The choice that every individual must make, and the resulting civilization (of lack of civilization) that results from the choice, is always the same. It's either peace, voluntary cooperation and exchange -- or force, violence, politics, and war. Every epoch is marked by the choices that are made.
We're very pleased to have Jeff Deist, President of the Mises Institute, join us to discuss ways of dealing with Big Tech censorship. Be sure to visit https://www.Mises.org
By Chris Rossini
There are always authoritarians mixed throughout the human population. These are people who have chosen to believe they should be the boss of, not only themselves, but everyone else as well. The most notorious authoritarians have always been tied to government in some way, since government is force.
But authoritarianism is not exclusive to government. People in any field or occupation can have the same lust to dominate as any politician can. But again, because of the nature of government being force, authoritarians are usually drawn to it like a magnet.
These misguided individuals are difficult because they never want to leave anyone else alone. In their minds, they can't leave others alone. They're supposed to tell everyone else what to do.
This can be quite daunting at times, especially when authoritarians have a lot of believers that want to be told what to do. This reinforcing relationship of the blind leading the blind will then drag society as a whole into a downward spiral.
Fortunately, there are always limits, and it's important to keep in mind some key thoughts, especially when the downward spiral escalates:
Now, as liberating as the above is, does this mean authoritarians are a non-issue? No it does not! Authoritarians are actors in this world, just like everyone else. As such, they choose their values and beliefs and then act on them. Those actions create consequences and results.
Those consequences, because they come from misguided beliefs and actions, produce bad results for everyone else. Much of human history, and especially the 1900's has been dominated heavily by authoritarian ideas. Hundreds of millions have perished as a consequence of those misguided ideas and subsequent actions.
Those ideas, in case you haven't noticed, are still believed and embraced by many individuals today. They want to believe that authoritarian ideas can produce different results.
So, authoritarians are a serious issue, always.
The antidote to a bad idea is a good idea: individual liberty.
When the ideas of individual liberty dominate, the authoritarians have to take a back seat, and society goes into an upward spiral.
Authoritarian ideas are never gone. They are always a choice for people to accept and embrace. So the best that can happen (in any time period) is that authoritarianism is kept at bay. And the only way for it to be kept at bay is for enough individuals to accept and embrace the glorious ideas of liberty.
After the January 6th mob ruckus inside the US Capitol building, the US House, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, rushed to put together articles of impeachment (again) for President Trump. Trump, they claim, led an insurrection on that day and must be held accountable. Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley recently wrote in The Hill of the dangers of lowering the bar for impeachment. Do the House Democrats have a point that Trump must be removed from office days before he is removed from office, or is Impeachment 2.0 as much of a farce as Impeachment 1.0?
The ongoing purges and restrictions of social media accounts by Big Tech are continuing, with Ron Paul's own main social media outlet having been restricted yesterday for a vague charge of "violation of community standards." In today's Liberty Report Ron Paul reflects on the dominance of social media and Big Tech in our daily discourse and how we can still promote peace, prosperity, and liberty.
By Ron Paul
Last week’s massive social media purges – starting with President Trump’s permanent ban from Twitter and other outlets – was shocking and chilling, particularly to those of us who value free expression and the free exchange of ideas. The justifications given for the silencing of wide swaths of public opinion made no sense and the process was anything but transparent. Nowhere in President Trump’s two “offending” Tweets, for example, was a call for violence expressed explicitly or implicitly. It was a classic example of sentence first, verdict later.
Many Americans viewed this assault on social media accounts as a liberal or Democrat attack on conservatives and Republicans, but they are missing the point. The narrowing of allowable opinion in the virtual public square is no conspiracy against conservatives. As progressives like Glenn Greenwald have pointed out, this is a wider assault on any opinion that veers from the acceptable parameters of the mainstream elite, which is made up of both Democrats and Republicans.
Yes, this is partly an attempt to erase the Trump movement from the pages of history, but it is also an attempt to silence any criticism of the emerging political consensus in the coming Biden era that may come from progressive or antiwar circles.
After all, a look at Biden’s incoming “experts” shows that they will be the same failed neoconservative interventionists who gave us weekly kill lists, endless drone attacks and coups overseas, and even US government killing of American citizens abroad. Progressives who complain about this “back to the future” foreign policy are also sure to find their voices silenced.
Those who continue to argue that the social media companies are purely private ventures acting independent of US government interests are ignoring reality. The corporatist merger of “private” US social media companies with US government foreign policy goals has a long history and is deeply steeped in the hyper-interventionism of the Obama/Biden era.
“Big Tech” long ago partnered with the Obama/Biden/Clinton State Department to lend their tools to US “soft power” goals overseas. Whether it was ongoing regime change attempts against Iran, the 2009 coup in Honduras, the disastrous US-led coup in Ukraine, “Arab Spring,” the destruction of Syria and Libya, and so many more, the big US tech firms were happy to partner up with the State Department and US intelligence to provide the tools to empower those the US wanted to seize power and to silence those out of favor.
In short, US government elites have been partnering with “Big Tech” overseas for years to decide who has the right to speak and who must be silenced. What has changed now is that this deployment of “soft power” in the service of Washington’s hard power has come home to roost.
So what is to be done? Even pro-free speech alternative social media outlets are under attack from the Big Tech/government Leviathan. There are no easy solutions. But we must think back to the dissidents in the era of Soviet tyranny. They had no Internet. They had no social media. They had no ability to communicate with thousands and millions of like-minded, freedom lovers. Yet they used incredible creativity in the face of incredible adversity to continue pushing their ideas. Because no army – not even Big Tech partnered with Big Government - can stop an idea whose time has come. And Liberty is that idea. We must move forward with creativity and confidence!
Big Tech has taken radical action over the past few days to cancel and de-platform thousands of social media users, including President Trump himself. Free speech alternative social media site Parler has been blown off the Internet by Amazon. Free speech advocates, including the ACLU, are warning about the effect of such a purge. Is it possible that this over-reach, with its apparent political overtones, might actually benefit free speech advocates once all the smoke has cleared?
After four years of a Republican-dominated government sinking the U.S. financial situation further towards bankruptcy, it's now the Democrats' turn to step firmly on the spending and debt gas pedal. As the "stimulus," and "help" and "bailouts" continue to ratchet up, the standard of living for the American people will continue to ratchet down.