In S. Carolina, If You Plan on Overthrowing the Government, You Must Pay the Government a $5 Registration Fee

Sometimes real-life plays out like a remake of Dr. Strangelove, but even more bizarre.

South Carolina recently passed a law that says if you run a “subversive organization” in that state and have designs on overthrowing the government, you must pay $5 to register your organization with the government you’re planning to overthrow:

The state’s “Subversive Activities Registration Act,” passed last year and now officially on the books, states that “every 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.”

There’s even a $5 filing fee.

By “subversive organization,” the law means “every corporation, society, association, camp, group, bund, political party, assembly, body or organization, composed of two or more persons, which directly or indirectly advocates, advises, teaches or practices the duty, necessity or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States [or] of this State.”

After you overthrow them, you can get your five bucks back.

And what if you attempt to overthrow the government without having first registered under the “Subversive Activities Registration Act”?

Any organization or person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than ten years, or by both fine and imprisonment.

Ah, but if you succeed in overthrowing the government, you don’t need to worry about the fine and jail.

It’s not very wise of the government to provide extra incentive for a successful overthrow of the government, but then… it’s the government we’re talking about.

Odds are that any group who wants to overthrow the government but that also pays the $5 registration fee to that same government isn’t very serious about their plan.