Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/01/10/trump-social-media-and-orwellian-bullshit
So, Tech companies are now more powerful than the US government?
We should all be very troubled by what just happened; because it is not going to stop here.
Censorship has reached new heights.
Welcome to the “New Normal.”
Supporting the censorship of online speech is to support the authority of monopolistic tech oligarchs to exert more and more global control over human communication. Regardless of your attitude toward whoever happens to be getting deplatformed today, supporting this is suicidal.
Not even Reagan could have passed the legislation that made it possible to consolidate U.S. media into a few corporate hands. That was one of the achievements of President Bill Clinton, who passed the Republican wish list of destructive legislation, including the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
If Adolf Hitler were around today, I wouldn’t mind denying him free speech, and banning him from all forms of social media.
I guess the only bright side I can come up with at the moment is that I’ve never been so happy that facial recognition software (a harbinger of Orwellian AI) is best at identifying white faces.
Always enjoy reading your commentaries Prof. Christensen. On this topic, my mind always stretches back to John D. Rockefeller’s quote that “competition is a sin.”
You’ve got it. And very few understand that Clinton, like Obama, was a horrid right-winger in Legacy Democratic mufti, a closet Republican who managed to deregulate the media (and Wall St), setting us up for the misery we endure today.
Since Clinton (and Obama) are still considered “progressive” heroes by far too many, I’ve no doubt that Biden’s austerity and oppression will be met by a collective shrug by Good Democrats everywhere.
This article is correct to point out the 40-plus years of the right-wing privatizing corporate takeover
and religiosity which now is straining under its own hypocrisy.
There is however a massive aspect of this corruption which the author ignores.
To put the blame on “the right” allows the assumption that there is a “left” in the halls of
the sausage factory known as the government.
This is no longer even remotely true.
This perverse predatory religion of (the lie) of so-called “free” market capitalism is consistently and
overwhelmingly supported by democrats and republicans alike. They unite to prey upon their
victims all over the planet and the democrats are especially deceitful when it comes to their
fealty to the perversity of their shared religion.
The republicans are blatantly offensive while the democrats continue to use misleading words to
camouflage their shared support for the undermining of the left.
Washington is owned by the predators on Wall Street and the democrats are as bad as the
republicans when it comes to trapping anyone who is remotely of the left -
anywhere on the planet.
And if you could choose between two different responses to the rise of fascism – 1) censorship of incendiary right-wing demagoguery or 2) amelioration of the economic conditions that breed fascism – which would you choose?
I would go further and state that not only is there no left in government but there is no longer any political left in society and public discourse at all! The traditional class conscious, Marxian left has been utterly marginalized to extinction save for tiny and utterly obscure corners of the internet (like here) and the publishing world. Trumpists have supplanted the left. If you don’t believe that, then why has there been absolutely no effort at organizing any kind of protests from the left as a counterbalance to Trumpism?
The problem with the Marxian-materialist, class-conflict-based “economic conditions” conjecture for the origin of Trumpism is that the the great majority of the Trumpist fascists - including the ones who raided the Capitol on January 6, are not poor wage earners, they are middle-class petite-bourgeoisie and are vehemently opposed to the kind of measures like healthcare for all, a basic social wage, living minimum wages and strong unions that would be a solution to those economic conditions. I know; I live in Trump country, and almost all of my well-paid co-workers, many with more than a million dollars in their retirement plans are Trumpists.
Kind of an ideological divide, we all are living in Trump country. Some like it, some don’t, But everyone is pretty much identified with their group because we exclude others to the extent we no longer even consider they exist in the public psych. There are a lot of people that have no choice, we are seeing this first hand in the pandemic and there is a growing number of the uncounted.
We are all linked by this pandemic in more ways than ideology and there is a great lesson to be learned.
"…public service broadcasting found itself under attack as statist “market distortion.”
It was also vociferously attacked for “liberal bias” during the Newt Gingrich Contract with America era; which together with defunded government support forced it to rely on corporate grants to function.
NPR is a good example, they used to do some half decent reporting and sometimes some good investigative stuff. Now their news is marshmallow fluff designed to appeal to squishy liberals who don’t want to hear that their government-federal at least- is near totally corrupt and compromised.
Even worse is PBS news with Judy Woodruff’s bland presentations, and the same two commentators, Mark Shields and neo-con David Brooks week after week. What kind of station has the same two outside commentators every week. Maybe some more diverse opinions might be too upsetting. This is the definition of inside the box thinking.
Agree. There is an implicit assumption in this article that a left actually exists in the US. Reminded me of MSNBC & Co conspiracy theories about the Russians that for the last 4 years has provided good green dollars to them, at the expense of populace indoctrination.
The Trump censure, should be used as a trigger moment to question and reconfigure the actual structure that we currently have. What we have is 3-4 highly concentrated private global media powers that control (and spy on) the global public plaza of billions, and who are in obvious collusion with intelligence agencies. All of them US companies. We are in a dangerous mess, and clearly at a stage where nation states have changed their meaning. This is a world wide issue, not just a US issue.
The Russian government does, in fact employ thousands of trolls and sock puppets, using coentelpro-style psy-op methods, to influence the politics of other nations in favor of Putin and Russian gangster business interests and drive activist organizations into disarray. They have been especially successful at destroying the US left through their creation of this whole pro-authoritarian faction of so-called “anti-imperialist” leftists who have attacked every would be ally or movement resisting Putin, Assad, Xi, Lukashenko, and Trump.
It’s good that you reminded us here about Maddow and company over at MSNBC laughing all to way to the bank on the Russia conspiracy. It was truly sickening to watch but should serve to underscore that these people are merely paid - albeit highly paid - actors.
I wish that MSNBC would spend the same amount of effort over the next four years ranting about the DNC shenanigans in our last election, where which there is clear evidence - not mere speculation - of illegal activity.
But we can’t have that now, can we?
The D’s are the more EFFECTVE EVIL than the R’s in most cases. Going back for at least the last 50 years…
My version of the same:
Republican: Snarls while ‘sticking it to you’ and says “This is what you deserve”.
Democrat: Smiles while ‘sticking it to you’ and says “This is the best I could get for you.”
You are correct. The Russian government, although much much less effectively and aggressively than the US government of an empire state, tries to influence the politics of other nation states. And invests some money in it. But the point is that 1-2 million that the Russian government invested into what seemed some really dilettantish attempts to influence the US election had no power against the 6-7 billion that were spent internally to actually shape (not influence) the 2016 elections. And that was obvious from the multi million effort invested in the Muller report. Question to ask is what happened with the Russians this time, have you heard anything?
For a good list of significant influential domestic tactics that are used to shape US election, Paul Street does a good job in a couple of articles from 2016.