Truth-Teller’s Dilemma, Part 2

[Author’s note: this is continued from “Truth-Teller’s Dilemma, Part 1 and has no connection to previous content here. Readers should go to that article before trying the material below. The projected but not time sensitive “Cultural Marxism” series has been suspended for now due to the pressure of other projects.] 

Facebook, as I noted in passing in Part 1, has gained a reputation for censoring unwanted speech. The site puts users in “Facebook jail”: a ban which can last from three to 30 days. Even before the Cambridge Analytics data mining fiasco blew up in their faces, Zuckerberg & Co. were smarting from revelations that Russian operatives set up fake accounts on the site to promote Donald Trump and bash Hillary Clinton. Even making the tall assumption that such efforts changed anyone’s votes, this is blamed on the masses’ growing proclivities towards believing “fake news,” i.e., on corporate media’s loss of credibility over the years, a loss that accelerated during 2016 as their pro-Clinton bias came through loud and clear.

Facebook has been trying to atone — by censoring conservative and pro-Trump content. In 2017 they, too, changed their algorithms. Conservative comments simply disappeared from newsfeeds.

I should note in fairness that a number of left-leaning sites have also seen huge drops in traffic (e.g., this site; or this one), because they were also blacklisted by PropOrNot.

What was the common denominator? They had been operating outside the official, academically and journalistically sanctioned cultural left, the preoccupations of which their authors sometimes criticized as distractions. These sites had posted articles focusing on: (1) the wealth consolidation of the kleptocrats; (2) the latter’s dominance over the U.S. political process which exceeds anything Russia could conceivably accomplish; (3) the misleading nature of official unemployment numbers; (4) the U.S. as a global economic (not political and territorial, like Rome) empire in which corporations have become the dominant actors; and (4) unnecessary but oh-so-profitable foreign wars, rationalized by “war on terror” hysteria (but don’t secure the borders!). A few sites across the political spectrum have been courageous enough to note the almost-untouchable power of the Israel lobby in Washington, or note how many neocons have dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship (so Americans can fight Israel’s wars?).

All in place of the safe straight white Christian male bashing of identity politics.

All are fair game for the new, Google-led online censorship … or worse.

Yes, Virginia, the Internet has changed. We no longer have the Internet of the original Drudge Report that broke the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, or which posted the items I linked to. True, the Internet is vastly larger, and far more cluttered. But the technology has improved, and should be much easier to use. What we have is an Internet increasingly dominated by corporations all with direct ties to the very state-driven power systems Internet truth-tellers initially sought to expose — different from the owners of the bulk of mainstream TV and print media but serving the same purpose. And it is not necessarily easier to use.

That purpose is to control information — and when the corporations can’t exercise control, they try to confuse and misdirect, e.g., by allowing flat-earth idiocy or videos on how we never went to the moon.*

There are, that is, conspiracy claims floating around now that anyone with a brain ought to be able to see are hoaxes, most likely purposeful misdirections. Are scientists hiding evidence that the Earth is flat? While there’s always been a Flat Earth Society, it’s only recently that anyone made videos promoting the idea. How interesting that this rubbish seems to have surfaced on YouTube. I don’t know if it surfaced before or after Google bought the site. A few years ago, some may have encountered the similarly ridiculous notion that the Clintons are disguised reptilian space aliens.

My working hypothesis: elite-owned corporations allow such stuff visibility. Common horse sense says that the people making flat-earth videos are nuts. This, indirectly, if only by suggestion, sabotages substantive appeals to high-level conspiracy in the real world of political economy as explanation through guilt by association: logically fallacious but psychologically very effective. Result: “conspiracy theorists” all look like idiots.

The overall situation is likely to worsen! Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc., are still refining their algorithms (up-to-date account with more examples here)!

Always keep in mind: mainstream players claim they care about truth, but they do not. They care about official narratives. They are uninterested in questions of evidence when someone with a worldview other than the unofficial secular materialist one threatens their dominance. Alabama Judge Roy Moore, both a Christian and a federalist in the original sense of that term (dual sovereignty, Ninth and Tenth Amendments — a “twofer” threat!) was savaged in the media over 11th-hour sexual misconduct allegations unsupported by even the flimsiest evidence.

Three indicators will tell you that you are dealing with an official narrative. (1) A dramatic event occurs, or is claimed to have occurred. Explanations of it, including identification of perps, fall into place almost at once, before evidence that supports those identifications and explanations could possibly be assembled. (2) Specific images intended to reinforce the narrative are shown over and over again in media, or descriptions and phrases repeated over and over. (3) Anyone who questions the narrative is soon ridiculed, demonized, or dismissed out of hand.

Exhibit A: the March 4 poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Great Britain by a nerve agent, which the entire mainstream blamed on Russia. There has been a ratcheting up of tensions just over this, leading to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Great Britain, several European nations, and the U.S.; and to a retaliatory decision by the Russians to close the American Consulate there, expelling 60 U.S. diplomats, with more expulsions promised.

