Here’s a bargain: five dollars to overthrow the US government | guardian.co.uk

Here’s a bargain: five dollars to overthrow the US government | Richard Adams

If you are interested in overthrowing the US government, the state of South Carolina requires you to fill out a form and pay a filing fee of $5 to indicate that interest:

Every member of a subversive organization, or an organization subject to foreign control, every foreign agent and every person who advocates, teaches, advises or practices the duty, necessity or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States, of this state or of any political subdivision thereof by force or violence or other unlawful means, who resides, transacts any business or attempts to influence political action in this state, shall register with the secretary of state on the forms and at the times prescribed by him.

I’m wondering whether I will fill out the form… Not that I have any pressing plans for the violent overthrow of the government of the United States – or South Carolina, for that matter – but I would hope to be part of a subversive organization and to ‘attempt to influence political action’ – in South Carolina and elsewhere…

And though I have a long-standing policy – dating back to my childhood with parents active in the civil rights struggle, and a father who was a refugee from South Africa – of never going south of the Mason-Dixon line, just in case I ever end up in South Carolina, I wouldn’t want to be liable for punishment “by a fine of not more than $25,000 or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or by both fine and imprisonment.”

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