Teri Kanefield @Teri_Kanefield Author, lawyer (U.C. Berkeley). I tweet about the law, books, politics, and history. All my threads are here as blog entries: t.co/vdLoEAoLvv Feb. 04, 2019 3 min read

(Thread) guns, authoritarians, and regulations.

Hi, Craig,

Well, okay.

Maybe it isn’t obvious that a desire to sweep away regulations and gun rights and “entitlements” is authoritarian.

So I’ll explain.

Let’s start with regulations.

1/ Regulations are anti-authoritarian, because regulations say that everyone lives under the same rules. This is also known as rule of law. You can’t have rule of law without laws. Regulations = laws.

Authoritarians want to sweep away existing rules so their word becomes law.

2/ This is often done by means of a cult of leadership, as explained👇

The leader says “I alone can solve our nation’s problems!”

The followers believe (or pretend to believe) that the leader’s instincts are superior to the logic of the ruling elites.

3/ For more Trump's cult of leadership, see this thread:


When leaders tell the people that they want to get rid of regulations, they don’t say “so we can create autocracy,” they say, “so we can create individual liberty.”

Let's think about that.

4/ When people are opposed to “regulations” in general (instead of a particular regulation they don’t like) they’re often referring to regulations that hamper businesses, including industries like banking and lending.

5/ For why someone might want to remove such regulations, read this thread on Trump’s lawbreaking:

 https://terikanefield-blog.com/whats-up-with-all-trumps-lawbreaking/ 

I’ve never met someone who wants to get rid of regulations in general because they want the freedom to be nicer to people.

6/ Not all regulations hamper businesses.

Some—like rape laws and laws against sexual harassment—restrict a different kind of personal freedom: The freedom to grab.

For more on our (relatively new) rape laws, see:

7/ A reader asked me to explain what was wrong with a group called the 10th Amendment Nullification Libertarians.

A dive into their website makes clear the connection between Confederates, Trump, and extreme libertarianism.

8/ I assume it goes without saying that the Confederacy was authoritarian.

Now, we come to guns.

As I explained in the GOP history thread, as part the backlash to the 60s cultural changes, the NRA turned into a right wing extremist group, demanding no gun regulations.

9/ From @TimothyDSnyder :

When Putin took a close look at the U.S. for weaknesses to exploit, he noticed the uncontrolled gun violence in America.
 https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/books/ct-books-road-to-unfreedom-timothy-snyder-20180403-story.html 
It occurred to him: Stoke discord in the US by pumping more guns into the hands of ordinary people.

10/ We now know that the Russians successfully infiltrated the NRA.

Butina entered the US with a persona perfectly calibrated to appeal to the far right wing.
 https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/verabergengruen/maria-butina-spent-years-wooing-us-conservatives-heres-how?utm_source=dynamic&utm_campaign=bffbbuzzfeednews&ref=bffbbuzzfeednews 

11/ She projected a "yearning for America’s easy access to guns, and a hint of criticism of Russia’s own laws.”

She now stands accused of being a spy for the Kremlin, working directly for oligarch Torshin (who also has connections to the Trumps).
 https://www.lawfareblog.com/document-indictment-against-mariia-butina 

12/ I won't go into all the NRA-Russia connections.

I assume it also goes without saying that Russia is authoritarian. Many Americans, though, prefer Putin to the Democrats. "What?" you say.

See 👇

13/ Lastly, we come to “Entitlements," which are more than a way of helping the oppressed.

They also prevent extreme income inequality.

Extreme income inequality leads to oligarchy.
Oligarchy limits freedom (and wealth) to those at the top.

For more on that, see 👇

14/ I also assume it goes without saying that oligarchy = authoritarian.

There. I think I covered it all:

The connection between regulations, guns, entitlements, and authoritarians.


You can follow @Teri_Kanefield.



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