By Tom Luongo via tomluongo.me|
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."
Gab CEO Andrew Torba then informed us that the attacks on Gab are far deeper than even a putz like Abbott's. The relentless pressure to cut his company off from the doing business continues, with bank after bank refusing to do business with them.
Torba's invoking Operation Chokepoint is important here. It reminds us that Biden is a cypher put in place to restore Obama to the White House as functional president.
Honestly, taking a step back, is this at all rational? All Torba and Gab want to do is operate a social media platform that conforms, ruthlessly, to the first amendment. Nothing more, nothing less.
It's not like Gab is funded by foreign intelligence services spreading obvious agitprop and propaganda. No, sorry, that's the job of the mainstream media and Twitter.
I thought if we didn't like the treatment we got on Twitter we could go 'build our own' and that would be fine. Separate but equal, freedom of and from association and all that.
But, no, any competition that doesn't adhere to the current orthodoxy of what constitutes 'acceptable speech' is now no longer tolerated. Free Speech is not an option.
It's an obvious coordinated assault from every angle to extend 'cancel culture' into a cultural revolution. Because it's not enough to hound people whose opinions you don't like from the public square, they have to be beaten out of society entirely, even if the means employed to do so are patently hypocritical.
And don't think that doesn't tie right into what's coming from Operation Chokepoint vis a vis gun ownership in the coming weeks, but I digress.
Then there's Amazon's abrupt turn into the Ministry of Information Gating. From removing a documentary about Clarence Thomas from its streaming service - during Black History Month - to making it verboten to talk about gender dysphoria as a mental illness, which it may well be.
Amazon is lurching quickly from refusing to publish certain topics under its Kindle Direct Publishing platform to denying authors space on their virtual shelves. I think we're close to the point where keeping Orwell's 1984 on the shelves is tolerated because It'll soon be looked on as children's literature.
Speaking of which, the long march of communists through our educational institutions has now led to pulling sales of six classic stories by Dr. Seuss by its publisher and President Biden banning Dr. Seuss from "Dr. Seuss Day."
Although the company made the decision last year, they chose to make the announcement on March 2nd: National Read Across America Day - or, as it's more commonly known, Dr. Seuss Day.
Attacking Dr. Seuss, even in the mildest way, is yet another tactical move to outrage anyone with a connection to their past. It's done to create a false discussion of racism and force people to take up the defense of something that needs no defense.
In 1998, the National Education Association partnered with Dr. Seuss Enterprises 1998 to launch Read Across America Day as a way to encourage children to read. The important role Dr. Seuss has played in children's literacy was remarked upon by former President Obama, who began the presidential tradition of issuing yearly Read Across America Day proclamations, each of which mentioned Dr. Seuss. In 2016, Obama described the world-renowned author as "one of America's revered wordsmiths."
It's done to undermine parental choices of what stories they should read their children at night and adding more divisive fodder for family get-togethers (remember those?) where the kids come home from school and blame their racist parents for programming them from birth because Dr. Seuss.
We're dealing with people who have no ability to parse nuance or engage in any reasonable discussion of the past. As opposed to turning the depictions of Asians or blacks in Dr. Seuss into a teaching moment about how far we've come their impulse is to remove it from 'polite society' for the good of everyone.
And that's what's truly shameful.
Frankly, I'm ambivalent about Dr. Seuss because when I re-read The Cat in the Hat recently I couldn't tell if it was a cautionary tale about child predation or programming children to accept it?
I'd go on some long-winded rant about Jung and these malformed people being unwilling to accept and integrate heir shadows, but what's the point in 2021?
We're now dealing with an acceleration of the erasure of the past that will not abate until it consumes most of the people perpetrating it in the first place.
I've only covered a couple of these recent events here, because there are too many to list. But it was this post on RT which caught my attention in light of the growing attacks on alternative speech platforms and journalists.
Because in the days after Buzzfeed fired one-third of the staff at the former Prom Queen of the Woke, the Huffington Post, we're treated to this fake spat between 'journalists' over something Tucker Carlson said.
This manufactured harassment controversy over his showing a publicly-available picture of some chick (yes, I'm a misogynist, but hey I'm protecting her identity!) who works at the New York Times is on its face laughable. It won't do anything other than improve Carlson's ratings.
Because it isn't enough to be a disgraced plagiarist fired by that pillar of responsible journalism, Buzzfeed, to try and keep the lights on this incel Broderick pens a piece going after, of all people, Glenn Greenwald.
