Enemy of the state


Enemy of the state

An enemy of the state is a person accused of certain crimes against the state, such as treason. Describing individuals in this way is sometimes a manifestation of political repression. For example, an authoritarian regime may purport to maintain national security by describing social or political dissidents as "enemies of the state". In other cases, the individual in question may have legitimately endangered the country and/or its population. For example, a double agent selling military or intelligence secrets could undermine a nation's security, and could therefore be considered an enemy not of just a person or entity within a state, but the state itself and all entities therein.

*In the case of Ancient Rome, see "Proscription".
*In the Soviet Union during the period of Stalinism, the corresponding term was Enemy of the people.
*For a prominent example in fiction, see Emmanuel Goldstein.
*"An Enemy of the State" (ISBN 1-57392-809-7) is the title of a book about Murray Rothbard by Justin Raimondo.
*Hannity and Colmes, a program on the FOX News Channel, featured a short-lived segment where a liberal personality was named "Enemy of the State" by right-wing conservative host Sean Hannity. The name of the segment was derided by liberal commentators for its totalitarian overtones, and soon dropped.

Pop punk band blink-182 parodied this term with their 1999 album, Enema of the State.


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