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solidarity against political repression and politically-motivated fbi raids reminiscent of cointelpro

July 31, 2012

I find it rather disconcerting that state institutions like the FBI are still in the business of targeting groups and individuals (particularly anarchists) for their political beliefs; but it really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering that our government has a long history of harassing and/or spying on its own citizens. Unfortunately, the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution don’t protect us from the state as much as we’re sometimes lead to believe, ultimately being little more than words written on a piece of paper that are interpreted and enforced by the state itself, which, from the standpoint of legal positivism, effectively has a monopoly on decision-making and the ‘legitimate’ use of force (i.e., violence).

Due to this inherent contradiction, constitutions in and of themselves are incapable of restraining governments, or of protecting the rights of citizens from their governments, since, as Murray Rothbard points out in his book For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto (quite possibly the only area where I agree with him), “no constitution can interpret or enforce itself; it must be interpreted by men.” Moreover, “if the ultimate power to interpret a constitution is given to the government’s own Supreme Court, then the inevitable tendency is for the Court to continue to place its imprimatur on ever-broader powers for its own government. Furthermore, the highly touted ‘checks and balances’ and ‘separation of powers’ in the American government are flimsy indeed, since in the final analysis all of these divisions are part of the same government and are governed by the same set of rulers.” In reality, then, it’s up to the people themselves to protect their own rights and freedoms.

Despite what the Constitution says, political views that challenge the authority of the state in any way, shape, or form put themselves, ipso facto, in direct conflict with the state; and the state has shown time and again that it’s perfectly willing and able to circumvent its own legal foundation and violate the civil and political rights of its citizens whenever it feels even remotely threatened by political dissent—regardless of whether the grievances provoking such dissent are justified. That’s why I think it’s imperative for all citizens, regardless of their political leanings, to stand together and show solidarity in these instances and condemn all acts of political repression by the state if political freedom is to have any meaning at all.

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