Can you smell the putrid fumes of authoritarianism rising like smoke from burning trash, filling our senses with the toxins of despotism? Do you see these clouds of tyranny surpassing the morning horizon, their darkened haze making blind our eyes, deaf our ears and ignorant our minds? Can you hear the America of yesterday screaming in agonizing pain as the cancer of the authoritarian personality slowly devours her from within? If so, you are not alone, for evolving within our shores since 9/11 lies a most ominous and frightening reality, namely, the rise and acceptance of American-style authoritarianism.
Conceived through the neoconservative Mein Kampf, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” birthed through the controlled demolition of skyscrapers that gave rise to the New Pearl Harbor and nurtured through the psychological war of fear and terror upon the American populace, conveniently labeled the War on Terror, authoritarianism, and an absolute belief in it, has planted itself firmly upon American shores. The emergence of this pathogen, – for that is what it is – usually contained and restrained within the minds of millions of individuals, has dramatically shifted the personality and beliefs of American society, perhaps forever altering the makeup and psyche of the nation.
Thanks in large measure to an overwhelming propaganda campaign by the neocon controlled corporatist media, an onslaught of manipulation upon the American populace has resulted in the acceptance of authoritarian tendencies in a large segment of the citizenry. In present day American media, neocon anchors, reporters, talking heads and stenographers are allowed to parade uninterrupted and unobstructed, day after day, parroting neocon talking points and propaganda, stirring fear and insecurity and hatred and anger, hiding truth and disseminating fictions, all systemically done to condition the people into accepting Machiavellian-style governance.
For in the neocon ideology, democracy is but a hindrance, an obstacle to be eliminated, for the will of the people interferes with the decisions of those in power. Democracy, therefore, must become a charade, an illusion designed to convey in the masses the feeling that their votes count, that their voice is heard. In fact, the opposite is true, for only those that count the votes have their voice heard. The neocon belief structure believes that in order for leaders to govern effectively, freedom and rights must be curtailed, and the people must be subjected to surveillance and greater police powers. Hence, America’s quite obvious flirtation with authoritarianism. Truth is anathema in the neocon lexicon, for the people must be kept in the dark at all times, for we are too stupid to know better. This is why truth was the first casualty of 9/11. The lie, too, is a fundamental principle of neocon dogma and, as such, is used repeatedly and consistently to catapult the propaganda. The noble lie is thus created by the delusional to keep the people from knowing uncomfortable and harsh truths. This is done in our interest and for our protection, of course.
Using the corporatist media to hide truth, engender perpetual lies and create new realities, the neocon movement is methodically molding together an army of virulent warmongers, submissive and acquiescent to the dictates of the state, choosing the sacrifice of rights and freedoms in order to have security and so-called protection. The neocons are using the media, in print, radio and television, to reach out to and condition the weak minded among us, those who lack the courage and conviction to make extinct fear, those who prefer to live in the comfort of fiction rather than confront the difficulty of reality. The neocon movement, desiring imperial hegemony and perpetual war, seeking destruction of Israel’s enemies, wishing for an authoritarian state lead by a benign dictator, is thus using a vast arsenal of propaganda to create millions of subservient and loyal followers. They are molding a standing army of authoritarian personalities.
Throughout history the authoritarian personality has risen like a phoenix from the short silences of peace we offer ourselves between outbreaks of human wickedness. It rises to the zenith of our skies when fear and insecurity thrive, when scapegoats are chosen, when hatred and anger abound. It congregates within the elements of xenophobia, jingoism and patriotism, demanding the arrival of a police state or the permanency of dictatorship. It falls easily to the propaganda of the state and the manipulations of the media, for fear and cowardice blind reason and logic. Embedded in the psyche of millions of human beings, the authoritarian personality awakes and hibernates according to the patterns of human interaction and the manipulations of our leaders, rising regardless of time or place, ethnicity or religion.
