed methods of interrogation, which was recently largely expanded from 6 methods of “interrogation” to 35. Naomi mentions how the torture methods and secret prisons utilized against “enemies” of the United States could soon enough, if evolved, be utilized on our own people. These methods will surely weaken our democracy, as they are both entirely morally wrong. To utilize fear to one’s own ends, as well as torture, is morally wrong and abuses the people of the United States.
The tactics that Naomi Wolff presented are Secret Prisons and Develop a Paramilitary Force. The Secret Prisons tactic is about the government having secret prisons where torture is taking place. The President can call Order Number one to pick up any one at anytime who is suspected as a terrorist. Defendants are accused but cannot see the evidence that is being used against them. This tactic is called Enhanced Integration used by leader in Berlin; which has been used by George W. Bush to close an open society. The way this affects an open society is by taking away the right from a defendant to know what one is being accused of committing. Tactic two, Develop a Paramilitary Force; is a group of handpicked people who murder and tortured. For example a group that holds close ties with the White House called Blackwater.
Tactic one: Invoke External and Internal Threat. This is used in the US to manipulate levels of fear. The Patriotic Act stands behind this because the government has access to wire-tapping our phones, our medical information and even to the books we check out all without a warrant.
Tactic four: Surveillance. The government is watching everything we do. There are cameras everywhere. They are used to watch everyone that way people will be afraid to speak up. Also the is the Watch list that is used to watch citizens who are outspoken activist, and many more.
Tactic five: Infiltrate Citizens Group. The government is sending out spies and agents to spy on citizens who associate themselves with organizations or people who protest. They cause trouble and mess with people.
Tactic Six: Detain and Release Ordinary Citizens. American Citizens are being detained for being accused of terrorist acts. For example James Yee was detained for printing out articles that were online for a research paper.
Tactic Seven: Target Key Individuals. Some Individuals are targeted and singeled out for example the Dixie Chix said that they were ashamed to have a president Bush.
Tactic Eight: Restrict The Press. The government prohibts the press to release highly classifed information. For example the New York times released highly classifed information and also Josh Wolfla, Journalist was detained for 8 months because he refused to release videos of a protest.
Tactic Nine: Pecast Criticism as Espionage and Dissent as Treason. People who betray the country and critize the government becomes criminailizes freedom of speech. For example Amy GoodMan from Democracy Now was Detained. This technique was from Staline.
Tactic Ten: Subvert the Rule of Law. The president signs off on things while ignoring the Law. In 1933 Girabal fire all attorneys and replaced them with his own guys.
The ten tactics that Wolf described will not weaken our democracy but will frighten the government. Informing others about the blue print that the President has been following will anger others and hopefully push others to form organizations that will protect our rights as American citizens. Then we can be able to fight back with knowledge. Im glad that Wolf cares to inform the public and want for American citizens to know as myself. I feel as though I have more power and knowledge to be capable to inform others of what is going on around us. Just by informing other about this video could affect some people in the way that it affected me. After watching this video it all makes sense why things have changed without us really knowing the reason for it. We are fed lies most of the time so after watching this video makes me want to get involved and make a change.
I think you did a very thorough job explaining each tactic presented by Naomi Wolff and added your own paragraph at the top explaining your two favorites. I also think that this society is basically ran off of fear and is slowly eliminating our own freedoms. I think the most important part of society is the education system so that we, as educated individuals, may be informed and prepared to make our own decisions and back up our own beliefs. Although we have every right to be fearful of the government, I believe people are ruled by fear more than they should. I also felt like the infirmity of this video helped me understand the injustice that goes on in daily life as well. Great post!
Invoke and internal and external threat such as the incidence of 9/11. The Bush administration went after terrorists and protected Americans. This invokes the importance of internalism of the country and turns the Middle East into evil peoples. The second tactic is to create a secret prison system where torture happens. An example of this is threats against family members to scare people into obeying the more powerful. The Executive order privilege is a great example which is supposed to protect the individuals and demonize the other peoples who are harming Americans, even if it's a group within the Americas. The third tactic is to develop a paramilitary force, such as black water which creates a secret partnership of the government to military that is separate from the people in order to help civilians. The fourth tactic regards surveillance and the control of the government over the people to consistently watch and direct every individual by video cameras, cell phone checks and internet processing. This is a great way for the government to obtain secret power over its people to "protect" them from foreign harm and danger. The fifth tactic is the infiltrate citizens groups by utilizing secret agents to nest within suspicious areas and eliminate those who disagree with the governments philosophies. An example of this is the 2004 spying of protesters by nonviolent protesters. Tactic six talks about the detainment and release of ordinary citizens. An example is the man at the airport who was separated from his family. The seventh tactic is targeting key individuals such as Vallery Plame who exposed the lie of the President. The eighth tactic is the restriction of the press by only releasing vague and unimportant issues to the public, hiding much from us, just like George Orwell's book 1984. For instance, Nazi Germany and the hiding and redoing of all history, being able to erase and rewrite it as pleased. The ninth tactic is to recast criticism as espionage and dissent as treason. For instance, Clinton does this by incriminating speech, silencing people intentionally. 400 American citizens at a protest were arrested. The final tactic is to subvert the rule of law by intentionally saying things although they don't abide the law. People can be more aware of political and social strategies by rising against tyranny and overthrow of the government and to challenge laws that are unjust and promote the goodness in everyone to unify us globally rather than separate us.
