Repeal the Red Menace

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When the last time you worried about the international communistic conspiracy? Unless you are rather outside the mainstream of American politics, it’s probably been nearly 20 years since you’ve considered communism a genuine threat to our way of life. But yet, as with many other obsessions and scares, our political history remains in written in our laws. The red scares of the 50s and 60s are no different. The statutory ban on the organization of any communist party remains in Arizona’s statutes.

They are a bit of hoot to read now, redolent of a style of earnest propaganda that seems ham-fisted and ludicrous to our more jaded ears. There are also precursors and intimations of the current and enduring themes of jingo, alarmum, and agitprop. There are even a few choice gems in bold that make clear just how unmoored from earlier political realities today’s Republican party has become; several of the legislatures’ findings about the subversive nature and goals of the communists unmistakably apply to factions within the Republican coalition and Administration of today.

Here are the relevant sections:

16-805.  Findings of fact and statement of public policy by the legislature of the state of Arizona concerning steps which must be taken to protect the fundamental rights of the citizens of this state and the safety of this state from international Communistic conspiracy

     A.  Upon evidence and proof which has been presented before this legislature, other
state legislatures, the Congress of the United States and in the courts of the United
States and in the courts of the several states; and although recognizing that the federal
constitution vests the conduct of foreign relations in the federal government and the
federal constitution guarantees to the several states a republican form of government and
protection against foreign invasion and domestic violence, this state has the duty of
self-preservation and the taking of necessary measures to cooperate with the federal
government in the preservation of the peace and safety of the state of Arizona and in
order to carry out article II, section 21 of the Arizona Constitution relating to free
and equal elections and article VII, section 12 of the Arizona Constitution relating to
the enactment of laws to secure the purity of elections; and in order to guard against
the abuse of the elective franchise by the Communist Party of the United States which
from time to time has qualified as a purported legitimate political party in the state of
Arizona; and in order to secure to the citizens of this state their unalienable personal
rights and liberty of conscience secured by the provisions of the Constitution of Arizona
and in order to protect the peace and safety of the state of Arizona from the overthrow
of its constitutional government by force or violence, and of its political subdivisions,
the legislature of the state of Arizona finds and declares that, unlike other political
parties which have evolved their policy and programs through public means, by the
reconciliation of a wide variety of individual views, and submit those policies and
programs to the electorate at large for approval or disapproval, the policies and
programs of the Communist Party are prescribed for it by the foreign leaders of the world
Communist movement.

     B.  The Communist Party members have no part in determining its goals and are not
permitted to voice dissent to party objectives.  Unlike members of political parties,
members of the Communist Party are recruited for indoctrination with respect to its
objectives and methods, and are organized, instructed and disciplined to carry into
action slavishly the assignments given them by their hierarchical chieftains.  Unlike
legitimate political parties, the Communist Party acknowledges no constitutional or
statutory limitations upon its conduct or upon that of its members.
  The Communist Party
is relatively small numerically and gives scant indication of capacity ever to attain its
ends by lawful political means.  The peril inherent in its operation arises not from its
numbers, but from its failure to acknowledge any limitation as to the nature of its
activities, and its dedication to the proposition that the present constitutional
government of the United States, the governments of the several states, and the
government of the state of Arizona and its political subdivisions ultimately must be
brought to ruin by any available means, including resort to force and violence.

     C.  The establishment of a totalitarian dictatorship in any country results in the
suppression of all opposition to the party in power, the subordination of the rights of
individuals to the state, the denial of fundamental rights and liberties which are
characteristic of a representative form of government, such as freedom of speech, of the
press, of assembly, and of religious worship, and said totalitarian dictatorship
ruthlessly suppresses academic freedom and inquiry into any human knowledge except the
official doctrines of the dictatorship.
  This results in the maintenance of control over
the people through fear, terrorism and brutality.

     D.  It is the public policy of this state to protect the safety of the
constitutional government of the state of Arizona by constitutional means and at the same
time protect the rights of the members of our free society to speak, to assemble and to
inquire, including the principle of academic freedom which by fostering healthy
self-criticism is especially vital in the progress of man’s moral values and in man’s
exploration of the secrets of the atom on this planet and in outer space.  To protect the
safety of this state and the right of free citizens in a free society to inquire and to
understand totalitarianism, it is essential that the schools, colleges and universities
teach objectively and critically the governmental and social forms of past and present
totalitarian slave states, including the foreign languages spoken therein. The rights set
forth in this subsection do not include the right to embrace Communism or to attempt to
persuade others to embrace Communism.

     E.  The direction and control of the world Communist movement is vested in and
exercised by the Communist dictatorship of a foreign country.

     F.  The Communist dictatorship of such foreign country, in exercising such direction
and control and in furthering the purposes of the world Communist movement, establishes
or causes the establishment of, and utilizes, in various countries, action organizations
which are not free and independent organizations, but are sections of a worldwide
Communist organization and are controlled, directed and subject to the discipline of the
Communist dictatorship of such foreign country.

