("Quid coniuratio est?")
DAVE EMORY -- JULY 5, 1992
Observations on America's 216th Birthday
Well good evening. Welcome back, once again, to One Step Beyond. It's time now to begin the prepared portion of tonight's program.
Now again, this broadcast is gonna be a little bit different from programs in the past. This is gonna go into the archive shows as, I guess... I haven't decided what to title it. But perhaps, "Observations on the Nation's 216th Birthday." Perhaps in parentheses, "Dave Emory's Credo." Because you're gonna hear as close to my own credo as I'm capable of playing for you on the air.
Last night, with some friends, I was observing some fireworks from afar. In fact, I came up to Foothill College here and I stood up on the hill and was watching several different fireworks displays. And as I was doing that, a strange sort of melancholy/depression came over me. I was observing some families with children, and it struck me as strange and sort of tragic that here, the country was observing its 216th birthday and in fact, the country might very well have been observing its own wake.
This country is in bad, bad, bad shape. Bad economically, the world's biggest debtor nation. We were the world's biggest creditor nation from the end of World War I through 1980. Ronald Reagan, who came in promising to hold down government spending and reduce the deficits, did the opposite. We used to have more money owed to us than any other nation on earth; we now owe more money than any other nation on earth. More than all of the Third World countries combined.
The savings and loans have gone belly up and the S&L bailout is gonna cost more than the second world war would've cost us, had it been updated to 1992 dollars. There is enormous insecurity in the commercial banks; they may be next. The Office of Management and Budget has forecast that several might go under this year. And you and me, i.e., the taxpayers, are gonna have to foot the bill for that one.
There's enormous corporate debt, because of the leveraged buyouts and the go-go financing of the 1980s. There's enormous consumer debt. The insurance companies are in bad shape, and many of the money market funds are privately insured.
The U.S. is losing its industrial base. Corporations are moving manufacturing facilities overseas at the cost of jobs to the United States in order to take advantage of the low labor costs, particularly in areas of the Third World.
There are enormous, enormous things being done to our legal system. The "new improved" Supreme Court and federal judiciary are doing some really scarey, scarey things. A recent Supreme Court decision made it legal to burn crosses (this under the rubric of "freedom of expression"), something I do not agree with. And even more significantly, there have been a number of decisions which have limited, court decisions which have limited the writ of habeas corpus. Lord Blackstone, generally viewed as the top scholar or authority on Anglo-Saxon law, wrote centuries ago that any, any limitation of the writ of habeas corpus represented a fundamental elimination of personal freedom as we understand it. Well that's going on right now. The Supreme Court made a decision that a grand jury does not have to be shown information, evidence which would acquit someone facing the grand jury; that the person is gonna have to go to trial in order to gain acquital, even if the grand jury could demonstrate that the individual in question was innocent. That represents an enormous step.
Under the drug seizure laws, a person's property can be confiscated if the authorities, i.e. the police, suspect the individual of being a drug dealer. Now that is a remarkable situation. Eighty percent of the people that have had their property confiscated have not even been accused of crimes. I don't mean convicted, they were not even accused of crimes. And then the individual whose property has been seized has to sue the government in order to get it back. The rules of evidence in a civil case are much looser than in a criminal case. And beyond that, if you've had all your property seized, how the hell are you gonna sue? You've got no money. That is a staggering, staggering legal precedent, or perhaps illegal precedent would be a better term under the circumstances. And it's one which threatens all of us. So you can basically... The authorities could say that they suspect you of anything -- terrorism, or subversive activity, and confiscate your property. It represents a serious step down the road to fascism. And that is a direction that I felt the United States has been, I feel the United States has been headed in for a long, long time.
The feelings that I had upon watching the fireworks, again, were feelings of melancholy. I felt particularly sorry for some of the children, who were enjoying the fireworks displays much as I used to when I was a child. Those poor kids don't face much of a future, unless all of us, all of us, start pulling together and correcting the awfully grave situation that we face.
