Podcast Show #27

The Boiling Frogs Presents Naomi Wolf

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Naomi Wolf discusses the fascist shift in the United States, how the state of our liberties has been getting worse under the Obama administration, and how President Obama has assumed the same position as Bush on States Secrets Privilege, unlawful detention and torture, and other similar assaults on our liberties. Ms. Wolf talks about the deplorable state of our two-party system and alternative approaches, the hypocritical silence of liberal antiwar activists, the need for new grassroots institutions and approaches to take back our civil liberties, and more.

NaomiWolfAprNaomi Wolf is an author, activist and political consultant. She is known as an avid advocate of feminist causes and progressive politics, with a more recent emphasis on arguing that there has been a deterioration of democratic institutions in the United States. In The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, Wolf takes a historical look at the rise of Fascism, outlining the 10 steps necessary for a Fascistic group (or government) to destroy the democratic character of a nation-state and subvert the social/political liberty previously exercised by its citizens. The book details how this pattern was implemented in Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and elsewhere, and analyzes its emergence and application in American political affairs since the September 11 attacks.

Here is our guest Naomi Wolf unplugged!

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Comments

  1. The President is the administrator of Empire. If the President has to choose between the Constitution and the interests of the Empire, the Empire wins. Fascism is another symptom of Empire.

    Political enlightenment is understanding Empire is real, the Republic is dead.

    “There is no leverage any more.” We need an online forum that is equivalent to a virtual town square. We need it to be a forum that brings people together in real time and we can all interact and react to each other in real time. Something like Twitter: allowing us to follow and post tweets around a subject like “Empire”. In addition to Sibel, Peter, and Naomi having separate websites, all of us can be simultaneously interacting under “Empire” or whatever we want to call our common sentiment.

    The power of many acting and reacting can be powerful. Far more powerful than many going to one website, or many following one individual.

  2. ZicaTanka says:

    @zakon: not sure I get the logic of your online formum idea that is not “many going to one website”. If you create a new forum, that is a new website. Please explain more. New ideas are great.

    On the short, but sweet interview – thanks! I’m interested in the details of the assumption/assertion that the President may not have the power. What does that look like? Can’t a president command the media at will and explain to the public the power of the industrial complexes and the need to take that power away? Is there personal blackmail? What are Sibel, Peter, and Naomi’s views on the question of HOW the president might no longer have the power?

    Thanks!

  3. @ZicaTanka: What is lacking on the internet is a forum where a community of like-minded folks can act and react to each other in real time.

    Imagine a virtual March on Washington occurring or breaking news/wiki type knowledge spreading at lightening speed across the group. Amazing things can happen in groups. The internet lacks a group dynamic because most things are one on one communications (email/IM), or one (Boiling Frogs) to many (an audience) communications (websites/Facebook/Twitter/Message Boards).

    Twitter may have the potential to facilitate this desired forum, if people can Tweet under a common interest. Currently, Twitter mainly allows individuals to follow other individuals.

    Imagine those who visit Boiling Frogs, Third World Traveler, Peters’ and Naomi’s websites all were united in Twitter under a common sentiment, such as “Empire” or “Deep State” — rather than following individuals like Sibel, John Stockwell, Peter or Naomi. The community would not include the tweets of Sibel, John Stockwell, Peter, Naomi, Noam Chomsky, etc. under the banner of “Deep State”, but would also include you and I and the millions of others who would have the same common sentiments.

    The scope of the community would not be limited to the traffic to any one website, but rather, the collective number of all of the visitors to these websites. If any given website went down, the community would still continue. The community would disseminate important information fast, act fast, and most importantly, not feel alone and atomized.

    I can be reading or listening to this website, but I feel alone, atomized — even though hundreds of others can be doing so at the same time or the same day. Imagine everyone that comes these websites reacting and acting to what they read via an online forum that connects thousands or millions together. A group dynamic is what is missing on the internet, its’ the next big thing that needs to happen. Facebook and Twitter has shown us glimpses of it, but they are currently stuck on individuals.