One tactic described by Naomi Wolff in the video is to restrict the press. Many journalists in the United States like to stir problems by printing stuff that is relatively untrue and stuff sometimes; the press likes to lie so they can sway public opinions. One example of this is the New York Times who reported an article about the United States illegally tracking corporation’s finance. Basically following and monitoring their every moves like a Gps device. The government likes to use the press also to sway public opinions. They have a good way of doing this. Another tactic she use was “invoke external and internal threat’. In the video she mentioned that the war on terror, which pave the way to such act as the Patriot Act. This gave the government more power to invoke on the people such as monitoring them and having surveillance all over to monitor activities. Things like this is suppose to help citizens but in reality, its hurting them. People need to become more aware of what’s happening instead of the letting the government brainwashed them with their power. We live in a country where people are afraid to speak up because they think there will be retribution when they do and that’s true. It makes them fearful and people will let the situation be. Some of the tactic that Wolff described will strengthen the democracy and give more power and lead way to the government. This makes them feel more powerful. In the video Wolff feelings are that these things is scaring her and making her mad. I also feel the same way as she does because if something don’t stop, sooner or later, this country will be corrupted. Not that it isn’t already.
Duc, I see why you picked this tactic as it is really important in a democratic society to voice our opinions. Journalists and News reporters are no longer wanted to give accurate information but opinioned and fallacious ones that will leave viewers silent and not to dissent. The media is the fourth branch of the government, watching, recording, stealing, copying, sending false remarks to silent the people and settle them into the ignorance, never to cause an uprising. We have seen it in this country from the beginning we had disputes with other nations, spreading propaganda and Speaking up, creating a change, and facing the problem instead of fearing man can bring the vision to life of how we wish to live.
Restriction of the press can be both good or bad. It may be obvious that journalists twist stories in order to draw the public out of the truth to persuade us with untrue stories but this tactic can also help to prevent panic within the public. ex. (new evidence discovered in a murder investigation) If something like this was presented it could be vital information to the suspect who may possibly use it to gain the upper hand by ridding of more evidence.
1.) The first tactic she describes is to invoke an internal and external threat. Woolf uses the example of the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the response of the government. In the aftermath of the bombing, the government declared a “war on terror,” an act that has opened the door for all of the other tactics to follow (or so she says. I found that Woolf’s implication that this all began after 9/11 to be one of the whitest and most liberal interpretations of US history that I’ve ever heard. It ignores the fact that many of the rights that were guaranteed to “us,” as a free country were never granted to all of its citizens, only white men. To say that after 9/11 all of our civil liberties began to disappear is ignorant of the history of the struggle for those same rights and equality fought by people of color, ethnic minorities, women, immigrants, anyone who wasn’t a white man, since the founding of our country).
2.) The second tactic she describes is the opening of secret prisons where torture takes place. She uses the example of Guantanamo Bay, a prison located in Cuba that is used to hold “enemy combatants,” and other suspects in the current war on terror. Woolf expresses shock at the fact that not only are citizens of other countries being extradited to secret American prisons, but so too are our own citizens. Again, this is not a new development in American history. During WWII, if you’ll remember, over 110,000 American citizens of Japanese descent were taken from their homes and interned for up to four years at secret prison camps across America. Woolf may be correct in that Guantanamo represents a new development in the redaction of our civil liberties and rights, but it is certainly not the first. Her white liberal approach to this country’s history ignores our colonial past, one in which tactics such as those she describes are now being used after 9/11 have always been used against folks who are not of her positionality.
While Woolf may be correct that the proverbial noose does seem to be tightening around all of our collective necks, her blatant ignorance of this needs to be taken into consideration.
