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Naomi Wolf `The End of America`

Naomi Wolf was born in San Francisco in 1962. Her essays were published in Wall Street Journal, Glamour, and The New Republic. She is an author of a New York Times bestseller The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. It’s a wake-up book for Americans; here she calls the nation to save American law, to fight back against the forces of anti-democracy oppression. It gives any reader a much-needed history lesson and constitutional refresher. The most important thing is that the recent gradual loss of civil liberties in the USA is put in the historical context.

Here Wolf specifies ten steps a country takes when it glides towards fascism. The author accuses the Bush administration and Congress, unmasks how the escalation of Executive Power has ruined the core principles of the Constitution. Naomi enumerates the real threats that exist for civil liberties of America and explains that only working together people can solve the problem. The short book shows the disturbing events in American history which abuse the power outlined by Founding Fathers, who believed that the main aim of the State was to make people free, to develop their abilities and follow virtue and wisdom.

Naomi Wolf says that the reason for writing “The End of America” was the fact that she could no longer disregard the anti-democratic trends in America. It caused her to study the methods which were used by dictators in the past to subdue the nation and compare different regimes. The results of her work are presented in a set of ten steps that all dictators used when trying to shut down democracy. The entire book is devoted to the analysis of these steps, how they have been used in the past and how they are being used in America.

It is news which you won’t here in the main stream media. This book is cognitive either for those who follow politics and read the real news or for those who have no idea what’s going on in the country. Wolf retells the history of the USA admiring the battle of the Founding Fathers for free and progressive society, their attempts to make a fascist shift in America as distressing as possible. The author gives the examples of the fascism in Germany under the Nazis and Pinoche’s Chile in the 1970’s. The thing is that these leaders took very similar steps.

Naomi compares them with tactics of today’s America, which are closing down freedoms. Wolf fears that all these can turn the American people into nation which would not have anything in common with the open society in which Americans grew up and learned to love liberty. Today most Americans reject to compare the post 9/11 America with the totalitarianism and fascism of Nazi Germani or Pinochet’s Chile. It is hard to accept, but similarities which are performed in The end of America are rather verisimilar.

Naomi Wolf rings the alarm for all American patriots; she wakes up the people to collect all the forces for the rescue of the democracy. Wolf distinguishes the most significant difference between past fascism countries and America: Americans won’t have dramatic experience to notify the decay of democracy. This means that fascism will not come in one day it will interfere gradually, in a series of progressive steps. Today it is invisible, but in some years it can turn into disaster.

Every American should cherish the hope that this process will be slowed, stopped, or reversed. The main part of the book is dedicated to the review of past dictatorial regimes and the comparison of fascist countries with today’s America. The scaring fact is that the parallels which Wolf draws in the book are urgent and pressing. In the totalitarian countries the government has been involved in shriveling citizens (wiretapping during Watergate ), infiltrating citizen’s groups(the FBI’s COINTELPRO ) and developing a paramilitary force outside the control of Congress.

These were often the secretive facts. Today the situation is different but it is no better. The government either agnized these acts with no regard to public opinion or simply concealed the true facts. And no efforts are made to reveal the truth and protect citizens’ rights. The progressive desensitization instead of through sudden violence is another disturbing similarity that occurs when a shift of fascism happens over time. Normally the secret prisons and application of torture may be used only for “enemy combatants”.

But in times of totalitarianism the term “enemy combatant” becomes broader. So those, who unmask government lies and corruption in the press are considered to be unreliable and need to be imprisoned and tortured. Then people who argue against government policies may become a person for arbitrary detention or prolonged imprisonment. And only in the last chapter the author gives expectancies that Americans will save the liberty that they have been fighting to retain for over 200 years and the actions towards the abolition democracy will be stopped.

The ways out are also produced and they are: “hold house parties, set up town halls, convene our neighbors, pass out users’ guides to the Constitution, overwhelm our representatives and the Presidential candidates with demands for them to restore the rule of law,” as well as “stand up directly to confront those who have committed crimes against the Constitution — and hold them accountable. ” We cannot say for sure that these methods will change the situation in the country but they will definitely awaken the nation.

The book is rather important for generations of Americans who still don’t know how democratic government have been overthrown in other countries when their inhabitants failed to recognize and stop the development of anti-democratic trends within government. The people’s ignorance about how democracy works is rather disturbing. Today this lack of knowledge may cause an unprecedented crisis. And the Founders explained if citizens don’t possess the information about the proper workings of a republic, “then any leader of any party – or any tyrannical Congress or even a tyrannical majority — can abuse the power they hold”.

The woman spread out clearly and briefly how the people have allowed the government to come close to the fascism; explains that only people can stop the destruction of American Constitution. The End of America is an honest critique and assessment of what could and probably will happen with American democracy if Americans don’t participate in communities and vote intelligently. It is of great value for the citizens of the USA. Wolf’s study of the history of the fascist governments and how they are repeating themselves is most relevant for every American to understand.

The author sends her message directly to the people in the most understandable way to explain the ordinary Americans the dangers they face today; to motivate them to take part in lectures and speaking tours, to participate in the nascent American Freedom Campaign. In this book Wolf appreciates the heritage of the Founding Fathers, who fought for the liberty, peace and freedom in the USA; who believed that the proper aim of the USA was to allow men and women to develop their faculties and to strive for free and democratic society.

She calls Americans to make the authorities to respect the Constitution and obey the laws which are mentioned in it. Mark Crispin Miller said “The framers of our Constitution fully understood that it can happen here. Patriots like Madison, Paine and Franklin would certainly thank Naomi and recognize her as a sister in the struggle for democracy.

Works Cites Naomi Wolf. The End of America. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2007. 176

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