The fundamental difference between Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, in the American context, is that the former are created by legislation--by the acts of a civil authority, by politicians seeking favor;--whereas the latter were considered endowed by the Creator, to be held against the power of legislation, against the civil authority. Generally, Civil Rights are challenges to Civil Liberties, and to the extent premised on a pursuit of equality, reflect the eternal conflict between Liberty and Equality.
Your guide knows from personal experience, how strong the appeal for "Civil Rights" can be among the kindly intentioned. His own odyssey to the Right, which began from the throes of a species of moderate Liberalism in Junior High School, and moved on to a moderate Conservatism in the 9th grade, and to a much fuller version by the 10th, yet retained--with an almost self-righteous enthusiasm--an advocacy for State and local laws to outlaw discrimination in private business dealings. While we had come to abjure the idea of Federal Legislation as outside the Constitutional authority, we still clung to the idea that common fairness required that Ohio adopt Legislation outlawing discrimination based upon race, color, creed or national origin, in employment, union membership or in places of public accommodation, for over two years longer.
So strong had seemed the incessant appeal to a sense of "fairness," we had totally failed to analyze the actual issues--failed to apply the reasoned approach to political issues set forth as essential in the Introduction to this handbook. It was not until a few weeks before graduation from High School, that we took a first objective look at what was then being peddled across America, and realized, with a sickening sense of intellectual failure, both our own gullibility and the danger posed to our way of life. But in that process--and in the long battle since--we have come to realize that while this is not an issue on which it is easy to get elected Conservatives to stand and be counted, the principles involved go to the very core of the ideological battle of our times.
The great conflict over "Civil Rights," which polarized American politics for two decades in the middle years of the past century, involves many issues already covered at least briefly in other contexts in earlier Chapters. In Chapter One, we questioned the Constitutional right of Congress to even consider the types of legislation or purposes ordinarily included under that umbrella. In Chapter Three, we exposed the duplicity of the ACLU in undermining American religious freedom in a Fabian Socialist pursuit; and, in that same context, their deep involvement with other leftwing groups actively seeking to restrict basic American freedom and culture in the name of "Civil Rights."
In Chapter Five, we explored the deliberate suppression of the facts of human difference, and discussed how such denial of reality has been used to force the concept of an undifferentiated humanity onto education; as well as to justify a more socialistic view of economic policy. In Chapter Seven, we dealt with the Socialist technique of the Big Lie; particularly the penchant to blame those who succeed for every problem of those who fail. Chapter Nine dealt with the moral bases for a political society--really an explanation of the ongoing applicability of the doctrine of the Founding Fathers, enunciated in the Declaration of Independence.
In Chapter Eleven, we discussed the use of Leftist propaganda to confuse many people's sense of personal identity; in Chapter Thirteen, the smear tactic of labeling persons who take pride in their heritage as "bigots"; and in Chapter Sixteen, the tactics of specific Fabian Socialist "mythmakers," who helped promote the theoretic concept of an undifferentiated humanity--and the idea that people must be reeducated to accept such theories. While some of the other Chapters may seem less immediately relevant, there is probably no subject in the Conservative/"Liberal" dichotomy that is totally unrelated to issues raised by the assault on America known as "The Civil Rights Movement."
That this issue remains current and serious, even after two generations of agitation, may be seen in the popular usage given the word "discrimination" over the past 40 years. To discriminate or be discriminating, was always considered a virtue among the English speaking peoples up until the late 1950s or early 1960s. It meant to exercise deliberate judgment; to make essential distinctions--to make choices based upon reason and taste. In outlawing discrimination, you outlaw freedom. Discrimination is the very essence of freedom. An American discriminates when he attends one Church, rather than another; when he buys one newspaper, rather than another; chooses a particular style of home; eats steak rather than fish, or fish rather than steak. An American discriminates when he votes for one candidate and rejects another. And it has never mattered whether that choice was based upon issues or appearance, family tradition or a whim of the moment. The choice was always his.
