The most fundamental freedoms, which most of us takes for granted, are under constant attack from elitist control-freaks that want to direct the masses to their specific tunes. When the people that think they are in charge wake up to the realization that they need to switch up their marketing game because mass media consumption is changing, the resistance simultaneously wakes up to the fact that we didn’t have much freedom in the first place.
The Promise that never was.
I’m not a big fan of constitutions overall, but there are corner cases where they serve as a tool to illustrate to stupid people that they actually have rights and can act as a layer of defense against the ones that are both stupid and evil. The idea that constitutions embodies the sole reason that you have rights is backwards – At their best, constitutions can only explain them. At their worst, they restrict them. They are a mixed bag overall and there is usually more of the latter than the former.
Freedom of Assembly and Freedom of Speech is written into most western democratic states constitutions in some form. These two freedoms, paired with the right to be anonymous, is proudly paraded around as proof that we are sovereign and not at all living in conditions that can flip over with an election, a parliamentary suggestion or lawmaking. That is the big illusion they are selling and everybody but the dissidents are buying. Many of the dissidents wouldn’t mind restricting their “enemies” if they could, but the mask of victimization is the path of least resistance. For now.
In America, the constitution is written and applied in such a way that new laws can be unconstitutional and can’t be implemented. In the Swedish constitutions case, these freedoms are written in such a way that it is more flexible: “You can meet however you want, unless you are planning something criminal, and we decide what is and what isn’t criminal.”
“Oh, ok, can we meet here?”
“No, that place is special and you need a permission slip from the police first.”
“This isn’t the freedom I was promised…”
The Noble art of manufacturing a Villain
This distinction is important to point out. Here in the old world, people actually get arrested for what they express on Twitter. Heck, there are groups dedicated to sniffing out “wrong think” and use the juridical system as a weapon against people daring to have an opinion. However bad, uneducated, or “trollish” someones opinion is, it shouldn’t be criminal to express it.
In the event it isn’t criminal right now, there is a disturbing continuation of an old tactic: Constructing a fake bad guy.
A real villain rarely needs an explanation how he or she is bad, you just need to tell the story of what this character has done and its self-evident that we are dealing with a bad guy from his or her actions alone.
But what if your “opposition” doesn’t do those things? Well, then you need to dig into your Lego-box and assemble your own bad guy out of spare parts and hope the character you create in your fantasy world holds up long enough to accomplish your goals, whatever that might be.
I stumbled upon a shining example of this in the aftermath of the democratic debate, where Tulsi Gabbard won polls all around the internet – supposedly because the polls themselves got brigaded by internet trolls. Examine these two, short quotes below and look at the highlighted language:
“We should already be putting less stock in polls that are completely devoid of context, but especially examples like these which can be easily manipulated by bad actors,” Jankowicz said. “
“We are spending too much time worrying about foreign actors while acting completely ignorant of the threats in our own backyard.”
Manipulation, bad actors, threat – You’d think Jankowicz was talking about some new terrorist group that popped up.
What she is really talking about is people peacefully assembling on online discussion boards and encourage others to click on digital polls.
What are these people threatening exactly? The established order. Lew Rockwell and Tom Woods noted on their discussion on the debate who it was the people behind the scenes wanted as the democratic party nominee. Spoiler: It wasn’t Tulsi Gabbard.
It isn’t criminal and you can’t prosecute these internet people (even here in the old world), so you have to attack the character instead. Its the backdoor attack on the civil liberty to be an internet troll, so to speak.
Bias within a party is elementary. Just as individuals have biases, so does large groups of people. When you can see the time each candidate gets, it becomes obvious that the one holding the clock has a preference (or is told what to do by those higher up in the food chain). What really upsets these people is when “Outsiders” is messing with their precious control system. It’s their show! “It is my party, I payed for it!”
No meddling please. Unless its a foreign country, then all bets are off, of course. We are the good guys, the others are bad.
Wonderful Magic Internet-Land
When the google trend results showed that Tulsi Gabbard got more search hits than Elizabeth Warren after the debates, “Russian Trolling” and similar terms was the leading narrative that got laid out like a thick blanket all over social media in liberal circles, and later on spilled out into my little libertarian bubble.
Now, granted, I am no expert in the ways you can manipulate Google-results, but neither are these people that are so confident there is foul play going on. They are so sure that they gladly build the hill they are going to die on.
They aren’t looking for trustworthy media, they are looking for media that tells them what they want – Anything else is heresy in their religion. The Reddit-users that vote on matters that don’t concern them are sinners and sinners need to be punished somehow. That’s the message between the lines (Or in Jankowicz case, its not even that subtle).
In the world of connected computers, anything can be manipulated. The code can be rearranged and data can be siphoned. The same people that shout “TROLL!” at any opposition or phenomenon they don’t fully understand are the same people that post about their hacked account on their Facebook wall, pleading any friends and family to not click on the links they sent in their messenger-app. The saying “You don’t know what you don’t know” comes to mind.
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