A dictatorship is possible anywhere. Throughout history dictatorships are the conditions under which most people have lived. There have even been times when everyone on the planet lived under a dictatorship of one sort or another. And, as if we cant stand freedom, it seems as if every place men have won freedoms, the generations that followed them gave them away. Always. Theres evidence that thats what were doing now. Were putting all the mechanisms in place that will make one possible. Two hundred years ago, our Founding Fathers had put as many obstacles as possible in the way of a dictatorship because they feared that unless there were obstacles, specifically, the safeguards in our Constitution, a dictatorship was inevitable. But even then, many of them werent optimistic about our chances. When Benjamin Franklin was leaving the Constitutional Convention, a Mrs. Powell of Philadelphia asked, Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy? Franklin replied, A republic if you can keep it. He expressed the sentiment of many of the delegates. Today, as if were bent on proving the cynicism in Franklins reply was deserved, were ignoringno, were actually throwing awaythe safeguards hammered out among the delegates to that Convention. Were not changing the wording or the intent of the Constitution, were just ignoring it. Six signs of the end of Americas freedoms First theres the steady erosion of our basic rights, the ones a lot of people call our constitutional rights, though thats not a good name for them. Its better to think of them as natural rights, the way our Founding Fathers didor think of them as God-given rights if you want. Thinking of them as constitutional rights is part of what is getting us in trouble. You have to realize that our Founding Fathers didnt think of them as constitutional rights because they knew that if our rights are provided by either the Constitution or the government, what the government gives, it can also take away. As natural or God-given rights, theyre absolute. Thats the way they were intended. The next problem we have is related to this erosion of our rights, but Id treat it as a whole separate category. Its the unintended consequences of having created new rightslegal rights created by Congress and which Congress and bureaucrats have decided supercede or nullify our natural rights. These include the new rights that have come about as a result of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Environmental Protection Act, and the American Disabilities Act. Unlike our natural rights, which come to us at the expense of no one else, the new rights have to be provided by someone else. Its in having to provide them that our government has found ways to erode our natural rights. Third theres the unconstitutional bypassing of our legislative process by the Presidentnot just this one in office now, but by all of the recent presidents. Using what are called Executive Orders, they create laws that are not only illegal and unconstitutional, but are created without the consent of the Congress or the people of the United States. Some of these edicts, believe it or not, explicitly suspend the Constitution for an indeterminate amount of time on the whim of the President. Fourth, theres the new rules and regulations imposed on businesses by our federal government by which the government circumvents our Fifth Amendment rights by insisting businesses spy on us. This includes banks, airlines, and even manufacturers of things like light bulbs and paper. Fifth is the creation of a professional, standing army. The Founding Fathers feared a professional army. They believed this country should depend on the militiaand Im using the word militia in the way they used it in the Second Amendment, meaning the body of citizen, not the National Guard or some other professional organization. Professional armies lose their allegiance to the citizenry and have a history of becoming the accomplices of tyrants. Its highly unlikely there would have been any protests to the illegal war we fought in Vietnam if wed had a professional army then. Last of all, but not least, our economy is no longer a true free market economy. It is now one of the socialist economies. Were now a fascist economy. For all of our posturing about how bad fascism is, we have created a fascist economy as a compromise between capitalism and communism. All of these changes are milestones on the road to tyranny. If they had all been invoked at once, wed have seen them for what they are, an attempt to subvert what had once been the freest society history has ever seen. Thered have been a revolution in this country; blood would have run in the streets. But theyve come over generations, and the American people, whose collective attention span is brief and whose memory is even shorter, have come to believe that the way things are in this country today is the way theyve always been. An example of tyranny Drug laws started out as tax laws not long after the turn of the century. But we need to fast forward to 1934, when Prohibition was repealed, to see how they got worse. When Prohibition ended, there was the question of what the government was going to do with all the agents it had hired to run down the bootleggers, speakeasy owners, and rumrunners. The obvious answer was to send them home. But FDR was too kind hearted to throw anyone out of work once they were living off the largess of the taxpayers, even though, in his election campaign, he had sworn he was going to cut the size of government. So he set this crew off to chase drug users. It was a practical decision. Prohibition had failed because it had been imposed on whites; whites wanted to drink so whites ended it. But whites didnt do drugs. Only blacks and Mexicans did. So Roosevelt turned the otherwise idle agents of the war on alcohol to pursuing drugs, and the rest was history. Blatant racism if ever there needed to be an example. Of course, no one foresaw the 1960s when white kids would start smoking pot, dropping acid, and snortin coke the way their parents and grandparents had been swilling beer, wine, and bathtub gin. But suddenly, white America found itself throwing its own children and grandchildren in jails. Drug laws are also, in reality, unconstitutional. The federal government has no authority to make such laws. The 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution make it pretty clear that we can do with our bodies as we wish. The 14th Amendment says the states have got to leave us alone, too. In a cruel twist of fate, by the 1960s the antidrug campaign had become a huge industry. There were people who benefitted from it despite the fact that it is illegal and was ruining millions of lives. The livelihoods of police, bureaucrats, judges, lawyers, and many others depend on drugs being illegal and remaining illegal. And, like many other industries, the drug prohibition industry is a growth industry; it grows by making more and more laws which are increasingly pervasive and harsher and have less constitutional basis. Start with RICO, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. When RICO was passed, it became legal, despite the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution, for the police to deprive citizens of property without due process. They can do this simply on the suspicion alone that the property is linked to a crime. They dont have to have a warrant, they dont even have to prove their accusations. RICO is not only unconstitutional, it abrogates the body of common law and tradition our legal system rests on. The state no longer has to prove citizens are guilty of anything to seize their belongings; the citizens must prove they are innocent through an almost impossible and expensive process which includes posting bonds which, in theory, the government can also seize. The government benefits from these laws. The value of many of the seized goods, including cars, homes, boats, guns, land, jewelry, and other hard goods, as well as cash, were supposed to be added to the budgets of various law enforcement agencies to help fight the War on Drugs. But politicians and other bureaucrats arent stupid. Once they saw the vast amounts of extra money going into law enforcement, they werent going to sit by without getting a slice of the pie. However, they couldnt just take it. They could, on the other hand, cut the budgets of law enforcement by the dollar amount of the goods seized. So instead of law enforcement budgets getting bigger, the funding just got shifted. what we have now are the police departments of America with an economic stake in keeping these unconstitutional laws on the books and enforcing them. The police are not the only ones benefiting either. The same goes for prisons. If the War on Drugs were dropped and the P.O.W.s, the hostages taken in that war, were sent home, some three quarters of our prison population would disappear. The United States imprisons a greater percentage of its own citizens than any other country in the world. So what would all the prison guards currently employed to do this do? Where would the wardens get their next jobs? What would happen to all those communities in the middle of nowhere whose main industry is the prison? As prisons closed, real estate would plummet in those communities and people would lose their life savings. Do you think someone with $100,000 into a house, in one of these backwater towns, wants the illegal War on Drugs stopped? Think about it.