An American discriminates in the choice of entertainment--in what stations he tunes to, or what channels he watches. He discriminates in the choice of friends; in the names he gives his children; in whether he sends them to a public or private school; in all of the most important of life's choices. Thus an American discriminates in deciding which woman he should court; or in the case of a woman, with whom she will consider a serious commitment. We do not deny that the exercise of basic freedom may cause suffering among those not chosen in the deliberate decisions of others. That possibility changes nothing. Those who would justify the destruction of freedom in the guise of abolishing economic privation or hurt feelings, are on an absurd tangent. The most grievous pain comes in the primal human pursuit; and it simply cannot be seriously contended that anyone denied employment because of the superficial whim of a particular employer, likely suffered half so much as the poor girl who had to live all her days a spinster, because she happened to be ugly. Nor is the agony of the unaccepted male any less.
The typical "Liberal" answer to this argument is that people remain free to discriminate, so long as they do not do so on bases legislatively determined to be "unjust." But a people free to manage their private affairs only so long as they accept the judgment or criteria of Legislators catering to varied interests, are not free at all. So long as is the negation of freedom. Of course, the answer to concern over the pain of rejection lies not in the antics of politicians, but in a spirit of civility--in the encouragement of good manners and kind feelings. You cannot legislate manners or feelings. You can repress freedom.
At the beginning of the 20th Century, the most prominent spokesman for Negro America was the famed Educator, Booker T. Washington. Washington, a self-made man and true role model, urged his people to better themselves as every other group in America had bettered themselves: By developing the talents they had; by making themselves an indispensable part of a broader economy. He never advocated special legislation to force acceptance or association, to compel others to house or hire his people. His program was wholly consistent with both his Christian faith and an American ethos, which looked to the individual to solve the individual's problem. His program for intergroup relations was to celebrate what was tantamount to a common heritage, yet to respect what was different. Under this wise policy, relations between the races improved. Problems, which had once seemed insoluble, were being solved. Unfortunately others had a different agenda. (See Civil War, Reconstruction & Creating Hate In America Today.)
The "Civil Rights" Movement grew out of a number of promotions on the far Left of the American Social/Political scene. The N.A.A.C.P., created by White Fabian Socialists in 1909, is perhaps the most consistent of those involved. But other groups on the moderate to far Left, including the Communist Party from the 1920s forward, all demanded some form of forced racial equality in American Society. Although these groups aggressively recruited support, it was not until America entered World War II, that they became strong enough to really impact the Executive or Legislative branch of the Federal Government.
Soon after America entered that War, President Roosevelt responded to a threatened Labor disruption with an Executive Order setting up a Fair Employment Practices Commission, under claimed War Powers, for the duration of the conflict. America's employers were ordered not to discriminate upon the basis of race, creed or color, in hiring or promoting personnel. In the throes of an all out mobilization, the legalities of this maneuver went generally unchallenged.
As understood by all, the Agency expired with the conclusion of hostilities. But of lasting significance from the wartime F.E.P.C. was a pattern, frequently observed in its legislated counterparts, ever since: A wholly disproportionate number of the staff clearly identified with minority group interests. It was never an objective agency. And, by its very existence, it tended to undermine the earned credentials of those who, despite minority status, had demonstrated an ability to succeed by honest effort. (This aspect of "Affirmative Action" has always been a factor in such enactments.)
Shortly after the War, several of the most "Liberal" States, including New York and Massachusetts, adopted State F.E.P.C. laws, forbidding discrimination in employment or union membership on the basis of race, color, creed or national origin. Campaigns for similar legislation were soon underway in most Northern States and, in 1947, President Truman called for Congress to adopt a Federal law to the same effect.
But while the battle for Governmental supervision of employment preferences continued, State by State; the adamant opposition of the Southern States, and the willingness of Southern Senators to filibuster against all such Legislation in the U.S. Senate--where there was a tradition of unlimited debate--effectively blocked any Federal legislation from the time of Harry Truman's first proposal, until the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November, 1963. Over that 16 year period, every National Convention of the Democratic Party featured a lusty battle over the issue--each side putting on something of a show for their respective constituencies--while the equally divided Republicans appeared far less vocal.
The general balance between Left and Right--with the traditional check in the United States Senate still adequate through the 1963 March on Washington and up until the Presidential assassination--collapsed in a sudden Leftward tumble after November 22, 1963. The Republicans, who had been gradually tilting to the right, under the growing influence of Senator Barry Goldwater, allowed the new President Lyndon Johnson an extended "honeymoon"--an effort to create the semblance of unity in a possible crisis--by refraining from major criticism until deeply into the Presidential campaign. In the meanwhile, Johnson, who as a Senator from Texas had been a "Liberal" on most issues, but a moderate Conservative on "Civil Rights," dropped any pretense of the Conservative. Long considered the ultimate "wheeler-dealer" of his Congressional generation, the new President put all of his considerable and often demonstrated talent at forging consensuses, into ramming a many faceted "Civil Rights" bill through both Houses in 1964.