Its sinister intent does not reside inside every human being, however, but lingers like a personality trait, born through the intertwined connections of genetics or molded by the fated circumstances of environment. Yet it exists in the human condition nonetheless, to the great detriment of our species, for its power grants sustenance to criminality and immorality, to those leaders of man who inevitably lead the human race spiraling to the nadir of wickedness. It escapes the shackles which peace places on it and quickly assembles its army of like-minded personalities, conjoining in confluence towards the adoration of leadership and submissiveness to the state. Its large numbers guarantee that the Goebbels’ of the world succeed in bridging commonalities and connecting energies. Its large numbers guarantee that the Hitler’s of the world never go extinct, always finding a warm and gentle welcome among the army of authoritarian personalities.
The authoritarian personality is reincarnated with New Pearl Harbors and all commensurate acts of state terror upon the populace. It awakens with the neocon manipulation of emotion, psychology and behavior, with the corporatist media acting as the hypnotizing glow giving instruction to the millions whose only comfort from fear is the supposed authority of the state. With the awakening of the authoritarian personality through external threats, catalyzing events and selection of alien enemies, a lust for violence and a hunger for blood soon emerges. With fear imprisoning the reason and logic of millions, warmonger leaders can easily proceed with long-standing plans for imperial hegemony abroad and authoritarian principles at home. As long as humans exist, the authoritarian personality will linger, those taking advantage of its weak minded psychology will thrive and the threat of authoritarianism will, as always, remain to wreak havoc upon humankind.
In a sense, the architects of 9/11 and the fictional war on terror have been triumphant in the implementation of their Machiavellian plans. In the six years since 9/11, the People have been impotent and unwilling to act as the nation has plunged, rather purposefully, into the throes of authoritarianism. Laws marketed as offering protection and security from terrorism have instead been used to dismantle the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Civil liberties continue to be eviscerated, while freedoms once thought sacrosanct continue to be made extinct. The power of the executive continues to grow in strength, in essence creating a leader with dictatorial powers. Against the will of the People wars continue to be waged, occupations continue to exist. An emerging police state continues to evolve, seemingly without hindrances. Hundreds of billions of dollars continue to be allocated to the military-industrial-energy complex, just as they are taken away from education, healthcare and social services, all while the treasury continues to be pillaged.
The nation has systematically been made to shift away from its centrist traditions and has, thanks to the machinations of the cabal of criminality, instead taken a sharp, authoritarian and extreme right, headed into the realm of despotic undercurrents. Today, the neocon agenda and ideology now commands the centers of power, as well as the platform of two-headed hydra, that political duopoly feeding from the same hand, enslaved to the same master. The Republican Party has become a party of fascists, while the Democratic Party is now where true conservatives seek refuge. Sadly, this political duopoly serves not the People, but corporatist elements and the elite, becoming parties of money, power and corporations. Progressives, dissenters and truth seekers, meanwhile, are now seen as enemies of the state, while the army of authoritarian personality is the new Republican base.
For whatever the outcome of the Iraq debacle, America is now firmly entrenched in the desert of Mesopotamia, to remain there for decades to come. This naturally amplifies all future confrontations with China and Russia, for Iraq is now one giant forward operating base, an aircraft carrier destined to serve as a staging ground to protect, conquer or acquire resources or lands deemed to be in the national security interest. Meanwhile, the pretenders to the throne of the Empire, those from the political duopoly, enslaved to the corporatist world and the interests of Israel, along with the lifelong cheerleader still in power, continue to threaten Iran with military force, using, once again, the illusory threat of WMD – this time nuclear weapons – even though Iran poses no threat whatsoever to America.
