There’s free speech and there’s acceptable speech, but you can’t have both. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.com:
It’s no surprise to me that the war against speech is accelerating. There’s desperation in the air everywhere.
From the barricading of the U.S. Capitol since January 6th to the shrill calls for continued lockdowns over a virus mostly behind us, we see those with power lashing out trying to hold on to it.
And it’s no more obvious than in the lockdowns on speech. In the past week we’ve seen another major assault on Twitter-alternative Gab. A massive attack on its security architecture handing out the passwords and information of millions of users to the dark web.
Then Texas Governor Greg Abbott, you know the guy who let millions of Texans freeze last month rather than order the coal-fired plants brought online in defiance of the DoE, piles on calling Gab “anti-semetic.”
There’s a saying that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
But I think that there are people who learned from history and want to repeat it.
Don’t get me wrong. If you walked up and asked someone like the little short guy from Facebook who sat on some books at his congressional hearing so he could see over the table or that dude with the dirty looking beard from Twitter or all those so-called journalists frothing at the mouth on CNN whether they wanted to turn our nation into a carbon copy of Hitler’s Germany, they’d be positively aghast at the very notion.
Yet every day on social media, people like me try to share innocuous things, like an article about taco seasoning, I kid you not, and we’re told we aren’t following “community standards.”
For the record, I had waited 15 minutes between posting that article on my personal timeline and was then trying to share it on my frugal living Facebook page. If I’m in trouble for taco seasoning, it probably won’t be long until they kick me off entirely, so if you found this post on social media and want to make sure you see all of our articles, please go here and subscribe – you’ll get a free, full-length copy of The Prepper’s Workbook when you do. You can also find me on Gab, MeWe, and Twitter (for the moment).
Back in the 1950s and 60s, leftists demanded more freedom. Now they demand more totalitarianism. Power does that to people. From Victor Davis Hanson at amgreatness.com:
George Orwell published Animal Farm in August 1945, in the closing weeks of the Pacific War. Even then, most naïve supporters of the wartime Soviet-British-American alliance were no longer in denial about the contours of Moscow’s impending postwar communist aggression.
The short, allegorical novel’s human-like farm animals replay the transition of supposedly 1917 revolutionary Bolsheviks into cynical 1930s Stalinists. Thereby, they remind us that leftist totalitarianism inevitably becomes far worse than the supposed parasitical capitalists they once toppled.
Orwell saw that the desire for power stamps out all ideological pretenses. It creates an untouchable ruling clique central to all totalitarian movements. Beware, he warns, of the powerful who claim to help the helpless.
Something so far less violent, but no less bizarre and disturbing, now characterizes the American New New Left. It is completing its final Animal Farm metamorphosis as it finishes its long march through our cultural, economic, and social institutions. Leftists may talk of revolutionary transformation, but their agenda is to help friends, punish enemies, and to keep and expand power.
First, remember the 1960s and 1970s agendas of the once impotent, young, and supposedly idealistic leftist revolutionaries.
We were lectured 60 years ago that “free speech” preserves were needed on university campuses to be immune from all reactionary administrative censorship. Transparency and “truth” were the revolution’s brands.
The First Amendment was said by them to be sacred, even as the “free speech movement” transitioned to the “filthy speech movement.” Leftists sued to mainstream nudity in film. They wanted easy access to pornography. They mainstreamed crude profanity. The supposed right-wingers were repressed. They were the “control freaks” who sought to stop the further “liberation” of the common culture.
Governments are inherently hostile to free speech and a bunch of other freedoms as well. From J.D. Tuccille at reason.com:
Government will happily suppress misinformation in favor of misinformation of its own.
(Rafael Henrique/ZUMA Press/Newscom)
In the panicked aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the powers-that-be dusted off wish lists of surveillance-state powers and began monitoring and tracking us in ways that affect our lives two decades later. The political turbulence of recent years, culminating in the Capitol riot on January 6, may similarly liberate the political class to do its worst—this time with free speech as the target. The effort will likely again enjoy support from members of the public eager to surrender their freedom.
