Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sam Smith: America's Silent Collapse


http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/12/20/americas-silent-collapse/

Majia here: I've been arguing for parallels between now and the rise of Nazism for some time. Sam Smith has captured the significance of our inability to recognized, name, and resist the growing totalitarianism. I'm excerpting from his essay here:

[excerpted] Smith 

Much later I would come across the words of a German university professor who described to journalist Milton Mayer what it had been like under the Nazis in the 1930s: 

"To live in the process is absolutely not to notice it — please try to believe me — unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted.’. . .

"Believe me this is true. Each act, each occasion is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow...
"Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we did nothing). You remember those early meetings of your department in the university when, if one had stood, others would have stood, perhaps, but no one stood. A small matter, a matter of hiring this man or that, and you hired this one rather than that. You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair...


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