Book burning! Coming soon to a library near you
By Rusere Shoniwa
First published at https://plagueonbothhouses.com
In the digital age, destroying truth and liberty will be a far less messy business than in the old book-burning days but, paradoxically, far more effective. We can’t rule out some marching of boots and stamping on faces – after all, lockdowns in Australia are being enforced by the army – but, for the most part, there will be no fanfare as vast amounts of information on the internet are quietly flushed down the memory hole.
For totalitarianism to take root and prosper, the population must first be presented with and asked to unite against an enemy that can never be defeated. An invisible virus is the perfect undefeatable enemy and the door to totalitarianism is the biosecurity state. Control over the final frontier of human freedom – our own bodies – is being ceded to a global biomedical security state amid warped narratives about a perpetual health threat.
If the population is to be kept in a state of permanent terror, it will need to be properly ‘informed’ – propagandised – about the virus’ never-ending threat. The enemy of ‘information’ – propaganda – is of course ‘misinformation’ – code for: ‘arguments we can’t counter’.
Laws to control the peddlers of ‘misinformation’ will be drafted and speeches crafted to sell them, not that much selling will be required in the age of rule by decree. ‘Misinformation’ will of course have the broadest definition possible to capture all manner of threats to the new biosecurity state. The irony is that these speeches will be delivered by the same people who have enacted the most destructive policies in generations using an avalanche of real misinformation through government and media supported propaganda.
This irony will be lost on a public still sold on lockdowns, masks and testing perfectly healthy people for disease, while leaving those with real illnesses to rot at home – a public still sold on fear. Free speech and open debate, the things we now pay lip service to but collectively don’t value or even understand, are being stripped off the already paper-thin veneer of civilisation. The wisdom imparted in the words of Walter Gilbert, Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry, is no longer understood:
“The great lesson of history is that knowledge develops through the conflict of viewpoints, that if you have simply a consensus view, it generally stultifies, it fails to see the problems of that consensus; and it depends on the existence of critics to break up that iceberg and to permit knowledge to develop.”
Opposed by a few, the laws would probably pass unnoticed by most, because they won’t affect the ‘average’ person. Your library is fireproof if you think that Jacinda Ardern is or should be the single source of truth in New Zealand. Ardern certainly did not mince her words when she publicly stated that her Ministry of Truth had drummed in the dangers of Covid “pretty diligently for a full two-week period of sustained propaganda.” Yes, you read the last word in that sentence correctly. She said that.
Your library is fireproof if you have never questioned ‘The Science’ propagated by public health bodies worldwide to justify the strangulation of societies with the new age medievalism of lockdowns, masks and coerced and mandatory vaccination.
Sites like Medium.com, champions of cancel culture, have nothing to fear from the coming book burning. Medium.com, contrary to its claim, doesn’t exist to change the world. The pet project of a Tech billionaire, it exists to reinforce corporate values with corporate tech business models for content and revenue generation. Like all Big Tech platforms, you’re free to say anything you want to…as long as you don’t breach the site’s ‘community guidelines’ which are expeditiously invoked to delete accounts that question the ethics of vaccine evangelism or biomedical passports – anything that seriously questions the current official Covid mainstream narratives. Not for nothing is it called Medium, where left liberals, masterfully embracing doublethink, compete to conjure up the most garment-rending expressions of disgust with Trumpian ‘fascism’ while supporting the bio-fascism of vaccine passports.
The grim reality of the new era in censorship is that Big Tech is waging an all-out war on democracy, with the full support of your government. Signalling complete alignment with government interests, Facebook and other platforms are removing groups and politicians opposed to lockdowns or vaccine mandates and passports. Their actions are both absurd and bold as they tirelessly dig digital mass graves for free speech.
As far back as October 2020, Reclaim The Net reported on a mass YouTube purge that saw channels with millions of viewers collectively wiped out under Big Tech’s new Orwellian ‘harmful conspiracies’ and ‘coronavirus misinformation’ policies. As of May 2021, YouTube’s collaboration with the EU has resulted in the deletion of 850,000 “disinformation” videos.
This purge would be wrong even if the videos were compiled and loaded by chimpanzees from your local zoo. In a civilised society that claims to respect rational debate as the path to truth, there can never be a justification for censorship of ‘misinformation’. After all, the more misinformed the argument, the easier it should be to counter it. However, a deep-seated belief held by those in power is that dangerously dumb arguments must be supressed because a dangerously dumb population cannot be trusted to discern good from bad, smart from dumb. This contempt for the electorate goes to the heart of why a proper functioning democracy was always an illusion in the first place.