The "Civil Rights Act of 1964" not only established an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission--an equivalent to the previous F.E.P.C.s, then operating in about half the States--but now conceptually expanded it to also forbid discrimination on the basis of sex. It produced a number of other intrusions outside the scope of this Chapter, including restrictions on free choice in places of public accommodation, an authorization for Justice Department involvement in school integration cases, and a "rebuttable presumption" with respect to the level of reading or understanding required to vote in any Federal election: that any person who has not been adjudged an incompetent and who has completed the sixth grade in a public school in ... any State or territory...where instruction is carried on predominantly in the English language, possesses sufficient literacy, comprehension and intelligence to vote in any Federal election.
Of course, that presumption of understanding establishes the level of intelligence to which the appeal was directed. The principal tactics of the proponents were the usual aspersions of "bigotry" against the opponents, with self-serving attributions of enlightenment directed at the sponsors; the usual question begging technique of the Left, made credible by a Left leaning media, all too happy to picture the proposed act as an "idea whose time had come."
An illustration of the power of this combination of a skilled "wheeler-dealer" in the Executive with a media orchestrated clamor to intimidate Congress, is afforded by the fact that even many Conservative Republicans, supporting Barry Goldwater for President that year, ended up voting for the Bill. Of the 27 Senators who opposed it, Goldwater could draw only 5 others of his party into the ranks of the Conservative opposition. (Strom Thurmond, a staunch Democratic foe of the legislation, only switched parties after the Goldwater nomination.) While Goldwater was rallying the rank and file Republicans to the Right in the Presidential Primaries, their representatives in Congress were being swept Leftward in a contrived rush to change America!
In the fall election, Goldwater was buried by "Liberal" Republican defections and media smears that had nothing to do with the issue in this Chapter, but much to do with a contrived fear of nuclear war. (To understand the power of that issue at the time, one might look at the effect on George Wallace's Third Party candidacy four years later; when he put a tough Air Force General Curtis LeMay on his ticket, and quickly lost 40% of his support!) Yet with Lyndon Johnson still in the White House, the Leftward lurch continued to accelerate. 1965 saw an intrusive Federal "Voting Rights" Law, the launch of "Medicare" and the disastrous turn in American Immigration policy discussed in Chapter 15. Three years later, Johnson took the Federal Government to the next level of intrusion; forcing a "Fair Housing Act" through Congress, to establish a Federal role in the patterns of residential association across America.
The assumption by Government of a right to pass judgment upon the uses of private property, in such of its most essential attributes as are involved in contracting with personnel or granting rights of tenancy, is completely antithetical to the concepts upon which America--as a Federation of political societies--was premised. While neither an FEPC or EEOC actually assumes control of private property; laws outlawing numerous categories of personal preference clearly assume a right to use private property to accomplish a public end--a utilitarian approach that treats the individual and his property as public assets, always subject to the whim of a majority; in essence the philosophy of Nazi Germany, where property remained private, yet totally subject to the will of Government.
The decision to intrude Government into employment and housing, for the avowed purpose of forcing a species of equality upon the social order, is--to the degree allowed to override individual preferences and achievement to that purpose--a practical application of Communism: The coerced collectivist regimentation of humanity in pursuit of an egalitarian delusion. But we do not need to resort to even the suggestion of an ad hominem argument, to demonstrate the absurdity of attempting to couple forced egalitarianism with "fairness" in the fields of employment or housing.
