The wannabe despot is a coward. Before he acts he needs to feel the environment has been well prepared before he makes the next move. The title of this series comes from the line endlessly repeated by the Lawrence Olivier character as he tortured the one portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man.
Well, in our world there are many wannabe despots. So for the remainder of this series I will be using the pronouns they or them unless some particular fool dares raise his head above the rest. (There will undoubtedly rise a Stalin or Mao somewhere down the road who will eliminate all potential rivals. But in the foreseeable future any who dares stand up almost certainly will be cut down by the agents of the rest.)
Yesterday, in Daniel Greenfield’s The End of Debate, he brought to light a collaboration among world leaders to agree en masse what is and is not mis- or dis- information.
He did not say it, but to me the clear objective of the UN meeting was for the international charlatans to find safety in numbers. One after the other speaker sought to feel comfortable that the others would not denounce them should they encounter the need to censor, persecute, or imprison anyone back home who dared debate the underlying “facts” supporting an unpopular decision.
Being old and having a good memory of obscure events that resonate with current events may be one reason Fran wants me to publish. I commented to Greenfield:
The way each speaker invoked the word disinformation is reminiscent of a National Press Club luncheon circa 1988-1992. It was [I heard it] broadcast on NPR. That day the keyword repeated was not disinformation. It was draconian. Each speaker, presumably members of the press and its academy, spoke of the need for the American public to experience draconian rule.
I wish I could recall the names of the various speakers. [I doubt anyone would] be surprised to learn that each one has risen to prominence since then.
It would be useful to unearth the names of those speakers. One suspects every last one of them still rants (or would if they haven’t yet died off) against right wing populism that has been subsequent to implementation of their beloved draconianism.
I certainly wish I had access to the recording of that luncheon so those rascals could be flushed out into the open where we could quiz them on how much they love the consequences.
This Press Club get together was near the end of, or shortly after, Ronald Reagan’s terms in office. The forces that wished to continue on their quest for power were thinking about resuming their strides. This series of speeches, in hindsight, seems to have served to tell them that the press would be on their side. There is little doubt in my mind that moneyed interests selected who spoke that day.
Even after that, the cowards were still hesitant to act. In 1992 the first bit of “scientific” manipulation, in concert with media crisis mongering, got the Freon bans passed in a hurry. Dupont was quite pleased. But it wasn’t until after Al Gore lost his presidential bid a decade later that he declared — much like Greenfield’s title — that “debate is over.”
So in 1990, dominance of MSM airwaves and the press were secured. But then the internet began, and a whole new means of communication blossomed. Yet, even in the 1990s, I and others suffered silencing on Prodigy*™ at the behest of unseen shadows. Enough interference at Prodigy that Jim Robinson began FreeRepublic.com. There is little doubt blockers were employed as well at other early social sites (e.g. Compuserve.) So what followed was a flurry of bloggers. A few, such as Fran, have never stopped. And so the fight against establishment tyranny began and continues.
Today the forces seeking power are at war with lesser humans is clearer than ever before. Cowards hate having to fight, So much better to have us fight amongst ourselves. How much easier is it going to be for them if we silence ourselves so that we cannot recognize friend from foe? Getting us to give up is what all this threatening has been about. They fear our numbers.