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LIMITED FREE SPEECH IN AMERICA
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LIMITED FREE SPEECH IN AMERICA

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  • 1. LIMITED FREE SPEECH IN AMERICA Copyright © 2009 by Shivaprasad Srikantia. All rights reserved. Contains extracts from the book titled AMERICAN CAPITALISM, AMERICANOMICS, & MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS - The concealed economic and political secrets of capitalism that made America a superpower in less than one century, by Shiv Srikantia. Paperback edition of book available at www.lulu.com/content/2353971 PLEASE CLICK ON BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER OF THIS TEXT WINDOW TO VIEW THIS ESSAY IN FULL SCREEN MODE Throughout the twentieth century, politicians in America mislead ordinary citizens to believe that no other nation in the world offered as much freedom for free speech as America. As most American citizens and politicians lived insular lives, they were unaware that freedom existed to a far greater degree in most parts of Europe. Many nations in Europe granted communists and radicals the freedom to express their ideas. However, in a bizarre turn of events, many nations in Eastern Europe fell to communists. In fact, they fell rather suddenly, like trees whose trunks were cut off by electric chainsaws. The events in Eastern Europe sent a wave of panic through American political circles. However, such events did not invoke shock or alarm in European circles. European citizenry were more open to socialistic ideologies. In 1905, a labor movement was spearheaded by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in Chicago. These workers had threatened to defeat capitalism, but their threats were never taken seriously by Congressmen. Communists and other political radicals in England were allowed to express their opinions without drawing ire from their governments and politicians. The English politicians and the monarchy were willing to tolerate eccentric views to a far greater degree than American politicians. Interestingly however, the communists themselves did not endorse free speech. The first social component on a communist government’s agenda was the ruthless suppression of free speech. In other words, freedom of speech in Europe allowed communists to come to power and then brutally curtail free speech. It is such things that make state politics absurdly bizarre. Perhaps, modern industrial societies need a pool of sharp intellectuals to communicate with the common citizens and dutifully explain such anomalies. The English bred founding fathers were so big hearted and forgiving that they would have even allowed communists, subversives, anarchists, and lowly thugs the privilege of free expression. However, the new generation of immigrants from Germany and Ireland who arrived in America, saw a need to limit free speech. Thereafter, free speech in America did not allow the free expression of communistic ideologies or anti-war sentiments. In fact, the CIA compiled the names of nearly 10,000 young citizens who had participated in anti- war protests or peace movements. 1
  • 2. In America, those who opposed warfare were labeled as being unpatriotic. On the other hand, those who supported warfare and nuclear weapons research were called patriots. It was as if warfare and spiteful military aggression were honorable endeavors. This gives a fair idea of how an industrial society in the twentieth century could be completely misguided into holding a doctrine that supported fierce military aggression. Incidentally, during Adolf Hitler’s reign in the last century, the entire nation of Germany was misguided into embracing barbarism. Though the founding fathers of English descent had been in favor of complete freedom, the peril of communists as expressed by German and Irish Catholic immigrants was not completely unfounded. After communists came to power in Russia, they began to see Germany as a prime target. Nations in Europe that had allowed the privilege of free speech to communists eventually fell to communists. In Europe, communists often misused the free speech doctrine to incite violent revolutions. The German immigrants from Europe had first hand wisdom of he dangers of free speech. In fact, East Germany had fallen to communists. At one time in history, American citizens of German ancestry were accorded high social status in society. When Adolf Hitler came to power, and the Nazis began engaging in war crimes, there was a backlash against American citizens of German ancestry. Some German-Americans were Pro-Nazi, while some others were Anti-Nazi. Many German citizens in America decided to change their last names to gently conceal their German ancestry. At present, less than 15 percent of Americans have an English heritage. Nearly 18 percent have a German heritage, while about 15 percent have an Irish heritage. As Germans and Irish Catholics were apprehensive, they were prone to be less liberal with free speech that endorsed communistic ideologies. Tidal waves of immigration were quickly turning America into a nation of factory workers. The labor unions were becoming very powerful in America. Capitalists were also threatened by the labor unions. There was a great danger of American labor unions embracing socialistic ideologies. The Teamsters became the most powerful labor union in America, and helped members successfully negotiate wages and working conditions. It