“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana (1863)
In 1927, the “committee” which ratified Stalin’s consolidation of power in Russia still had a problem with the peasants who wanted to own their own land. (The Communist press of the 1920’s referred to this as “the cursed problem.”) Stalin’s solution was to wage war on the peasants as a means of bringing them under the control of the state and make them pay the costs of his “new plan”.
The plan was collectivization: individual peasant farms were consolidated into large, state-controlled enterprises and peasants ordered to give up their land and animals and become members of these (while still living in their own homes). Stalin ordered party leaders to destroy the wealthiest peasants, known as kulaks, to “liquidate them as a class.” They lost their land and livestock and were not permitted to join the collective farms; rather they either starved or were deported to forced-labor camps in Siberia for “re-education.” The term kulak soon was used for any peasant who opposed Stalin’s plan.
How do I know this is true? In 1933 my relatives were stripped of their land and sent to Siberia in the name of the advancement of the state. If you think it can’t happen here you are, at best, naive – it is already in process.
Now in light of the above, consider Bill S1339 currently approved by the Idaho Oil and Gas “Committee” and awaiting full passage by the House (already passed in the Senate):
“The commission shall have…jurisdiction and authority over all persons and property, public and private, necessary to enforce the provisions of this act, and shall have power and authority to make and enforce rules, regulations and orders, and do whatever may reasonably be necessary to carry out the provisions of this act. Any delegation of authority to any other state officer, board or commission to administer any and all other laws of this state relating to the conservation of oil and gas is hereby rescinded and withdrawn and such authority is hereby unqualifiedly conferred upon the commission, as herein provided.” – (page 2 of the bill – and already Idaho law).
In the United States, we have three branches of government: judicial, legislative, and executive – separate and distinct, each with their rights/duties. The country was established this way to ensure one group or person did not get too much power and in turn abuse the citizens. By referencing the USSR, you may think I am overstating the case: not so. This law consolidates power and enforcement under “the committee”, and the bill under the Department of Lands – neither body is even elected.
The judicial branch of government, the executive branch, law enforcement, local governments have no say. Most important, the PEOPLE have no say regarding this “large state-controlled enterprise.” These are not the actions of a democratic society but of a totalitarian regime. For now, this is only land, oil, and gas – but what next?
There is not a regime in history that made all the changes toward totalitarianism overnight – they ALL started with things like this. If we do not stop it now, how will we stop it next time when there is “precedence”?
Your thoughts on oil and gas may differ from mine, but if you are “OK” with a bill like this, do not wonder “what happened?” when “freedom of the press” or the right to bear arms is gone. If you agree with the bill, let me introduce you to your new motto: “Slava KPSS” (Glory to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union).