Tag Archives: Suppression

On censorship and heresy, by Simon Black

Today’s heresy often becomes tomorrow’s accepted truth. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

More than 400 years ago in the year 1615, the Catholic Church hired eleven ‘expert consultants’ and asked them to review the scientific work of Nicolaus Copernicus.

Copernicus, of course, was one of the first scientists to propose that the sun (not the earth) was at the center of the universe.

But even though Copernicus had been dead for more than 70 years at that point, his ideas still lived on… and were being advanced by none other than Galileo.

Galileo had published his own research with compelling evidence that Copernicus was right.

This view of the universe conflicted with Church teachings that the Earth was at the center of the universe.

So the Vatican decided to settle the matter with its panel of expert ‘fact checkers’.

On February 4, 1616, the fact checking committee issued its final report to Rome: the Earth is clearly the center of the universe. And any other view constituted heresy.

They concluded that the Copernicus/Galileo heliocentric view is “foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture…”

The fact checkers’ assessment ultimately helped convict Galileo of heresy later in life; his works were banned, was threatened with torture, forced to recant his scientific conclusions, and spent the last eight years of his life under house arrest.

It was a very sad ending to the life of a man who contributed so much to the world.

Vatican bureaucrats would go on to ban works by many other scientists and philosophers , including René Descartes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, and John Locke.

The Vatican may very well have felt that their censorship and fact-checking were righteous.

But we obviously know in retrospect that many of the people they censored were legitimate scientists whose only crime was having a different point of view.

It’s not so different from the legions of fact-checkers lurking the Internet today.

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Can Governments Stop Bitcoin? by Alex Gladstein

Governments probably can’t stop Bitcoin, and some of them may not want to. From Alex Gladstein at quillette.com:

Since its creation more than 12 years ago, Bitcoin is undefeated. Its price has leaped from $5 to $50 to $500 to $5,000 to now past $50,000. The number of global users has eclipsed 100 million. The system’s network security, number of developers, and new applications are at all-time highs. Dozens of companies including Tesla and Square have started to add Bitcoin to their corporate treasuries.

This worldwide success doesn’t mean that people haven’t tried to stop Bitcoin. The digital money project has in fact survived a variety of attacks which in some cases threatened its existence. There are two main vectors: network attacks on the software and hardware infrastructure, and legal attacks on Bitcoin users. Before we explore them and consider why they failed, let’s start at the beginning.

In January 2009, a mysterious coder going by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto launched Bitcoin, an open-source financial network with big ambitions: to replace central banking with a decentralized, peer-to-peer system with no rulers. It would use a programmable, highly-fungible token that could be spent like electronic cash or saved like digital gold. It would be distributed around the world through a set-in-stone money printing schedule to a subset of users who would compete to secure the network with energy and in return, get freshly minted Bitcoin.

Initially, most were understandably skeptical, and very few paid attention. There had been attempts at creating “ecash” before, and all had failed. No one had been able to figure out how to create a decentralized, incorruptible mint, or how to grow a system that couldn’t be stopped by governments.

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Greek Government Convicts Nationalist Party’s Elected Officials of Being a Criminal Organization Over 2013 “Antifa” Member’s Death, by Eric Striker

Governments are persecuting troublesome individuals, but now they’re escalating persecution to go after troublesome political parties. From Eric Striker at unz.com:

Thousands of communists, anarchists, and international NGOs have descended on Athens to celebrate a Greek court’s decision to declare nationalist opposition party, Golden Dawn, a criminal organization.

The ruling is a historic departure for post-war liberalism, which traditionally frowns upon putting members of parliament in prison for their beliefs. All 18 elected MPs, including Golden Dawn’s leader Nikos Michaloliakos, now face a minimum of 10 years in prison.

In total, 68 defendants have been convicted for incidents stemming from 2012 and 2013, such as a confrontation with foreign nationals illegally fishing in Greek waters, a brawl with members of PAME (the paramilitary wing of the Greek Communist Party), and the death of Pavlos Fyssas, a local “antifa” rapper who was stabbed while part of a mob attacking low-level Golden Dawn activist, Giorgios Roupakias, at a bar.

A leftist group retaliated for Fyssas death by murdering two Golden Dawn members in a drive by shooting shortly after. The case remains unsolved and the country’s government has shown no interest in finding the killers.

Golden Dawn caused problems for the Greek government in 2012 when the party entered parliament with 7% of the vote amidst an economic crisis on an anti-immigration and anti-corruption platform. The party then rose to become the third most popular party in Greece.

The decision to arrest Golden Dawn’s parliament members was made in 2013 by the conservative government of New Democracy, led by Antonis Samaras, who decided to make the highly controversial move shortly after a meeting with the World Jewish Congress and other American and European Jewish organizations. Benjamin Netanyahu, Shimon Peres, and other Israeli officials also lauded the crackdown.

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Suppressing Dissent Guarantees Disorder and Collapse, by Charles Hugh Smith

If people aren’t allowed to dissent, the pressure builds until things blows up. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

The frantic efforts of am exploitive elite to eliminate dissent only accelerates the regime’s path to collapse.

Regimes that are losing public support always make the same mistake: rather than fix the source of the loss of public trust–the few enriching themselves at the expense of the many– the regime reckons the problem is dissent: if we suppress all dissent, then everyone will accept their diminishing lot in life and the elites can continue on their merry way.

What the regimes don’t understand is dissent is the immune system of society:suppressing dissent doesn’t just get rid of pesky political protesters and conspiracy theorists; it also gets rid of the innovations and solutions society needs to adapt to changing conditions. Suppressing dissent dooms the society to sclerosis, decline and collapse.

Dissent is the relief valve: shut it down and the pressure builds to the point that the system explodes. Regimes that no longer tolerate anything but the party line fall in one of two ways: 1) the pressure builds and the masses revolt, tearing the elite from power or 2) the masses opt-out and stop working to support the regime, so the regime slowly starves and then implodes.

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Trump And the Presidential Fearmongering Tradition, by James Bovard

Fear, and using it to expand their power, are governments’ stock in trade. The last sentence of this essay is particularly pertinent. From James Bovard at lewrockwell.com:

The media is railing about Trump for fearmongering ahead of the midterm elections.  Like this never happened before?  Like this is not the job description of modern politicians? Like Obama, George W. Bush, and Clinton did not fearmonger whenever they could profit by spooking Americans?  Trump is continuing a tradition that was firmly established by Woodrow Wilson.  Fearmongering is simply another proof of the rascality of the political class – and another reason why their power should be minimized. Here’s a 2011 piece I wrote on the topic, excerpted in part from Attention Deficit Democracy.

Fear-Mongering and Servitude

In his 1776 essay, “Thoughts on Government,” John Adams observed, “Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.” The Founding Fathers hoped the American people would possess the virtues and strength to perpetuate liberty. Unfortunately, politicians over the past century have used trick after trick to send Americans scurrying to politicians to protect them.

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