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Last week’s massive social media purges – starting with President Trump’s permanent ban from Twitter and other outlets – was shocking and chilling, particularly to those of us who value free expression and the free exchange of ideas. The justifications given for the silencing of wide swaths of public opinion made no sense and the process was anything but transparent. Nowhere in President Trump’s two “offending” Tweets, for example, was a call for violence expressed explicitly or implicitly. It was a classic example of sentence first, verdict later.

Many Americans viewed this assault on social media accounts as a liberal or Democrat attack on conservatives and Republicans, but they are missing the point. The narrowing of allowable opinion in the virtual public square is no conspiracy against conservatives. As progressives like Glenn Greenwald have pointed out, this is a wider assault on any opinion that veers from the acceptable parameters of the mainstream elite, which is made up of both Democrats and Republicans.

Yes, this is partly an attempt to erase the Trump movement from the pages of history, but it is also an attempt to silence any criticism of the emerging political consensus in the coming Biden era that may come from progressive or antiwar circles.

After all, a look at Biden’s incoming “experts” shows that they will be the same failed neoconservative interventionists who gave us weekly kill lists, endless drone attacks and coups overseas, and even US government killing of American citizens abroad. Progressives who complain about this “back to the future” foreign policy are also sure to find their voices silenced.

Those who continue to argue that the social media companies are purely private ventures acting independent of US government interests are ignoring reality. The corporatist merger of “private” US social media companies with US government foreign policy goals has a long history and is deeply steeped in the hyper-interventionism of the Obama/Biden era.

“Big Tech” long ago partnered with the Obama/Biden/Clinton State Department to lend their tools to US “soft power” goals overseas. Whether it was ongoing regime change attempts against Iran, the 2009 coup in Honduras, the disastrous US-led coup in Ukraine, “Arab Spring,” the destruction of Syria and Libya, and so many more, the big US tech firms were happy to partner up with the State Department and US intelligence to provide the tools to empower those the US wanted to seize power and to silence those out of favor.

In short, US government elites have been partnering with “Big Tech” overseas for years to decide who has the right to speak and who must be silenced. What has changed now is that this deployment of “soft power” in the service of Washington’s hard power has come home to roost.

So what is to be done? Even pro-free speech alternative social media outlets are under attack from the Big Tech/government Leviathan. There are no easy solutions. But we must think back to the dissidents in the era of Soviet tyranny. They had no Internet. They had no social media. They had no ability to communicate with thousands and millions of like-minded, freedom lovers. Yet they used incredible creativity in the face of incredible adversity to continue pushing their ideas. Because no army – not even Big Tech partnered with Big Government – can stop an idea whose time has come. And Liberty is that idea. We must move forward with creativity and confidence!

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2020 Election, Censorship, Donald Trump, Twitter 
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  1. Wyatt says:

    Yet they used incredible creativity in the face of incredible adversity to continue pushing their ideas.

    Not really. There was a confluence of fuck-ups and the wrong man in the right place at the right time (Yeltsin) helped accelerate the falling apart of everything all at once. After that, there was a period of looting by God’s Chosen Lunatics until a small bald man stepped up and got rid of them (sorta).

    If history has taught us anything, it’s that most nations are stocked with abject cowards who will not assert their rights if it means they might lose the scraps they have. For some reason though, art students are really good at motivating people into near suicidal bravery.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  2. botazefa says:

    So what is to be done? Even pro-free speech alternative social media outlets are under attack from the Big Tech/government Leviathan

    Speaking of – The Parler links here on Unz are ‘broken.’ The Domain (DNS records) are gone. Doing ‘nslookup parler.com’ in a command prompt returns no records.

    Jesus

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  3. Jokem says:

    What would stop Trump, with his vast financial resources, from creating his own social media?

  4. An inspiring oped, Mr. Paul. However, I’m no longer putting my trust in this country’s citizenry until I see enough effective strikes against the current and escalating tyranny by young anti-prog, anti-antifa/blm, anti-elite-establishment rebels to encourage this old codger that it is worthwhile immolating himself or participating in a less extreme fashion as part of the struggle.

  5. It’s simply amazing how few people really know what is going on right now …

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  6. There is a way out of this mess. It’s nonviolent and perfectly legal. The best part is the “enemy” gets to pay most of the cost. The unfortunate part is it requires stealth, and from what I’ve seen most people can’t keep their mouth shut.

    • Replies: @Ultrafart the Brave
  7. KenH says:

    I’m glad Ron Paul is not lecturing us that tech monopolies can do as they please because they are private companies. They are now de facto state actors given their well documented collusion and coordination with Democrat politicians and should be forced to be neutral platforms as they used to be until Trump won the presidency in 2016 and they decided to start shadow banning and deplatforming right of center dissidents.

  8. Cowboy says:

    “[T]he condition of mankind is such that one may well ask what it is that made the men of past generations so great and the men of the present generation so small. In the midst of all the material achievements of modern life, one may well ask the question whether in gaining the whole world we have not lost our own soul. Are we forever condemned to live the sordid life of utilitarianism? Or is there some lost secret which if rediscovered will restore to mankind something of the glories of the past?”
    Gresham Machen, 1923

    • Thanks: Achmed E. Newman
  9. @Jokem

    He could do it, but he’d need to base it out of a jurisdiction that is immune to US meddling. More likely, the US could just ban Google from indexing the site at all – that’d pretty much block the site for 95% of non-computer literate Americans. In fact, Google would probably volunteer to do it – so it wouldn’t technically be ‘government censorship’.

