“The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.”
“The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”
If you didn't know otherwise, the above quotes could very easily seem to be attributed to many current world leaders or significant politicians: any of the nation and state representatives currently getting attention for all of the wrong reasons for their implementation of totalitarian laws and restrictions upon their populace - you see and hear of it more and more, in The United States of America, in Australia, in Russia, in North Korea, in Uganda... And you may feel that it is very wrong to group democracies such as America and Australia in with a dictatorship such as North Korea, or with a communist nation such as Russia, or whatever Uganda happens to remain as for the duration of you reading this article - but when you look at it separate from a national issue, and put it into the perspective of a purely human rights issue, then it all looks the same.
After all, if it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it's fairly safe to assume it's a duck.
In this case, our duck - who is the one behind those eerily familiar sounding quotes listed above - is none other than one of the most vile, soulless monsters to ever live - Adolf Hitler.
Let me give you a few choice examples, starting with some of the worst:
- Round up 80 people who own Western or South Korean media such as movies/music and have them publicly and violently executed in front of an audience of 10,000 citizens forced to watch. [reference]
- Actively and repeatedly threaten all-out war on opposition if their demands are not met. [reference]
- Performs under-handed weapons deals with other nations such as Cuba. [reference]
- Maintains a militarized dictatorship, keeping its people in poverty. [reference]
- They are, without consequence or reprimand, singling out and removing members of a minority group, much like Hitler did. [reference]
- Outlawing the use and possession of certain foreign currencies. [reference]
- Heavy tracking and surveillance of own citizens. [reference]
- Engaging in nuclear weapons practice drills with a closely allied nation (China) [reference]
These are terrible things to be happening, and that's not even scratching the surface of the ridiculous levels of rule in various countries around the world. The Republic of Sudan is under constant oppression from the various militarized warlords that rule through force. Much of the Middle-East is beset by militarized independent governments who violently enforce an unnecessarily fundamentalist rendition of Sharia Law on the populations of those countries in the area. Egypt is in a permanent state of civil unrest due to a floating government whose status can change by the day, leading to thousands of innocents being caught in the crossfire.
They would, however, be wrong. Not only would they be wrong, it is important that people know why. Let me give you some examples of what's going on right in your very back yards:
- They are going through a very under-publicized economic failure, leading to mass unemployment and high poverty rates. [reference]
- Drastic increases to public surveillance networks for civilian monitoring. [reference]
- New police laws allowing the arrest of citizens without criminal justification. [reference]
- Record numbers of new "anti terrorism" legislations being introduced without being discussed first by the government. [reference]
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
- Massive levels of unwarranted civilian surveillance. [reference]
- Disastrously overpowered police powers. [reference]
- Defiance of own congress for their own gain. [reference]
- Overseas actions unsupported by the population. [reference]
- Crippling debt to the verge of government shutdown. [reference]
- Multiple attempts to disarm their population. [reference]
- Ever-increasing laws put into place to keep population as disarmed as possible. [reference]
- Unwarranted levels of civilian surveillance. [reference]
- Unreasonable powers given to law enforcement. [reference]
- New laws passed without legal approval to legalize discrimination of minorities. [reference]
- Violently increasing levels of policing and control. [reference]
- Removal of key citizens' right to freedom of speech. [reference]
People often forget that the original point of a civilian population having access to weapons is to be able to protect their country. Who they need to protect it from differs case by case; sometimes it is an invading force, sometimes it is from those seeking to conquer or take their lands, but sometimes it is against their own government. Anyone, no matter how pure of heart and morals, can be corrupted by power, and the purpose of having an armed population is to ensure that their government be there to help and guide the people, not control them.
It was from this belief that President James Madison included his second amendment to the US bill of rights.
It should be noted here that Australia is the only Western democratic country which does not hold a bill of rights for its population. In that capacity, these quotes seem a little more appropriate:
Especially considering that not only do these countries seem intent on having their population not able to defend themselves, they seem to want to drive their rights and freedoms so far into the ground that there will be absolutely no chance of them ever climbing back up again. Why would they want this? To stop the people from being able to fight back against totalitarianism.
But disarming a population isn't just a matter of taking their weapons. Much of the time it is done via disarming them emotionally and psychologically. The best way to do this is via the use of propaganda, media and education.
This was one of Hitler's favourite methods of disarmament, and the more modern world governments have built on his work and fine-tuned it to an art form. It links strongly in with my other two points here, media and education, but it comes down to controlling perspective. If you repeat a lie loudly and often enough, people will believe it.
Not a week goes by without another news story carefully telling you about how scary something is. Perhaps to do with terrorism, or war, or famine, or disease, but it quickly goes on to tell you that you'll be perfectly safe so long as you do exactly what you're told.
A good example is the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic. How much fear was circulated regarding that? Everywhere you looked were terrified people wearing masks, pulling their children from school, shutting themselves in, and all because there was propaganda everywhere telling you how nasty it was.
The fact of the matter is, H1N1 was relatively harmless. In fact, the standard seasonal flu does more damage than Swine Flu ever did. But if people are scared of something outside of their control, then they trust in their government to protect them and keep them safe, and so the propaganda poured forth.
The media is controlled by the government. Everyone knows this by now, but people ignore this fact more and more, trusting that the news they are given is relevant, accurate and without bias.
Too often, however, we see headlines of inconsequential drivel such as entertainment news - the music star who has done something embarrassing, the latest winner of some reality TV show, some scandal involving a rich actor - while there is a market for this kind of news, why does it keep making headlines over serious events such as the threat of war, natural disasters and pressing local issues?
The reason is that it is an emotional sedative. It keeps the people calm, in line, and away from asking questions. A people who are fed what they want to see and hear will not step out of line if their bowl is kept full. They will not challenge the information they are given if they learn to trust what the media tells them. Like Pavlov's Dogs they learn to droll when the bell is rung and no more.
We in the Western World laugh at places such as China, Russia and North Korea who strictly control their media to limit what their people see, but places such as the USA, UK and Australia are no better. Even the internet, long thought to be a bastion of freedom of information, is slowly being censored, restricted and monitored.
The grip is tightening daily, and the saddest part is, no-one is lifting a finger to stop it from happening, because no-one believes anything is wrong. The TV hasn't told them so.
Education is taken very seriously in some parts of the world. There are countries where teachers are some of the most valued members of society, being paid richly and held in the highest regard, but that is not the case in much of the Western World. Teachers are treated like dirt, paid little, considered to be expendable, and educations are treated as trivial things - despite being made mandatory.
The standards for education, however, are slipping drastically. Schools are being pressured to lower the benchmark for grading when too many students are failing.
On top of this, government funding of education is being lowered or removed entirely in places such as Australia, moving financial assistance into the private sector, leaving many current students in a lifetime of crippling debt. This has led to large-scale student protest, but since when has protesting stopped a totalitarian-bent government from doing what they want to do?
It's clear that the higher-ups are simply waiting us out. Fairly soon they will have populations of uneducated, spineless clay that they can mould to do whatever they want. A world that knows no different is unlikely to try and change.
The short fact of the matter is, if something isn't done soon, the world will be past the point where it can be brought back from - if it isn't already - and unfortunately, it isn't protesting or angry phone calls that will do the job. Only full-blown revolution can bring down a totalitarian government - a revolution that cannot happen without a people armed with knowledge, weapons and the will to see change.
The sad part is, it may already be too late.