Tuesday, February 23, 2021

We're All Ten Steppers Now

Last night Tucker Carlson interviewed an unusual guest on--as he remarked to her, he's sure she probably lost friends just for appearing on his show. That guest was Naomi Wolf, a long time liberal and feminist activist. However, since 2007 Wolf has been pushing her idea of the threat to American democracy, embodied in her Ten Step program by which democracies are transformed into totalitarian states. She sees these Ten Steps being implemented here in America, and the most recent iteration of her thesis appears in her new book: The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot.

Now, I assume, given the date that Wolf started down this path, that she has directed her warning mostly at Republican presidents. She admits, for example, that she voted for Biden--a move that she now says she regrets. To give Wolf her due, much of what she's talking about in her Ten Steps--the surveillance state, etc.--was put in place by the Bush National Security State. The same, of course, applies to the Covid hoax shutdown measures under Trump. Of course, in Trump's case most of these measures were taken in the states. Exactly why Trump did so little to challenge these measures is a matter for debate. Was it out of a mistaken respect for federalism that he failed to aggressively challenge the shutdown of our First Amendment? Did disgraced former AG Bluto Barr play a role in this? The reality, in my view, is that--as Wolf appears to realize--her Ten Step measures have been advanced by the political Establishment, the Uniparty. The case of Trump is most likely best understood as another illustration of the resistance of the Uniparty to Trump's efforts to restore American constitutional order.

Wolf's main point at this juncture is that the Covid casedemic is being used in line with Step Ten of her schema, the final step to full on totalitarianism. Since that's been essentially the viewpoint that I've been presenting, I thought it would be of interest to see this view presented from the Left.

What I've done below is provide a full transcript of Carlson's interview of Wolf. With one exception, I've edited out Tucker's few comments. You can find the full interview beginning around the 11:36 mark at Youtube, or you can get the segment nicely cued up at Fox:

Ex-Clinton adviser Naomi Wolf warns US becoming 'totalitarian state before our eyes' under Biden

Author tells 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' Americans must wake up before it is 'too dangerous to fight back'

First, here is the intro at Fox. It's not the same as Tucker's intro on the video:

America is becoming a "totalitarian state before our eyes" under President Biden's leadership, feminist author and former Democratic adviser Naomi Wolf told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Monday.

Wolf, who served as an adviser on Bill Clinton's reelection campaign in 1996, told host Tucker Carlson that in her view, the United States is swiftly "moving into a coup situation, a police state" as a result of Biden's ongoing coronavirus-related economic shutdowns. Wolf added that she believes the orders are being improperly extended under the "guise of a real medical pandemic."

Well, OK, we know Zhou is only a figurehead and that those who are attempting to pull this off are the puppet masters. But we get her point. The Zhou Baiden regime is clearly determined to implement most, if not all, of Wolf's Ten Steps, and the Covid measures for social control are a key part of that.

Now we begin with the transcript:

I’ve been writing for months and months about what I see as the terrible crisis that we’re in, that we have to recognize under the guise of a real medical pandemic. We’re really moving into a coup situation, a police state situation and that’s not a partisan thing, that’s, as you say, that transcends everything you and I might agree or disagree on that should bring together left and right to protect or Constitution. We’re absolutely moving into what I call step 10.

[10. Suspend the rule of law. In an “emergency,” the emerging dictator uses the military as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any “other condition.”]

I wrote a book in which I pointed out there were 10 steps that would-be tyrants always take when they want to close down a democracy. Whether they’re on the left or the right they always do the same 10 things and now we’re at something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime. You described it really, really well. It is step 10 and that’s the suspension of the rule of law, that’s when you start to be a police state and we’re here, there’s no way around it.


Q: Why don't you think others aren't seeing this? [sic]

"Well, unfortunately, a lot of people are seeing it, but we're not unified and, as you pointed out, we're a very divided country for a lot of cynical reasons. I'm in touch with many patriots from all backgrounds and all walks of life who are horrified. I've interviewed, for instance, Moms For Liberty--a group of conservative moms in Florida who are mobilizing to try to get schools open. They're so worried about what's happening to their kids. And I talked to [?], a famous activist and gymnast on the Left who's horrified. I've interviewed doctors, I've interviewed ordinary people, I've interviewed restaurant owners from all walks of life who are absolutely unable to even articulate their fear and horror. 

We're recognizing that the state has now crushed businesses, kept us from gathering in free assembly to worship as the First Amendment provides, is invading our bodies, as you mentioned, which is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, is restricting movement, fining us here in New York state--I could be fined fifteen thousand dollars a day if I gather people, y'know, more than ten or twenty-five people, depending on where in New York state I live, which is a complete violation of the First Amendment. The violations go on and on and on."

