The Supreme Court’s Complicity in Our Loss of Freedom

After the Constitution had been drafted, it was submitted to the states for ratification. It had quite a few opponents, called the Anti-Federalists. They argued that the proposed government would have too much power and would become a danger to the people’s rights. Most of their fire was aimed at Articles I and II, which created the legislative and executive branches, but some Anti-Federalists also expressed fears that the judiciary in Article III could become a menace. Seeking to allay all such fears, the Constitution’s proponents wrote 85 essays known as The Federalist Papers.

In Federalist 78, Alexander Hamilton defended the judiciary, calling it “the least dangerous branch” since it would have neither the legislature’s control over spending nor the executive’s power of enforcement. Hamilton argued that judicial review, the ability of a court (in this case the Supreme Court) to invalidate legislation passed by a legislature (in this case Congress) posed no threat to the rights of Americans, but was essential in protecting them against possible encroachments by the political branches.

So how has judicial review worked out?

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Dictatorship in Disguise: Authoritarian Monsters Wreak Havoc on Our Freedoms

“You see them on the street. You watch them on TV. You might even vote for one this fall. You think they’re people just like you. You’re wrong. Dead wrong.” — They Live

We’re living in two worlds.

There’s the world we see (or are made to see) and then there’s the one we sense (and occasionally catch a glimpse of), the latter of which is a far cry from the propaganda-driven reality manufactured by the government and its corporate sponsors, including the media.

Indeed, what most Americans perceive as life in America—privileged, progressive and free—is a far cry from reality, where economic inequality is growing, real agendas and real power are buried beneath layers of Orwellian doublespeak and corporate obfuscation, and “freedom,” such that it is, is meted out in small, legalistic doses by militarized police and federal agents armed to the teeth.

All is not as it seems.

Monsters with human faces walk among us. Many of them work for the U.S. government.

This is the premise of John Carpenter’s film They Live, which was released in November 1988 and remains unnervingly, chillingly appropriate for our modern age.

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