Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Ludwig Von Mises Institute (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

The Russo-Ukrainian War: A New Opportunity for Demagogues to Destroy Freedoms at Home

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

Politicians thoroughly enjoy times of war. Periods of bellicosity are when the most power-hungry members of the political class indulge in their most depraved political fantasies. The Russo-Ukrainian War has been no exception to this trend.

Western politicians have been taking advantage of the largest conventional military conflict on European soil since World War II to crack down on civil liberties at home and drag their countries closer to an open conflict with a nuclear power. The domestic measures Western governments have pursued have been particularly breathtaking.

For example, the European Union has already banned Russian state media outlets such as RT and Sputnik for allegedly spreading disinformation. In the United States, which has stronger free speech protections, the assaults against freedom of expression had taken a more corporate hue. For example, Big Tech juggernauts such as Google have enthusiastically blocked channels receiving funding from Russia.

Even more egregious have been the actions of EU and North Atlantic Treaty Organization members such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia. These countries have criminalized any behavior that could be construed as being in support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Similarly, Latvia has created a police hotline where citizens can report individuals who manifest support for Russia’s military action in Ukraine. Several German states have pushed the envelope even further by prosecuting individuals who display the Z symbol connected to Russia’s military campaign.

The corporate press and governments are setting a startling precedent. The definition of “pro-Russia” content could be potentially broadened to attack antiwar activists and noninterventionists who are skeptical of Western countries trying to get involved in the Russo-Ukrainian war.

While the Russian invasion of Ukraine is horrific, there need to be honest discussions about this invasion and what led up to it. International relations scholar John Mearsheimer has talked about how US foreign policy moves such as NATO expansion helped create the conditions for the present great-power tragedy. For simply putting forth an alternative theory for what caused the present security crisis, Mearsheimer was nearly subjected to a struggle session by University of Chicago students, who adamantly refused to entertain the professor’s contrarian views.

Given the recent trajectory, it would not be a stretch to suggest that even realist critiques of Western foreign policy could be subject to social and political sanctions. The simple act of pointing out that the US’s geopolitical ambitions have played a significant role in creating the present instability could be treated as “pro-Russian” speech if deep state proponents have their way.

Dissidents getting punished for their antiwar views is nothing new in American history. Socialist leader Eugene V. Debs learned this the hard way during World War I. To make sure that America’s war effort went unchallenged, the Wilson administration passed the Espionage Act in 1917, followed by the Sedition Act in 1918.

These bills imposed harsh criminal penalties. On June 16, 1918, Debs gave a speech in Canton, Ohio, imploring attendees to resist the World War I draft. Debs’s actions eventually landed him in trouble with the law, and he was charged with ten counts of sedition. The socialist activist received a prison sentence of ten years and faced a lifetime of disenfranchisement.

It took a pardon from President Warren G. Harding, one of the presidents most pilloried by court historians, to finally get him out of jail, and Debs was released toward the end of 1921.

Later, during the Vietnam War, there were several cases of the FBI surveilling antiwar groups or even infiltrating them to hinder their effectiveness. As Randolph Bourne proclaimed in an unfinished manuscript, “War is the health of the State.” It remains so, as Western governments are working overtime to augment their power during a great-power conflict.

Self-proclaimed liberal democracies already showed their true colors during the covid-19 pandemic, when they treated their citizens like mere cattle to be poked and prodded by whimsical technocrats. Now, as the Russo-Ukrainian War rages on, they’re further manifesting their pent-up tyrannical desires.

An integral part of the West’s unique value proposition is its respect for civil liberties, something countless societies have never enshrined in their governing documents. But now that has drastically changed. The haughty rhetoric coming from Western governments about being profreedom is vacuous at best when their actual behavior is observed.

The irony here is that the West has fallen down the classic “you become what you fight” path. The very Western countries that pound their chests about their exceptionalism are now morphing into the countries they rail against.

Politics is not without a sense of irony.


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Load more ...




Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.