In The End of America author Naomi Wolf takes a historical look at the rise of fascism, outlining the 10 steps necessary for a state to take control of individuals' lives:
Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy.
Create secret prisons where torture takes place.
Develop a thug caste or paramilitary force not answerable to citizens.
Set up an internal surveillance system.
Harass citizens' groups.
Engage in arbitrary detention and release.
Target key individuals.
Control the press.
Treat all political dissidents as traitors.
Suspend the rule of law.
This film explains how this pattern was followed in Nazi Germany and Mussolini's Italy as well as elsewhere, and compares it to the current state of affairs in American Political power since September 11, 2001.