We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A sad day for the US if the Espionage Act is used against WikiLeaks

by Stephen M Kohn from the Guardian
Numerous US officials are calling for a resurrection of the US Espionage Act as a tool for prosecuting WikiLeaks. The dusting-off of the old law is all but certain. But the outcome of the constitutional dust-up that is sure to follow will result in triumph or tragedy for the US bill of rights.
Using the recent WikiLeaks incident as an excuse, the ruling class is coming up with more attacks against our civil rights.

It was actually the Sedition Act of 1918 which were amendments to the Espionage Act that resulted in such horrific attacks on the civil rights of the popular left wing movements. It was used after WWI was ending to insure that the great progress made by leftists before the war, which was interrupted by the war, would be dramatically rolled back. Such history is rarely treated with any depth in US schools.

The same thing happened after WWII using mainly the Smith Act, the Taft-Harley Act, and all the attacks on leftists during the McCarthy Congressional hearings in order to rollback all the labor gains made during the FDR administration and to stifle pent-up labor demands due to all the restrictions on strikes during WWII.