While transforming America into an authoritarian enclave even Machiavelli would be proud of, the architects of 9/11 and the fictional war on terror also assured themselves, and the military-industrial-energy complex (MIEC), of a nation that is fundamentally now, more than ever, a militarized Empire. The tragedy of 9/11 has militarized the nation, along with millions of its citizens, and has enabled the MIEC to pillage and plunder the national treasury, converting American ingenuity into a conduit of death and destruction. America now spends more in one year on military equipment than the entire world put together, and this will only increase in the years ahead as expenditures for the military only continue to grow. The neocons would not have it any other way, for perpetual war naturally leads to perpetual profit.
The last six years have forced leaders of both parties to become much more militant in their ideology and platform. The genius of 9/11, besides shifting the nation in the direction of authoritarianism, besides allowing the Empire to attack, invade and occupy Iraq and Afghanistan, is that it forced and exerted a tremendous amount of pressure on both parties to never relent and never put a stop to the fictional war on terror. To do so would be political suicide, for the electorate, fearing for their lives and security, demand a stronger military and security apparatus. For both parties, there thus exists a competition to outdo one another in terms of offering the best policy for protecting the so-called Homeland, for fighting the “war on terror,” and for defeating all enemies of the nation, be they real or imagined.
Defense spending, in the wake of two parties force fed with bravado, filled with testosterone, obligated into ever-greater promises of militarization, will ultimately, and conveniently, only continue to increase. Under such auspices, then, 9/11 assured the MIEC of a perpetual stream of money and profit, the Pentagon of ever-increasing power, the elite of greater wealth, and the corporatist world of incessant growth and greater control over the lives of the masses.
America has become more militarized, for a new enemy has been created, marketed and launched. Of course fighting this new enemy conveniently allows the state to launch preemptive attacks and invasions wherever and whenever the dreaded bogeyman appears, granting warmongers a pretext to conquer the resources and lands it seeks. With an ambiguous enemy, unseen and hidden, belonging to no nation or land, intent on destroying our way of life, hating our freedoms and democracy, lurking behind every street corner and underneath every bed, the illusion of needed security, as always provided by the state, will methodically eradicate our rights and freedoms, altering the landscape of America from one of liberty to one of a burgeoning police state. The more we are made to fear, the more insecure we are made to feel, the greater the assault on our civil liberties and rights will become. With every threat, with every act of terror, real or concocted, our freedoms as Americans will dissipate, transforming our lives, corralling our destinies, controlled via the mechanisms of authoritarianism. This, sadly, is the future that awaits us.
What was once known as the Republican Party has mutated into an authoritarian and corporatist political entity, since 9/11 shifting to the extreme right of the political spectrum. That is to say, it has morphed itself into a political arm of the Pentagon and of the authoritarian elements presently ensconced throughout government and the corporate world. The Republican Party of yesteryear has ceased to exist. In its wake now lies an entity that has shred the Bill of Rights, burned the Constitution, made legal torture, once-illegal wiretapping, domestic spying and false imprisonment and made illegal various aspects of free speech, freedom of assembly and due process. It is this party which has declared habeas corpus null and void, has spat upon the Geneva Convention and international law, and has embarked on the ideology of the neoconservative movement. It is this party that now applauds lies and deceit, fictions and myths, and castigates truth and reality. It is this new party that mocks true and honest conservatives, vilifying them when they speak inconvenient truths.
As a result, millions of loyal Republicans, most honorable and good people, (most liberal and progressive on most issues, yet through years of fear, conditioning and manipulation turned to support the Republican platform) do not recognize what was once their party. To millions of lifelong Republicans who do not subscribe to the neocon delusions of imperial hegemony, offensive, preemptive warfare, military buildup and the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Republican Party has long since been made extinct. To them, their party is unrecognizable, becoming a mutated monster of Machiavellian ideology.
