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Collectivism, Statism, And Fascism: Free Speech Silenced In Three Easy Steps
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[Editor's note: the following post is by Jim Karger, TDV Legal Correspondent]
Collectivism is the fiction that a "we" exists that has needs independent of, different from, and more important than the desires and needs of each individual who make up the collective.
Statism is but one form of collectivism, but it is the most pernicious form because individuals are assigned to a State collective at birth, indoctrinated into the belief that their collective is superior to all other collectives, and that the defense of their collective is a moral imperative.
Statism, in turn, is fascism, or at least transmogrifies into fascism, if only because the most powerful individuals within the State become the State. The two are one and their justification for power over individuals within the collective is based on a putative commonality that does not exist and has never existed.
Statism acts to control individuals and thereby eliminates individualism, making people slaves of the State to one degree or another, all under the auspices that the actions taken against individuals are not take by a third party government but by "we the people," a pseudo-voluntary association that is anything but voluntary, and itself a fiction.
The problem is that the "we the people" are not the State, yet are manipulated into believing we are, or that we at least control the State, as opposed to it controlling us. "We the people" is the result of pure evil genius, a fiction that is manufactured and perpetrated by those who understand their power is best served through manipulation rather than force, but who also know that the preservation of power requires the ability to cage and kill those who reject the imperatives of the collective.
In the perfect fascist State, maintaining complete control while giving individuals the perception of control is served by making speech appear free, but dramatically limiting its scope, content and form.
Today, we see this State goal manifested via three different dynamics:
1. Rename The Collective.
When one thinks of an individual, a "person," a human being comes to mind. But 300 million individuals would be difficult for any collective to control. Easier for the State is to empower sub-collectives, ostensibly private, easily identified and controlled, and re-characterize them as individuals, as persons. The business corporation is a good example. A corporation, in fact, is voluntary association of individuals who invest with the idea of (individually) enjoying a return on their investments.
While the individuals are real, the corporation is a fiction, manufactured by the State for ease of regulation and taxation. But there is more. By giving these collectives the status of persons, the real persons within the corporation are insulated in large part from responsibility for their own actions and their speech hidden behind the mask of the fictional entity sanctioned by the State, to include the right to make political contributions to the mother ship, effectively empowering the powerful to buy influence via a direct payment to candidates for public office. See Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Persons, real persons, have little chance to garner the largess of government or effectively limit those in control. Writing one's Congressman, after all, is no match for a large check from a business corporation or a labor union.
2. Eliminate Speech Harmful to the State.
A government in power that intends to stay in power ideally eliminates speech critical of itself and of those who control it. A good example is the "ag-gag" laws enforced in many States within the U.S. In short, these laws prohibit the press from reporting on the abuse of farm animals by corporate agriculture, a glaring and open violation of the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of the press. To reveal the horrific conditions under which some of these animals live and die would be contrary to the interest of whom? Individuals who invest in corporate farms, of course. But rather than a debate between individuals, there is no debate at all because one of the "individuals" is a fiction, a collective with the power and money necessary to influence the State collective. And, thereby, real individuals, real people, are silenced, as is the press. Not surprisingly, most of the righteous indignation opposing these laws has been from the foreign press that has not yet been fully hobbled by the US government.
3. Monitor Speech Openly With A View Toward Preemption.
In the advanced fascist State, government does not wait for openly hostile action or speech. Rather, individuals (real individuals) are monitored to insure they are not threats to the collective. Those doing the monitoring are provided immunity for their actions, even if their actions are on behalf of the State and obviously unconstitutional, as is the the recently passed HR 6304 that gives telecoms immunity when they assist the U.S. government in spying on Americans` private communications. And, to insure their ability to act with total impunity, the fascist State contends it cannot be sued or held accountable even if its spying is admittedly illegal. Finally, when caught red-handed and slapped down, as Obama was recently by a federal court that found the NDAA unconstitutional, the highly effective fascist State simply and openly defies judicial orders.
Now, think about this and then mix it in a crucible with the Patriot Act, The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 and the “Enemy Expatriation Act” (that will allow U.S. Government to take any American's citizenship without evidence or a conviction), and you get the point - their point: You, a real person, are to be frightened from wandering too far from the party line of the State collective, knowing you are being monitored and that the penalty for speaking, even whispering, the wrong words, may be years in a cage, or even death.
Indeed, as I write this from my home in Mexico, I wonder whether I would be comfortable writing these words if I had remained in the United States.
Jim Karger is a lawyer who has represented American businesses against incursions by government and labor unions for 30 years. He has been the subject of many feature articles, including, "Outlandish Labor Lawyer Gets No Objections From Staid Clients," published in the Wall Street Journal, and most recently was featured in an article entitled, "You Can Get There From Here," published by the American Bar Association. In 2001, he left Dallas, and moved to San Miguel de Allende in the high desert of central Mexico where he sought and found a freer and simpler life for he and his wife, Kelly, and their 10 dogs.
Today, Jim takes a handful of assignments each year, and speaks regularly to industry associations and employers on issues involving government regulation, overcriminalization, and privacy. His website is www.crediblyconnect.com
Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice, but is offered for educational purposes only.