1 readers online now  |  69 million page views

conspiracy, sedition, and treason defined

Reader comment on item: None Dare Call It Treason... 25 Years Later

Submitted by onesimus (United States), Jan 13, 2008 at 11:46

Sedition is incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority. Communists pledged allegiance to the head of the Soviet communist party. That was one thing if you lived in the Soviet Union. But if you lived in any other country it was sedition.

Well, not exactly. As they say, it takes two. Perhaps one communist sitting in his house thinking communist thoughts does not satisfy the definition for sedition. But what happens when he attends a party meeting (above ground) or a secret meeting (underground)? He is guilty of sedition. He is inciting others. (We do not incite ourselves, we incite others.)

Communists in America pledged to work to overthrow the American government. Their ostensible reason was "it was capitalist." But pledging to work to overthrow the government is sedition, and the actual "work meetings" of these communists satisfied the definition for treason in that treason is sedition in action. It is immaterial whether said action is violent or non-violent. Of course the non-violent would presage the violent.

I am not speaking of communist "sympathizers." Many liberals were communist "sympathizers" (aka "fellow travelers") and not communists themselves. Though it is contemptible, it is neither treasonous nor seditious to be a communist "sympathizer."

Of course the first order of business for Americans and American politicians was to decide whether or not it mattered that communists might live in America. We couldn't decide. Nationally we were "conflicted." It wasn't so much deciding whether someone was a communist or not, it was deciding whether we wanted to decide. The communists and those charged with communist allegiance were quick to cry their First Amendment rights had been violated. This resonated with many liberals.

What this country could not do was agree on definitions for sedition and treason. Conservative judges and politicians called sedition and treason, sedition and treason. Liberal judges and politicians did not. Liberal thinking and jurisprudence on the subject ran along the lines of "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." One judge distinguished between communists advocating revolution and "teaching it as theory." Not in a classroom, but in a party meeting. I guess liberals think words are meaningless or at least have no consequences. Except when they speak.

The communists had (and may still have for all I know) a two-pronged strategy for undermining and over- throwing governments. There was the visible communist party to put the best face on communism. And there was the underground operation. At the very least this underground operation qualifies as a conspiracy. Some of these underground operatives worked in American government. As Yogi Berra said, you can look it up.

Liberals look back on American history of the forties and fifties and sneer it was much ado about nothing. But the main reason we aren't red today is there weren't enough disenchanted workers to foment revolution. In other countries the commies were famously successful. It does not look like a victory for the people to me.

I find it interesting that ernie posted an FBI evaluation of the John Birch Society as if it seals the deal on communism in America. J. Edgar Hoover was virulently anti-communist. The FBI made a substantial investigation of communism in America and American government at the behest of, not a Republican president, but FDR. This continued at least through the Truman administration. And they indeed found substantial evidence.

It was treason alright.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to conspiracy, sedition, and treason defined by onesimus

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)