On June 29, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman banned the nearly 800,000 strong, pro-President Trump forum, “r/The_Donald” and a variety of other communities, citing an update to Reddit’s content policy “to explicitly address hate.” Meanwhile, the internet platform continues to host a variety of forums, or “subreddits,” specifically devoted to glorifying rape and the degradation of women.
Following the ban of r/The_Donald, Reddit reportedly continued to host subreddits with titles including r/StruggleFucking, r/AbusePorn2, r/DegradedFemales, r/AbusedSluts, and r/PutInHerPlace for more than 10 days, before finallybanning them on July 10 after apublic outcry from members of r/The_Donald citing a double standard based on political motivations.
“We were r/rapingwomen but Reddit took it without our consent. Rape fantasy videos for the discerning con non-con connoisseur,” the r/StruggleFucking subreddit description read, while other descriptions for subreddits r/AbusePorn2 and r/DegradedFemales read “All our videos feature girls who appear unhappy with what’s going on” and “Degrading females” respectively.
Similarly, subreddit r/RapeConfessions describes itself as, “A place for former and would-be rapists and sexual abusers to discuss their urges and misdeeds,” and as of this publication remains up on the site, along with subreddits r/RapeWorld and r/RapeStories. These subreddits were quarantined on July 10 in lieu of being banned outright, meaning the forums require additional restrictions to view, including an account with a verified email address and requiring users to opt-in to see content.
I reached out to nearly 30 Reddit advertisers to gauge their thoughts on the platform’s rape-content issue during the weeks leading up to the July 10 ban, including Amazon, Disney+, Pandora, Sony, and Samsung, but only received one response from the car manufacturer Audi. Microsoft and TD Ameritrade declined to comment.
“We want to be very clear that we do not in any way support such content you’ve listed below and in fact support the equal and respectful treatment of women in our society as a whole. Any content you’ve listed below is absolutely reprehensible and deplorable,” a spokesman for Audi said, specifying that the automotive company hadn’t advertised on Reddit for over a year.
Reddit remains a highly influential facet of the web with more than430 million active monthly users. According toa study examining Reddit’s reach across the United States, nearly a quarter of adults aged 18-29 and 14 percent of adults aged 30-49 were using Reddit as of February 2019, and the number is growing daily.
Simply put, Reddit holds undeniable sway over public opinion in its ability to regulate the content that users see on a regular basis. Reddit CEO Steve Huffman gave voice to this fact in a New Yorker story published in March 2018.“I’m confident that Reddit could sway elections,” he said.
“We wouldn’t do it, of course. And I don’t know how many times we could get away with it. But, if we really wanted to, I’m sure Reddit could have swayed at least this election, this once,” Huffman continued, referring to the 2016 election of President Donald Trump.
Despite Huffman’s denial of attempting to sway elections, is it possible that banning r/The_Donald was an attempt to do just that under the guise of combating “hate?” Those speculating along this line of thinking are not alone, with prominent Republican lawmakers openly accusing Reddit of attempting to influence the 2020 presidential election.
“Since 2016, r/The_Donald has been an important forum for supporters of the president to gather and discuss the issues of the day. Its users have meticulously self-moderated their community under Reddit’s guidelines and terms of service, yet they face continuous harassment by the website’s Chinese-backed ownership group. It is deeply unsettling that Reddit selectively targets Trump supporters while allowing the Left to operate with total impunity even when violating the site’s policies,” Representative Jody Hice (R-Ga.)declared on May 28.
“The closer we get to the 2020 election the more aggressive Big Tech has become about suppressing conservatives,” Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) echoed, while Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) said, “The political double standard that exists on some social media platforms is appalling. Given the power and influence that these sites have, it’s totally inappropriate that they get to choose which viewpoints receive more eyes or more scrutiny. It’s high time these social media sites are held accountable.”
I reached out to former moderators of /r/The_Donald, who now reside on anindependent site, TheDonald.win, to get their perspective on why they were finally banned from Reddit.
“Ultimately why /r/The_Donald was banned after so many struggles, was [Reddit] could finally do it and shed the mask of being a free speech platform,” TheDonald.win moderator “lalicat” told me. He pointed to the cultural upheaval in the wake of George Floyd’s death as Reddit’s opportunity to act.
“In long form, that is why /r/The_Donald got banned. Because the Left is desperate to silence us and they are betting the farm that there will be no repercussions if their guy wins, which is why this election is even more important than 2016,” lalicat said.
All Americans should be deeply unsettled by the ability of a selective cohort of Silicon Valley millionaires and billionaires to control the medium of modern political discourse, regardless of political persuasion. Free expression and discourse remain essential to the survival of the American republic and if these liberties should fall, the rest will surely follow.
After multiple inquiries, Reddit did not respond in time for publication of this story.
Twitter’s decision to ban the viral Trump meme creator Carpe Donktum from its platform last week precipitated an unexpected development in the normally stagnant, crippled marketplace of Big Tech: a departure.
Thousands of users, sick of Twitter regulating content to suit its political bias, started setting up accounts on a social media platform called Parler. The platform was launched in 2018 by John Matze, a University of Denver grad, and marketed as a more robust free speech platform than Twitter, whose insistence on regulating the content and viewpoints of its 330 million monthly users tends to go in one direction.
For years, the defenders of Big Tech, who generally dismiss accusations of viewpoint bias as hysterical, misinformed, or irrelevant, have told unhappy users to just “build their own platform.” So, somebody finally did.
But the sour grapes response to Parler’s surge (within days, it was themost downloaded news app in Apple’s store), has presented an interesting Rorschach test for how the “build your own” crowd really feels about the people who actually go and, well, build their own.
Within days, the tech free-marketers were taking public shots at the free-market alternatives. Staff at both theCato Institute and theCharles Koch Institute began dunking on Parler’s terms of service which are, admittedly, somewhat extreme. (The company has said the terms are being updated.) It’s striking that the same individuals who wax poetic on tech’s “free marketplace” had never once taken a good look at the free-market alternatives. That is, until they needed something negative to say about them.
The libertarians at Reason magazine, who are forever finger-wagging at anyone with bad things to say about Big Tech, startedmaking fun of the platform’s conservative slant. Apparently it’s OK tocall out the biases of Parler’s creators, but not Twitter’s. Got it.
Upset about Parler’s attempt to woo more liberals to its site to create more diversity of views, Mike Masnick of the tech industry blog TechDirt helpfullylit into them as a “shithole platform for assholes and trolls.”
Reason senior editor Elizabeth Nolan Brown alsoslammed Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for signing up for Parler, but not leaving Twitter. Availing yourself of all the market alternatives apparently makes you a hypocrite. No word on if Reason will also be trashingRepresentative Thomas Massie (R-Ky.),Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), andSenator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), all of whom have also set up Parler accounts alongside their Twitter presence, in part because they say they are sick of Twitter’s bias.
Gleefully, the writers at Reason, the tech industry blogTechDirt, and, of course, The Dispatch’sDavid French began pointing out that Parler—which markets itself as a “First Amendment platform” and says “if you can say it on the streets of New York, you can say it on our platform”—were banning users for pornographic content, posting pictures of fecal matter, and other smutty content.
Haha! This crowd exclaimed. It’s not a “free speech” platform! They’re banning people! See?Content moderation is hard, isn’t it? (The unstated corollary being Twitter, the sainted platform, is thus entirely justified in its moderation practices.)
As Aaron Ross Powell of the Cato Institutehopefully put it, “Parler will be a ghost town in six months and everyone who ran to it as a safe space for conservatives will be back on Twitter pretending the whole episode never happened.”
It’s a weird brand of free marketer who so earnestly wishes for the free market alternatives to spectacularly fail.
Completely Missing The Point
There are a few things to unpack here. The first is the massive straw man that all these groups have created regarding what conservatives actually want from their social media platforms. Claiming that we’re all a bunch of hypocrites because our “free speech platform” also, like Twitter, engages in content moderation is a big swing and a miss over the actual point.
Conservatives are not angry about content moderation as a matter of absolute principle—that is, the ability to take down harassing, smutty, or obscene content. In fact, they realize how important that is. It’s why every effort in Congress to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is tied to the ability of platforms to do just that—generally with more accountability, transparency, and responsibility when it comes to things like child sexual exploitation.
Rather, the issues that fire up conservatives center around two aspects of content moderation, both of which are routinely dismissed, ignored, or downplayed by pro-tech advocates.
First, there is the objectivity and fairness with which content moderation is applied. Twitterclaims to be a “free speech platform” just like Parler, but it routinely applies so-called fact checks only to certain users, hides from view President Trump’s tweets for “glorifying violence” whileleaving up death threats against Jews from the leader of Iran, and so forth. The transparency in how Twitter subjectively applies its standards is limited, and users have very little recourse.
Second, there is the ripple effect of how this viewpoint discrimination—particularly because it is done on an unprecedented scale—has over free thought, market access, behavior, and evenelection integrity. Ninety percent of the world uses Google. When Google decides what you see and whose words matter, the ramifications are hugely consequential.
(For a taste of the havoc Google’s “academic” definitions can render on both objective learning and individual reputations, see thisunsettling essay from a former undergraduate professor of mine, Dr. Paul Kengor.)
The question isn’t if these companies have a right to engage in content moderation. They obviously do. Rather, the question at the root of much of our policy debate is how that power is being weaponized at scale, the consequences of it, and if this power has become so unaccountable that Sundar Pichai, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jack Dorsey are effectively deciding the terms of our national political debate—and even worse, the terms of what constitutes “appropriate thought.”
“Build Your Own So We Can Trash You For It”
Parler may market itself as just an “alternative to Twitter,” but it’s taken on an outsized role in the center of this political and policy debate over the power social media has over our society. And, sadly for a new and growing business, the so-called “free market advocates” of the tech world are intent on distorting the actual concern that Parler is seeking to address.
Parler markets itself as a “First Amendment platform” seriously, but not literally. The company does not want its platform to be a trashy mess of pornography and harassment, but it does want a diversity of views to flourish. And that’s the thing its newfound user base is responding to with enthusiastic approval.
Ironically, Twitter hassaid the same thing about itself. Its actions prove otherwise—but you’ll never hear the pro-tech “libertarians” point out the obvious disingenuousness of Twitter execs. That’s only reserved for Parler and its leadership. It’s also ironic because, as one former Google engineerpointed out, Parler’s efforts are actually closer to what the law governing content moderation online originally intended.
Parler, of course, is not immune from criticism, but it’s a bit rich for the “free enterprise” crowd’s first response to a surge toward a Twitter alternative to be so publicly negative, nasty, dismissive, and crude. It adds a new, insincere spin to the line “build your own;” a second clause that says: “build your own—so we can trash you for it.”
https://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/07/GettyImages-1211302252-scaled.jpg17922560Rachel Bovardhttps://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.pngRachel Bovard2020-07-04 21:02:112020-07-14 21:42:45If You Build It, We Will Trash It
On June 19, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld 9-0 the right to freedom of speech, including “hate speech.” As Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court: “The proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express the thought that we hate.” Justice Anthony Kennedy added in a concurring opinion: “A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all.”
Tell that to big tech. Because for them, “hate speech” is any point of view opposed to the political agenda favored by the people who run their industry and control the platforms that have become the 21st-century version of a public square.
While this is an ongoing story, it is important to understand the theme. It is not “big tech platforms censor conservative and nationalist speech by defining it as ‘hate speech.’” Rather, the theme is more accurately and ominously characterized as “big tech platforms are continuously widening the criteria for what sorts of conservative and nationalist content are defined as ‘hate speech.’”
The first big wave of censorship broke in 2017 when websites offering full-blown neo-Nazi content, such as the notorious Daily Stormer, were deplatformed. Nobody wanted to defend the right of these content creators to go on publishing, even though in principle, they still should have had “the freedom to express the thought that we hate.”
The next wave of deplatforming took place in the months leading up to the 2018 midterm elections. Within a few days in early August of that year, Alex Jones of “Infowars” was expelled from Apple podcasts, Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube. On September 6, Twitter followed suit. On September 8, Apple banned Alex Jones’s InfoWars app from its industry-dominating App Store. Jones was virtually erased. Prior to that, Jones had 2.4 million YouTube subscribers, all gone; 830,000 Twitter followers, purged; his Apple podcast archives were deleted; his Facebook page, with 2.5 million followers, wiped out.
What did Jones do? His content was attacked, with some justification, as often concocted. He was stigmatized as a “conspiracy theorist.” But Jones never violated U.S. law. He never incited actions to harm others or distributed obscene materials, which are the two primary areas not protected by the First Amendment.
Nationalist and Conservative Content Under Ongoing Attack
Those familiar with Alex Jones, know that his biggest crime was neither hate speech, nor being loose with his facts, nor being “hateful.” What made Jones intolerable to the tech giants is his allegiance to President Trump and, more generally, his opposition to globalism.
If you review which content creators have been banned, shadowbanned, or demonetized, you will find sites banned across all ideologies and niches for failing to adhere to U.S. laws governing free speech. But once you pass beyond U.S. law to “hate speech,” the vast majority of big tech censorship seems only to afflict conservatives and nationalists. The cancel campaign is unrelenting and the net is cast wider than ever.
When big tech decides to suppress information that might run counter, say, to the mainstream anti-Trump leftist narrative as propagandized by ABC Nightly “News,” they have plenty of support from the leftist activist community. The current “Stop Hate For Profit” campaign has released a chilling set of “recommendations” to Facebook, their latest target, that includes the following:
Establish and empower permanent civil rights infrastructure including C-suite level executive with civil rights expertise to evaluate products and policies for discrimination, bias, and hate . . . submit to regular, third party, independent audits of identity-based hate and misinformation with summary results published on a publicly accessible website . . . find and remove public and private groups focused on white supremacy, militia, antisemitism, violent conspiracies, Holocaust denialism, vaccine misinformation, and climate denialism . . . create an internal mechanism to automatically flag hateful content in private groups for human review . . . ensure accuracy in political and voting matters by eliminating the politician exemption.
Any one of these measures should terrify anyone hoping to preserve any sort of open public square. Put a commissar into Facebook to monitor content? Allow outside content auditors? Censor “climate denialism”? Monitor private groups? Prevent politicians from uttering campaign rhetoric? This is tyranny. But the American Left is incredibly powerful because they use their institutional power via unions, academia, and the press to pressure corporate advertisers.
It isn’t as if the major corporations don’t already support much of the leftist agenda. They want immigration to access cheap labor, just as they want to be able to outsource jobs to find even cheaper labor. If the Left is engaged in calling people opposed to what they want racists, why not join them? And why not boycott Facebook, or any other monopoly platform, until they comply with these demands? It’s not as if the American Right has the institutional clout to defend free speech.
Go with the flow. It’s profitable.
In November 2019, YouTube banned Red Ice (still available on BitChute), a channel that took positions that offended many people, especially leftists, but they relied on facts and logic and sourced their material more responsibly than many surviving, popular platforms. Of course, defending Red Ice does not require agreeing with everything they espouse. They can be defended on principle. They did not violate U.S. law, and more to the point, the biases they displayed, and the criticisms they offered, would not have earned them banishment if they had been voiced from the opposite point of view.
This bears repeating, especially now. How many memes survive and go viral that describe white people and Western Civilization as racist and oppressive? There are writers for the New York Times (Sarah Jeong and Nikole Hannah-Jones among the most infamous) who have described white people in terms that are far more offensive and incendiary than anything that Lana Lokteff ever said on Red Ice. And they write for “America’s newspaper of record”! If these women were white, writing this way about nonwhites, they would be marginalized. If they broke out, they would be banned. Overnight.
In an interview conducted shortly after her deplatforming, Lokteff had this to say about internet censorship: “The best course of action is to talk about everything out in the open, more talking. If an idea is harmful or just awful, best to talk about why that is and air everything out from every angle. The best argument wins. The truth should not fear any inquisition. If we do not, that is what creates desperate people doing radical things to be heard.”
The Latest Wave of Online Censorship
The latest major big tech deplatforming occurred June 28, when YouTube banned Stefan Molyneux, one of the original progenitors of the Intellectual Dark Web. Whatever else may be said about Molyneux, he is intellectually honest. He explored topics that are utterly taboo because he believed they merited public discussion and he was willing to stick his neck out to have that conversation. It is perhaps his honesty as well as his ability to broach these subjects with grace, dignity, and compassion, that made his banishment signify a new threshold for the big tech censors. Molyneux, with 1 million subscribers and major breakout potential, was a threat.
And so he was silenced.
In a brief statement released on his Twitter page, Molyneux described what’s happening right now:
The book burning is underway. Myself and many other dissidents and other anti-communists, intellectuals, and speakers have also had channels destroyed across a wide variety of platforms, within the span of only one hour, in what I assume is a highly coordinated effort to silence us. The goal is to remove the middle, to remove those of us who are looking for peaceful solutions, rational solutions, philosophical solutions to social differences, to take us out so that there is no center to society and everyone can gravitate to the extremes wherein the tinderbox of violence can be lit.
Molyneux goes on to urge his followers to not give up on peaceful solutions to social differences. He claims it is not too late and that there “is still incredible technology that we can use to further the rational and philosophical discussion of issues within society and I’m begging you, please, stay in the conversation.”
Big-tech censorship is consistent with what the major television networks have been doing. For anyone who bothers even to peruse alternative media, this is all an insult to their intelligence and integrity. The problem for big tech and network television is that alternative media proliferates at a rate far too fecund for them to censor all of it. Still, big tech is big enough to contain it, and at least for now, they are doing a very good job of that.
What the leftist establishment denies—from the corporate boardrooms to big tech to mainstream media—is that truth cannot and will not be permanently suppressed. Leftist ideology, however cultivated, does not constitute reality. Ultimately, objective truth governs reality. Only by allowing freedom of speech as expressed in the U.S. Constitution, and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, can truth emerge from vigorous, often unpleasant debate.
https://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/07/GettyImages-1140983468.jpg14992499Edward Ringhttps://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.pngEdward Ring2020-07-01 21:03:242020-07-14 18:07:29Big Tech’s Escalating War on Free Speech
On Wednesday, VDARE.com, a conservative website focused on immigration, announced its domain name registrar would be terminating its account.
Lydia Brimelow wrote:
This Monday, June 15th, Network Solutions, our domain name registrar, suddenly gave us 10 days’ notice of its intention to terminate our account, after some 20 years. It gave no specific reasons beyond alleged violations of its Acceptable Use Policy, but said “we consider your continued use of our services a serious issue and risk to our business and corporate reputation.”
“Network Solutions is only the most recent example corporate complicity in the suppression of Free Speech across America,” Brimelow added. “But it’s perhaps the most shocking. To my knowledge, withdrawal of registrar services has never happened to a site as mainstream as VDARE.com.”
This is one in a series of recent moves by tech companies to censor conservatives online.
On Tuesday, June 16, Google announced it would ban the site Zero Hedge from its Google Ads program.
Around the same time, NBC News tried to get Google to pull its ads program from The Federalist but ultimately failed. Co-founders Ben Domenech and Sean Davis were unaware of the effort to demonetize The Federalist until they received a request for comment from an NBC reporter. “Google never formally notified us that we had run afoul of any of its rules,” wrote Domenech and Davis in the Wall Street Journal. “Only when we sought guidance from Google about the NBC News story were we told that our comments section—which is run by a third party and isn’t monitored or moderated by us—violated its policies.” Google spared their publication with a warning.
On the same day VDARE.com’s article was published, Bloomberg Technologyreported Republican Senator Tom Cotton had received a call from “low-level” Twitter employee who threatened to permanently lock his account unless he deleted a tweet that advocated using the military to quell unrest throughout the U.S. and used the term “no quarter.”
The next day, Facebook removed posts and ads run by the re-election campaign of President Donald Trump, claiming the ads violated its policy against organized hate.
Tech companies increasingly appear undeterred by the president’s executive order to prevent online censorship while conservatives continue to go it alone.
“Of course, we’re fighting back,” wrote Brimelow. “We will never kneel. Our lawyer has challenged Network Solutions. And my team and I are actively searching for an alternative registrar solution. We hope we will find one. But we know it is likely only a matter of time before the new company caves under Antifa pressure, too.”
https://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/06/GettyImages-1213312949-scaled.jpg17962560Pedro Gonzalezhttps://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.pngPedro Gonzalez2020-06-18 23:00:122020-07-14 18:05:53Tech Companies Increase Censorship Against Conservatives
NBC News on Tuesday falsely reported that Google banned “far right” website the Federalist from it’s advertising platform, after the “NBC News Verification Unit” forwarded a left-wing nonprofit group’s report on “10 U.S-based, racist Fake News sites.”
The Federalist is a mainstream American conservative website that covers politics, policy, culture, and religion.
American Greatness also appears on CCDH’s list of “racist fake news sites” in the number one spot.
According to NBC, the CEO of CCDH, Imran Ahmed said: “We found that lots of those companies are inadvertently funding through their advertising content that is outright racist in defense of white supremacism and contains conspiracy theories about George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.”
One way to “defeat conservative ideas,” one would guess, would be to demonitize and deplatform them.
NBC cited a Google spokesperson who said in an email that both websites had violated its policies on content related to race.
“We have strict publisher policies that govern the content ads can run on and explicitly prohibit derogatory content that promotes hatred, intolerance, violence or discrimination based on race from monetizing,” the spokesperson wrote. “When a page or site violates our policies, we take action. In this case, we’ve removed both sites’ ability to monetize with Google.”
NBC reported that “ZeroHedge had already been demonetized prior to NBC News’ enquiry,”
The tech giant went on to explain that the problematic racial issues at the Federalist were actually found on the site’s comment section.
Our policies do not allow ads to run against dangerous or derogatory content, which includes comments on sites, and we offer guidance and best practices to publishers on how to comply. https://t.co/zPO669Yd0p
Nover went on to explain that the Federalist could be demonitized if it doesn’t remedy the problem in the comments section.
To clarify, Google says The Federalist will be de-monetized, but there's a short window between judgement and action, so it's not currently de-monetized. During that window, The Federalist can remedy the actions.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) pointed out on Twitter that the Federalist was hugely instrumental in debunking the Russia collusion hoax, (while NBC News actively participated in pushing fake RussiaGate news).
Google threatens to demonetize The Federalist during an election year.
Sean Davis, the co-founder of the Federalist announced on Twitter that he would be appearing on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight Tuesday evening to talk about NBC News’ attempt to cancel his website, and Google’s threats to demonitize and deplatform the news organization.
I'll be on Tucker Carlson's show on Fox News tonight to talk about NBC News's attempted assassination of @FDRLST and Google's threats to demonetize and deplatform our news organization.
In his opening monologue Tuesday night, Tucker Carlson blasted Google, the MSM and Republicans in congress that have power to do something about unfair tech monopolies but do nothing about them.
“Most media companies are dependent on Google, who will control 70 percent of all online advertising,” Carlson said. “So if you’re in the news business, you obey Google. When Google tells you to do something, you do it. You have no choice.
“They can bankrupt you in a minute and they will. In all of human history, no single entity is ever had more control over information than Google does right now. So if you’re worried about the concentration of power in the hands of a few unaccountable actors, and you very much should be, nobody has more unchecked power than Google does.”
Carlson also made the brilliant point that Google benefits from Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides immunity to social media companies. President Trump last month signed an executive order to curb how social media sites use the legislation to prevent legal action.
Google says it now holds conservative websites responsible for the comments of their readers,” Carlson said. “And yet, irony of ironies, thanks to a special carve-out Google has received from the United States Congress — something called Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, remember that — Google itself is not responsible for content on its platform because the Congress says it doesn’t have to be.
So if you’re slandered by someone, for example, and that slander passes through Google’s servers, you cannot sue Google over it. Google is immune from the consequences. Immunity is a very nice thing to have.
Carlson urged Congress to repeal Section 230, saying “if Google will not extend [its] protections to others, Google should not enjoy those protections itself.
“It’s been clear for a very long time that the Big Tech monopolies have now surpassed the federal government as the chief threat to our liberties,” he said. “Google is acting directly to shape what people can say and what they’re allowed to speak. It’s a direct effort to stifle free speech.”
Carlson also called out Senate Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman Mike Lee (R-Utah), as well as Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), and Jim Sensenbrenner, (R-Wis.) for siding with Big Tech over the constitutional rights of the Americans who put them into office.
“Whose side are they on? Again, let us hope for a vigorous primary challenge to these two and any who share this view year in and year out,” Carlson said. “We vote for these people in the fervent hope they will stand up for us when it matters. Now it matters. And now, like every time before they sell us out. Time is up.”
The host had The Federalist’s Sean Davis on next to discuss Google’s attempt to deplatform the site.
Davis said that the move took them completely by surprise.
“We never got any formal notice from Google, we never got any notice from their ad team,” he told Carlson. “We learned about this from NBC News from the reporter Miss Fraiser who emailed a general info account at the Federalist” about Google demonitizing the website.
Davis said he found out that something was going on but it wasn’t quite what Fraiser had suggested. He said it looked like NBC had partnered with the British left-wing site “to use Google go after us.”
He said they had to temporarily remove their comment section to get back into Google’s good graces, but they will be turning it back on.
“This is a pretty terrifying example of the power you have between the unholy union of corrupt media and monopolistic tech oligarchs,” Davis said.
https://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2019/09/Google.jpg25204000Debra Heinehttps://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.pngDebra Heine2020-06-16 15:39:012020-07-14 22:06:31NBC Claims Google Banned 'Far-Right Website' the Federalist From Ad Platform, Google Disputes
The power of Big Tech has been growing slowly, and in a way that many of us have accommodated as a necessary infiltration. But the scope of that power—and its costs to the culture we have ordered—have been less transparent.
The ground is shifting quickly beneath our feet when it comes to tech, privacy, and power. And, although tech companies, their advocates, and even some policymakers, would like us to imagine these issues are cut and dried, they are not.
In their book The Sovereign Individual, published on the eve of the year 2000, James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg attempt to grapple with the forthcoming technological changes that the new millennium inevitably would bring. “As technology revolutionizes the tools we use,” they wrote, “it also antiquates our laws, reshapes our morals, and alters our perceptions.”
This is the dynamic that has been unfolding slowly over the last 20 years, as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms have transformed how we engage with communications, culture, commerce, and one another.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed that transformation into overdrive, while exposing just how significantly power dynamics—between individuals and corporations, and individuals and the state—have shifted.
Earlier this week, Facebook announced it was removing posts intended to organize rallies protesting government stay-at-home policies in various states. Initially, a Facebook spokesman claimed the company was doing this at the behest of state governments. Nearly 12 hours later, the company clarified it was independently removing posts “when gathering[s] do not follow the health parameters established by the government.”
Facebook did not clarify if this meant gatherings in violation of state laws, or executive orders with no force of law, or merely violations of government suggested practices.
This opens up a new, concerning lane for Facebook, and for tech more broadly. As Big Tech cements itself as our primary facilitator of communication (as it most certainly has during this pandemic), it wields outsized power.
Kalev Leetaru at George Washington University recently pointed out the significance of this shift, and the lines that blur as a result:
That a private company can now unilaterally decide to simply delete the promotion of protests it deems unacceptable is a remarkable expansion of its power over what was once a sacrosanct and constitutionally protected freedom. As we cede the public square to private companies, however, those constitutional freedoms of speech and expression no longer apply in some cases. Through those private companies, in fact, government officials can in effect restrict speech they are obligated to protect.
The irony is that less than a year ago, Mark Zuckerberg gave a speech at Georgetown University where he extolled tech’s many virtues, including how tech platforms “have decentralized power by putting it directly into people’s hands.” Yet Facebook’s most recent actions confirm that power of communication for the 70 percent of American adults who use Facebook, rather than being made disparate, is still very much centralized in the tech platform.
YouTube has also put itself in the position of defining “correct” speech—but this time, by aligning itself with the World Health Organization. YouTube’s CEO announced that the platform would remove “anything that would go against World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations.”
YouTube’s apparent motivation is to keep people safe from misinformation—which makes their choice of WHO recommendations an interesting one. In mid-January, the organization was telling the world that COVID-19 wasn’t contagious. WHO also publicly opposed the travel restrictions put in place by multiple countries and didn’t declare coronavirus a pandemic until March 11. All along, the organization has taken China’s obviously false claims at face value, allowing the virus to spread.
Yet this is the banner behind which YouTube will fly its “user safety” flag, thus imposing WHO’s views on its massive user base.
Tracking You—For Your Health.
Then there is the thorny notion of contact tracing—the way in which public health experts attempt to contain a viral pathogen by tracing where an infected individual has been, and with whom they’ve been in contact. Traditionally, contact tracing has been analog, based on a conversation between patient and doctor.
But the digital age has exploded contact tracing exponentially. It is much more efficient and accurate to trace a virtual trail, particularly as we leave immense digital footprints wherever we go. South Korea has typified this type of response, tracking COVID-19 patients using credit card data, surveillance camera footage, and cell phone location data. The South Korean government recently announced they’d be requiring infected individuals to wear electronic wristbands to ensure patients did not breach quarantine.
It is unlikely U.S. citizens would tolerate such intense and mandatory surveillance measures. But that’s where Big Tech comes in.
Without being asked, Google already has been sharing aggregate user location data with governments interested in compliance with social distancing measures. The House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservatives, sent a letter to Google raising concern over the “frightfully detailed, specific, and granular” data being provided to government officials.
Google and Apple recently have announced the development of a contact tracing technology that will use cell phone Bluetooth proximity data to alert individuals if they have come into contact with an infected person. The app’s effectiveness depends upon people self-reporting their own positive diagnosis. Already, security experts have raised concerns about false positives, spoofing, re-anonymization, and “proximity marketing” (yes, you’re just trying to avoid getting sick, but tech advertisers could still make money). Experts have also pointed out how easy it would be for this system to be abused.
The Google/Apple contact tracing app is opt-in—for now. Epidemiologists suggest that contact tracing really only works to slow viral spread if at least 60 percent of the population participates. It’s entirely possible that federal or state governments mandate the use of a contact-tracing app, in which case corporate and state power over the individual would be comingled, with little differentiation.