In The End of America, Naomi Campbell introduces a blueprint lining out the steps to becoming a closed society. The main driving force behind closing a society is instilling fear amongst citizens. Campbell revealed 10 steps in which the American government ingrained fear in its citizens, two of them being infiltrating citizens' groups and recasting criticism as espionage and dissent as treason. Regarding infiltration of citizens' group, the American government sent secret spies on protesters to monitor their activity, though legal and not threatening. This places a psychological pressure, because American citizens begin contemplating the fact that, as the movie states,"people deserve to be watched and some don't." This raises a further question question whether or not our money going towards Homeland Security is going towards the dissent of other Americans. The next tactic Campbell explored is how the government views criticism as espionage and dissent and treason. Campbell deemed this as the paramount step towards a closed society. With this in force, the government accused those who simply protested of terrorism, thus challenging our liberty of free speech. In example, the Minnesota Patriot Act resulted in over a hundreds of arrests, several of whom were recording the event. Consequently, the phrase "war on terror" was being widely spread in America, thereby raising fear in citizens. Citizens feared, because at this point, the government can point to anyone and call them a terrorist. Ways to raise awareness of our deteriorating democracy is to trace our roots back to our Founding Fathers intent of a democratic government and promulgate knowledge of the process of voting as a way to stand up against a broken democracy.
"Criticism as espionage and dissent as treason..." I'm not sure I have ever heard truer words for what is happening to our society. It has come down to the fact that the government, with all of their "keeping tabs" on American citizens, can find at one time or another, dissent and criticism from us about our government and the way they are running the country. It's scary to think that those harmless comments made sometime can be transformed by our government into espionage and treason.
Naomi Wolf presented several tactics that are sign of a change in our society from being open to closed. One tactic is the use of a private militia to act over that of U.S. forces. What they can do is not have to abide by the laws set forth for our military. Like that of Mussolini, the private army can capture or kill suspects with no barriers of the law. This is being seen by the private militia of Black Bear with their killing of innocent people in Iraq with out being tried for what they had done.
Another tactic that was mentioned is the use of detaining American citizens. There are many instances from the Nazi’s in Germany to the KGB in Russia where they would detain citizens for “possible” acts against the regime. This is happening in the U.S. today with the detaining of journal lists for reporting bad things that the president is doing and then get accused of treason and thrown in jail.
These tactics will weaken our entire political system by allowing more power be diverted to the president by the use of fearing of American citizens. What people need to do to become more aware of this situation is just to open their eyes and pay attention to the world around since a lot of people now a day are very self involved and only think of what is happening to them personally.
It seems like it should be that easy for people to open their eyes and really pay attention to what is going on in the world, but the reality is it isn’t. Usually people tend to have the same beliefs as their parents and other relatives. With that comes they watch and listen to the same things as their parents and relatives. From there people never seem to get a bias opinion on any matter at all. Usually the news and information is shaped and structured to support more whatever side of the news it is they are watching. So the issue may not be an open your eyes matter, but rather open your mind and heart to others opinion. It is okay for a person to have an opinion or thought, yet our society now seems to be less open to new ideas and more about doing what is familiar. So what people need to strive for more now is openness, and them from there I can see it as a possibility that people will open their eyes.
The End of America is a film on how America is depicting the same tactics to close an open democratic society to a closed controlled one. Naomi Wolf, a political writer and analyst points out the troubling effects that is happening currently in our country because of these terrifying tactics. The constitution which is beloved to all Americans, protects and liberates peoples' natural rights, and these rights are being violated by our own government because democracy is not easy to handle. Examples where democracy was playing a significant role in history would be places like Germany, France, Italy, Russia, and other nations that at one point citizens were stripped from their rights and no longer in power. The leaders in these countries used the same ways to bring down liberated citizens, which out system of government is also using. For example the two tactics I thought stood out from the rest were number nine, subverting the rule of law by leaders electing the people they wish that can benefit. When leaders instead of the general public start deciding who they want in office to support them no matte what, than that is a problem because there is meaning or usage of democracy as it comes to an end. The leader in a democracy has no more rights or privileges than a regular citizen but unfortunately we already notice that in our system. Although all the tactics cause fear to people, number six was the most freighting. This tactic was to detain or release ordinary citizens without due process of law or any reason. This specifically represents the kind of control one would see in a uncivilized society, where fear and greed for power turns them into someone else. The film showed clips of numerous innocent people being detained again and again without any reason, which is a huge reason to question who is serving us and why aren't we doing anything about it. Democracy becomes a useless term when the public isn't aware of their situations or leaders no longer represent the mass public. Universal human rights are being violated in the most "democratic" and richest nation in the world, but natural human rights and liberties will never end America because we are not weak yet stronger than we imagine if we believe the basic ideas that this nation was founded upon can forever prevail.
