I read a book about a Polish man who, as a boy, was sent to Siberia during the 1940's, when Poland was being invaded by the Nazi regime as well as the Soviets. The man who authored the book was the Polish man's doctor, who knew what he had been through as a child, and though it was difficult to coax the story out of him, really dug into why certain bad actors in that war did what they did.
In one scene, the Polish boy described how Soviet soldiers came to his door very early in the morning, demanding that everyone in the household take only what they can carry and were led to railway boxcars. At the time, they didn't know how long they would be gone, or where they were going, but some of the children were excited to ride the railway. After days of standing in the un-moving boxcars, with only a hole cut in the center for defecation, and after losing all sense of time and human decency, the people, who were all Polish from the same village, began to really despise one another, stealing from one another, becoming less-than-human.
The boy witnessed all of this, but he also observed something very important. He saw that the Nazis' ideology rested mainly on how pure your breeding was, and who your ancestors were, to determine if you were safe from their clutches or targeted for destruction. The Soviets, he called them the communists, were different from the Nazis because it was what they believed was inside your head, your thoughts, that determined whether you were sent to the gulag or not. Of course, in the end, just the fact that you were Polish or Slavic was enough for both regimes to want you gone.
The distinction that the boy saw was very powerful for me. It is one of the reasons, I believe, that so much of what our government does seems communistic.
I'm told people don't like it when you point it out, but the lessons of history are such that we know how the story ends, and that the boy in Poland probably never thought being targeted for what you think or who you are, would happen to him.
The current massive scandal happening at the IRS is centered on the treatment of citizens for what they think, and in some cases, what religion they practice. No, the IRS is not going door to door and loading people up into filthy boxcars en route to Siberia, but they can do other things that will cause a person to cease fighting for what they believe in.
The IRS did in fact, target individuals and groups who sought special taxation status for political activity. They all had the right to apply. Yet, the IRS singled out the people who thought a certain way, conservative groups and tea party groups, who seek to limit government. But, that is not all the IRS has done, will do, and has the capability to do.
Let's say you are the subject of an audit. You might be given the reason for the audit as random, but it doesn't have to be, and this scandal proves that. The IRS can even seize your medical records, as they did in California, from your healthcare provider. From Forbes, eleven months ago:
"According to a story by Courthousenews.com, an unnamed healthcare provider in California is suing the IRS and 15 unnamed agents, alleging that they improperly seized some 60 million medical records of 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges on March 11, 2011.
According to the complaint, the IRS agents had a search warrant for financial data pertaining to a former employee of the 'John Doe Company,' however, 'it did not authorize any seizure of any healthcare or medical record of any persons, least of all third parties completely unrelated to the matter.'"
The IRS didn't have the authority to seize healthcare or medical records, but they did it anyway, and in fact, some of the agents threatened to "rip the servers" of the healthcare provider if they did not comply. You could have absolutely nothing to do with an IRS audit, you could not even be eligible pay income tax, and they'd still be able to access your medical records.
But, think of this: the IRS knows your social security number, your bank routing number, your children's numbers and ages, what payments, if any, that you get from the government, and your employer's information. Through audits, they can know your ideology, your religion, what pills you take, your height, weight, everything there is to know about you. And the point of this scandal is, the regime can use it against you politically.
By the end of the book, the boy had been taken to America by some great underground freedom fighters, and ended up in Chicago. He was overwhelmed by the support of the American citizens, and attended a pageant that was meant to welcome the large numbers of new Polish youngsters to the community. He was asked to get up on stage and speak about what happened to him before he was brought to America, and so he did, and it was the last time he talked about it until his doctor had coaxed him late in life in order for the book to be published. He never spoke about it for 60 years because when he got on stage, and told the Americans what had happened, nobody believed him.
It was estimated that one million Polish were herded up and sent to Siberia, but many more were sent other places, summarily executed, the list goes on and on. And, though they aren't herding us up, think of this: when the IRS, or the EPA, or the DOT, comes to talk to you, they are armed.