“We need to shut down the influencers who radicalize people and set them on the path toward violence and sedition,” argued columnist Max Boot in The Washington Post. His solution? Carriers should drop Fox News and other conservative cable news outlets if they don’t stop spreading “misinformation.” Boot also believes that “Biden needs to reinvigorate the FCC” to impose British-style controls over the news—never mind that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) doesn’t have the authority to regulate cable outlets that it has over broadcasters that use public airwaves.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) agrees that the public needs to be protected from speech she considers false and misleading. “We’re going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so that you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation,” she insisted.
The media loved Joe Biden’s inauguration: his platitude-laden speech and his calls for “unity” struck the perfect note for a Washington establishment that wants no more guff from the “deplorables.” But few commentators stooped to point out the radical changes of Biden’s big day, such as its being the first inaugural since 1865 with the military openly occupying the nation’s capital.
In his inaugural address, Biden castigated “a riotous mob [that] thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people.” But politicians invoked that same mob to justify silencing protesters for miles around the inauguration. Biden also declared, “That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably, within the guardrails of our republic. It’s perhaps this nation’s greatest strength.” Yet during Biden’s inauguration, new “guardrails” drove free speech into the dirt.
The Washington Post, a bellwether of the media’s adulation of the new president, had no problem with silencing dissent. Its report on the issue was headlined, “In closing Mall, officials try to strike a balance between the First Amendment and securing Biden’s inauguration.” The “balance” was achieved by suspending the First Amendment on the most important protest day on the American calendar.
“The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering . . . all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting– three hundred million people all with the same face.”
That was a quote from George Orwell’s seminal work 1984— a masterpiece that describes life in a totalitarian state that demands blind obedience.
The ‘Party’ controlled everything– the economy, daily life, and even the truth. In Orwell’s 1984, “the heresy of heresies was common sense.”
“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered.”
“And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”
If you were ever caught committing a thoughtcrime— dissenting from the Party for even an instant– then “your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten.”
Now, our world obviously hasn’t become quite as extreme as Orwell’s dystopian vision. But Big Tech, Big Media, and Big Government certainly seem to be giving it their best effort.
Twitter finally lifted its suspension of the New York Post over its reporting on the laptop of Hunter Biden. The decision came two weeks after both Twitter and Facebook barred access to the story about his emails that appeared to reveal influence peddling and contradicted past statements of former Vice President Joe Biden. Twitter now admits there was no evidence that the emails were fabricated or were the product of Russian disinformation, a conclusion confirmed by both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the director of national intelligence.
Rather than apologize for its error, however, the company cited a curiously familiar argument to excuse its decision: Its policies are “living documents” subject to continual change. That sounds like an internet version of the “living Constitution” theory used by jurists such as the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to continually update the meaning of the Constitution. Twitter’s claim should turn every citizen into a strict “internet originalist.” Before addressing the “Living Twitter” theory, a few established facts on the story should be noted.
The land of the guy who’s credited with saying, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death your right to say it” (Voltaire) is ominously becoming one of the most speech repressive in Europe. From Guy Millière at gatestoneinstitute.org:
Paris, October 16. A history teacher who had shown his students cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and had spoken with them about and freedom of speech was beheaded ….
[A different] attack shows that declaring oneself an “unaccompanied minor” in France can be sufficient not to be observed at all and all the same to receive full assistance from the government. The attack also suggests a disappointing grade for gratitude.
Any criticism of Islam in France can lead to legal action. The French mainstream media, threatened with prosecution by their own government, have evidently decided no longer to invite on air anyone likely to make comments that could lead to convictions or complaints. [The author Éric] Zemmour might still appear on television, but the increasingly heavy fines imposed on him are aimed at silencing him and potentially punishing stations that invite him.
“Strengthening the teaching of Arabic will simply help to nourish ‘cultural replacement'”. — Jean Messiha, senior civil servant and member of the National Rally party.