     G.  The Communist action organizations so established and utilized in various
countries, acting under such control, direction and discipline, endeavor to carry out the
objectives of the world Communist movement by bringing about the overthrow of existing
governments by any available means, including force or violence if necessary, and setting
up Communist totalitarian dictatorships which will be subservient to the most powerful
existing Communist totalitarian dictatorship.  Although such organizations usually
designate themselves as political parties, they are in fact constituent elements of the
worldwide Communist movement and promote the objectives of such movement by
conspiratorial and coercive tactics, instead of through the democratic processes of a
free elective system or through the freedom-preserving means employed by a legitimate
political party which operates as an agency by which people govern themselves.

     H.  In the United States and in this state those individuals who knowingly and willfully participate in the world Communist movement, when they so participate, in effect
repudiate their allegiance to the United States and this state, and in effect transfer
their allegiance to the foreign country in which is vested the direction and control of
the world Communist movement.

     I.  The Communist movement in the several states is an organization numbering
thousands of adherents, rigidly and ruthlessly disciplined. Awaiting and seeking to
advance at a moment when the several states may be so far extended by foreign
engagements, so far divided in counsel, or so far in industrial or financial straits,
that overthrow of the government of the United States and of the several states by force
or violence may seem possible of achievement, it seeks converts far and wide by an
extensive system of schooling and indoctrination.  Such preparations by Communist
organizations in other countries, including the recent events in the neighboring country
of Cuba, have aided in supplanting existing governments.  The Communist organization in
the United States and in the several states, pursuing its stated objectives, the recent
successes of Communist methods in other countries and the nature and control of the world
Communist movement itself, present a clear and present danger to the security of the
government of the United States, the governments of the several states and the government
of the state of Arizona, including its political subdivisions, that make it necessary
that the state of Arizona enact appropriate legislation, recognizing the existence of
such worldwide Communist conspiracy, and designed to prevent it from accomplishing its
purposes in this state and its political subdivisions.  Therefore, the Communist Party
should not be permitted to avail itself of the privileges, rights and immunities
conferred by law upon legitimate political parties.

16-806.  Proscription of Communist Party of United States, its successors, and subsidiary organizations

     The Communist Party of the United States, or any successors of such party regardless
of the assumed name, the object of which is to overthrow by force or violence the
government of the United States, or the government of the state of Arizona, or its
political subdivisions shall not be entitled to be recognized or certified as a political
party under the laws of the state of Arizona and shall not be entitled to any of the
privileges, rights or immunities attendant upon legal political bodies recognized under
the laws of the state of Arizona, or any political subdivision thereof; whatever rights,
privileges or immunities shall have heretofore been granted to said Communist Party of
the United States as defined in this section, or to any of its subsidiary organizations,
by reason of the laws of the state of Arizona, or of any political subdivision thereof,
are hereby terminated and shall be void.

Perhaps it is time to remove this hysterical stain from our laws. You’ll know the truly brave legislator by his least popular works: no one is going to score any political points by sponsoring legislation to abolish these sections, but it should be done, and this sad chapter of our political history should finally be closed. Perhaps we can get the ball rolling by replacing this bit of fear-mongering with an updated ban concerning any fundamentalist religious parties which do not recognize the separation between church and state – but perhaps that would cut a bit too close to the bone for the GOP.

 

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Michael founded BlogForArizona as the Howard Dean campaign blog for Arizona in 2003, and has been blogging ever since. Michael is an attorney living in Tucson with his wife Lauren Murata. In 2008, following some health issues and new time constraints, Michael stepped back from regular blogging and began remaking BlogForArizona into a collaborative project. Michael now contributes occasionally to the blog and provides editorial and publishing direction. Also if you want to keep up with the latest Arizona and National political news that Mike finds important, check out the BlogForArizona twitter feed, which he curates.

5 COMMENTS

  1. As for making things up???!! Nothing I have EVER said in my 62 years on this Earth was “made up!” Iam a person that backs up his statements with facts BEFORE saying them!

    The Media today has made up more things for you to listen too and read than I have in my whole life!

  2. Zelph;

    Look at who FUNDS media matters and is on its board of directors. It was well known that Imus was not supporting Hillary and the tape recorders were put on his show. That is why it was a RECENT statement that got Imus fired ,because he had said the very same statement about others for many many years!

  3. Media Matters is a Hillary front organization!? Do you have any proof of this, Dwight, or are you just pulling stuff out of your ass as usual?

  4. George Soros who came from Communist Hungary,then studied about the wests financial markets took on the British sterling and almost brought it to a collapse before moving to the United States, now is funding media matters . org which is a Hillary Clinton front organization who assigned one its members to monitor The Imus Show. He then passed the comment Imus made on to there man in the Street Al Sharpton who made the final hit. Does any of this sound like what went on and still goes on in Communist Russia so caaled The Soviet Union?

    I do NOT support what Imus said for the last 40 years on the Radio but it seems every Democratic media personality did by appearing on his show time after time like Tim Russert to newsweek executives except Hillary Clinton who Imus said was NOT welcome.

    I support Free Speech and FREEDOM but as the marching orders and daily talking points are now decided by http://www.mediamatters.org don’t you feel we lost more of our Freedoms and are coming closer to George Soros’s Communist Hungary?

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