  4. Correction to paragraph 4, I meant to say “The community WOULD INCLUDE the tweets of Sibel, …” sorry for the wordo.

  5. ZicaTanka says:

    @zakon: Let’s not forget that a group is made up of relationships. If an individual can pick a number of blogs and tweeters to watch and then post to all of them at once, you might have some increase in awareness, but you might also have a spaghetti community non-group. The spammers would like that. Many-to-many isn’t necessarily more quick than one-to-many, because it can be much less efficient by producing way too much useless and duplicate information.

  6. stonefruit says:

    Love the shows so far but, for being so prominent, Wolf seemed unexpectedly uninformed about a lot of important issues. And what’s with the left’s mania for hope, which she exemplified? When are they going to finally get over it and see the obvious: American electoral politics, indeed American “culture” itself, is irredeemable until the bubble economy of the Earth’s rape and shock capitalism collapse, like viruses destroying their host, and the core states of global capitalism pass through their inevitable convulsions?

  7. Could you interview Bradley Birkenfeld, the whistleblower who is now in prison for 40 months? He was a banker at UBS who turned in the information to the government on illegal secret accounts, and is now suffering for doing the right thing. I heard an interview with his lawyer, Steven Kohn. Juan Gonzales also interviewed Birkenfeld himself from prison.
    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/4/15/ubs

  8. The “deep state” seems like a good explanation for why some agenda seems to be continuing despite no real reason for it. But what’s the explanation for these people outside the supposed “deep state” falling on the deep state’s hand grenades and trying to pretend that everything’s normal? And what’s the explanation for people falling on their hand grenades? I’m thinking here of Obama and some of his supporters for instance. Con man is right, he reminds me of someone I knew who was similar. I hope Ms. Wolf takes heart though, because I guess being conned might be a hard but effective education to recognizing the con men.

  9. Er–and re: the tea partiers becoming undermined by Republicans and local citizen democracy–its a presentation about the funding for Scott Brown in Massachusetts:

    http://weeklyintercept.blogspot.com/2010/01/look-at-money-behind-massachussetts.html

  10. @Barbara Yours is perhaps the most important question asked that I have seen on this post. The large U.S. bank bailout directly benefited large European banks. BIS (Bank for International Settlements) is one of the Elites’ primary levers of control. They are the central regulator for the Central Banks. UBS, which you refer to, sold BIS their building in Switzerland, and recently came out of a serious financial crises just after BIS met in Australia. These are the criminals that run the Shadow government. You can even take it back to the 9-11 commission where Jamie Gorelick gave a pass to serious investigation and with Robert Zoellick of the World Bank as her ally, makes their machinations LOOK suspicious.

  11. @ZicaTanka: Chomsky noted that a forum for organizing a group doesn’t yet exist–he says action hasn’t happened because we are atomized. Relationships are limited to individuals reading/posting/following to disparate individual websites or to disparate individuals on Twitter/Facebook. An individual can follow all of these individual things and post to them all, but the group dynamic is missing–the forum is missing.

    Twitter, currently, may have the best potential for us to organize under one common sentiment. For example, under #Empire. Awareness of individuals, information, websites, actions, etc. would occur. Most importantly, its a place to network and be connected in real time–we wouldn’t be atomized. Spamming would be an issue to deal with, however, the benefits could outweigh the spammers.

    The current model of one to many is not more efficient in organizing a group, because it relies on an individual person or website raising awareness to itself, having to drive repeat traffic to itself, and making itself financial viable. You end up with something like the occasional HuffPost or MoveOn.org. This new forum could help sustain sites like Boiling Frogs by raising word-of-mouth awareness/traffic much more quickly than is now possible.

    More and duplicative information is ok, we need more, not less information. Acting and reacting to each other is critical. This message board forum is a great example. This conversation could be broadcast to the entire group, in real time. Someone in the group that works at an internet company could pick up on it and contribute to it.

    Sociology shows that only in groups can a group consciousness occur that can spontaneously sweep over the group and make things happen or grow in unexpected ways (like this idea or a virtual March on Washington or a flash mob). I agree with Chomsky that the forum doesn’t yet exist, and consequently awareness and action is largely limited. The current model has us largely atomized–hardly anyone recognizes Empire rules and that the Republic is over. People can’t ask for their Republic back if they don’t know its been taken from them.

  12. And those of us who do know Empire rules, don’t know where the rebel base is.

  13. ZicaTanka says:

    @zakon: Good stuff to think about more for me. Thanks.

