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Balance between Treason and Criticism

Reader comment on item: Profs Who Hate America
in response to reader comment: Tenure vs. Treason

Submitted by Christopher J Colna (United States), Jan 18, 2007 at 17:36

It must be okay for the citizens of this country to criticize the ruling class for its current policies, like the illegal war in Iraq. This is not treason, but freedom to express our opinion in an Academic setting as guaranteed in the constitution.

For those who advocate Censorship in the classroom, who will censor monitor the censor? We have checks and balances in our government to prevent totalitarianism and abuse of power. We all know that too much power corrupts and there is no perfect government or ruling class.

Lets face it - any government that wants to be permanent or start us on the way to permanence by censoring and monitoring free speech in the classroom is a threat to liberty. No government is perfect and no government will last forever! Rome lasted thousands of years and fell becuase of corrupt powers like Nero. America won't exist one day either. I do hope that new government that eventually replaces our aristocracy/republic is more equal with the distribution of wealth than 9 to 1 ratio like it is now. No government will last forever and no government is perfect.

As for treason, our country was founded on treasonists, traitors, and people who committed violent bloody rebellions against Great Britain!! Even Thomas Jeffererson said we need a revolution every couple of hundred years to keep the ruling class and government in check. Most people that object to change, criticism of the government, or even protests already have a good lifestyle and are part of the ruling class that do not want to give up their wealth and power, which they accumulate and hoard. In the Constitution, it does say that the citizens have the right to dissolve the government when it fails to serve its citizens and becomes oppressive and when it is against the interest of the people. Therefore, it is not treason or poisoning the minds of college students to criticize our governemnt, protest, disagree with it, or complain. Now making bombs and selling secrets would be treason becuase safety of citizens is at issue.

Planning to assassinate the president is also wrong and a crime. But, what about assassinating a tyrrant leader? We have violenlty invaded Iraq. You may say, well, we are at war. Well, we (those who criticize the government in the classroom) will say that we disagree with you and if you want to go to war, then we will defend ourselves! The powers that are must not call their opponents treasonists, but most listen to them and reform themselves, lest a violent war break out - a Civil War. So, violent revolt is not good but may be the only choice in extreme cases. Things are not that bad in America today to promote violent revolt, but America does need to change its distribution of wealth so that 2 out 3 are not starving as is the case today in the world. It has been said that the amount of money Americans spend on cosmetics can be used to feed the 2/3 of the people in this world who are starving.

As long as no one is talking aobut making bombs, shooting people, or physically hurting them, or selling secrets or threatening someone's safety, and it is done in a peaceful classroom or in writing, and it is not breaking any laws, it is not treason. To be free to criticize and monitor the governement is a cherished freedom. Many want to maintain the status quo of the wealthy elite or keep oppressing in the name of conservatism and want to jail or kill those who oppose them or think differently. If you worked FOR someone else, like the wealthy, and realize that no matter how hard you work, the mortgage will never be paid and that you are always in debt, then maybe you would agree with change - economic, social and political change.

Perhaps if the wealthy ruling class did not have their cushy lifestyle and had to work for a living, they would agree with those who want a more equitable distribution of wealth. Perhaps if one was not a member of the ruling class, he would wish to participate in the government and exercise his constitutional rights of free speech and free press, expecially in the classroom.

Not all professors are terrorists and not all classrooms are breeding grounds for terrorism!

Liberty is our most cherished freedom - as John Patrick Henry said - give me libertty or give me death. This included free speech, free press, freedom of thought, freedom of opinion, and right to express criticism of the ruling class.

Thomas Jefferson put it best when he said the freedom is good, but too way much freedom is bad when America was expanding and the Wild West was forming. He feared California and other western states would break away from the country. So a balance must exist between criticizing the government and violent revolution. After 9/11, we moved to a state of law and order, background checks, no fly lists, professors being fired for speaking against the war, gun control, widespread fear, sleeper cells, evil others like muslims and terrorists, WMD's (that never existed in Iraq) - a step closer to Statism. Again, States come and go and do not last. We are young country and experimenting with democracy. Lets not take away freedom in the classroom and call it treason becuase these young minds critically think and want a taste of that freedom. Lets not fear them, that they may rebel or revolt. Lets work with them, listen to them, and make things more equal in this country. For 10% of the people, it may mean parting with a couple billion or couple million so that 20 million can go to college and eat and pay rent and suppoort themselves. For 90% it means a new future, a bright future, one filled with freedom of thought - an educated future where everyone supports themsleves and earns their own way.

In closing, remember that if we call critics of the government traitors, Jefferson, Hancock, Henry, and many others would be hung for ther treasonous rebellious crimes of violence against the government and you and I would be bowing down to the King. America would not have been formed and the colonies would have had no cause.

So, criticize, write, think, speak freely in the classroom. Write papers and think outside the box. When the professor comes to class in military garb and with his sidearm or your physics professor brings the nuclear device to class, then call the cops. Otherwise, let go and let God. Our most cherished value is our freedom, and this includes freedom to criticize others and point out their faults and wrongdoings and harm.

Christopher J. Colna

Chris Colna


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