is also alleged that funds from the union were being utilized by Cosa Nostra mobsters and gangsters in Las Vegas. The Teamsters also supported the Republicans. Until disappearing, a man named Jimmy Hoffa had represented the Teamsters union. In law enforcement circles, there is a strong suspicion that Jimmy Hoffa was liquidated by the Mafia. Incidentally, the Mafia seemed to have the know-how for making people disappear. Without a dead body, it would never be possible for a court of justice to confirm death. As German and Irish Catholics together made up 33 percent of the new American society, they formed a single majority to churn up strong anti-communist and anti-socialist sentiments. The American capitalists and politicians had reasons to worry that the peculiarly interesting ideas embedded within the framework of socialism or communism would find an appreciative audience in academic circles where intellectually inclined middle class citizens congregated to exchange ideas. Thomas Hobbes, an eminent English philosopher expressed the view that intellectuals incited revolutions. He also drew attention to the fact that university campuses had become epicenters from where serious political changes were initiated. In industrialized capitalistic societies, college professors who were overtly anti-establishment were generally denied tenure and a secure job. Over the years, academicians who were unconditionally supportive of big businesses, capitalism, imperialism, and the government were honored with tenure. The others were denigrated and dishonorably discharged. Most college professors came from middle class society, and tended 2
  • 3. to be covertly anti-establishment. Within the broad idea of freedom of speech in a democracy, American college professors were dissuaded from discussing the specifics of Marxism and Leninism. This is quite understandable, as events in history point out that the ideologies of socialism, and communism were very intellectually stimulating. They quickly appealed to the intellectually superior classes. Besides, as over one hundred American universities were involved in military work, professors with communistic value systems and allegiance to the Joseph Stalin way of reasoning would be a distraction to the American way of life. All over the world, there was the danger of communism establishing its roots on college campus coffee bars. This was particularly disturbing to the ruling class of American capitalists because the American government administration frequently recruited young college graduates. Incidentally, some officials in the State Department who worked overseas in Vietnam had studied communistic literature and found it thoroughly fascinating. To the White House administration, this was a red flag. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin began claiming that people with communistic ideas were working in the American government. In America, with a single stroke of the brush, Senator McCarthy proved beyond a shadow of doubt that there was a clear limit to free speech in America. Clearly, America grew up as a nation where communist ideologies were booted out. Communists were denied entry visas by American immigration authorities. Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy also alleged that the Department of State had been infiltrated by communists. If true, the infiltration of communists into the American government machinery could seriously undermine or sabotage its efforts to curb the spread of communism in other regions of the world. During his Presidency at the White House, Woodrow Wilson desired to limit the freedom of speech. He was the principal endorser and enforcer of the Sedition Act of 1918. This act actually challenged the rights bestowed by the First Amendment in the American constitution. The First Amendment stated that Congress would have no power to pass laws that obstructed free speech. Woodrow Wilson was of the opinion that there were certain exceptions, and that the conditions did not apply when the country was at war. But the American Constitution, in its most pristine form, seemed to allow no exceptions whatsoever. In America, an effective mechanism had to be established where college professors in political science, sociology, and economics would be discouraged from writing books that could make their provocative views available to mainstream society. Therefore, professors were encouraged to write papers for publishing in elitist journals that were read only by intellectual recluses. Under these circumstances, most college professors of political science or sociology were dissuaded from discussing controversial issues in the classroom. Similarly, most college professors of economics would be reluctant to discuss unfair trade practices and invite the wrath of big businesses or special interest groups intent on influencing government policies. Apart from college campuses, the motion picture industry was a place where intellectuals such as story writers, artistes, scriptwriters, and authors congregated to exchange views. The motion picture industry was, therefore, another space threatened by the invasion of communistic ideologies. In fact, some Congressmen claimed that communists had infiltrated the motion picture industry in Hollywood. In 1950, an investigation spearheaded by Martin Dies tried to find out the extent of infiltration. However, there was insufficient evidence to prove the allegations. 3
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