"If You Fight Your Enemies, They Win" -- Why Conservatism Inc. Won't Defend Free SpeechJames Kirkpatrick
May. 16, 2018
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In early 2016, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his country would no longer bomb the Islamic State. Defending this decision, the prime minister stated: “Call us old-fashioned, but we think that we ought to avoid doing precisely what our enemies want us to do. They want us to elevate, to give in to fear, to indulge in hatred, to eye one another with suspicion, and to take leave of our faculties” [Canada IS airstrikes: Trudeau announces 22 February end date, BBC, May 13, 2018] This was famously paraphrased by Gavin McInnes, among others, as, “If you kill your enemies, they win.” Though Justin Trudeau never actually said this, it encapsulated his worldview so precisely that many people assumed it was true.
Unfortunately, most Conservatism Inc. operatives saying the same kinds of things about technology oligopolies. The Beltway Right acknowledges censorship, demonization, and marginalization by tech mega companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but doesn’t want to do anything about it. Thus, even though the Republican Party controls both Congress and the White House, the conservative and nationalist online activists who won Donald Trump the presidency in an unprecedented upset are being systematically suppressed and “the Conservative movement” is saying nothing.
For example, in a recent interview with Breitbart, Klon Kitchen, the Heritage Foundation’s senior research fellow for technology, said Facebook has the right to censor whomever it wants. “I think Facebook is a private company,” Kitchen stated. “[T]he Heritage Foundation is going to be very clear about a private company’s right to organize and conduct its business as it sees fit”. [Heritage Foundation defends Facebook’s ‘right’ to censor, will oppose regulation, by Allum Bokhari, May 3, 2018]
In a separate piece, Breitbart’s Bokhari denounced both Heritage and the Libertarian think tank “TechFreedom,” another group opposing regulation of Facebook and other social networking giants [Bokhari: ‘Free Market’ Defenders Of Tech Giants Are Useful Idiots, Breitbart, May 6, 2018]. Bokhari argued Establishment conservatives are failing to understand the core issue:
None of these free market geniuses have grasped that Google and Facebook aren’t just monopolies (any first-grade economics teacher can tell you that a market dominated by monopolies is not “free”), they are unique in the vast power they have over the flow of information. No other organization in history has had the power to shape opinion, control public discourse, and influence democratic voters.As the last Radio VDARE argued, the power of these megacompanies creates the potential for a “managed democracy” such Vladimir Putin’s Russia is alleged to be.
Indeed, the situation in America is more tyrannical and more dangerous. In Russia, the people at least know who to hold responsible if the system fails them. In America, because the actors controlling the flow of information are not technically part of the government, there is an illusion of a “marketplace of ideas,” when there is actually just one narrative being promoted. Only a cynic can speak of “democracy” when the public’s access to information, and therefore the public’s view of reality, can be determined by the push of a button.
As even Main Stream Media journalists now concede, Facebook (and its algorithm) now has the power to direct massive amounts of traffic to whatever companies it wants [The Facebook Armageddon: the social network’s increasing threat to journalism, by Matthew Ingram, Columbia Journalism Review, Winter 2018] Because no one actually knows what the algorithm is and because it continually changes, Facebook essentially has the power to destroy any company it desires. Given the company’s Leftist views, this means every conservative website is on the endangered list. [How Conservatives Are Being Destroyed by Facebook, Twitter and Google Without Even Realizing It, by John Hawkins, January 13, 2018]