Update:With the demise of the John Campbell show and the end of even that pitiful amount of independent investigative journalism in New Zealand I thought I’d repost this post I wrote in October 2014 about how far we had descended into a fascist/corporatist state. With the imminent vote to make
criticizing hurting politicians emotionally punishable with fines and prison time as is already happening in some countries in Europe we have come a long way further down the road to a closed society in which we the people are subject to draconian control mechanisms to stop us from rising up against the ruling elite.
With Naomi’s letter to a young American: Fascism in 10 easy steps I thought I’d see which steps have been taken and how many still need to be taken while John Key is tryinig to sell NZ down the corporate tube.
While using Naomi’s letter I must confess to having a different view on how fascism is established. I think that the modern road to a closed society as opposed to an open and democratic society is more layered than “stepped” its like modern machine embroidery. You layer the stages to keep the material of society from getting to tense to soon. You don’t want a citizenry catching on before the net is fully closed and the job is harder because unlike the 1930 the citizenry of today is more informed and has a powerful weapon: the Internet!
So here goes:
1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
Today it is announced that John Key will address the Nation with on the subject of an increased terror thread caused by people wanting to join ISIS. While I’m sure there are terror groups running rampage in the middle east it is also clear that they are financed by international agencies most of whom have nothing to do with the local populations. The message is clear though. Be afraid, be very afraid
2. Create a Gulag
I doubt if we have to create our own Gulag. There is after all already a huge Gulag available if John Key needs to “disappear” people. One of the first on the list is Kim Dotcom but rest assured, if Kim Dotcom where to be extradited to the US he will only be the first of many!
3. Develop a thug caste
The thug castes Naomi Klein refers too in her letter are of course the brown shirts and the black shirts of Hitler and Musolini but thugs come in many different forms and sizes. I would argue that the removal of Vinnie Eastwood’s youtube channel and the John Key has let down New Zealand facebook page are clear examples of both shutting down dissent and journalistic freedom and while we are not quite clear who has been instrumental in doing so it is clear that John Key is more than happy to use intimidation, smearing and bullying to gain the upper hand. The use of thugs like Mark Textor, Cameron Slater, David Farrar, Jason Ede and Simon Lusk make that more than clear!
Added to that Governments who want to close down their society always try to overcome the separation of powers of governance: Those are legislature, an executive, and a judiciary. Generally the Legislative part of government i.e. the law making part has been taken over or is heavily influenced by big business interests and in order to assert more control over the other two branches in order to close society down through fear and intimidation.
In the case of this National Government lead by John Key it is clear that the appointment of Amy Adams as the Minister of Justice and courts will lead to an erosion of the separation between the Legislative and Judiciary and Executive branch as shown in the raid on Nicky Hager’s house while he was in an entirely different city for writing his corruption exposing book Dirty politics. Capturing an entire Police force and the judges presiding over the cases they bring in while doing your dirty work for you is just about compulsory in a country transferring from an open to a closed society.
4. Set up an internal surveillance system
The GCSB connected to the NSA and the announced changes in the laws governing the SIS are all geared towards more control and the shutting down of dissent. Internal surveillance is never about protecting the citizens and always about closing down a free society.
5. Harass citizens’ groups
You may not see them as such but the raids on the Uruweras and the arrest of people who where allegedly training for terrorist attacks was a clear attempt at sidelining activists and squashing dissent. It is typical for governments wanting to close down their society to pick the more extreme dissidents and use them as an example of what could happen to you if you decide to fight the closing down of your society. Once the population accepts police and military raids on one group in society they will accept it on others just so long as it isn’t them. This helps in separating the more outspoken and courageous from the timid and the weak. Nothing frightens a fascist government more than a mob of the average Joe lead by an educated and charismatic leader.
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
Asio will gain broader powers to secretly detain Australians without charge and conduct “coercive questioning”, even when less intrusive measures are available, under proposed national security laws.
Hmmm… Maybe the GCSB would love to lock Nicky Hager up or yours truly for trying to educate the people about what John Key and his Henchmen are up too and if they can do it secretly all the better.
If you think that this won’t happen her you might want to familiarise yourself with the case of Russell Malcolm who was given a gag order In November 2011 thanks to John Key and lost everything he worked for his whole life as a result. A judge recently judged the gag order unlawful but the damage has been done.
7. Target key individuals
The list of key individuals John Key has tried to gag or smear is endless. From teachers speaking out against changes in education to scientists being smeared for speaking out against new law proposals targeting gangsto Billionaires with the courage to fight John Key with politics the list is endless. Cameron Slater and David Farrar and the others I mentioned above are the bully boys and the seedy underbelly of the Teflon Don John Key as exposed in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This will intensify and expanded as John Key has start to use New Zealand Muslims to keep the fear up. Muslims leaders who dare the speak out will be added to the list and the time will come that bloggers such as I and other more liberal and tolerant bloggers will be targeted, “exposed” and smeared
8. Control the press
Nicky Hager’s house being raided is of course a blatant example of trying to squash dissent and intimidate whistle blowers into silence. I have no doubt they will try to shut Nicky Hager up with perhaps a nice week locked up for not naming his source. This serves two purposes. It will send the message that exposing the criminals in charge will not be allowed and that the people doing so will be the target of intimidation and in the future possible violence and it serves as a clear message to possible whistle blowers that they will be shut down and that trying to get in touch with people such as Nicky Hager will be punished in any way the government can do so. The methods will change as more fear is needed and will go from jail sentences to more coercive kinds of punishment such as torture and violence and possibly a violent death.
The other part of controlling the press of course is to own the news and media outlets. If you control the media outlets you control the population. Cutting back public media and supporting in our case the one corporation owning all of NZ’s media was a no brainer and the fact that Mark Textor works “for” Fairfax should have been a red flag. Mark Textor is a sort of Goebbels for hire you might say!
9. Dissent equals treason
In the months that will follow and as John Key ramps up the fear and hatred for the enemy within and out what will happen is that the military and the flag (Anyone notice the flag being put in the middle of the town square through a referendum while the majority doesn’t want to talk about flags at all) will become rallying points for Nationalism and as already is happening dissent will become harder and harder as the population cowers in fear and rallies behind the leader. In fact Hitler came up with a new flag, new powerful symbols and other paraphernalia to hypnotize the population while armed the army and him and his Mark Textor and Jason Ede’s of the day strategised how to get the Nation to go to war. It became very easy to lock people up and kill them for being unpatriotic merely because they dissented. Communists, Socialists and Unionists where all on the list.
Here the MSM was and is happily targeting Labour, Green and Mana and other parties on the left and they could do so because the had the whole smear machine in place to do so.
10. Suspend the rule of law
Suspending the rule of law is not the same as not using the rule of law. In this day and age it is more like changing the laws so that the rule of law is brutal, draconian and inhumane. Hitler was elected lawfully and he changed the laws to be able to do all the above legally and lawfully.
This time it will be a global rule of law. Th TPPA will allow corporations to set the law in the countries signing on to the TPPA. They can do so secretly and outside of the sovereignty of each of the countries signing up to the TPPA.
This is why the vote for National war so dangerous. Not because the hold opposing opinions to Labour on a local level because they don’t (Labour hasn’t given any indication that they would break a way from the TPPA and they should have done so enthusiastically) but because John Key is selling most National voters and New Zealand as a whole a bill of goods and a steep slide into what Musolini described as Corporatism also known as Fascism.