Essay Sample: The Repression of Dissent

Published: 2023-07-31
Essay Sample: The Repression of Dissent
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Violence Government Homeland security Social issue
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1566 words
14 min read

According to Parenti, repression of dissent refers to the situation whereby the corporate-dominated state is more sincere and dedicated to fighting dissent than addressing or fighting organized crimes (Parenti, 2010, p. 119). This situation further occurs when federal institutions such as the FBI, IRS, the Department of Homeland Security, and the NORTHCOM have been focused on the protection of the rich. On the other hand, the poor are thus made to remain silent or subjected to harsh treatment, especially when the government believes that the masses have dangerous thoughts or support (Parenti, 2010, p. 119).

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The National Security Autocracy

In this case, Parenti asserts that the national security of the US has absolute power (Parenti, 2010, p. 129). To an extent, an individual can be subjected to security checks, wiretapped, illegally inspected, and even declared an enemy combatant. This can happen to individuals without the right to appeal or have legitimate access to appropriate legal help. Broadly, anyone who disagrees with the president can quickly become a political prisoner within a nation that claims to be most democratic (Parenti, 2010, p. 129).

Homeland Insecurity

While the fundamental role of homeland security is charged with the responsibility of working within the civilian sphere to protect the US, and outside borders, Parenti believes that it has not been achieved (Parenti, 2010, p. 134). Instead of offering security to civilians, the department has continued to subject citizens to never-ending suffering that emanates from the insecurity from within. The agency has failed to protect and respond to domestic emergencies, such as terrorism (Parenti, 2010, p. 134).

Conservative Judicial Activism

Conservative judicial activism refers to the philosophy that courts should go beyond the words of the Constitution to integrate the broader societal implications of its decisions. According to Parenti, the current judicial activism is more focused on the fight for the preservation of a range of institutions such as religion, property rights, and government.

Circumventing the First Amendment

According to Parenti, circumventing the first amendment refers to a situation whereby the government surreptitiously escapes and fails to respect the constitutional amendment that prevented it from laws that control the establishment of religion, freedom of the press, speech, and free exercise of religion. Broadly, the government has always attempted to ensure that the fourth amendment of the US Constitution is respected (Parenti, 2010, p. 255).

As the Court Turns

According to Parenti, the court has absolute powers to make and turn decisions even made by other branches of the government. The court can vote for or against a given decision where the majority of the judges corrupted by the corporate money (Parenti, 2010, p. 258. In some situations, they have permitted specific candidates to resurface in the immediate days that precedes the election (Parenti, 2010, p. 258. In another circumstance, the court curtailed the free expression rights of the public school children based on the fact that they uttered things that the court did not like.

Part B

Nationalization of the Bill of Rights

In his book, Greenberg provides a comprehensive exposition regarding the concept of the Nationalization of the Bill of Rights. Broadly, Greenberg argued about nationalization as a process of incorporating the Bill of Rights (Greenberg & Page, 1999, p. 43). According to Greenberg, it involves the process whereby the American courts have applied the portions of the US’s Bills of Rights to the states. The doctrine of incorporation asserts that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies the Bill to the states.

Before the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment as well as the development of the doctrine of incorporation, the Supreme Court of the US held the Barron v. Baltimore in 1833 (Greenberg & Page, 1999, p. 51-52). In this case, the Bill of Rights applied only to the US’s federal government but not the states. It is, however, critical to note that a number of court interpretations in the 1920s incorporated specific components of the Bill of Rights into the Fourteenth Amendment. This meant that they could be enforced against the state governments (UNDP, 2002).

While all these are evident, Greenberg believes that nationalization or the total incorporation of the Bill of Rights is critical in protecting the fundamental rights and liberties of the citizens. Greenberg recognizes that the Bill of Rights does not protect explicitly talk discuss and explain to infringement by the state governments. Thus, courts must ensure that the states are limited or restricted to infringing their citizens’ rights and liberties. This implies that the Bill of Rights’ protection must be the responsibility of all government levels and not just the federal governments (Greenberg & Page, 1999, p. 56). Thus, the constitutional interpretation of the Bill of Rights would follow the regulations and the requirements described under the selective incorporation doctrine. Greenberg recognizes that many Americans have had their rights and liberties infringed because of the state’s constitutional interpretation (Greenberg & Page, 1999, p. 34). Some of them have ended up serving life imprisonment based on decisions that resulted because of such interpretations. According to Greenberg, well-laid legislation governs the same interpretations of the Bill of Rights by both the state and federal governments.