Michael Kwet, a visiting fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project, put it this way:
Two corporations, Apple and Google, have come to dominate the smartphone software ecosystem, and they have spent years spying on users and enabling consumer surveillance in their app stores. In the world we built, we now have to weigh the fate of our lives and economy against trust in Apple and Google, the ad-tech industry they support, and government intelligence agencies. . . . This is a nightmare.
There are other questions, too. Could public health agencies get court orders to obtain phone tracking data from communications companies without consumers’ permission? Is it acceptable for aggregate location data to be made public?
We do know that the technology’s operating system will be made available only to governments’ public health authorities—will Apple and Google prevent authoritarian governments from using the technology in unintended ways? Will health authorities be able to build apps on top of the Google-Apple technology that could enable more invasive tracking?
Then there is the security of personal health data itself. This is supposed to be protected by HIPAA, the nation’s health privacy law. But the Department of Health and Human Services recently announced it would relax enforcement of HIPAA to facilitate the disclosure of health information between healthcare providers and their business associates. Google is a “business associate” of several major hospital chains already, and as part of the relationship receives the full medical records of patients without their knowledge or consent. What constitutes a HIPAA violation under this technology? Would Apple or Google be held liable?
We Have Been Here Before
COVID-19 has presented fundamentally difficult questions about the tradeoffs between public health and privacy, and the relationship between corporate and state power.
In some ways, however, we have been here before.
In the days after 9/11, Congress grappled with similar questions as they put together the PATRIOT Act. The law authorized massive surveillance of the American population, and the years since have seen that power abused and manipulated. (Tech companies also got in on that game; for years they willingly and secretly shared troves of user data with the National Security Agency.)
What we needed then was sober-minded deliberation and thoughtful analysis—not the rush to give away civil liberties as we grasped for a sense of security.
The lesson there should be applied here. As we rightly seek a functional public health response to a virus that currently lacks a vaccine, the push toward erasing the boundaries of our private lives will only increase. The belief that private industry “innovations” are inherently good and thus do not pose a risk to us has the potential to lull us into complacency. Indeed, the people who warned us about the PATRIOT Act appear to have no such qualms about Google.
But the potential for mandated usage remains, as do a host of questions, both technical and broadly philosophical. These questions should be pondered, not rushed; interrogated, rather than dismissed. As corporate power increasingly co-mingles with state power, this process becomes even more important.
The power of Big Tech has been growing slowly, and in a way that many of us have accommodated as a necessary infiltration. But the scope of that power—and its costs to the culture we have ordered—have been less transparent.
Like the bird that falls asleep on the back of the hippopotamus, we don’t actually think much about the status of where we are until the hippo moves. And now, the hippo is moving. And the massive power Big Tech has amassed has been revealed. How much or how little say we have over the arrangement, however, is still being determined.
https://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/04/GettyImages-696134597.jpg36284630Rachel Bovardhttps://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.pngRachel Bovard2020-04-25 21:01:182020-07-14 21:49:35Big Tech, Privacy, and Power
One would think an editor of an online magazine would be a staunch defender of free speech. One would be wrong.
Keith A. Spencer, Salon’s senior editor responsible for its science, technology, health, and the economy coverage, once more reveals the elitist Left’s abject contempt for your ability to think for yourself and make your own decisions.
Spencer has spewed a diatribe against Facebook with a bitterly ironic title: “How Facebook Misunderstands Free Speech: Freedom of Speech Doesn’t Matter Much If Only the Wealthy and Corporations Can Afford to Proselytize.”
What set Spencer’s First Amendment-protected cyber pen to screen was Facebook’s decision that it will not ban, censor, or fact-check political ads. Simon deemed it a “universally-reviled announcement,” because the likes of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and some leftist twitter trolls brandishing a hashtag like an epee—and, of course, Spencer—didn’t dig it. (One senses Spencer’s universe is rather finite.)
As the Supreme Court has consistently ruled, however, political speech is the most highly protected form of speech. So one suspects someone might welcome Facebook’s decision.
After all, what is there “universally” to revile about it? Per Facebook, the company made the decision because “we don’t believe it’s an appropriate role for us to referee political debates and prevent a politician’s speech from reaching its audience and being subject to public debate and scrutiny.”
In conjunction with its announcement, Facebook also unveiled improvements to its Ad Library, which will allow users to see who is paying for the ad; why the user was targeted for the ad; and what other ads the candidate or organization is promoting.
So what’s the problem? None for free citizens of our free republic who believe in free speech. But the problem for Spencer and his fellow leftists is the lack of control they would have over the free speech you receive and disseminate.
As a result, they aim to make freedom seem a burden, one of which the purportedly altruistic Left promises to relieve you.
First, the claim “big [fill in the blank]” is exploiting you. Here, Simon scribbles in a host of Lefty bogey-persons: and not just big, but “mega-corporations” and their political minions along with “the wealthy” in unholy union with “modern advertising and PR industries” are exploiting you. In sum, the intrinsically materialist Left thinks people with money are inherently predatory. Guess whom they’re hunting?
You, who the Left now declares a hapless victim of the villain’s power and freedom.
Either you are too apathetic or lazy or both—“very few users will actually be interested in such a tool [the Ad Library]”—or you are too dumb to protect yourself. Of course, we know that “knowledge [of who is manipulating you] hasn’t always halted the root of the manipulation itself.”
But even if you were intelligent and eternally vigilant, Spencer and his fellow censors argue you remain powerless to make the right decision. Why? Because money is all that matters in their dialectically materialist world: “The root problem is that the ability of humans to be manipulated—of one side or another to ‘win’ a narrative, argument or election—is almost always just a matter of which side has more money.”
That side would be the rich villains:
Speech is free, but the ability of it to be spread and propagandized is limited to those with cash; hence, the ideas and beliefs and politicians that favor the rich tend to be well-broadcast, while those that might benefit the rest of us are deflated, particularly on a platform like Facebook.
Hmm . . . one wonders who Spencer wants to decide what “might benefit the rest of us”?
Hint: it isn’t the rest of us.
To sell his argument, Spencer cites as evidence “the academic paper, ‘How Money Drives US Congressional Elections,’ published by Thomas Ferguson, Paul Jorgensen, and Jie Chen in 2015,” which concluded there exists “a direct correlation between the amount of money that Senate and House politicians had for their campaign, and their probability of victory. In other words, money buys elections because money buys access to that sophisticated marketing apparatus.” Former Representative Joe Crowley, the New York Democrat who was ousted by the upstart and underfunded Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, might beg to differ.
To further ensure you obediently relinquish your freedoms, the censorious Spencer is happy to redefine the definition of free speech:
While a deceptive political ad may be ‘free speech’ in the sense that no one is censoring it, very few people have access to the sums of money that could broadcast such a message far and wide . . . Everything we see, read, watch and eventually think trickles down from that fact—from the whims and beliefs of the rich and their propaganda, as the aforementioned data points note.
You mean even from—gasp!—the well-heeled backers of Salon?
It’s no shock, then, that Spencer claims you need the Left to protect you from free speech.
And what are Spencer and the Left demanding Facebook do to address the “problem” of free speech? Censorship to ensure less free speech, naturally:
The social and political problems engendered by Facebook are rooted in how the platform and its leaders misunderstand what free speech is, and how it works. Facebook brass seem to think transparency—in knowing who manipulates us—is preferable to actually, say, ceasing the manipulation entirely.
And, finally, comes the warning: “corporations, NGOs funded by corporations to manipulate politicians, or politicians funded entirely by corporate executives—will fight back with all their might.”
So, how long will you need the Left to protect you from yourself by rationing free speech? Forever—or at least until they can confiscate all private property and establish a workers’ paradise, where the Left will herald censorship as the best protection against thought crimes.
Spencer’s screed is a hypocritical, despicable attempt to coerce Facebook into engaging the very corporate fascism the Left alleges they decry.
Because the Constitution proscribes government censorship, Spencer and his ilk would circumvent this protection by coercing private entities such as Facebook into censoring political speech. Having proven their bullying prowess, these very same censorious leftists would then dictate what speech will no longer be free and ration your political speech according to their own ideological whims. To the Left, property is property, be it physical or intellectual; confiscation is confiscation; they believe your property is theirs to confiscate.
It is precisely such corporate fascism Facebook’s new policy seeks to avoid. As Facebook’s director of product management, Rob Leathern, averred:
In the absence of regulation, Facebook and other companies are left to design their own policies. We have based ours on the principle that people should be able to hear from those who wish to lead them, warts and all, and that what they say should be scrutinized and debated in public.
To its immense credit, for which it should be universally heralded, Facebook’s policy is founded upon its trust in its users to make their own, informed decisions; it improved its Ad Library to facilitate them; and it refused to impose unilateral restrictions on speech absent federal regulations that must pass constitutional muster.
It is Spencer and the censorious Left who are ignorant of free speech and “tone-deaf” to the times in which they live, even as they peddle their online wares. Captive to an abjectly failed 19th-century ideology, the Left cannot recognize nor abide a world in which the communications revolution daily empowers individuals to engage in free speech—political or otherwise. (Is not Spencer’s piece and Salon, itself, an example of that?)
In short, all they can offer are class-envious pretexts for oppression and scarcity all in the name of an arbitrarily defined and bloodily enforced “equality” of misery.
Yet, while I vehemently disagree with Spencer’s opinion, I would fight to the death for his right to say it.
Would he do the same for me?
https://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.png00Thaddeus G. McCotterhttps://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.pngThaddeus G. McCotter2020-02-07 20:00:582020-07-14 21:47:05The Left’s War on Free Speech: Battlefront Facebook
Absent intact and confident national Western cultures who know where they came from and who they are, the immigrant waves that retain the most confidence in their collective identity will overwhelm those cultures that do not. And that may not end well for anyone or anything, including the Davos-cracy, including modernity itself.
Just over a year ago, an English translation was published of the 2012 book You Will Not Replace Us. Written by Renaud Camus, a French author and political thinker, it was intended as a condensed summary of lengthier volumes he’d already published on the subject of culture and demographics.
The phrase “you will not replace us” gained notoriety in August 2017 when it was chanted by an assortment of right-wing protesters who had shown up in Charlottesville, Virginia, to protest the planned removal of Confederate monuments in that town.
There is no excusing the violent extremists who were among those present in Charlottesville, much less the unforgettable and tragic outcome. And it is unlikely that many of the protesters in Charlottesville had any idea that a relatively obscure French writer had coined the phrase they were shouting as they marched across the University of Virginia campus.
But Renaud Camus, whose literary career began in the 1980s as a “pioneering gay writer,” in more recent years has become, as described in The Nation, “the ideologue of white supremacy.” In March 2019, The Washington Postreferenced Camus’ book as the inspiration for the mass murder of Islamic worshipers that had just happened in Christchurch, New Zealand. In September 2019, the New York Timesdescribed Camus as “the man behind a toxic slogan promoting white supremacy.”
It’s always problematic to discuss anything questioning the demographic transformations sweeping the West. It’s easy and politically acceptable to celebrate diversity, and even gleefully to anticipate the permanent political ascendancy of the global Left in Western democracies, as the demographic character of the electorate inevitably shifts as a result of mass immigration. But to ask whether or not this shift is desirable invites accusations of racism, xenophobia, and white nationalism. It even invites accusations that to open this discussion is to encourage extremist violence.
Given these stigmatizing constraints, the only reason to bother exploring the potential downside of “diversity” is that behind the term “diversity” is possibly the most unexamined, voluntary, abrupt and profound transformation of a civilization in the history of humanity. And what if suppressing this discussion, pretending nothing of consequence is happening, and censoring voices of caution is actually what encourages extremism and violence?
In a New Yorker article written about Camus in 2017 by Thomas Chatterton Williams, entitled “The French Origins of ‘You Will Not Replace Us,’” the Frenchman is described as “a kind of connective tissue between the far right and the respectable right,” who can “play the role of respectable reactionary because his opposition to multicultural globalism is plausibly high-minded, principally aesthetic, even well-mannered.”
That description offers a broader perspective on Camus than one of someone merely motivated by xenophobia or racism. Camus is reacting against globalism as an economic nationalist and as a cultural preservationist. He claims that what he calls a “Davos-cracy” has deemed cultures secondary to having a critical mass of consumers, and that it considers all humans interchangeable. The phrase he’s selected to drive his point home, and repeated throughout his book, is “Undifferentiated Human Matter,” or UHM.
Camus begins his book by declaring “replacing is the central gesture of contemporary societies.” But he isn’t just talking about people, he’s talking about everything. Claiming “the world itself is fast becoming just another amusement park,” he describes the process of replacism in all-encompassing terms. In an extended explanatory passage, he writes:
Faux, simili, imitation, ersatz, simulacrum, copies, counterfeiting, fakes, forgeries, lures, mimics, are the key words of modern human experience. Stone masonry is being replaced by ferroconcrete, concrete by plaster, marble by chip aggregate, timber by PVC, town and countryside by the universal suburb, earth by cement and tar….literature by journalism, journalism by information, news by fake news, truth by fallacy, last name by first name, last name and first name by pseudonyms….history by ideology, the destiny of nations by plain politics, politics by economics, economics by finance, the experience of looking and living by sociology, sorrow by statistics, residents by tourists, natives by non-natives, Europeans by Africans….peoples by other peoples and communities, humanity by post-humanity, humanism by transhumanism, man by Undifferentiated Human Matter.
What Camus is defending is more than preserving an indigenous ethnic majority in his country. He is defending, as he puts it, “an order, a prosperity, a sense of generosity in terms of social benefits and safety nets, the sound functioning of institutions which have been achieved through centuries of nurturing efforts, trials and tribulations, cultural transmission, inheritance, sacrifices and revolutions. What makes countries, continents, cultures and civilizations what they are, what we admire or regret, are the people and the elites who have fashioned them….man is not, or not quite yet, some undifferentiated matter that one can spread indiscriminately, like peanut butter or Nutella, anywhere on the surface of the Earth.”
Rejecting most conventional terms, Camus has built his own nomenclature around what he believes are fundamental mega-trends that are not adequately described with existing vocabulary or commonly understood polarities: liberalism vs conservatism, globalism vs nationalism, capitalism vs socialism. Instead, he has come up with the ideology of “replacism,” with three protagonists, “the replacists, who want to change the people and civilization, which they call multiculturalism, the replacers, mostly from Africa and very often Muslims, and the replacees, the indigenous population, whose existence is frequently denied.” He then divides the “replacees” into two groups, the consenting replacees, and the unwilling replacees.
Is France Actually Destined to Replace Its Population?
The concept of demographic replacement brings with it an assortment of tough questions, largely ignored, dismissed, or even censored by the establishment media and mainstream politicians. In France, the government collects no census or other data on the race or ethnicity of its citizens, which means any tracking of alleged “replacement” of the native population has to rely on estimates. Estimates, however, reveal dramatic shifts in just the past two decades.
An article published by the Brookings Institution in 2001 estimated that five percent of the French population was non-European and non-white. From what information can be found since then, that percentage has changed at a blistering pace. According to World Population Review, “when statistics were released in 2008, it was reported that 11.8 million foreign-born immigrants and their immediate descendants were residents in the country; a figure which accounted for around 19% of the total population of the time.”
While a rise from 5 percent to nearly 20 percent in less than a decade is a stunning statistic, it may actually understate the magnitude of the so-called replacement, because it doesn’t take into account birthrates. For example, a chart on the Wikipedia page “Demographics of France,” quoting data available (in French) from the “Institut national de la statistique,” reports that in 2014, an estimated 29 percent of all births in France were to parents where at least one was foreign-born. Moreover, of the 71 percent of births in that year to parents who both were born in France, it is probable that a significant portion of those were to second- or third-generation immigrants of non-European origin.
A 2017 article appearing in the Washington Times, referencing a study published (in French) by the “Institute des Libertes,” offers projections based on known population demographics and birthrates in France. The study predicts that within 40 years, or barely after mid-century, the white population in France will become a minority. This forecast extrapolates from a white birthrate in France of 1.4 children per woman, compared to a Muslim birthrate of 3.4 per woman. If these birthrate disparities persist, France is destined to become a Muslim majority nation within just a few decades, even if immigration were stopped entirely. Among the younger generations of French, that threshold will be reached much sooner.
Is Integration Possible in France and How Is Mass Immigration Justified?
According to Camus, several false narratives are being spread in France by the “replacists” to dismiss the significance of the current migration by saying it is nothing new. Camus argues that it is preposterous to say that “France has always been a country of immigration,” because “for about fifteen centuries the French population has been remarkably stable, at least in its ethnic composition.” To the extent there was immigration, it was always thousands of people, of European stock and Christian faith, compared to millions today who “have almost all been African and more often than not Muslim.”
Whether or not Camus is a white supremacist is debatable, but his skepticism towards the possibility of integration is unambiguous. He writes “Their African culture and Mahometanism make it a much stronger challenge for them to become integrated into French culture and civilization, all the more so because most of them show no desire whatsoever to achieve any such integration, whether as individuals or communities.” Sadly, without honest, balanced, and well-publicized research into this very question, it is impossible to dispute this assertion.
Other popular narratives, according to Camus, also designed to justify mass immigration, include the claim that France was liberated from the Germans in 1944 by Northern and Central Africans recruited by the Free French. Anyone familiar with the battles of World War II would dispute this based on the fact that the main invasion was at Normandy by American and British forces. While units of the Free French army did land along with other Allied forces in Southern France two months after D-Day, this later invasion was launched after the Germans had begun to withdraw their forces to fight in the north, and in any case, only about one-third of the Free French troops were of African origin.
Another popular myth that Camus claims is promoted by France’s multiculturalists, or replacists, is that North African workers reconstructed France after World War II. This is clearly inaccurate since France’s post-war reconstruction was completed well before the 1970s, which is when mass migrations began from Africa into France.
Possibly what might be considered by replacists to be the most compelling argument in favor of mass migration is that it serves as recompense for the depredations of the French as colonial occupiers. But if the colonial era were so horrible, Camus asks, why is it that millions of Africans “appear to nurture no plan more clearly and cherish no higher ambition than to come to France and live with the French?”
Camus makes an important distinction between European colonialism and mass migration into Europe from Africa, one that calls into question both mainstream claims—that integration is possible, or that mass migration is justified. As he puts it, “France and Europe are much more colonized by Africa, these days, than they ever colonized it themselves.” His point is that the Europeans imposed a military, administrative and economic occupation on its overseas territories, but “this type of colonialism, developed in a political framework, is much easier to end—all that is required is for the conqueror’s army to withdraw.” What is happening in France today is what Camus refers to as “settler colonialism,” which is far more difficult to undo, if not impossible.
If the immigrant vs native French interactions Camus writes about are typical—“making life impossible or an unbearable ordeal to the indigenous people….through aggressive gazes, overbearing posturing to force passers-by down from the sidewalk….the creation in the citizenry of a general feeling of fear, insecurity, dispossession and estrangement….unprecedented forms of hyper-violence up to full-blown terrorist acts and massacres….which in the process secure under their rule additional chunks of territory for themselves”—then eventual integration may be very unlikely, and his characterization of mass migration as a foreign occupation may be more descriptive.
The Case for “Undifferentiated Human Matter”
To criticize the double standard applied by most online and offline media on topics relating to race has been dismissed as “whataboutism,” as if double standards don’t matter, as if differing sets of moral criteria should apply depending on what group or worldview is being examined. This double standard is in effect throughout the West, enforced in matters ranging all the way from online censorship to offline criminality. Camus notes countless Christian church desecrations in France, rarely prosecuted, and compares those to the heavy sentences levied onto protesters who unfolded a banner on the roof of the “Great Mosque” of Poitiers during its construction.
In France, Camus writes, “non-European youngsters by the thousands can post horrible and very disturbing messages on Twitter or Facebook about European or White people in general without the slightest threat to have their social network accounts suspended or be interrogated by the police; while opponents to mass migration are the permanent target of the most finicky censorship.”
Camus marvels at the fact that contemporary Western Civilization is the first in history to be lenient “towards those who want its eradication while it relentlessly persecutes those who would put up efforts to defend it and work for its salvation.” But what is Western Civilization? Is it bound up with ethnicity, or is it something more intangible yet more profound?
In an irony of history, Lenin’s useful idiots, the leftist movements in Western nations, are now serving not the international communists, but global capital.
In France, the very notion of “race” has been deleted from Basic Law texts. The conventional explanation for this transformation, implemented in the 1970s, was that it reflected the revulsion the French people felt towards Nazism and their horrific experience under German occupation when Jews were being deported to German death camps. Undoubtedly, this is true, but Camus focuses on how the termination of the concept of race fulfills the goals of the replacists.
Mocking the mainstream scientific dogma that proclaims races do not exist, Camus takes the position that “race” embraces “social, literary, or poetic, or taxonomic creations of such considerable impact that proclaiming they do not exist is tantamount to seriously testing the meaning of the verb to exist.” He uses “race” interchangeably with “a people” and argues that conflating biology with culture is to suggest that Europe does not exist, that European civilization did not exist; no such thing as French culture; no such thing as French people—that there are only people with a French passport.
“In industrial and post-industrial societies, especially those where the main industry is the industry of Undifferentiated Human Matter, where man is the producer, product and consumer at once, there is no such thing as a genuine product.”
The “Anti-Racist” Paradox: The True Agenda of the Anti-Racists
If everyone is undifferentiated human matter, and races—biological or cultural—do not exist, how can racism exist? And if races do not exist, why must anti-racists so aggressively enforce a drive to achieve perfect equality among races; why must they insist that all races are equal?
This logical flaw is inexplicable, according to Camus, until you consider how the meaning of anti-racism has changed. Anti-racism no longer means a stance against racism as it is historically understood, it now denotes a stance against the existence of races and a willingness to have them disappear. Camus considers this evolution of the term anti-racism, impelled by the paradoxical concept that races both do not exist and are all equal, was a critical enabling condition for the Great Replacement.
As he puts it, “Paradoxically, without the non-existence of races, the change of race would not be possible . . . since there are no races, there can be no substitution of races . . . change was obvious, and rather unpleasant, but it was not taking place. How could it occur, since it was scientifically impossible?” But why? Who benefits?
It is here that Camus’ opening remarks, “replacing is the central gesture of modern societies,” comes back into play, addressing a phenomenon of which mass migration is only a part, albeit a very, very big part. If the native French are being replaced by settler colonials, then who is orchestrating this, and why? Camus claims “what we are dealing with here is a delegated form of colonization, a colonization by proxy, and that the forces that want it, and who organize it, are not the forces who actually accomplish it.”
This two-fold colonization, orchestrated by the very rich and implemented by the very poor, is part of the destruction of culture that began before the mass migrations. As he writes, “no people that knows its own classics would accept numbly and without balking to be thrown into the dustbins of history . . . this numbness had to be created.” Here and elsewhere, Camus is not talking about a conspiracy, but rather “powerful mechanisms” created by the combination of ideals and interests. The main ideal; equality. The main interests: “normalization, standardization, similarity, sameness.”
What Camus calls a “powerful mechanism” can indeed explain the rise of globalism without resorting to conspiracy theories. For global investors and multinational corporations to achieve maximum growth and profit, the prerequisites are standardization, free trade, open movement of people and capital, and a growing mass of consumers in every economic zone—dependent, destitute, it doesn’t matter. But to justify this, to make it a virtue, even a populist cause, the ideology of equality and anti-racism are in-turn prerequisites.
This erasure of high culture, this popular contempt for a cultivated class that might perpetuate reverence for traditions and greatness, this devolution, suits the ideology of the anti-racists. But it is useful as well to global commercial and financial interests. In an irony of history, Lenin’s useful idiots, the leftist movements in Western nations, are now serving not the international communists, but global capital.
It isn’t just France, of course, where traditional culture and proud national histories are being deconstructed and disparaged by the Left. In the name of anti-racism, the history of Western Civilization is now being taught in America, increasingly, from elementary school through graduate school, as an unending saga of oppression and exploitation. In the name of equality, SAT scores, and even grades, are being dispensed with in schools and universities, double standards are established based on racial quotas in academia and business, because race does not exist, yet all races are equal. All this paves the way for an erasure of peoples, the replacement of culture and identity with undifferentiated human matter.
The Genealogy of Replacism
On page 138 of the English edition of You Will Not Replace Us, Camus offers a family tree of sorts that pulls together the historical events and ideological evolution which led France, and by extension the West, to its present state. It not only attempts to illustrate the origins of replacism, but also the cultural devolution that he believes made replacism possible. Shown below is a graphic representation of what Camus describes in painstaking detail. Here is the “marital status” of replacism. “Son of Anti-Racism and High Finance (themselves, respectively son of Egalitarianism and Anti-Fascism, and daughter of Taylorization and Ultra-Liberalism, granddaughter of Industrial Revolution and Capitalism), marries Petite-Bourgeoisie, daughter of Democratization and Welfare State, grand-daughter of French Revolution and Proletariat.”
The logic of this genealogy makes a lot of sense. Replacism is ideologically justified by anti-racism at the same time as it serves the interests of High Finance. “Taylorism,” loosely synonymous with “Fordism,” is the system of factory management that evolved in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to break production into standardized repetitive tasks, greatly improving both the efficiency of manufacturing as well as making it possible to hire far less-skilled workers for less money, and making them easily interchangeable. Ultra-liberalism is Liberal ideology as originally conceived, devoted to the virtues of free trade and free movement of capital.
By marrying replacism to petite bourgeoisie, Camus is showing the synergy between a loss of higher culture and the replacist agenda. By depriving Western Civilization of its “cultivated class which is indispensable to culture in the old sense of the word,” by allowing respect for Western Civilization to slowly disappear, indeed by demonizing all vestiges of privilege, and by glorifying the most popular, largest common denominators of human experience, by democratizing education to the point where everyone and nobody is educated anymore, by mass-producing simulacrums of culture designed to appeal to the most universal and primal ambitions, there is no longer a people, there is no longer a unique culture, there is no longer history, tradition, pride, identity, the nation becomes an economic unit and nothing more.
Another fascinating aspect of the genealogy that Camus has described is that it is not just logical, but perhaps some of what he is describing is also inevitable. In hindsight, where would the human path have deviated from these outcomes? Is it much of a stretch to say the industrial revolution was inevitable, or the innovation of mass production and standardization? Is it unreasonable to suggest the rise of workers and unions to the abuses that characterized the first hundred years of industrialization may have been inevitable? Is all that Camus really has to say mere sentimentality, mere nostalgia, is this just a primal scream of a book and the movement it represents merely the last mad roar of a primitive nationalism whose time has come and gone?
Nostalgia and sentimentality may well inform the millions who merely wish that things could go back to the way they were, but for Camus, at least, stronger emotions and reason inform his motivation. First of all, he would probably deride it as thoughtless and typical for his critics to think that objecting to the destruction of Western Civilization, in all of its traditions and values, is mere reactionary nostalgia and sentimental longing for the past. But he also would remind us of the threat we face, not only at the hand of the replacists, but when the replacers eventually confront the replacists.
Replacism, for all its deplorable sameness, for all its drive to conquer and merge all cultures in the name of anti-racism and in the interests of high-finance, at least has a new world to offer. It may be grotesque and shallow, hedonistic and common, replete with addictive gadgets that pass for fulfillment and while away lifetimes, but there is profit, there is order, bread, circuses. There is still civilization, after all, cheapened, flattened, filled with undifferentiated human matter. But what if the replacers have a different agenda entirely?
Camus believes the combination of leftist morals and traditional right-wing business interests gives a unique power to replacism. He writes, “as if the ruthless power in the upper district of Metropolis, had, to top it all and make it worse, the capacity to project to the world the gentle image of the soft social order found in the Alpine pastures of The Sound of Music. He describes replacism as a totalitarian ideology devoted to promoting the replaceability of everything, man included. But he also claims that the only totalitarian ideology in the world capable of rivaling replacism in the world today is radical Islam. What a choice.
Is there such a thing as nationalist capitalism? And if not, is the battle taking shape one between national socialists and international socialists?
Neither Conspiracies Nor Scapegoats Account for Replacism
The phrase “conspiracy theorist” or “conspiracy theory” recently has been weaponized by globalists throughout the West. Wielded along with the more established word weapons, “racist” and “denier,” “conspiracy theorist” is now used as a verbal bludgeon to silence anyone who questions globalization or replacism.
Camus has much to say on this and the related topic of scapegoating. He writes, “The theory of conspiracy theory is one of the most effective, catchy and brilliant inventions of the ideological power and its executive clique, the media, to discourage any reflection on its own workings, on the nature of its power and on the crimes it might have committed. The theory amalgamates all conspiracy theories into one, whose model are the most eccentric views about the attacks of September eleventh against the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. But just as being paranoid does not mean you have no enemy, accusing everyone whose views differ from yours of being an adept of some conspiracy theory does not mean there is no plot and no conspiracy.”
Having made that assertion, Camus backs away from alleging there is a conspiracy. Dismissing attempts by others to blame replacism on the European Union, Wall Street, the International Monetary Fund, or Jews, he suggests, in fact, it is “some enormous, bizarre and complex process, so intricate that no one can understand perfectly how they work and why, and no one can master and stop them once they are started.”
This makes more sense than it may initially seem. It returns to the idea of a logical and almost inevitable flow of history. Only at pivotal historical moments can that flow be willfully directed through the exertions of a united people, because so much of its momentum is mechanical. And clearly that is what Camus is calling for, when he writes “it is for us to break the machines which churn out men like others churn out cookies, or Nutella, or surimi.”
Camus explicitly challenges the theory, not his, but prevalent among some right-wing factions, that Jews are providing the money and brains behind replacism. He correctly notes that in Europe they are the first victims of the Great Replacement. He discusses at length how “the change in the population of Europe has made daily life very difficult, if not impossible, for a number of Jews who are almost permanently exposed to very strong Muslim aggressiveness, modern anti-Zionism flourishing both as a form of exasperation and as an excuse, a more decent cover, for very classical Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism.”
While identifying Muslim immigrants as the source of revived anti-Semitism in Europe, Camus dismisses the role of “classical occidental European anti-Semitism,” referring to it metaphorically as “a derelict shop in the dilapidated historical downtown, now entirely driven out of business, and fashion, by the enormous shopping malls in the banlieues.” He notes that many Jewish communities in Europe that survived the Holocaust are not going to survive the Great Replacement, with thousands of Jews now being driven out of France every year.