The party has transformed itself into a purveyor of human wickedness, with its cast of pretenders to the 2008 throne trying to outdo themselves in a competition of who could become more immoral, debased and criminal. From doubling Guantanamo – where it has been proven that most prisoner are innocent – to allowing torture in interrogations – when torture to extract confessions does not work – to unleashing more wars of conquest to making extinct more civil rights and freedoms, today’s cast of pretenders sound more like Nazis than Republicans. Fear, fear and more fear has become the Republican selling point, its one and only platform, the only way it can maintain tens of millions of authoritarian personality-types from returning to hibernation. In macabre symphony it has tried to monopolize and abuse the horrors of 9/11, constantly regurgitating its memories in hopes the American people can continue to be manipulated.
Catering to the base has never been so much fun, being that millions of authoritarian personalities have become blood-thirsty warmongers whose once hidden racism, xenophobia and lust for violence have suddenly sprouted from the clouds of 9/11. Hating has never been so much fun, either, nor openly accepted and praised. The hatred and unjustifiable anger millions of authoritarians have for Iraqis, or all Arabs for that matter, not to mention Persians and Afghanis, – people who had nothing to do with 9/11 and thus remain innocent – is a traditional trait of authoritarians everywhere.
Once the state and its corporatist press select a convenient enemy to scapegoat and unleash a barrage of propaganda to condition the authoritarian personality masses, the army of authoritarians easily lines up behind the charades of the state. Because authority dislikes Arabs, because it blames them for 9/11, the army of authoritarians will exhibit hostility against Arabs. Because racists and xenophobes in power use Latino undocumented workers as scapegoats for society’s ills, the army of authoritarians will likewise exhibit hostility to these minorities, especially if it is believed that this group might threaten or change traditional values. Combined with ignorance and manufactured consent, an authoritarian personality will ignite the flames of hatred and anger against the enemy of leaders or of the state.
The same principle applied today was also used back in World War Two, when the Nazis used undesirable minorities and dissenters as scapegoats for Germany’s problems, creating enemies so as to push forward the interests of the state. In short order, Germany’s authoritarian personalities unleashed human wickedness on these chosen scapegoats. For regardless of nation or region, time or place, authoritarian personalities are everywhere, their debased morals sequestered in hibernation until that moment when the right buttons are pushed and levers pulled, when New Pearl Harbors are created and malfeasant leaders rise to power.
The Democratic Party too has been struck by the virus of authoritarianism, becoming since 9/11 a conservative party far removed from its liberal and progressive values. Sure, it still clings to some of the progressive ideals that are wedge issues, nothing but illusions that have always been used by both parties to divide and conquer the people. Yet, fundamentally, as the party outside the confines of power when 9/11 occurred, it has had to rebrand and refashion itself in the image of the old Republican Party, in order to remain politically viable, with its moderates shifting further right, with its leadership embracing corporatism and even neoconservativism.
Left in the wake of this Democratic movement towards the right is the progressive left, which has been hemorrhaging thanks to its complete abandonment by the party. Sensing, rather correctly, that the mood and political spectrum of the republic has shifted further right, or more conservative, in the aftermath of 9/11, the Democratic Party has itself adjusted and evolved in this same direction, cognizant of the fact that to fail to do so risked impotence and extinction.
Today, it competes with the new Republican Party over who can thump its chest the strongest and loudest, who can yell and scream the loudest, and who has the biggest scrotum and penis. As a result, and in order to stay within the margins of the militant, criminal Republicans, the Democratic party has made the decision to become more pro-military, thereby embracing warmongering as ideology and the MIEC as a bedfellow. Combined with the warmongering demands by its master, the Israel Lobby, the Democrats have become vociferous cheerleaders for bravado, threats and the possible attack of Iran.
The Democratic Party, sensing the shifting winds of power, smelling presidential and even Congressional victory in 2008, has decided to do nothing with the many laws and regulations that inhibit Americans’ freedoms, rights and liberties. It has decided to do nothing to overturn or destroy Patriot Acts One and Two, the Military Commissions Act, Guantanamo and its many gulag brethren, signing statements powers, and the rising growth of the unitary executive the Bush administration has methodically created. It sees the growing power of the executive branch, senses it will indeed take possession of this branch in 2008, and salivates at the thought of controlling the unitary executive.
