Skip to main content

View Diary: To the self-described "patriots" of 2013: My friends, this is NOT what tyranny looks like (177 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  It depends on your frame of reference. (15+ / 0-)

    If you compare the current situation to the ideal of democracy then sure, we are far from it. But if you visit actual dictatorships (as I do every once in a while for personal reasons), you will see that we are not really at that level. And even those places I wouldn't classify as full-blown police states.

    •  Anyone who thinks USA is a police state (18+ / 0-)

      has never been in one and is trivializing the sufferings of those who are in one.

      Lest anyone think I am mistaken about people here calling it a police state, I'm posting a few comments from this diary that are not untypical

      Police state, run by banks
      Kind of answers the question why Obama never prosecuted any of them.
      i.e. fascism
      This makes me want to protest but just saying that puts me in the cross hairs of a sniper rifle.
      Gun control advocates, take note of this one:
      How can anyone read this diary and then go on to say that citizens should no longer be allowed to own assault rifles but that the police can?
      It's time to demilitarize the police and take away their big guns if rights are to be taken away from us. If you are reading this and are serious about gun control, let's start with those actively considering assassinating citizens.
      R.I.P. Democracy (19+ / 0-) Can we call it fascism now?
      The Government Created (95+ / 0-) This huge "counter-terrorism" infrastructure -- and then, of course, turns it against its own people.
      The President: "Eric, what's going on with Occupy?"
      Eric Holder: "Don't worry. We've got the FBI taking care of it."
      belkieve me, I could pull 2 dozen more out of that along the same vein, ive given the ref
      SO: is it true when the RW says We're a tyranny or is it true when Dailykos says it (note the recs)

      Or is it true when the diarist says we're not?

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:10:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This comment (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NancyWH, elwior, LilithGardener

        deserves a diary response.  Unf'ingbelievable.


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:12:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  WTF?! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hey338Too, elwior, LilithGardener

        Somebody advocated assassinating citizens in a comment in this blog?!  That should be reported straight away.

      •  As long as the Patriot Act stands, it is. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, elwior

        The fundamental definition of a police state is they have absolute power over the people and there is no leagal recourse.

        The Patriot Act says that if a state official declares you to be a terrorist, you can be locked up for the rest of your life without any possibility of trial. This is real, the 4th amendment is gone.

        These abuses do not have to be wide spread for the police state description to be accurate.

      •  But then, as many of us futilely try to explain (11+ / 0-)

        to folks like you, Fascism is not about dictatorship, or jackboots, or blackshirts: It is about corporate control of the economy and the culture.

        And we have that, sonny, whether you admit it or not.

        We lack the obvious oppression of the stereotypical police state simply because we don't really need it. We are all too slack-jawed and cow-like, too frightened of the implications of losing a job or missing a mortgage payment, to represent any meaningful danger to the Way Things Are. Nonetheless, they do go to some lengths to keep things that way -- thus, the Orwellian "Free Speech Zones", for example, and the random false arresting of people attempting to exercise their various rights of assembly, petition, and speech, the obviously illegal persecution of whistleblowers, etc., which are followed by the pointless lawsuits in which The People sue The People for the malfeasance of their political and judicial officials. That'll show them!

        Where we most clearly see the shadow structures of the police state, though, is in the lives and lifestyles of brown people. You don't think it's a police state, because you aren't afraid of being randomly chosen as a victim of state power; but that doesn't mean there aren't people who are such victims, it only means that most of us know that if we lie low and don't create any real trouble -- don't insist, for example, on exercising various rights that have been curtailed by the Patriot Act -- we will be left alone. That kind of lying low is a lot harder to do if you're a Latino living in Sheriff Arpaio's jurisdiction. Or if you happen to be a Latino on the BART at the wrong moment. On the other hand, if you choose not to lie low -- say, by singing songs in the Wisconsin State Capitol, or walking through the Capitol wearing a shirt suggesting disapproval of the current administration -- you may begin to appreciate the growing threat of the surveillance state, particularly when the levers of power find their way into the hands of amoral criminals like Dick Cheney or Scott Walker. In the post-911 context, under which almost any sort of resistance at all to an order to stop saying or doing things in ways that were once taken for granted as rights enumerated by the first amendment, you have exactly as much freedom as a handful of mostly horrible people decide to grant you at any given moment.

        What makes the Tea Partiers cries of "Tyranny" comical is not that state power is not getting out of hand, it is that the Tea Partiers are simultaneously paranoid of state power while doing everything possible to enable it, all the while advocating solutions (ARM YOURSELVES!) that aren't solutions at all. Yeah, they like Ron Paul -- but they'll still vote for any Republican over any Democrat, because Democrats are evil sociamalistic one-worlders bent on such astonishing abuses of state power as collecting taxes to pay for people to see a doctor. What is comical is that they think Obama is a Marxist. A Marxist! What is comical is that they stockpile private arsenals against the day when the gubmint comes to take their guns -- thus hastening the day when the gubmint righteously comes to take their guns, given that they're seriously armed and dangerous -- despite the fact that whether they have nothing but a Daisy Red Rider or a basement full of munitions, there can be only one outcome of that eventual confrontation.