The experience of European Jews today in the face of mass immigration of Muslims has led Camus to conclude that while there are some prominent Jews involved in promoting the Great Replacement, such as George Soros and others less known, he believes that in recent years the proportion of replacist Jews and anti-replacist Jews is now almost reversed, with anti-replacists predominating. And he makes a claim, similar to sentiments observed by Churchill a century earlier, that “Jews are very much divided on that issue [replacism], which makes them no different than any other community.” It may be fair to say that Camus sees the Jewish community, certainly in Europe, as a microcosm, split on the polarizing issues of our time in a way reasonably proportional to the rest of the Western elites.
And perhaps in this we will come a recognition that Zionism is only one form of nationalism, and Jews and Gentiles alike throughout the West will begin to coalesce in support of preserving the peoples and cultures of all Western nations. Camus writes “Israel belonging to the Jewish People, with Jerusalem as its capital, is the model and the essential reference, at least in Western culture and civilization, to all sense of belonging. If those three did not belong to each other, it would be the end of all belonging. If Jerusalem were not Jewish there would be no reason for Paris or Saint-Denis to be forever French, for London or Winchester to be English, or indeed for Washington or Concord to be American.”
The Flight 93 Civilization
If you believe even half of what Camus has to say, Western Civilization is all but doomed. It is to be replaced either by a generic replacist world consisting of undifferentiated human matter, or an Islamic world, which would take shape in the aftermath of a cataclysmic conflict in which the replacers overthrew the no longer useful replacists. What can be done?
Towards the end of his book, Camus calls for “remigration” of immigrants out of France and back to their nations of origin. To accomplish this, he views the European Union, currently controlled by replacist interests, as something that could potentially be taken over by anti-replacists. As he puts it, “The continent is being invaded, the nations which are part of it should stick together and resist, not try and find salvation one by one, in dispersion and isolation.” But he reemphasizes how what threatens European civilization is bigger even than colonization, writing “when we Europeans started to be subjected to another, more brutal and direct colonization, we were submitted to an Islamisation of our Americanization.”
American cultural power, such as it is according to Camus, populist, egalitarian, flattened, Petite bourgeoise, is almost—stress, almost—a proxy for globalism sweeping away the unique cultures and peoples of the world. Camus might say that America, when it comes to replacism, is as much a culprit as a victim.
Which brings us to America, where, just as in Europe, resurgent nationalism—unwilling replacees—contends with a daunting coalition of replacists, replacers, and willing replacees. The eventual outcome hangs by a thread, and no matter what the outcome, so much can go wrong.
In 2016, an influential essay entitled “The Flight 93 Election” compared the presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump with the choice passengers faced on the doomed Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. As he put it, “2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees. Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain.”
Written by Hillsdale College research fellow Michael Anton, who went on to serve for a time as a senior adviser in the Trump White House, this essay addresses all of the same issues of replacism, in the broadest context of the term. The dispossession of the American people, culturally, economically, and eventually, through actual physical replacement. Anton manages to make his points without inviting quite the opprobrium that Camus has attracted, but his words—a breath of fresh air to many but an unforgivable transgression to others—were so frank and so incendiary that he initially wrote under the pseudonym “Publius Decius Mus.”
What Camus has dubbed the Davos-cracy, Anton called the “Davoisie,” as he implicates America’s conservatives as “sophists who rationalize open borders, lower wages, outsourcing, de-industrialization, trade giveaways, and endless, pointless, winless wars.” Anton went on to reserve an entire section of his essay for the “other” issue, writing that “The sacredness of mass immigration is the mystic chord that unites America’s ruling and intellectual classes.”
Anton’s description of America under a Clinton administration is almost synonymous with how Camus describes France under Macron, differing only in the particulars. “A Hillary presidency will be pedal-to-the-metal on the entire progressive-left agenda, plus items few of us have yet imagined in our darkest moments. Nor is even that the worst. It will be coupled with a level of vindictive persecution against resistance and dissent… We see this already in the censorship practiced by the Davoisie’s social media enablers; in the shameless propaganda tidal wave of the mainstream media; and in the personal destruction campaigns—operated through the former and aided by the latter—of the Social Justice Warriors. We see it in Obama’s flagrant use of the IRS to torment political opponents, the gaslighting denial by the media, and the collective shrug by everyone else.”
Three years after Trump’s stunning upset victory, the power of the Left in America remains pervasive and growing. Under the twin ideological poles of anti-racism and climate action—which is a proxy for economic replacism—they have more or less consolidated their hold on academia, and continue to expand their influence in government at all levels along with most major corporations. Imagine if Trump had lost.
Characterizing the U.S. election of 2016 as a last chance to have a chance, a last chance to avoid certain death, was accurate. Now the battle is joined but the odds remain stacked against the anti-replacists. The Davoisie in all its power is doing everything it can quiet the passengers and regain full control in the cockpit. The Flight 93 Civilization remains fitfully airborne, but for how long?
To the extent Renaud Camus fights a lonely battle, with the smug opinion-makers of the world stigmatizing him and everyone like him as a “white supremacist,” chances are France will become a nation of undifferentiated human matter, or an Islamic state, or some hybrid of the two. But France will no longer be France.
The Inchoate Rebellion Against the Ruling Class
Across the United States and Europe, a rebellion is brewing that lacks coherence or unity. Indeed many of the rebellious groups are battling each other at the same time as they share a rage against the Davos-cracy. In France, the Yellow Vest Movement which has gripped that nation for over a year has attracted far-left and far-right demonstrators.
While the Yellow Vest Movement in France was sparked by rising fuel taxes, the duration and intensity of the protests bespeak years of frustration. What unifies the participants is the punitive cost-of-living in France, but there is no apparent agreement on the cause. To speculate as to the cause, for the Right, immigration is the primary factor; for the Left, global capitalism is the main reason. In fact, they’re both correct.
The unemployment rate among immigrants in France in 2018 was 15.3 percent, nearly twice that of non-immigrants at 8.3 percent. This ratio is virtually unchanged for over a decade. While it is now almost impossible to find reports connecting the Yellow Vest protests to anger over immigration—which means nothing—even President Macron has agreed to new, tougher immigration enforcement. In November 2019 the New York Timesquoted Macron as saying“The bourgeois live in areas with few immigrants and do not encounter immigration in their daily lives. It is France’s working classes that live with the difficulties of immigration, and have thus migrated to the far right.”
On the other hand, huge sectors of the French economy have been devastated since the introduction of the Euro in 1999, and this consequence of globalization would have happened with or without immigration. Two searing, pessimistic visions of where this is leading are found in books by the bestselling French author Michel Houellebecq. His 2015 book, Submission, describes a bloodless transition in France from a secular republic into an Islamic theocracy. His 2019 book, Serotonin, includes chapters describing how France’s agriculture industry, which for centuries was a vital, productive, diverse ecosystem comprising hundreds of thousands of independent farmers, was within just a few years nearly wiped out by foreign imports and corporate takeovers.
It would be simplistic and inaccurate to characterize the Yellow Vest Movement as either Right or Left, just as it would not be accurate to describe Marine Le Pen’s National Rally political party as right-wing. The Yellow Vest Movement is a populist reaction to replacism, for mostly economic reasons. The National Rally candidates are a nationalist reaction to economic and cultural replacism.
This illustrates how Camus has invented a term, replacism, that not only transcends conventional definitions but creates space for new combinations of political ideologies to form. Why should the anti-replacists be capitalists instead of socialists? Capitalism has been the justification to impoverish the middle class and fill the nation with foreigners. Globalist (or international) capitalism has been rejected by all within the otherwise inchoate Yellow Vest Movement. Is there such a thing as nationalist capitalism? And if not, is the battle taking shape one between national socialists and international socialists? That would make sense.
The Rise of the Bronze Age Mindset
If Renaud Camus now plays the role of “respectable reactionary,” a book that has quietly sold its way into influence and infamy is Bronze Age Mindset, self-published in 2018, written by a pseudonymous author “Bronze Age Pervert,” which he typically shortens to “BAP.” Bronze Age Mindset is a book that disrespects pretty much everything about modern life. Instead, the author exhorts readers to aspire to become the piratical, fearless figures of Bronze Age antiquity. Talk about reactionary!
The author, who in his book periodically dispenses with grammar, recently surfaced to publish a response to a review of Bronze Age Mindset written by Michael Anton. Both the review and the response are valuable reading for anyone trying to understand the evolving mindset of the anti-replacists. Because closely linked to the reactionary resistance to both cultural and economic annihilation is, obviously, a rejection of the so-called ruling class. This sentiment, and little else, unites the Yellow Vest Movement in France. A feeling of being betrayed by the ruling class also informs movements in the United States that are otherwise bitterly opposed to one another. BAP writes:
What you are witnessing is the unraveling of the postwar American regime—or what is mendaciously called by its toadies the ‘liberal world order’—in a way that is far more thorough than the disturbances of the 1960s, and with consequences that will be far more dire. The ‘altright’ doesn’t exist and has nothing to do with the media representations of it as a form of ‘white nationalism,’ or even—and here is what is crucial to understand—just ‘white males’ or just the ‘right wing.’ The same phenomenon is taking place on the left, and there is much more crossover than older people realize: there is much more involvement also by nonwhite youth and particularly by Latino, Asian, and multiracial youth in this phenomenon than people want to admit.
In BAP’s essay, titled “America’s Delusional Elite is Done,” he accuses the conservative intellectual establishment of failing to oppose “the violent racial hatred and other forms of unprecedented insanity coming from the new left,” including “the destruction of the family, and the new push to groom children on behalf of transsexualism and other supposed sexual identities.” He points out that “this one crucial matter extends the appeal of the ‘frog people’ far beyond that of any one racial or ethnic group.”
So where Camus saw cultural deconstruction as a prerequisite to ethnic replacement, to be resisted, BAP sees resistance to cultural deconstruction as something that is unifying various ethnicities. Economic globalism and cultural deconstruction may have left France open to ethnic replacement and ethnic conflict, but in the United States, these same two mega-trends could form a reactionary and multiethnic solidarity. The difference is that the Yellow Vest Movement unifies a diverse assortment of factions based, so it appears, purely on economic grievances. In the United States by contrast, among the still gestating Bronze Age resistance, the economic factors are present but equally unifying are the cultural grievances.
In the long run, France and the United States face very different challenges with respect to mass immigration. Compared to America, France is a nation poorly equipped culturally to absorb and assimilate millions of immigrants, and—can we say this?—the immigrants entering France are not easily assimilated, insofar as they are mostly African and mostly Muslim. Moreover, France’s mostly secular native population will not find much common ground with the social conservatism practiced by Muslims, whereas a far higher percentage of white Americans are Christian, practicing variants of Christianity that overlap almost completely with those of immigrants to the United States from Latin America.
Until very recently, America’s dominant culture emphasized the importance of assimilation, and even in its atrophied, discredited current state, America’s ability to assimilate its immigrants remains robust. Asian immigrants entering the United States typically come from successful, developed nations, bringing a strong ethic for higher education and entrepreneurship. America’s Muslim immigrants constitute a far smaller fraction of America’s immigrant population, and on average they have more education and skills than the waves of Muslim immigrants entering France. For these reasons, America is far more likely than France to eventually absorb its immigrants while leaving its culture relatively intact.
But BAP isn’t done. Perhaps he offers further encouraging words to those conservative nationalists whose demographic awareness has made them give up when he writes the following: “Conservatives pretend to be able to recruit Latinos to their cause with the degraded ideology of Jack Kemp but Latinos see David French call forced ‘drag queen’ visits for schoolchildren ‘part of free life,’ and want nothing to do with it. We are far better at recruiting Latinos, and as the example of Bolsonaro among many others shows, this new, energetic and popular form of the right is a Latino movement, and it is the future.”
And where is the Davos-cracy in all of this leftist debauchery and conservative cowardice? BAP is one with Camus in implicating the “large monopolies that promote mass immigration, mass surveillance, and the most bizarre type of speech restrictions, not only on its own employees, but now on American society at large.” In America, the NeverTrumpers and Libertarians, and all of what Michael Anton may have been the first to refer to as “Conservatism Inc.,” have been worse than useless, they have been puppets of the Davoisie.
Finally, BAP’s observations are in accord with Camus on how the meaning of “equality” has been entirely perverted by the replacists. BAP writes:
It is indeed possible to oppose this vicious and exterminationist hatred on purely liberal and racially egalitarian grounds. But this didn’t happen, which puts the lie to the claims that traditional conservatives care about equality under the law or about any of the ideals they claim to espouse. We are now faced with a left that has embraced a dialectic of racial and class destruction in a context where belief in absolute human equality is professed at the same time that no one believes in it anymore.
In the 21st century, the United States and Europe, France in particular, faces increasingly radicalized, politically disenfranchised, economically abandoned, embittered masses. What mindset they adopt, what alliances they form, may be the surprise of the century.
The Solution to Replacism Is a Community of Nations
Camus considers an “orderly and peaceful” remigration of millions of French immigrants back to their nations of origin to be the only way to preserve French culture. It is hard to imagine how this could ever happen. But it is probably true that either assimilation or remigration will be necessary in France in order to avoid either civil war or submission to Islam. Houellebecq’s book of that name is not in the least far fetched, although if it were to happen it prefigures a larger eventual clash, since an Islamicized West would still have to deal with China and other Asian nations that remain committed to preserving their own cultures.
Which begs the question: What does it take for a nation to be willing to fight to again assimilate its immigrants? In France, the economic challenges caused by globalization have already sparked the Yellow Vest Movement, which led to dramatic recent shifts on immigration policy by Macron. But can France, and the other Europeans, recover a sufficient belief in their own history and traditions and identity to demand others assimilate to their ways, instead of the other way around?
In his 2017 book, The Strange Death of Europe, British conservative author and journalist Douglas Murray suggests that those forces still extant in Western societies that resist the leftist derangements of our time—the secular and the religious—put aside their differences and unite to save their civilization. That’s an interesting idea not only because it might enable a critical mass of resistance to arise, but because it represents a new synthesis of Western culture that might help defuse the mutual resentment of Right and Left. They’d better get busy.
Nothing BAP discusses, either in his book or in his essay addressing Michael Anton’s review, offers a solution. BAP describes his work as that of a Samizdat, those Eastern Bloc dissidents who reproduced and distributed censored and underground publications critical of the regime. Anton, for his part, adheres to the ideals of the American Founding Fathers. To which BAP responds, “he [Anton] should admit that this form of government would today be called white supremacism or white nationalism, as would Lincoln’s later revision of it, as would indeed the America of FDR and Truman, not to speak of Theodore Roosevelt.”
Indeed it is. By the Left.
So where does Camus cross the line? How is Camus the “ideologue of white supremacy?” Why did Michael Anton have to use the pseudonym “Publius Decius Mus” when writing candidly about the Davoisie’s embrace of mass immigration into the United States? Why is Bronze Age Mindset written by “Bronze Age Pervert,” instead of whoever lives behind that name?
Camus answers this repeatedly in his book. Anti-racism has come to mean anti-white. Examining the phenomenon uncovers endless examples and makes a strong case for the truth of this statement. Neo-commissars variously described as Chief Equity Officers now infest public and private bureaucracies in departments of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” They manage aggressive staffs, expensive and empowered, micromanaging everything from micro-aggressions to the precise ethnic proportions represented in the personnel headcounts of every institution in America. This is authoritarian, totalitarian fascism, bureaucratized and masquerading as anti-fascism. It is explicitly racist, yet it markets itself as anti-racist. That is already a reality in much of America, and it’s spreading fast.
In Europe in general, and France in particular, the same applies. If you question the future of your nation, based on utterly indisputable facts—consistent and immutable voting patterns by ethnicity, leading societal indicators by ethnicity, demographic reality—you are branded a “white supremacist” and the consequences are swift. In ascending order: Unwelcome in polite society. Banned or suppressed online. Fired from your job. Denied various public and private services. Prosecuted and fined. Imprisoned.
And yet the movement of anti-replacists isn’t necessarily “white,” at all. The Yellow Vest Movement isn’t white, and it is ideologically heterogeneous. The rising Bronze Age reactionaries in the United States aren’t ethnically pure, and their ideology remains very much in flux. For these reasons, practical nationalism—centrist but honest, faithful to culture and tradition, having expectations of immigrants instead of the other way around, willing to protect national industries in defiance of the libertarian Davos-cracy, able to put the national interest first—still could have a future in the West. And it may have nothing to do with “whiteness” at all.
The alternative, prosecuted by the Left and condoned by a cowardly Right establishment, is Balkanization based on race and gender, even though race and gender “are a social construct.” It is enforced equality according to race and gender, even though all races and cultures are already equal, and in any case, “race and gender are social constructs.”
The alternative, prosecuted by the Davos-cracy, is to flatten the world, erase borders in the interests of commerce, and reduce humanity to undifferentiated human matter. How does this square with the “celebration of diversity” that informs every coopted institution of the Davos-cracy, from mainstream media to monopolistic multinationals? It doesn’t until you return to one of the first points Camus makes, where he emphasizes that replacism isn’t merely to turn humanity into undifferentiated human matter, but to create simulacrums of culture replacing genuine culture. The iconic buildings and monuments and historic plazas of Paris or London will be faint and boring ruins compared to the neon recreations of those same places around the planet, in cities turned into theme parks. The commodification of high culture is the essence of replacism.
Understanding this fact, that replacism is a wholistic repatterning of all national cultures and a wholesale erasure of national economies, is crucial to refuting the claim that to be anti-replacist is to be a white supremacist. The journey into the future, with technology and globalization whipping forward faster than anyone can fully track or comprehend, changing everything in decades, then changing everything yet again, and again, will not be weathered without the strength of national cultures that embrace and cherish and share a common faith, tradition, values, patriotism, being part of something.
Absent intact and confident national Western cultures who know where they came from and who they are, the immigrant waves that retain the most confidence in their collective identity will overwhelm those cultures that do not. And that may not end well for anyone or anything, including the Davos-cracy, including modernity itself.
To the extent Renaud Camus fights a lonely battle, with the smug opinion-makers of the world stigmatizing him and everyone like him as a “white supremacist,” chances are France will become a nation of undifferentiated human matter, or an Islamic state, or some hybrid of the two. But France will no longer be France.
https://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/02/GettyImages-683862767-1-scaled.jpg17062560Edward Ringhttps://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.pngEdward Ring2020-02-01 19:46:172020-07-24 11:16:46The Undifferentiated Human Matter of Replacism
The Democratic frontrunner wants to punish tech giants for the worst reason possible. That’s right, Joe Biden wants to punish Facebook and Twitter so they will censor more.
Biden endorsed one of the most aggressive proposals against Big Tech last week in an interview with the New York Times. He wants to eliminate Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects tech platforms from publisher liabilities.
“Section 230 should be revoked, immediately should be revoked, number one,” Biden said. “For [Mark] Zuckerberg and other platforms.”
This sounds somewhat similar to the proposal by Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) that would revoke this privilege for tech platforms that fail to respect users’ free speech rights. Section 230 is offered on the assumption tech platforms operate as neutral political forums. But there’s a crucial difference: Biden wants to eliminate this protection because of insufficient censorship—the complete opposite motive of Hawley’s bill.
“It should be revoked because [Facebook] is not merely an internet company,” Biden said. “It is propagating falsehoods they know to be false, and we should be setting standards not unlike the Europeans are doing relative to privacy. You guys still have editors. I’m sitting with them. Not a joke. There is no editorial impact at all on Facebook. None. None whatsoever. It’s irresponsible. It’s totally irresponsible.”
Biden also won’t rule out criminal penalties for Zuckerberg over alleged collusion with the Russian government. He did praise Zuckerberg for taking down “Russian bots” that were attacking the former vice president’s campaign but implied the Facebook executive is selling out American democracy to foreign tyrants for cold hard cash. Biden is particularly upset with the number of ads Trump runs on Facebook.
Forget the Russian bots and the Twitter trolls—the government demanding more suppression of constitutionally protected speech is a far bigger deal.
It’s Not Just Biden
Biden’s plan further underscores the fact that a future Democratic president threatens internet freedom. If Section 230 was eliminated altogether, tech platforms would only allow opinions and information approved in the mainstream media. Nearly all conservatives and Trump supporters would be gone. You could be banned for sharing news that liberals just don’t want to hear about. These platforms would become insufferable echo chambers, essentially a heavily moderated comments section of the New York Times.
This development would thrill liberals, but harm anyone with views things differently than the Democratic mainstream.
Nearly every Democratic presidential candidate, both former and current, wants to punish tech companies for allowing “hate speech” and “disinformation” on their platforms. Three candidates besides Biden want to target Section 230. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wants to look into Section 230 to make sure “right-wing groups don’t abuse regulation to advance their agenda” and that tech platforms censor hate speech. He doesn’t call for the outright elimination of Section 230 but his meaning is plain enough.
Similarly, Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), a forgotten presidential candidate, wants to revise Section 230 to hold Big Tech accountable for “misinformation and hate speech on their platforms.”
Former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke released a plan last summer on Section 230. O’Rourke didn’t want it outright eliminated, either, but he did want this privilege stripped from tech companies that provide “a platform for online radicalization and white supremacy.” Fox News was one outlet he felt tech companies should censor to retain Section 230 status.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic lawmakers are leery of Section 230. Pelosi said that tech giants put this “gift” in jeopardy with their lack of responsibility, a not so subtle threat to censor more. Last month, she fought to keep Section 230 protection out of the USMCA trade deal.
“Hate Speech” as Catch-All
The other candidates also want to pressure Big Tech to censor more, but haven’t specifically mentioned Section 230. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wants to break up Facebook and other tech giants as punishment for “profiting off of hate speech and disinformation campaigns.”
Mayor Pete Buttigieg says his administration would investigate and call out platforms that “traffic in hate and encourage or fail to moderate abuse and hate.” Buttigieg wants more aggressive measures to suppress ads that liberals deem to be erroneous.
Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), another former presidential candidate, also wants Big Tech punished for alleged hate speech. “We will hold social media platforms responsible for the hate infiltrating their platforms, because they have a responsibility to help fight against this threat to our democracy,” she told the NAACP last year. She did not offer a specific idea to do so, however.
No matter who wins the Democratic nomination, that candidate will demand more online censorship. Every major candidate sees what they call “hate speech” as something that should not be protected by the First Amendment. Every single one of them wants to use state power to push Facebook, Twitter and other platforms into only allowing liberal discourse.
This is un-American and a real threat to our democracy. Forget the Russian bots and the Twitter trolls—the government demanding more suppression of constitutionally protected speech is a far bigger deal. What’s the good of free speech if we can’t share “controversial” opinions in the public squares of the 21st century?
Democrats are right that Section 230 should be revised. But it should be changed to explicitly protect viewpoint diversity and free speech, not solidify liberal hegemony.
https://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.png00Paul Bradfordhttps://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.pngPaul Bradford2020-01-22 22:01:062020-07-14 21:32:27Joe Biden’s Grand Plan To Suppress Internet Freedom
Get ready for the new euphemism for social media censorship: “no longer commercially viable.” YouTube on December 10 reportedly will implement new terms of service that allow the video-sharing goliath to end creator accounts summarily if they cannot be monetized. And how will YouTube decide if an account cannot be monetized? By removing ads from a channel ahead of the changing terms.
British nationalist Laura Towler sounded the alarm on Wednesday and urged her viewers to subscribe to her BitChute account after receiving a notification from YouTube of the impending changes. Towler reported that her videos were still monetized as of Tuesday. But after she received the notice, she discovered that YouTube had peremptorily removed all of the ads on her videos.
As a result, her channel is “no longer commercially viable.”
Since 2016, and with increasing frequency, conservatives and nationalists are seeing their YouTube channels erased, often with no warning or explanation. In the blink of an eye, years of work creating content and building an audience are lost, often along with the related income.
Towler is not the first right-of-center vlogger to warn of another impending purge. Earlier this month, Chadwick Moore, a columnist for Spectator USA with 51,100 Twitter followers, tweeted: “Any political YouTubers with remotely interesting, controversial, or right-of-center content needs to set up their @bitchute or other alt account now and start moving videos over and promoting their new platform. Sources say massive purge is starting mid-December. Worse than ever.”
The timing makes sense. With the Christmas season getting into full swing and the 2020 primary elections beginning in January, everyone’s a little busier than usual and might not notice that their favorite YouTube channel has disappeared.
In the depleted field of content creators that YouTube has still permitted to post despite their unwelcome content, who will be left standing?
The Nonaggression Pact Between Social Media Monopolies
and Establishment Conservatives
If the entire weight of America’s libertarian-conservative billionaire network were deployed to defend the First Amendment and resist the decisions by social media monopolies to purge nationalist content, they might still do it, but they’d have a fight on their hands. But just as Molotov and Ribbentrop agreed to carve up Poland in 1939, it appears there is, at the least, a tacit nonaggression pact in place between establishment conservatives and the social media giants.
Over the past few years, and especially during 2019, Google and Facebook have been buying their way into conservative and libertarian circles. Within the network of think tanks and PACs known as “Conservatism Inc.,” who knows how much money they’re throwing around. It’s a smart business move for these social media monopolies. When people who develop ideas are getting paid, they tend to develop paid for ideas.
Google and Facebook can afford to buy their way into pretty much anything. Google’s value as a company now exceeds $900 billion, and their most recent balance sheet shows they are sitting on an astonishing $109 billion in cash. Facebook, way behind Google and yet rich beyond comprehension, has a market value of $567 billion, with a mere $41 billion in cash lying around.
Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting two Google operatives who were staffing a table in the networking hall at a national libertarian/conservative conference which shall remain unnamed. Apparently these two Google employees had been experiencing nothing but warm affirmations of their private company prerogative to censor whomever they want, but they became uncomfortable when asked about their YouTube subsidiary’s systematic deplatforming of various independent channels such as Red Ice TV (still available on BitChute). The more poised of the two promised to refer me to someone in the Google organization who “would love to talk with you.”
Pick Your Purge
After multiple follow up emails sent in the subsequent weeks, a brief reply directed me to “email@example.com.” Following many more emails and voicemails left with Google’s press relations office, the following reply came on November 21:
Hi — Per Susan’s Q3 Creator Letter, YouTube is built on the premise of openness. Based on this open platform, millions of creators around the world have connected with global audiences and many of them have built thriving businesses in the process. But openness comes with its challenges, which is why we also have Community Guidelines that we update on an ongoing basis. And over the last few years, we’ve been investing significantly over the past few years [sic] in the teams and systems that protect YouTube. This work has focused on four pillars: removing violative content, raising up authoritative content, reducing the spread of borderline content and rewarding trusted creators.
Google Press Team
First of all, do these sound like the words of a platform, or a publisher?
Exactly what “Community Guidelines” were “violative” in the removal of Allsup and Red Ice TV? Could it be this?
Our products are platforms for free expression. But we don’t support content that promotes or condones violence against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, nationality, veteran status, caste, sexual orientation, or gender identity, or content that incites hatred on the basis of these core characteristics.
The operative words here, to justify deplatforming, would not be to “promote or condone violence,” because channels are banned that haven’t done that. They must be “content that incites hatred on the basis of these core characteristics,” and there’s a huge problem with this. Because anything nowadays can be said to “incite hatred.”
YouTube is not a publisher. It is a platform and this means it is exempted from liability for whatever content appears on the channels of individual creators. If content doesn’t violate the First Amendment, it supposedly cannot be removed from a platform. The only reason YouTube can get away with it is that its parent company is sitting on $109 billion in cash and can overwhelm any legal challenge.
But who would challenge them? Not libertarians, because Google is a “private company”—as if that justifies violating the conditions of its platform exemption. Would Conservatism, Inc. challenge Google, or not? Is Google now pouring some of that $109 billion in cash into donations to the charitable foundations and PACs that dole out money to conservative groups?
The legal questions just got more subtle, however, with YouTube’s new “terms of service.” Who is to deny advertisers the right to demand their ads avoid various types of content? Who is to deny a platform the right to deny a forum to channels that lack “commercial viability”? Can you occupy part of the public square, if you don’t pay for it? But don’t taxes subsidize the internet?
And who will pay for the attorneys to make these arguments on behalf of the banished, if the ACLU and other powerful left-wing pressure groups, establishment conservatives and libertarians, and every major corporate online advertiser in America are paying legal fees for the other side?
Censorship Validates Extremist Rhetoric,
Honest, Open Debate Does Not
YouTube and its parent company, Google, had better think carefully about what they’re about to do. Because the nationalist Right will consider another round of silencing not only to be a validation of their perception of a double standard, whereby social media monopolies hold conservative content to a different standard than liberal content but also that this shows how social media monopolies have bought off the more moderate right-wing. In other words, they will view the moderate right-wing as complicit in the corporate muzzling of free speech. Then what?
The strange case of Nick Fuentes offers a glimpse into what could come next. Only 21 years old, Fuentes likely would not have such a high-profile if not for the social media giants’ aggressive deplatforming efforts. It was only after other voices were silenced that he rapidly accumulated millions of views on his YouTube channel and his website attained an Alexa ranking that your average libertarian think tank only dreams of achieving. Fuentes not only became part of a shrinking set of alternative voices still active, all of his pronouncements—from inconvenient facts to outrageous invective to outright racism—gained credibility.
One of the best summaries of what Fuentes has done can be found on the channel of an anonymous British YouTuber with 61,000 subscribers who goes by the name “On the Offensive.” He presents a 30 minute series of video clips of college events hosted by Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA, where nearly every person during the Q&A asks uncomfortable questions about immigration and other issues where they feel betrayed by what they allege is a co-opted conservative establishment.
Thanks to Fuentes and others, including the more studious Vincent James, there is now an intensifying civil war between what might be described as the nationalist right vs the globalist right, despite the fact that both parties to this war are largely comprised of Trump supporters.
Red Ice TV’s Lana Lokteff, in a recent American Greatness interview, had this to say about deplatforming: “If an idea is harmful or just awful, best to talk about why that is and air everything out from every angle. The best argument wins. The truth should not fear any inquisition. If we do not, that is what creates desperate people doing radical things to be heard.”
You can agree with that sentiment even if you disagree with everything else.
