||"THE RIGHT MOST VALUED BY CIVILIZED MAN" 13 forces which seek to subvert us. No nation fulfills its obligation by being supine in the face of dangers. Our quarrel is thus not with those who urge consciousness of existing perils. It is rather with those who would exaggerate and distort them, and it is with those who would combat them by destroying the very freedoms which "have given us our richest inheritance. The preceding comment is not intended to impugn the motives of many of those who in recent years have called for measures which to insure security would require governmental action in spheres traditionally held exempt from intrusion. Many such people have acted from the best of motives â€" motives which have their origin in genuine fear for the welfare of our country and its citizens. This, unfortunately, complicates the problem, for improper action in respect to such demands erodes freedom as surely as does comparable action promoted by those who utilize fear for selfish ends. As Justice Douglas has observed: History shows that the main architects of repressive laws were often men of good intentions. Their reasons sometimes had the ring of patriotism to them: protection of the safety of the state against subversive ideas. Their reasons often had overtones of religious fervor: the conviction that the soul of man needed but one faith and creed.11 Justice Brandeis expressed the same concept when he wrote: "The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding." 12 VI. The groundwork for a reorientation in the relationship of man to government was laid prior to World War II. Along with concern for economic security, many individuals during the late thirties looked to government to assume an active role in ferreting out those who allegedly adhered to a philosophy alien to ours. In response, the House of Representatives created the Un-American Activities Committee, which under its chairman, Martin Dies, set a pattern of conduct which unfortunately was to prove a model for subsequent committees engaged in similar activities. In 1939, acting in the shadow of war, Congress adopted the Hatch Act, which contained a clause forbidding any person employed in any agency of the federal government to hold membership in any political party or organization advocating the overthrow of our constitutional form of government. A year later the Smith Act was passed, which made it unlawful for any person to become a member of or affiliate with any society, group, or assembly which teaches, advocates, or encourages the overthrow or destruction of any government in the United States by force or violence. 11. Douglas, The Manifest Destiny of America The Progressive, p. 7 (February, 1955). 12. Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1928).