Silencing the Opposition Is Like Tamping Down a Powder Keg
I've hesitated a long time in writing this post, partly because of the injunction to "never disturb the enemy when he's making a mistake."
That still operates, but honestly, we're at a transition point in history — also known as the "leading to" circumstances before the map gets all arrowy and full of red and explosions — when there is a high probability of confrontation and violence. Or not. We might actually slide under this and end the civil cold war as we ended the international Cold War, without a major conflagration despite several minor ones.
Note that I'm not sure that was the right way to end the international Cold War. It allowed the communists to rinse, deny the USSR, and come back again for a repeat of their craptastic act. But on the other hand, I'm not absolutely sure what would have survived the more … "expected" end to the Cold War, nor what would have emerged after. There was a non-trivial chance we'd found ourselves in the world of Robert A. Heinlein's Farnham's Freehold.
In the similar predicament we face, where something will happen in the civil cold war and bring it to an end, I don't know precisely what form a violent confrontation would take. But I know if it does happen, it won't proceed as anyone — on the Right or the Left — expects. And I know what emerges afterward, both for us and for the world, would probably be very different from a constitutional republic, and therefore inevitably worse.
So in an attempt to make everyone understand the "leading to" circumstances before we see the arrows and the explosions, let me say the Left thinks it's mustered some kind of giant coup by getting Alex Jones of Infowars banned.
They did. I've never seen a neater case of shooting oneself through the foot while scaring people who don't respond well to being scared.
Yeah, yeah, I'll do the obligatory disavowing of Jones. I think I went to his site once because someone sent me a link, but I'm not even sure about that. Once I started seeing him quoted by my more "excitable" acquaintances and learned the content of those quotes, I banished him to the "insane" and "silly" file.
Is he vile? Probably. I don't care enough to look.
I do care about the fact that tech giants in more or less monopolistic positions got together to ban him form online presence at the same time.
It is a classical Left thing. The things they get the press and the tech tycoons to do under the name of proving they're "good people" and on the "right side of history," you couldn't pay thinking traitors to do.
These people aren't thinking or examining the consequences of their actions:
- The journalists: Because they were exquisitely indoctrinated and live in an echo chamber. (And ain't too bright, as we have proof of daily. See this. Dear Lord, do journalism schools keep their graduates from ever meeting real humans?)
- The tycoons: Because they're only really good at tech and using tech in commerce and marketing. They're fairly hopeless dweebs otherwise. They're partly scared of being the target of a lefty lynch mob (why, yes, they always were good at those, both real and metaphorical) and partly want to signal that they're on the side that will "win the future" — as their professors, their mommies, and their more socially clued-in (but often far dumber) wives told them would happen.
This is why the takeover of tech companies by the Left happened without anyone noticing. So they banned Alex Jones.
Before this, they banned the Stormfronters. Yes, the Stormfronters are despicable. Also really really stupid. And I'm told, mostly by my more widely internet-traveled friends, but also by the lefty keyboard commandos that swarmed all over social media attempting to shame everyone who said this was a bad move, Alex Jones is also. In fact, I know that Alex Jones once physically attacked a friend of mine trying to defend someone else at a public gathering. So, you know, yeah, he probably sucks.
And? Your point is?
Sure, some speech is awful. Myself, I'll need dental work if I listen to Alexandria Occasionally-Cortex many more times. And the so-called "Right" that prides itself on being the same as the Left but with more racial bulls*** isn't any better for my blood pressure.
I invite you — and any stray lefties, beyond the usual trolls who stumble onto this page — to consider this:
Repulsive speech is the only speech that needs protection. No one ever was in trouble of being silenced while mouthing the party line, either in the most open of democracies or the most authoritarian of tyrannies. Saying you love mom and apple pie won't get anyone to boo and throw stones. (Though some motherless communists might call for the redistribution of moms, and some particularly crazy SJWs might protest that motherhood is a cisgendered privilege.) When you're saying what the mainstream of society considers taboo, that's when you'll get bad reactions and get called names. At various times in history, this was precisely what the rulers needed to hear. Now, no one needs to hear the people just shut down … probably. However ...
