This is the second section of a 2 part article by Rusere Shoniwa on the suppression of free speech by government and Big Tech – and the possibilities for resistance. You can read part 1, where Rusere explains how, by censoring debate and purging content, Big Tech is carrying out a war on democracy with the full support of our governments, here.
Much use has been made of the boiling frog analogy to describe our forced acclimatisation to a police state in the last 18 months. Indeed, one of the reasons we seem to be coping so well with being boiled is that the last 20 years have been a tortuous lesson in how to normalise criminality. In 2003, a million people marched in London to stop the Iraq war and Blair simply went ahead anyway. Confronted with a plea to stop, the gangster’s retort was: ‘What are you going to do about it?’
Power always fills a vacuum and the vacuum of silence created in the wake of that rhetorical question was filled by the gangster ‘creating facts on the ground’ – a phrase originally coined to describe Israeli settlement policy in the occupied territories. And so the Iraq war paved the way for silent acquiescence to illegal bulk data collection by intelligence agencies and the destruction of Libya, Syria and Yemen, to name just a few crimes. If the first twenty years of the 21st century have taught us anything, it is that crime without punishment is a license for greater crimes.
The current shocking wave of censorship is a continuation of ‘creating facts on the ground’ to pave the way for normalising the abnormal. Accompanying the shock of censorship is our own disturbing normalisation of it. This is the inevitable consequence of a collision between the weak and the powerful as we, the proverbial frogs, are forced to adjust to the increasing temperature of the water. Sadly, we are adapting and in ways very similar to the ways that citizens of other oppressive regimes adapt – for example, by encoding our communications to bypass Big Brother’s censorship algorithms.
If cultural hegemony is obeisance to a new empire then China really is the new ruler of the world and we are all coming to grips with what it feels like to be a Chinese citizen as Western governments adopt Chinese Communist Party policies. Xi Jinping must be feeling the same deep satisfaction that Margaret Thatcher felt when, asked what her greatest achievement was, she replied, ‘Tony Blair and New Labour‘. Xi’s reply to the same question in ten years may well be: ‘The end of Western democracy, such as it was.’
But something positive is coming out of the censorship wave. It has spawned a range of alternative platforms that are fast breaking the monopoly stranglehold. Dissenting voices are in effect being kicked out of the giant Wembley stadium and into several smaller venues. But their voices are still being heard and their new platforms are growing, which is only feeding the desperation of governments and their corporate masters to silence the growing dissent.
So, while the book burning, the complete obliteration of those voices, has not yet happened, it is looming in the form of legislation which will whitewash Big Tech’s censorship crimes. By cloaking the de facto position with the respectability of legal statute, it will be made concrete and expansive to suit the exigencies of the day. Legislation is the natural totalitarian end-point – total control of information. Under legislation proposed in the US, platforms will be made liable for health ‘misinformation’ while broad ranging domestic terror legislation is in the pipeline to target pretty much anything that threatens the government’s agenda at any given point in time. In the UK, the proposed Online Safety Bill is being framed as something that will ‘keep children safe’ when in reality sweeping powers will be granted to censor what people say online under the standard ‘misinformation’ baton.
Another piece of proposed legislation in the UK may see journalists serving 14-year jail sentences for embarrassing the government. Not so long ago, if you wanted to get paid for embarrassing the government, you became a journalist. Can we safely assume that gone are the days when Western leaders stood at the press lectern delivering pious lectures to dictators about human rights while their generals ordered lethal drone strikes on unsuspecting wedding parties in Afghanistan? The pretence at being global defenders of human rights was always risible, but it is now surely beyond satire.
A war on democracy, necessarily entailing industrial scale censorship, is not a temporary aberration that can be attributed to ‘Covid insanity’. It is a vital adjunct to the unfolding biosecurity state that is in the process of being made permanent – normalised. Ultimately, it is also a War on Reality. How else are we to collectively acquiesce to the brutal assault on basic liberty? Basic, common-sense truths must be turned on their head and, once inverted, normalised. We are being subjected to a post-truth, warp speed re-invention of norms and truths some of which were so self-evident that they operated at the subconscious level.
Paradoxically, that these truths operated subconsciously is the very reason they were so easy to assault. For example, seeing unmasked faces in daily human interactions is not something we have ever needed to consciously think about. As homo sapiens, we’ve been doing it for 200,000 years. Our ancestors did it for millions of years. Reducing the quality of human interaction by masking has a dehumanising effect but the fact that we are unconscious of the value of unmasked interactions simply means that most people have been similarly unconscious in the embrace of masks. A conscious response is required to resist visceral fear.
This is the meaning of living in a post-truth world – the truth becomes simply what the government and Big Tech say it is on any given day to suit the current policy agenda. It’s messy and confusing, and that’s the whole point – to get you to stop caring about the truth because when that happens, we are exactly where the system wants us to be – a pile of discombobulated mush ready to accept whatever decree comes next.