Google, Facebook, and the rest of the social media giants, along with, perhaps, their new partners in Conservatism Inc., need to realize an historical truth. Every time you mow down another voice, the replacement voice arrives immediately, it grows faster and uses the censorship threat as justification for even more extreme speech.
Censorship validates extremist content, both for the producer and the consumer.
https://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2019/11/GettyImages-1146031907.jpg36485472Edward Ringhttps://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.pngEdward Ring2019-11-30 21:01:222020-07-14 21:47:35Is Another YouTube Purge Imminent? What Will It Bring?
Over the past month, the far-Right’s troll culture turned against Conservatism, Inc., by haranguing the establishment’s “youth outreach” guy, Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA (TPUSA). TPUSA is a large and well-funded youth movement, but it is starting to lose its audience because many are asking what exactly TPUSA aims to conserve?
The answers they are getting are unclear.
Although Kirk makes some modest concessions to the nationalist Right in his essay, for the most part, he has been pushing the old and failed conservative strategy of sticking to “free-market principles,” while being “liberal on social issues.” This is why he confuses conservatism, which is really a disposition and set of instincts, with a laundry list of positions that he labels “dogma.”
While decrying identity politics, he and his guests have often pursued a type of conservative identity politics, which aims to reach out to minorities in explicitly racial terms. At the same time, Kirk and TPUSA deny the legitimacy of any form of white American identity.
While TPUSA’s signature event this year is called Culture War, it aims not so much to fight one as to have those on the Right surrender to the dominant leftist culture. Kirk suggests his critics from the nationalist Right are engaging in purity tests, but has little bad to say about the losing conservatism that prevailed before Trump came on the scene—the “conservatism” of the proposed Bush amnesty and National Review’sdefenses of transgenderism and same-sex marriage. His article projects weak energy and carries with it a tone of resignation to the forces to his Right, rather than suggesting that he is its vanguard.
TPUSA’s Fake Culture War
Unlike Pat Buchanan, whose invocation of a culture war in 1992 was powerful, genuine, and ahead of its time, Charlie Kirk appears AWOL on the culture war. Young conservatives can be forgiven if they believe that for him, it’s just a marketing gimmick. Fighting a culture war means addressing the culture, and this means rejecting leftist notions of the family, of sexuality, of nationhood, of gender, and all the rest. Doing so no doubt will cross the Chamber of Commerce and may invite fresh smears from the SPLC, but why should they get to set the terms of respectability?
Instead of rejecting the Left and striking a blow for a right-wing counterculture, Kirk has used much of his time on stage to attack critics to his right using the patois of the Left. He has spent much time and in many venues going after those he considers bigoted, racist, and anti-semitic. He has mocked them as loser basement dwellers, as if such ill fortunes are not due, at least in part, from obstacles like the H1B visa program, affirmative action, or declining social capital in a land of increasing diversity. It is telling that he reaches for words popular on the Left like “xenophobia” and “racism,” seemingly unaware of how they have lost their punch, as they’re invoked so promiscuously to silence anyone to the right of Paul Ryan.
For many years, the Republican Party and the official organs of conservatism have channeled their supporters’ energy into policies that work chiefly to increase the wealth of corporations and the donor class. This was the “established dogma of the Bush-McCain-Romney years,” including low taxes, high immigration, and indifference to off-shoring. Not only are these policies destructive of family life and stable communities, but corporations have not returned the favor, instead becoming eager enforcers of leftism through draconian HR departments and widespread censorship in social media. Fighting a culture war means distinguishing between friends and enemies. In the realm of politics, it means exposing the areas of bipartisan consensus—on trade, on immigration, on social issues, and even sometimes on Israel, for that matter—as often inimical to the interests of the American people.
The Right’s Netroots
Things have not been going according to plan. Instead of facing blue-haired Antifa weirdos, Kirk is finding that increasingly he is being harassed by an army of “Groypers.” A variation of Pepe the Frog and the Clown, the Groyper avatars are ubiquitous among young right-wing activists on Twitter. Belying the myth they’re losers stuck in mom’s basement, these mostly well-spoken young men have shown up at TPUSA events “irl,” asking tough questions of Kirk about changing demographics, the nature of America’s relationship with Israel, and whether surrendering to the LGBTQ+ agenda actually advances the Right in the culture war.
Kirk and TPUSA’s frustration is clearly rising. America First activist Nicholas Fuentes has now been banned from Culture War events—ostensibly for being disruptive, but mostly because he is the self-proclaimed leader of the far-right troll army. [Editor’s note:TPUSA disputes this, saying it did not ban Fuentes from its events, but rather he’s been banned by the host venues.] I doubt this conflation of this movement with one man reflects reality. The dissident Right is dispersed, and their rejection of Conservatism, Inc. is spontaneous. Focusing on one very young man with an outsized internet presence and who is, thereby, bound to make some rhetorical missteps as the symbol or “leader” of right-wing nationalism is just a means of discrediting it, by allowing critics to focus on unfortunate things a single person might have said years ago. The ideas animating the movement, not the individual personalities, are what really matter.
Kirk and his guests have often responded to questioners the way the Left usually does: with sputtering and ad hominem insults. This is just weak. Groypers have not been rioting or even heckling at TPUSA’s events; rather, a slew of pointed questions have exposed TPUSA as purveyors of the same thin gruel cooked up by Conservatism, Inc.
Trump’s election did not dissipate the meme army of 2016, which even now Kirk does not really understand. He, and many others in the Republican establishment, just wanted a good establishment conservative, like Cruz or Rubio. The civil war within the Republican Party was a rejection of that form of “good conservative,” not least because of their penchant for foreign wars and their hand-in-glove relationship with big business and woke capital.
Since Trump’s victory, Kirk and others in Conservatism, Inc. have made formal peace with Trump and his nationalist core supporters, but their words and actions show a long-term goal of redirecting their energy into approved directions, just as the Tea Party was co-opted and defanged.
These young right-wingers are still angry, energetic, irreverent, and alienated. Admittedly, they’re also disorganized, diverse, and a little dangerous in their views. This comes not least from their youth but also because they’re autodidacts, seeking answers to forbidden questions where answers can only be found in old books and various anonymous corners of the internet. They’re as likely to take their cue from Russell Kirk as from Alex Jones.
They would benefit from a genuine liberal education and an introduction to the grand tradition of conservative thought, of course, but so would Kirk himself. Conservatism is not a checklist of particular positions, an “established dogma” or set of “doctrines.” It is a disposition, a love of what already is, and is in danger of being lost.
The Left depends on indoctrination and is threatened by genuine critical thinking. It requires a great deal of propaganda because it goes against our nature, including the love of our own people and the familiar. Conservatism, Inc. masquerades as an intellectual movement to give voice to conservative sentiments. But it has turned out to be just as unthinking, beholden to its donors, and comfortable with censorship and the destruction of traditional life as the Left which, supposedly, it is opposing.
To be clear, I don’t endorse everything Kirk’s critics say, nor do I always approve of how they say it. Nor do I doubt he is a Trump supporter (when it’s safe and useful to be one). But support for Trump the man should be secondary, far secondary, to supporting what Trump represented: a break with the “doctrines” of Conservatism, Inc.
Trump’s earlier supporters recognized that the Left and Conservatism, Inc. functioned together to narrow the range of acceptable discourse, to secure the Left’s victories of yesteryear, and to habituate conservative voters into accepting that their job is to lose.
A Taste of Victory
Nothing impresses the mind like success. The 2016 election was a time of unbridled energy. Instead of “losing with honor,” the Right finally won. The victory came not from embracing watered-down “compassionate conservatism” or better explanations of conservative “doctrine”; instead, Trump won by explicitly embracing right-wing nationalism. He willingly dropped certain false mandates from Conservatism Inc., such as “pure free trade.” And he won in spite of the gatekeepers and the resistance of official conservatism.
Back then, Trump got help from Frogtwitter, various underground podcasters, and local activists, who together made mincemeat of Trump’s opponents in the primary and general elections. Among other tactics, they did it with memes and with trolling. This asymmetrical, uncoordinated, and unpaid activism hurt Hillary so badly that she gave an entire speech condemning the right’s online youth culture. Fittingly, someone shouted out “Pepe” during the event.
Young right-wingers’ energy is mostly a positive thing—and, at the very least, it is certainly a powerful thing. It won’t be channeled into healthier directions through invoking the shopworn talking points of Conservatism Inc.—points made no more persuasive when they are adorned with glitzy marketing and guilt trips.
Coastal elites have projected their own preferences onto the young—social liberalism and free-market orthodoxy—but it turned out that young people want something more vital and meaningful. They grew up not particularly concerned about socialism—something that, however dangerous, is a boomer cultural touchstone and holdover from the Cold War.
Instead, what moves and alarms them is the very real and oppressive political correctness they experience directly at work and in school. They have seen tolerance for gays morph into “bake the cake, bigot” and “drag queen story hour.” In school, they experienced the dangers of diversity worship. They face joblessness for stepping out of line. They have had enough.
These young people will not settle for legacy “sit-down-and-shut-up”-style conservatism. They are wary of Kirk’s formulae praising “legal immigration” or “American exceptionalism” or that Israel is always and in all cases “our greatest ally.” To their well-tuned ears, this sounds like propaganda in support of demographic replacement, a nation loosened from any historical identity, and endless wars in the Middle East.
The source of their passion is not only their life experience, but also young people’s natural hostility to authority. Trump’s love of trolling only amplified their identification with him. The young right’s facility with memes is reminiscent of the joking resistance among Soviet dissidents. Then, as now, a brittle and humorless establishment found its rhetoric diverging more and more from reality. Such a system is always vulnerable to a good joke.
The young men of the Right want real change. They want their country back. They want to fight a real culture war, not a facsimile of one. And they’re having a lot of fun trolling the repackaged messages of Conservatism, Inc.
https://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2019/11/GettyImages-1179231899.jpg37115566Christopher Roachhttps://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.pngChristopher Roach2019-11-21 21:01:312020-07-14 21:50:11Attack of the Groypers
The Southern Poverty Law Center and Media Matters called it a “hate site.” YouTube agreed and wiped out hundreds of videos with more than 300,000 subscribers and millions of views. Now Red Ice TV co-founder and co-host Lana Lokteff answers the charges, makes the case for freedom of unpopular speech, and reveals what it’s like to be “canceled” by Big Tech.
“Six hundred years ago, when elsewhere they were footing the blame for the Black Death, Casimir the Great—so-called—told the Jews they could come to Krakow. They came. They trundled their belongings into the city. They settled. They took hold. They prospered in business, science, education, the arts. With nothing they came and with nothing they flourished. For six centuries there has been a Jewish Krakow. By this evening those six centuries will be a rumor. They never happened.”
Invoking the Holocaust as analogous to cancel culture is a tasteless stretch. Or is it? We hear the analogy applied almost every day to climate skeptics, who are stigmatized as “deniers.” And when it comes to online censorship, Amon Goeth’s quote from Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece is too evocative to ignore. Because when someone is “canceled” online, they don’t just lose their ability to publish new material. Their entire body of work, their history, their audience, their past, present and future, is wiped out. Almost as if they never happened.
On October 18, 2019, the YouTube channel Red Ice TV was erased. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Red Ice TV is a white nationalist hate site, promoting racist views. At the time of “cancelation,” Red Ice TV had 334,000 subscribers and its videos had been viewed nearly 50 million times.
Today, Red Ice TV is just the latest YouTube channel that never happened. The online megaphone that can reach the world instantly and for pennies, can also in an instant delete you without a trace. If you click on the link to Red Ice TV’s YouTube channel, you get a generic screen with the message “This channel does not exist.”
But why doesn’t this channel exist? Why is it as though it never happened? Why has Lana Lokteff, Red Ice TV’s co-host and co-founder, been wiped out by YouTube, and every other major online platform?
YouTube Channels That Flourished, And Then Never Happened
YouTube has been playing a game of cat and mouse with channels they deem to produce “white nationalist” content. Earlier this fall, they deplatformed three similarly labeled channels, then admitted two back. “Replatformed” were The Iconoclast and Way of the World. Gone forever, along with 450,000 subscribers and nearly 75 million video views, was James Allsup.
Red Ice TV and James Allsup can now be found on BitChute. But who watches BitChute? Conservatives and nationalists—and, shall we say it, globalism skeptics—are dangerous when they spread their ideas on a video platform that everybody watches. That platform is, and only is, YouTube.
Standing up for the right of these vloggers to operate without being deplatformed by YouTube, which by any reasonable standard now constitutes a monopoly, is not an endorsement of the content these vloggers produce. But so what? Whether you are defending what they say, or just defending their right to say it, there’s no recourse.
The trouble is, government intervention would probably create more problems than it would solve. Conservative politicians want to regulate YouTube, possibly taking away its exemption from publisher’s liability, because it censors too much. Liberal politicians are also threatening to take away YouTube’s platform exemption, because it doesn’t censor enough. It’s hard to imagine government intervention ending well.
But the status quo isn’t turning out very well for free speech, either.
Vincent James, whose Red Elephants channel has nearly 300,000 subscribers despite being demonetized and algorithmically suppressed by YouTube, explained how leftist activists use “mass flagging campaigns” to take down conservative online platforms.
“What online activists do is post something on Reddit or a ‘discord server’ which is an encrypted online messaging app,” he said, “these mass flagging campaigns will originate from activists using these forums to say ‘all of you go and flag this channel.’” When the platform administrators receive a high volume of complaints, they suppress or erase the channel.
There is no similar sort of online attack mob operating on the Right to silence left-wing voices, and these grassroots online flash mobs have become highly effective at shutting down conservatives online. In the case of sites without large fan bases that can raise objections, the power of the mob to erase is near absolute, and nobody knows how many of these smaller sites are gone as a result. In Red Ice’s case, it didn’t matter that thousands of their fans objected.
Ultimately, if new federal regulations are problematic and online flagging warriors successfully attack channels even if they haven’t violated the First Amendment, YouTube’s managers would be responsible for doing the right thing. In this case, that would mean reinstating Red Ice TV, no matter how repugnant the channel may seem to them. As YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki very recently asserted, “it’s more important than ever that YouTube remains open to anyone.”
While nothing in this report, or the interview that follows, is intended in any way to endorse the views expressed by Red Ice TV, judgment of any kind is not the point. The question we should be asking is simply this: Does Red Ice TV have a First Amendment right to say what its proprietors are saying, and if so, does YouTube have an obligation to offer them a platform?
As Adam Candeub and Mark Epstein, writing for City Journal, put it, “Exemption from standard libel law is extremely valuable to the companies that enjoy its protection, such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but they only got it because it was assumed that they would operate as impartial, open channels of communication – not curators of acceptable opinion.”
Maybe there is a general consensus that some of the content produced by Red Ice TV does not constitute “acceptable opinion.” But it should be obvious that supporting someone’s right to speak their mind does not mean you agree with everything he has to say. It should also be obvious that some of the things they have to say need to be said.
How Big Tech Smacks Down the “Right-Wing”
The online platform war began in earnest after the 2016 presidential election, when the liberal management of the social media giants—often egged on by their even more liberal workforces—realized that conservatives, inexplicably, had mastered the art of online political campaigning and did a better job of it than the liberals. Notwithstanding the incessant finger-pointing at the Russians, the smarter heads in Silicon Valley knew they were legitimately outplayed, and vowed never to let that happen again.
The stepped-up attacks on right-wing online content include subtle measures that are hard to detect, harder still to prove, but have huge impact.
Alex Jones and his website InfoWars offers an important example. In November 2016 InfoWars attracted 125 million views. This was the high-water mark for Jones. By July 2018, Jones was still attracting an impressive 25 million views a month, but that represented an 80 percent drop in just 20 months. According to Advertising Age, the decline was because the platforms that drove viewers to InfoWars, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube search, “clearly were trying to reduce his impact.”
Up until summer 2018, most of the steps taken against right-wing content creators took this relatively soft approach, using manipulated results in Google searches, throttling down appearances in news feeds and YouTube recommended videos, shadowbanning on Twitter, and deboosting on Facebook.
But with the 2018 midterm elections looming, the tech giants decided to take off the gloves.
For the first time, the major online platforms coordinated their efforts. Within a few days in early August 2018, InfoWars was expelled from Apple podcasts, Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube. On September 6, Twitter followed suit. On September 8, Apple banned the InfoWars app from its App Store. Jones was virtually erased. He had 2.4 million YouTube subscribers, all gone; 830,000 Twitter followers, purged; his Apple podcast archives were deleted; his Facebook page, with 2.5 million followers, wiped out.
According to the Los Angeles Times, by mid-October 2018, Facebook purged more than 800 accounts and pages pushing “political messages.” Matt Lamb, director of communications for Students for Life of America, provided dozens of examples of biased deplatforming in a guest editorial for USA Today titled, “Google, Twitter and Facebook should just be honest if they don’t like conservatives.”
Other noteworthy casualties in late 2018 included Sargon of Akkad, whose YouTube channel has over 1 million subscribers, and Milo Yiannopoulos. Sargon, whose real name is Carl Benjamin, a 40-year-old British political commentator, eventually got his channel back. Yiannopoulos did not, although he has fitfully attempted to pick up the pieces with new online ventures.
The Strange Case of Milo Yiannopoulos
The Yiannopoulos case is telling, because nobody with a sense of humor would consider him to have ever engaged in “hate speech,” much less exceeding First Amendment free-speech protections and advocating violence. Yiannopoulous, denounced by his critics as a right-wing extremist, proudly describes himself as a gay man with Jewish heritage who is specifically attracted to black men. He was offensive, he was outrageous, but it would be hard to claim he was a hardcore homophobe, or anti-Semite, or racist.
For a few brief months in 2016 and early 2017, Milo was arguably the most famous troll in the world. To those who agreed with his politics, he was hilarious. For everyone who wanted Yiannopoulos to disappear, however, his cavalier comments on the subject of pedophilia, which came to light in February 2017, were the last straw. Even Yiannopoulos knew he’d gone too far, and issued a rare apology to no avail.
Whether Yiannopoulos was defending pedophilia, or, only slightly less revolting, was just making light of it, is not really the point. Because to those who found him disagreeable, his articulate, widely shared denunciations of political correctness were a threat, and that is the point. The other takeaway from the Yiannopoulos story is the preposterous double standard that his erasure exemplifies.
In a culture dominated by the Left, we now have “tolerant” parents across America taking their children to “Drag Queen Story Hour,” and flamboyant prepubescent transvestites are celebrated by the mainstream U.S. media. Are these practices, highly sexualized and arguably inappropriate (to put it mildly), which directly involve very young children, any less objectionable than Milo’s fatal transgressions which were made on forums that cater exclusively to adults? Apparently, it depends on who you ask.
Milo Yiannopoulos was making it cool to mock the Left, and his message was influencing tens of millions of people. But by the end of 2018, when Facebook and Patreon kicked him off their platforms, he had already been reduced to a rumor. And then he never happened.
The Intellectual Dark Web
About this time a new term was entering common usage: the “Intellectual Dark Web.” On the website “KnowYourMeme.com,” the Intellectual Dark Web, or IDW, is described as “a phrase coined by mathematician Eric Weinstein referring to a loosely defined group of intellectuals, academics, and political commentators who espouse controversial ideas and beliefs surrounding subjects related to free speech, identity politics and biology.”
This happened in mid-2017, shortly after Eric Weinstein’s brother, Bret, had been harassed for refusing to participate in the “Day of Absence” at Evergreen College in Washington state, where he was a professor. Organized by campus leftists, the “Day of Absence” sought to exclude white people from the campus for a day—apparently to further their efforts at achieving social justice. Stung that his brother’s unwillingness to be banned from the campus where he taught was considered “controversial,” Eric Weinstein identified the Intellectual Dark Web as an antidote.
In May 2018, the New York Times published an opinionated but detailed exposé of the Intellectual Dark Web. It remains one of the definitive mainstream descriptions of the IDW. Here are some of the topics and premises the article lists as typical fare for the IDW: “There are fundamental biological differences between men and women. Free speech is under siege. Identity politics is a toxic ideology that is tearing American society apart.”
A more detailed description of how the tech giants have partnered with financial intermediaries and internet service providers, all the while taking direction from a powerful coalition of activist left-wing nonprofit pressure groups, can be found in an April 2019 American Greatness article “The Establishment War on the Intellectual Dark Web.”
Paul Marotta/Getty Images
The Establishment Reactionaries
The 20th century produced two writers of uncommon vision who wrote books about the future that have become cautionary classics. In his novel, 1984, George Orwell imagined a hellish future of endless war, where the people are oppressed by a tyrannical regime that erases history, engages in constant surveillance, and punishes “thought crimes.”
Aldous Huxley imagined an equally dystopian future in his novel Brave New World, but where Orwell’s regime used brutality, Huxley’s tyrants used seduction. Huxley’s government of the future employed psychological manipulation, along with abundant drugs and sex, to pacify a population where people led lives devoid of true love or purpose. What both of these authors shared, however, was the belief that future regimes would rely on Pavlovian conditioning.
It would be fascinating to observe either of these literary giants taking a trip into our time (what would have been the actual future for them), to see just how right they were on that fundamental premise.
For a while, the internet was an unambiguously revolutionary phenomenon. Everyone could broadcast truth to the world. What social media has done more recently, however, threatens the internet revolution in two ways: The interactive, personal, instantaneous, and perpetual access to an infinite audience has disrupted the human psyche in ways we are only beginning to understand. And the Pavlovian control of this interaction by a small handful of social media platforms in Silicon Valley has given those companies almost indescribable power.
Virtually all Americans between the ages of 18 and 65 use social media. YouTube is used by 73 percent of U.S. adults, Facebook 69 percent, Instagram 37 percent, Pinterest 28 percent, LinkedIn 27 percent, Snapchat 24 percent, Twitter 22 percent, WhatsApp 20 percent, and Reddit 11 percent. It isn’t uncommon for Americans to use all of these platforms. Among smartphone users in the United States, the average time spent with their device is an astonishing three hours and 10 minutes per day. This is an addiction that has swept through the American population in barely a decade, and it has changed everything.
The ironic surprise in all this is how Silicon Valley’s tech companies have dealt with their incredible power. They have embraced a reactionary politics which is reflected in the choices they’ve made. Who they promote. Who they erase. What online behaviors they reward, and where they direct the herd. To understand why they have a reactionary political agenda, one must understand how the American Left, over the past 10-20 years, moved from opposing globalization to fully endorsing it. This shift, gradual but steady, came into the open with the election of Donald Trump in 2016.
Trump Catalyzed the Revolution Against Globalism
Donald Trump’s heresy was to focus on the negative impact globalism was having on Americans. He catalyzed a revolution by challenging what had become truisms for the establishment—trade deficits don’t matter or can actually be beneficial, free trade is always good, mass immigration helps more than it harms.
What the establishment had ignored was that the benefits of trade deficits are financial bubbles (as American asset prices are bid up by foreign investors) that only enrich wealthy speculators. Free trade isn’t free when other nations cheat. Mass immigration only benefits businesses who want cheaper labor. Meanwhile, homes become unaffordable debt traps, good manufacturing jobs migrate overseas, and immigrants take away jobs from America’s most vulnerable workers.
Trump clarified the debate over globalization by forcing the progressive Left to reveal its true colors. It became clear that the Left’s only concern was how globalization affected the developing world, and exposed their indifference, even hostility, toward the workers in their own nations.
You can make a moral case that globalization should harm the workers of the developed nations more than it harms the workers of developing nations. You can turn that unavoidable truth into an altruistic virtue, although one that is rather hard to defend in the nations that are being harmed. You can also embrace globalization on those terms because it does the bidding—and attracts the generosity—of the wealthy elites and multinational corporations who are most enriched by “free” trade and open borders.
America’s progressive Left did both. They’ve disguised the agenda that disenfranchises American citizens within their own nation by attacking “white privilege” and by accusing those who object of being “white nationalists.” They’ve come to accept the premises of the free-trade economists they’d once despised, with the caveat that climate activism and all that it entails—namely, the mass redistribution of wealth—will mitigate the impacts of globalism on developing nations which had once bothered them so much.
The Silicon Valley, which by 2019 had a tech workforce reaching an incredible 75 percent foreign-born, epitomizes a culture where leftist globalism is perceived not just as inevitable, but already here. Close behind, fully embracing globalism in all its ramifications, and scrambling to become as woke and worldly as the tech monopolies, are every other major corporation in America, every elite academic institution, every influential entertainer, every so-called mainstream media property.
These are the new empire. These are Big Brother. This is the Brave New World the online censors are protecting. Their path to power was smooth and relentless. And in the face of an alt-right, nationalist insurgency, they are the reactionaries, and Trump along with his supporters are the revolutionaries. Everyone in the world who questions globalism, whether they are right-of-center or left-of-center, are revolutionaries, with all the moral frissons and enticing glamour that being a revolutionary implies.
No wonder Milo Yiannopoulos was so dangerous. He demolished political correctness and revealed its tyrannical hidden agenda, all the while making people laugh. No wonder Alex Jones was a threat when, in between his riffs on human-pig hybrids, he was methodically exposing the supranational networks that are supplanting national governments. No wonder their flourishing electronic footprints were deleted. No wonder they never happened.
The Inconvenient Truths That Must Be Silenced
When considering what truths are inconvenient enough to silence, globalism versus nationalism is the context in nearly every case. An excellent example of this is the experience of Carey Wedler, who has, so far, hung onto her YouTube channel, but was recently banned from Facebook and Twitter.
Wedler is a left-leaning critic of the mainstream media and an outspoken opponent of America’s so-called endless wars. She infers that Facebook and Twitter are both working closely with the shadowy Atlantic Council and that the media and social media giants are engaging in “soft censorship” to remove content that isn’t illegal but the government doesn’t like. Facebook and Twitter never told Wedler why she was banned from their platforms.
Could it be that the active deplatforming and soft censorship being practiced by the social media monopolies, while correlated with their leftist bias, is more accurately described as focused on suppressing anti-globalist content?
If you examine the list of channels, compiled by the Red Elephants’ Vincent James, that are either banned, demonetized, or algorithmically suppressed by YouTube, there is a common thread, and it isn’t stereotypical right-wing content, or “hate speech.” The common thread, stretching from the acerbic James Allsup to the erudite Stefan Molyneux are ideas that question the globalist agenda (as opposed to globalization, which is an economic phenomenon). The narratives of globalism skeptics are dangerous to the reactionary empire. That is the threat.
But what if the majority of ordinary people don’t want open borders? What if they would like the facts, not a bunch of skewed BS, regarding how immigration policies affect the economy and social cohesion? What if they want balanced opinions, or just want to hear the other side for a change, on the issues of multiculturalism, race, feminism, gender “equity,” and “social justice”? What if they sometimes find an unrepentant critic of identity politics to be a breath of fresh air? What if they believe there should be a robust and honest debate over globalism, or over climate change?
What if the phony gravitas and one-sided outrage that pours forth from the overpaid thespians who masquerade as top-tier news journalists—think David Muir, Lester Holt, Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon, and the like—is transparently false to anyone who views alternative media?
What if the uncanny unanimity of all these mainstream media sources, at the least, exposes a disturbing degree of consensus, if not actual conspiracy? What if fake news is indeed fake news? So fake, in fact, that it insults the intelligence of anyone paying close attention?
If the mainstream offline media spins the same controlled, agenda-driven stories year after year, and they do, it’s not hard to conclude that social media companies are trying to influence public opinion in much the same manner, in favor of a globalist progressive agenda. No national borders. Anti-racist racism. Anti-sexist sexism. Anything to combat “climate change.” Gender “fluidity.” Corporate socialism. And of course, that tasteless, ubiquitous stretch, “Trump is Hitler.”
The Difficult Conversations That Must Be Had
Which brings us back to Lana Lokteff and her cohorts at Red Ice TV. Are they racist? Are they anti-Semitic? Are they “white nationalists?”
Lokteff claims she is neither racist nor anti-Semitic, although she acknowledges that she is white, and that she is a nationalist. But she asks why those labels are allowed to be used to stigmatize anyone critical of groups claiming to represent a particular race or religion, or to stigmatize anyone critical of an individual who belongs to a particular race or religion. This is a fair question, but it doesn’t necessarily get to the heart of the matter.
To silence her critics, or at least to silence a few of the honest ones, Lokteff and others who are white and who are nationalist may want to strive to visualize an America where they win. What would the nation look like then?
It is reasonable—or it should be reasonable—to expect a nation to defend its culture, its language, and its borders, to care for its citizens, to respect its traditions. So how would people fit in who aren’t white, or who aren’t Christian? To accept someone as an American citizen, what constitutes an acceptable range of behaviors and beliefs? What are reasonable terms for inclusion in the American family?
This is one of the most important questions of our era: If globalism, pushed primarily by the Left, is poised to erase national and ethnic identities, then what sort of push back can preserve nations and ethnic groups in a way where the solution isn’t worse than the problem? What does it mean to be a citizen of a nation? Can nationalism be inclusive without becoming meaningless? Can nationalism be compassionate, offering a better model for the evolution of “global civilization,” and still be authentic nationalism? Is there a version of economic nationalism that nonetheless nurtures global prosperity?
One thing ought to be certain: Denying people like Lana Lokteff the ability to voice her observations and opinions on YouTube is a dangerous mistake. Because the concerns voiced by the globalism skeptics are based on hard facts and sound logic, no matter whether they are expressed with grace or with fury. To silence them defers a much-needed debate about globalism and its consequences, at a time when current globalist policies are becoming increasingly unsustainable.
You can’t have mass immigration while at the same time expanding a welfare state. You can’t have mass immigration at the same time as environmentalist laws make it nearly impossible to build the enabling housing and infrastructure to accommodate them, and instead mandate rationing and a higher cost of living.
You can’t have mass immigration at the same time as the unionized public education system, dominated by leftist globalists, teaches immigrant children that they have arrived in a hostile, racist nation. You can’t fundamentally change the ethnic proportions in the nation within two generations, yet demand perfectly proportional representation of all ethnic groups in every facet of American life, from wealth and income to geographic distribution to hiring, promoting, college admissions and contract awards.
All of these things are socially and economically unsustainable; all of them weaken America. To enforce them requires the soft tyranny of Pavlovian conditioning, backed up by a ruthless and pervasive police state. Small wonder that dissident glitches in the online matrix become merely rumors, caricatures, channels that don’t exist; channels that never happened.
