The Smith Act, and Why We’re All Traitors, or Close To It

United States — I am going to post one of the most terrifying American laws ever written. This law is anathema to freedom, liberty, and life, and it has no modicum of help given to anyone but those in power, and no reason but to oppress from the people even the means for discussing rebellion. It reads like this:

“Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or
Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or
Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.
If two or more persons conspire to commit any offense named in this section, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.
As used in this section, the terms ‘organizes’ and ‘organize’, with respect to any society, group, or assembly of persons, include the recruiting of new members, the forming of new units, and the regrouping or expansion of existing clubs, classes, and other units of such society, group, or assembly of persons.”

This is how free speech was made a crime.

Once we stop talking about talking, and start talking about doing something, they can arrest us, given the text of this law. Me saying something like, “the founders would’ve been shooting by now” under this law, even though saying this is my first amendment right, can get me arrested. This is a line they’ve drawn against our human right to expression, and eventually, our human freedom itself. Unless we accept our role as the slaves they want us to be, any movement, or even talk of movement, in the other direction is at threat because of this. You saw what they did to Anwar and Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki, right? This government has already shown that it’s willing to kill citizens without a trial or charge for this particular action.

This, I think, is legitimately one of the most important political issues in America. No matter how far we get abolishing any elemennt of the state by peaceful means, we will have this shit hanging over our heads. They can use this. They can use it to silence everybody — maybe even me for bringing it up as a negative thing. Maybe you the next time you say, “we should really do something about this.” I implore denizens of the internet at large, to get the courage to signal boost this. It is not small, and it diminishes us all to a state of abject, silent, servitude. Even sharing this article is an act of rebellion.

Allow me to elaborate, highlighting points from a Wikipedia entry about this law, better known as the Smith Act.

“The U.S. government has attempted on several occasions to regulate speech in wartime, beginning with the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. During and following World War I, a series of statutes addressed a complex of concerns that included enemy espionage and disruption, anti-war activism, and the radical ideologies of anarchism and Bolshevism, all identified with immigrant communities. Congressional investigations of ‘extremist’ organizations in 1935 resulted in calls for the renewal of those statutes.”

Now, notice the wording. The fact that this bill, wrapped in the talks of being used for immigrant control (which is bad enough), is actually applicable to the whole of the nation, and designed with intent to weed out political opposition, yet not listing specifically what that is, means that this legislation becomes a sort of living document, designed to pin down whatever might be the opposition to current officials at whatever time that might be, regardless of the nature of commentary. I tread dangerous territory even bringing this up at all. I could be in jail tomorrow.

If you need evidence of this, at all, look at those who’ve fallen victim to this legislation. You will not see a lot of violent men and women, but the political opposition. Communists, Socialists, Anarchists, Minarchists, Fascists, and anti-war people of all senses were rounded up, concentration-style, and either deported, or just mistreated, depending on their immigrant status, or political beliefs. Now, agree with these people, or not, you need to realize the implications of broad legislation like this, and you should also appreciate how far-reaching these implications are, with their huge amount of acute applicability. These words have historically been proven to work against those who simply don’t tow the line. My existing internet presence has plenty of Anarchist material on it to have this article blow up in my face.

It is urgent we get this abolished. It really is among the most important issues Americans these days could possibly face, and a most urgent matter for Americans to tend to. We really are talking about choke point control of the American populace by way of prosecuting thoughtcrime, and persecuting individuals for their political stance. Make no mistake:

They are watching us with NSA spying programs. They’ve made their feelings on protests clear, essentially criminalizing them with bills like HR 347. They are all readied, and highly mobile, with armored vehicles, and military equipment patrolling American streets, and they can essentially arrest us all, if they choose to, and if we let them; if we do not stop them.

A Senate bill even authorizes feds to revoke Americans’ citizenships. This means that now, this, and the Alien and Sedition acts now readily apply, since “traitors” can be turned into expatriates more easily than ever.

We need to ask ourselves: how much of this are we willing to take before we decide we’ve had enough, and how willing are we to say that we’re done being subjects to this system, when even that aims a gun at our heads?

I say that it’s better to die with a gun aimed at one’s oppressors, than it is to die old, distantly hearing the gunfire.

It’s time to fearlessly oppose this, and demand our freedom to speak out in whatever way we deem fit. They can pry our speech from us only when they take it from our lifeless bodies, but not until then. Ask what you’re willing to do to defend your humanity.