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Dissent is patriotism.

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Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

Honestly I don't mean to be melodramatic, but in the last week we have lost a lot. Taken into context of a paradigm earthquake in Haiti and 460,000 gallon oil spill in Texas, most of us are immediately unaffected by the loss to which I refer, but only time will tell how the ripples of this week's losses will be navigated. First the Supreme Court went against repeated decisions which set precedence over the last hundred years and allowed corporations, foreign and domestic, to financially support and oppose political campaigns freely. This is diabolical oligarchical collectivism. It essentially draws large institutions closer. It enables them to interfere with the free flow of information and maintain the status quo suitable to their institution.

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The U.S.A. was manifest on the premise of disposing oligarchical collectivism or the interlinking of institutions. There are three types of institutions in the world; those of state, religion, and corporate. People of the U.S.A. are taught at a young age that these institutions should remain separated. When institutions interlink, individual pursuits of life, liberty and happiness are transposed for institutional agendas, whatever they may be. Institutions are not individuals.

The Boston Tea was a protest against the interlinking of institutions over individuals as was the table tossing done by Jesus in the temple where money exchangers, dove sellers and state representative linked with the church. Oligarchical collectivism has occurred throughout recorded time, even the passivity of the majority is nothing new.

As the First Amendment rights slipped form mortals hands into the mechanics of institutions, Howard Zinn also passed. A member of the peaceful minority who sought change, Howard was a true patriot in my humble opinion and an inspiration to those who would peacefully question and seek answers. My interpretation of patriotism firstly notes that no institution can be patriotic only living breathing individuals. So of course, no institution is worthy of the rights of individuals, no matter how integrated or important. Secondly I correlate patriotism with the universal rights presented and preserved in the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment. There is no such thing as institutional patriotism for only people can conduct the actions in the First Amendment.

The First Amendment not only protects these rights, but presents instruction on how individuals can empower themselves among institutions in five stages. The first part of the First Amendment states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion and the free exercise thereof. If that is granted, if individuals are allowed to question the interpretation of God without repercussion than all other questions are allowed for questioning the interpretation of God is the biggest question of all. No machine can conceptualize questioning our place in the universe and therefore are not worthy of human rights. No machine can express thought worth putting to press, no machine peaceably assembles for reasons serious of superfluous, no machine can formulate a grievance for they need nothing and are nothing but infrastructure. The First Amendment is for people not the infrastructure of people.

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Institutions, no matter how oligarchical, do not necessarily hinder individuals and often benefit, however when institutions collect and interlink the results are normally a hindrance for the many and benefit only the few. Bless Howard Zinn for his peaceful dissent and thoughtful participation which only a human could accomplish.

"Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is essential to it."

~Howard Zinn

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Ethan Indigo Smith is the son of a farmer and nurse who was later adopted by artists. Ethan was raised in Maine, Manhattan, and Mendocino, California. Ethan is a proud dropout. Ethan has traveled the world and has been employed briefly as (more...)

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