“You see, censorship is good if the person being censored is someone you don’t like. That’s right. You didn’t know that, did you? That’s the secret meaning of the 1st Amendment.”
—Here is how foul the political air is now, how low the ‘logic’ has sunk. If you don’t agree that Facebook censoring a particular person is a good thing, then you must be supporting that censored person. You must be on his side. There is no middle ground. There is no Bill of Rights. There is only like and hate, and hate implies there is a target to be censored—
Whole generations are being raised to think of censorship as a pleasant solution to speech they don’t like, people they don’t like, ideas they don’t like.
I’ve received an email outlining reasons not to like Alex Jones. It stopped short of saying he should be censored. Instead, it accused me of supporting him. Which of course ISN’T THE ISSUE. The issue is, should Jones be banned.
Several generations know NOTHING about the 1st Amendment or corporate monopoly of the news. All they know is: “shut bad people up.”
You could run the following Noam Chomsky quote by such people and see what reaction you get: “If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely for views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.”
The reaction you’d get? Some form of non-comprehension. In the case of the massive social-media banning of Alex Jones that occurred yesterday, these know-nothings would say: “Good. I’m glad he’s censored.”
But if social media giants can ban Jones, they can move right along to another target. They can decide that anyone who speaks out against vaccination is a danger to the community and must be silenced. They can decide anyone who defends Russia for any reason is by implication a Trump supporter, and a menace, and should have his social media presence diminished; perhaps covertly.
Many strange things can be implemented on the basis of “protecting the herd.”
The animals in the herd have a boss and if they obey the boss all goes well. The boss knows what language they should be exposed to, and what language they shouldn’t encounter. The boss understands the herd’s needs.
The Washington Examiner: “Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., is calling on other tech companies to ban more sites like InfoWars, and says the survival of American democracy depends on it.”
“’Infowars is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our nation apart. These companies must do more than take down one website. The survival of our democracy depends on it’,” Murphy tweeted Monday.
So ignorance of the 1st Amendment easily reaches as high as the US senate. Who is this moron, Chris Murphy? What lies is he talking about? What hate? Let’s see the examples and the evidence—unless Murphy isn’t a standard moron at all. He’s a Democrat pushing an agenda: get rid of Alex Jones because Jones is a threat to the political Left.
Major media, in particular, have their knives out for Jones, because he is taking away chunks of their audience, and they have no solution for it—except to appeal to their social media brethren to censor Jones, block him, and declare war against him.
In this day and age, the easiest way to do that is to say a person is a hater and a bigot and a violator of community standards. It falls out this way: “MR. JONES, YOU’VE INSULTED SO MANY GROUPS AND RAISED SUCH HATRED AGAINST THEM, WE’RE CENSORING YOU AND BANNING YOU. YOU’RE SUCH A PARIAH THE SPIRIT OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT DOESN’T APPLY TO YOU.”
What Jones, IN TOTALITY, has actually been doing and saying for the past couple of decades is another matter entirely. You’re not supposed to explore that. You’re not supposed to go to infowars and find out, because you might become exposed to dangerous thoughts or facts. You’re supposed to pretend you know what’s happening at infowars by listening to its critics and leave it at that. You’re supposed to be incurious and oblivious and, therefore, a “perfect citizen.”
You’re supposed to be apathetic about censorship.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE A PERSON FOR ANY REASON, YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO CARE IF THEY’RE CENSORED.
“Well, you see, Jones is not a good person. Therefore, ban him. Yes. Who cares? And if anyone is against banning him, they are supporting him and they’re bad, too.”
“That new criminal running around? He just posted a piece about keeping Mein Kampf on library shelves and not banning Hitler. That means he supports Hitler and Hitler’s ideas. So he is a copy of Hitler. Ban him. Censor him. Excommunicate him.”
“Colored people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it.” (Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (1953).
“The FCC, the Federal Communications Commission, decided all by itself that radio and television were the only two parts of American life not protected by the free speech provisions of the first amendment to the Constitution. I’d like to repeat that, because it sounds… vaguely important! The FCC—an appointed body, not elected, answerable only to the president—decided on its own that radio and television were the only two parts of American life not protected by the first amendment to the Constitution. Why did they decide that? Because they got a letter from a minister in Mississippi! A Reverend Donald Wildman in Mississippi heard something on the radio that he didn’t like. Well, Reverend, did anyone ever tell you there are two KNOBS on the radio? Two. Knobs. On the radio. Of course, I’m sure the reverend isn’t that comfortable with anything that has two knobs on it… But hey, reverend, there are two knobs on the radio! One of them turns the radio OFF, and the other one [slaps his head] CHANGES THE STATION! Imagine that, reverend, you can actually change the station! It’s called freedom of choice, and it’s one of the principles this country was founded upon. Look it up in the library, reverend, if you have any of them left when you’ve finished burning all the books.” (George Carlin, 1988)
“To whom do you award the right to decide which speech is harmful, or who is the harmful speaker? Or to determine in advance what are the harmful consequences going to be that we know enough about in advance to prevent? To whom would you give this job? To whom are you going to award the task of being the censor?…To whom you would delegate the task of deciding for you what you could read? To whom you would give the job of deciding for you – relieve you of the responsibility of hearing what you might have to hear? Do you know anyone? Hands up. Do you know anyone to whom you’d give this job? Does anyone have a nominee?” (Christopher Hitchens, 2006)