If you're on the right, you know the left calls all of us racist, sexist and homophobes. The thing is, they are like peculiarly ideologically blind morons. They really can't tell the difference between libertarians and Storm Front. Because they themselves are so deeply racist – i.e. they think minorities need the help of "allies" to achieve anything in an equal society – they honestly believe that we who want individual rights, individual striving and individual achievement are profoundly racist. Because they know that them poor little colored people can't make it on their own. (As a person of passable tan, I'd like them to contemplate the Tao of the upraised middle fingers.)
Now, if you're a lefty you're probably sputtering that this is because of pervasive but invisible racism. And you're absolutely right, but not the way you think. Minorities singularly lack achievement in advanced countries (though some individuals are very accomplished) because the left has sold them a bill of goods and told them everyone is against them. If no matter how hard you try and what you do, you won't be allowed to win, then you'll sink into apathy and hatred and act out. (Hence the whole definition of hard work to succeed as "white privilege" and "acting white" which is used to pull minorities back into the crab bucket.)
If you're a lefty I invite you to consider we simply don't give a d*mn if people can tan. People are people are people.
But even if we convince a few lefties of this (I'm always up for snatching brands from the fire) the rest of them, the vast majority, truly think we're the same as the two pieces of excrement they just banned. Which means – as the rest of the right has caught on – this is the beginning of the great banning.
And this is when I want the lefties to come back online and pay attention.
This is a typical lefty maneuver. Every country taken over by the Marxists had strict controls of the press, of opinion and of speech slapped on. Even the Europeans who are soft (but sliding) left have "hate speech" laws, which really means "laws against saying anything those in power don't like."
It's almost like the left has something to hide.
Oh, never mind, 100 million dead. Of course they have something to hide. If the full history were out in the open everywhere the hammer and sickle would get the same "respect" as the swastika. Anyone subscribing to the ideologies either of those subscribe is a moral horror who should be kicked out of the human race for shoving. (Only we always hope for redemption.)
But here's the thing, dearest lefties, when you silence people in the main means of communication, you're not actually stopping the opposition of making them unaware there are others like them.
The USSR was undermined internally by typewriters and photocopiers. And they had the sort of indoctrination systems our education and journalism schools only dream about.
We to the right of Lenin have seen the elephant. During the period of mass-industrial communication you kept us unaware there were others like us. You managed to convince people the "sane" view was left.
Since then…well, a lot more of your "not really communism" has exploded in your face, and even though the naïve and stupid don't know it, a lot of people do. And we've hit the web and found out we were not alone, not a bit of it. We who stand for free minds and free markets are probably the majority of this country, and would definitely be so if the low information voters bothered to do more than turn on the lefty press.
You want to run us off from social media, to shut down our blogs, to make us "disappear."
Which is cute. First of all, you have no clue how many of us are embedded in the most progressive enterprises and how much that sort of thing would freak us out. We're already on high alert by the banning of the scumbags you think are just like us. You edge towards the left and a lot of the still-functioning parts of society are going to come apart at a higher speed than you imagine.
Second, let's say you accomplish this. You know what happens next?
We find ways around. Or worse, we each sit and stew and wait. Wait for the powder keg to blow.
Despite Trump's campaign and election being carried on in plain sight, you were completely blindsided by Hillary's defeat.
Imagine how much more blindsided you will be when you get far worse than Hitler, or when your "pacifying measures" turn into an armed confrontation nightmare.
This is not your country. Your country, what you studied and listened to stories about is not the real America. It's a semi-European thing, an invention of your schoolmasters and entertainers. And since you never step outside the bubble, you don't know anything real about the real country.
Look, assume all the stereotypes you have in mind are wrong. Assume that Americans, real Americans are a testy and really ornery breed. It's true. We're slow to anger, both in our own revolution, in the civil war, and finally in the world wars. But once you have our full attention, we don't stop.
If you keep this up, you're going to get our full attention. And it will get bad. Really bad.
You don't stop opposition by banishing it to places where you don't have to – and can't – listen to it. That's the way to create a really bad movement against you.
A really bad explosion needs containment; walls against which to push.
You think the walls you've built are strong enough. They aren't. You think Trump is terrible. He isn't.
Keeping on this road will bring elected leaders that make Trump seem like Obama.
You don't want that.
And neither do I.
Go home and meditate on why the founders thought free speech was so important. Then sin no more. And consider listening to the other side, now and then, to see who we are and what we want.
Glasnost might yet surprise you. It's certainly better than the alternative.