Commenting on a news report that stated, “The trial has sparked protests across France, with thousands of demonstrators rallying against Charlie Hebdo and the French government,” the American attorney and commentator, John Hinderaker, wrote: “When thousands demonstrate against the prosecution of alleged murderers, you know you have a problem.”
On October 16, a history teacher who had shown his students cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad was beheaded in a Paris suburb. The murderer, who tried to attack the police attempting to arrest him, was shot and killed while shouting “Allahu Akbar”. Pictured: Police officers stand guard near the site where the teacher’s murderer was killed. (Photo by Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP via Getty Images)
Paris, October 16. A history teacher who had shown his students cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and had spoken with them about freedom of speech was beheaded in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a small town in the suburbs of Paris. The murderer, who tried to attack the police attempting to arrest him, was shot and killed while shouting “Allahu Akbar”. According to the public prosecutor, he was a family member of one of the students. The facts are still unfolding….
The end game for the string-pullers who have been directing the coronavirus response and now the riots is small ruling class and a large subjugated class. Almost all those either observing the coronavirus “rules” or rioting are viewed as useful idiots and will end up in the subjugated class. From Claudio Grass at claudiograss.ch:
Please forgive me that I don’t talk about the flue called “Corona”. I truly believe it is a deception and will be remembered as the attempt to destroy the private economy as well as the capitalistic system. What we are witnessing during this “corona-crisis” is simply unprecedented. It is nothing short of a blatant attempt to destroy the private sector, the capitalist system and the financial sovereignty of every citizen. The state denies the right of every individual to work, to put food on the table, to provide for their families and to take personal responsibility for their own choices. On a societal level, is nothing less than the transformation into a technocratic, big data “new normal” that already exists in China and this Orwellian nightmare is already our new and sad reality.
Ron Paul wrote the following the other day: “Governments have no right or authority to tell us what business or other activity is “essential”. Only in totalitarian states does the government claim this authority. We should encourage all those who are standing up peacefully and demanding an accounting from their elected leaders. They should not be able to get away with this.”
This is what it is all about. Full control of the ones living off taxes over the ones who have to pay them. Maybe you remember my latest article in the previous edition of this magazine when I summarized the definition of capitalism from a Marxist perspective: “the workers spend what they earn and the capitalists earn what they spend”. This is how the original Marxist thinkers defined capitalism. You might have understood that in their eyes the individual is the worker and when everything is under government control, the politicians and bureaucrats become the real capitalist. It is important to understand that the term “capitalism” has been purposefully misdefined and hijacked from the beginning by Marxist thinkers. Six weeks ago, this was just a theory, but now it already turned into reality. The corona scare shows just how fearful certain cultures and civilizations have become.
“This judgment has major implications for online freedom of expression around the world…. The ruling also means that a court in one EU member state will be able to order the removal of social media posts in other countries, even if they are not considered unlawful there. This would set a dangerous precedent where the courts of one country can control what internet users in another country can see. This could be open to abuse, particularly by regimes with weak human rights records.” — Thomas Hughes, executive director of ARTICLE 19, a non-profit organization that works on “protecting the right to freedom of expression around the world,” October 3, 2019.
The judgment from the Court of Justice of the European Union… appears to give EU member states unprecedented power to determine public discourse online — to determine what citizens can and cannot read…. [T]he prospects now look even bleaker for the future of free speech in Europe.
A recent judgment from the Court of Justice of the European Union appears to give EU member states unprecedented power to determine public discourse online — to determine what citizens can and cannot read. Pictured: The Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg. (Image source: Transparency International/Flickr
Unlike many websites, Straight Line Logic does not solicit donations. If you're going to lay out your hard-earned money, you should get something in exchange. If you like the site and want to support it, buy The Golden Pinnacle or The Gordian Knot, either as a book or download. The links are on the right-hand side of the page, in the Blogroll section. You'll be supporting the site, and getting a great book and hours of enjoyable reading.