Normalising the abnormal is a process that follows all these Covid cult inversions as surely as night follows day. Once a truth has been inverted, the successful public adoption of the ‘new truth’ is reliant on the application of devices to cement the new reality. So, if people are to believe that everyone is a potential disease vector, then you need to conjure up asymptomatic transmission by re-defining a ‘case’ – it used to be someone with clinical symptoms of disease but it’s now a perfectly healthy person with a positive result from a test that is meaningless when used for screening healthy people. Equating a casedemic with a pandemic is a con trick.
And in the typically idiotic way in which societies governed by bureaucracy (which is the whole world unless you are fortunate enough to be a member of the Hadza tribe) are able to entertain two contradictory beliefs simultaneously while accepting both, the UK continues to embrace the pandemic while acknowledging that the ‘pingdemic’ within the pandemic is threatening to grind society, and its hallowed bureaucracy, to a halt. The ‘pingdemic’ is of course the result of a meaningless test regime that imposes restrictions on society with no benefit whatsoever to overall health. It makes no sense to test healthy people who are not infectious or to ask healthy people to hole themselves up for two weeks because they were in the vicinity of someone who tested positive under a discredited test.
The swiftest and most logical way to end the ‘pingdemic’ would be to end meaningless testing in the general population. That, in turn, would end the casedemic, which would end the faux pandemic. But the only thing you can be certain of in the post-truth, biomedical dictatorship is that this will not happen. Testing will wax and wane in accordance with the changing tactics and strategies of the biosecurity state, not with genuine science, common sense or the needs of society as a whole.
Even hardened lockdown sceptics now analyse and comment on the twists and turns of the Delta variant within the paradigm of a bogus testing regime, the validity of which was comprehensively struck down in a Court ruling and which the CDC has now admitted, in July 2021, was not based on a quantified virus isolate. In the CDC’s own words: “no quantified virus isolates of the 2019-nCoV were available for CDC use at the time the test was developed” (page 40 of the FDA link).
Testing, part of the array of biosecurity state expediencies that can be arbitrarily devised, altered and withdrawn, is a concrete fact on the ground. The power of a fact on the ground can be seen in many lockdown sceptics’ shift from calling to an end to testing in November 2020 to now arguing against the government by using its testing statistics. The argument cannot be won in the long run because the biosecurity state owns the testing paradigm we now seem to be trapped in.
If people are to believe that censorship is a fine thing, then it is imperative to denounce the conspiracy theorists, misinformers, right-wing terrorists or whatever truth-bearing bogeyman happens to be embarrassing the government-BigTech-Big Pharma coalition. After all, nobody wants to be misinformed! And who likes right-wing terrorists, apart from right-wing terrorists? Ignoring the minor problem of the impossibility of coming up with a universally accepted definition of hate speech, all decent people can agree that we hate hate speech! If the lawmakers themselves are telling us that there isn’t enough censorship to combat all these evils, then what choice is there but to bake it into the law books?
And when the CEO of YouTube has achieved her quarterly targets for purged accounts, let’s be sure to give her a Freedom of Expression Award to clear up any doubts that the victims of her ‘misinformation’ purge may have about her noble character.
It’s utterly mind boggling that a huge proportion of so-called liberal leftists truly believe that those who censor scientific and political debate are heroic anti-propaganda truth-tellers. It’s the equivalent of advocating against the death penalty by killing all those who advocate for it. Or, using a real-life analogous case study from the Philippines, it’s the equivalent of rolling out a vaccine to save lives while threatening the population with starvation if they opt out. Could a psychologist please step forward and explain the forces at play that prevent so-called liberals from looking in the mirror and seeing themselves for what they really are – authoritarian fascist cheerleaders for Big Tech censorship and government propaganda?
We will not leave quietly
If events unfold in the way the billionaire club wants it to, a great deal of truth will have been flushed down the memory hole by 2030. When human consciousness is in the unshakable grip of Orwellian paradigms, when the planet is consuming, thinking, reading, dreaming within the Big Tech’s tightly set algorithmically managed parameters, how will those who remember the truth speak it? How will we live with the hypnotised, quacking automatons of the Far-From-Brave New World as they celebrate with Zoom ‘virtual drinks’ each quarterly download of the latest update jab to combat Covid variant BSH1T?
Is resistance futile? Will we all have been assimilated by then? No and No! Continue to speak your truth because something quite remarkable is happening. Resistance is growing. The growth in the violence, irrationality and desperation of governments’ attempts to enforce tyranny are the result of growing resistance to tyranny. Ideological blowback is the result of extremism in any form and growing censorship is increasing the hunger for the very thing the censors are trying to hide – truth.
A mainstream media or Big Tech fact-check is now taken as confirmation that whatever the fascist fact-checkers are trying to debunk is probably true. People are starting to realise that a programme of imposing freedom restricting passports and offering bribes of Big Macs to get people to accept a supposedly totally safe and effective vaccine is anything but about promoting health.
We have no choice other than, in the words of Simon Elmer at Architects for Social Housing, ‘to resist and oppose the regulations, programmes and technologies of the global biosecurity state being constructed behind the facade of the coronavirus crisis’. We will not be leaving quietly.