18A049 Censorship, Modern Style by Jim Davies, 12/4/2018    


"Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter" wrote Thomas Jefferson, in what may have been his most anarchist moment. He rightly saw it as essential that media must not be censored, any more than plain folk should be prevented from saying what they wish.

Fine sentiment; the Adams administration did its utmost to throttle free speech in the Sedition Act of 1798, which fortunately expired a bit later. Ever since, government has done its utmost to suppress ideas and words it finds inconvenient. In recent decades it has used techniques that would make Macchiavelli proud and Goebbels, thrilled.

First, a college education was subsidized for the majority of school-leavers, stimulating the creation of many more colleges - to extend for another four years government control over what each rising generation was to learn. Then from around 1980 the doctrines of what became known as "political correctness" or PC were pumped in to their rule books, and their curricula were modified with multiculturalism; the fiction that all cultures are not merely interesting, but equal. The skills of reasoning were discouraged by substituting women's and black studies for History (ie, a study of the facts of what people, notably governments, had actually done to bring about the present situation.) The corruption of math, which teaches reasoning more than any other subject, had already been accomplished at high schools.

Now, a third of a century later, a strong commitment to PC ideas accordingly dominates society and governs all who speak in it. Even geniuses of free enterprise like Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Sergey Brin have been deeply infected, so that when government encourages them to use their enterprises to promote PC and discourage outlier viewpoints, they see no need to hesitate. So have these communication giants, in the last few weeks, excluded all viewpoints from their networks that do not confirm to the mediocre middle, the acceptable norm, the authorized version of what's up. It's a triumph, of government over reason.

It's a pity, no question. "Social media" have provided a useful way to communicate ideas of liberty, and those ways are shrinking and will probably shrink further. For the present we still have the Net and can put what we like on our own web sites (like this one) but they will not be accessed by those who aren't searching for them. So we are, or soon will be, back to the old-fashioned one-to-one. They cannot censor face-to-face communication, nor can they readily interfere with snail mail; they've long had that power (it's why the USPS remains a monopoly) and a "mail cover" is easily done once the target is identified, but it's not feasible to run a dragnet on physical mail to first identify the targets.

But, sad though it is to see a channel closed off, it really doesn't matter. Face-to-face is all we need, to bring about a zero government society within a generation. Invite a friend - anyone who holds you in some respect - to consider the ideas of freedom in the Academy, and help him through it. Obviously a lot will decline (so come back to those next year, because people do change) but all that's needed is one per year. To study, absorb, and consequently to repudiate government at least to the extent of not working for it, and to repeat the cycle themselves. The number of freedom-seeking non-employees will therefore double annually, and the job is done in 28 years, check your calculator. And it's begun already.

Eventually the censors will close down that web site, but that too doesn't matter because every student is asked to begin by downloading it to a CD, or other medium. That puts it beyond snoops' reach. They will make other attempts to close it down or dilute it, and my book Transition to Liberty imagines what those might be and why none of them will succeed.



What the coming free society
will probably be like
How freedom
was lost
How it is being
The go-to site for an
overview of a free society
Freedom's prerequisite:
Nothing more is needed
Nothing less will do

What every bureaucrat needs to know
Have them check TinyURL.com/QuitGov

How Government Silenced Irwin Schiff

2016 book tells the sad story and shows that government is even more evil than was supposed