The significant differences between individuals cannot be quantified in any way susceptible to objective evaluation by Government regulators, passing judgment on private employment practices according to arbitrary guidelines. Let us, for the sake of argument only, agree that decisions based purely on faith or ethnicity are not proper bases for hiring personnel. A complex of obviously useful factors, which would distinguish between perspective employees, would lead inexorably back to criteria that must seem to one in the "Civil Rights" mindset to be virtually the same thing. While an employer acting in fear of the EEOC might be expected to consciously favor members of those minorities reflected in the bureaucratic personnel with whom he must deal; an employer, actually bent upon not discriminating on the proscribed bases, yet not burdened by a totalitarian bureaucracy, might still recognize some completely valid distinctions:
Not only do specific recognizable groups differ widely in respective ranges of measurable aptitudes (in Chapter 5, we only scratched the surface), but there are more subtle differences between individuals of all backgrounds that must play a definite role in how they perform in any given situation. For example, take three English majors, each from the State of New York, each with a modestly above average I.Q. of 120, roughly equivalent scores on the New York Regency examinations, and precisely the same College grade point averages, from the same College: One from an old stock American background, the son of an Episcopal Rector in Utica; one from a Brooklyn Jewish American background, the son of the operator of a small neighborhood grocery; the last from an Italian American family in Rochester, the son of a restaurateur. Is true equivalence possible?
Clearly, there are respective situations, both from the perspective of interaction with fellow employees, and that of interaction with those outside with whom a hypothetical company must deal, which would be to the relative advantage of each of the three. Clearly, also, some slight additional details, might alter an advantage that appears at "first blush." Certainly the precise nature of any interaction--the full context of that interaction--might considerably alter such first impression. So also might some unexpected facets of each individual.
Consider a company marketing English children's classics, if the Episcopal Rector's son had been raised not with traditional fare, but in a leftwing household dedicated to the promotion of "cultural diversity"; that in place of Mother Goose, he had been steeped in a steady diet of third world culture, followed by the angry rant of American minorities. What then, if the Jewish or Italian candidate had been steeped in the very English classics, the company sought to market--perhaps even writing a number of term papers on the symbolism in Mother Goose? Could we not pose a thousand such situations? Obviously an employer has a real incentive to dig deeply into his choice of personnel. He bears the ultimate risk of failure; reaps the ultimate reward for success. Are the finer nuances of such evaluations really any business of Government?
Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the most "Liberal" women of the 20th Century. She was known for her pursuit of many of the Leftist causes that we excoriate in this Handbook. When she took over superintendence of the White House as First Lady in March of 1933, she promptly segregated the domestic staff--which had apparently been partly White under Hoover. Raised in affluence and accustomed to dealing with domestics, she reasoned that an all Negro staff would work better together. Is there one shred of evidence that she was wrong in this reasoned assumption? Is it reasonable that Government, without being able to show that she was wrong in this, should be able to tell private employers that they cannot make the same decision?
Ultimately, it may be a result only of very lazy analysis--such as we confessed to earlier, in writing of our high school days--which would make any honest person suggest that employment decisions can be rationally regulated by such an organization as the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission.
The concept that there is such a quality as "fair housing" in forced housing integration, is belied by a fundamental difference in how fairly typical members of different races view their immediate neighbors and neighborhood. The best discussion of the issues involved in the application of "Civil Rights" theories to private housing, may be found in the "Symposium on Anti-Discrimination Legislation, Freedom of Choice, and Property Rights in Housing," edited by Alfred Avins, Open Occupancy Vs. Forced Housing Under The Fourteenth Amendment: Bookmailer, New York, 1963. In an article describing a study financed by Liberal, pro-integration groups, Joshua A. Fishman reported on relevant behavioral determinants in Bridgeview, New Jersey, a new, voluntarily integrated, suburban community near New York City (pp. 124-136):
In Bridgeview we noted that the hold-outs from reciprocal visiting were mostly whites who had already visited in the homes of Negroes but who had not yet had Negroes to their own homes. This implies both Negro initiative in issuing invitations and in seeking to establish interracial social relations as well as a hanging back on the part of whites. Actually we have considerable evidence that Negroes are much more eager for interracial social relations than are whites. Negroes more frequently want to be warm neighbors, and they more frequently prefer that their neighbors, Negroes and whites alike, be warm and friendly rather than casual and polite. Negroes believe that interracial social relations have not sufficiently increased in number. Whites on the other hand, are less eager for interracial social relations, believe that interracial social functions have grown greatly in number and are generally much less eager to give or to receive warm neighborly behavior..[Emphasis added.] (pp. 125-6)
What Fishman, writing under a subsidy from Left leaning groups fails to appreciate, of course, is that what he has correctly identified are not traits limited to those engaging in experiments in interracial neighborhoods, at a particular moment in time. There is a mountain of evidence that Negroes are more sociable than Whites. That is neither a good nor a bad trait. Although it may offer some advantages in crowded urban conditions, it is also the root of the problem that many Negro parents experience in trying to help their children resist destructive peer pressures. It is also not a trait limited, in any sense, to the broader American social environment.