One of the things that enabled people in Nazi Germany to remain idle while their country was hurtling down towards fascism was that basically, people "went along with the program". They conformed. Nobody wanted to appear to be out of step with his or her companions. And ultimately that conformity led to all the monstrous excesses of the Third Reich. And one of the things that I think has bedeviled the United States -- and I mean to use the term "bedeviled" quite literally -- is the fact that Americans are "going along with the program". People are doing what their neighbors do, doing what their compatriots do, "keeping up with the Joneses" so to speak. Well all that's going to be required in this country for people to find themselves in the midst of total "zeig heil" fascism, is for people to "keep up with the Joneses". Because the only "Jones" they're going to wind up keeping up with is the late Reverend Jim of the Peoples' Temple. And as I've looked at in numerous Radio Free America [CN -- Not the program featuring Tom Valentine; a different program of the same name] #6 and #7, there are substantive indications that the Peoples' Temple was a CIA operation.
I'm going to re-read ('cause I've read it periodically over the years) a section from a book called They Thought They Were Free, subtitled "The Germans: 1933-1945". The book was authored by Milton Mayer, published in softcover by the University of Chicago Press, and copyrighted 1955.
What Mayer is writing about is the observations of a number of Germans who lived during the rise of Hitler. Some of them were ardent pro-Nazis; some of them were opposed to Hitler, but they stood by, they conformed. And they did nothing. And that's what resulted in the rise of German fascism.
I'm going to re-read just a section of this particular portion of the book. It's called, "But Then It Was Too Late". These are the observations of a German college professor on what it was like to experience the rise of the Third Reich. I'm not gonna read the whole section that I usually read, but just a section of it.
And one of the things that's important to take note of here is the role of conformity in the rise of fascism.
Reading now, from They Thought They Were Free -- and again, this is a German college professor speaking here:
You see (my colleague went on), one doesn't see exactly where, or how, to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last. But only a little worse. You wait for the next, and the next. You wait for one, great, shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don't want to act, or even talk, alone. You don't want to "go out of your way to make trouble."
Why not? Well you are not in the habit of doing it. And it's not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you. It is also genuine uncertainty.
Uncertainty is a very important factor. Instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, "everyone" is happy. One hears no protest and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Italy there would be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences. In Germany, outside the great cities, perhaps there is not even this.
In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do. But what do they say? They say, "It's not so bad," or "You're seeing things," or "You're an alarmist."
And you are an alarmist. You're saying that this, must lead to this, and you can't prove it. These are the beginnings, yes, but how do you know for sure when you don't know the end? And how do you know, or even surmise, the end?
On the one hand your enemies -- the law, the regime, the party -- intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues "pooh pooh" you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are naturally people who have always thought as you have. But your friends are fewer now. Some have drifted off somewhere, or submerged themselves in their work. You no longer see as many as you did at meetings or gatherings. Informal groups become smaller, attendance drops off in little organizations, and the organizations themselves wither.
Now, in small gatherings of your oldest friends, you feel that you are talking to yourselves, that you are isolated from the reality of things. This weakens your confidence still further, and serves as a further deterrent to... to what? It is clear all the time that if you are going to do anything, you must make an occasion to do it; and then, you are obviously a troublemaker. So you wait, and you wait.
But the one, great, shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes! That's the difficulty.
If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes millions, would have been sufficiently shocked -- if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in '43 had come immediately after the "German Firm" stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in '33. But of course, this isn't the way it happens. In between, come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step "C" is not so much worse than step "B". And if you did not make a stand at step "B", why should you at step "C"? And so on, to step "D".
And one day, too late, your principles (if you were ever sensible of them) all rush in upon you. The burden of self- deception has grown too heavy. And some minor incident -- in my case, my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying, "Jew swine" -- collapses it all at once and you see that everything, everything has changed, and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in, your nation, your people, is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all re-assuring: the houses, the shops, the jobs, the meal times, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit (which you never noticed because you made the life-long mistake of identifying it with the forms) is changed. Now you live in a world of hate, and fear. And the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves. When everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system that rules without responsibility even to God.
The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning. But in order to sustain itself, it was compelled to go all the way. You have gone almost all the way yourself.
Life is a continuing process, a flow, not a succession of acts and events at all. It has flowed to a new level, carrying you with it, without any effort on your part. On this new level you live, you have been living more comfortably every day -- with new morals and new principles. You have accepted things that you would not have accepted 5 years ago, a year ago, things that your father, even in Germany, could not have imagined. Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done. Or more accurately, what you haven't done. For that was all that was required of most of us -- that we do nothing.
[...to be continued...]
I encourage distribution of "Conspiracy Nation."
"Justice" = "Just us" = "History is written by the assassins."