In this next paragraph Wolf gets into the notion of the Corporate State--the merger of corporate and government power. As she notes, this was characteristic of Italian fascism, but was also greatly admired under the New Deal. It's been coming at us in recent decades imperceptibly but with terrifying thoroughness with the advent of digital communication and the total surveillance state.


"I've talked to restaurant owners in a sector in which tens of thousands of small businesses have been crushed. And why were they crushed? Not because the pandemic forced them to. There is no real science underlying a lot of these closures. It's because autocratic tyrants at the state and now the national level are creating a kind of merger of corporate power and government power, which is really characteristic of Italian fascism in the '20's. And they're using that to engage in kind of emergency orders that simply strip us of our rights; rights to property, rights to assembly, rights to worship, and all the rights the Constitution guarantees. So people are definitely horrified and noticing. I think people are *shocked* and divided, as I mentioned before."

"And the other thing that happens, you said this has all been very sudden. And when you look back, March of 2020, a lot of things started to move that kind of locked into place, a set of policies that are kind of 360 degree, full-on, totalitarian policies. So I think a lot of us are kind of in culture shock.

"Luckily or unluckily I've been studying closing democracies for twelve years, so I recognized early on. Once I realized that New York state had emergency powers, I know from history that *no one gives up emergency powers* willingly. They *always* drag it on and drag it on. And so every month I'm getting in my email that governor Cuomo is *extending* emergency measures, only from studying history do I know how *predictable* it is. When you start to have elected officials say, 'We are not going to follow the Constitution because there's a pandemic.' 

Where has the SCOTUS been in this? Guarding our First Amendment rights? Not so much. The SCOTUS has waffled a bit, but has taken no truly firm steps to curb State infringements on those rights, only absurd half measures: You can go to church in California, but you can't sing, etc. Do NOT count on this SCOTUS to resist what Wolf sees coming.


And I just wanna say, lastly, and then I promise I'll stop, nowhere in the Constitution does it say 'all this can be suspended if we have a bad disease.' We have lived through typhus, cholera, smallpox, HIV, tuberculosis, polio, the Spanish flu. Y'know, we've lived through an attack on our soil! Never have there been months and months and months of emergency powers when we weren't actually fighting a war! So this is completely unprecedented. Lockdowns have never been done before in free societies and. really, we are turning into a version of a totalitarian state before everyone's eyes. And I really hope we wake up quickly, because history also shows that it’s a small window in which people can fight back before it is too dangerous to fight back."


Right. Tell that to John Roberts. Anyway, here, for your edification, are Wolf's Ten Steps, taken from this article from 2007. See what you think--do they fit with the developments we've seen in American life over the last several decades? Obviously the current crisis has many different aspects, and the roots of some go back quite deeply into our history--you'll see that the origins of these Ten Steps are very much in the Bush years, with Gitmo and the Patriot Act. Nevertheless, the progress of the National Security State in America advanced to a frightening degree in the Obama years, and eluded Trump's control.

It is very difficult to create and sustain a democracy, but history shows that closing one down is easy. You simply have to be willing to take these 10 steps:

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy. Creating a terrifying, hydra-like threat is an old trick. It can, like Hitler’s invocation of a communist threat, be based on actual events. Or it can be based on myth, like the National Socialist evocation of the “global conspiracy of world Jewry.” This makes us more willing to accept restrictions on our freedoms.

Let's see ... Covid and Russia?


2. Create a gulag. Once everyone is scared, create a prison system outside the rule of law where torture takes place. At first, the people who are sent there are seen by citizens as troublemakers, spies, or enemies of the people. Initially, citizens tend to support the secret prison system. But soon enough, civil society leaders — opposition members, labour activists, clergy and journalists — are sent there as well.

3. Develop a thug caste. The Blackshirts, for example, roamed the Italian countryside, beating up communists. Such thugs don’t need guns. They can be dressed in shirts and trousers, menacing poll workers who are attempting to count votes.

4. Set up an internal surveillance system. In every closed society, secret police spy on ordinary people. Spying can involve wiretapping citizens’ phones, reading their e-mail and following financial transactions. This surveillance is cast as “national security”; the true function is to inhibit activism and dissent.

5. Harass citizens’ groups. It can be trivial. A minister preaching that Jesus favored peace, for example, might find himself investigated by the Internal Revenue Service. Political activism becomes redefined as “terrorism.” Databases run by the government track citizen activists as “potential terrorist threats.”

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release. This cat-and-mouse game scares people. In a closing or closed society, there is a list of dissidents and opposition leaders who are periodically arrested and released. Once on this list, it is hard to get off.

Consider the current trend to a "cancel culture". Is that not an updated version of this tactic?


