Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Cultural Purge Will Not Be Televised

The Cultural Purge Will Not Be Televised

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, and our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of…. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind.”

I’ve been trying not to write this post, because really, who needs a bunch of shrill, hysterical snowflakes calling you a racist nazi for committing the egregious sin of pointing out the many contradictions in the #deleteshopify boycott and the wider witch hunt mentality that pervades social discourse these days?
The main factor holding me back is not cynicism but actually fear. For the first time in my life I’m afraid to speak my mind. The possible ramifications of exercising my inalienable right to free speech frighten the crap out of me. So much so that I really don’t want to do it. I’ve become known as the type of person who speaks candidly and frankly about some tough issues and I’ve never had a problem doing that in the past. I’ve gone up against some pretty intimidating forces such as the City of London IPCU and the US FDA, but I’ve never been as scared as I am now to speak out.  For that reason I’m just going to have to suck it up and do it.

There is a cultural purge in progress.

It is directed against not only those who are perceived as “pro-Trump” (which as a card carrying Libertarian I am not. I think that he’s no friend to free speech, privacy or the internet), but targeting even those who are not “anti-Trump enough”.

This cultural purge has a two-pronged approach, from one side, from elements within the corridors of power (or those recently ejected from it) who have successfully floated the concept that free speech is not inviolable and that it would be a good thing for “truth” to be curated by “somebody” who knows better:

“We are going to have to rebuild within this wild-wild-west-of-information flow some sort of curating function that people agree to… There has to be, I think, some sort of way in which we can sort through information that passes some basic truthiness tests and those that we have to discard, because they just don’t have any basis in anything that’s actually happening in the world…That is hard to do, but I think it’s going to be necessary, it’s going to be possible,”

— Barack Obama in speech at Frontiers Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, Oct 13, 2016 (emphasis added)

The other half comes from the trenches, comprised of manic flashmobs directing enmity against, literally, anything remotely connected to those deemed responsible for the greatest political upset of our time.
The mainstream media, outlets like Washington Post and the New York Times, among others, are complicit, providing the glue or the lubricant between this pincer movement and its chilling effects. The combination gels into an echo chamber drowning out all rationality and renders differing philosophies and legitimate dissent as blasphemous.

Today, the mainstream media, rather than objectively and rationally report on facts, are instead complicit in a sustained, wide-ranging campaign of demonization of “all things non-Democrat”. There is blanket categorical denial of any valid basis for why the citizenry worldwide are rejecting what they increasingly see as an “Establishment Elite” agenda.
Greece, Brexit, Trump and quite possibly soon, Marine Le Pen in France are all continuations of a theme. These events are referendums unto themselves and those “Global Elites” are on a losing streak. Instead of trying to understand the basis of these rejections (that the populace are sick and tired of having a two-tiered society in which their civil rights are eroded and they get saddled with all the debt, while the elites get to operate under a different set of rules and gobble up all the assets); they have mounted a concerted campaign of outright propaganda and mind-numbingly nonsensical narratives to dismiss away these acts of “defiance”.

“One of the most favored propaganda tactics of establishment elites and [those] they employ … is to relabel or redefine an opponent before they can solidly define themselves. In other words, elites [and their media] will seek to “brand” you (just as corporations use branding) in the minds of the masses so that they can take away your ability to define yourself as anything else.” (emphasis added)

And this is exactly what’s happening. For example, when you say “Breitbart”, your average person is so inculcated from the repetition of the words “white supremacist”, “racist”, and “ nazi” that people just assume that’s what it is. From there people think that it’s ok to #boycottshopify simply for supplying basic online ecommerce services to them (where does it stop? Btw, Breitbart derives 100% of it’s revenues from the internet, perhaps everybody in a twist about it should do us all a favour and boycott that too).
Is Breitbart really white supremacist, racist nazi hate site? Actually, no it isn’t. Most people think it is however, because they’ve been conditioned to believe it, and they’ve never actually gone there to see for themselves.

So what can you do?

You can only govern yourself. Your only recourse is whether to associate or disassociate with somebody. Yes, you are perfectly within your rights to #boycottshopify but as I’ve outlined, you’re being naive doing so and will likely have the exact opposite effect if you’re enough of a loudmouth about it .
But if this Cultural Purge proceeds we will actually, for real, lose what used to be inalienable rights. Our right to free speech, our right to free association and our rights to our own minds. If something you say is considered “hurtful” (which will more closely resemble dissent or criticism of the Official Narrative than anything else) you will be sanctioned. You will tow the line or you will be penalized – contracts severed, vendors disassociate themselves, boycotts ensue. Whatever you do, just don’t say or think the wrong thing, because not going along with the crowd will make you a pariah.
If you want to prevent that:
1) you have the duty to look at the issue first hand and decide for yourself if it has any merit. Don’t ever come to me and tell me “XYZ is white supremacist, neo-nazi hate speech” unless you can show me an article that has the hate speech in it. Show me the white supremacist rhetoric. If you tell me you believe it simply because that’s what Wapo told you then you are a fool. You are Wapo’s useful idiot. A Wapobot.
2) you have to be prepared to call b/s whenever some whining snowflake demands safety from any contrary opinion, whenever some pundit robotically repeats the “white supremacist, hate speech, homophobe, Russian hackers” mantra, and whenever you’re asked to jump on some witchunt bandwagon against someone who dares to dispute the Official Narrative.
3) you have to be able to take the heat. Guess what? You’ll be next. Speak out against this nonsense and you’ll be subjected to hysterionics, character assassination, guilt by the most tenuous of associations, distortions of fact and a co-ordinated piling on by mobs of unquestioning ideological berserkers.

  • You’ll be Peter Thiel (there was a popular outcry to remove him from Facebook’s board, why? Because he endorsed Trump.)
  • You’ll be Scott Adams (his crime? Correctly predicting that Trump was going to win)
  • You’ll be Ivanka Trump (facing a co-ordinated attack on her livelihood for her transgression of being born a Trump).

That is a cultural purge.
I’m probably next just for writing this piece. So be it. My credibility as a non-racist, free-speech Libertarian are unassailable and am categorically unaffiliated with Russian intelligence. My duty is to speak out precisely because it is becoming more dangerous to speak out.


New Beginning said...

So true and well stated. It continues to amaze me that people can loose their job or be vilified for doing nothing more than holding a peaceful contrary opinion.

Scott said...

I agree - in fact this is one of the most ominous sighs in terms of where thibgs are headed