Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Fix And How To Get In On It

     “A managed democracy is a wonderful thing, Manuel, for the managers...and its greatest strength is a free press when ‘free’ is defined as ‘responsible’ and the managers define what is ‘irresponsible.’” – Professor Bernardo de la Paz, in Robert A. Heinlein’s The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

     In his masterwork The American Tradition, Dr. Clarence Carson wrote:

     [W]e are told that there is no need to fear the concentration of power in government so long as that power is checked by the electoral process. We are urged to believe that so long as we can express our disagreement in words, we have our full rights to disagree. Now both freedom of speech and the electoral process are important to liberty, but alone they are only the desiccated remains of liberty. However vigorously we may argue against foreign aid, our substance is still drained away in never-to-be-repaid loans. Quite often, there is not even a candidate to vote for who holds views remotely like my own. To vent one's spleen against the graduated income tax may be healthy for the psyche, but one must still yield up his freedom of choice as to how his money will be spent when he pays it to the government. The voice of electors in government is not even proportioned to the tax contribution of individuals; thus, those who contribute more lose rather than gain by the "democratic process." A majority of voters may decide that property cannot be used in such and such ways, but the liberty of the individual is diminished just as much as in that regard as if a dictator had decreed it. Those who believe in the redistribution of wealth should be free to redistribute their own, but they are undoubtedly limiting the freedom of others when they vote to redistribute theirs.

     Whereupon I commented:

     Dr. Carson was quite as incisive as Rand. Yet he might not have anticipated that once freedom of speech became dangerous to the Left, it would strive to eliminate that vestige of American liberty just as it had striven to eliminate all the previous ones. Note also how Leftists have striven to corrupt the electoral system. They can’t abide that any longer, either; after all, it rejected their anointed candidate in favor of a real estate magnate from Queens!

     There’s a moral here, and it shouldn’t take a lot of skull sweat to divine it.

     Action to suppress freedom of expression, Constitutionally forbidden to the federal government, has been “delegated” to Big Tech. This is not news. But consider afresh, please, how the suppression of important stories dovetails with the ongoing campaign to install a corrupt, senile puppet in the White House by any means necessary.

     If this isn’t clear evidence that the Republic is tottering, I can’t imagine what would qualify.

     In John Brunner’s early novel The Squares of the City, he depicted the attitude of the managers to their “managed democracy:”

     "Senor Hakluyt, you are a stranger in Aguazul. You will therefore be inclined to dispute the dogmatic assertion that this is the most governed country in the world."
     Again that air of throwing down a gauntlet in debate, again that cocking of the head to imply a challenge. I said, "All right—I dispute it. Demonstrate."
     "The demonstration is all about you. We make it our business, first, to know what people think; we make it our business, next, to direct that thinking. We are not ashamed of that, senor, incidentally. Shall we say that—just as specific factors influence the flow of traffic, and you understand the factors and can gauge their relative importance—we now understand many of the factors that shape and direct public opinion? What is a man, considered socially? He is a complex of reactions; he takes the line of least resistance. We govern not by barring socially unhealthy paths, but by opening most wide those paths which are desirable. That is why you are here."
     "Go on," I invited after a pause.
     He blinked at me. "Say rather what is your view. Why is it we have adopted this round-and-round policy of inviting an expensive expert to solve our problems subtly, instead of saying, 'Do this!' and seeing it done?"
     I hesitated, then counter-questioned. "Is this, then, the extension of an existing policy rather than a compromise between opposed personal interests?"
     He threw up his hands. "But naturally!" he exclaimed, as though surprised to find me so obtuse. "Oh, it is ostensibly that there is conflict between one faction and another—but we create factions in this country! Conformism is a slow death; anarchy is a rapid one. Between the two lies a control which"—he chuckled—"like a lady's corset in an advertisement, constricts and yet bestows a sense of freedom. We govern our country with a precision that would amaze you, I believe."

     This tool of “managed democracy” – specifically, the control of information and its dissemination – is half of The Fix. The other half is the control of elections: making sure “the right people” win and “the wrong people” are cast into the darkness. For as we saw in 2016, the control of information alone cannot guarantee such a result. To ensure victory only by “the right people,” the managers employ:

  1. Fictitious polls, including exit polls;
  2. Multiple voting and voting by noncitizens;
  3. Voter intimidation and control of polling places and hours;
  4. Deliberate loss of “unfriendly” votes and the manufacture of others.

     In combination, those tactics can ensure that the hoi polloi are kept ignorant of how they’ve been fettered, and incapable of throwing off their fetters by nonviolent means.

     Quite a lot of people would like to get in on The Fix. There’s obviously money in it. (Just ask Hunter Biden.) But it’s not a club that just anyone can join.

     To be a participant in The Fix, you must possess one of the following two qualifications:

  • Control of an information-dissemination chokepoint; or:
  • Leverage over persons in power, and the willingness to use it. (“It’s not who you know; it’s what you’ve got on ‘em.” – Lawrence Block)

     Note how nicely those qualifications fit the visible participants in today’s Fix. Note also how remorselessly they act against others who dare attempt to break their stranglehold. Andrew Torba could tell you all about that.

     The point of The Fix is, of course, the reservation of power to a select group, whose members share certain attitudes and interests. The most important of the attitudes is that If you’re in, you can do as you please. The only crime is acting against another member. The most important of the common interests is in maintaining the exclusivity of The Fix.

     Members of The Fix are expected to take part in the suppression and disparagement of non-members who dare to offer disapproved information to a general audience:

     Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey explained with an eerie calm that The Post can regain access to its Twitter account anytime it wants — once it deletes a tweet with an image his company has decided violates its standards.

     Dorsey’s words echo the ­assurances offered writers in authoritarian states that they will be allowed to publish their other scribblings . . . just so long as they burn the manuscripts the censors find offensive in front of the censors.

     Such an insistence would once have resulted in screams of outrage and professions of solidarity by other journalists. But now we see reactions like this on Twitter, from New York Times opinion staffer Charlie Warzel:

     “The NY Post leaving a violating tweet up in order to stay locked out of an account in order to use it as a political cudgel is a classic tactic, but it’s usually one you see from individual MAGA influencers.”

     Thus did a key employee at the Times suggest it was perfectly reasonable for Twitter to demand that another newspaper send its wares down a memory hole.

     Failure to collaborate in such operations would indicate a lack of commitment to The Fix and the common interests of its membership. Can’t have that.

     Plainly, as power dispersed is power reduced, the number of The Fix’s members must be tightly controlled. Don’t bother to ask for an application.

     So there’s no way to “get in on it.” Either you’re already on the inside, or you must languish forever in the cold and the dark. Establishments are like that; their members prize their membership status because it’s shared by so few. They preen about being “among the elite,” “the best people of the nation,” but in truth their one true distinguishing feature is being one of the few who are in on The Fix.

     Andrew Torba has scored a remarkable success with Gab. He’s surmounted innumerable obstacles, many of which were deliberately placed in his path by The Fix. In time, Gab could rise in size and importance to eclipse Twitter. But he will never be invited into The Fix, for he does not share the existing members’ interests. Indeed, his presence among them would be massively disrupting. What’s this about free speech? Are you seriously proposing that we not control the information flow, Andrew?

     May God grant His protection to such mavericks. Only they who are willing to challenge The Fix on its own turf stand between us and the loss of all freedom of expression. And they who would applaud that loss are only one potentially stolen election away from their dream.

1 comment:

Linda Fox said...

So, Big Tech (and the mega-financial interests they ally with) have found - so far - a work-around for the Constitution's 1st Amendment:

The government interests have outsourced censorship.