(Guest article by Samuel Di Gangi) Political commentator, Mark Dice, recently pointed out that leftist economist Paul Krugman said in 1998 that the Internet was not going to have any greater effect on the world economy than fax machines. Clearly, Krugman could not have been more mistaken if he had set out to do so.
Today, the Internet has made it so that most enterprises can’t exist without it, particularly on a large scale. This is true of every enterprise from car insurance to stamp collecting, and it is at this point that the First Amendment and the Internet meet.
What Krugman and others could never have predicted in 1998 was that the whole, vast, boundless Internet would be dominated by the likes of a few giants such as Google, Facebook, and YouTube. Furthermore, they could not have foreseen that these entities would align mostly with one political ideology and work to silence everyone who voiced so much as a peep against them and the lies which they promote.
Sadly, as Dice and others have attested to, that is exactly what has happened. YouTube & Google have even been caught banning unlisted videos, proving that they are censoring videos which are not even posted to the public.
Another toxic idea that is embraced today, which no one who enjoyed the precepts of free speech back at the birth of the Internet would have ever imagined, is political correctness. When Krugman was speaking his folly, “P.C.” was mostly limited to talks about if it was ageism to not give the Academy Award to Gloria Stuart.
Today – it can end careers.
Political Correctness forces society to accept “group think,” ignoring the foreshadowing’s of George Orwell as if he had never lived. If this is in question to any degree, all one has to do is look up what happens when journalists or political commentators dare to expose truths or espouse views which the P.C. system does not want to be exposed. Suddenly, millions of needed views from Google start falling away and are hidden from viewers and subscribers, thus strangling the incomes of those on the receiving end of this unjustified censorship. Even for those writers who are fortunate enough to be able to write without worrying about monetary gain, it does them little good to produce new work since very few people will ever get the benefit of seeing their newest thought-provoking content.
Somehow the Internet has managed to fully blossom in 2019 during a time when America is split roughly 50/50 between the ideologies of Libertarian/Conservatism and post-Liberal Socialism. The result has been that those 50% who happen to embrace the viewpoints being promoted by the mainstream media do not care if their “enemies” are silenced or destroyed. They only care that their views are furthered. Someday, the pendulum may swing back, and then it will be them on the receiving end of this unfair situation, yet this possibility is apparently not even being considered.
So what is the result? Well, today there seems to be no limit to what can be “legally” done to silence viewpoints which are deemed by the controllers to be non-PC enough. While not exclusively, it is currently Conservative or Libertarian viewpoints which are being silenced the most. Even if a company like Chik-Fil-A chooses to simply acknowledge a respect for God or publicize viewpoints which those of certain sexual orientations find problematic, it is as if the sky was falling. Unbelievably, this is occurring even though the company has never refused gay people (or anyone else) job opportunities or service based on sexual preferences.
The founder of Papa John’s Pizza, one of the great modern success stories in the U.S.A., had to step down for just mentioning that Colonel Sanders used the “n word” when referencing blacks. He, personally, did not use the word, other than to describe a point in history! This is an important detail: Political correctness often works to erase history because history can, and should, also teach context. For example, perhaps in a future time, today’s use of the slang “n’,” word, which is a favorite word among the hip-hop community, will be deemed no longer acceptable for use even when bleeped out, due to what it implies. While the word certainly won’t be missed by very many people, will the context used be taught? If not, will today’s “music” be deemed hate speech by the offspring of the very people who are today producing it? If this sounds impossible, isn’t that what we are seeing done today to John Wayne, Frank Loesser, and others? This is only one example, yet it is easy to see how erasing history erases context, and once context is erased, people can be, in essence, erased. They can be silenced, shadow-banned, even forced to leave a company that they built from the ground up, as Papa John has discovered.
During the trial of “Hustler Magazine” founder Larry Flynt, it was pointed out that even vile speech is protected speech. Rocker Ted Nugent once said, to paraphrase, that allowing idiots to speak exposes them for the fools that they are. Today however, it seems that people have lost focus and understanding about even the most basic concepts of free speech in society.
Another slight of hand which is often used by those who adhere to the restraints of the PC movement is to accuse their enemies of being Nazis. Since Hitler and his minions were so gruesome, the word Nazi has been used by many, at one time or another, to prove a point. Unfortunately, now that the name is hurled around so often, the true horror of what Nazis were is starting to be lost. This is a blurring of history which is proving to be quite dangerous. Hitler was a Fascist who arrested his enemies, and had many of them killed. Not all Fascists kill their enemies to the extent that Hitler did. They do all, however, arrest them in order to silence them. This nuance played out recently for two “University of Connecticut students [who] were arrested Monday after video allegedly showed them using racial slurs,” as observed by Campus Reform. Certainly, without question, using racial slurs against someone is the hallmark of low intelligence and/or a low level of understanding. However, it MUST be remembered that history is replete with examples of the system of censorship, be it clothed in the garment of political correctness or not, silencing those who society least-likes in order to create a stepping stone towards full censorship of anyone for any reason. THIS SHOULD NEVER BE FORGOTTEN! As a matter of fact, that is why the Framers put the First Amendment first. It wasn’t that they enjoyed hate speech, but rather, they understood that it was the only way to protect good, wholesome speech. They knew that if and when unwholesome leadership took control, the speech of all would be protected, including the remaining “good” people.
Not since the rise of the Third Reich, Stalin’s Russia, or Mao’s slaughter has a country seen a marriage of Socialism and censorship as is being seen today. If there is not some serious push-back in defense of our First Amendment rights, the outcome will be just as grim as it has been throughout history. For those who may have forgotten, there are memorials to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice when that has happened before.
Samuel Earl Di Gangi is a writer, political commentator, graphic artist, DJ, and musician with a strong pro-Libertarian & pro-Christian lean. He is the curator of “The Correct Views”, or “TCV”, which is a member show of the newsgroup “The Media Speaks”.
You can contact Sam directly at email@example.com.