Responding to Broderick's broadside on Thursday, Greenwald noted that journalists have "bizarrely transformed from their traditional role as leading free expression defenders into the most vocal censorship advocates, using their platforms to demand that tech monopolies ban and silence others."
First they came for Gab and no one listened. Then they came for Parler who knuckled under. And now they've driven the best investigative journalists to Substack and that's too much free speech?
Broderick was fired from BuzzFeed for "serial plagiarism" but now wants to reinvent himself as "the Guardian and Defender of Real Journalism" with a straight face, Greenwald pointed out. He also blasted mainstream journalists as having a "bottomless sense of entitlement and self-regard and fragility" and seeking to create a world in which they can attack whoever they want, while banning anyone who criticizes them for it.
But it's part of the pattern of behavior that continues well beyond Gab's persecution.
Because the most disturbing thing I've seen this week isn't any of this. It is the now zero-tolerance for anyone on platforms like YouTube or Patreon who voice any skepticism from the WHO and/or the CDC about COVID-19, the vaccines or anything related.
Fearless people like The Last American Vagabond, Whitney Webb and now Venessa Beeley have all been canceled by Patreon. My subscribers keep wondering when I'm going to be canceled. I guess we'll find out soon enough. I continue to get notes from Patrons telling me they won't support Patreon because 'they suck' or 'they're evil.'
And I don't blame them one bit. Vote with your dollars, force me to consider alternatives (which there are if you are interested).
But, at the same time, the more Patreon or Twitter or YouTube acts the way they do the more opportunity there is for someone else to build something better.
That's what Torba did in 2016 and he's paid a terrible price for it. He lived by one of Jordan Peterson's new rules when he built Gab in the first place: "Notice where opportunity lurks when responsibility has been abdicated."
Our responsibility to free speech has been abdicated by our professional journalists for decades. In fact, I'd argue, outside of the people I've mentioned so far in this article, there are precious few people writing today who could even rise to the level of 'yellow journalist,' present company included.
I've been saying since Torba started Gab in 2016 that what is needed is a blockchain-based, censorship-proof platform with inviolable property rights in that which you create. That would disempower gatekeepers like Twitter, Facebook, Amazon and ensure the costs of government censorship would rise to the point of failure.
And Torba is absolutely right that this assault on free speech in the U.S., and really the world over, is driving the industry towards that eventuality when he mentions bitcoin. Early attempts at this have been a mess - Steemit, Minds, etc. - but the basic concept is sound.
What these folks are doing with Operation Chokepoint is no different than Trump going Sanctions Slap Happy for four years on our national rivals. Trump tried to raise costs on Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela to the point where they would cry in submission.
And it didn't work. And I told you (and Trump) it wouldn't work. Repeatedly.
Because the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility is universal in all human endeavors.
There is an upper limit to the efficacy of any particular activity, simply because accumulating more of one thing lowers its marginal return on your investment of time and/or capital. it's why Pareto is the law of the land, ultimately.
In the case of censorship or economic starvation (same thing), when you make the cost of doing business in one arena too expensive - selling oil for dollars, for example - you make the transition away from that medium of exchange (the dollar) relatively more attractive.
Russia now does more than half of its business in local currencies. Iran is empowering Iranians to mine bitcoin to evade sanctions and procure things from overseas. Both are working with trading partners to bypass the dollar and the euro to effect international trade.
And soon, all the dissident journalists of exceptional character will be the ones who validate new business models and publishing platforms that do the same. In the same way that we helped validate Patreon's business model in the first place, which helped us bypass the traditional publishing firms like Buzzfeed and which drove the HuffPo to irrelevancy.
That's what's coming with all of this censorship and marginalization of dissident voices - the proliferation of new platforms that are hardened against cancellation. The people like George Soros who believe they can drive the truth back underground to the days where publishing materials and disseminating them were hideously expensive are living a lie.
And they are wasting everyone's time pursuing this in their sick, pathetic attempts to maintain and solidify societal control at a level that is the very definition of unsustainable.
Today it's the opposite of that. Today it's cheaper and easier than ever to produce and disseminate superlative work to an audience. Finding the audience is the hard part. And that's what they are trying so desperately to keep us from achieving.
But we will achieve it because total surveillance and the complete abolition of our property right in the work we produce is a fantasy of the deranged and the arrogant. And that's why their fear is so real you don't need to be a dog to smell it.
In the face of planned economic and societal destruction which is driving up the cost of everything, free speech is the most precious commodity of all.