7. Target key individuals. Threaten civil servants, artists and academics with job loss if they don’t toe the line. Mussolini went after the rectors of state universities who did not conform to fascism; so did Goebbels, who purged academics who were not pro-Nazi. And since government workers are the most vulnerable to being fired by a given regime, fascists typically require them to embrace the party line early on. Those with insufficient political loyalty are fired.

8. Control the press. All would-be dictators target journalists. Over time, real news is supplanted by fake news. The fascist system directs such a relentless stream of false information that it is increasingly hard to sort out truth from untruth. When citizens can’t tell real news from fake, they give up their demands for accountability bit by bit.

9. Dissent equals treason. Cast dissent as “treason” and criticism as “espionage.” Every closing society does this, just as it elaborates laws that increasingly criminalize certain kinds of speech and expand the definition of “spy” and “traitor.”

Other words work, too. For example: Insurrection.


10. Suspend the rule of law. In an “emergency,” the emerging dictator uses the military as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any “other condition.”

Institute a military occupation of the national capital? Extend it indefinitely? Check and check.


None of this happens overnight. As W.H. Auden put it, the horror is always elsewhere — while someone is being tortured, children are skating, ships are sailing, “dogs go on with their doggy life. Everything turns away quite leisurely from the disaster.”


  1. Needless to say, Lenin and Stalin engaged the very same tactics. In fact, there is some indication that the Hitler and Mussolini regimes were, to some degree, copycats.

    1. Brother, Read W. Cleon Skousen's book. Written in 1958, but with a 45 step agenda Communists have used. Skousen was FBI, is I am correct, writing the book in response to J. Edgar Hoover's request for a formalized source on Communism.

  2. I saw this interview last night. Nice summary Mark. First, I was very surprised that she came on Tucker to speak about what she believes is going on. I wasn't as surprised that Tucker had her on but still it was a moment for me, as it appeared to be for him as well. Like seeing unicorn kind of moment. Even having Tulsi on repeatedly doesn't reach the gravitas that I thought Ms. Wolf brought last night. Second, I thought she was spot on and, in her delivery, she seemed nervous and/or frightened by her own conclusions. I will be very surprised if anyone from the largest left leaning media companies follows up with her. Like Bobolinski, she will be made to 'disappear.' We need an army of those of her ilk to take the red pill. My hope is that she will find the outlet's that allow her to spread her message, because I also believe we are rapidly approaching stage ten.

    1. Thanks, Rich. But ... not a "summary". My own verbatim transcript which corrects several print version inaccuracies.

  3. I think we are seeing more "nullification" efforts by the states against the Feds. The blue states taught us well how to do this.

    There also seem to be increasing discussions around a balkanization of the US. Such a breakup might keep us from another civil war. It is going to be interesting for blue states who likely won't have the significant amount of resources required to survive...the small things, like food and energy!

    1. For almost a year, I've been urging folks here to start thinking about a breakup.

  4. Mortician Garlands willful blindness to Antifa, and his fixation on White Supremacists seems insane.

    Plus what the new Secretary of Defense is doing.

    And the continued national guard in dc.

    What a strange world we are living in!

    1. It's a Ten Step World!

      Does Merrick Garland Even Know What Day It Is?

      The author points out, among other really weird stuff, that Garland referred to "the Capitol bombing".

    2. Oops on the auto correct... not meant, but kinda apt...

  5. Stopped reading at she voted for Biden. She's been on this journey for more than a decade and she still voted for Biden?


  6. one question for Ms Wolf (and Tucker too!): about that coming together part, at what point is she willing to get behind or join her voice with that of actual current President Donald Trump? He fights, he's been fighting, and he will continue to fight. Obviously he is on the same side of this issue as the the two of them are. hmmmmmm Mark A

    1. Apparently she had no issues with what Obama did to the Tea Party, Trump’s campaign, and Trump’s presidency.

      That said, welcome aboard, Naomi. Hope you stay a while, you might find us vastly different than you once thought.

    2. "you might find us vastly different than you once thought."
      Yes, her, and maybe millions of others.
      See J. Haidt, on how blind most liberals are to what righties really think, e.g. at (18 minute vid).

    3. Ten seconds. I couldn't possibly watch that guy.

    4. Can you put your finger on why that is?

  7. Glenn Greenwald's latest dovetails very nicely with all of this, fwiw.

    1. Yep. "What despots everywhere say."

    2. And one more for the “fwiw column”: your site here is more important than ever. I’ve neither the time nor the use anymore to torture myself scouring our worthless media for any news of value. You do that drudge work for me and a whole lot of others, and then add boatloads of value to it.

      I just can’t express how valuable it is for me to be able to keep at least one foot in the current events game just by coming here each day.