        What makes the Tea Partiers cries of "Tyranny" comical is that they are fighting the wrong battle against the wrong enemies, because they are too fucking stupid and ignorant to realize it.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:39:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ding! Ding! Ding! - You win (7+ / 0-)
          What makes the Tea Partiers cries of "Tyranny" comical is not that state power is not getting out of hand, it is that the Tea Partiers are simultaneously paranoid of state power while doing everything possible to enable it, all the while advocating solutions (ARM YOURSELVES!) that aren't solutions at all.

          There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

          by OHeyeO on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:57:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Fascism. (7+ / 0-)

          http://oxforddictionaries.com/...

          Definition of fascism
          noun
          [mass noun]
          an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
          (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practices:
          this is yet another example of health fascism in action
          The term Fascism was first used of the totalitarian right-wing nationalist regime of Mussolini in Italy (1922–43); the regimes of the Nazis in Germany and Franco in Spain were also Fascist. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach
          I defy you to explain how a government whose President just endorsed marriage equality for the first time in an inaugural address is an example of a right wing autocracy. Explain to us how that is culturally fascist.
          •  Yes, thank you for the pedantic response. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, ZhenRen

            But you know what? Mussolini defined Fascism, not the editors of the OED -- and he defined it explicitly in terms of corporatism: l'estato corporativo. This has all been explained over and over and over and over and over and over again. The ability of the corporatists to shift public understanding away from what Fascism actually was represents one of the great PR successes of the 20th century. As an ideology of economic organization, Fascism was in a win-win situation in WWII: The allies won the war by emulating the centralized corporatism of the axis, and once the war was over, the corporatists were entirely in control.

            Meanwhile, since you're quoting the OED, perhaps you can explain, how does the OED explain the etymology of the term?

            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 10:29:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  History might help you get a more (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elwior, LilithGardener

              balanced view of our current status.  The monied have ALWAYS and everywhere fought to have all the power.  The media has NEVER been honest and dedicated to truth.  Corporations are relatively recent (and self-destructive) vehicles for controlling the populace, the desire to control is ancient and uniform.  

              We win when we quit playing their game and start playing our own.  Citizens United did not defeat citizens, united.  ALEC has no power if we focus on local and State elections.  We dropped the ball for several decades, now we're paying the price.  Pick up the ball!  Don't wait for some almighty power to punish the bad guys, organize the good guys and decide what you want.

              As long as we waste energy being furious about what we don't want we'll never figure out how to get what we do want.

              I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

              by I love OCD on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 03:22:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not sure what in your comment contradicts or (0+ / 0-)

                takes issue with anything I said. I'm fully aware that corporatism is just the latest expression of the plutocratic impulse to power, self-aggrandizement, and self-indulgence at the expense of the mass of the population.

                Your point is well-made, BUT if you want to fight the power, it is my belief that the first step is to properly identify what it is you are fighting, and to speak truthfully and honestly about it. Pretending that our enemies are less horrible than they are, pretending that this is all just about normal US politics as defined by our Constitution, pretending that we can all be polite to one another when they are at war with us ... that's not a plan for success.

                To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 04:40:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  My point is mostly that they're (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LilithGardener

                  not so powerful as they think they should be.  They're pissants, chicken hawks, armchair warriors who benefit when we fear them and their money.  

                  They are freaking scared right now because we beat them when they had the money, the media, and their voter ID bullshit.  We won bigger and wider than we've ever won, with splendid Progressive candidates running on liberal ideas.  

                  They're revealed for who they really are, thanks to some brilliant gamesmanship from Pres. Obama and his team.  Just don't start worrying too much about our dreadful media or the cash they flash.  We're stronger, smarter, and by gosh we like ourselves!  Laughter is their kryptonite.  

                  I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                  by I love OCD on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:08:43 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  ^^^^ This - 1000x rec (0+ / 0-)

                ball in hand, fired up, ready to go.

                Go local that is...

              •  Go local economically, as well as politically nt (0+ / 0-)
        •  That was excellent (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior
        •  I wanted to say that but you put it better. (0+ / 0-)

          Winner.

      •  Thanks for that link, I missed that diary (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, joanneleon

        ❧To thine ownself be true

        by Agathena on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:22:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Problem is that some people are living in the (0+ / 0-)

        movie that's running in their heads, so they see everything in grand, dramatic, theatrical terms. And that is how they speak. I grew up with a parent like that, and the result was to just relish the same old, ordinariness of daily living.

        Often when I see comments like that, I suspect grandiose delusions of some kind, (or unfocused drive for story-telling).

    •  So is this our new bar? (7+ / 0-)

      Dictatorships?  Is this the bar you want to use to defend the local, state and federal policies and your president?  If Obama is not like the worst dictators out there, we're doing fine?


