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There has been a long tradition of fear-mongering legislation in the United States directed against groups and individuals believed to threaten the established order. The first such measures were the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by Congress in 1798 during the administration of the second president of the United States John Adams. The Acts, consisting of four separate laws, made it more difficult to become a citizen, sought to control real or imagined foreign agents operating in the United States, and also gave the government broad powers to control "sedition." Sedition was defined as "resisting any law of the United States or any act of the President" punishable by a prison sentence of up to two years. It also made illegal "false, scandalous or malicious writing" directed against either the government or government officials. The next President, Thomas Jefferson declared that three out of the four laws were unconstitutional and pardoned everyone who had been convicted under them.
"There are … potentially desirable limits to the indefinite extension of political democracy … A government which lacks authority … will have little ability, short of cataclysmic crisis, to impose on its people the sacrifices which may be necessary" (1975 Trilateral Commission Report on the Governability of Democracies)
Just how pervasive is the myth of our ‘inalienable rights’ is illustrated by the following quote from an article in the Independent that even as it warns of the “drift…toward a police state”:
… the Government is undermining freedoms citizens have taken for granted for centuries and that Britain risks drifting towards a police state. – ‘Judges liken terror laws to Nazi Germany’ By Marie Woolf, Raymond Whitaker and Severin Carrell, The Independent, 16 October 2005 [my emph. WB]
The French called them Les cités. The ‘ghettos’ are specially built for excluded and disfranchised migrants from France’s former North African colonies - mostly Arabs and Muslims - and other parts of the world. Clustered on the peripheries of France’s big cities, Les cités proved to be laboratories for dissent and resistance against oppression. The children of the immigrants who built France after World War II are being pushed further outside the French society.