So imagine you’re a member of an organization which the government deems subversive, either for good reasons or bad ones. You end up confronted by the police at a protest or a meeting or something like that. And at some point they ask you if you have the proper government-approved permit for being a subversive organization. If you don’t, and you’re in South Carolina, you could be facing up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
According to the Subversive Activities Registration Act:
“[E]very 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 … shall register with the Secretary of State.”
Since this is South Carolina, I kind of doubt that this is some kind of ironic way to weed out legitimate threats to the government from tough-talking college kids who actually might try to register as a subversive in order to be able to say that Big Brother’s got them on a list. They probably don’t even realize that wanting government approval kind of runs counter to the idea of denying a government’s legitimacy. But maybe not, because there’s also a hilarious $5 registration fee – per individual. So this could be some kind of carnival-barker-like fundraising scheme. HEAR HEAR GET YER AUTHORIZED SUBVERSIVE CARD ONLY FIVE AMERICAN DOLLAHS PLEASE, etc…