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Between recent legislation like the deceptively named "defense authorization act" and the daily police brutality that is occurring all across the country, things are looking pretty bleak for America and the values that it was apparently founded on.

Anyone who has studied history can see the writing on the wall, and can tell that these developments are eerily similar to actions that were taken by the some of the worst dictators that this world has ever known.

Regimes like Stalinist Russia, Maoist China or Hitler's Germany are among the worst offenders in recent memory, but if you look at their actual policies they aren't very far off from what we're seeing in the West today.

It is very common to offend people when you start comparing our current police state with governments that have been painted in a negative light by mainstream history. I would agree that all of the aforementioned regimes were absolutely horrible, but their transgressions were on par with the native American holocaust and the medieval torture that takes place at Guantanamo bay and many other covert military bases across the planet. This may be a controversial way of looking at things, but if we don't take a comparative look at history then we are inevitably doomed to repeat it.

The people in these countries that supported these regimes were not marching zombies, chanting in unison with swirling blank eyes like you would see in a comic book or cartoon. They were simply people who were manipulated by fear, and constantly lied to by very convincing authority figures who made it seem like they were doing some wonderful things and paving the way for civilization.

Typically, those within an aggressively expanding empire are still thinking in terms of defense, because their leaders have convinced them that outside enemies are a serious threat to their livelihood. Most people living under these conditions typically refuse to believe that their "fair and benevolent leader" is hell-bent on conquest and world domination.

For an authoritarian regime to survive it is necessary for them to convince their citizens that their violence is justified and that they are "the lesser of two evils". For people to accept a life of oppression they must first think that their lives will be far worse without the "protection" their abuser. This is a strong symptom of an unbelievably common condition called Stockholm syndrome, which I covered in a previous article.

During the Second World War, all of Eurasia was drowning in authoritarianism of various shapes and sizes. Both the Soviet and Nazi regimes were responsible for brutally murdering millions of people and maintaining an extremely poor quality of life for those who managed to live. Citizens in each country were told horror stories about one another, which justified the brutality of the homeland police state that they were living under. Surely horror stories weren't hard to come by as each government was guilty of a long list of horrific human rights violations. However, these two governments squabbling over who treated their people better is similar to the Crips having a moral argument with the Bloods about whose neighborhood is the safest. As in every case, the lesser of two evils was still an intolerably evil.

The Germans feared the Russians to death, and the Russians feared the Germans to death, but sadly most of them died at the hands of their own government, not the government that happened to be their "enemy". Today we are living in very much the same situation where people all over the world are terrified of foreign governments, all the while being extorted and oppressed by the government that they have been indoctrinated to worship.

The most cruel and violent dictators throughout history have always been able to convince their people that their depraved behavior was necessary in order to keep the people safe. If a dictator doesn't succeed in this, than he won't last very long as a dictator. This is why Muammar Gaddafi spent a small percentage of his pilfered fortune on multibillion dollar social services, and that is a big part of the reason why he stayed in power so long. This same strategy was used by Al Capone, who set up soup kitchens in the city of Chicago to keep the local townspeople on his side. These are all examples of public relations tactics which were used to create a positive public image for operations that were actually detrimental to those who supported them.

Looking into history can give us a better idea of why the Patriot act and a half-dozen illegal wars have been relentlessly defended and supported by such a large number Americans. Like so many other victims of oppression in the past many of our brothers and sisters are finding comfort in authoritarianism. What we can also learn from history is that this comfort is always short lived, because corruption always grows exponentially with the acquisition of power. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely; this theory is so well tested that it should be considered a law of nature.

Eventually the envelope continues to get pushed until it is no longer possible for the world ignore the injustice that is taking place. This is the good news, because the moment that they get too drunk on power and cross the line is the moment that the sleeping giant of the world's population is awoken -- and that is a force that no tyrant could dream of contending with.