But it isn’t merely arrogant paternalism at play in Big Tech’s display of its new fascist fangs. The autocrats are not fearful of dangerous misinformation; they are fearful of dangerously good arguments because the bulk of what they are calling ‘misinformation’ is in fact valid scientific debate that threatens the entire edifice of the official Covid narrative. Which is not to say that all the opposing dissenters are right, but they have a right to be heard. By everyone.
are just a tiny sample of the huge number of eminently qualified dissenting scientists and medical practitioners whose views have been censored. Are they a bunch of crackpots who need to be clobbered with the censorship baton? Obviously not. And even if they were, censorship would not be the answer. This information is being purged precisely because it poses a credible threat to the government sponsored propaganda backed to the hilt by mainstream media and Big Tech. The gloves are off and the current censorship bloodbath is only a taste of what the autocrats are prepared to do to silence a debate they can’t win on an open and free playing field where the best ideas would prevail.
Cloaking censorship in a defence of the truth is a form of absurdism that only very powerful psychopaths engage in as a form of sadistic humour. It’s Big Tech’s way of laughing at us as it flaunts its crimes against free speech – from the sublime argument that the right to free speech bestows a right to curb it through to the ridiculous banning of a professor of communications, and expert propaganda researcher, for criticising Facebook’s attempts to dictate the terms of public debate, thus eliminating any doubt that they are trying to dictate the terms of public debate. It’s the classic reaction of an insecure and stupid bully when confronted by a rational intellectual. An FB post in which the professor referred to former UK-politician-turned-Facebook exec Nick Clegg as “the greatest vegetable in British political history” may have been the deciding factor in the ban, making the thin skin of the Big Tech dictatorship all too transparent.
Big Tech’s arbitrary ‘harmful conspiracies’ and ‘misinformation’ policies are exempt from public scrutiny because they are enacted by a private monopoly. This monopoly position should prompt government scrutiny precisely because of its huge consequences for free speech but this isn’t happening because the speech that the monopoly hates is the same speech the government hates.
Perhaps the only thing more galling than Big Tech’s abuse is the fact that we enabled it. The world has been willingly corralled into one giant public debating room, not realising that the room was owned and controlled by a psychopath. With hindsight, we should not be surprised that we are now being held hostage to psychopathic Global Capitalism, drunk on its own power, and by governments reduced to an administrative arm of Global Capital.
Silicon Valley and pro-lockdown governments vs free speech and truth
The harmonious alignment of pro-lockdown governments and Big Tech is patently evidenced by the full-throated cries of lawmakers everywhere for Big Tech to join them in the noble cause of supressing dissent. Ireland’s Justice Minister enjoins Big Tech to do its bit in curbing public protest, while here in the UK, MP David Lammy goes a step further by accepting money from Facebook for promotional services rendered while publicly exhorting the platform to increase its already fascist levels of censorship.
Back in October 2020, the Democrats in the US made it very clear what they wanted from Big Tech when Democratic Senator from Massachusetts Ed Markey, speaking to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a Senate hearing, demanded more censorship: “The issue is not that the companies before us today [are] taking too many posts down. The issue is that they’re leaving too many dangerous posts up.”
If our lawmakers don’t think there is enough censorship, is it any wonder that Big Tech giant Microsoft has formed a censorship coalition of the willing, including media giant BBC, with the Orwellian (sorry, that word again) sounding name of Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity and cutesy initialism C2PA?
If you follow the campaign trail money, it’s not difficult to see the clear lines in the raging US civil war. Silicon Valley, having donated overwhelmingly to the Biden/Harris campaign, is now offering its services as an information controller. This is hugely consequential for the Republican Party whose base is not only highly sceptical about the mainstream Covid narrative but seems to be the only source of real resistance to it in the US through its expanding network of alternative media channels where it is giving a voice to all dissenting Covid narratives.
Having consummated its marriage to the Biden administration through Silicon Valley administration appointments, Big Tech boldly declared war on the Republican Party with the suspension of the American President’s social media accounts after the Jan 6 Capitol Hill riots. High ranking Republicans probing any aspect of the Covid narrative from lockdown restrictions to vaccine injuries now find themselves in the cross-hairs of a digital coup led jointly by the Democrat administration in power and its Silicon Valley billionaire allies. From a purely pro-free speech and libertarian standpoint, it is quite shocking to behold so-called liberal Democrats in America threatening to enact ‘war-on-terror’ style legislation directed at the conservative right-wing of America while Republican members of Congress and Senators beg Big Tech to stop turning off the microphone while speaking to their constituents.
To the extent that uncensored news serves democracy by holding power to account, it is a public utility. That public utility has unquestionably fallen into the hands of a private monopoly. The seeds of fascism sprouted when governments surrendered economic power and policy decisions to Global Capital. The open love affair between the Big Tech monopoly and pro-lockdown governments represents the blooming of the fascist flower.
Legislating censorship – normalising the abnormal
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 licence 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 signifies 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 officially normalises the abnormal. It 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 statute 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 be leaving quietly
If events unfold in the way the billionaire club wants them 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 Big Tech’s tightly set algorithmically managed parameters, how will those who remember the truth speak it? How will we live with the Brave New World’s hypnotised, quacking automatons 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.
You can read more of Rusere’s work at https://plagueonbothhouses.com