Once it has control of the presidency, it can begin to implement all the promises of protecting and defending the “Homeland,” the better to market itself to the people as doing a better job at national security. It can begin to exhibit its machismo and testosterone abroad, perhaps flexing its muscles by attacking impotent third world nations, finally destroying the myth that it is weak on foreign policy and national security. In the meantime, it will appease the MIEC with greater defense spending, the Israel Lobby with continued one-sided support for Israeli apartheid and Iranian intervention, and the corporatist elite through the continued erosion of power of the people. With the neocon movement slowly and clandestinely shifting away from Republican circles and towards those of the Democratic Party, in essence aware of which party will hold power soon, and with so many Democratic pretenders fully embracing the guiding light of the neocon movement, imperial hegemony will continue abroad, facing down all potential rivals, and the path towards authoritarianism will only widen on the home front.
Invariably, the shift rightward will continue in the years ahead, spearheaded by fear, terror and propaganda, taking the duopoly with it, tipping a now unbalanced fulcrum away from centrality and in the direction of authoritarianism, and corporatism. The descent of America into unchartered and unwelcome waters is only now beginning.
House of Little Goebbels
What the neocons have long envisioned is slowly, but surely, coming to fruition, for the foundations that once held America in balance has been damaged. Today, again as a result of 9/11, the fictional war on terror, the marketing of Arabs as enemy extraordinaire and the complete manipulation by fear and insecurity of the citizenry, a shift in the magnetism of opinion has created an America that has become more conservative, right-wing and thus, much more tolerant of authoritarian precepts and policies. As explained above, much of the nation has shifted hard towards the extreme right, that is to say towards an embrace of fascism, a result of incessant fear, insecurity, terror, jingoism, patriotism and war bombarded into our everyday lives.
In fact, the conditioning and manipulation of the American mind that began with 9/11 and has yet to cease, and which was designed to condition us into accepting the fast approaching authoritarianism, has hit us like a blitzkrieg, a constant and perpetual barrage of opinion, sound bites, images and carefully orchestrated propaganda disseminated through the greatest tool of brainwashing ever invented, namely, the television.
Today the corporatist media is saturated with the talking heads and stenographers of the neocons, corporatists and authoritarians, all paid to embed into our minds the propaganda and manipulations of the cabal of criminality. Using our sophisticated and fancy flat screens and HD televisions against us, the corporatist/neocon media is thus using every tool at its disposal to dumb down opinion, alter the meaning of words and precepts, and condition us into accepting growing limitations to our freedoms and rights we enjoy as Americans.
Most egregious of all is FOX News, a fascist propaganda machination masquerading as a news and media channel. Owing its success to the incessant jingoism, patriotism, war cheerleading and fear mongering in the days and years after 9/11, FOX News has only served to brainwash, condition and make ignorant millions of authoritarian personalities. This network has accumulated a collection of the most vile, despicable and nefarious authoritarian personalities in the country, a group of little Goebbels’ who are proud to serve as propaganda loudspeakers and stenographers of the emerging American corporatist state. This collection of immoral midgets and schizophrenic sycophants has made the Nazi propaganda machine look like the Brady Bunch.
These charlatans have regressed debate so much in America, they have devolved political opinion so enormously, they have dumbed down the population to such a high degree, yet have become successful because they satiate the very craving and appetite of the authoritarian personality that longs to hear the talking points of tyranny rising and fascism spreading. Indeed, the authoritarian personality seeks comfort and security in the demented and delusional opinions of FOX News personalities, needing the validation of beliefs to assuage his insecure and feeble mind.