    @BFP: What do you think of the idea brought up by Ms. Wolf, that the president or presidency no longer has the power to change or control the effect of the executive branch of government? Could the same be said for the other two branches?

  14. Konstantin says:

    Great interview. Wish it was longer.

    @ZicaTanka The president never had that power in the first place. I think people want the president to have that power cause they have been lulled into a complacency and expect the executive or legislative branches to care for an ever increasing part of their lives.

  15. ZicaTanka says:

    @Konstantin: You’re right, we’d best leave it to Xe.

  16. I LOVE it when Sibel talks about Obama’s record as a senator and asks why would you have any indication that Obama was for change? Naomi is like well um um not his senate record but in his campaign he ran on bla bla bla. Well “reality smack” instead of listening to campaign rhetoric try looking up a man’s record and see what’s he’s DONE to see what he will actually DO.

    So many people got hopified and projected onto Obama what thy wanted him to be instead of who he was. The guy voted to fund the wars, keep the patriot act and sanction Iran. What did Obama ever DO that made him anti-war?

    I created a blind test during the presidential campaign, and you couldn’t tell the difference between Obama, McCain, and Clinton based on their voting records because they were the same. For Fun I added Ron Paul, and Obama supporters ignorantly picked Paul thinking that his record was Obama’s. Why?

    People like Naomi Wolf, a smart person with political savvy STILL supported Obama. You know at some point they had to come across someone who supported neither Obama or the other imperialist and you know they asked the same questions we all would to Wolf or fill in the blank. They just ignored it. It was like talking to a religious person, they just create one rationalization after another to fit the conclusion that is the most psychologically gratifying for them and reality, facts and history have no place.

  17. But at least Naomi has seen the light. But she was still sort of giving him a pass and acting like Obama was antiwar and just has his hands tied and that the president isn’t really in charge of things. I never saw Obama run on an antiwar ticket I saw his supporters thrust that upon him just like they did for Kerry but in both instances they always supported the wars, threats to Iran etc.

    This type of party tribalism is like an illness. And I am so sick of the the Obama is undoing 8 years of Bush excuse. Obama hasn’t even attempted to curb anything Bush did. Obama took Bush’s one bailout and multiplied it, he tripled the size of the war in Afghanistan and doubled the number of mercenaries in Iraq. He swapped out Xe for Triple Canopy (a Chicago based company of privateers) and all he has done on the secret prison system and torture is shuffle people around to different locations. The guy just handed insurance companies a wet dream by enacting forced purchases for healthcare. He’s still sending billions to Israel, Egypt, Pakistan and so on to support the MIC’s proxies there and yet he has been bombing people in Pakistan with drones, as well as Somalia and Yemen. I haven’t heard him say a word about removing the not so secret paramilitary support in Columbia and practically all of central America, he is against closing bases in Okinawa, wants Iran to stop doing a negative, reinstates Gates and Bernake, stacks his cabinet with Zionist and criminals, blocks investigations into the prior administration, continues domestic spying and now authorizing domestic assassinations! He keeps the patriot act and is even pushing for the police state to have naked body scanners in our airports, and after all of that people who cried with joy when he was elected STILL support him and claim he is going in the right direction. They have to say something vague and abstract like that because they can’t point to ANYTHING he’s actually done right specifically.

    So what makes an Obama-ite? I wish I knew. It seems to be a combination of willful ignorance, and ego. That is after a person has given so much support for a guy, and then they discover that he’s not what they “hoped” he was, they look like fools for supporting him and so rather than admitting they were wrong, they just keep creating excuses for the guy

  18. @ZicaTanka

    Uh…you think Xe would exist without their bloated big government contracts??? Without the billions the state forces us to pump into them, not only would they be irrelevant, but absent the wars the state creates and there wouldn’t even be a market for them

  19. ZicaTanka says:

    @Nate: I agree. So who is the main “decider”, when it comes to forcing us to pump resources into them, officially?

  20. On crossing the Rubicon, this happened in 1998.

  21. criticalthinking says:

    The “rubicon” was crossed by the Empire on November 22, 1963.

    Kennedy vowed to scatter the CIA into a thousand pieces and the CIA scattered Kennedy into a thousand pieces.

    The political autopsy needs to start in Dealey Plaza.

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