Evolution of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press

In his book, Greenberg provides a great exposition regarding the evolution and development of both the Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press (Greenberg & Page, 1999, p. 56). Ideally, Greenberg traces the development of the current privileges associated with the freedom of speech and freedom of press to the First Amendment to the US Constitution. As part of the first amendment, Congress was barred from making laws that abridged or limited the freedom of speech or of the press, which both provide individuals the liberty to speak openly without the fear of being prosecuted by the government. The two constitutional provisions are related because this right encompasses the right to speak freely without restraint as well as the right to be heard. Both the freedom of speech and press can, therefore, be traced back to the first amendment, which was adopted on December 15, 1771 (Greenberg & Page, 1999, p. 65). This took place before the thirteen colonies declared independence from Great Britain, Previously, the British government had tried to censor the media in America and thus prohibited newspapers from making the publication of unfavorable information as well as opinions.

Evolution of Civil Liberties and Fight against Terrorism

In the book, Greenberg defines civil liberties as the rights guaranteed to citizens by the constitution of the US (Greenberg & Page, 1999, p. 34-37). Additionally, the laws made by the courts or legislation offers this provision. In the view of Greenberg, the liberties allow citizens to enjoy free speech against the government, give their opinions, arrange protests, and worship in ways they deem good. Such privileges are integrated within the Bill of Rights. Broadly, they include the rights to privacy, freedom of speech as well as gun ownership. Although America, as a colony of England, had Bill of Rights way back in the 1600s, civil liberties have undergone tremendous transformation (p. 45).

In the later 1800s, the Fourteenth Amendment incorporated civil rights into the Bill of Rights and, after that, ratified them. This decision and process implied that the individual states were prevented from establishing the laws, which were contrary to the Bill of Rights (Moore, 2003). Both the state and federal governments were further required to protect the Bill of Rights (Heymann, 2001, p. 441). This decision was not challenged but confirmed in 1925 when the Supreme Court of the US decided that the Bill of Rights restricted the states through the Fourteenth Amendment (Fenwick, 2009).

It is critical to note that civil liberties offered a proper foundation for the fight against terrorism in the United States. Greenberg recognizes the fact that terrorism is a global issue that affects the entire world (Fenwick, 2009, p. 32). Through the rights granted by the constitutions, individuals have been able to tirelessly support the policies and programs that are tailored to fight against terror. Greenberg offers an example of the 9/11 incident that claimed the lives of many Americans. Many Americans were later motivated through the spirit of nationalism to support the nation’s efforts and programs to fight corruption (Heymann, 2001, p. 441).

Part C

Opinion on Greenberg’s and Parenti’s Idea

From the discussion, it becomes evident that both Greenberg and Parenti have played a critical role in providing tremendous insights regarding some of the historical and current issues that affect the US. Broadly, they discuss the effects of civil liberties, freedom of speech, and press, whose purposes are to protect the rights against possible infringement from public officials and private citizens (Heymann, 2001, p. 441). Through this kind of protection, it is undeniable that Americans have been able to exercise their rights and freedom, in addition to giving their opinions on the government’s activities.


Greenberg, E. S., & Page, B. I. (1999). The struggle for democracy. Addison-Wesley Longman.

Heymann, P. B. (2001). Civil liberties and human rights in the aftermath of September 11. Harv. JL & Pub. Pol'y, 25, 441.

Moore, M. (2003). Stupid White Man. Newark Star Ledger.

Parenti, M. (2010). Democracy for the Few. Cengage Learning.

Fenwick, H. (2009). Civil liberties and human rights. Routledge.

UNDP, U. (2002). Human Development Report 2002: Deepening democracy in a fragmented world.

Walker, V. (2019). A Question of Democracy in US Foreign Policy. Pacific Historical Review, 88(4), 667-676.

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