"There is no maxim in my opinion which is more liable to be misapplied, and which therefore needs elucidation than the current one that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong...." ~ James Madison
Sedition a Normal Practice for the Authorities
Politics, as hopeful men practice it in the world, consists mainly of the delusion that a change in form is a change in substance. The American colonists, when they got rid of the Potsdam tyrant, believed fondly that they were getting rid of oppressive taxes forever and setting up complete liberty. They found almost instantly that taxes were higher than ever, and before many years they were writhing under the Alien and Sedition Acts. ~ H.L. Mencken
What is sedition? According to the dictionary it is conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state - insurrection; rebellion. On the surface it seems that few higher calls of conduct can be attained by the citizen! Now, some will be put back and say to themselves, what does that statement exactly mean? Well, its simple . . . America was created as a country out of a revolution, remember you history or did you get your education at one of those "government schools"? Lest you forget all those stuffy white privileged Founding Fathers, were rebels. They were 'enemies of the crown' and if caught would be hung! So is it possible that sedition is a proper and moral action?
If you are one of the mindless cheer leaders for "old inglorious" you might think I'm disloyal! What kind of test would you want to use to judge if I'm wearing a white hat or if it has a black hue? All seems so confusing, so why not let some of those original revolutionaries settle the matter. You heard of them, they called themselves the Federalists. The little gem of legislation used way back in 1798 was a lawyer's dream. Known as, what else--the Sedition Act. No fooling, read it in its entirety: "An Act for the Punishment of Certain Crimes Against the United States."
In any event Sec. 2 might just be the segment that might earn my red badge of courage:
SEC. 2. And be it farther enacted, That if any person shall write, print, utter or publish, or shall cause or procure to be written, printed, uttered or published, or shall knowingly and willingly assist or aid in writing, printing, uttering or publishing any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either house of the Congress of the United States, or the President of the United States, with intent to defame the said government, or either house of the said Congress, or the said President, or to bring them, or either of them, into contempt or disrepute; or to excite against them, or either or any of them, the hatred of the good people of the United States, or to stir up sedition within the United States, or to excite any unlawful combinations therein, for opposing or resisting any law of the United States, or any act of the President of the United States, done in pursuance of any such law, or of the powers in him vested by the constitution of the United States, or to resist, oppose, or defeat any such law or act, or to aid, encourage or abet any hostile designs of any foreign nation against United States, their people or government, then such person, being thereof convicted before any court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars, and by imprisonment not exceeding two years.
Only two years, could do that standing on my head! Two thousand dollars (would federal reserve notes do?) pocket change or would you accept a check--where can I sign? You see, scandalous and malicious, while being the TRUTH, still would be a crime; naturally, because such disgraceful behavior would be against the State. 'The Crown' was replaced with 'The State,' and all those wonderful little "Hamiltonian" libertarians would protect you, for they promised to be nice. So feel fine, you are a "good boy" when you do as you are told. We all know that Bill of Rights was an awful price to pay for constitutional ratification.
But before you think that the party (wonder were that provision is in the law of the land?) in power just wanted to keep those terrible "Jeffersonian" democrats from wearing the crown (sorry, that was removed after Yorktown) you miss the real point. With the adoption of the U.S. Constitution (was it really ratified properly?) the age of central government power was restored. The demise of the Articles of Confederation meant that the 1776 revolution was fought for only a brief and temporary relief.
Move up to World War I and the progress in sedition under the enlightened Wilson.
SECTION 3. Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States, or to promote the success of its enemies, or shall willfully make or convey false reports, or false statements, . . . or incite insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall willfully obstruct . . . the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, or . . . shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the Constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States . . .. or shall willfully display the flag of any foreign enemy, or shall willfully .. . . urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production . . . or advocate, teach, defend, or suggest the doing of any of the acts or things in this section enumerated and whoever shall by word or act support or favor the cause of any country with which the United States is at war or by word or act oppose the cause of the United States therein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both....
Wow! Now we must avoid disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language . . . Guess they want me to stop writing. Maybe voices like mine are having an effect, now we're up to two decades in the re-education camps, and five times the fine (OK not that much--inflation). That should get everyone to go with the program, RIGHT?
Finally, the Patriot Act must be the answer. If that original Sedition Act had the intent to defame or to bring the government "into contempt or disrepute," or to excite the hatred of the people against the United States, then the Patriot Act will just make you love and worship the high priests of your federal benefactors. You should be up to speed on all the goodies of protection that this latest version for induced loyalty brings you. The question that most want to avoid and refuse to face is that the very government that demands your total submission has but one central purpose--its own power survival.
The reality of ridiculous charges and dubious definitions an offense of sedition against citizens that differ with the policies of government, when they conflict with Bill of Right protections, can hardly be considered a proper function of the State. The basis for legitimate authority requires consent of those governed. Those who seek to inflict arbitrary demands, when they themselves are exempt from lawful restraints, are the fitting and illegitimate seditious manipulators of a political system designed essentially to control citizens. They command, you obey, that's their program. Your duty is to dissent, for this is the year of the Revo-Ami. Exercise sedition with pride, your government has made the practice necessary.