In the lengthy interview to follow, Red Ice TV’s co-host and co-founder, Lana Lokteff, expresses opinions that in everyday public discourse are repressed. For most people, the opinions Lokteff expresses generate a conditioned response and are dismissed without further consideration. In reality, the issues she’s confronting are extraordinarily complex and carry epic consequences. By suppressing discussion about them, and by demonizing people who bring them up, these issues, and the policies that have created them, remain unresolved.
After speaking with Lokteff, two things relating to internet censorship seem especially noteworthy:
First, whenever monopoly platforms like YouTube decide to wipe out one of their channels, they ought to be required to publicly disclose specific examples of what that channel did to get itself wiped out. Is YouTube afraid that such disclosures would reveal and expose its bias?
Second, if online censorship moves beyond just enforcing explicit violations of the First Amendment, and it has, then, as Lokteff pointed out, we risk “creating desperate people doing radical things to be heard.”
Here, then, is the story of Red Ice TV, in Lana Lokteff’s own words. Readers are invited to identify, if they can—and since YouTube would not—exactly where she engages in “hate speech” that is too dangerous to be permitted in public discourse. And if all her opinions are not opinions we would share, do we really want to drive these opinions underground? Was the First Amendment only designed to protect the speech with which we agree?
American Greatness: Red Ice TV has been banned from YouTube. What happened? What outside groups may have pressured YouTube and what are their tactics?
Lana Lokteff: We had no “strikes,” we were in good standing with YouTube. Then one morning we woke up and our channel was gone. The outside groups that pushed YouTube to ban us include the corrupt and Communist Southern Poverty Law Center, Media Matters, the Anti-Defamation League, along with Antifa outlets such as TheDaily Beast and the Huffington Post. Their tactics are to lie, defame, and snip together partial quotes out of context to justify why you should be banned and then get you banned on the platforms you’d use to defend yourself. Their friends at Google also rig the search results so when you search for us, you only find the lying defamatory sources. That’s one of the reasons it’s aggravating when conservatives, who know that the media lies, nonetheless rely on the media to look for information on us. None of this ever applies to the other side.
AG: Did you anticipate this, and were there any warnings or last-minute indications that this was going to happen?
Lokteff: We were expecting it. Many of our top videos (we had several videos with a million views or more) were deleted. We even had a video featuring the Dali Lama’s comments about refugees ultimately having to go back home to rebuild, which YouTube deleted. Anyone on our side of politics is going to eventually be banned and have to go elsewhere. They have deleted a few channels, then brought them back after there was an outcry from their supporters, sometimes even months later. People made a ruckus for us too, but we haven’t received any response from YouTube. In general, YouTube appears to have more leniency for people who are extra careful to censor themselves and who knowingly tone it down, or are vague in their vocabulary. Well, I thought we were doing that lately too. Some of their reinstatements may be so they can create the illusion of tolerance and it’s also possible that their programmed AI systems are flagging channels and holding them for review.
We frequently hear from other nationalists around the world who aren’t white. They write and ask why are you doing this to yourselves?
AG: How many subscribers did you have? What recourse is there?
Lokteff: We had 334,000 subscribers despite having the algorithms rigged against us. There’s not a lot you can do if you’re up against YouTube and their parent company Google. They are a beast of a company with way too much power and they receive government subsidies too. It would take a class-action lawsuit or government stepping in to change their treatment of us.
AG: Leading up to this, what other steps had YouTube taken? When and how were you demonetized? When did algorithmic suppression begin and how much did your views fall?
Lokteff: We started producing video content in 2016, so all of this happened in a matter of a few years. Prior to that, we were doing mostly podcasts. We never monetized the channel as we didn’t want our viewers to see commercials, nor did we want to become dependent. The trouble really started after Trump’s election. YouTube realized that the most popular political channels were on the right (because you can get the leftist narrative everywhere else). So they started fiddling with our ratings, search results, notifications and we stopped coming up in recommended videos. They have stated that they are trying to “disrupt people from going down the rabbit hole.” To some extent, this has backfired on them, because when they try to “deradicalize” viewers by recommending videos such as one by a transgendered liberal with pink hair pushing an SJW message, people only feel more extreme against the Left. They are helping to create their own worst enemy.
AG: What other platforms have you been banned from?
Lokteff: It’s an unbelievable list and this includes not only Red Ice but my small online clothing store and in some cases us personally. YouTube, PayPal, Braintree, Venmo, Zelle, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Wells Fargo, Coinbase (yes, the supposed anti-establishment crypto wallet), Skrill, even Pinterest and iHeartRadio. There are others, too.
When Wells Fargo banned all of our accounts, they sent letters saying we will not do business with you anymore. People in their service department said they had never seen this before, that the directive came from high up and the reason was “sealed,” meaning only higher levels of management could find out what happened. The SPLC, ADL, and other leftist activist groups are tied in with bankers, have connections and put pressure on all of them to ban us.
AG: Did YouTube state what specifically led to your deplatforming? What exact content crossed their line?
Lokteff: Despite days of fans hammering them with messages demanding a response as to why were banned, they did not respond. Meanwhile, they respond on Twitter to other tiny accounts asking petty questions. If you go to the channel now a banner might still show that says something about this channel is gone for multiple and excess hate speech. But of course, they never prove that nor were there any strikes that we could appeal. It’s not hate speech but speech they don’t like.
AG: Do you believe you have ever engaged in hate speech or advocated violence?
Lokteff: No. We have never advocated violence or specifically targeted anyone with violence. If anyone says we engage in hate speech they cannot prove it. For example, there are never any examples of so-called hate speech in the negative articles about us.
However, there are countless channels openly saying they hate white people or hate Trump and that is never hate speech. Hate speech is a lie used by leftists to silence their opposition.
AG: Are you a white supremacist?
Lokteff: I did a funny video about this titled “Am I A White Supremacist?” to respond to this which you can find on BitChute and RedIce.tv. The definition of a white supremacist keeps changing. Now it seems to mean a white person who doesn’t hate themselves for being white. It also seems to mean that if you say something like “I want European nations to remain European” that is also somehow a supremacist view. If you’re asking if I want to lord over nonwhites with a stick, of course not.
No other race gets attacked for loving their people and not wanting them to become a minority in their own nation. No other people would accept this. In fact, non-Europeans write and support our cause often and think white people have lost their minds advocating for suicidal immigration policies. It was called genocide in Tibet, Palestine, and now Kashmir.
We frequently hear from other nationalists around the world who aren’t white. They write and ask why are you doing this to yourselves? When it happened in Tibet it was called genocide. The Dalai Lama knows exactly what it feels like and that is why he defends Europeans and their right to not become a minority.
I have yet to meet an actual white supremacist, that is, someone who thinks they are better than all the other races and wants to oppress them. I don’t know where those people are.
AG: Are you a white nationalist?
Lokteff: I am a European, white, and a nationalist. I want European people to remain a majority in the countries their ancestors built and an immigration policy to protect the nation’s founding demographics. Demographics are destiny. I don’t care what people want to call me.
But no one ever charges blacks, Jews, Asians, Latinos, or any other people for being a black nationalist, Jewish nationalist, Asian nationalist, and so on.
In Europe they call themselves Swedish Nationalists, German Nationalists and so on because they aren’t a generic white, they are a specific ethnicity with their own culture and language and history. They do not like the term “white nationalist.” A European nationalist is one who wants their country to remain the country of their people, an ethnically homogeneous nation, the way it always has been. To carry on their tradition, heritage, and culture.
Most European nationalists are fine with a small percentage of nonwhite immigration but not to where it upsets the core demographics of the nation. America’s founders would not have accepted this. All of this demographic transformation is new. We rapidly began changing with the Hart-Celler Act of 1965, which was pushed on Americans without their consent. And by the way, the founders of America were also white and nationalists. They didn’t need to call themselves white nationalists because it was self-evident. Or how about the Naturalization Act of 1790 which stated “free white person[s] . . . of good character”? They founded the country with European people in mind. The thought of one day becoming a minority was unthinkable.
I think the best course of action is to talk about everything out in the open, more talking.
AG: Are you a white separatist?
Lokteff: We’ve been so programmed to hear this loaded phrase which is never applied to any other people on the face of the Earth even when they are violent racial separatists like Africans in South Africa.
People seem to think that just because one wants a homogeneous nation for white people that it means they don’t have friends of other races or can’t travel or have them come visit or trade. That’s a strawman absurd argument. This is never thrown at any other people but whites.
A homogeneous nation doesn’t mean you are cut off from the rest of the world, it just means you don’t support mass migrations of people to other countries displacing the natives.
If you don’t support mass migrations of people as a white person, you get called a separatist. Nobody is calling the Chinese or the Saudis separatists. We have always been separate nations but found ways to get along.
What needs to happen is a halt to immigration in the West. Legal immigration is an even bigger threat than illegal in terms of numbers. Countless studies like Robert Putnam’s have revealed that multiculturalism creates less trust and social cohesion. As if we need a study to tell us that. Mass immigration is dividing us as a people. We were once united. The problems we face with various groups fighting for their own is new, and a product of globalism.
Lokteff: Jesse is great. We all love him. Sure we may have some points of disagreement but he, too, does not want European Americans to become a minority as he fears it would turn us into South Africa. His best interests coincide with whites being the majority. If all were like him, we wouldn’t have the problems we have today.
AG: In the Peterson interview, he said to you that “if you had an all-white nation, you would just start fighting each other.” How do you respond to that?
Lokteff: The most homogeneous white and some Asian countries always top the list of the safest and most peaceful nations in the world. I never said it would be perfect but it would be much better than what it is now. White people will always have their differences but it’s the devil we know. Now we get to fight each other and millions of foreigners in our country who also fight each other.
Now we have skyrocketing violence, a rape epidemic, and divisions like we’ve never seen before. Jesse also agreed that America was a better place before mass immigration. He also said he too didn’t want whites to become a minority as it wouldn’t serve his best interests either. He brought up Detroit and South Africa as examples of what would happen if white people were out of the picture.
AG: Do you believe it is possible for a multiethnic nation to preserve its European culture?
Lokteff: No, people are tribal, especially incoming foreigners who are ruthlessly ethnocentric pushing their interests, culture, and religion. The mass majority of them align along ethnic and racial lines. It’s just the way it is and no free markets and liberal programming is going to change that.
White people are the most tolerant and the least ethnocentric. It’s why we’re in the mess we’re in. It’s why our statues are being torn down, traditions and holidays attacked, and ancestors who built the country being constantly denounced. It’s why white kids are learning about white privilege, white guilt, and being taught to hate themselves. It is child abuse and it is the worst racism we are witnessing today.
AG: There are millions of nonwhites who embrace America’s European culture and consider themselves fully American, sharing traditional values. What about them?
Lokteff: What about them? No one’s saying they have to be deported. If they love what made this country what it is . . . European culture, then they should be louder in our defense because that which they love is being torn down and it won’t be the same country anymore.
AG: How do you define globalism?
Lokteff: The total destruction of homogeneous nations, cultures, languages, people and the implementation of a global rootless, materialistic and degenerate culture that makes people dumbed down and easy to control. It means total control by a small group of elites. It also means the death of true diversity. These elites favor a people that is one race, one culture, one language and one system. It is anti-diversity. It is the destruction of everything beautiful that nature and the Gods made.
AG: Are you anti-Semitic?
Lokteff: I wish white people had a word to shield their group from any and all criticism.
No, criticizing someone who happens to be Jewish or powerful elites and interest groups with massive power and influence does not mean you hate that entire group. We criticize anyone trying to infringe on our rights and freedoms, no matter their race or religion. We’ve also been critical of Islam and of course other white people. No groups should be off-limits from criticism but if they are, it tells you the power they truly hold.
Awhile back, Former Israeli Minister Shulamit Aloni said of the term anti-Semitic, “it’s a trick, we always use it.” Meaning Jews who don’t want to be judged for whatever they may be doing or saying, use it as a weapon to silence opposition. And it’s still being used for that purpose. Truth fears no open discussion and investigation.
There are a few individual Jews including rabbis who are critical of mass immigration into Europe but most do not speak up in our defense when Europeans are constantly defending Israel. I’ve heard Jews say they feel safer in multicultural societies because of their history of expulsion from Gentile societies in the past. They feel less likely to be singled out or noticed in a multicultural society. They are also very against nationalism in white countries because they think it is going to lead to a holocaust, meanwhile, they have the ethnostate of Israel.
AG: How do you respond to accusations that you are racist and anti-Semitic?
Lokteff: Does anyone really care about being called a racist anymore? It’s not racist to love your own people, not racist to want your culture, heritage, and language to be preserved. It’s definitely not racist to say “it’s OK to be white” and not feel guilty and not want your children to grow up and be a hated minority, thanks to cultural Marxist agitators.
And it’s not anti-Semitic, not judging or hating an entire group of people, to criticize or question elites who hold a lot of power and influence. I’m sure they see it that way, but then they call me a racist for pointing out things that are anti-white and defamatory to white people. Jews have thousands of organizations dedicated to only their interests. White people do not.
I never thought about race until everyone started blaming and hating white people for everything. If people are kind to me, I am kind to them.
AG: Can you imagine a future where America does assimilate its new arrivals and becomes a cohesive multiethnic but unicultural nation? How would that happen?
Lokteff: Not going to happen. Even in a country like Brazil that had years of migration from various places (without constant anti-white indoctrination), they have all sorts of problems including one of the highest murder rates on Earth.
Throughout history, whether Rome, Egypt, or any place today where we see multiculturalism even in places like India and Kashmir, China and Tibet . . . multiracial, multiethnic societies do not work and they do not last. People are different and we should just accept that. It’s just the way nature made us. In order to maintain true diversity, it requires some separation and division. That doesn’t mean we go to war, it means we respect each other’s differences and spaces. European nations learned to make peace with each other and we were prospering before we opened the door to globalism.
Yes, America was a melting pot but a European one and we had shared European values and cultural understanding, and even then we had some issues.
In America, white people are the glue that holds the current form of multiculturalism together, although countless studies show how multicultural societies create less trust, less social cohesion. But with us out of the picture, various groups will begin to fight each other for power. You can’t replace the people of a nation with Third World foreign peoples and think it’s going to be the same country. If it’s so great, why isn’t any other country pushing this ideology?
In order for something like what you’re suggesting to work (I still think it’s a utopian fantasy), every group must sacrifice everything; their heritage, their history, their language, anything that roots them to their people . . . and surrender to a new rootless religion of globalism but even then, there will still be divisions. Elites pushing globalism don’t want diversity, they’re just using it to destroy it (mainly in white countries). They ultimately want everyone to be the same. They want a mixed-race man of the future where all true unique differences are erased forever. A man with no connection to his ancestors, and his past, is easy to manipulate.
I think it is probably too late for America. The damage has been done and we’re in for hard times but if all leftist agitation disappeared, if immigration stopped, if forced diversification stopped, you would see freedom of association and you would see people self-segregating into their own pockets around the country. People are tribal and they will ultimately choose to live with others like them. Sure, there will be a few hipster multicultural pockets in the cities but that wouldn’t be the norm if people had a choice.
AG: What do you consider to be taboo topics online?
Lokteff: Being a nationalist, loving white people, saying that white people are being demographically replaced, that white people should have nations that are their own, anything questioning the so-called official view of historical events such as 9/11, any conspiracy theories, anything critical of Jewish elites, and also anything fun and edgy making fun of libs or “shitlibs” as the kids call them. YouTube is even going after alternative health channels and those questioning vaccines and Big Pharma.
AG: Where would you draw the line on free speech? Anywhere?
Lokteff: No, I wouldn’t. I think the best course of action is to talk about everything out in the open, more talking. If an idea is harmful or just awful, best to talk about why that is and air everything out from every angle. The best argument wins. The truth should not fear any inquisition. If we do not, that is what creates desperate people doing radical things to be heard.
I also think we just need to uphold U.S. law and the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights.
(Correction: This article originally had the wrong date for when YouTube deleted the Red Ice TV channel. It was October 18, 2019, not 2018.)
https://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2019/11/Lana.jpg19764000Edward Ringhttps://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.pngEdward Ring2019-11-16 03:08:372020-07-14 21:32:45The YouTube Channel That Never Happened
“No user, regardless of their job, wealth or stature should be exempt from abiding by Twitter’s user agreement, not even the President of the United States.”
That’s Senator Kamala Harris’s argument for banning President Donald Trump from Twitter. The junior U.S. senator from California made this strange demand a core part of her foundering presidential campaign this month. She sent a letter to Twitter and demanded other Democrats support her request at the last presidential primary debate.
The desperate presidential hopeful isn’t the first to call for a Trump-free Twitter, but she is the most powerful person so far to demand it.
Harris claims Trump violated Twitter’s terms of service with his criticism of pro-impeachment lawmakers, and noting his worry that impeachment would cause a “civil war-like fracture.” Harris claims such tweets incite violence and alerted Twitter. Her alleged concern is clearly nonsense, but this is typical of leftist rhetoric. Conservative speech, when it chafes leftists, is always painted as dangerous to public order and as something that must be stamped out by the tech giants.
Harris’s censorship demand reveals the dire threat Democrats pose to online speech. Internet freedom may be gone for good if they win back the White House.
The California senator arguably is the most aggressive Democrat on this topic. In a speech to the Detroit NAACP earlier this year, she said the government should punish Big Tech for failing to control “hate speech.”
“We will hold social media platforms responsible for the hate infiltrating their platforms, because they have a responsibility to help fight against this threat to our democracy,” she said. “And if you profit off of hate—if you act as a megaphone for misinformation or cyberwarfare, if you don’t police your platforms—we are going to hold you accountable as a community.”
Other Democratic candidates share her censorious zeal.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) laughed off Harris’s demand to shut down Trump’s Twitter account, but she still wants Big Tech to censor more. When some commentators questioned whether the half-Indian, half-Jamaican Harris was authentically African American, Warren claimed this is the kind of speech tech platforms should censor.
The attacks against @KamalaHarris are racist and ugly. We all have an obligation to speak out and say so. And it’s within the power and obligation of tech companies to stop these vile lies dead in their tracks.
Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke’s plan for ending “gun violence” included punishments for tech companies that fail to censor “hate speech.” O’Rourke wants the special immunities given to tech platforms under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to be revoked if they do not suppress hateful content.
“We must connect the dots between internet communities providing a platform for online radicalization and white supremacy, as propaganda outlets like Fox News fuel that fire,” he said.
In Beto’s mind, Fox News also needs to be suppressed, revealing how the liberal drive for censorship won’t stop with Twitter trolls. It will go all the way to Fox News and the president of the United States.
Some readers may be familiar with Section 230, which protects social media platforms from standard publisher liabilities on the premise that they operate as neutral forums and not as publishers. Many conservatives have wanted to target this perk as punishment for Big Tech’s flagrant bias and censorship. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) proposed a bill this summer that would revoke this protection if they are found to censor too much. In contrast, Democrats want to revoke the privilege if the tech giants don’t censor enough.
Democrats questioned Section 230 protection after Facebook allowed an altered video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to go unchecked in May. The social media giant capitulated to the Democrats’ threats and removed the offending video, demonstrating the company’s greater respect for liberal demands. No Republican could have made Facebook do such a thing.
Democrats emphasize their censorious bent in the multiple hearings they’ve held on “white nationalism” this year. In April, Democrats grilled Google and Facebook representatives on why their companies don’t censor more. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) even wrongly asserted that hate speech was illegal. These lawmakers were particularly appalled that Canadian commentator Faith Goldy was allowed to share videos on Facebook.
In the Barack Obama era, Democrats were hailed as the party of social media. Obama was one of the first major politicians to harness the power of social media to his advantage. Now that conservatives have shown they can use social media effectively, Democrats want to suppress this technology. Only they can use it.
Liberals blame social media for Trump’s election and want to do what they can to ensure another Trump never happens again. That’s why they want more censorship and less freedom. Republicans, for good or ill, present the only hope to preserve online free speech. Democrats simply can’t be trusted.
https://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2019/10/Copy-of-Copy-of-AMGREATNESS.png19764000Paul Bradfordhttps://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.pngPaul Bradford2019-10-22 21:00:342020-07-14 21:52:39Democrats Are a Clear and Present Danger to Internet Freedom
For every regulatory agency whose entrenched bureaucrats release reports intended to increase their funding and power, there are individuals, non-profits, and experts who can proffer data that tells a very different story.
The deep state, and the administrative elites more broadly, are in deep digital trouble. And so are their current narratives. But it’s not clear they fully realize it yet.
We all love a good story. Stories delight us, reassure us, carry us away to another world. They are hypnotic. We narrow our focus, ignore our outer senses, and experience an imagined reality instead.
Most of us no longer spend cold winter nights sitting close to a fire as the old stories are told in the dark—as a voice hidden in the shadows embellishes the tale, frightening or entrancing us. But we’re surrounded by stories nonetheless.
Today television, movies, and videos bring a new, tech-enabled power to stories told by people we’ve never met. Sights and sounds draw us in. Background music manipulates our emotions. The camera draws us to a single face, or a carefully cropped scene. These become our reality for a time. They stick with us, echoing in the back of our minds long after the sun comes up and we go about our daily lives.
There was a time before videos when writers labored to evoke similar responses. Long novels with elaborate descriptions and carefully crafted dialogue, widely distributed thanks to printing presses, placed the burden of imagination on the reader. Carefully reasoned essays made explicit, step by step arguments. Newspaper columns tried to bring you to the scene of the crime. But what you might invoke inwardly when reading a classic novel and what I might invoke could differ greatly.
Today’s tech, on the other hand, implants sensory inputs directly into our brains, evoking visceral emotions and bodily responses. We are no longer co-creators. Instead we are recipients manipulated by agents behind the scene.
Powerful stuff. So it’s not surprising that the use of narrative for political purposes has reached fevered proportions. Orators in the city square, preachers at a pulpit reached only a limited few in times past. Today’s sensory evoking stories reach millions within seconds. They get copied and shared with viral sensation, along with interpretations that reinforce their effect.
Not Your Father’s Mass Media
We’ve come a long way since the first patent for radio transmission of voices was issued a little over a century ago. By the time of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s fireside chats the medium had begun to have a serious political and social impact. By the 1950s many American households had a small black and white television. Families spent evenings around their set, laughing at comedies or absorbing the news as delivered by a small group of presumed authoritative voices. Dragnet’s Jack Webb assured us he sought “just the facts.” Many viewers trusted famous name anchors to be just as objective in their reporting.
Cinemas also expanded their reach and impact with the realism of high definition color images and rich, realistic sounds. Films and characters became a shared cultural experience, touchstones for a generation. People chose to go to a theater, buy a ticket, share the experience with others around them, then emerge into the fresh air and daily life again.
Now we’re in the digital age. And we’re just beginning to see how utterly revolutionary, how disruptive, it truly is. Disruptive, or the final nail in the coffin of individual liberty, or both? But first, consider the disruption.
If the 20th century media were all about story telling through analogues to real life sensory experience, the digital age is all about data. And although the rise of computing and data networks initially greatly empowered the deep state and more broadly the administrative elites, we have now reached a tipping point—or at a minimum, a crucial battle. For the digital age, built on data, increasingly is undercutting those who built their power upon it. But it threatens to cement power in a replacement elite that lacks even the pretense of direct accountability to voters.
Unlike the arc of narrative analog media, digital data are, at their core, discrete bits of information. They can be stored, consolidated, shared, analyzed, modified, and compared with ease. Most importantly, although data certainly can be tendentiously and selectively gathered or used, by their nature data are neutral. “Just the facts, ma’am.“ And today the power to collect data and promulgate competing analyses of it is in the hands of every cell phone and tablet user in the world.
Consider the scene on the nation’s Mall less than a year ago. A few Native American activists belligerently confronted several teens in MAGA hats who were waiting for their bus after the March for Life. Immediately afterwards a brief video clip was released and went viral, along with claims about racist behavior by one student. The narrative was rapidly picked up by sympathetic TV news readers, newspaper writers, and social media personalities.
It was quite a polished production, and had a serious impact. People who had never visited the National Mall, and who certainly weren’t there for the confrontation, grieved and raged aloud at those horrible, privileged, racist, condescending young white men. Death threats were phoned in to a student who, mistakenly identified, wasn’t even at the March.
And then? And then a video of the full encounter, captured by cell phone, also hit social media. Shaky and clearly unedited, it too was spellbinding—but it told a very different story than the one activist and his apologists were busy promulgating.
Soon older footage of the activist emerged, along with accounts of his unreliable past claims and attempts to create confrontations for his advantage. Eventually the MAGA hatted teen’s lawyers announced they would file defamation suits against several major media outlets for their role in smearing him personally and irresponsibly.
The activist’s narrative, which fit many preconceptions on the Left and in the media, failed. It was disrupted by competing data, data that also went viral. Surely the men who labored in Stalin’s labs to erase from photographs the images of comrades who had fallen into political disfavor would be deeply jealous of those promulgating edited videos today. After all, most cell phone users have access to apps that can do that with a few swipes.
But the narrative failed because data has a life of its own unless it is suppressed.
The New Brave New World of Data
If Stalin’s photo editors would be out of work today, what of the CIA and other experts who once labored to detect and interpret those altered photos? Who installed wiretaps and recording devices inside walls? Met shady characters in shady alleys? What of the intelligence analysts and field operatives who prided themselves on specialized knowledge about distant places? Whose reports shaped the policies of presidents and the diplomatic efforts of embassies around the world? Who were privileged to decide what narrative should guide national decisions and the use of national power?
What is their role today, when AI and machine learning increasingly give us software that can translate foreign languages with subtle accuracy? When autonomous systems can collect information in huge quantities and make it available for a wide range of analysis and interpretation?
Whatever that role is, it no longer is exclusive. One no longer needs a stint in Skull and Bones at Yale or similar Ivy League credentials to qualify, nor even to be part of a targeted minority. One might be, say, an enlisted military intel analyst looking for insights that directly inform current tactical operations in a distant place instead.
I once asked a former senior CIA analyst, a woman who’d led a high profile team whose findings stirred political controversy, how she might work with junior assistants or software agents in a way that could extend her analytic efforts. My team was exploring ways to extend her ability to effectively use massive amounts of digital data. Her response? “I wouldn’t. I only trust my own judgement.”
Contrast that with the Palantir software whose development Big Tech critic Peter Thiel funded. Palantir has been used by many military analysts to share information, identifying both their individual evaluations of it and also what they see as open questions and conflicting interpretations. Palantir is inherently digital in its DNA.
There’s a clue in that contrast to many recent doings inside the Beltway, including some around retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and high level officials in the Obama administration.
Digital data has broken open the monopoly of the administrative elites on creating and promulgating narratives for political and social effect. For every Hollywood new release and hours long award extravaganza, there are videos captured and distributed online with a variety of other messages. For every tendentious, slanted news broadcast or article in the media, there is an army of people digging up counterfacts, omitted context, and embarrassingly contradictory claims made not long ago by the same outlets.
For every regulatory agency whose entrenched bureaucrats release reports intended to increase their funding and power, there are individuals, non-profits, and experts who can proffer data that tells a very different story.
And therein lies the fatal weakness for the deep state. When computing was expensive, when access to data was limited to those in official roles, knowledge was powerfor them. Today digital data is easy to copy and to share, and old records are still accessible for the purpose.
Big Tech Races to Fill the Power Void
But in their place Big Tech is rising fast to seize the forfeited power. If you can’t see alternate data or interpretations, they can’t influence you. If your online search is subtly and deeply redirected, you assume you have the full story.
And now arises the use of AI and machine learning to create “deep fakes”—artificially constructed photos and videos that even experts cannot distinguish from actual recordings. Deep fakes threaten to restore the primacy of sensory manipulative narrative, with a political vengeance. They make faked pee dossiers and third hand “whistleblower” charges look like the work of childish amateurs.
We have a fast closing window within which to act. Just as the Second Amendment provides a basis, however unequal, for citizens to retain liberty in the face of government force, so too we must demand that our right and our means to share and analyze data be preserved. Big Tech data monopolies and censorship must be directly opposed and penalized. Alternate platforms must be created. Transparency into data collected by federal and other levels of government must be ensured, at the cost of ending budget funding for programs and officials that stonewall.
The deep state, secure in its power for a long time and inherently bureaucratic, collected the text messages and emails and reports that ironically will expose what appears to be their attempted coup against the power of voters under our constitutional mechanisms to select the national chief executive and key national policies. Or at least this data will do so if the furious stonewalling by those involved is finally overcome.
That will be an important step. But the battle is deeper and will rage on more broadly unless we effectively pry ownership and distribution of a great deal more data from those who feel privileged to screen and interpret it without us. There is no place to be neutral in this fight.
https://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2019/10/GettyImages-451806115.jpg45007824Robin Burkhttps://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.pngRobin Burk2019-10-10 21:03:162020-07-14 21:53:32Data Disrupts The Deep State Narrative
On July 30, 2019, sharing a stage in Detroit with nine other Democrat contenders for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination, Beto O’Rourke outdid himself. His finest moment came midway through the debate in response to a question about racism in America.
In a well rehearsed tirade that went well beyond his allotted time, O’Rourke—who fancies himself a cross between Jack Kerouac and Martin Luther King, Jr., with a soupçon of Che Guevara and a dash of Mother Teresa thrown in—denounced America’s entire identity, from founding to the present, as defined by violent white racists. His opening line went something like this:
“This country [dramatic pause, as if the weight of it all is too much for him emotionally], though we would like to think otherwise, was founded on racism, has persisted through racism, and is racist today.”
In another corner of America, someone was watching O’Rourke’s July 30th performance, recording what he was saying and was about to say. This man wasn’t running for president, and he doesn’t work for a major news network. His name is Vincent James, one of the most data driven video journalists in all of American alternative media. That attention to detail has earned James, and his channel, “The Red Elephants Vincent James,” over 290,000 online subscribers and his videos have been watched over 34 million times, just on YouTube.
