"Don't be a good German" yes alright. But where's the threshold? When do you start making napalm? Burgling gunstores and heading for the hills? Citizen internment camps? Alien internment camps? What meaningful violations of liberty could there be when we willfully give away everything about ourselves for the illusion of being very important in the world? When we use the barest scrap of what is known of ongoing events as pretense to grandly declare they prove our most basic beliefs or presuppositions? If you were to state out loud that individuals are not murdered or countries bombed for the sake of giving you or me a spotlight, that events do not happen for the sake of giving us something to comment upon, everyone would agree that of course not, don't be a fool. Still we act as if this is so.
Fascism does not require a sudden turn to the right among the general public, (or even for 'good men to do nothing' per se.) It requires only the same number of right-wing dicks as there ever are while everyone else treats belief as personal flair or accessory, a pretense for argument to add adrenaline to your gin at parties, the cheap illusion of being personal party to great events without truly sticking your neck out, emotionally I mean. Of truly doing the work of presenting an ideal before the public which they may well reject. Not voting because it changes nothing and everyone all knows the system's rigged anyway man.
Understand that I'm not calling for any knee-jerk moderation quietism or wait as euphemism for never. Nothing like that. But the truth of the matter is that anything less then marching on DC right now with your provisional revolutionary council is in fact accepting the system. This being the case you had might as well say fuck it and vote. Your side may lose, and whoever wins will disappoint you as they always have and always will. This is a certainty. There will be multiple times between now and the day we die when this 'civic engagement' shall indeed seem as futile as we ourselves are, but I say again that you are already accepting this if you are not marching on the palace gun in hand. There is no such thing as being above the disappointment while saying I told you so. We are of the disappointment. Born to it. It is not a thing that is subject to personal choice.
And while I'm being all old man anyway might I kindly suggest that you give up the thrill of being party to global debate long enough to pay attention to local issues? Because that shit matters alright? Because at this point in time it is not the feds who most threaten liberty. It is town and state level governments who heap the most abuse on immigrants and minorities; who pass the most insanely open strutting white man gun laws while passing the most bizarrely esoteric restrictions on abortion and birth control. The nutters reliably show up at every local election, (They are obsessed with assurance that they are the social norm) while we comment on the presidential pageant a full goddamn year before any votes are cast. Most US communities have about two elections of greater or lesser scale per year. Show the fuck up for all of them. Voting can be drudgery and there is again the existential depression of moving the wall six inches. What of it? The same goes for the shaving showering and laundering we do every day because everybody else does. You get a free styrofoam coffee and everything if you do it so fucking do it. And if you need to feel grandly inspired to pencil a dot and get a coffee than grow the fuck up man.
To get back to the threshold I confess I have no idea where it would be. Part of me hopes that tyranny will be blindingly obvious in a 1984 sort of way because than there'd be little left to subjective judgement plus there'd be uniforms and all that cool prog rock shit. Seriously though does anybody know. African Americans have in the main been incredibly patient with us, frankly more than Thomas Jefferson would consider worth the cost of peace and we all know the irony there. Should we be that patient, or is the rightful threshold for burning the fucker down and starting over again lower than that. None of us know; because we're comfortable, and while some of us rural white men have family members who LARP as freedom fighting guerrillas none of us really expect that we'll ever have to do this. I only know it's gonna be a fucking drag when Fyfe joins ISIS man because than the Feds are going to get all up in my business too and I don't even like it when fucking rent-a-cops get in my business. The world is a shit burden to have no doubt but still it is ours.