    • Replies: @Jokem
  10. @Wyatt

    99% of Soviet citizens never had any contact with dissident ideas, until elements of Soviet nomenklatura decided to give them a platform as part of their plot to get rid of communism. Those Soviet apparatchiks weren’t converted to ideals of freedom by any means, they simply wanted to get rich, and dissident works provided intellectual cover for “reform”.

    As usual a split within the elite is key to successful regime change.

  11. @Mr. Cracker

    …from what I’ve seen most people can’t keep their mouth shut.

    And so that’s why you absolutely must keep it a secret, okay?

    Come to think of it, why are you blabbing about it here on an open internet forum?

    • Replies: @Mr. Cracker
  12. Jokem says:
    @Marshal Marlow

    I don’t think there would be any problem finding a venue to host the site.
    Google is not the only search engine, it is the most popular, but not the only one.
    All that would do is slow down the discovery of the new social media.

  13. @botazefa

    Here’s the output from Google’s name servers:
    nslookup parler.com 8.8.8.8
    Server: 8.8.8.8
    Address: 8.8.8.8#53

    Non-authoritative answer:
    Name: parler.com
    Address: 0.0.0.0

    nslookup parler.com 8.8.4.4
    Server: 8.8.4.4
    Address: 8.8.4.4#53

    Non-authoritative answer:
    Name: parler.com
    Address: 0.0.0.0

    The address given is bogus.

    • Replies: @botazefa
  14. botazefa says:
    @RoatanBill

    One would surmise that Parler made the mistake of allowing Amazon to control its DNS in addition to application services.

    This is a good reason to avoid moving core business services to the cloud.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  15. @botazefa

    Having your livelihood tied to a cloud provider is idiotic.

    Servers for hosting web activity are cheap. The bandwidth is the expensive part of a web based business if they’re really successful. Admittedly, competent tech support services are also expensive and are required continuously to fend off internet based attacks and reconfiguration of the networking infrastructure as new requirements are identified. The cloud providers have all that tech support and knowledge and that’s why people use them, but it doesn’t preclude getting your own set up outside the major players. Using Amazon, in particular is one bonehead move, given all their gov’t connections when you’re running a site TPTsB don’t like.

  16. @Ultrafart the Brave

    Blabbing about what exactly Einstein?

  17. @Jokem

    ‘What would stop Trump, with his vast financial resources, from creating his own social media?’

    His lack of vast financial resources will stop him. The guy was, is, and always will be a blow-hard.

    …it only makes matters worse that he indeed was the best choice at every turn.

    • Replies: @Jokem
  18. @Roacheforque

    ‘It’s simply amazing how few people really know what is going on right now …’

    It’s amazing how many do. That’s precisely why they’re so determined to censor Twitter et al.

    They’ve realized they’ve mounted a tiger, and if they ever fall off.

    That demonstration let the cat out of the bag. All we have to do is stand up, and shake these vermin off. There are that many of us.

    https://www.nrtoday.com/news/national/national_politics/glide-resident-saw-another-side-of-protests-in-washington-d-c/article_7baa648f-b12f-52e4-bd88-e6b97d9d6919.html

    • Agree: Roacheforque
  19. Jokem says:
    @Colin Wright

    https://www.bloomberg.com/billionaires/profiles/donald-j-trump/

    How much does it take to start a social media web site?
    Unless you think Bloomberg is also a blow-hard.

  20. @Jokem

    Well, he had four years to do something about the biased MSM and the Internet companies but he did nothing except talk. From day 1, and even before, he knew that they were against him and he should have given the task to Steve Bannon to rein them in and create alternatives.

    • Replies: @Jokem
  21. Jokem says:
    @Commentator Mike

    1) We have a 1st Amendment which means the government cannot ‘gag’ a free press, even if they publish irresponsible things. He could try to sue, but those kind of legal actions are hard to win.

    2) What does this have to do with Trump starting his own Social Media Enterprise?

    • Replies: @Greta Handel
  22. @Jokem

    Your ball’s once again in the weeds.

    What could and should have been done long before Trump took office was either (i) a DoJ antitrust action to break up Big Tech or (ii) Congressional legislation to condemn those media as public utilities. In the meantime, the Congress or the courts via DoJ actions could eliminate the “we’re just platforms” ruse and at least require the entities to accept the legal consequences faced by other publishers.

    Understand now? If not, how would any of these government actions “gag” anyone or otherwise violate the 1st Amendment?

    • Troll: Jokem
    • Replies: @Jokem
  23. Jokem says:
    @Greta Handel

    Your head is once again crammed securely up your posterior.

    i) How can Competition Law be used to break up a company when it has competition?

    ii) Congressional legislation to ‘condemn’ the media would be pretty pathetic unless there is teeth in it where there would be consequences to ignoring the Congressional legislation. If the consequences are more than simply criticizing the company for what it published on its web site then it amounts to control of the press which runs contrary to the 1st Amendment. I don’t see how it can be interpreted any other way.

    So, no, I don’t understand.

    • Thanks: Greta Handel
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