I say “just” on YouTube because the assortment of facts that James posted in response to O’Rourke’s unfactual diatribe was banned from YouTube, and now has to be viewed on BitChute. This video, still up on BitChute, is entitled “How the Left is Pushing America Further Right,” and Exhibit A is O’Rourke’s cavalcade of lies, which James exposes and debunks, one at a time.
Beto’s Examples of White Racism #1: Disproportionate Sentencing
O’Rourke’s first point, following his opening, was “There are 2.3 million people behind bars tonight while we enjoy our freedom, disproportionately comprised of people of color…”
The inimitable Vincent James doesn’t stop at pointing out the obvious, that total arrests for murder in the United States in 2017 were 9,468, of which, 5,025 were blacks. He then does something that is yet another example of the power of alternative media—on screen, using his cell phone calculator, he shows the viewer how to use that information to calculate crime rates per 100,000 people in the population, which is a common way for actuaries and other analysts to measure human behaviors. As it turns out, he demonstrates that blacks in the United States were arrested for murder in 2017 at a rate of 12.5 per 100,000, whereas the rate in that year for non-Hispanic whites was 1.4 per 100,000. That is, whites were nine times less likely to be arrested for murder.
One of the hallmarks of watching Vincent James is his painstaking attention to statistical data, and he doesn’t disappoint in this video, putting up a series of compiled bar graphs that show how, in every significant category—murder, robbery, rape, assault—black crime rates per 100,000 are approximately five times greater than the rates for Hispanics, and approximately ten times greater than the rate for non-Hispanic whites.
These are fairly straightforward facts, coming from the FBI, and these facts, according to James, are the reason why blacks are incarcerated at a higher rate than members of other ethnic groups. But James isn’t done. If you want attention to detail and lots of data, watch Vincent James.
He then corroborates the FBI statistics with CDC data, displaying a report (depicted below) showing that homicide rates—meaning all murders whether or not there was an arrest—are also about ten times higher among black victims than among non-Hispanic white victims. He corroborates that with a May 2019 study by the Violence Policy Center which looked at these rates per state and came up with similar findings to the CDC.
James demonstrates, pretty much irrefutably, that the reason blacks are disproportionately more represented in prison in America is because blacks commit disproportionately more crimes.
Beto’s Examples of White Racism #2: A ‘Rise’ in Hate Crimes
James is just getting warmed up, however, as he examines O’Rourke’s next point. As O’Rourke put it:
But it was only until this administration, and this president, [heavy pause, dramatic gesticulations from the gangly SJW], that racism was invited out into the open [another heavy pause, audience applause]. For the last three years, there’s been a rise in hate crimes in every single one of them; those counties that hosted a Trump rally in 2016 saw on average more than a 200 percent increase in hate crimes.
To lead into his response, another dizzying array of debunking statistics, James coolly explains, “the term ‘white’ and the term ‘hate crime’ have become sort of a collocation at this point, but it’s absolutely false.” He then pulls out the FBI statistics on hate crimes by race of offender and victim, and shows the overall number of hate crime convictions in 2017, 6,370, was only slightly higher than the number of hate crime convictions in 2016, at 5,770.
James then cites studies—always with onscreen images of the actual data—showing, on the other hand, a sharp rise in hate crime hoaxes in recent years. But his most noteworthy point is that it is not white people who are committing the most hate crimes, and it isn’t even close. This is something that runs utterly counter to Beto’s entire spiel, and by extension, to the entire narrative now fomented by the Democrats and the media in America.
As shown in the next image grabbed from his video, James has analyzed FBI data on hate crime convictions by perpetrator and calculates a rate of 3.5 per 100,000 black Americans, compared to a rate of 1.1 per 100,000 non-Hispanic white Americans. This is an astonishing finding. While these rates are low in both cases, a black American is more than three times as likely to commit a hate crime as a white American.
One has to ask, who is going to compile and report this data, if not Vincent James? Will this sort of information ever appear on CNN, or even on Fox? This is not pleasant data to review. But neither is Beto O’Rourke’s phony sermon, filled with lies and calculated to foment racial tension. The next slide James prepared further illustrates the absurdity of claiming that whites, overall, are those most likely to commit acts of violence against members of other races. And again, it’s not even close.
Beto’s Examples of White Racism #3: Racist Bias in School Punishments
Struggling to contain his indignation, O’Rourke offered yet another example of endemic racist behavior on the part of White Americans towards “people of color:”
In a kindergarten classroom, a four or five year old child [“of color”] is five times more likely to be disciplined, or suspended, or expelled, than a white child and by the same teacher for the same infraction in the same classroom today.
James proceeds to dig out an NPR report on the study O’Rourke referenced, highlighting on the screen the actual text of the article where it does state that there is a higher rate of discipline, but it’s three times higher, not five times higher. And that’s just for starters.
The study, “Data Snapshot: School Discipline,” produced in 2014 by Obama’s Department of Education, says nothing about the same teacher administering differing punishments based on race, or for the same infraction, or even whether the suspensions they tracked are the result of repeat infractions or first offenses. And, as James shows, the NPR report summarizing the study acknowledges that the study made no attempt to explain why there might be a disparity in suspensions.
Where the Department of Education steers clear of explanation, however, James dives in, offering reasons that might be obvious to anyone who isn’t determined merely to ascribe all statistical disparities based on race to the all encompassing bromide “white man bad.”
Most obvious, and color blind, is the parental status of K-12 students. The next two tables show an extremely high correlation between success in school and parental status. In the first table, immediately below, it can be seen that children in single mother homes are 2.5 times more likely to find themselves in juvenile detention. As the next table shows, this translates into a much higher likelihood of a child not completing high school.
The next slide, below, shows that nearly all high school dropouts come from single-mother households. The absence of two parents, typically the absence of the father, is the variable most highly correlated to failure to graduate high school. And this is also perhaps the primary factor that leads to fewer opportunities later in life (and higher rates of incarceration) for African Americans.
That assertion is backed up by hard data. According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, presented by the Kids Count Data Center, 65 percent of African American children are being raised in single parent households, compared with 23 percent of non-Hispanic whites, and 16 percent of Asians.
Beto’s Examples of White Racism #4: Immigrants Are
More Law Abiding Than Natives
Maintaining his state of apoplexy, O’Rourke turned now to the topic of immigration, stating:
When Trump’s talking about this invasion of immigrants who are coming to get us, who by the way, commit crimes at a far lower rate than anyone born in this country…
James immediately unleashes an avalanche of published statistics and data that clearly contradict Beto’s assertion. One of the most memorable, and telling, was the following, taken from a study summarized in an article published in 2017 by The Hill: According to the FBI, 115,717 murders were committed in the United States from 2003 through 2009, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office documents that criminal immigrants committed 25,064 of these murders.
This is a stunning statistic. In a lengthy follow up, James cites numerous studies looking at these statistics by individual states. If one were so inclined, it is evident that it is far easier to prove that criminal immigrants are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime in the United States, not the other way around.
Beto’s Examples of White Racism #5: African Slaves Built America
As part of the Democratic push for “reparations,” the conventional wisdom now holds that most of what constitutes the current assets of the American nation were built on the backs of slaves; that without their presence, the nation would not have attained great wealth; that the fruits of their labor were denied them and indeed explain the wealth disparity seen today between black and white Americans. Or, as O’Rourke put it:
White people were literally kidnapping people from West Africa to bring them here to build the greatness of this country on their backs and then denying their ancestors the meaningful opportunity to enjoy in the wealth that they had created.
James counters this argument with rather compelling logic. First, only 4 percent of southerners owned slaves and it was an undeveloped agrarian community, whereas in the north there were free men building an industrial economy. Second, North America received millions fewer slaves than did Central and South America—so if these slaves were so critical to building a prosperous nation, why aren’t the nations of Central and South America doing better than America?
Continuing, James points out that the vast majority of infrastructure built in the 19th century—railroads, bridges, highways—were built by Irish or Italian or Chinese immigrants, all of whom worked without benefits and endured great adversity. Finally, to put it in perspective, James notes that during the 19th century, the Arab slave trade was 100 times worse, with millions killed, and that slavery in that part of the world is ongoing even to the present day.
Beto O’Rourke Represents the American Left
Putting things in perspective, unfortunately, is not something to expect from “Beto” O’Rourke. And while democratic voters, as evidenced by poll after poll, are tired of his act, they aren’t tired of the script. Telling lies regarding rates of incarceration, hate crimes, school punishment, illegal immigrant crime rates, and the legacy of slavery, is the currency of the Left. It’s almost all they’ve got.
Is this why YouTube had to take down this video by Vincent James? Because he bothers to dig up data, from impeccable sources, that absolutely demolishes the false Democratic narrative?
The title of the video by Vincent James doesn’t mention Beto O’Rourke. O’Rourke is just a telling exemplar of something perpetuated by leftwing American politicians and mainstream media personalities—rampant, continuous, biased, alienating lies piled upon lies. It has got to stop. The primary point of the now banned YouTube video James produced is that these lies being told by the American Left are pushing America’s white men to the Right. And the more absurd and extreme the Left gets with their lies, the more white men will be pushed rightward, and the further in that direction they will go.
It’s interesting to wonder exactly what it was that got this video banned by YouTube. If you watch the entire 36 minute presentation, you’ll probably have an idea or two. But when the establishment tells lies about almost every issue surrounding race, over and over, for what now amounts to most of any young person’s life, they start to look for answers elsewhere. And who can really blame them? The cognitive dissonance is simply impossible to ignore.
Should anyone be surprised that a growing number of young white men might question their supposed “privilege,” when for their entire lives they’ve known that they must go to the back of the line for every job, every college admission, every promotion, and every government contract?
Beto O’Rourke, and all his ilk, from the halls of Harvard to the penthouses in Pacific Heights, are hypocrites, demagogues, corporate socialists, globalist shills, borderline traitors, and fools, preaching a false gospel that is both nihilistic and naive. It is to the credit of people seeking truth, like Vincent James, that they remain measured in their condemnation of an establishment that has targeted them for destruction.
The noble high road is to reject racism in all its forms. And it is not racist to argue, using compelling data, that the prevailing form of racism is not coming from the Right these days—it is coming from the Left, and it is not directed against “people of color,” it is primarily directed at white men.
Perhaps the biggest risk, and the biggest potential tragedy, is that these alienating lies darken the souls of everyone they touch, undermining the natural compassion towards all people which is a defining element of American character.
In the spirit of compassion, one might suggest to Vincent James, and to all of his like-minded cohorts, that they are not alone. These lies they’re being fed harm everyone, black and white. You cannot heal lingering wounds by obsessing over them. You cannot nurture upward mobility by teaching victimhood and dependence.
Beto O’Rourke may stand 6′ 4″ tall, but his message is small, dark, depressing, and useless.
Vincent James, along with every other right-of-center vlogger, is encouraged to expand his repertoire. Not only might he then continue to debunk the lies, but he might also make common cause with Americans of all colors who recognize that what the Left preaches is the death of industry and happiness; the destruction of a fine nation and a glorious culture. Here are some people he might connect with who share many, if not most of his views. It is likely they will get on very, very well:
Most important of all, Vincent James, and every other truth seeking, data driven iconoclast whose life work online sits on the edge of the deplatforming abyss, is urged never to compromise, but always evolve. The censors who would silence him should think twice. Facts and logic have a funny way of having the last word, no matter what.
https://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2019/10/GettyImages-1179203915.jpg31244984Edward Ringhttps://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.pngEdward Ring2019-10-07 21:00:062020-07-14 22:07:05Beto O’Rourke’s Finest Hour is Debunked in Banned Video
Cancel culture is not the expression of random public discontent but of institutional power. Its punishments are reserved for those who run afoul of a particular moral system that is shared and advanced by the hegemons of our culture.
The tiresome subject of “cancel culture” is now, unfortunately, one that cannot responsibly be avoided. An old tweet surfaces, and all of a sudden a comedian, an actor, or even some hapless, powerless citizen, is at the center of an online tribunal.
A series of recent events have enlivened the debate. Comedian Shane Gillis lost a job offer at “Saturday Night Live” after podcasts were unearthed in which he used slurs against Chinese people, gays, and other minorities. Famous comedians like Norm MacDonald, Jim Jeffries, and Bill Burr came to his defense, and Gillis himself said he was “pushing boundaries.” But the boundaries he pushed were those that happen to be patrolled by the gatekeepers of our social justice culture. Twitter was furious, and his hiring could not stand.
Gillis’s cancellation came at a turbulent time for the comedy world. In “Sticks and Stones,” David Chappelle proudly dons the mantle of “victim blamer” and attacks cancel culture head-on. He squeezes all the sensitive pressure points of our time. For example, there is an extended bit on LGBTs, or “the alphabet people,” as he calls them, that culminates with Chappelle imagining a scenario in which a Chinese man were born in his body, asking transgenders to take some responsibility for his barbs. “I didn’t come up with this idea on my own, this idea that a person can be born in the wrong body—they have to admit, that’s a f—g hilarious predicament.”
The comedian attacks the #MeToo movement and bluntly states that he does not believe Michael Jackson’s rape accusers, suggesting that Jackson’s victims are actually lucky: “I mean, it’s Michael Jackson. I know more than half the people in this room have been molested in their lives, but it wasn’t no goddamn Michael Jackson, was it? This kid got his d–k sucked by the King of Pop. All we get is awkward Thanksgivings for the rest of our lives.” There are jokes about poor heroin-addicted whites in Ohio, mass shootings, and even a subtle anti-abortion joke. But Chappelle’s message is a deadly serious one. “They even got poor Kevin Hart,” he says of his friend, cancelled over anti-gay tweets. “This is the worst time ever to be a celebrity. Everyone’s doomed.”
Chappelle received predictable praise on the Right and condemnation on the Left. Much of the criticism has focused on a lack of sensitivity, but some have found more original points of attack. The New Republic recently published a substantial entry into the cancel culture conversation that is already being hailed by some on the Left as the definitive piece on the topic. What if, author Osita Nwanevu asks us to imagine, the backlash against cancel culture were all a pose? What if it’s just a big con?
What if these self-styled mavericks were really punching down, rather than up? Suppose, even, that being cancelled endows the target with a kind of strange prestige? Nawnevu points to how powerful figures have been able to stage comebacks or even work transgression against “cancel culture” to their advantage:
Despite being loudly panned by professional and social media critics alike, Chappelle remains in the good graces of both major figures in the comedy community—including defenders like Sarah Silverman, Bill Burr, and Matt Stone—as well as his fans. Sticks and Stones has a 99 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Netflix, unfazed by all the commotion, actively promoted some of the show’s controversial bits. It’s hardly surprising. Disbelief of sexual abuse and disgust for transgender people are mainstream enough that Chappelle could take on a second career as a Republican speechwriter.
Gillis, he points out, is still doing stand-up. Some of the highest-paid comedians are self-styled critics of political correctness. Meanwhile, comedians today do not have to contend with the oppressive obscenity laws that entrapped the likes of Lenny Bruce. It’s all a con.
From this glittering observation, Nwanevu leaps to a rather obtuse conclusion: that “cancel culture seems to describe the phenomenon of being criticized by multiple people—often but not exclusively on the internet.”
Is ‘Cancel Culture’ Just a Con?
It’s not hard to see why this piece resonated on the Left. It eloquently expresses the way cancel culture’s apologists feel about this scourge: that it is not really a threat to civilized society, but rather, a kind of moral fine-tuning. It’s true that rage mobs consist of individuals with opinions, but it is absurd to describe cancel culture as mundane or mere criticism.
Nwanevu rather humorously notes that some, indeed brutal, forms of “cancelling” have been going on since the pharaoh Akhenaten, who infamously was scrubbed from the public record by his successors for his heretical sun-worship, and even before. True! But that doesn’t mean cancel culture, just because it does not entail graphic, medieval punishments, isn’t real or damaging to actual culture.
Whether cancel culture is a dangerous reality or a delusion appears to depend on your politics. Doctrinaire progressives need not fear, for the most part. But what about everybody else? And what about people who lack the power to mitigate the consequences of being “cancelled?”
To return to our friend Akhenetan, it is true that “cancelling” has been going on forever. That’s because “cancelling” is a moral phenomenon. Hester Prynne was cancelled. And so on and so on. The purpose of cancel culture today is to establish a particular progressive morality. “Every culture,” Harvard professor and noted critic of liberalism, Adrian Vermeule, writes, “is a cancel culture. If you don’t like progressive cancel culture, what you don’t like is just the content of what is cancelled.”
Evolution or Revolution?
So what happens if people today don’t like which way progressive cancel culture is directing us?
The question answers itself. Cancel culture apologists, however, merely beg the question. They are quite open about the fact that they are moral and political revolutionaries, but insist that, somehow, this “evolution,” and the consequences for dissenters, are no big deal. From Nwanevu’s article:
As far as comedy is concerned, “cancel culture” seems to be the name mediocrities and legends on their way to mediocrity have given their own waning relevance. They’ve set about scolding us about scolds, whining about whiners, and complaining about complaints because they would rather cling to material that was never going to stay fresh and funny forever than adapt to changing audiences, a new set of critical concerns, and a culture that might soon leave them behind. In desperation, they’ve become the tiresome cowards they accuse their critics of being—and that comics like Bruce, who built the contemporary comedy world, never were.
David Chappelle, on his way to “mediocrity?” Take note of the veiled threats: “waning relevance”; material that is no longer “fresh.” Yes, but according to whom? And who is being left behind, by whom, exactly?
The apologists rely on a myth of neutrality and innocuousness. At one and the same time, cancel culture is imagined to be the harmless, spontaneous effect of virtuous citizens criticizing those who cross a line, and also a sweeping revolution that threatens to swallow up those destined for “irrelevance.”
There is nothing the least bit mundane about this. Cancel culture demands—not asks, demands—that people completely reform the way they feel, think, speak, and act to make way for the “new voices,” the new “ways” being prescribed by the woke scolds who work for SNL and the New Yorker.
It is cancel culture’s apologists, not its critics, who are posers. They are the ones punching down. Cancel culture is not the expression of random public discontent but of institutional power. Its punishments are reserved for those who run afoul of a particular moral system that is shared and advanced by the hegemons of our culture.
As the Left sees it, those who feel threatened by cancel culture are irrational to feel that way. But this is dishonest. They understand perfectly well why many people feel threatened and the Left is glad they feel that way. The assumption is that it is irrational for dissenters not to “evolve,” that it is a very decent and easy and logical thing for them to do. They are supposed to “get it” and shut up. In other words, they think they are doing you a favor.
Cancel culture is not just random people airing their disapproval, but rather organized, deliberate, and targeted political harassment—often by powerful people with large platforms directed often at powerless, random citizens. Anyone with a social media account, or for that matter, anyone with the misfortune to get involved in a public altercation captured in thirty seconds of viral, ambiguous video, is a potential victim.
Not long after the New Republic piece was published, the cancellers went after “Iowa Legend” Carson King, who became a social media sensation after his sign asking for beer money appeared on ESPN’s “GameDay.” King did a remarkable, wonderful thing and used his sudden fame to raise over $1 million for an Iowa children’s hospital.
It should have been an uplifting and happy story. But when the Des Moines Register wrote a profile on King, the journalist on the job, Aaron Calvin, took it upon himself to perform a “routine background check” and discovered that he had made offensive tweets—which were actually just jokes from the Comedy Central show ”Tosh.0”—when he was 16. For no clear reason at all, the journalist included that information in the article. Anheuser-Busch cut ties with King.
The jokes were highly inappropriate and were public posts. Shouldn’t that be acknowledged to all the people who had donated to King’s cause or were planning to do so? The counter arguments: the tweets were posted seven years ago, when King was 16. And he was remorseful. Should we chalk up the posts to a youthful mistake and omit the information? Eventually, Register editors decided we would include the information, but at the bottom of the story […] Reasonable people can look at the same set of facts and disagree on what merits publication. But rest assured such decisions are not made lightly and are rooted in what we perceive as the public good.
What was that about public good? Who’s the good guy here—the man who raised money for children with cancer, or the pathetic tattle-tales who tried to ruin his life?
It is shocking that a newspaper would consider digging up offensive tweets to be part of a “routine background check,” but increasingly that is how today’s journalists understand their jobs. The consequences of journalism’s descent down the gutter of progressive tattle-taling were on graphic display last January, when a group of Catholic high school boys were mobbed by the entire national news media over a fabricated hate crime. The Covington Catholic high school boys were smeared, threatened, and viciously attacked. An online rage mob of adults gave vent to violent fantasies about their deserved punishment.
How are they doing now? They have not found redress in the courts. The articles are still out there, and the damage has been done. Meanwhile, the journalists who published vicious libels against them have suffered no consequences.
These are just a few examples of journalists, drunk off power, harassing random citizens for political reasons. Remember the “Drunk Pelosi” video? Some low-life reporter for the Daily Beast doxxed its creator. Then there was the time CNN threatened to identify a man for sharing a meme of Donald Trump tackling CNN personified as Vince McMahon to the ground. Such incidents have become disturbingly common. They certainly are not the product of spontaneous “criticism” on social media.
Arbitrary (That is, Only Progressive) Enforcement
The arbitrary enforcement of cancel culture on social media and in the public square underscores its threatening, political nature. Some sins—those which cross progressive taboos—are cancellable, while others are not. But who commits the sin is important, too.
As the Left sees it, the Covington kids deserved it. They were protesting abortion. They wore MAGA hats. They were standing athwart the march of History. What they suffered is regrettable, but hopefully we’ve all learned the lesson that the future has no place for people like them.
Airing genocidal fantasies towards white people, though, is just fine. In fact, it can even come with rich rewards, as Sarah Jeong has learned. If Justin Trudeau were conservative, his strange blackface obsession would have ended his political career overnight. Instead, he will skate. Why? Because Justin Trudeau is a powerful liberal who has already proven his commitment to diversity—which is, after all, the underlying morality of cancel culture.
In brief, cancel culture is not neutral or innocuous or inevitable; it is political, rightfully seen as dangerous by many people and potentially reversible, but its apologists are desperate that this not come to pass. The justification for it is the same forwarded by the defenders of every revolution: that you need to crack a few eggs to make an omelette, the end justifies the means, and so on.
But what of those few unfortunate eggs? Writes Nwanevu:
Social media activism and commentary occasionally tips into overzealotry. But stray instances of identity political criticisms going overboard are not evidence that the culture as a whole has or that those who dissent from progressive consensus will soon find themselves sent to the gulag. By any reasonable standard, this is the greatest period for free expression in the history of mankind. Ours is a golden age—by comparison to an era, within living memory, that saw intense legal and political battles over censorship—of the American public not being offended by things.
Is that so? That era was working to remove legal and political barriers to liberal expression. Its products are everywhere in our thoroughly desacralized, vulgarized culture. It is true that Americans today are not as uptight as they might once have been, but it’s not about what they think, is it?
That America no longer lives with oppressive obscenity laws does not suggest that we are living in some “golden age” of free speech. The equivalent today of the people whose morals entrapped Lenny Bruce are the kinds of people who staff our Big Tech corporations, our universities, the casts of painfully unfunny comedy shows, and the nation’s most prestigious newspapers. Though these elites lack the power—at least now—to throw dissenters in prison, much of their morality is already enshrined in positive law. Think of no-fault divorce, abortion, gay marriage, affirmative action, etc.—that is enforced, constantly, as the new norm that all must follow in polite society. Disobeying that social script can come with ruinous consequences.
Who Cares What the Majority Thinks?
That millions of people don’t like this state of affairs doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.The true effects of cancel culture cannot be fully known, because cancel culture works by getting people to cancel their own thoughts. How many people would lose jobs, friends, connections, if they said things that they really believed, but which are now considered taboo by the brahmins of liberalism? Of course, we can only work with what we know. But we do know that millions of people in this country find liberalism to be suffocating.
There is a reason why cancel culture is so contentious, and it’s eminently simple: it is not the product of a consensus. Cancel culture rests on a mystique that all decent people now agree that X is offensive. This mystique gives cancel culture a moral authority and sense of inevitability: the cancelled are just late-comers to moral lessons that everyone (supposedly) should have learned by now. It is a testament to the power of the elites that their targets, when identified, know exactly what script to follow. Like the victims of Soviet show trials, the targets usually offers some ritual contrition in the sense that they didn’t realize that X was a sin, but they do now, and they’re deeply sorry.
Chasing Ghosts of Oppression Past
To contend that Dave Chappelle is not—as Lenny Bruce once was—rustling the complacencies of our time is absolutely ludicrous. If it is familiar, it is not safe to make jokes about transgenders, or gays, or Chinese people. Neither is Chappelle’s joke about being born in a Chinese man’s body banal; it’s the kind of thing that’s always funny because it is a delightfully absurd situation.
All great comedians have the talent, the need of exposing absurdity. One must ask how Chappelle could be asked not to attack the fatuous pretenses of our liberal elites, who demand that people embrace plain absurdities that multiply from day to day. Their self-seriousness practically demands mockery.
But as the apologists see it, this state of affairs is precisely backwards; America is still in the grip of a dangerously reactionary culture. The repressive Christian society that persecuted Lenny Bruce still has power, “homophobia” is a rampant problem, and other “marginalized” groups do not receive enough representation.
But is this really the case? We live in a time when mass media, Fortune 500 companies, universities, and public education have whole-heartedly embraced feminism, racial justice, LGBT rights, and the whole spectrum of diversity politics. Is it really true that we do not hear enough about these causes? And what happens to those who do not celebrate them?
LGBTs now have an entire month dedicated to ecstatic, compulsory observance of their movement. The breathless advance of acceptance towards gay marriage and LGBT rights over the last deade is somehow dismissed, and bigotry against LGBTs is imagined still to be an epidemic problem in America. This is a common thread in all of progressive politics: the Left’s grievances are belied by their absolute cultural hegemony.
The elites who craft the norms and moral sensibilities that all people must follow invariably privilege the erstwhile “oppressed,” to the disfavor of the erstwhile hegemons. Still, they insist on chasing phantoms of bourgeois oppression, as Christopher Lasch put it in his 1979 book The Culture of Narcissism:
Many radicals still direct their indignation against the authoritarian family, repressive sexual morality, literary censorship, the work ethic, and other foundations of bourgeois order that have been weakened or destroyed by advanced capitalism itself.
What’s left of the old order? For the Left, it’s a problem of too much that has not yet been destroyed. They are anxious about that which is not presently under their control. Therefore, that there is large public resistance to political correctness somehow evinces a lack of power on the part of cancel culture. Never mind that a large swathe of the public is enjoined, against its will, to shut up. That the Right is feebly attempting to reverse this state of affairs somehow proves that cancel culture is no threat, Nwanevu seems to think:
The critics of cancel culture are plainly threatened not by a new and uniquely powerful kind of public criticism but by a new set of critics: young progressives, including many minorities and women who, largely through social media, have obtained a seat at the table where matters of justice and etiquette are debated and are banging it loudly to make up for lost time. The fact that jabs against cancel culture are typically jabs leftward, even as conservatives work diligently to cancel academics, activists, and companies they disfavor in both tweets and legislation, underscores this.
By the same token, opposition to identity politics is popular and has the sanction of “a broad constellation of publications and outlets, and political figures—including the sitting president of the United States—who happen to hold most of the political power in this country.”
Political power, yes. What about cultural power? Morality in our time is mere fashion, and these fashions come from the secular clergy who control late-night entertainment, academia, and the mass media. Their ideas may be unpopular, but people still risk becoming pariahs when they run afoul of their rules.
The Schoolmarms of Woke Comedy
The efforts of the Right to fight Big Tech and “PC” censorship so far, have been largely fruitless because the Right has virtually no cultural authority. If America was once dominated by Christian morals, it has since veered so far in the other direction that liberalism has become equally uptight, and just as boring. We now live in a thoroughly pornified world. Everything that used to be edgy is safe and lame: somehow, joking about Jesus, sex, bodily fluids, and patriotism is still common fare, but such topics have lost their bite.
Liberalism has lost much of its creativity, and has grown ossified, dull, authoritarian, and finally, boring. In the creative world, liberalism largely manifests in finding new rules to punish people and new ways to express historical resentments. The liberalism that railed against the old Christian morality has become a new moralism, with its own priggish, illiberal conscience.
What is this “fresh material” we are being deprived of, anyway? Certainly not the kind being provided by today’s progressive comedians? If comics like Dave Chappelle are not the heirs of Lenny Bruce, then who could those heirs possibly be—the woke moralists wagging their fingers at the audience? Liberal comedy has become a kind of progressive Sunday School where anger, not levity, is the prevailing emotion.
NBC has a new late night show, “A Little Late with Lily Singh,” that is already being hailed by critics as groundbreaking. Not, mind you, because it is funny, but because the host happens to be the first bi-sexual woman of color to host a late-night show. Notice how the audience applauds, rather than laughs, at the mean-spirited, tiresome jabs at the usual villains of progressivism.
The awful tedium of woke comedy is a feature not a bug of the design. Comedy, as the cancellers see it, is primarily about moral indoctrination. Whether it’s actually funny is secondary. There is pretty much one joke: X thing or person is racist or, for some other reason, bad. The audience is then invited to laugh and make fun of X, and everyone gets their jollies, mindful of their moral superiority to poor, ignorant X. More importantly, everyone is reminded to never, ever, under any circumstances, end up like X.
The comparisons to the Soviets are warranted. Let’s not kid ourselves: there’s nothing remotely rebellious about journalists harassing random people over racist tweets or comedians bashing white people from inside of a studio. It’s tiresome, safe, and completely supported by the status quo.
But what makes cancel culture apologists so certain that they won’t be cancelled? What’s stopping them from one day waking up and finding the mob coming for them? It must be the reassurance that their progressive values mark them as safe. Their demonstrations of loyalty to the Party will protect them. But is this not a tacit recognition that leftism is dominant, and that defending cancel culture is siding with power, rather than an act of rebellion?
So is cancel culture real, or fake? The best evidence for its existence might be that even cancel culture’s defenders are being cancelled—at least, in those rare occasions when justice (the real thing, not the witch mob bloodlust of cancel culture)—takes over. As it turns out, the Des Moines Register fired Aaron Calvin.
Calvin, it turns out, had a history of racist tweets himself. And—irony of ironies!—he retweeted Nwanevu’s article about how cancel culture isn’t real beforehand. Does he believe it now?
