Montreal, October 13, 2001  /  No 90  
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Les dépenses publiques au Canada, en pourcentage du PIB:
1926        15% 
1948      21% 
1966     30% 
1996   46% 
(Source: Statistique Canada)
          Wars are the ultimate manifestation of state totalitarianism. They are not only fought on the battlefields, but also at home, in the attempts to mobilize and conscript citizens for the war aims. On this home front, the state's weapons are propaganda and legal coercion. 
          To make sure that this mobilization of the whole citizenry proceeds without obstruction, the government has to silence its critics and all those who oppose the war. At one point, propaganda ceases to be enough, and there is a clamp-down on freedom. The press is censored, free speech is restricted, any criticism of the army, the government and its war strategy is forbidden. 
          That's what happened in Canada and the USA during the First and Second World Wars. In the so-called "Land of the Free", the Espionage Act of 1917 (amended in 1918) imposed severe criminal penalties on all forms of expression in any way critical of the government, its symbols or its mobilization of resources for the war. Those suppressions of free speech, subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court, established dangerous precedents that derogated from the rights previously enjoyed by citizens under the First Amendment. 
          This law remained in effect during WWII and allowed the governement to ban newspapers critical of the official line and to censor the content of press reports and radio broadcasts as well as personal mail entering or leaving the country. Should we be surprised that similar developments can already be observed in the current war? 
          Following is and excerpt from the Espionage Act as amended in 1918. 
M. M. 
The Espionage Act, May 16, 1918
          Be it enacted, That section three of the Act . . . approved June 15, 1917, be . . . amended so as to read as follows:  

SEC. 3. Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall wilfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States, or to promote the success of its enemies, or shall wilfully make or convey false reports, or false statements, or say or do anything except by way of bona fide and not disloyal advice to an investor... with intent to obstruct the sale by the United States of bonds... or the making of loans by or to the United States, or whoever, when the United States is at war, shall wilfully cause... or incite... insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall wilfully obstruct... the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, and whoever, when the United States is at war, shall wilfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the Constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States, or the flag... or the uniform of the Army or Navy of the United States, or any language intended to bring the form of government... or the Constitution... or the military or naval forces... or the flag... of the United States into contempt, scorn, contumely, or disrepute... or shall wilfully display the flag of any foreign enemy, or shall wilfully... urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production in this country of any thing or things... necessary or essential to the prosecution of the war... and whoever shall wilfully advocate, teach, defend, or suggest the doing of any of the acts or things in this section enumerated and whoever shall by word or act support or favor the cause of any coun try with which the United States is at war or by word or act oppose the cause of the United States therein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both...  
(Source: Internet Modern History Sourcebook) 

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