Naomi Wolf’s “The End of America” Chapter 1 excerpts

“But authoritarianism has many guises, and some are relatively livable for most people. For instance, you can have a military leadership in an authoritarian system, but you can have a fairly independent courts and a fairly independent press. Indeed, people can see authoritarianism as rather attractive in what they understand to be a time of national emergency. Authoritarianism can be downright cozy compared to some alternatives. The grave danger in America is that events are not stopping there.” (pg 22)


“We still have time to turn back the tide. What we do not have is leisure. A movement of citizens on the left and right have both begun to build what is essentially a democracy movement in America: the American Freedom Agenda and the American Freedom Campaign are trying to awaken the nation to these dangers and turn citizens into those leading the charge to defend the nation. The AFA created a legislative package to repeal or modify restrictive laws and restore liberty. We must roll back the laws that are associated with the opening of the door into darkness.

“If we fail to act, we could face an America in which we still have Friday night football games and Fourth of July fireworks, Wal-Mart and The Food Network and the Statue of Liberty—but an America in which people who publish classified documents might go to jail and people who go to jail might not come out the same; an America with the same TV shows and video games, and even the same schedule of elections—but one in which you can lose your job if you say to a colleague that you voted against the grain; an America that looks much the same on the surface—but in which we no longer have real freedom.

“It could easily become an America that is quieter and more frightened. And a quiet, frightened American citizenry does mean the end of the America the Founders created.

“For a little while, we still have the power to stop that from happening.” (page 33-34)

Chapter 1: The Founders and the Fragility of Democracy, The End of America, by Naomi Wolf, Chelsea Green, 2007, ISBN 978-1-933392-79-0

…but in which we no longer have real freedom. Or even the freedom we were accustomed to expect.

It’s not all jackboots and gulags, but it can get there from paternalism/authoritarianism pretty quickly. Especially if you can terrorize your women into silence or exile first.

Indeed, people can see authoritarianism as rather attractive in what they understand to be a time of national emergency.

Such as bushco ruling through fear because they cannot govern though consent.

Spiel redux: Everyone should buy 2 copies and give one away. Give one to someone you love or just think needs a wake up call. It’s been adding up over the years, I hadn’t realized, but Naomi Wolf lays it all out for us.

This book is a deal at Or you can be a really big hero and buy it from Chelsea Green, they could probably use the dough. GM

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