The other day I made a Facebook post that referred to the arbitrary and, yet, purposefully designed algorithms of social media and how they are effectively silencing and censoring people, especially those on the left. I have noticed it myself. I get far less traffic to my page than in prior years. This makes the social media “experience” less desirable (I will go into the reason why a bit later), and so I said I would likely be spending less time here as a result.
The ruling class of the U.S./NATO empire justifies the heinous actions of its military forces, the brutality of its internal police states, and the cruelty towards the poor of its neoliberal economic deprivation by claiming that everything it does is necessary to combat some grand evil. Whether this evil is Islam, or communism, or the very presence of opposition to Washington’s war narratives, the threat is portrayed as being so all-encompassing and enormous that it should solely occupy our political concerns.
Whenever I hear about an instance of imperialist online censorship, or a short-term plan by a ruling class technocrat to further the erosion of free speech, I wonder: what’s the endgame of this? How far do these oligarchs plan to take their campaign to control the flow of information and suppress dissent? Because the destabilizing events the U.S. empire has undergone during the last year is small compared to what the climate’s meltdown will ultimately do to the capitalist world; as professor Jem Bendel concluded in his 2018 paper Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy, at this point in the deterioration of the climate we need to view “collapse as inevitable, catastrophe as probable and extinction as possible.”
“You have this completely clueless, out of touch elite amassing more and more power and making decisions that are deeply destructive to the state but ultimately I think self-destructive. So I don’t see them stopping, I don’t see them responding in a rational way and I think that the country is headed for some very serious unrest.” — Chris Hedges
The American ruling class decided that it would be necessary to start a 21st century cold war with Russia and China when it became apparent that U.S. global hegemony was being replaced by a multipolar world. And even before this new level of warfare became the priority, it was apparent that a long-term era of tensions between great powers would require much greater government control over information than was previously the case.
“Your communications, as they happen largely today, don’t actually take place between you and the person that you are talking to. They happen between you and Facebook, who then provides a copy of it to the person you are talking to, or you and Gmail, who then gives a copy of it to the person that you are talking to and every time these transactions occur through these service providers, they keep a record of it.”
Payments can happen cheaply and easily without banks or credit card companies. This has now been demonstrated – not in the United States but in China. Unlike in the US, where numerous firms feast on fees from handling and processing payments, in China most money flows through mobile phones nearly for free. In 2018 these cashless payments totaled a whopping $41.5 trillion; and 90% were through Alipay and WeChat Pay, a pair of digital ecosystems that blend social media, commerce and banking. According to a May 2018 article in Bloomberg titled “Why China’s Payment Apps Give U.S. Bankers Nightmares“:
“It is through this sort of unholy connection of technology and sort of an unusual interpretation of contract law that these institutions have been able to transform this greatest virtue of humanity—which is this desire to interact and to connect and to cooperate and to share—to transform all of that into a weakness.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Nov 3, 2018
Richard Walker, Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, discusses his new book, Pictures of a Gone City: Tech and the Dark Side of Prosperity in the San Francisco Bay Area with journalist Chris Hedges. The book reveals Silicon Valley’s tech giant elitism, its role as a symbol of new capitalism, and the dark world of underpaid workers who lack security and rising homelessness.
Part 1: Facebook Purge of Alternative Media Is ‘Just the Beginning,’ Boasts DC Neocon Operative
TheRealNews on Oct 26, 2018
As Facebook and Twitter are purging alternative media outlets, a neoconservative operative at a US government-funded think tank says more censorship is on its way. Max Blumenthal and Jeb Sprague discuss how scaremongering over Russia and China is being exploited to silence dissent on social media.