Silencing the Opposition: Government Strategies of Suppression

SUNY Press
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This volume examines major challenges to the First Amendment using illustrative case studies of the various forms of governmental suppression in our history. Essays show that governmental forces have used rhetorical strategies in simple and sophisticated ways to silence opponents.By studying which strategies are effective, how they evolve, and how they are unmasked, we gain a better understanding to combat them in the future.

The case studies include the crisis surrounding the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts, Abraham Lincoln's suspension of Habeas Corpus during the Civil War, the Radical Republican's revenge on he South during reconstruction, the marginalization of Native Americans throughout our history, the suppression of labor unions at the end of the nineteenth century, Senator Joseph McCarthy's allegations that the government had been infiltrated by Communists at the outset of the Cold War, and Lyndon Johnson's and Richard Nixon's strategies for silencing their opponents during the Vietnam War. The editor concludes the study by comparing and contrasting the various cases and the lessons that can be drawn from them.
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About the author

Craig R. Smith is Professor and Director of the Center for First Amendment Studies at California State University, Long Beach. He has written several books including To Form a More Perfect Union; First Amendment Rights of Commercial Speakers; Freedom of Expression and Partisan Politics; and The Diversity Principle: Friend or Foe of the First Amendment.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Pages
284
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ISBN
9781438420462
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Movements / Phenomenology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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For two decades, students and instructors have relied on award-winning author Craig Smith’s detailed description and analysis of rhetorical theories and the historical contexts for major thinkers who advanced them. He employs key themes from important philosophical schools in this well-researched chronicle of rhetoric and human consciousness. One is that rhetoric is a response to uncertainty. The modern philosophers, like the naturalists of ancient Greece and the Scholastics who preceded them, tried to end uncertainty by combining the discoveries of science and psychology with rationalism. Their aim was progress and a consensus among experts as to what truth is. However, where modernism proved ineffective, rhetoric was revived to fill the breach. Another significant theme is that different conceptions of human consciousness lead to different theories of rhetoric, and for every major school of thought, another school of thought forms in reaction.

Classic and contemporary examples demonstrate the usefulness of rhetorical theory, especially its ability to inform and guide. By providing probes for rhetorical criticism, discussions also demonstrate that rhetorical criticism illustrates, verifies, and refines rhetorical theory. Thus, the synergistic relationship between theory and criticism in rhetoric is no different than in other arts: Theory informs practice; analysis of successful practice refines theory.

Smith’s absorbing study has been expanded to include thorough treatments of rhetoric in the Romantic Era, feminist and queer theory, and historical context for the creation of rhetorical theory and its use in public address.
Antifragile is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand. The other books in the series are Fooled by Randomness, The Black Swan, Skin in the Game, and The Bed of Procrustes.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world.

Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish. 

In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. In Antifragile, Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.

Furthermore, the antifragile is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events. Why is the city-state better than the nation-state, why is debt bad for you, and why is what we call “efficient” not efficient at all? Why do government responses and social policies protect the strong and hurt the weak? Why should you write your resignation letter before even starting on the job? How did the sinking of the Titanic save lives? The book spans innovation by trial and error, life decisions, politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine. And throughout, in addition to the street wisdom of Fat Tony of Brooklyn, the voices and recipes of ancient wisdom, from Roman, Greek, Semitic, and medieval sources, are loud and clear.

Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world.

Erudite, witty, and iconoclastic, Taleb’s message is revolutionary: The antifragile, and only the antifragile, will make it.

Praise for Antifragile

“Ambitious and thought-provoking . . . highly entertaining.”—The Economist

“A bold book explaining how and why we should embrace uncertainty, randomness, and error . . . It may just change our lives.”—Newsweek
Annotation Daniel Webster (1782-1852) embodied the golden age of oratory in America by mastering each of the major genres of public speaking of the time. Even today, many of his victories before the Supreme Court remain as precedents. Webster served in the House, the Senate, and twice as secretary of state. He was so famous as a political orator that his reply "Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!" to Senator Robert Hayne in a debate in 1830 was memorized by schoolboys and was on the lips of Northern soldiers as they charged forward in the Civil War. There would have been no 1850 Compromise without Webster, and without the Compromise, the Civil War might well have come earlier to an unprepared North. Webster was also the consummate ceremonial speaker. He advanced Whig virtues and solidified support for the Union through civil religion, creating a transcendent symbol for the nation that became a metaphor for the working constitutional framework. While several biographies have been written about Webster, none has focused on his oratorical talent. This study examines Webster's incredible career from the perspective of his great speeches and how they created a civil religion that moved citizens beyond loyalty and civic virtue to true romantic patriotism. Craig R. Smith places Webster's speeches in their historical context and then uses the tools of rhetorical criticism to analyze them. He demonstrates that Webster understood not only how rhetorical genres function to meet the expectations of the moment but also how they could be braided to produce long-lasting and literate discourse.
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