What happens when we have politicians we don’t trust and reporters we don’t believe? What happens when we have algorithms to police speech and no police officers to protect speakers or patrol the streets? What happens when Twitter’s blue badges outrank police badges, allowing liberals to act like Reds and target people who vote red?
The questions are not academic, though there’s reason to question the judgment of various academics, because we’re in a fight to protect the past from a future of permanent surveillance and perpetual grievance.
The fight is a question of knowing something about our rights, that certain rights are unalienable and true and righteous altogether; that those who would deny us the right to exercise our rights don’t question their right to censor speech; that those who do deny our rights think what’s legal is just, not because of what the Constitution says, but because of what some courts say is constitutional.
The courts, in essence, say, “Corporations can say what they want, but workers must do what corporations say.”
We are unpaid workers for corporations such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter. We pay to work for Big Tech. We agree to pay usurious interest in the form of personal data, so we may speak like freemen—so we may pretend to be free—while we live without the warnings we afford prisoners: that nothing’s private.
Big Tech mistakes agreement for acceptance, as if the absence of dissent is evidence of consent. The evidence points to the chilling of expression, not the free exchange of ideas. The evidence points to fear of reprisals from Big Tech.
The reprisals come via new words, such as dox and deplatform, in an old war over words. The war is total in its campaign against laws, language, culture, institutions, literature, history, and tradition. The war is the continuation of destruction by other means, whose chief weapon is clean, silent, and efficient.
Unlike the glare of rockets or the sound of bombs bursting in air, unlike the smell of sulfur or the taste of iron, unlike that which is tangible, the machines of electronic warfare are invisible and inexhaustible. The machines eliminate words, regardless of context or content, because the machines make no distinction between East and West, ensuring the twain shall always meet; ensuring the works of Kipling and Twain meet the same fate: deletion.
The war is unrelenting toward us, but not unwinnable for us.
Victory for the good hinges on recognizing that tyrants have no shortage of enemies, that those who seek to ally themselves with Big Tech will soon find themselves without allies. Such is the nature of our present-day tyrants, for which the state of nature is less a matter of central planning than planned obsolescence; for which the life cycle of men is shorter than the product cycle of machines; for which wisdom is scarce and artificial intelligence abounds with stupidity.
With the strength to stand firm and the will to withstand evil, with the law of liberty to guard us and the light of men to guide us, we shall prevail.