If you’re just hearing about the “Intellectual Dark Web,” or if you’ve heard the term but never delved into its meaning, you might think there is an entire parallel internet out there, filled with subversive content that is too politically incorrect to weather the shadowbans and deboosting algorithms in our well lit, mainstream online world.
Nothing like that exists. The intellectual dark web, such as it is, is indeed a collection of politically incorrect websites, videos, podcasts, and the personalities who fill them with content. But this web exists alongside everything else online, however vapidly popular, mainstream and vanilla, safely prurient, angry in all the prescribed ways, funny in all the approved modes.
That’s too bad, because the intellectual dark web is not immune to shadowbans, deboosts, detrends, demonetizing, throttling down, or expulsion. These willfully transgressive purveyors of anti-pablum build their audiences while tiptoeing gingerly among the censors, hoping not to cross lines of conduct that are often invisible, shift unpredictably, and are drawn differently depending on who you are.
Who are these censors? Not an oppressive government, but instead the private quasi-monopolies that control all online communication—the social media and video platforms, the providers of membership services, and the payment processors. Piss them off? Disappear into actual darkness.
What Is the Intellectual Dark Web?
On the website “KnowYourMeme.com,” the intellectual dark web, or IDW, is described as “a phrase coined by mathematician Eric Weinstein referring to a loosely defined group of intellectuals, academics, and political commentators who espouse controversial ideas and beliefs surrounding subjects related to free speech, identity politics, and biology.” Weinstein, a managing director at Thiel Capital in San Francisco, just happens to be the brother of Bret Weinstein, the Evergreen College professor who in 2017 refused to participate in the “Day of Absence & Day of Presence,” which demanded that white students, faculty, and staff leave campus for one day.
In May 2018, the New York Times published an opinionated but detailed expose of the intellectual dark web. It remains the definitive mainstream description of the IDW. Here are some of the topics and premises the article lists as typical fare for the IDW: “There are fundamental biological differences between men and women. Free speech is under siege. Identity politics is a toxic ideology that is tearing American society apart.”
Times columnist Bari Weiss described how members of the IDW have little in common politically, but all share three distinct qualities:
First, they are willing to disagree ferociously, but talk civilly, about nearly every meaningful subject: religion, abortion, immigration, the nature of consciousness. Second, in an age in which popular feelings about the way things ought to be often override facts about the way things actually are, each is determined to resist parroting what’s politically convenient. And third, some have paid for this commitment by being purged from institutions that have become increasingly hostile to unorthodox thought—and have found receptive audiences elsewhere.
In short, the IDW doesn’t actually exist as a distinct something. It’s just a way to describe online content that explores politically incorrect topics, while remaining committed to an intellectual and civil tone.
While the intellectual dark web is still not well known, Bari Weiss’s New York Times article inspired a fair amount of commentary from predictably liberal-left quarters. “Conservatives Cheer the Latest Right-Wing Supergroup, the Intellectual Dark Web,” sneered the Village Voice. The young adults at Vox tried to explain “what Jordan Peterson has in common with the alt-right,” with a winking subhead: “A controversial New York Times article describes several popular white intellectuals as marginalized ‘renegades.’”
From these titles, it isn’t hard to gauge the reaction of the Left to the IDW. “Right-Wing Supergroup.” “The alt-right.” “Popular white intellectuals.” The Left perceives the IDW to be a refuge of right-wing whites who feel “marginalized.” Is this true?
Are There Any “Leftists” on the Intellectual Dark Web?
A few websites have sprung up to provide an encyclopedia of IDW stars. One of them, “intellectualdarkweb.site,” lists a number of IDW “leaders” whose politics are denoted as “Left,” which appears to contradict the notion that only right-wingers populate the IDW. For example, under “Leaders of the Intellectual Dark Web,” Eric Weinstein, Sam Harris, Maajid Nawaz, Dave Rubin, Joe Rogan, Bret Weinstein, Heather Heying, Jonathan Haidt, and John McWhorter are all listed as having “Political Leaning: Left.” Whether or not all of these individuals are verifiably left wing is open to debate, but insofar as these high profile individuals dissent from the mainstream Left to support free speech, their support is extremely valuable.
Some of them are well known. Actor and comedian Joe Rogan has 4.8 million Twitter followers, and a collection of YouTube videos that have amassed an incredible 1.13 billion views. Rogan’s podcast attracts tens of millions of listeners every month. But Rogan doesn’t come across as a political ideologue so much as just politically incorrect. His interview format puts him into contact with a wide variety of individuals. He mingles comedy, debate, uninhibited profanity, with deep exploration of controversial issues. It might be more accurate to categorize his politics as libertarian; left-wing on social issues like abortion and marijuana legalization, and right-wing on issues such as gun rights.
Dave Rubin, another famous member of the IDW who self-identifies as liberal, has been rebranded by the Left as a “right-wing libertarian” commentator. His primary transgression, apparently, was to invite onto his popular “Rubin Report” podcast other IDW luminaries as Stefan Molyneux and Jordan Peterson. Both of these men deny that they are right-wing ideologues, but Molyneux, with his insights on mass immigration and its implications, and Peterson, with his outspoken findings on gender, have both aroused fury from the Left. That fury has tainted Rubin with guilt by association, as Vox, in September 2018, had this to say about him:
We’re in a period of massive demographic and social change, and all that change is creating a powerful backlash. The coalition being built by that backlash, the coalition Rubin is a part of, is best understood as a reactionary movement because, well, that’s what it is—a movement united by opposition to changes it loathes.
Some of the people characterized as left-wing members of the IDW truly are Left, or liberal. In many of those cases, the issues that drove them into the IDW were such that they would find agreement with many on the Right. Maajid Nawaz, founder of Quilliam, and Somali-Dutch expat Ayaan Hirsi Ali, founder of Aha Foundation, are both critical of fundamentalist, radical Islam. Maajid Nawaz, in particular, is an articulate, upbeat advocate for modernizing Islam; his videos should required viewing for anyone who fears that Muslims will never assimilate into Western societies. For that matter, so is Stanford neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris, who is a bestselling author and host of the popular podcast “Making Sense.” Jonathan Haidt, founder of Heterodox Academy and co-author of The Coddling of the American Mind, advocates free speech on college campuses. Bret Weinstein and his wife Heather Heying are avowed liberals, but became IDW heroes for their stand against identity politics at Evergreen College in Washington. Weinstein’s brother Eric, who coined the phrase “intellectual dark web,” also a liberal, was undoubtedly inspired by his brother’s experience at Evergreen.
“Right-Wing” Luminaries of the IDW
If you stick to the original definition and compile a list of the right-wing contingent of the IDW, you have to limit the choices for this list to right-wing intellectuals. Depending on where you draw that line, that would eliminate most of the commentators who might otherwise belong on the list. Intellectuals clearing the high bar would probably include Douglas Murray, a British political commentator and editor of The Spectator. Murray’s YouTube videos and his recent book The Strange Death of Europe, are unrelentingly critical of Islam and mass Third World immigration into Western Europe.
When it comes to feminist heretics, Sommers is not alone. There are at least two other intellectual luminaries who fit that description. One of them who is garnering increasing recognition is Heather Mac Donald, a Manhattan Institute fellow who recently published The Diversity Delusion. The book is an indispensable guide to the Left’s takeover of college campuses and how they are now rolling out that same kind of takeover to the rest of America. Mac Donald doesn’t have her own online assets—no podcast, no YouTube channel. Perhaps she should. Her September 2018 lecture at Hillsdale College has attracted more than 250,000 views. Mark Levin’s 15-minute Fox News interview with Mac Donald from December 2018 has attracted nearly 200,000 views. Mac Donald doesn’t mince words. She asserts that “American colleges today are ‘hatred machines‘,” and “colleges have become nothing more than wicked overpriced daycare centers that only extends childhood well into a person’s 20s.” She backs up her assertions with statistical data to argue that most “diversity” initiatives, in college and the corporate world, are racist, sexist, counterproductive, and especially harmful to the groups they are designed to help.
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Another feminist heretic, perhaps the original feminist heretic, is Camille Paglia, a professor at the University of the Arts in Pennsylvania and author of Sexual Personae among other books. Paglia is a libertarian who considers herself a feminist, yet for decades she has leveled withering criticism onto prominent feminists whom she deems to be dogmatic, misandrist, or simply out of touch. Like Jordan Peterson, Paglia deplores the influence of the French post-structuralists, claiming that “post-structuralism has broken the link between the word and the thing, and thus endangers the Western canon.” While Paglia doesn’t appear on typical lists of IDW luminaries, that’s mainly because she hasn’t set out to become an online star, with millions of online fans. The YouTube videos that others post of her lectures, however, routinely attract over 100,000 views.
Although videos featuring Paglia attract impressive viewership, her get-together with Jordan Peterson has garnered millions of viewers. An October 2017 video posted on Peterson’s YouTube channel, a nearly two-hour discussion titled “Modern Times: Camille Paglia and Jordan Peterson” has been watched over 1.8 million times. Peterson, a Canadian clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, had a distinguished but relatively low profile career until September 2016, when everything changed. Peterson released a series of online videos where he announced his objection to a new Canadian law that, among other things, criminalized any person’s refusal to address a transgender individual by that person’s preferred gender pronoun.
Peterson has weathered the ensuing backlash exceedingly well, continuing to release videos which to-date have gathered more than 91 million views. His 2018 book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, has become an international bestseller, and he now gives lectures to sold-out venues all over the world. He is quite possibly the most well-known public intellectual in the world today.
Despite his many erudite takedowns of politically correct conventional wisdom on the topics of free speech, transgenderism, feminism, white privilege, cultural appropriation, environmentalism, and related topics being music to the ears of his millions of right-of-center fans, Peterson does not consider himself right-wing. Rather, he carefully defines his politics as seeing a much greater danger coming from the Left compared to the Right. This distinction has not mollified his critics, however, and while Peterson has not faced the types of online expulsions and algorithmic marginalization that other IDW members have endured, the vehemence of those critics has driven him to make common cause with many of them.
What About the More Edgy Right-Wing Stars of the IDW?
The first thing to qualify when attempting to provide examples of more edgy members of the IDW is that when establishing criteria, you may have to take away the “I,” as in “intellectual.” Then again, this depends on how you define intellectual. While many of these more edgy IDW celebrities aren’t college professors, or don’t adopt a high-brow rhetorical tone, they offer something of equal or greater value to anyone trying to make an intellectual assessment of controversial issues: They collect and present evidence that is either ignored or dismissed in mainstream discourse. Not all of them, of course. Some of these IDW online celebrities are just wacky entertainers, more committed to being outrageous than to being factual. But even the crazies sprinkle facts and notions into their otherwise merely entertaining spew, facts and notions that you will never find anywhere else.
Like the rest of the online universe, the IDW players, edgy or not, are too numerous to catalog definitively. But here are a few, chosen for their (usually) thoughtful tone, transgressive content, and (usually) careful attention to facts and evidence. All of these, needless to say, are tiptoeing around the censors. And with that, before continuing, a disclaimer is necessary. It is impossible to view all of the content that has been produced by all of these people. Some of these commentators are critical of Zionism. Others espouse ethnic nationalism. And who knows, some of them take other positions that many consider objectionable. But at least in terms of what could be reviewed, none of them came across as hateful (at least in the traditional description of the word, according to the expansive contemporary leftist definition, they’re all hateful), and none of them appeared to have any problem with facts.
Perhaps the least edgy of the “edgy” members of the IDW is Tim Pool, a prolific video journalist whose YouTube channel has attracted nearly 63 million views and has 388,000 subscribers. He first attracted notoriety when he livestreamed the “Occupy Wall Street” protests in 2011. Another high profile report was his 2017 investigation of Islamicized suburbs in Malmo, Sweden. It appears that Pool strives to be objective in his reporting, and he is taken seriously by mainstream media sources including NBC, Reuters, Al Jazeera, Time, Fast Company, Wired, Vice Media, and Fusion TV, who have all covered or syndicated his work. His choice of topics, however—Green New Deal, non-citizen voting, Democrat anti-semitism, Jussie Smollett, the Covington lawsuits—suggests he tilts towards material that exposes foibles on the Left. But he’s not predictable, for example, he recently produced a video about conservative censorship. Pool posts nearly every day, and it is not easy to keep up with him. While he reliably adds interesting observations of his own to his reporting, he is at his best when he dives headlong into a place or a happening and livestreams.
Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images
An interesting source for anti-globalist reporting and economic analysis is the quasi-anonymous “Black Pigeon Speaks” YouTube channel, with nearly 53 million views and 480,000 subscribers. While there is no source that indisputably identifies the author, based on somewhat dubious sources here, here, and here, it appears to be Felix Lace, a Canadian currently living in Japan, who rescues and cares for injured pigeons. His videos have attracted the ire of the Left, with a highly critical article posted about him in June 2017 on the website of Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center. In that article, titled “Black Pigeon Speaks: The Anatomy of the Worldview of an Alt-Right YouTuber,” author Zack Exley provides his impression of “the worldview put forth by the channel’s host, wherein Jewish bankers are ensnaring the world in debt slavery fueled by Muslim migrants, and women, who by their ‘biological nature,’ are destroying civilization.” While there is some truth to these impressions, Exley overstates, mischaracterizes and simplifies the content of Lace’s videos, which is probably his goal.
Exley uses his case study of Black Pigeon to exemplify his broader characterization of the entire “alt-right,” which is also an agenda-driven oversimplification. A far more accurate description of the highly amorphous alt-right can be found in the article entitled “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right, written by Milo Yiannopoulos and Allum Bokhari, published in Breitbart in March 2016. In that article, the alt-right is distilled into four groups, “the intellectuals,” the “natural conservatives,” the “Meme Team,” and that group with which the Left attempts to make the other three guilty by association, the “1488rs,” which is a neo-nazi reference. This article is still relevant, and describes many of the perspectives and the scope of Black Pigeon’s videos far better than Exley. One defining expression of the MAGA movement, one that also alludes in fundamental ways to the spirit and intent of Black Pigeon’s less coherent work, is “The Flight 93 Election” published in September 2016 by Michael Anton, although Black Pigeon flirts with conspiratorial themes that Anton leaves well enough alone. For alternative, pro-Western, provocative and intelligent analysis on taboo topics, Black Pigeon offers plenty to choose from.
Another example of an anonymous member of the IDW that produces pro-Western material focusing on mass immigration, multiculturalism, free speech, nationalism, and the “spiritual crisis of the West,” is “Way of the World,” a YouTube channel with 90,000 subscribers and over 5 million views. The narrator, who is never shown, speaks softly and somewhat mournfully with a British accent. He reads frequently from poets and philosophers, and when he isn’t depicting text or video clips, the screen is backdropped with a slowly spinning image of planet earth. Like Black Pigeon, and many other right-of-center content creators on the IDW, he believes Western Civilization faces possible extinction. If you’re impressionable enough to believe such an apocalyptic scenario is likely, don’t immerse yourself in this sort of material. Unlike most other channels covering these topics, however, the Way of the World narrator seems genuinely to be trying to come up with ways to express the threat he perceives in ways that can be communicated to the unaware or the undecided. Kept in perspective, this channel offers many interesting insights.
Vincent James has a YouTube channel with videos that have attracted over 28 million views and 252,000 subscribers. He also posts on a website called the Red Elephants, “an organization of like-minded conservatives that have come together to spread awareness and truth.” The all-American vibe that James creates is almost too authentic. Watching James conduct his videos, wearing a MAGA hat and seated behind a very generic desk, methodically presenting his information and arguments in a taciturn, almost workmanlike fashion, with a midwestern inflection just barely detectable in his speech, it’s easy to see why he’s hooked over a quarter-million subscribers. James is an investigative reporter at least as much as a commentator, and his systematic debunkings and exposes are always well researched. If you want to find data, including the source, on why crime statistics are distorted by the mainstream media and the Democrats, or how polling results are skewed, or where voter fraud really occurred, and so on, James does useful work. His report on how the neocons took over the recent CPAC conference is worth watching in its entirety. You may not agree with everything James has to say. His rebuke of Prager U is not something everyone would agree with. But that’s the point of the IDW.
The Right needs to expose the hideous misguided visions of the Left, but it also needs to offer viable, inclusive visions of its own. The worst mistake the Right can make is to match the nihilistic, futile, downright evil identity politics of the Left with their own brand of right-wing tribalism.
How edgy do you want to get? First of all, IDW members who still have YouTube channels are not the darkest of the dark. For that, you can peruse 8chan and similar message boards, whose only virtue is their commitment to free speech, however disgusting. The frightening reality isn’t that YouTube has banned death porn or terrorist training videos, because they should. It’s that the line between what gets trended up and what gets throttled down is a moving, arbitrary, biased target. Secondly, to ignore what the commentators who walk that fine line have to say is to deny the Newtonian reality of social discourse: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. What gets suppressed comes back. If it is suppressed slowly, relentlessly, ratcheted down into smaller and smaller spaces, it can come back hard. History is full of cautionary examples.
Which brings us to Red Ice TV, which is clearly a reaction to globalism, mass immigration, low “European” birth rates, feminism, devaluing of Western traditions and culture, all of which is celebrated nearly uncritically by mainstream media and political elites in America and Europe. Red Ice TV, with over 300,000 subscribers and nearly 45 million views, is produced by Henrik Palmgren, a Swede, and his American wife, Lana Lokteff. The content does not try to hide its advocacy for white ethnostates. This obviously puts them on thin ice with the censors, and it’s likely anyone viewing their videos who is not fully embracing their positions will find something objectionable pretty fast. It’s easy to condemn Palmgren and Lokteff, however, and others have already done that. NPR made Lana Lokteff, a youthful 40-year-old with movie star good looks, the poster child for their 2017 report “The Women Behind the Alt-Right.” All the predictable warnings are there, so they need not be repeated here. But what are they really saying on Red Ice TV? Where do they draw the line?
This is where it gets interesting. Palmgren openly criticizes Zionism and their influence—might that remind you of anyone else, Ilhan Omar, perhaps?—but also is careful to explain that he criticizes many other groups as well, and wonders why it’s OK to criticize white people, or Christians, but not Zionists, or Muslims. Like many right-of-center commentators on the IDW, Palmgren and Lokteff frequently display an attitude of bemused indignation, a sort of “they can talk this way and say these things so why can’t we?”
In a fascinating video from August 2018, Lokteff interviews the African American minister and conservative Jesse Lee Peterson. In the 26-minute segment titled “How Should White People Respond to Anti-White Attacks?” Peterson explains one of the less-heralded fallacies of a white ethnostate, claiming, “if you lived in an all-white nation you would start fighting each other.” What’s also interesting is that someone like Lana Lokteff would interview Jesse Lee Peterson in the first place. It is encouraging that she could recognize that Peterson shared most of her values, and wanted to talk with him. The substance of their discussion may have planted the seed in her mind that maybe the core values of Western culture can be preserved, yet transcend ethnicity. One may hope.
One example of an IDW celebrity whose perspective may have shifted over the last few years is Lauren Southern. Still only 23 years old, within four years Southern has risen from posting YouTube videos from her native Vancouver to addressing the European Parliament in February 2019. Her YouTube channel has just under 700,000 subscribers and has attracted over 56 million views. Like Tim Pool, Southern has traveled around the world, reporting on, among other things, migrant camps in Greece, the refugee smuggling in the Mediterranean, and the plight of Whites in South Africa.
Although tarred with the same brush that’s used to splatter an “alt-right” stigma onto anyone who questions the typical assortment of issues—open borders, immigration, Western culture, multiculturalism, etc.,—Southern is clearly one of the more fair-minded and empathic of the bunch. She has said “all I’ve ever wanted to do is tell the truth,” and that most of the discourse today on these issues is “toxic and repetitive.” In her address to the European Parliament she acknowledged that along with the threat posed to native Europeans by the mass immigration of possibly unassimilable Africans and Muslims, there is a parallel tragedy afflicting the migrants themselves. In a recent video, Southern said that these “huge issues are not given the depth of analysis they deserve,” and has committed herself to producing long-form documentaries in the future. Southern’s evolution has been rapid, from an indignant YouTube firebrand, to a sober champion of controversial causes who is willing to embrace their complexity. Whether or not she emerges from the IDW to the mainstream is not clear, but she is someone to watch.
When searching YouTube, Twitter, Podcasts and websites for renegade right-of-center IDW celebrities, it’s easy to find critics of globalization and all the attendant issues. What’s missing, amidst the contrarian experts on the topics of migrations and cultures, birth rates, feminism, gender, multiculturalism, and so on, are dedicated experts on the topic of climate change. One would think the IDW would host a plethora of “deniers,” but apart from sporadic—and very skeptical—treatment of the topic by IDW celebrities who are more focused on the other issues, not much is out there. This is surprising since the worldwide propaganda effort to panic the people of the world over climate change is one of the most virulent tools of the establishment. One YouTube channel that focuses on an allegedly imminent “solar minimum” (meaning it’s going to get colder, not warmer), is David DuByne’s ADAPT 2030, with 79,000 subscribers and nearly 18 million views. There are a few excellent websites that cover the entire climate debate; Watts Up With That? , run by Anthony Watts, the eponymous sites Jo Nova, and Bjorn Lomborg, and the inimitable Climate Depot, run by the tireless Marc Morano.
Who on the IDW Has Been Suppressed, and How Is That Done?
It was in reaction to Trump’s victory that online censorship began to escalate. By the summer of 2018, with the midterm elections looming and control of the U.S. Congress hanging in the balance, the game got bigger. The fate of Alex Jones and InfoWars is illustrative.
Even people who have never watched him have heard of Alex Jones. Many if not most of the people who did watch Jones found him to be more of an entertainer than a serious journalist. If you wanted to find out about man/pig hybrids being genetically engineered to harvest for human transplant organs, or gay frogs, or weather weapons, Alex Jones was your man. His YouTube channel, InfoWars, reached its peak of popularity in November 2016, when his videos were watched 125 million times. And then they began to decline.
By July 2018, Jones was still attracting an impressive 25 million views a month, but that was an 80 percent drop in 20 months. According to Advertising Age, the decline was because the platforms that drove viewers to InfoWars, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube search, “clearly were trying to reduce his impact.” Sure, Jones was a liability. Not only were his right-wing conspiratorial rants completely at odds with establishment sensibilities, worse, they were influencing people. Some of the things Jones came up with were obviously false, and some of them attracted lawsuits, both of which enabled a pretext for suppressing his reach. But nobody expected what happened next. One has to wonder if buried amidst all his gobbledegook, Jones had uncovered some big secret.
Barcroft Media/Getty Images
For the first time, the major online platforms coordinated their efforts. Within a few days in early August 2018, Alex Jones “Infowars” was expelled from Apple podcasts, Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube. On September 6th, Twitter followed suit. On September 8th, Apple banned Alex Jones InfoWars app from its App Store. Jones was virtually erased. He had 2.4 million YouTube subscribers, all gone; 830,000 Twitter followers, purged; his Apple podcast archives were deleted; his Facebook page, with 2.5 million followers, wiped out.
Who cares? Alex Jones was a conspiracy theorist who often knew perfectly well that some of the things he was saying were preposterous. In some cases, such as when he suggested the Sandy Hook mass shooting was a hoax, he was sued by parents of the victims. But Alex Jones is the canary in the coal mine. To claim Alex Jones is a menace to a free society, because he mingles offensive opinions and fabrications with other material that might actually be genuinely interesting, is a contradiction in terms. A free society indulges crank content, allowing it to be organically discredited. Alex Jones didn’t incite violence. To the extent Alex Jones injured anyone, civil courts were going to sort that out. And once the extremely unwelcome speech is censored, where is the next line drawn?
If Alex Jones was so extreme he got banned from virtually all social media platforms, what to do about the rest of them, those online commentators whose content was politically unwelcome but who didn’t cross any red lines? How could they be stopped? It’s easy to forget how many have been stopped, and we only hear about the celebrities. When a person with a few hundred or even a few thousand followers attracts complaints from left-wing complaint warriors, nobody knows they’ve been banned. But in aggregate, their absence means a great force has been deleted from the collective conversation.
One can’t begin to know how many IDW voices have been suppressed or eliminated. But the process by which it happens should be explained, because it underscores just how outgunned anyone is, once the big platforms make their move. As shown by what happened to Alex Jones, even very big players with very big audiences will take awful hits, if they survive at all.
The first line of attack is on the social media platforms. You can have a home website, but people have to find it. And of course, many online content creators don’t even bother with their own websites. All they have are the social media platforms. They build their entire brand on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, and Apple. These platforms host your content, they drive viewers to your content, and then they drive advertising to your viewers and pay you for it.
With their sights on 2020, the leftist assault on free speech has now moved into the realm of financial services, with payment processors and banks the new battlefield. The stakes are higher than ever.
Once the social media platforms determine your content is objectionable, they can throttle down your exposure. In some cases, you may not even know it’s happening, you just have smaller audiences. This is called shadowbanning on Twitter or deboosting on Facebook. The next level of enforcement by social media platforms is to “demonetize” someone, which means they stop sending advertising to the viewers, and the content creator stops getting that revenue. On YouTube, this can take the form of merely reducing the number of ads served, or completely eliminating them. The final step, of course, is expulsion, which happens all the time.
Being expelled from one social media platform isn’t necessarily going to kill an online media business, since there are all the rest of them. And if you are expelled from all the social media sites, there is still your website. Here is where the next level of suppression kicks in, denial of membership services. These are online services that facilitate content creators acquiring paying supporters or subscribers. These services have nearly the same level of monopoly power as the social media platforms, because a supporter has to have an account with the membership services platform before they can direct funds to any specific content creator. Some of the major membership services platforms out are Patreon, Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, GoFundMe, and, until recently, SubscribeStar. The biggest and best-suited one for people operating YouTube channels is Patreon.
If a content creator is expelled from one membership service platform, they can’t just pick up the pieces with another one. If they have, for example, a half-million supporters on Patreon, and Patreon expels them, then every one of those half-million supporters has to open an account with the new membership services platform, and only then can elect to resume supporting that content creator. For all practical purposes, when you are expelled by a membership services platform, you have to start all over from scratch.
But it doesn’t end there. A website can open up its own membership services portal. It’s not that difficult. Put a page onto your site that accepts donations, hook it up to your bank account, and you’re off to the races. Right? Not so fast. The ultimate link in the chain is the online payment processors, of which there are only two, PayPal and Stripe. And yes, when content creators cross the line, wherever that line may be, the payment processors stop processing their transactions. They are dead in the water.
These are the assorted monopolies and near-monopolies that can enforce censorship. Bypassing them is extremely difficult. For all practical purposes, they exercise absolute control over what we see online.
Big Tech Strikes Sargon of Akkad
When it comes to IDW celebrities, there aren’t too many as big as Sargon of Akkad, whose YouTube channel has over a million subscribers and has delivered 270 million views. “Sargon” (not the Mesopotamian King) is actually Carl Benjamin, a 40-year-old British political commentator and former UK Independence Party candidate who has been building his YouTube audience since 2010. In 2014, at the height of the Gamergate controversy, he attracted publicity for exposing efforts by progressive feminists to influence video game development.
Controversy has been currency for Sargon of Akkad, like it has for everyone on the IDW. But when it comes to big tech censorship, some controversies are more controversial than others. Benjamin criticized sacred leftist pieties surrounding, among others, feminism, white privilege, and fundamentalist Islam. With his provocative style, exasperating commitment to logic, and uninhibited use of his right to free speech, he’d made a lot of enemies.
Apparently, Patreon agreed, and on December 6, 2018, it banned Benjamin’s account. Overnight, the $12,000 per month he was making from subscribers supporting him through Patreon was gone. His offense was that Patreon had uncovered a video “off-platform,” meaning it wasn’t even on his own YouTube channel, where in a discussion, Benjamin used the “N-word.” It didn’t matter that he was only using the word in an abstract way to make a point—or that examples have been found of that word being used on other YouTube channels that are served by Patreon.
As reported by Tim Pool, when Benjamin went to an alternative member services provider, SubscribeStar, that competes with Patreon, leftist activists hounded PayPal to sever their relationship with it. In turn, that not only stymied Benjamin’s attempt to offer his supporters a new platform, it abruptly ended the cash flow for every preexisting client of SubscribeStar, and sent that service provider into a tailspin from which it has yet to recover.
Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images
Sargon of Akkad was hardly the only casualty. Patreon was on a roll. The day before, according toVice News, on December 6, Milo Yiannopoulos had his Patreon account terminated “just 24 hours after he’d set it up to fund his ‘magnificent 2019 comeback tour,’” and, “the crowdfunding site said Yiannopoulos was ‘removed from Patreon as we don’t allow association with or supporting hate groups.’”
In his brief but spectacular bout with global fame and infamy, Yiannopoulos opened himself up to a lot of scathing criticism, some of it deserved, but nobody who has watched his antics would seriously consider him to represent a “hate group.” And nobody who has watched Carl Benjamin’s body of work would think it reasonable to ban him for uttering a word, off-platform, in an abstract context, that is used repetitively, on platform, by other Patreon clients who are not banned. Many people agreed.
On December 16, 2018, in reaction to Patreon dropping Benjamin’s account, IDW iconoclast Sam Harris announced he would quit Patreon. This was a big account for Patreon to lose. At the time, Business Insider reported that “Harris’ podcast has found significant support on Patreon. According to Graphtreon, a site that tracks Patreon statistics, Harris had nearly 9,000 paying patrons at the end of November, when he had the fourth-largest podcast account and the 11th-largest account overall. The site estimated that Harris made $23,000 to $65,000 from Patreon per episode.”
Also on December 16, in solidarity with Benjamin, Dave Rubin and Jordan Peterson released a video announcing their decision to stop using Patreon. They said they considered SubscribeStar but had to rule that out after PayPal stopped working with them. Peterson revealed that he has been working with Rubin on a system to replace Patreon plus offer additional features. It is a daunting challenge.
On January 1, Rubin and Peterson released an update. They announced they would leave Patreon on January 15. They both acknowledged the support Patreon gave them, as Peterson put it, “at a time when I really needed it,” and the risk that moving would pose. Rubin said he would lose 70 percent of his revenue overnight by leaving Patreon. But they emphasized how important it was to make a stand for free speech, calling attention to the website “Change the Terms.”