The success of FOX News, with its group think mentality, its obvious distortions, manipulations and lies, its smearing of opposition, its virulent hate mongering and dissemination of extreme right-wing corporatist venom, has had the effect of spreading its corrosive propaganda to other networks as these seek to replicate Rupert Murdoch’s formula for success and profit. Consequently, these networks, in imitating the formula for success used by FOX, became conduits of propaganda and stenographers of the state, thereby exacerbating ignorance, compounding hatred and destroying free thought.
Acting as the Ministry of Truth, at a time of perceived and manufactured fear and terror, FOX News offered stability in an unstable world, drawing in millions of authoritarian personalities that needed to hear and see that the world, although inherently evil, was being protected by the state. Thus, FOX News became the main stenographer and defender of the party in power.
With millions of viewers tuning in, needing a fix of bravado and schoolyard bully newspeak and behavior, corporations wanting to cash in joined the FOX News orgy of hatred, fear mongering and xenophobia, spending millions of dollars so the army of authoritarian personality would watch their advertisements and invariably, purchase their products.
By appealing to the authoritarian personality at a time when to do so is appealing and expected, especially with the fortuitous luck of 9/11 having molded, created and awakened so many authoritarians in hibernation, FOX has helped push the nation down the precipice of authoritarianism, steering the nation’s mood to the hard, authoritarian right, and in the process shifting ideology towards the parameters of accepted despotism. For while the good Germans of yesteryear allowed the Nazi regime to flourish and commit monstrous atrocities, they did not have the power or scope or reach of a FOX News, corporatist media type propaganda machine from which to gather and be brainwashed. Indeed, their army of authoritarian personality, much smaller than ours, was conditioned on much less, without the use of television and its many powers of persuasion, yet it is America’s army of authoritarian personality that has been molded via the airwaves to become a dangerous and growing entity. The television has thus proven a most useful tool to the neocons, just as it is to any fascist regime.
But for the army of authoritarianism tuning in religiously on a daily basis, however, FOX would have never survived, thrived and grown to become the greatest tool of propaganda the nation, and the world, has ever seen. Like two organisms in a symbiotic relation, therefore, one entity fed the other, growing together in power and scope, sustaining each other through one entity’s addiction to insecurity and the other’s immediate and hypnotic fix.
So successful has the conditioning of FOX and its imitators been, so dangerous has the end result turned into, that today over 100 million individuals have been transformed into an army of authoritarians, their personality being such that easy followers of criminality do they become. At the drop of a hat, these individuals would chose slavery over freedom, security over rights, ignorance over knowledge, war over peace and tyranny over liberty. In a world of unintended consequences, the army of authoritarian personality can help turn freedom’s bells into fascism’s sirens.
Army of Authoritarian Personalities
To the authoritarian personality, those millions living among us as neighbors, friends, co-workers and family, the arrival of authoritarianism into our lives will be welcomed without even a hint of dissent. For these individuals believe everything emanating from their television monitors, treating those words spoken by stenographers and propagandists as sacrosanct and truth. To these millions, blind faith in government and in criminal leaders is a way of life, for the myths of the American state caring for its people, being an altruistic entity, is a certainty rooted in life-long brainwashing. To these millions, the myths of and faith in American exceptionalism are just as strong as those myths, faiths and beliefs in a primitive and unseen deity. To the authoritarian personality, the fables of American history, and of the American government, are deeply embedded in the mind, never able to be exorcised from within.
To this individual, the state is the ultimate arbiter of human interaction, and its leaders, the personification of religious deities themselves. Indeed, traumatic events such as 9/11 systematically alter the behavior and psychology of an authoritarian personality. This individual could mutate from moral and honorable man to warmongering and xenophobic psychotic. He could go from once being a thinking and knowledgeable person to easily brainwashed and manipulated, made to believe a vast array of lies and deceptions, creating a barricade within that prevents all truth and reason from entering. It is calamities such as 9/11 that like a snap of a finger transform normalcy and decency into hate and fear, causing the carrier of the authoritarian personality to alter his or her psyche. As if hypnotized by unrecognizable powers, this individual does not even become aware of his sinister and oftentimes self-destructive metamorphosis.