One of the most striking images, that one driving around rural South Africa may acquire, is the profound difference in the way Afrikaners (Whites of old Dutch and French Huguenot ancestry) and local Bantu tribes place their homes. (While the Bantu are only distant cousins of the American Negro, they display a similar sociability in a number of regards--a good example being the Indaba, or traditional tribal Democracy.) The latter place their homes in close clusters, surrounded by large empty tracks of tribal land. The Afrikaners spread out to obtain substantial distances between the homes of immediate neighbors. This trait is so pronounced, that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in his 1900 account of the first year of (The Great Boer War), describes them as a people who felt crowded if they could see the smoke from their neighbor's chimney.
The neighborhood means different things to different folks. It was always thus. Is it, then, so unreasonable that people might prefer to live near neighbors with congenial traits or attitudes, that Government must now dictate standards for making choices in the sale or rental of residential property?
The Avins symposium included an article by Clairette P. Armstrong, Ralph W. Erickson, Henry E. Garrett and A. James Gregor, "Interracial Housing And The Law: A Social Science Assessment" (Ibid., pp. 137-158). In a discussion of homogeneous neighborhoods, they observed in part (pp. 147-150):
Sociologists have long appreciated the fact that men are animated by a disposition to seek out those they fancy similar to themselves. This has been characterized as a generic fact of social life: "The manifest tendency of ...groups is to value their distinctive traits, be they physical or cultural, to make interpersonal selection on the basis of perceived similarity, and to enter into selective associations, associations of preference, the obverse of which is the latent or manifest avoidance of those groups which are, in lesser or greater degree, dissimilar." This dispositional trait has been identified as a "constant" by Niceforo .... It has been empirically assessed in a number of studies, in a number of micro-sociological situations.
Such a disposition manifests itself in an emotional conceptualization of the group of which the individual is a member. The conscious recognition of the psychic feeling of belongingness renders the individual comfortable in the presence of members of his preferred association and uncomfortable in their absence or in the presence of out-group members. ... The tendency to associate with a select group becomes increasingly emphatic when the relationships are primary, rather than secondary. The circumstances which attend living in the same building, or in the same neighborhood, engender contact on a primary level...
Each group, whether that group be economic, religious, national or ethnic, entertains certain values to which it commits itself ... and which it would instill in its children. Whatever those values happen to be, they lend substance to group life, to preferred associations, and it would seem that parents have a legitimate right to foster in their offspring the values that have given meaning and content to their own lives. ...
Whatever we know of attitude formation in children indicates that attitudes ... are articulated by and large in the interaction with a peer-group... Children with well-established primary systems developed by virtue of parent-child and subsequently peer-group interaction, are fundamentally more secure than children beset by the psychological tensions of adjusting to a variety of diverse and perhaps conflicting value systems.
... Should any group, be it a class, a religion, a national or ethnic minority, seek to foster its values in its children, it would seek, quite rationally, to maintain the class, religious, national or ethnic integrity of the environment in which the child develops in order to insure the continuity and coherency of moral, aesthetic or religious training. ...Parents have a right to raise their children in an environment in which there is a reasonably high order probability that those with whom their child will enter into contact will share their fundamental values. It is reasonable to expect that a group which shares a common culture, history and heritage will share substantially the same values. For a family to seek such an environment, compatible with the fostering of its select values, is, in essence, reasonable.
"Fair Housing," then, may be more about the Battle Over Patterns Of Personal Identification discussed in Chapter 11, than anything to do with improved housing for minorities. It fits in very nicely with the Leftist War On Social Cohesion (linked below).
Consider, in summary, the ideological chasm between the philosophy of the "Civil Rights" Movement and essential American principles:
1. Private property has always been sacred to Americans. If there was a common theme that united the philosophically very different types who settled in the pre-Revolutionary British Colonies, it was a respect for the ownership of property with all that that entailed. Puritan New England, Quaker Pennsylvania, Catholic Maryland, Cavalier Virginia and Carolina, may not have agreed on much else; but they all respected the rights of ownership. Property rights were not subject to the whims of your neighbors. Yet the "Civil Rights" movement clearly treats private property, one's business or real estate, as subservient to whatever those in control of the Government, at a given moment in time, decide is sound social policy.
