Mar 20, 2008

PART II : THE BOILING FROG SYNDROME VAKAVITI


To continue from yesterday ragone ... a little lesson from history.

In 1933, the Nazi Goebbels purged the entire civil service in Germany.

As Miss Wolf puts it, "it was a classic move in a takeover to purge the civil service, and ESPECIALLY the lawyers and the judges, and replace them with your own cronies -- that's a standard, recognized tactic."


Truly may I say, it is fascinating the parallels of whats happened here in Fiji.

"Another constant according to Ms Wolf is historically, it is an absolute constant for a would-be tyrant to invoke a terrorist threat -- guess who the terrorists are in Fiji ?

The 10 would be assasins? Ballu Khan ? Yes all them AND us - we too, the people as the more we oppose this regime the more we are seen as enemy of the State.


Ms Wolf also talks about how lies in a fascist shift serve a different purpose than they do in a democracy.


In a democracy, if people lie to deceive, they are answerable to the people - straight up.


In a fascist shift, LIES serve to disorient so the people are not sure how to make judgement because LIES in the service of a fascist shift make it hard for citizens to trust their own judgment about what's real and what's not.

"Once citizens don't know what's real and what's not real, they are profoundly disempowered."

There's another tipping point in closing down a democracy when the leaders no longer are accountable for disclosing the truth.


Ms Wolf indicates that in situations like this, what we need is a radical shift in consciousness as we need to understand right now that this is a crisis.


It's NOT business as usual.

It is scary at first, because people really do need to listen differently and watch differently now.


"People don't really don't understand what fascism looks like.
They think it looks kind of like goose-stepping military and barbed wire everywhere.

It doesn't look like that."


"After a society is closed, there will often still be a judiciary. There will be journalism. There will be radio. There will even be television. There will be universities and students.

Many aspects of the institutions of civil society continue.


What happens, though, is everybody knows how far you can go before you lose your job, or how far you can go before getting arrested.


And it's actually very important for some dictators to maintain a facade of the rule of law, to maintain a facade of elections, and to maintain a facade of a working civil society system, because it gives the regime legitimacy.

You saw that in Italy and in Germany. You see it throughout Latin America."
"We'd still have the Internet. We'd still have a judiciary. But it wouldn't be freedom."

"The surveillance of ordinary citizens is an absolute cornerstone of a closed society.

It's an absolute cornerstone to control the population."
eg. in Viti the recent (re)formation of FIS (Fiji (un)Intelligent Services).



Then there is the control of the judiciary. If you control the referees, you control the game.


But what happens after get arrested, or someone we identified with is called 'inciteful', or after the first journalist or an editor is charged under the "Inciting Act", or after more people like experience break-ins, bashings and rapes in their own homes? Suspected bloggers' computer's taken. Their kids come home to find that their house has been broken into by the state.

As that begins to become not a bizarre exception but part of the landscape, based on the historical record, the kind of recourses we assume we have as free people protected by the Constitution will vanish, because people just aren't willing to take physicals risks -- understandably.

I, personally, as a mother and grandmother, am willing to risk arrest in a strong democracy, because I assume that my innocence will protect me, or the Constituiton will protect me, that the courts are fair, that I'll get good representation and I will not get hurt in prison.

But would I be willing to risk 1 or 2 nights in army barracks with uncouth unprinicpled men that pass for soldiers? In solitary confinement? No.


And history shows that it doesn't take many such cases to close down an open society.

There has to come a tipping point which becomes the point of no return.
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Mataka ragone I will give you PART III as I was very much distracted watching counsel in the court case speaking in special english about how might is alright tonight. God save us.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just came back from the court case. It is very interesting to see the body language of the judges who seem very much to be siding with the defence even though Nye Perram is so correct and so much the star of the show. If my instinct is true then we have no show in hell and we really will become another Kenya or Zimbabwe.

I mean how far away can one stray from the FACT that the CONSTITUTION is SUPREME in Fiji, and NOT the office of the President - and especially when we all know that the President was pretty much ordered to act the way he did.

What a circus!

Nastur said...

To the rest of us boiling frogs out there - think about this - Fiji may be a free-for-all country soon ?

Import a couple of guns and ex Fiji Mercenaries and just take over the Government of the day because you don't like the way they look, act and talk.

There is the difference between the rule of law and the rule of the jungle (ie. anarchy).

I can imagine Teleni may have have a field day soon interrogating all those "inciteful" citizens who are disturbing his interpretation of the law.

How did we get to this level? Boto buta vakamiti ... mmmmm.