With thanks to regular reader Teri (not pictured) for the suggestion, I have spent the day mesmerized by the blog Dark Ages America by author Morris Berman (pictured, left). Berman wrote three books I now have on order about the changes in America: The Twilight of American Culture, Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire and Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline.
The titles tell the tale, and Berman’s blog is equally dark and straightforward.
His post from May 9, Slouching Towards Nuremberg (I can’t seem to link to it directly, so go to the blog and scroll down, we all need the exercise), sums up so many things I have been thinking about, and writing about, this past year.
In charting America’s decline in that article, Berman lists topics before diving deeply into each one:
– The creation of a political climate in which the police are out of control, arbitrarily free to intimidate anyone for virtually anything;
– The persecution of whistleblowers, protesters, and dissenters;
– The dramatic expansion of the surveillance of American citizens on the part of the National Security Agency (NSA);
– The corruption of the judicial system by means of show trials of Muslim activists;
– The construction of political detention centers, also known as Communication Management Units (CMU’s);
– The shredding of the Bill of Rights by means of the National Defense Authorization Act;
– Future scenarios: The “disappearing” of intellectual critics of the U.S. government?
Maybe this is one of those things where most of you already knew about Berman and his work and are now wondering what rock I’ve been living under. But if not, take a look at the article cited here and see if your eyes don’t open a little wider for the trouble.
Not convinced yet? How about another Berman quote:
When a country puts laws such as torture or indefinite detention or arbitrary assassination on the books, sooner or later it will use these legal instruments. They won’t just lie dormant, in other words. As in the case of technology, once the mechanisms are there, the temptation to employ them simply becomes too great to resist. That is what is happening today.
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