Posts tagged Mark Hammond

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(Via a private correspondent.)

If you hope to be officially recognized as an enemy of the state of South Carolina (as per South Carolina Code Title 23 Chapter 29), you’d best move quick and make sure you send in your notice that you directly or indirectly advocate, advise, teach or practice the duty or necessity of overthrowing the government of the United States, the state of South Carolina, or any political division thereof. You may be running out of time.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — In South Carolina, any group that plans to overthrow the federal government — or any other government in the U.S. — must register its activities.

It’s the law.

Now some state legislators are looking to repeal it.

State Sen. Larry Martin said Monday the 1951 McCarthy-era statute that’s meant to deter communists is one more thing making South Carolina look bad, since bloggers and talk radio picked up on it last month. A misconception spread that the statute, on the books for nearly six decades, had only recently become law.

. . . His bill to repeal it comes up for debate this week in a Senate panel.

The “subversive activities registration act” requires any group that advocates overthrowing local, state or federal governments to pay $5 and register the group’s name, its leader’s address, beliefs, all members living in South Carolina and check yes or no to the following: “Do you or your organization directly or indirectly advocate, advise, teach or practice the duty or necessity of controlling, seizing or overthrowing the government?”

. . . Until February, no one had registered, said Secretary of State Mark Hammond.

Now, about 10 have filed, apparently in jest, as political commentary. Two actually paid the fee, according to his office.

— Seanna Adcox, Associated Press (2010-03-01): SC bill would get rid of filing law for terrorists

I’m glad to be one of the 10, but if they think that my letter was meant in jest, then they have certainly misunderstood my intent. I certainly do intend to overthrow the government of South Carolina by means that are against the so-called laws passed by that government. For real. And I really don’t mind if they know it; hence the letter. (If it had any ulterior intent, it was not primarily to make a joke; it was to encourage other people to speak and act like that there’s nothing really wrong with saying that you want to overthrow tyrannical governments. Because there’s not. Tyrannical governments ought to be overthrown.)

In any case: I expect it’s likely that they are going to try to move quickly to save face, and go back to simply presuming popular acquiescence to their rule. If you want to be honored with official recognition as an enemy of the arbitrary governments over the state of South Carolina, the United States of America, and all the local political regiments that they have inflicted without consent on the people of South Carolina, you’d best get those letters sent in quickly, before the opportunity passes.

While we’re on the subject:

Our organization is in fact so dastardly that we have refused to remit the fee, writes someone claiming to represent the Las Vegas-based Alliance of the Libertarian Left.

— Seanna Adcox, Associated Press (2010-03-01): SC bill would get rid of filing law for terrorists

Speaking as the someone in question, I’d like to say for the record that the Alliance of the Libertarian Left is not based in Las Vegas. I’m based in Las Vegas, but A.L.L. is all over the place, and has no Politburo and no national or international office to be based anywhere.

Hope this helps.

See also:

Civic duties

In which I write a letter to elected officials.

So by now you may be familiar with South Carolina Code Title 23 Chapter 29, the state law that requires all organizations who directly or indirectly advocate, advise, teach or practice the duty or necessity of controlling, seizing, or overthrowing the government of the United States, the state of South Carolina, or any political division thereof, to register their activities with the South Carolina Secretary of State. Now that I’ve been informed of the law, here are the contents of the letter that I wrote and dropped in the U.S. postal service today, addressed to Mark Hammond, arbitrary Secretary of State over South Carolina.

Secretary of State Mark Hammond
P.O. Box 11350
Columbia, SC 29211

Dear Sir:

I am writing to you today as a member of the Alliance of the Libertarian Left, a subversive organization advocating the duty, the necessity, and the propriety of overthrowing the governments of the United States and of the state of South Carolina by unlawful means – as we advocate the duty, the necessity, and the propriety of overthrowing all forms of government at every level throughout the world. As advocates of the doctrine of Anarchism and the strategy of counter-economics, we specifically reject legalized methods of changing government policy, such as government elections and legislative lobbying, and we advocate the deliberate use of illegal tactics such as civil disobedience, and nonviolent direct action in defiance of unjust laws, as our preferred means of bringing about the dissolution of all government into the economic organism.

Members of the A.L.L., both anonymous and open, operate in many states, including in South Carolina. We are actively engaged in attempts to influence political action in the state of South Carolina – specifically, by aiming to stop any political action at all from being inflicted upon the people of South Carolina. We reside and transact business within the territorial boundaries claimed by the state of South Carolina; we are in your neighborhoods and we are in your business districts. We may even be in your homes; have you checked under the beds and in the closets?

I believe that our doctrines and activities qualify us as an officially recognized subversive organization, as described in South Carolina Code Title 23 Chapter 29.

Please consider this our notice of subversive activities; I would be honored if you would add our organization to your registry of organizations working for the overthrow of government in South Carolina. All government is, after all, nothing more than an absurdity, a usurpation, and a crime, inflicted on the vast majority of peaceful people, without their consent, by the dictation of a select few men who have neither the wisdom, nor the virtue, nor the right to presume to rule over anyone other than themselves. It has always been the most deadly tool of oppressors and exploiters, as the past victims of South Carolina’s government, from the Stono rebels to Denmark Vesey to the 35 victims of the Orangeburg Massacre have known all to well. When belligerence and inhumanity prevail, the peaceful and the humane must find honor in being categorized as the enemies of the prevailing order. Please keep me updated as to the status of our registration. I look forward to hearing back from you as to our official recognition as enemies of your state and its government.

Sincerely,
Charles Johnson

PS. I am told that there is a processing fee in the amount of $5.00 for the registration of a subversive organization. Our organization is in fact so dastardly that we have refused to remit the fee.

All the great governments of the world – those now existing, as well as those that have passed away – have been of this character. They have been mere bands of robbers, who have associated for purposes of plunder, conquest, and the enslavement of their fellow men. And their laws, as they have called them, have been only such agreements as they have found it necessary to enter into, in order to maintain their organizations, and act together in plundering and enslaving others, and in securing to each his agreed share of the spoils. All these laws have had no more real obligation than have the agreements which brigands, bandits, and pirates find it necessary to enter into with each other, for the more successful accomplishment of their crimes, and the more peaceable division of their spoils. – Mr. Lysander Spooner, Natural Law, or the Science of Justice.

I’ll keep you advised as to how the process goes.