A couple of weeks ago, UK Labor Leader Jeremy Corbyn had the temerity to ask for evidence that the Kremlin was behind the poisonings. Prime Minister Theresa Day and others, including members of Corbyn’s own party, denounced him without asking themselves what the Kremlin would gain by doing something so stupid, on the eve of a major election; or if the Russians even possess the agent supposedly used (see this, from Craig Murray).

Russophobes do not get it any more than cultural leftists.

Allegations are not evidence!

Exhibit B: truth and evidence were clearly not priorities regarding Charlottesville. Recall how CNN and other well-heeled outlets regaled viewers with hours on neo-Nazis, with nary a peep about Antifa or Black Lives Matter? To this day we hear about how Heather Heyer, 32, was killed “during a neo-Nazi rally”: exact phrase from the article I linked to in the ever-predictable Washington Post.

But no rally took place that day! The authorities canceled it! Police ordered attendees to leave, forcing them directly into the path of Antifa and BLM, causing the violence and counter-violence that led to the woman’s tragic death.

How did I know all this? I had a contact with a boots-on-the-ground source. Not someone who got paid for her investigative skills, either.

Exhibit C: on Feb. 14 a mass shooting occurred in a Florida school. Leaving aside claims (there were some) of a second shooter, we now have the official narrative of an epidemic of gun violence in schools, with teenagers leading the revolt against private gun ownership because adults have dropped the ball. But as author and dissident economist Paul Craig Roberts shows here, there is no epidemic of gun violence in the U.S. Of the causes of preventable death, gun violence is not even in the top ten! Statistically you are in much greater danger of dying in an automobile accident, or for that matter, from a fall in your bathroom.

Naïve high schoolers such as David Hogg and Emma González, and many others, are being led by their noses even if they are not (as some have accused them of being) crisis actors. Hopefully no one who has read this far will believe these inexperienced teenagers organized their March For Our Lives rally all by themselves — getting attention from Hollywood celebrities, etc. — without someone with vast resources working behind the scenes to make it happen. And to what purpose, since without extensive negotiations in Congress and court battles over test cases, there will be no “gun grabs” in America? The Supreme Court cannot simply “repeal the Second Amendment.” It doesn’t have that kind of power.

Everyone with a working brain knows that a really determined attempt by the federal government to disarm the U.S. citizenry would be fought, possibly in the streets were the battle lost in the courts (it wouldn’t be). Such an effort could conceivably provoke a citizen uprising — which is the last thing the kleptocrats want!

David Hogg and Emma González are part of the theater, folks! It’s all diversionary!

For while an armed citizenry and may be the best possible defense against the rising of a classic totalitarianism out of the past, it is no defense at all against the inverted totalitarianism of the present.

 

(To be continued in Part 3)

 

*A fellow in my high school graduating class earned an engineering degree and took a job with NASA, right around 1980. At our 2015 reunion — our 40th — we had a conversation about this very thing. He told me (rolling his eyes): NASA employs thousands of engineers, who tend to be very smart people. The NASA he worked for was a shadow of its 1960s ancestor. In the 1980s, NASA cut corners, a product of Reagan-era budget cuts, or so he alleged. He argued that astronaut safety was being compromised, leaving in mid-1985 predicting the era would end badly.
On January 28, 1986, the Challenger disaster occurred, killing seven astronauts.
The NASA of the 1960s, he assured me, had some of the best minds in the country working on the technological challenges posed by the moonshots, e.g., the lunar module, designed to operate in a low-gravity environment (using technology now lost). Had the moonshots been hoaxes — all seven, with six moon landings (Apollo 13 being aborted after an oxygen tank exploded) — these folks would have exposed it, and in large numbers.
He added a caveat: with public education having gone downhill, and with technology having turned inward so that narcissistic teenagers take selfies instead of fantasizing about going into space as we did, he understands — somewhat — the bewilderment of those born in the 1980s and later at the very idea of going to the moon, questioning whether it’s even possible.
What does this fellow do now? Fed up with dysfunctional organizations filled with well-connected incompetents (morons good at networking who can’t do anything else was his exact phrase), he builds and repairs computers from his own shop in an Atlanta suburb. He also told me that only 2015 America could produce a parade of clowns like the line-up of GOP hopefuls, as coincidentally the first “debate” had been televised the night before our reunion.

 

 

About Steven Yates

I have a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Georgia and teach Critical Thinking (mostly in English) at Universidad Nacionale Andrés Bello in Santiago, Chile. I moved here in 2012 from South Carolina. My most recent book is entitled Four Cardinal Errors: Reasons for the Decline of the American Republic (2011). I am the author of an earlier book, around two dozen articles & reviews, & still more articles on commentary sites on the Web. I live in Santiago with my wife Gisela & two spoiled cats, Bo & Princesa.
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2 Responses to Truth-Teller’s Dilemma, Part 2

  1. Pingback: Truth-Teller’s Dilemma, Part 3 | Lost Generation Philosopher

  2. Pingback: Truth Teller’s Dilemma, Part 1 | Lost Generation Philosopher

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