The first tactic she point out is the creation of a secret prison system held outside of domestic lands. This is in comparison to prisons held in the past to send criminals of war and suspected law "terrorists" or similar definition. Today's current example of that is guantanamo bay, having many political official crossing words about whether or not the united states tortures people and the definition of torturing has been altered in order to allow practices to take place offshore. The other institution that has been put into place is the establishing of a surveillance system. this today means cellular tapping of texts and data banks. this before was secret police and spies who were living near you in closed societies of Europe before and today it is the fear that the government has the ability to access and store more information that wed like citizens. With these things being said and more the transformation of our society into a more of a dictatorship means other rights may be up for loss. people can be more aware of these transformations by informing themselves on their rights and practices of the government. Ultimately it is up to the people to either support or challenge that state that governs them in order to keep fundamental rights.
I agree with you in the sense that people should realize how important it is to be aware of what's occurring around them, especially things that are directly affecting them. We have become concerned with things that only affect us personally and instantaneously, losing sight of how things will continue to play out in the future.
A tactic that Naomi Wolf described that I found interesting was the implementation of fear into the society. She describes how President Bush wants to search for more terrorists by destroying cells and whatnot.It is then discussed that the Department for Homeland Security was created to manipulate the fear of the masses. i really found that to be true because there would be days where they would talk about terrorists and discuss the topic in a manner that is understandable. Then the next day, the mention of terrorists would be that they are plotting something catastrophic and things were going to get really serious. I know I get worried and frightened when I see something like that on the news and I'm sure other people feel the same way as well In the United States today the tactic of fear is being used. The first instance I could think of is the economy because it is discussed as if it will never get better and that we will have to do more than we should in order to make end's meet.The other aspect is like the one discussed in the video, that of war. Such as that scare with Korea where it was as if we were to go to war with them.. The second tactic that I discovered was the act of surveillance of ordinary citizens. She talks about how people don't really worry about that issue too much because if they didn't do anything wrong than they wouldn't have any problems. She then goes on to say that it doesn't matter if you didn't do anything wrong because in a closing society you can simply be accused without having committed such an act. All it takes is for people to be under surveillance in order to frighten them. In the United States today, everyone is aware that everything is being looked at by the government and we still have that mentality of "if we didn't do anything wrong than we shouldn't worry". I think that it calms people down and in a way it's true because Wolf discussed how people thought they had a secret police file but it turned out that only 10% of the population did as opposed to the 100% that was said. All it takes is that small amount of leverage. People are simply trying to remain optimistic. People can become more aware of these strategies by looking into issues more and not take the government's word for it. I think tactics like the ones discussed will weaken our democracy because it stresses people out and doesn't do any good.
Implementing fear into society, or creating "fear of the masses", is the foundation for the manner in which the government operates and is effective. The government is exceptionally good at deceiving the American people and convincing them into what they want them to believe.
A tactic that Naomi describes is threat. All these threats being made makes everyone close themselves and less out there in the world. I know people who are scared to travel because they’re scared of terrorist attacks. People don’t believe in the government anymore, the government claims to be doing things to stop terrorism and to protect us but we are being harmed everyday by those who are sworn to protect us. That’s why our society is so closed off now. Because of all these threats, the government violated our rights to the Fourth Amendment and has been keeping us under watch and stalking our every move.
Another one was the prisons. I thought that torture was not allowed and that it was wrong and illegal. I just don’t understand how it can be illegal but the government can do it if it benefits them. Why should anyone believe our government? Why should anyone obey any law if our own government can’t even obey it? Torturing doesn’t really do anything. Torturing does not prove to be effective under any circumstances. If a person was thought to be a suspect and wasn’t a suspect, they would have nothing to say or would give up false information to stop the torture. An innocent person can plead guilty even when doing nothing wrong if being tortured, how is that going to save anyone? How is false information that if forced out of someone going to help save lives? How is torturing someone who really is guilty but would rather die then give up any information going to save lives? Those who are really guilt would have already seen it coming and would rather die then give up any information. Torturing does not do anything but break the law and make the government look even worse than it already does. This is why no one dares to put their lives into the hands of the government anymore. This is why our society is so closed off. The government did this and they can’t admit that they did.
Naomi Wolff has different tactics that could lead to our society that was open to one that is now closed. The first is the control of the press, assuring what information we have access too; the second would be the creation of external or internal enemies. This sets a fear within us, which is reinforced with what the press puts out. For example, the press supplies the negative effects of immigration, which in turn leads to less support for an immigration reform. The government know that most people get their information through the press, this allows for better control of what the American people should or should not know. The great focus on the drug wars in Mexico tends to the sole reason why people refuse to support an overhaul change immigration.
