Should we be ready? How can we prevent it?
New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has an idea. She wants to set up a “truth commission.” And she is not alone. This governmental body would examine news media and root out “misinformation.”
Misinformation? That is, any information that the members of the Commission (and their bosses (at the Capitol and White House and their puppet masters) happen to disagree with.
This is a standard tactic of statists: authoritarians, totalitarians, socialists, communists, fascists and Tranzis. We see it throughout history, from the ban on reading the Bible (imposed by the Roman Catholic Church for centuries) by laymen, to the Nazi book-burnings. And modern American book burning by both “conservatives” AND “liberals.” Especially the social justice warriors (SJW) of AntiFa and other groups.
This is clearly an attack on free speech. Under the guise of “truth” and “avoiding offense” and “protecting the downtrodden and disadvantaged.” Their technique is actually well-known and proven to work.
First they identify their ideological enemies. Next, they track the speech or texts coming from their enemies. Then then label such communications as “misinformation” or “disinformation.” Or just “propaganda,” despite what they are doing. Accuracy in labeling and attacking doesn’t matter, only the objective: to get people to reject and forget. Then they have a “truth-and-reconciliation commission” to single-out those people and entities who are spreading the “disinformation.” They publicly demean, brand, and humiliate those individuals. And seek more punitive actions: criminal charges, bans from public office, boycotts, put on watchlists and “no fly” lists, forced out of business, hounded out of jobs, banned from public spaces. Ultimately, attacked physically by mobs or black-ops: your family, your business, your home.
In recent decades, we have seen these tactics in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, Falangist Spain and Peronist Argentina, Communist China, Cambodia, Serbia, Belarus, and Venezuela. Often accompanied by killings and “disappearing” by government or “non-governmental” gangs and mobs and death squads. Combined with what children are taught in the state’s schools, the attacks on truth and reality – and personal freedom – are ubiquitous.
In 2021 America and the world, we have more channels of communication than ever. However, almost all of these have chokepoints. Many are expensive and costly to maintain. Most are under massive governmental regulation already. They all present tempting and lucrative targets for those who wish to control us more. Who want to limit opposition to their goals and exposure of their activities. Who know that restricting free speech is one of the easiest ways to do that.
Whatever happened to free speech?
Once, in the Fifty States, when someone said something you disagreed with (and there is always someone!), you could answer it with your own comments. You could do that in many ways: verbally in person or by phone or even radio or TV. Or in books, articles or op-eds. (Newspapers and other publishers believed that they had a “public trust” to be truthful, honest, and at least willing to report all sides of the issue – even those they hated and feared.) There was a contest of ideas: all sides free to speak and respond. Biases were often clearly stated.
The public could decide which side they supported and express their views. Peaceably at the voting booth or in non-violent demonstrations. All gone. The so-called Progressives claim they know the truth. So, everyone they disagree with must be a liar. Anything they say is spreading misinformation. There’s no place for dissent: those spreading “misinformation” must be silenced. No debate, no rebuttal, just a gag.. And even the media don’t stand up for freedom of speech. They agree with the SJW worldview. They cheerfully support the SJWs: marginalize and deplatform anyone who does not get with their “Progressive” and statist program. This is NOT American liberty. And the new regime will spread it and allow it to spread. The first several dozen imperial decrees (“executive orders”) issued on 20 and 21 January show what is to come.
So what can we do? Take risks and refuse to be silenced. Start new channels of communication; support the alternatives that already exist. Even go back to OLD ways of communicating: write letters and publish samizdat! And talk. And push back every time some SJW politician or activist pushes for a boycott, a show trial, a Twitter or Facebook mob.
And don’t believe anything that cannot be demonstrated – even proven – true. Not just on the social media, but the press: magazines and newspapers and broadcasts. Regardless of what label those spouting things claim. Find alternative sources but question them even so.
In other words, EXERCISE your rights, or risk LOSING them more and more.