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Monday, April 05, 2010

Big Government hates populist movements, and as ever, is today trying to use government to crush them

Rachel Maddow, McCarthyite
The FBI, the left, and the war on "extremism"
(Antiwar.com) -- by Justin Raimondo --

...It’s easy to dismiss the hysteria of the chattering classes over the "tea party" phenomenon as self-interested hyperbole: a few people show up to usually deserted congressional town hall meetings and raise their voices above a whisper and the sissified liberals are quaking in their boots, lisping that those awful bullies are about to beat them up. However, there is a sinister aspect to all this violence-baiting, as well as a comic one. For the central point of all the pro-FBI, pro-government, anti-"extremist" propaganda blaring from MSNBC and other news outlets is to convince us that speech leads to violence – and that, indeed, certain forms of political speech – "antigovernment" in nature – are inherently violent.

The irony of this is that these people are cheerleaders for the biggest most powerful purveyor of violence on earth, the US federal government. All states are founded on violence, of course, and maintained in power by the continual threat of it, and yet the US government enjoys a special status in this regard, with more firepower at its command – and the inclination to use it – than any previous empire in human history. We are talking about a government currently waging two open wars and one "secret" one, abroad – systematically murdering many thousands – and actively threatening yet another.

The tiny and powerless Hutaree "militia" has about as much chance of overthrowing this Leviathan as a flea. Yet they are charged with "sedition." This would be a joke if it weren’t such a danger to what’s left of our civil liberties.

We already know the FBI infiltrated the group, and the likelihood that they were set up gets stronger if one looks at the details of similar incidents, such as the recent "plot" to blow up New York City synagogues. This scheme – which the FBI took credit for stopping – was cooked up entirely by a government infiltrator who convinced, cajoled, and practically intimidated his fellow conspirators into cooperating. The Feds then stepped in to save the day.

This is a scenario that has played out in many of the recent incidents of "extremist" violence: the government and its agents are the source of the violence. As in the heyday of the "New Left," you can tell someone’s a cop when they constantly talk about how cool it is to literally "smash the State."

Governments, all governments everywhere, whether they be of the "left" or the "right," hate populist movements, and do everything in their power to discredit and crush them, simply because they can’t control them – and because they hate and fear their own people. Popular upsurges of outraged citizens are a symptom that the "good governance" practiced by our rulers isn’t so good after all – except for those who profit from the system, in pelf, power, and prestige. As our rulers go about their business of plundering our pocketbooks at home and building an empire abroad, there’s always that worrying image of peasants with pitchforks one day marching on the castle. Every ruling elite lives in fear of it – because when those torches light up the night they know the jig is up.

The partisans of this administration, and those who consider themselves "liberals" of the old school, would do well to ask themselves if they really want a McCarthyite harpy like Rachel Maddow as their spokeswoman and exemplar. Do they want to see the FBI infiltrating political groups and provoking violence? Do they think COINTELPRO wasn’t wrong in principle – only that it was applied to the wrong groups? Do they really want the next Republican administration empowered to target and infiltrate left-wing organizations just as they did in a previous era?

One doesn’t have to agree with the views of the targeted groups and individuals to realize the danger posed by this campaign of political and legal intimidation. The idea that the government has the right to infiltrate and disrupt the legal political activities of American citizens is outrageous, and needs to be fought tooth and nail by civil libertarians of all persuasions and ‘isms. In England, where political speech is not protected, we see the dark future planned for us by American "progressives": expressions of opinion that are deemed a "threat to public order" are forbidden, and under this general rubric comes any speech that violates the fast-proliferating rules of political correctness. The Brits, always a few years ahead of us in terms of the latest repressive measures, are pointing the way "forward" – and that’s "progress" for you...MORE...LINK

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