The “Change the Terms” website is no joke. With a membership comprised of dozens of powerful left-wing pressure groups, including the notoriously biased and fabulously endowed Southern Poverty Law Center, this organization approaches corporations, especially those providing online communications platforms or financial services, to “adopt policies to not allow their services to be used for hateful activities.” On their FAQ page, Change the Terms defines hateful activity as “activities that incite or engage in violence, intimidation, harassment, threats, or defamation targeting an individual or group based on their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, immigration status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.”
This, in an age when “words are violence,” and cry bullies can find virtually anything to be intimidating or harassing or threatening, and nearly anyone can consider themselves to be a member of one of these many protected groups. According to Peterson, Patreon actually claimed that the credit card companies pressured them into banning some of their clients.
What’s Next for the Intellectual Dark Web
The crackdown on internet free speech, especially any free speech that attacks the Left, has been ongoing. In 2016, it was clear that, for example, search results were being manipulated, but overall the Right was able to creatively use online media and compete effectively against the Left despite big tech’s left-wing bias. That was the last time.
By 2018, biased search results were just one major element of online communications that were weaponized by the Left. Deboosting, demonitizing, and expulsion were now practiced by all the major platforms. With their sights on 2020, the leftist assault on free speech has now moved into the realm of financial services, with payment processors and banks the new battlefield. The stakes are higher than ever.
An excellent explanation of what’s happened, and in particular, just how difficult it is either to set up comprehensive financial services that incorporate the big banks, or, even harder, to bypass them, can be found in a report by Allum Bokhari, published by Breitbart in July 2018.
“In online fundraising as in social media, the internet provides a tremendous advantage to those who know how to use it,” Bokhari writes. “As the left prepares for the 2018 midterms and the 2020 general election, they want to ensure that only they have access to that tremendous power. With PayPal and Stripe withdrawing support from politically neutral fundraising platforms, they are well on their way to achieving that aim.”
If the battle for free speech is not joined, the consequences eventually will go well beyond the ability to, say, make fun of feminists on Twitter, or explain on YouTube why merit-based immigration is the only way to avoid becoming a socialist hellhole. China, the expansionist ethnostate that has no compunctions regarding human rights, already keeps track of their citizens’ “social credit score.” If you express concern about Tibetan civil rights, or write about the Muslims of Xinjiang that they’re putting into concentration camps, your social credit score plummets, and good luck, the next time you want to travel, or buy a car, or rent an apartment. But why can’t American companies do the same thing?
Libertarians suggest we just let the “free market decide,” oblivious to the fact that if the “free market” decides, gigantic multinationals will run the world, erasing nations and cultures . . . The world is going to change more in the next 50 years than it has in the last 50 years.
They can. If they’re willing and able to throw someone off of an internet platform where someone has invested years to acquire an audience that now financially supports them, overnight, without warning, based on standards that aren’t uniformly applied, what else can an American corporation do? It’s not as though Americans don’t have “social credit scores,” they’re just not called that. In the age of the panopticon, where every transaction, every email, every search term, and every website you visit is recorded, where AI programs can sort through it all instantaneously and come up with more useful information about you than you’d ever know yourself, when everywhere you go, and everyone you know, is recorded and analyzed and packaged, there is nothing stopping a private business from favoring the people who possess what they perceive as high social credit scores, and excluding the low scorers from even purchasing their services. This has already begun. Just ask James Damore, Greg Piatek, or Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
At some point soon, what would stop corporations, prodded by organizations such as Change the Terms, from offering discounts to customers who support allied charities and activist groups? What’s stopping corporations from offering their own private currency as an incentive, creating captive customers who are conned into thinking they’re part of an exclusive, and very virtuous club, while shutting out those who don’t want to sign up? It’s not a big leap anymore from coupons and “rewards” programs to corporate cyber coins showered on activist customers with high social credit scores.
The Intellectual Dark Web shouldn’t be dark at all. The information, the commentary, and the debates on the IDW are on the most important issues of the 21st century. These debates, presented with balance, should dominate mainstream media—every cable television network, every major newspaper. But they don’t. Only one side is ever heard anymore. Google searches and Facebook boosts should be algorithmically neutral, exposing people to multiple points of view. But the opposite is true. From the cost/benefit of mass immigration to climate change, not only are legitimate counter-arguments suppressed, the people who voice them are demonized as bigots and “deniers.”
Mainstream wisdom alleges that content on the IDW is brainwashing its viewers and inciting right-wing violence. It is more likely that the IDW channels and helps contain the fury that’s growing in the hearts of millions of people who are relentlessly disenfranchised in their own nations. In the service of bottomless compassion, millions of destitute migrants are being resettled in communities across America and Europe, where they consume a disproportionate share of tax revenues at the same time that they’re taught in the public schools to dislike their hosts. In the service of saving the planet, for which no cost is too great, people are being herded into megacities where the cost of every amenity from housing to energy and water is artificially inflated. Meanwhile, wealthy elites generate profits from these oppressive, seismic transformations of Western societies, while they exempt themselves from its consequences.
What Sort of 22nd Century Will We Give Our Children?
If there’s one thing the Intellectual Dark Web could offer more of, particularly from the Right, it’s a comprehensive alternative to the rhetoric and schemes of the globalist Left. If you are born in 2019 and live a normal lifespan, you will witness the dawn of the 22nd century. What will the world look like by then, and how do we prepare? The Right is not offering sufficient answers to that nearly impossible question.
Libertarians suggest we just let the “free market decide,” oblivious to the fact that if the “free market” decides, gigantic multinationals will run the world, erasing nations and cultures. The Christian Right, besieged by the Leftist establishment, would preserve nations and cultures, but has to confront and hopefully moderate the ineluctable rise of terrifying new technologies. The world is going to change more in the next 50 years than it has in the last 50 years.
The Right needs to expose the hideous misguided visions of the Left, but it also needs to offer viable, inclusive visions of its own. The worst mistake the Right can make is to match the nihilistic, futile, downright evil identity politics of the Left with their own brand of right-wing tribalism.
By the 22nd century, the early forays of society into transhumanism, exemplified by the currently stylish decisions by celebrities and their pubescent acolytes to elect to become politically correct “non-binaries,” will mature into the genuine reshaping of the human form. Genetic engineering will enable almost unimaginable alterations to what throughout history has been predestined and immutable. Children may well be conceived and brought to term outside the womb, with their gender, their intellect, even the color of their skin, designed in advance by the “parents.” The code that governs aging may be cracked, prolonging life indefinitely, or barring that, replacement organs and other forms of rejuvenation will offer dramatic options for life extension. Most diseases will be curable. Cybernetic enhancement will be ubiquitous. Whether all of this seems like utopia or hell depends on who you ask, and will be determined in large part by how we manage these transformations. One way or another, they will occur.
In the war for public opinion, the intellectual dark web is the last refuge of free speech and open debate on the policy issues that will define what sort of world we leave to our posterity.
On the other hand, will we even make it into the 22nd century? It isn’t “climate change” that is most likely to kill us, it’s the exponentially increasing asymmetry of affordable war technologies.
It’s easier than ever for small nations, or even terrorist organizations, to deploy weapons of mass destruction. Over the coming decades, these options will grow in scope and impact, encompassing deadly toxins, designer diseases, nuclear devices, nanobots, computer viruses, and things we can’t yet imagine. This reality almost demands a surveillance state response, and also reveals any right-wing contingencies about fighting for freedom with AR-15s as pure fantasy. Sharpshooters are no match for swarms of intelligent micro-drones. Either the democratic process will prevent the onset of tyranny, or nothing will.
Which brings us back to the establishment’s attack on the Intellectual Dark Web. It is ongoing and accelerating.
Despite announcing an alternative to Patreon back in December, and leaving the Patreon platform in January, there is still nothing available from Jordan Peterson and Dave Rubin that isn’t vulnerable to activist Left efforts like those of “Change the Terms,” other organizations, and the inherent leftist bias of big tech. And there’s a reason that even powerful players such as Jordan Peterson, who could deploy millions to build an alternative platform if he wanted to, haven’t come up with anything just yet. The banking system itself is being co-opted by the Left. And even if his new platform accepts cyber currency from his fans, notwithstanding the still limited utility of those “currencies,” the ISPs themselves might at that point step into the act, denying use of the internet itself to proscribed content creators.
There are no easy answers, but one thing is certain: In the war for public opinion, the intellectual dark web is the last refuge of free speech and open debate on the policy issues that will define what sort of world we leave to our posterity. The online resources that enable anyone to earn a living producing online content are monopolies. Anyone suggesting otherwise based on the libertarian principle of private ownership is a useful idiot. Wake up. The Right needs to form its own activist groups, specifically devoted to aggressively pressuring tech companies and financial institutions to respect the first amendment. Our civilization hangs in the balance.
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https://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2019/04/GettyImages-1134454379.jpg22384000Edward Ringhttps://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.pngEdward Ring2019-09-07 12:00:132020-07-14 21:33:02The Establishment War on the Intellectual Dark Web
YouTube on Monday banned three more independent commentators: James Allsup, “The Iconoclast,” and “Way of the World.” Their crime? Outspoken defense of Western Civilization, which apparently now is considered “hate speech.” Taken together, the videos posted by these three commentators had been watched more than 100 million times.
The most prominent of the newly banished, James Allsup, had over 450,000 subscribers. Thanks to this latest move by YouTube, America’s de facto Ministry of Truth, nearly a half-million Americans now have less reason than ever to believe their First Amendment rights will be respected, or, by extension, any of their constitutional rights.
Do the masters of YouTube fear “right-wing extremism?” Then they need to stop taking extreme measures that provoke extreme resentment. They need to stop engaging in fascist censorship.
For those of us who have never considered ourselves extremists, and who don’t necessarily agree with everything Allsup and these other banished commentators ever did or said, this is nonetheless a matter of principle. It is intolerable to let private business interests lobotomize our collective consciousness in pursuit of their corporate political agendas. That should not be happening here, in a nation that considers freedom of speech to be one of its fundamental principles.
One independent commentator who hasn’t yet had his tongue ripped out by the YouTube overlords, Vincent James, posted a scathing reaction to this latest act of corporate censorship:
The CEO of YouTube recently came out and talked about how they have an obligation to bring you the news, how they have an obligation to push down fake news and prop up authoritative news sources, and this sounds a lot like a publisher, and not like a platform.
Later in his video, James elaborates:
This is a matter of free speech in a new public town square that is the internet. There is no soapbox in the middle of the town square any longer, “town square” is social media. These social media companies have gotten by far too long with this protection and immunity by the federal government for what their users post.
There’s a whole community of people who smoke meth and film themselves on YouTube. This is illicit material, and those videos aren’t being taken down. If YouTube and Facebook and Twitter and all these different media companies were responsible for the content we post, they would be sued into absolute bankruptcy a long time ago. They have this blanket immunity from the federal government because they promote themselves as platforms, as a blank piece of paper where anyone can post anything as long as it follows the law of the land where they reside.
The law of the land in the United States does not include hate speech, as a matter of fact the supreme court has ruled on this multiple times unanimously. The “hate speech,” the “unpopular speech,” is the speech that needs to be protected the most.
Many free speech advocates may disagree with some of the commentaries Vincent James has offered, but he is absolutely right about the First Amendment, and he is absolutely right about these social media companies. They are either platforms or they are publishers. They cannot be both at the same time. This is a matter that requires executive action, or an urgent court battle, or legislative remedy. Don’t hold your breath.
Myriad Varieties of Censorship
Silencing online commentators takes many forms. They can be completely terminated, which is something occurring with increasing frequency. But they can also be deboosted, or shadowbanned, where the traffic to their sites is reduced.
Some of the ways this is done are through manipulated search results, removal from “recommended videos,” removal from trending topics, or by throttling down their bandwidth. Sites can also be demonetized, where ads are no longer served onto their pages, or, even more insidiously, partially demonetized, where ads still arrive, just fewer of them.
Unwanted commentators can also be attacked by throwing them off of subscription platforms such as Patreon, or even by expelling them from the payment processors such as PayPal.
There are alternative platforms, at least until the SJWs apply enough pressure to those to make them engage in similar censorship. BitChutenow hosts James Allsup, Way of the World, and The Iconoclast. But BitChute is buggy, slow, and has a bad search engine. Its global Alexa traffic ranking is 3,790. Think that’s good? YouTube ranks second, right after Google.
BitChute will improve. But it is a fantasy to pretend these alternative platforms will challenge the monopolistic reach of Google’s search algorithms or YouTube’s videos. They will be stigmatized as a right-wing ghetto, and they will barely show up on search results. As a result, they will not offer the viral, serendipitous discovery to open-minded virtual wanderers.
How many of us found many of these powerful alternative voices by accident? Unless the monopolies, who reach everyone, change their ways, that will never happen again.
Undermining the Spirit of the Constitution
When principles as fundamental as the First Amendment are violated, there are consequences. The immediate consequence is a rising fury and potential radicalization of every American who is watching this travesty unfold and sees the injustice, and sees either indifference or active misrepresentation coming from the establishment media and establishment politicians.
The more far-reaching consequence is the fact that if this isn’t stopped, right now, and reversed, moderate conservatives and moderate nationalists will develop increasing sympathies for their more extreme counterparts.
Why wouldn’t they? Every shred of content coming out of the mainstream media and entertainment, social media, corporate marketing, academia, K-12 public education, and nonprofit advocacy groups is globalist pablum. It’s sickening to watch, and now, we are expected to tolerate censorship of alternative voices found online?
An article published last month by the BBC comes embarrassingly close to revealing the motives behind escalating online censorship. Security correspondent Gordon Corera writes: “The more mainstream these narratives become, the greater the tension will be over whether they really are extreme or whether they represent acceptable political discourse, and the views of a substantial number of real people.”
A True Threat to Election Integrity
“These narratives.” That is the threat. What if “real people” don’t want open borders? What if they would like the facts, not a bunch of skewed BS, regarding how immigration policies affect the economy and social cohesion? What if they want balanced opinions, or just want to hear the other side for a change, on the issues of multiculturalism, race, feminism, gender “equity” and social justice? What if “real people” sometimes find an unrepentant critic of identity politics to be a breath of fresh air? What if they believe there should be a robust and honest debate over globalism, or over climate change?
Everyone knows what these social media companies are doing. They are trying to influence public opinion in favor of a globalist progressive agenda. No national borders. Anti-racist racism. Anti-sexist sexism. Gender “fluidity.” Corporate socialism. And of course, “Trump is Hitler.”
It’s working. But they must stop. Because if they do not stop, there will be a credible case to be made that the upcoming 2020 election results are not legitimate. Remember how the Democrats made that claim in 2016, because Russian “bots” allegedly swayed a few thousand votes? Determined social media manipulation of the entire online public square will affect millions of votes.
YouTube, and all the rest—back off.
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https://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2019/08/GettyImages-452313819.jpg34655051Edward Ringhttps://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.pngEdward Ring2019-08-27 21:36:442020-07-14 21:33:28Big Tech Censors Strike Again
Conservative free speech advocates have been rightly concerned about internet censorship, but the focus of those concerns has been relatively narrow. Conservatives are pushing back against big tech suppression of online critics of globalism, mass immigration, and identity politics. They are pushing back against Big Tech suppression of pro-Trump commentators. But there is another collection of online voices that quietly and very effectively have been suppressed: climate-change skeptics.
In the past 10 or 15 years, roughly at the same time as identity politics was assuming a dominant position in America’s corporate, academic, and media cultures, climate alarm followed a parallel trajectory. But starting in 2017, when the social media monopolies intensified their online offensive against politically incorrect content, climate skeptic content had already dwindled. It isn’t hard to understand why.
Identity politics, globalism, and mass immigration create obvious winners and losers, with Americans bitterly and almost evenly divided over what policies represent the best moral and practical choices. Policies and principles embracing “climate change,” by contrast, have conducted their own long, slow march through America’s institutions without encountering serious resistance. Proclaiming one’s belief in climate change dogma carries minimal downside and plenty of upside.
Embracing climate-change politics enriches and empowers the same cast of characters who embrace globalism—corporations, governments, the financial sector, nonprofits, academia, and the useful idiots in media and entertainment.
Meanwhile, the downside of climate change policies is harder to articulate than the downside of globalism. As a result, financial support for scientists and analysts tagged as climate change “deniers” has nearly dried up over the past decade or so. Whoever is left confronts an overwhelming climate alarm apparatus.
The problem, however, is that globalism and climate alarm are two sides of the same coin. Globalism requires “climate refugees” to overwhelm the cultures and transform the electorate in developed nations. It requires authoritarian rationing to “save the planet.” It requires supra-national governing bodies to cope with the “climate crisis.” And the globalist project is fatally undermined by the availability of cheap and abundant fossil fuel.
Fossil fuel will remain the most inexpensive and abundant source of energy for at least the next 20 to 30 years, and cheap energy is the prerequisite for prosperity, which in turn is the prerequisite for literacy and voluntary population stabilization, political stability, economic development, and world peace.
Ignoring this fact—that cheap energy worldwide can only be delivered in the near term by continuing to develop fossil fuel—is the true crime of “denial” that is being perpetrated on humanity by globalists. And yet, only a handful of websites still seek to reopen the debate as to just how dangerous or imminent the threat CO2 emissions are to humanity and the planet. Here, sorted by viewership (most viewed on top) are some of the independent climate skeptic websites that remain active in 2019.
The viewership reaching these independent websites is almost negligible. “Watts Up With That?” authored by Heartland Institute Senior Fellow and former television meteorologist Anthony Watts, only scores a U.S. Alexa ranking of 16,178. Following in a distant second place is “Real Climate Science,” with a U.S. Alexa ranking of 77,839. Sites with extraordinary work, such as Bjorn Lomborg’s “Get the Facts Straight,” sit at a distant 780,564.
Web viewership rises and falls based a great deal on Google search results. If a website link shows up on the first screen of Google search results, it will get traffic. And this is a self-reinforcing cycle, the more a site shows up in search results, the more it will get visited, and the more it gets visited, the higher it will go in search results. This chicken-and-egg process obscures the reality of biased algorithms.
Search Google under “climate skeptic websites,” and the first two results you will get take you to “SkepticalScience.com,” a website devoted to debunking climate skeptics, followed by “RealClimate.org,” produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The fourth result is of marginal assistance—a Business Insider report from 2009 that provides a mostly geriatric assortment of the “10 most respected global warming skeptics.” The fifth result is “Watts Up With That.” Note that the fourth and fifth results are the only ones not directing readers to “consensus” material.
Nonprofits Still Willing to be Climate Skeptics
The most unambiguously skeptical think tank still compiling data and analysis that presents a skeptical perspective on climate change is The Heartland Institute. The Chicago-based group refers to its position as “climate realism” and has assembled an impressive lineup of skeptical experts on climate science and climate policy. Heartland regularly hosts international conferenceson the topic of climate change and sponsors the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change(NIPCC), which publishes regular reports that contradict much of what comes from the IPCC.
Searching YouTube to find climate skeptic content yields very little. If there are dedicated video channels offering ongoing new releases of credible climate skeptic content, they’re not very easy to find. Documentaries and other stand-alone videos with a climate skeptic perspective are sparse, but those few that could be found have valuable information:
Watching these videos, along with viewing climate skeptic websites, will present an open-minded inquisitor with information, data, logic, arguments, and perspectives that are utterly absent from mainstream public dialogue.
It has become obligatory for any Democrat and the majority of Republican politicians in America—along with every establishment newscaster—to proclaim their adherence to the “consensus” on climate. The only debate left (not that it isn’t a big one) is how best to limit and eventually eliminate the use of fossil fuels.
The nondebate has serious consequences. It is preposterous to think worldwide use of fossil fuel will decline by any meaningful percentage within the next 30 years. What could happen, however, is it will be restricted to the point where developing nations, especially in Africa, will be pressured into developing a “renewable” energy infrastructure that will be far too expensive to rapidly deliver the broad-based prosperity that is a crucial prerequisite to population stabilization.
Moreover, developing nations that are denied access to cheap fossil fuel will continue to rely on biomass to supplement inadequate or unaffordable renewable energy, stripping their forests for energy, or, worse, they will annihilate their ecosystems to plant “carbon neutral” corporate biofuel monocultures.
None of this is necessary. The only reason we are debating how best to eliminate the use of fossil fuels quickly is that “the debate is over” with respect to the planetary impact of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. But that debate is not over. Read the material on these websites. Watch the videos. There is ample scientific basis for the debate to be raging, and yet the corporate globalist establishment universally declares the debate to be “over.”
Virtually all powerful vested interests in the Western hemisphere recognize climate change alarm as leverage to impose self-serving policies and garner higher profits. The reasons for this are myriad:
Wall Street trades emissions credits, making trillions in commissions.
Climate researchers get more grant requests funded.
United Nations bureaucrats get a guaranteed revenue stream.
“Greentech” entrepreneurs receive generous subsidies for “green” products.
Corporations can force consumers to replace all their appliances.
Corporations can impose the “internet of things” to monitor household resource consumption.
Millions of “climate refugees” will be transported to the developed nations who are to blame.
Global governance will be necessary to coordinate climate mitigation efforts.
Taken individually, each of these reasons—and this list undoubtedly omits additional special interests that benefit from climate change alarm—represent a profound shift in public policy. Each of them represents investments skewing away from optimal returns and instead towards returns that favor a politically entitled group. The overall impact of all of them is regressive, increasing the cost-of-living for the most economically vulnerable populations.
These policies also represent a profound cultural shift with consequences that extend to every corner of society. All of a sudden:
The litmus test for an environmentalist is whether they embrace climate change alarm and support climate change activism.
Elementary school children are being indoctrinated to believe the planet is in imminent danger of becoming uninhabitable.
Capitalism, rather than being viewed as the only practical and reasonably equitable engine for economic growth, is portrayed as the despicable cause of environmental catastrophe.
A life of rationed scarcity, remotely monitored and managed by algorithms, replaces the reasonable expectation that technology and capitalism will deliver increasing abundance for every generation.
Sovereign nations have become a toxic anachronism.
Developed Western nations must admit millions of destitute refugees, often coming from hostile cultures, because the states where they lived failed due to “climate change” brought on by industrial civilization.
And suddenly the madman, racing through the streets screaming that the world is about to come to an end, is the sane person. Now the psychopaths are those who hold back, suggesting that perhaps the situation isn’t quite so dire.
All of this is an inversion of reality. All of this must be challenged, and challenged with the same vigor that Americans of all backgrounds are finally rising up to challenge identity politics. Climate change alarm, in its emotional fearmongering and scapegoating, in its reliance on authoritarian governance, and in its co-opting of the industrial and financial elites, is explicitly fascist.
In George Orwell’s masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four, the main character, Winston, worked for the “Ministry of Truth.” His job, day after day, was the systematic rewriting of history. Today’s social media and search monopolies are the realized versions of what Orwell imagined. They define and redefine our reality. As credible, informed content offering a climate skeptic’s perspective disappear from search results, as the traffic to these websites dwindles into nothingness, a part of our collective consciousness is lobotomized. We lose our ability to make informed choices.
Read these websites. Bookmark them. Share them. Print them. While you still can.
It is not enough to debate climate change policy. Even in the most benign forms, policies based on the premise that fossil fuel use must swiftly be eliminated represent policy choices that will magnify human suffering around the world at the same time as they disenfranchise the citizenry of entire nations.
The scientific debate must be renewed. Even if the alarmists are right, the fact that “the debate is over” is universally recited by every instrument of America’s establishment should terrify anyone concerned about free speech, if not freedom itself.
Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
https://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2019/08/GettyImages-175202600.jpg22503000Edward Ringhttps://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.pngEdward Ring2019-08-16 21:00:192020-07-14 21:48:55A Directory of Inconvenient Climate Information Websites
A Google insider who anonymously leaked internal documents to Project Veritas decided to go public after the San Francisco police, a SWAT team and a bomb squad paid an unannounced visit to his home.
Zachary Vorhies, who outwardly looks like your stereotypical, liberal millennial Silicon Valley tech worker, said his decision to go public about Google’s “algorithmic unfairness” was “an act of atonement.”
“To have that burden lifted off of my soul–I’ve never felt happier,” he said.
It is time to step out of the shadows and reveal myself.
While Google was doxxing the American Public, patriots were on the inside, doxxing Google.
The whistle-blower provided Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe with additional internal Google documents to publish on his website.
“I gave the documents to Project Veritas, I had been collecting the documents for over a year,” Vorhies said. “And the reason why I collected these documents was because I saw something dark and nefarious going on with the company.”
He added, “I felt like our entire election system was going to be compromised forever by this company that had told the American public that it was not going to do any evil and I saw that they were making very quick moves.”
One method Google uses to suppress inconvenient information is to remove mostly conservative news sites from search results. Below is a list of news sites won’t show up underneath the Google search bar when people are searching on their Android phones.
Vorhies explained that he was able to ascertain what they were doing after seeing the documents and listening to what Google executives were saying internally to employees.
“They were intending to sculpt the information landscape so that they could create their own version of what was objectively true,” he explained. “They want to act as gatekeepers between the user and the content that they’re trying to access.”
Vorhies said that when people see the documents for themselves, “they’re going to be shocked, they’re going to be terrified, and they’re going to be like, ‘how could Google so blatantly lie to the American public and lie to Congress when there is a pile of evidence showing that what they’re saying is untrue.”
Project Veritas published some of the internal Google documents in June of 2019, revealing “algorithmic unfairness.” According to Vorhies, those documents were widely available to full-time Google employees.
“These documents were available to every single employee within the company that was full-time. And so as a full time employee at the company, I just searched for some keywords and these documents started to pop up. And so once I started finding one document and started finding keywords for other documents and I would enter that in and continue this cycle until I had a treasure trove and archive of documents that clearly spelled out the system, what they’re attempting to do in very clear language.”
Shortly after the June report went public, Vorhies sayid he received a letter from Google that contained six “demands.”
Vorhies told Project Veritas that he complied with Google’s demands, which included a request for any internal Google documents he may have personally retained. Vorhies also said he sent those documents to the Department of Justice Antitrust Division.
The whistleblower said he then consulted with two lawyers to find out out what Google’s next move would be.
He said both attorneys told him, “this is the first step in having your life ruined. They’re going to come after you.”
After he was outed as a “leaker”on Twitter by an anonymous account (believed to a Google employee), law enforcement paid him a visit at his residence in California.
According to Vorhies, San Francisco police received a call from Google which prompted a “wellness check.”
“They got inside the gate, the police, and they started banging on my door… And so the police decided that they were going to call in additional forces. They called in the FBI, they called in the SWAT team. And they called in a bomb squad.”
Vorhies described the incident in detail to “True Pundit.”
This is how Google tried to intimidate me after they discovered that I doxxed their AI weapon to the @DOJ and had activated a "dead-mans" to prevent them from "suiciding" me. https://t.co/aDexZ3nFwx
Some of the intimidating incident was caught on camera.
“[T]his is a large way in which [Google tries to] intimidate their employees that go rogue on the company…” Vorhies explained. He said his attorneys told him that the point of the visit was “to try to establish that I’ve got some sort of mental problem in order to make their case easier.”
Vorhies literally fearing for his life, said he had decided to “put out a dead man’s switch.”
“I wanted to let them know that if something were to happen to me, then these documents are going to be released immediately,” he said.
Project Veritas said the San Francisco police confirmed to them that they did receive a “mental health call,” and responded to Vorhies’ address that day.
Apparently in California, anyone can be SWATTED for any reason if the tipster is powerful enough.
Project Veritas has released hundreds of internal Google documents leaked by Vorhies. Among those documents is a file called “news black list site for google now.” The document, according to Vorhies, is a “black list,” which restricts certain websites from appearing on news feeds for an Android Google product. The list includes conservative and progressive websites, such as newsbusters.org and mediamatters.org. The document says that some sites are listed with or because of a “high user block rate.”
Another newly published document titled “Fringe ranking/classifer: Defining channel quality” lists an example ranking of various news sites, including CNN and FOX News. A document titled “Fake news & other fringe: Trashy recap” reveals that videos are rated by multiple “human raters.”
One internal Google document labelled “coffee beans” appears to show Google employees discussing diversity hiring practices. A related internal thread of communications also shows an apparent discussion about the “coffee beans” document, where one Google employee expresses concern that the document appears to “misrepresent Google’s hiring practices in a way that could raise legal questions…”
Another thread of internal Google documents shows Google employees discussing President Donald Trump’s infamous “covfefe” tweet, and a proposed plan to change the Google translation of the term.
Vorhies encouraged more insiders at Google to go public and discuss big tech abuses.
“My message to those that are on the fence is I released the documents. They can go in, they can see everything that Google is doing and then they can see the scale of it. Because I think that there’s a lot of engineers that have a hint that things are wrong, but they don’t understand the colossal scale that it’s at. And so for those people, I say, look at the documents, take the pulse of America, see what’s happening and come and tell the world you know what you already know to be true.”
An index of internal Google documents Project Veritas received from the Google insider can be downloaded by clicking on the links below.
A Daily Beast analysis of Vorhies’ tweets revealed that the whistleblower has a penchant for online conspiracy theories.
On social media, Vorhies is an avid promoter of anti-Semitic slanders that banks, the media, and the United States government are controlled by “Zionists.”
He’s also pushed conspiracy theories like QAnon, Pizzagate, and the discredited claim that vaccines cause autism.
Vorhies and Google didn’t respond to requests for comment.
On his Twitter account, @Perpetualmaniac, Vorhies repeatedly attacks Jewish people and accuses them of a wide range of crimes. (Both O’Keefe and his group, Project Veritas, promoted Vorhies’s Twitter account in tweets on Monday.)
He even alleges that “Zionists” killed conservative publisher and O’Keefe mentor Andrew Breitbart, who died of heart failure in 2012.
https://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2019/08/AwesomeScreenshot-www-youtube-watch-2019-08-14_11_36.png5551161Debra Heinehttps://kittyhawk.amgreatness.com/app/uploads/2020/01/american-greatness-logo_201x37.pngDebra Heine2019-08-14 09:50:572020-07-14 21:54:38Google Whistleblower Goes Public: 'Something Dark and Nefarious is Going on with the Company'