A year less than a century ago, Oliver Wendell Holmes, one of history’s more hysterical robed rogues, clarified the malevolence by which state tyranny may operate, in response to a godless socialist appealing criminal conviction for having called on citizens to rescind barren barons bellowing the mandate that USA’s slaves kill and die in war:
“[T]he character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done. The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic. [The] question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.”
Meanwhile, a government “by the people,” and “for the people,” need not force its people to fight wars; indeed it cannot. Yet Holmes’ hubris bent him to the hypocrisy of criminalizing “fire’s” chaos, while simultaneously codifying the right of unaccountable bureaucrats to shout “fire!” to create a crowded theater of war — which summarily and immediately, by Holmes’ limp analysis, nullifies and criminalizes all peaceful dissent that is whatsoever effective.
Mere months thereafter, the myopic menace began to retool his tawdry teleology — seeking to shift its emphasis, from timing to intent. Yet imploding societies never need even the most hellishly helpful Holmes longer than for the briefest things; and so, just a year later, Holmes’ handlers passed the torch of torturing indentured conscripts — to nature’s most chicken of hawks: the kid-killing, penis-envying, truth-loathing, hypocrisy-bathing, war-loving “suffragettes” — where the same shame remains most potently to this day.