I’ve seen two things recently that have made my hair stand on end because they seem to be so prescient. We are living in terrifying times. And they’re all the more terrifying because these things have happened before.
The first thing I’m referring to is the Hulu series, the Handmaid’s Tale, which is based on the dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood. Here are some of the events that have taken place in the first 4 episodes. These things either sound very familiar at the moment or very possible:
- Propaganda and catch phrases.
- News is regulated.
- People who protest are shot at.
- People are forced to don particular clothing to identify their role in society.
- Special rewards for the rich.
- An atmosphere of divide and conquer.
- Forced religion.
- Doctors, professors, and homosexuals being executed by hanging them on a wall.
- People encouraged to do violence by the ruling party.
- Calling women sluts and whores.
- Increased surveillance.
- Book burnings.
- Travel restrictions.
- Martial law in response to terrorism, real or imagined.
- Women’s credit card and bank accounts suspended.
- Women fired from jobs.
- Institutionalized misogyny.
- Women’s rights over their own bodies prevented.
- Rape by men in positions of power with no consequence.
- Women being blamed for all of the above.
Chilling, isn’t it? Even more disturbing is a website that lists the events that occurred in the first 100 days of Fascist Germany. I read every single day. I actually learned quite a bit that makes me even more worried about our future. Here are some of the things that went on:
- Attacks on the press.
- Widespread belief in unsubstantiated conspiracies.
- Prohibition of protests.
- Public urged to report foreigners who are causing conflict.
- Communists rounded up.
- A big effort to crush resistance.
- Politicians overstate successes.
- Jew bashing doesn’t start until Day 40. (That surprised me.)
- Hitler wants to arm all the people.
- There as much more resistance than I thought. People were going into exile.
- Artists and writers and homosexuals attacked.
- Gay bars closed down.
- Trade Unions banned.
- Jews begin to be fired.
- The first concentration camp, Dachau, is open by day 49 and starts receiving political prisoners by day 51.
- The press warns that its freedoms are being diminished, and stresses the importance of relying on multiple sources to confirm the validity of information.
- On Day 55 Goring states that persecution of a person based on ethnicity will not be tolerated. The next day the Nazi Party orders a nationwide boycott of Jewish merchants.
- Hitler says the press are issuing “slanderous propaganda” about Germany. The Nazi party claims that the press is run by “international Jewry”.
- Book burning.
- Civil service workers who do not agree with the Nazis are dismissed.
- Anti-semitic signs begin to appear everywhere.
- The government begins identifying all non-Aryans, using early IBM computers.
- Day 74, an opinion piece appears saying that actual Christian values are nothing like the values of the conservative Christians who have aligned themselves with the Nazi party.
Wake up, people! Wake up! Wake up!
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