To the authoritarian personality, fear of Arab bogeymen, that dreaded evildoer known as al-Qaeda, marketed as seeking the complete destruction of America, controls all aspects of emotion and psychology, resulting in the complete submission of his mind to authority. Thus, if the state requests that a microchip be implanted into his head, he will immediately comply. If the state decides to suspend the Constitution, he will provide a flame. If Muslims, Arabs, dissidents and other undesirables are forced into ghettos or are rounded up, he will gladly volunteer. If curfews or checkpoints or martial law is declared, he will finally feel protection from fear. If his rights and freedoms are taken away, he will live life content. If the state desires to attack a foreign land, he will ask for the use of nuclear weapons. If the dear leader asks for volunteers to defend the homeland, he will immediately purchase a brown shirt. If he is told to be vigilant in his neighborhood, he will take that as instruction to spy on neighbors. If he is told his wife or mother are enemies of the state, he asks where to turn them in.
Such is the corrosive interaction between the authoritarian personality and the manipulative powers of the state. Such is the danger of authoritarian personalities intertwining their numbers with engineered, catalyzing events. Such is the potential damage of authoritarian personalities to tomorrow’s freedom that the sacrifice of their progeny’s long-term rights and liberties is a small price to pay for the short-term comfort of their own manufactured fears.
Authoritarian personalities are the submissive peons of power, the cowards of corporatism, and the blood-thirsty barbarians of warmongers. They are, quite simply, one of the greatest threats to the republic, a collection of intellectually hollow, willfully ignorant followers of criminality. Born natural followers, selfish and greedy, uncurious and apathetic, devoid of reason and logic, lacking courage and free-thought, unwilling to ever question authority, eager to place blind faith in both the unseen and the unproven, in adulthood becoming the ignorant sheeple easily obeying the dictates of leaders, with authoritarian tendencies running through their veins, these individuals have come out into the open, like cockroaches rising from the sewers, the propaganda and conditioning by the corporatist media becoming the hypnotic flute beckoning them forward.
This authoritarian personality, deeply embedded in the psyche of millions of individuals, for years buried, sequestered and controlled by the fictions and fantasies of the American Dream, was resurrected from the catacombs of the mind with the psychological war against the American people begun on 9/11. Like, zombies, the army of authoritarianism rose from the dead, thereby transforming America’s character for the worse. Crossing party lines, both Democrats and Republicans, liberal and conservative, from all socioeconomic, ethnic and religious groups, these individuals suddenly saw the world with different eyes. Millions became blinded to reality, building bubbles of infallibility from where truth was banished. The lies of the corporatist state became accepted through blind faith. Anyone who disagreed with the state or its leader became a traitor, a terrorist sympathizer, a treasonous enemy in the eyes of these people.
Spoon fed a potion of FOX News propaganda and corporatist manipulations, authoritarian personalities have fallen under the spell of neocon thinking. Unable to think for themselves, these people incorporate as their own any and all talking points spewed by the neocon, authoritarian media. Thus the lies and propaganda of corporatists and neocons becomes the belief and world view of these ignorant personalities. The views emanating from the talking heads and stenographers of authoritarianism are quickly embedded into the mindset of the authoritarian personality, who because of his great timidity is made to fear the dreaded, evil and dark skinned Arab enemy concocted by the creators of reality.
Possessing little logic or ability to reason, with fear controlling emotions and thoughts, this personality is quickly made to believe the lies, deceit, and deceptions of the neocon media, and thus eagerly accepts the destruction of his civil rights, freedoms and liberties in the name of security and state sponsored protection. This personality would rather live in a police state, serving under tyranny, rather than confront his own, and oftentimes manufactured fears and insecurities. He would rather remain ignorant than accept truth, preferring to dwell in fiction than in reality. Confronting the truth of his so-called leaders, along with the reality outside his bubble is unfathomable, lest his beautiful mind be molested of its fantasy and comfort.
