A Great Quote to Ponder

I came across a quote from the great historian Raul Hilberg today, illustrating how the Rule of Law can degenerate into tyranny:

As the Nazi regime developed over the years, the whole structure of decision-making was changed. At first there were laws. Then there were decrees implementing laws. Then a law was made saying, “There shall be no laws.” Then there were orders and directives that were written down, but still published in ministerial gazettes. Then there was government by announcement; orders appeared in newspapers. Then there were the quiet orders, the orders that were not published, that were within the bureaucracy, that were oral. And finally, there were no orders at all. Everybody knew what he had to do.


The contempt that so many Americans have shown for U.S. government lawbreaking on wiretapping and torture is  a bad omen for the future of American liberty.

Unfortunately, many Americans seem incapable of recognizing the danger of letting politicians make up the rules as they go along.





5 Responses to A Great Quote to Ponder

  1. Bob Burks March 10, 2006 at 3:47 pm #

    I have to strongly agree that Freedom and Democracy in America are at the very edge of destruction.
    What I find eerily reminiscent of Nazi Germany during the early days is how we, The People” allow Bush and the GOP to blatantly embrace Fascism as a way of life here in America. Even to the point of allowing the Government to openly admit to building “Detention Camps” on American soil without so much as a wimper of protest. It’s almost as if we are completely blind to the dangers involved with a Fascist Police State and all that it entails.
    The Federal Requirement that we go to Electronic Voting by 2008 creates an event that the Government appears to be taking quick advantage of, the installment of Diebold “Paperless” Electronic Voting Machines in most of the Voting Precincts nationwide.
    Diebold’s machines have already been shown to be extremely hackable, allowing the final results to be altered without leaving a trace. This almost guarantees at least some if not all of the 2008 National Election is vulnerable to Voter Fraud.
    We may have already lost our opportunity to reverse Fascism in America and restore Democracy and Freedom back to the Republic where it belongs.

  2. Jim March 10, 2006 at 4:38 pm #

    It is good that controversy over the dubious voting machines is growing. Maybe some of the lawsuits and other challenges will get them unplugged.

    I don’t think Americans have lost their chance yet to restore liberty. However, the odds of its recovery get worse with each new president, with each new deluge of executive orders, and with each time that the American people acquiesce or grovel to some new power grab.

  3. Steve March 11, 2006 at 3:30 am #

    Personally, I find it a little more than coincidental that the Bushies harped on and on about “junk lawsuits

  4. Don Marek March 13, 2006 at 5:30 pm #

    The reality is that people simply do not care about their civil liberties or the Bill of Rights whether Republican or Democratic.

    I have coworkers who think it is okay for a cop to “just search your car” if they have pulled someone over for something. Nevermind the fact that one of the complaints of the founders were the “writs of assistance” which is why we have the 4th Amendment.

    One thinks “constitutional scholars” have correctly concluded that Bush could invade Iraq without Congress declaring war. Or, it is okay to ignore xyz because Lincoln, FDR, LBJ, etc. did it.

    Some truly believe Martha Stuart “lied to the government” and totally discount that she was not under oath yet happily voted for Kerry or Bush.

    The other night, one of the news shows had a 2 or 3 hour program about this guy who was suspected of murdering his wife and was acquited by the jury in Texas. The Federal Government, over 3 years later wanted to try him AGAIN on murder charges even though there is prohibition against double jeopardy.

    I recall one time I was traveling between cities and listened to a local talk show guy looking for people to call in and see how they felt about being searched at the airport. Hardly 5 callers called in. On the way back through the area the next day, I was tuned in to the same program and there were dozens of calls. The topic? One of the VP’s of a statewide grocery chain was on the air. People were more upset about paying too much for pork chops or whatever. Too bad government cannot be “privatized”; maybe people would complain and do something about it when they did not like the “service.”

    Americans are exceptionally stupid and ignorant of American history and do not bother to really review the voting records of who they vote for and do any introspection on whether that person really represents their views. This holds regardless of whether that individual is college educated or not.

  5. Jim March 13, 2006 at 10:25 pm #

    Don Marek – thanks for the stimulating comment. At least our “constitutional scholars” are not paid in Rubles, like the “constitutional scholars” in the Soviet Union were.

    Yes – I have long been appalled at how happily most people toss overboard their Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches. And often, when people refuse to submit to a search, the police or other government agents simply lie and claim they did voluntarily agree to a search.

    If the feds are bringing a fresh murder case against some guy who was acquitted by a Texas jury, sounds like a sure thing that the federal prosecutor is planning to run for Congress.