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Oct 19, 2017

The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot is a book by Naomi Wolf that warns of the dangers of fascism by outlining a blueprint for fascist groups (or governments) to undermine democracy and subvert freedom. Here is her list of required steps:

  1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
  2. Create secret prisons where torture takes place
  3. Develop a paramilitary force not answerable to citizens
  4. Set up an internal surveillance system
  5. Harass citizens' groups
  6. Engage in arbitrary detention
  7. Target key individuals
  8. Control the press
  9. Treat all political dissidents as traitors
  10. Suspend the rule of law

The book compares post 9/11 United States and George Bush's anti-terrorist activities to 1930s Germany and the rise of the Nazis.

The End of America was adapted for the screen as a documentary by Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern. It had its worldwide premiere in October  2008. You can see the film in its entirety on Youtube here.

I met with Naomi Wolf at the Kingston Writers Festival to talk about her career as a cultural critic, about Canada's Harper government and how its cuts to Library and Archives Canada fit into her thesis about fascism, and about her latest book Vagina.

The End of America is even more relevant today, in the age of Trump.