“And I saw that the great dictators learned from one another what was essentially a blueprint for closing down an open society, and then it became clear to me that this blueprint is simple. It consists of ten steps. Ten clear steps.”
-Naomi Wolf, author of The End of America: Letters to a Young Patriot
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For the past decade and a half, particularly since the rise of the Harper Conservatives, the Canadian public has been bombarded by rhetoric about Islamic terrorists and the threats they pose to our democracy.
Such threats have been used to justify increased militarization of Canadian foreign policy, and the diversion of more resources away from programs of social uplift toward security and enforcement. 
Canadians, like citizens in other major industrialized nations in the West, typically view their country as free, open and democratic. We frequently hear the refrain of how those freedoms were hard fought for by the brave men and women of the military who paid the ultimate sacrifice in combat and put their lives on the line everyday to secure and safeguard.
This kind of thinking however, ignores the reality that frequently, the greatest threats to rights and liberties originate from within the State apparatus itself.
Historians point out that Germany had progressive movements including the feminist movement and campaigning for gay rights. There was dissent and a free press. German freedoms were incrementally eliminated through legislative changes leading to the rise of the Third Reich and the attendant human rights abuses that followed.
Similar measures were taken in Mussolini’s Italy, Stalinist Russia, East Germany in the fifties, 1960s Czechoslovakia, the Chilean coup of 1973 and other examples through history.
Naomi Wolf took the time to study the way open societies were crushed from within by authoritarian elements. She claims there is a ‘blueprint’ followed by all dictatorial rulers composed of ten steps.
- Invoking an external and internal threat
- Establish secret prisons
- Develop a paramilitary force
- Surveil ordinary citizens
- Infiltrate citizen groups
- Arbitrarily detain and release citizens
- Target key individuals
- Restrict the press
- Cast criticism as ‘espionage’ and dissent as ‘treason’
- Subvert the rule of law
In her 2007 book The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, Naomi Wolf not only described this formula for fascism, she outlined how these repressive measures are in evidence in modern day America.
As the new Anti-Terrorism Act, Bill C-51 wends its way through Ottawa’s parliamentary machine on the road to becoming the law of the land, this week’s Global Research News Hour takes a look at how Wolf’s blueprint applies to Canada. Naomi Wolf herself joins us in the second half hour.
First they came for the Muslims…
Starting in 2000, five Muslim men, ADIL CHARKAOUI, HASSAN ALMREI, MAHMOUD JABALLAH, MOHAMED HARKAT, and MOHAMMAD ZEKI MAHJOUB found themselves detained without charge by something called Security Certificates. The Security Certificate is an instrument used by immigration officials which, in the post 9/11 era, allow for indefinite detention without charge and the use of secret evidence.
They cumulatively spent 30 years behind bars.
Their story is documented in an award-winning film called THE SECRET TRIAL 5 which is being screened in theatres across Canada in March.
Film Maker Amar Wala joins us in the first half hour to explain the history of Security Certificates, the fate of the men victimized by them and the implications of their cases in the context of the Bill C-51 debate.
And speaking of Bill C-51, we hear some audio at the bottom of the hour from Canada’s Green Party leader Elizabeth May, speaking in Toronto during the anti-Bill C-51 protest, explaining why Canadians should demand the legislation be revoked.
Amar Wala is an emerging filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada. He has a degree in Film Production from York University, and believes deeply in cinema’s ability to create awareness and facilitate change. The Secret Trial 5 is his first feature film.
Elizabeth May is a Canadian environmentalist, author, and lawyer and leader of the Green Party of Canada. (Many thanks to Victoria Fenner of Rabble.ca for providing the audio from Ms. May’s speech.
Naomi Wolf is a former political consultant and Co-Founder of the DailyClout, a platform that empowers democracy-building. She is the author of the best-selling The Beauty Myth, which launched her reputation as a leading voice within Third Wave feminism, and she authored the 2007 book The End Of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot.
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