2. It is basic to our system, that one who hires another is responsible to third persons for the deeds of such employee while acting within the scope of that employment--the law of Respondeat Superior. It used to be fundamental to that concept that an employer had the absolute right to choose those for whose torts he would agree to be responsible, i.e. those whom he would employ. "Civil Rights" legislation clearly sweeps away that measure of self-protection.
3. Freedom of association used to be basic. We always understood that the freedom to choose an associate implied the freedom to reject association with someone else. That certainly included associations that one formed in private business or in renting space in a building which one owned. "Civil Rights" legislation treats such freedom as non-existent.
4. At the time of the American Revolution, the quartering of British troops in Boston homes was seen as intolerable. Does anyone believe that the patriots, who rallied against that intrusive violation of property rights, would have agreed to the British Government--or any other Government's--telling them to whom they must rent residential space, or to whom they could not refuse to rent residential space?
5. America, from her embryonic Colonial days, has been home to many religious communities where people associated with their coreligionists to the exclusion of humanity in general, or other fellow countrymen in particular. In the aggressive "Civil Rights" assault on the essence of preferred association with those who share spiritual values, there is total disrespect for the rationale of the theologically based community.
6. Inherent in those same principles of religious freedom and the right to choose one's associates, is the right to believe that those raised within a certain value system, whether religious or ethnic, are more trustworthy by reason of such upbringing. Before the Twentieth Century, no one would have even questioned the validity of such criteria. Clearly, the "Civil Rights" movement has no tolerance for such thinking--indeed, is specifically directed to outlaw all such considerations.
7. In a moral and provident society, each generation seeks to pass on an increasing legacy--both spiritual and material--to the next. In America, people have always progressed by individual effort not group effort. Here, group progress is a purely statistical aggregation of the upward struggle of individuals. To progress, individuals must find their own opportunities. The whole rationale of the "Civil Rights" movement misses this point, and assumes that opportunity is something that must either be created by a collective or, if created by an individual, arrogated by the collective to an egalitarian purpose.
8. The essence of a Nation is in a sense of common heritage, common values and common history--of shared experiences, shared struggle, generation by generation. The essence of loyalty to any Nation has always implied a preference for one's countrymen--if not for each and every one of them, certainly as a whole--over any random sampling of humanity. A Nation is never a game of "Musical Chairs." Yet the "Civil Rights" laws specifically forbid preferences based upon National Origin. It is illegal--if one accepts the premises of the "Civil Rights" Movement--for one to give preference to a descendant of the Founding Fathers, to whom we owe everything, over someone who recently crossed the border, not to serve the American ideal, but simply to avail himself of a better paying job.
That this goes against the whole warp and woof of nationality would be obvious to everyone but for a sentiment born not in reason, but in the skilled verbalizations of propagandists. Was "Civil Rights" more an idea whose time had come, or a study in the manipulation of mob psychology? Your children's future may depend on the answer!
When a people embrace a political dispensation, which makes it a positive value not to favor your own--not to make any distinction more favorable to one with whom you share a common history or common blood over any other person;--it is difficult to imagine what really remains of the concept of the Nation. One could make an almost analogous point about the strength of a religious faith, which one is free to practice but forbidden to believe has moral values or spiritual guidance that would make any potential employee more trustworthy.
In undermining any restriction on immigration designed to favor retention of unique American characteristics, at the same time that Congress embraced a cult of non-discrimination that prevented even private preference for the rooted American over the new arrival, the Left drove a stake into the heart of ethnic or cultural continuity. In Chapter 16, we discussed the warped thinking that went into this. But understanding the enemy is not enough. We must find a way to cast forth that stake while a recognizable American Society still lives.
Americans need to understand that "Civil Rights," as that term was used in 20th Century America, are the absolute antithesis of the Free Society. The "Civil Rights" Movement has been successfully employed by the organized Left as a metaphor to revive previously rejected Socialist theories. As such it is an integral part of an alternative culture, which--if allowed to continue to flourish--may soon bring down the final curtain on the splendid spectacle that was once the American Republic.