In “The Internet as Agent of Chaos and Entropy (Part 1) I discussed the web and how it is constructed. I referred to the internet as the key battleground in the war to control hearts and minds.
Since its awakening from the fog of our human infancy, humanity has sought answers to every question. So many of our basic questions are unanswerable or even, heaven forbid, so complex that there is no one, simple answer. It goes against our basic comfort that we cannot have simplicity in our search for meaning. It is the reason that conspiracy theories grab our attention and give us comfort. There is no such thing as an unanswered question in the mind of the conspiracy theorist. Everything has an answer and inevitably it is so superficial that it satisfies any inner conflict. The internet expedites falsehood because any lie may be backed up creatively by images which in turn, trigger instantly identifiable memes. Attracting eyeballs becomes an end in itself – the means, therefore, a wholly amoral vehicle meant only to serve in the adulation of the self.
There are two ways in which we can fight the evil that has become so much a part of the internet. The first is the internationalisation of the internet. Governments take over the superhighway and set standards of usage for movement within it. Any violation of the code of practice mean immediate expulsion from the internet. The second, less draconian way is to abolish all anonymity. It would require two steps: first, pooling credit card information from across the world and second, greater surveillance of internet based fraudulent credit card use. It is possible to tie every human being with access to the web to an identifiable person via a credit card (or some other form of ID). Every person accessing the web would need to possess a verifiable ID. It would make people responsible for what appears on sites they manage. No more excuses!
Gone are the days when pro-democracy demonstrators and human rights activists can use the internet to bypass the authorities. Today, the authorities have that same degree of access and one can never be sure that the identity of the agitator or non-conformist is benign or malevolent. Governments can manipulate the web as easily as those trying to hide within it. The original justification for maintaining the anonymity of web access is long dead.
The rush to make money from the web and the ability of users to manipulate content and through that content, people, has led to information pollution, the corruption of subject matter.
Instead of sticking to the principles that defined democracy i.e. 1) transparency, 2) checks and balances, 3) individual rights that do not violate or cause to be violated, the rights of others, and 4) equality, we have permitted ourselves to be seduced by false gods. These are as follows:
- Selective free speech (is not free speech)
- A free press that makes the news as opposed to reporting the news is only possible in a society seduced by Orwellian fascism where journalistic egotism makes a mockery of the truth
- The deification of unelected NGO’s unanswerable to the public they are meant to serve, and therefore, serving only themselves
- And the latest clever ideological instrument of oppression: the intersectional universe where prejudice is determined by hierarchy, in turn created by fascists who allow only that which they sanction as a right of their privilege
“When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse”. Osama Bin Laden
Social Media gave impetus to the revolution in the Ukraine, it precipitated the fall of the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak; it encouraged and provided succour to the oppressed in the Islamic world from Teheran to Cairo, from Rabat to Beirut. But in Iran the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) murdered dozens (if not hundreds) of protesters who came out to protest the 2009 Presidential elections. At the end of 2017, facilitated by twitter, unrest over government corruption and control of the Iranian economy by the Revolutionary Guards led to over twenty deaths, with thousands of protesters arrested (in which case they faced certain torture and possible death). And yet our Western press has remained silent and therefore, morally, acquiescent. Our press has encouraged a system of repression and terror because it fits in with its intersectional hierarchy of questionable “virtue.”
Protests in Egypt facilitated an anti-democratic, theocratic, and fascist Muslim Brotherhood revolution. Power was transferred from the relatively benign incompetence of the kleptocratic Mubarak family into the hands of the theocratic President Mohammed Morsi who speedily managed to bankrupt Egypt. Within six months of the Brotherhood taking office Egypt was unable to feed itself despite aid totalling twelve billion dollars from Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, I referred to social media as a malicious and malevolent force for evil. There are some 1.69 billion active users of Facebook, some 475 million active Twitter users and over a billion users of Tiktok (some 500 million active users). In an article by Jonathan S. Tobin he stated that social media are not so much a private network as they are what must be considered the moral equivalent of a public utility.” But he also said that “the Internet has provided extremists with platforms that have given them the ability to insinuate themselves into the national conversation in a way that would have once been impossible.” (“Social media and the hate-speech slippery slope.” August 10, 2018)
The prostituted press sells its wares on the international superhighway. But its wares are opinions, prejudices, and ideology for hire. The press is eloquent and speaks simply and consistently. That does not make it truth. Prostitution is after all, about fantasy and fulfilment. The uncomfortable truth is rarely anywhere to be seen.
We are moving into an era of universal blindness to fascism. It is the press which is complicit in creating the new fascism of the 21st Century. The preponderance of proof that guides the ethical balance within Society is rapidly being replaced by hearsay, which in the internet age is sufficient to satisfy the court of public prejudice. Feelings of empowerment fuel increasing contempt for the truth. It is in this way that the Church was able to maintain the Court of the Inquisition in previous dark times. While today, torture and state sanctioned murder is not universally looked on with favour, I have little confidence that our future will not include a return to targeted incitement justifying violence and destruction. It is already applauded by many within the political elite. Those elites are more likely to be ideologically Left wing than Right simply because unlike the Right, which appears to have learnt from the terrible crimes of World War 2, the Left has never had to accept any complicity in war crimes, crimes which have been there from the very beginning. The radical Left has lots of poster boys of terror: Stalinism, Maoism and the Great Leap Forward through to the Cultural Revolution, the Khmer Rouge to name just three; malevolent brutality has been initiated and used to maintain a hold on power, making the Radical Left no different to the Extreme Right.
The lessons of history are not taught to reflect a dichotomy between the spread of subjective truth and violence or that there are few differences between the outcomes of what are normally viewed as opposites: the radical Right and radical Left. And finally, that our identity not only informs our behaviour but also, more crucially, our understanding and attitude towards the behaviour of others.
The internet seems silent on all these things.
Society is a collective or cooperative enterprise which recognises that to act counter to the whole can undermine the entire undertaking. Being an outlier or a maverick does not place one outside of society. But if our identity is not fixed then neither is our morality or the choices we make.
We all maintain a series of anchors to our inner selves’ and they in turn provide a structured reality that coheres. The internet, through its lack of governance encourages fragmentation which destabilises, which in turn builds on the unease that we so often feel about events being outside of our control. Under such conditions, fascism flowers and spreads because it offers simplicity and natural, even superficially logical connections. Unstable societies end up fighting each other.
In “the Strong Horse” by Lee Smith he observes that: “Arab politics is defined by an addiction to passion that is of necessity, irrational, maximalist and millenarian. There is therefore no room for compromise and little room for debate.” It is a nasty cultural tradition that we seem to be eager to adopt.
If we as a society do not express clearly the limitations to be placed on ‘good and bad’, on what is acceptable and what is not, and crucially, if we do not follow through with consistent sanction against those that violate our standards of behaviour then we do not limit freedom in legal terms but we create a market place of behaviours that is defined only by what we can get away with.
If you need to ask, “what is wrong with that?” then, to quote Plato “States are as the men, they grow out of human characters.” We all end up with what we deserve, for better or for worse.