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"Indeed, the rage of theorists to make constitutions a vehicle for the conveyance of their own crude, and visionary aphorisms of government, requires to be guarded against with the most unceasing vigilance."
     -- Joseph Story
     Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States
     Book III, § 1857.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

INSTAPUNDIT offers commentary on a prosecution and conviction in Britain for -- well, no one's quite sure, it appears; it may be pure "hate speech," or "conspiracy," or "incitement to commit murder," or any of a number of things, depending upon the actual facts of the case, which (as Reynolds notes) no one talking about this has set out in detail.

The general subject, though, leads me to another chain of thought, one which has to do with similarities between the terrorists and the activist types whose "peace march" activities are de facto supporting them, giving them aid and comfort. The main point is this:

A free society can only exist on a foundation of strong personal morals; a society which has degenerated to the point of widespread "I'm going to do whatever I can get away with" ultimately can no longer afford freedom.

The terrorists and the activists wind up in the same place: For both of them, their purpose is to find and exploit every loophole a free society must necessarily expose, explicitly to the detriment of the society itself. That they have different ultimate goals in mind is not important: One looks to destroy this on behalf of that; the other looks to destroy this on behalf of t'other (not to mention all those -- and there are a great many of them -- who look to destroy this on behalf of shits and giggles); the result for this is the same in any case. They are, all of them, sadists, and they recognize kindred souls, so it is no surprise at all that they are effectively in alliance.

(If you doubt the "sadist" point, take another look at the "peace activist" schoolteachers in Maine -- and elsewhere -- inflicting their unredeemable viciousness on the children of military personnel deployed to the Middle East.)

I worry about cases like the one Reynolds points out, but not for the same reasons. We have it, that explicit acts giving aid and comfort to the enemy are, as everyone sees, protected under the rubric of freedom of speech. Reynolds points out, "your money or your life" is not protected speech. If things get bad enough, though, I wonder what he would say about "the First Amendment or your life"? That is what I worry about, because I see the possibility of that choice being presented, and, freedom's most strident supporters to the contrary notwithstanding, it's no contest: If the First Amendment becomes a positive danger, it's going out the window, tradition or no.

And I watch these mincing assholes with their "PEACE IN OUR TIME" signs, and these vicious imams fomenting insurrection, and I see that question coming closer and closer.

I need to take another swing at this post, when I have more time. It's far too disorganized, and there's a lot in it that needs elaboration; I've got a lot more examples in mind, as well. This is enough for now, though.

-- posted by Clayton 2/26/2003 06:16:00 PM

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