As the latest anti-Substack campaign shows, more and more people are forgetting why free speech works
“Even in a society with fairly robust protections, as ours once was, the most dangerous misinformation is always, without exception, official.” 🙌🏻🙌🏻👊🏻
Great article. As brutal as your description of the Covid clown show was, you understated it. Masks do not work. At all. Children are being harmed. This is a dire issue. We have to end the forced masking of children 7 hours a day while adults go to the bar down the street and drink for hours without a mask. Children are at virtually no risk. And vaccines and masks do NoT stop Omicron spread. The level of lying on masks is stunning. We need to demand this end right now!
Most of you reading this will be thinking, "Well, no kidding!". We know how free speech works, we know it's an inelegant but also the only unique solution to the issue of getting to the truth. We know that assigning any authority to be the arbiters of truth can only backfire for who will guard the guardians of truth. We already knowwww thissss, it has been universally baked into our civic understanding of our society.
Unfortunately, Matt's position and I presume the position of most of us here, defenders of free speech if not borderline absolutists, is a majority-held but rapidly-eroding idea in the United States:
"Think the progressive illiberalism of young people is just a phase? Think again. Examining trends in support for free speech in the General Social Survey, which has run since 1972, political scientists Dennis Chong, Jack Citrin, and Morris Levy find that young people today are far less tolerant of forms of speech that affect identity groups than were young people in the past. “In a stunning reversal,” they write, those on the left “are now consistently less tolerant than conservatives of a wide range of controversial speech about racial, gender, and religious identities.”
This is no small matter, it does not bode well for the future, but it's also unsurprising given the educational framework that is currently in place: "sticks and stones can break my bones but words can be forms of violence that deny my existence and are a manifestation of tyrannical oppression".
One of the things I also appreciate about Substack is that it still allows comments. It's disappointing that mainstream news outlets have stopped allowing them. Restricting people from discovering that others are having similar thoughts and concerns is a good way to quash dissent. (Edited for spelling)
Also, how do these people not realize that they're only making things worse...?
So much to the effect of, "we need to wiretap these crazy conspiracy theorists who think the government is spying on them."
If WaPo, NYT, The Guardian, and the rest of the mainstream media are so concerned about the spread of misinformation, they should shut themselves down immediately.
Russiagate and the Steele "dossier" is Exhibit A, and the canceling of the New York Post for the Hunter Biden laptop story is Exhibit B.
And there are about 2 million other exhibits to enter into evidence if we need them.
Outstanding Matt - this is clarity you dependably deliver: "Even in a society with fairly robust protections, as ours once was, the most dangerous misinformation is always, without exception, official."
As the evidence mounts daily that the misinformation has been and is being supplied by the Paid Pharma Propagandists in mainstream media, the only thing they have left is try smear and censor. It's not working, as no one trusts them any longer. Many of these institutions will be bankrupt inside of 2 years, while Substack grows more valuable each passing day. The Deep State's monopoly over the narrative has forever crumbled and they will never get it back.
Fuck those guys and the people helping support them. "Misinformation" is a rich name for it when the official line has been more wrong than the "misinformation" that is literally killing people. I would bet everything I own that bad government policy, advice, and information has killed hundreds of times more people during the pandemic than "misinformation". Cuomo himself killed thousands by stuffing the ill into nursing homes. Look at the increased suicide and overdose rates that have also skyrocketed. Crime is up, depression is up, and they haven't saved any lives.
I have read that in the former USSR, no one believed what the government said... Even if what the government said was true. Suppression of free speech leads inevitably to a situation where no one believes official statements even when they are true and urgent.
The recurring panic in corporate/gov-Dem mouthpiece media about Substack is actually hilarious. These clowns are totally impotent. The best they can do is complain. The beauty of Substack is that they have no leverage at. No advertisers to harass. No big tech partners to censor or demonetize. The piece quotes WaPo: "These newer platforms cater to subscribers who seek out specific content that accommodates their viewpoints . . ." Exactly! I PAY for content on Substack that accommodates my viewpoints. But I don't pay for misinformation. I pay for FREE SPEECH on topics I care about, including free speech and a free press as a topic. And there is nothing these fools can do about it. Substack's entire business model is based upon people like me paying subscription fees. Period. That's it! Substack has zero interest is censorship beyond that which can hurt them (i.e., defamation, obscenity, and such), because censorship can only cost them money in canceled subscriptions. You gotta love it!
Apart from the Civil War which ended in 1865, I think we are living in the most dangerous times in regard to the continuance of our constitutional Republic. The Deep State/MIC/Intelligence Community and it’s alliance with the financialized economy of the big banks, corporate media, big tech, big pharma, big agriculture, etc., work incessantly to make sure we do not keep our Republic, as Franklin warned. These articles are very good at bringing things to light. We need to fight to retain our inalienable rights, the protection of the minority from a tyranny of the majority, and the right to remain at peace and not be suckered into endless wars that enrich the elites at the expense of everyone else.
Taibbi writes "Clean your own houses, and maybe you won’t have such a hard time being believed."
Truer words have not been spoken. Precisely the issue. Zero credibility. Zero trust.
The memory hole reminds of the Enron's, Madoff's, Foamed Run-ways, Robo-signing mills of foreclosure. Hard to build trust over hanging chads, weapons of mass destruction, Hurricane Katrina response, breaking the middle east into a thousand pieces of McDonaldland Green Zones, Bailing out the bankers while interest rates for retiree pensions go negative.
Free markets are the supposed answer but how does one explain the Sacklers' penance or Martin Skreli's markup of insulin? We are supposedly the greatest country on earth, but we cannot provide healthcare to all Americans nor can we deal with a public health emergency without politicization and incompetence reaching a 3rd grade level response (and that's an insult to 3rd graders). Matt gets this spot on.
Attacking free speech is easier for the PMC than doing any kind of self-reflection or admission that their agenda is possibly the worst thing to happen to the United States since the Powell Memo.
I don't want to be a vax skeptic.
But when an anonymous Wikipedia editor claims a Nobel Prize winning virologist is "spreading misinformation"; and when previously respected journalists and doctors are banned from media platforms for citing inconvenient truths or just asking questions, I'm going to go hmmmm (and stay unvaxxed).
The Center for Countering Digital Hate reminds me of the Ministry of Love for some reason.
"If the fact-checkers are themselves untrustworthy, and you can’t get around the fact-checkers, that’s when you’re really screwed."
This is a perfect summary of where we are with today's media. For years many of us have known the media lie. Now people are waking up to the fact the guardians of truth who check the media on our behalf (the 'fact checkers') lie through their teeth too.
Is it any wonder why Substack is growing so fast, and why people like me financially support Mike and many others? This is one of the only places we can find countervailing opinions and facts. And that's very sad.