And another..

One thing that is dramatic and scary is how quickly Americans are willing to watch their government throw away the bill of rights. (Except, of course, the second :)) I’m watching a history of the communist party in America and it’s incredible to what extent the government tried to outlaw a *idea*, and punished people for having that idea. It’s also similarly impressive how quickly half of Americans embraced facism when Trump showed up – and still can’t acknowledge to this day – even after a armed insurrection to overthrow the result of a free and fair election – that that’s what they embraced.

The bill of rights represents a set of ideals that we should try to live up to. It is true that from time to time we will slip – and from time to time safety may require placing some limits (i.e. not equipping citizens with nuclear bombs, no matter what the second amendment says) – but we should all act, by removing leaders who are encouraging overthrowing the ideas mentioned in the bill of rights. (This should be done by channels built within the system when possible, but at some point force may be necessary because of a willingness to cheat by both of the current sides). We have already lost the freedom to assemble – police regularly gas, mace, and beat up demonstrators who are peacefully assembling to petition the government for redress of grievances. And apparently in the 50s, we as a people allowed our leaders to go considerably further, and to outlaw ideas and to punish free speech and forbid association.

The truth is, if marxist or stalinist communism was superior, it should have been permitted to win. But it clearly wasn’t – events at the chernobyl power station demonstrate that stalinist communism had fatal flaws and would ultimately be relegated to the dustbin of history. (Any command and control axis that allows what is politically popular to override what is true in a nuclear power station without a containment system deserves to die a very quick death. Clearly the people in a control room “representing the interests of the party” should not have had any power at all – and yet they were able to bully board operators into doing suicidally stupid things. Of course, in America we’d probably see the same stupidity, but for money. Fortunately other forces – the fear of being sued into oblivion if you irradiate a few million civilians – mean we build nuclear power stations with containment systems so when they fail few radioactives get to escape)

However, we the people should be permitted to decide on our means of government – part of why I am so upset about Trump et al is not because Trump was a fascist, but because he did not have a majority and he still behaved as if he had a clear mandate. And, to underline the fact, he would never claim that he had won the popular vote in the second election, but he was willing to use violence to prevent the transfer of power.

So what gives? When is it appropriate to use violence, given that humans are wrong so often? It would have clearly been appropriate to use violence to *prevent* Trump from becoming a dictator, for example. And yet, one can look at cautionary tales like the USSR and the Nazis and McCarthyism and see that sometimes what is approved of by the majority is clearly wrong.

Hopefully it’s not a question I’ll have to come up with a firm answer to in the near future.

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