      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:11:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you saying Obama is a dictator?? (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fou, Onomastic, Cinnamon, vcmvo2, emelyn, elwior

        Thats what the right wing says too.

        Happy just to be alive

        by exlrrp on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:25:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No she isn't, she is responding to this comment (9+ / 0-)

          which you read, so don't take her comment out of context and compare joanneleon to a rightwinger.

          If you compare the current situation to the ideal of democracy then sure, we are far from it. But if you visit actual dictatorships (as I do every once in a while for personal reasons), you will see that we are not really at that level. And even those places I wouldn't classify as full-blown police states.
          I take her comment to say that we shouldn't have dictatorships be the new bar on how low our government should go before we are legit in our protests.
        •  No, that's not what I said (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior

          I asked you a question, which obviously you dodged.


          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:05:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I find it amazing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BradyB, elwior

          that 6 people (so far) rec'd that comment.  It's obviously a dodge and obviously a misrepresentation of my comment.  It's dishonest and misleading.

          But  people who tend to be haters just like to rec comments, no matter what they say, if they think it is in any way opposing the commenters they don't like.  And often it's the same people, over and over again, some of whom flaunt themselves elsewhere on this site as such gracious, kind and caring people.  But that's only in their words.  

          My unsolicited advice for dkos users, something I've learned over time, by experience (especially if oddly, the same people or others they tend to clique with, tend to show up frequently you are disagreeing with someone else) If you ever want to know what a person is really like and are curious to know if they are a total f'ing phony, just check their comment recs, not their words.   You should especially use this technique if they are a member of one of the cliques who are always lamenting the lack of civility at this site, and how desperate they are for things to change.    You'll often find out what a dkos person is really like by doing that.  


          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:19:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Or maybe you find out that not everyone (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LilithGardener

            agrees with your take on things.  Maybe you find out that even Democrats have a wide range of opinions and beliefs, and that if we disagree with people you agree with it's possible we have a right to disagree.  We could even have something of value to add to the conversation.

            I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

            by I love OCD on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 03:27:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have no problem with (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elwior

              people who don't agree with me.  I love an honest debate and can easily agree to disagree if that's the best path.  That is not what I am talking about at all.  I'm also aware that there is a spectrum of politics in the Democratic party.  I did always believe that there were some core beliefs though, and a platform.  In recent years, some of that has been pretty well blown out of the water.  Even then, some of those things are manageable.  Some aren't and cause deep divides.  But again, that's not what I was getting at.  I was getting at the hypocrisy and the factionism here in the prog blogs people who publicly object to that but in other, less visible ways, are prime examples of it.


              "Justice is a commodity"

              by joanneleon on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 03:37:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  People on blogs tend to be passionate. (0+ / 0-)

                We also tend to not see our own blind spots.  It's true on all sides of every issue.  

                I find it amusing, for instance, that bloggers rail against corporations on corporate owned blogs, using corporate ISPs to post messages generated by corporate created devices.   They make great points, they forget that they benefit from a culture they call evil.  

                I also find it amusing that we rail against a police state on public blogs with little fear of being jailed or executed for roundly criticizing our government, once again using technology that's often built in countries that would imprison us for doing what we do freely here.

                J. Edgar Hoover's America scared me a lot more than Obama's America does.  Obama at least has the courage to say what he's doing.  Cold War politicians lied to us and created the clusterfuck we're stuck in now.  

                One last thought.  I'm pretty sure spying on Americans is not new business.  It seems to me that Dominionist Americans, neo-Nazi Americans, NRA gun- running Americans have waived some or all of their right to hide behind citizenship.

                I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                by I love OCD on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:31:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not saying that I completely agree with every (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eclectablog, elwior

        single local, state and federal policy. But occasional violations of civil rights don't mean that we live in a fascist state.

    •  The US was never meant to be an ideal democracy (7+ / 0-)

      It's a constitutional republic. Even a pure representative democracy (which the US is not) would be far from a pure democracy. Personally, I have no interest in tyranny by the majority.

      •  Yep (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, Agathena

        Tyranny of the minority is so much better. Most people in government on the national level are quite wealthy.

        For example, Hillary is now worth 30 to 50 million.

        There are forms of direct democracy that avoid the pitfalls of tyranny of the majority.

        Representational democracy was designed to keep out everyone except the ruling class of land owners. In the early U.S., women, non-whites, and those without land were not allowed to vote, which reduced the voting population to a small fraction. This especially eliminated the poor.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:00:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Who gets to say (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior

        ...what the the US is/was/will be meant to be?

        Jefferson had a little diatribe about one generation not being able to bind the next generation.  It seems to me that at least one of the folks who pondered what it was meant to be left the door quite a bit open.

        And then when did "democracy" get conflated with "tyrrany by the majority"?

        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

        by TarheelDem on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 04:07:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site