The term ruling class evokes a usual picture, given by a well meaning young progressive. Simplistically, she told me it is “people with money”. She’s got that partially right, but only sometimes. Not all people with money want to rule others. Some are very content to just rule the sources of their money. But if you’ll allowed me to posit two groups who want to rule more than the sources of their money….they want to rule us…. I’d appreciate having your feedback on what we can do about the problem.
1. SOCIAL MEDIA MOGULS
Those entities with full and complete access to the media/information (as in whoever controls the sources of information) control the people.
Check out Section 230 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. The purpose of the Act was to prevent social media platforms from being sued into oblivion. In exchange, the platforms had to agree to let everybody publish anything, except congress didn’t define for how long. That was left up to the platforms.
“Howja like them apples”?
And to add insult to that injury, by the power vested in us (us, as the people congress was supposed to protect and didn’t by leaving open for how long and by agreeing to Section 230) we the people, have granted all social media moguls unbridled, sole, complete power, under Section 230 of the Act, to play with our freedom of speech, by defining hate speech.
Section 230 has become a HUGE loophole which has allowed those who control social media to control us/our freedoms. First they start with speech. Then religion. Then the rest fall like dominos.
Let that sink in….then hear this:
The Act mandated that, in exchange for their immunity against lawsuits, the platforms have to publish almost everything (except hate speech… which, since 2016, they’ve positioned themselves to politically define). However, the Act doesn’t define for how long.
This means that in today’s political climate (the winds can change… the moguls will still be in power), since conservative views are not popular with the moguls, those views are up and down in split algorithm seconds (the algorithms look for key words) if they’re put up at all.
And, that’s where the definition of hate speech power attaches. If the media moguls don’t like what you’ve posted, they can either just not give it any traction or they can define what isn’t part of their accepted narrative as hate speech (recipes for potato salad are exempted from these draconian rulings). You say that you’d sue? Think again…you’d be better off trying to fight City Hall, because, remember the quid pro quo of “they have to publish everything (except hate speech)”? Then you’ll remember that the moguls had to agree to letting the public post anything, in exchange for the public not being able to sue over any media decisions they we’re ever to make.
What makes this matter worse is that when the Act was conceived, these platforms were competitive and non political. So you could jump to another platform if you didn’t like how you were being treated.
But just in the nick of time to try to steer the election of 2016 to their liking (they failed and hence some of Trump’s Tweets are now deemed hate speech) they’ve all jumped in bed together, under the cozy cover of section 230 (previously almost never invoked). If you’ll notice all of the platforms have a united front, as to what hate speech is…..including censorship of an American President.
That kind of chutzpah, trumps (you should excuse the expression) killing your parents and then throwing yourself on the mercy of the court because you’re an orphan.
Now for some PR fun: Social Media’s biggest PR advocates are on the left, such as The NY Times,The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, NPR, CNN, etc. This means that any political views, other than those the media outlets deem cancel culture cleansed, are not allowed to see the light of day for more than a few soon to be censored seconds and/or are defined as hate speech.
Here’s an example of how the news media is beholden to those who control their flow of oxygen: After firing a PROGRESSIVE (got that?) OpEd Editor for his decision to publish a conservative OPINION, the PROGRESSIVE publisher of The NY Times groveled an apology about the PROGRESSIVE Editor’s anti narrative decision. So it was not enough for the publisher to have fired the editor, the publisher felt compelled to bend over, as well.
There are countless other examples (of firings, reputations ruined, and that Nazi Germany book burning of Kristallnacht. Of course, being more all modern and politically correct, that book burning thingie now goes by the name of self censorship of more than a few authors, who in the name of cultural sensitivity decide to suffocate themselves. And then there’s the Woke pulling of products that may offend, including a Nike shoe designed with an American flag. But the publisher’s groveled apology shows, not only the extent those who tilt to the left will go to ask for forgiveness from their own, but that freedom of the press is in danger.
If those on the left are afraid of their own (think of the history of the French Revolution and ReEducation Camps for Chinese officials who have forgotten how to grovel), then those in the center or to the right of center should be terrorized.
As for the suffocation of views that don’t conform to the cancel culture narrative, it’s hard for me to give examples of the takedown of those views because they’re taken down faster than you can say cancel culture. But, this example should jar your sense of fair play: all information from and about Unity 2020 a new grassroots group, which advocates the support of candidates other than Trump and Biden (it’s more complicated than that but that’s basically the picture) has been removed by Twitter. That is a chilling, freezing, below freezing way to take the breath right out of any views not under their covers.
Once this social media ruling class defines truth, the result will be worse for those who survive this first cancel culture round, until as it was in 1789 France and 1930s Nazi Germany, and now is in Cuba, North Korea, China (including, now, Hong Kong), Venezuela, and ad nauseam, where everyone, except a few will be censored, and very afraid, in a coming (unless we speak up now) social media ruling class world.
WAIT!! I think I’ve read this somewhere before…..OH YES!! It’s a book with a year as the complete title!! The last number in the title rhymes with Gore…say….didn’t he invent the internet? Well it really doesn’t matter if he did or not or who did. What matters is who owns and controls it now? Guess again….HINT: It’s not We The People. We gave that away in 1996.
The only way we’re going to stop this political power theft is to take the power back, in the only two legal ways we have: first by ditching social media use as much as possible so that you won’t be counted as a consumer for the moguls to attract advertising dollars and then by changing the law.
2. MEMBERS (AND FORMER MEMBERS)OF CONGRESS
Rather than tediously listing all of the perks of being in either the House or the Senate, here (again besides laws that don’t apply to them), ask Siri. If any reader knows how our convoluted The People’s Windfall To An Elected Few Scam happened, I’m all ears. Maybe if we knew how the gravy train started we could stop it in its tracks.
Right now, unless we speak up, and change those laws by a public outcry to the sound of “WE THE ARE THE PEOPLE NOT WE ARE THE PEASANTS!!” we’ll be in deep doo doo (I didn’t vote for Ross Perot, but I always appreciated that phrase).
Even if you’re a cancel culture groupie, remember that after the moguls and those who keep them in power shut the rest of us up, the cancel culture system always cleanses their own, until the current cancelors are cancelled by those more extreme (think North Korea, China and Cuba as just three examples of what that looks like).
Martin Neimoller’s poem, “First they came for…” (there are several versions) is a chilling example of what the suffocation of the freedoms of many, by a few, means:
“First they came for the socialists (Communists) and didn’t object – For I wasn’t a socialist (Communist);
Then they came for the labor leaders, and I didn’t object – For I wasn’t a labor leader;
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t object – For I wasn’t a Jew”;
Then they came for ________(fill in your favorite
“And then, they came for me –
And there was no one left to object”.
Object now or forever hold your silence……..