Naomi Wolff illustrates in her film multiple systems in which an open society quickly is degraded to a closed society, and these can be seen in action the institutions of the United States. One of the primary methods is establishing a threat that grasps citizens into relying on the judgment of the government. Fear, censorship, and surveillance are three of the most systemic tactics the government uses in response to a threat, that turn an open society into a closed one. In the United States, the spread of fear is manipulated within the theme of terrorism. After the attacks on September 11th, the government has threatened that we are at risk of more attacks, and both manipulates the media into spreading this message, and cites the media as a source of authenticity to guarantee that we are all constantly in a state of crisis, to ensure their control was secure.
The second tactic is still widely in use in the U.S. following 2001. Censorship of the media through overt omission of falsification of information disseminated to the public demonstrates the government’s implementation of this tactic. This has additional repercussions on the natural occurrence of political dissent, which is beneficial for critiquing the government. However when criticism of the government becomes stigmatized through censorship and ostracism of U.S. citizens, more power is ultimately given to the powers that be to perpetuate their agenda.
The media experienced one of the biggest failures in their history following the September 11th attacks, and their slow decline in ratings and credibility reflect that. However the media in its true form can be a tool for social justice, through the ability to disseminate information and educate the public on true or hidden facts on a wide scale. While it is because of the media’s wide influence that our democracy has been weakened, they equally posses the power to strengthen it. Part of the responsibility is in the citizens too, and exposure to all experiences and perceptions is a useful tool to everyone, especially when one is taught not to believe information at face value.
One of the two tactics that were presented in the film was internal and external threat. One of the things that were brought up is the attack on September 11. This tactic makes our society closed because we are still battling because of it and it is still effecting us as a society. Until we bring justice to 9/11 we will always be a closed society. Another tactic that was brought up was censorship. Censorship will continue to makes us a closed society because it takes away our freedom. In the beginning of the video many people stated that they had freedom and that they were free, even small children, yet this is not true because our every move is being watched. People can become more aware of the social tactics by paying attention to what is going on around us.
Naomi Wolff’s film “The End of America” gave ten tactics that has happened in the past which changed an open society to a closed one and how America is on a downward spiral. The two tactics from the ten that stuck out to me the most was that on fear and censorship. She goes on about how our government threatens us by instilling fear in our people which makes them scared to rebel against the government. I was shocked when I found out that we had secret prisons and that we use torture as a method of interrogation. Also that we have no rights when it comes to being searched. It’s actually frightening how much power our government has that I didn’t know about. With this much power, the government can do whatever they want and no one will know or question them because they have enough laws that have loopholed our individual rights.
Another tactic that I thought was interesting was the one about censorship. They have full access to our credit card bills, phone calls, emails, text messages, and they don’t even need a warrant to do so. Learning that they also held a journalist in jail because he didn’t “snitch” on his sources makes me wonder what else is being censored so that we don’t know what’s going on. Freedom of speech and press is a right that we falsely believe was given to us a long time ago yet people are getting spied on, interrogated, and tortured for such things. Hopefully, we start to use our homeland security to protect our people, not harm them.
1. Secret prisons where torture takes place – unaccountable areas. The United States tortures and is directed from the highest office of government, i.e. threats to their families. United States defended the torturing of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay because it was for the safety of the American people. Administration sough to redefine torture, narrowing it to two criteria; organ failure and pain and suffering must be inflicted with specific content. Anything less than this, didn’t constitute as torture. There was a manual for the army that had 16 methods of interrogation, which then expanded to 35, otherwise known as means to torturing people. Constitution forbids torture, as well as domestic and international law. Compared to Germany, in the 1930s, torture is similar in the United States, referring to the process as enhanced interrogation techniques.
2. Develop a paramilitary force that is not directed by the people, i.e. Blackwater. Contractors are hand picked tortures and murders from countries that torture and murder their citizens. This organization was responsible for killing 16 innocent people in cold blood. The United States passed a law that shielded contractors in Iraq. The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizures. In New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, there were contractors from Blackwater shooting at citizens.
3. American people need to demand accountability. Start getting them more educated and involved in the voting process. Some types of national commission who will look back at our past and start the process of rebuilding. More of a matter of, taking a stand and holding people accountable. It is America’s duty to criticize the government. It is the duty of citizens to take control of the country when it is corrupt.
This blog is meant for POSCI 1201 students at California State University - East Bay.