Lacking conviction, strength, courage and bravery, all alien afterthoughts to him, this person would much rather live inside the comfortable charade created by the state than confront a reality of the world around him that might disrupt his delusions. He would much rather attach a meaningless car magnet “supporting the troops” than enlist to fight a war he approves of and wages from his comfortable couch, even as he supports leaders who care nothing for soldiers. This personality is made to cower in fear of an enemy created exclusively to control and oppress him, an enemy he purposefully refuses to know and understand, study, listen to and research, preferring to remain in darkness, preferring to believe the drivel emanating from his monitor than know the truth of the evildoer he hates so much yet comprehends so little.
The rise and spread of authoritarianism has been rapid and as yet unstoppable, growing from its 9/11 birth, reared through years of fear and terror conditioning, and maturing through perpetual wars, concocted enemies and eviscerated rights. Like a contagion passing from host to host, American authoritarianism is spreading, afflicting perhaps 100 to 150 million citizens, anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of the population, many of whom seem oblivious to the threats to their ways of life they themselves are engendering.
The New Pearl Harbor, besides acting as the catalyzing event needed by the cabal of criminality to unleash imperial hegemony, also acted as the hypnotizing awakening of authoritarianism, becoming the deafening siren triggering the emergence of a once hibernating authoritarian personality. With the rise of this army of authoritarianism also came a monumental shift in the direction of fascist tendencies and policies, so much so that at no other time in America’s history has the threat of fascism been more apparent, and prevalent.
This phenomenon also gives us pause, for in its existence can we see how the totalitarian monsters of the past were allowed to flourish, how they were allowed to unleash carnage upon the world. They also offer us a window into the future, into how tomorrow’s tyrants can be contained and stopped before they once more open the gates of human wickedness. And, of course, in the unmasking of the authoritarians we can also see the present, and how America has allowed herself to descend into the frontier of authoritarianism, the badlands of despotism.
The unmasking of the authoritarians commences with introspection and a look into the mirror, understanding how 9/11 affected each of us, studying how its subsequent barrage of propaganda and manipulations by the corporatist state altered our psychology and emotions, researching what its emotional effects and consequences were. By seeing 9/11 for what it is, an inside job whose purpose was a psychological war against us by a cabal of criminality intent on controlling our minds, we can better comprehend the individuals that comprise the authoritarian personality that have had such a pivotal role in our descent into authoritarianism. Perhaps we can learn how to prevent this army from rising again once it returns into prolonged hibernation.
In the end, introspections as a nation are a good thing, especially in times of universal deceit and criminality, for they teach us about ourselves and our neighbors. Perhaps next time, and there will be a next time, we will prevent criminality and the rising tentacles of authoritarianism from submerging us into the ocean of impotence. Perhaps, if we learn our lessons and our history, instead of ignoring both, we will be able to prevent another attempt to plunge us deeper into the abyss of fascism.
Only by knowing ourselves and our American personality better will we succeed. Only by understanding the manipulations and the propaganda of our masters, and how they affect us, will we be triumphant. Never in our history has a mirror been more needed. Never has its use been more sought.
What we might see reflected back might be uncomfortable, it might frighten and enrage us, it might send chills down our spine. Yet in this reflection we might also see hope, possibility and promise; we may see our true selves. By looking directly into the mirror, the unmasking of America can thus commence.
Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic, commentator, Internet essayist and author of Echoes in the Wind, a novel now published by Authorhouse.com. His essays appear regularly at various alternative news websites from around the globe. Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at email@example.com. He encourages readers to surf the collection of over 100 essays he has written which can be found visiting his archives and by searching the Internet. His next book, Beyond the Smoking Mirror: Reflections on America and Humanity, a collection of his essays, will be published in early 2007. Manuel Valenzuela, Phoenix Rising