      Thanks again 🙏🏼

    3. Thanks, Brad. To be honest, when I first started on current events my idea was that I might have something worthwhile to say--inside knowledge--of legal aspects of FISA. Now that that's past, I was wondering what purpose I had, if any. So I've tried to return to a bit more of a big picture outlook.

    4. Well, it's working. Most people have too tenuous a grasp on first principles to be able to put all the puzzle pieces in their proper place and know which ones matter most and why. You don't suffer from that problem, and we're all better off for it.

      I'm hardly the syrupy sort and am sure not trying to be that now, but thanks again for the steady flow of good stuff.

  8. I have no sympathy or pity for the woman who cried Wolf. Statements like "I voted for Biden but now I regret that" (paraphrasing) show her liberal ignorance. What did she expect to happen? Many liberals are so blinded by this ignorance that they can't see. It's bittersweet at this stage.

    1. Even Taibbi had said that he'd vote Biden, so I urge folks to get used to others having been blinded by this ignorance.
      When I encounter such others, I'll listen politely, and try to judge the likelihood that they'll rat me off to the Thought Police.
      If I judge the risk to be low, I'll try to gently coach them on how they may reflect, upon their having been blinded by this ignorance.

  9. Ms. Wolf conveniently fails to correctly attribute her "10 Steps" to "8-Point Plan to implement Socialism" that has been outlined in 1966 by two Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. Also during her "studying closing democracies for twelve years" she definitely learned that "8 Points" been inspired by leftist radical Saul Alinsky. Is it still taboo to mention those names in Ms. Wolf's circle?

  10. Hmmm, so there really is a conspiracy, admitted to by Rockefeller:

    "Some even believe we [the Rockefeller family] are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure - One World, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it." (David Rockefeller in his autobiography, 'Memoirs', page 405.)

    He also said elsewhere:

    "We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the work is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a World Government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries." (In a speech to the Trilateral Commission in 1991.)"

    from one of the comments from Greenwald's piece


  11. Wolf has considerable integrity. Twenty-six years ago she wrote an article on the pro-choice/pro-life movements, "Our Bodies, Our Souls," for The New Republic, that got her in mountains of trouble from the left. Wolf, Greenwald, Taibbi, all may not be lost (every once in a while you have to say the glass is half full--or you'll go mad).

    1. And then I'm not saying, as some have suggested, that we should "feel sorry" for people like her. I don't. The point is that people like her can still reach the old style civil liberties liberals. Raising their awareness is worthwhile.

  12. It took me 24 hours to think of the name but David Brock is what my brain was trying to scream when I was reading this.

    Naomi Wolf has burt her bridges on the left long before this interview. She very much reminds me of Brock or maybe even more so Glen Beck circa 2016. I think she is just looking for a new audience who is unfamiliar with her to peddle her work to.

    Her last book was cancelled by the publisher, written on the history of British prosecution of gay men. The cancellation was a two part ordeal. She was confusing the exploration of children, primarily, pedophile rape with the term "sodomy" as in, gay sex between consenting adult males. While also confusing the legal terminology of British law and assuming judgements as "death recorded" meant the person was put to execution when in fact it means the polar opposite, their sentence was stayed by the court.

    That's not the only crazy inaccuracies in her history of writing and she's pretty known on the left for being nuts or seizing on the work of others as her own as Noosphere is noting.

    I've noticed in the world of political writing that the underdog side of that moment in history is where books sell. When Dems are on top, anti Dem, pro Repubs book sell like crazy. When Repubs are on top, anti Repub, pro Dem books sell. I think she's just trying capitalize on the current market. In her case, going on Tucker probably didn't cost her too many friends, she's been laughed out of the left for some time now.

    There is no way Tucker's team didn't know about her history, I've no idea why his producers wouldn't have quashed her appearance unless they were just really desperate to have a "leftist" say the words. "I regret my vote for Biden".

    IMHO as polarized as this past election was, being in the world of literary, you'd have to be a pretty wishy-washy individual to flopped THAT fast. Or, you're just trying to sell me something!

    1. I thought she was selling a warning about censorship and overt big government infringement on our constitutional republic. Did I miss something? What of what she said? There are no atheists in a foxhole so unless she is delusional, I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Andrew Sullivan has been off the rails more times in the last 15 years than I can count. Sometimes though, he sees the light. Why not Ms. Wolf?

    2. Rich, that's my attitude. I don't care if she's flogging a book--I don't need to read it to understand what's going on. But the fact that she's being attacked in mainstream lib publications like The Atlantic suggests she still has a lib audience who need to hear this stuff.

  13. Apologies to everyone. I took a mental health morning and am still on that regime.

  14. Too much time on the internet will make anyone tweak!!

    My breaks are currently taken skinning fence posts with a debarking knife. It's a great way to work out your frustrations!

    Mental health away, we appreciate what you do!!