I happened to be reading Anne Applebaum's newest book, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956, on the train back from Chicago today, and came across this passage, which sent a chill through my spine. She was citing a work from the 1950s by Carl Friedrich and Zbigniew Brzezinski called Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy, which had defined totalitarian regimes by reference to five common characteristics:
1. A dominant ideology.
2. A single ruling party.
3. A secret police force prepared to use terror.
4. A monopoly on information.
5. A planned economy.
Well, that all sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it, living here in American ca. 2013,
- with the ideology of liberalism triumphant (if you don't think so, consider my son, a junior at an all-boys Jesuit high school, who relates that most of the faculty and nearly all of the student body are completely sold on gay marriage as a civil right);
- with essentially a single ruling party in many states and, increasingly, in the national government, regardless of who is President... namely, the Party of Government and the Progressive State;
- with the NSA snooping on our private communications and the NPS barring vets from the Mall in Washington;
- with the mainstream media putting out constant drumbeats of propaganda on behalf of Obama; and
- with the government taking over 1/6th of the economy (health care) and domineering over the rest through the aggressions of the EPA, the IRS, the SEC, etc.
It Can't Happen Here? It's happening. In slow motion, maybe, but it's happening.