Losing Democracy

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Naomi Wolf, author of the best-selling The Beauty Myth, likens what is happening in the U.S. with other democracies that became dictatorships, including Weimar Germany, in her new book, The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot. Historian Eric Weitz, author of Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy, joins her to look more deeply at the comparison between then and now.

The End of America is available for purchase at

Weimar Germany is available for purchase at


Eric Weitz and Naomi Wolf

Comments [8]

Dean from Sierra Madre, CA

I'm writing to ask the same question as Sean...what happened to the segment with Eric Weitz, presumably with Naomi Wolf and the comments of listeners? Don't make me more paranoid than I already am after hearing Ms. Wolf's segment. Was the rest excised by government fiat?

Jan. 04 2008 09:57 PM
Sean from Brooklyn, NY

What happened to Eric Weitz? The archived segment seems to have been cut short.

Jan. 03 2008 08:48 PM
Janice in Jersey from Hoboken, NJ

The above comment on the fact that Native Americans and African-Americans have experienced the fascist sting of the government is a solid reminder that white Americans should "listen and heed" the warning comments from their darker brothers. Wolf's views are so sobering, so squarely in our face with the truth that it is hard to put thoughts of a paramilitary organization invading our can happen any day. Will Americans find any allies in the free world? Are we all trapped here inside this fascist land? Who will dares to be a leader?

Jan. 02 2008 01:59 PM
barbara from manhattan

to my way of thinking 9/11 did not change the world fundamentally, unless we let it. the money spent on making people "feel safe" really just makes everyone feel frightened and the money spent would actually make people safer if it was used to provide health care and housing instead of taking pictures of us, and scanning us. people's lives are really being cut short by the lack of minimum health and housing,,,, to say nothing of domestic violence. i don't want to minimize the horror of 3000 people being killed in 9/11, but the cumulative loss of years from inadequate basic housing & nutrition would make these losses pale.

we have not standing up to fear... we are letting our country and city be dominated by it & in exchange opening ourselves to tyranny.

Jan. 01 2008 01:44 PM
Jennifer from Brooklyn, USA

Hearing this segment again reminded me how badly needed are perspectives from people of color in any discussion about American democracy, and the threat of its collapse. From listening to the guests, anyone who didn't know better would think that America has had a pristine democratic tradition that respected the rights of all people and only now is faltering. Native and black Americans have long experienced terrorism at the hands of the state, and if their life experiences were taken seriously by the larger society perhaps Wolf and others would realize it is simply the autocratic rather than democratic tendencies of this country that are finally (unfortunately) winning out. So America is now fascist because state policy is seriously threatening middle class white people?

Jan. 01 2008 12:20 PM
Eva Axelrod from Brooklyn

Recently I've had several experiences of being in danger of being run over by cyclists who crossed on the red light both in Manhattan and Brooklyn. They blithely ignore red lights and barrel down the street.
If I were not nimble and able to avoid collision, I would have ended up on the pavement.
I think cyclists should stop at red lights or at the very least cycle extremely slowly if they do so.

Jan. 01 2008 11:50 AM
David Zarko from Scranton, PA

The comment that Bush made early in his presidency when he was subject to media criticism "It makes it difficult to govern" resounds in my mind frequently. It's a small comment, but with huge implications, even if it was couched as a joke.

Every history of the 1930's I've read or seen reminds me of the present, not just the drive towards a strong executive, but the weakness of the opposition. That seems to be shift, I hope for that shift.

Jan. 01 2008 11:39 AM
Doug from Chelsea

"Tipping point" infers a point of no return. Is there no way to recover from this point? Thanks.

Jan. 01 2008 11:24 AM

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