8 comments for “WATCH: The Persecution of Truth

  1. IJ Scambling
    May 3, 2023 at 12:54

    At the risk of being off topic, I think Siegel’s comments in the following are relevant here, and include Julian in the “barbaric” category. I put them here versus at the April 30 Lawrence article because that thread is surely due to terminate very soon. Please advise.

    Key points from Jacob Siegel’s “13 Ways of Looking at Disinformation” article (March 28, 2023) at:


    In my view we have not yet discussed points in the following (which struck me in particular) sufficiently as yet:

    *What do the members of the ruling class believe? They believe, I argue, “in informational and management solutions to existential problems” and in their “own provi­dential destiny and that of people like them to rule, regardless of their failures.” As a class, their highest principle is that they alone can wield power. If any other group were to rule, all progress and hope would be lost, and the dark forces of fascism and barbarism would at once sweep back over the earth. While technically an opposition party is still permitted to exist in the United States, the last time it attempted to govern nationally, it was subjected to a yearslong coup. In effect, any challenge to the authority of the ruling party, which represents the interests of the ruling class, is depicted as an existential threat to civilization.


    *With an asteroid hurtling toward Earth, even the most principled rationalists might end up asking for safety over truth. But an asteroid has been falling toward Earth every week for years now. The pattern in these cases is that the ruling class justifies taking liberties with the law to save the planet but ends up violating the Constitution to hide the truth and protect itself.

    *She [Emily Bazelon] quotes from a book by Yale philosopher Jason Stanley and linguist David Beaver: “Free speech threatens democracy as much as it also provides for its flourishing.”

    So the problem of disinformation is also a problem of democracy itself—specifically, that there’s too much of it. To save liberal democracy, the experts prescribed two critical steps: America must become less free and less democratic. This necessary evolution will mean shutting out the voices of certain rabble-rousers in the online crowd who have forfeited the privilege of speaking freely. It will require following the wisdom of disinformation experts and outgrowing our parochial attachment to the Bill of Rights. This view may be jarring to people who are still attached to the American heritage of liberty and self-government, but it has become the official policy of the country’s ruling party and much of the American intelligentsia.

    Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich responded to the news that Elon Musk was purchasing Twitter by declaring that preserving free speech online was “Musk’s dream. And Trump’s. And Putin’s. And the dream of every dictator, strongman, demagogue, and modern-day robber baron on Earth. For the rest of us, it would be a brave new nightmare.” According to Reich, censorship is “necessary to protect American democracy.”


    *To a ruling class that had already grown tired of democracy’s demand that freedom be granted to its subjects, disinformation provided a regulatory framework to replace the U.S. Constitution. By aiming at the impossible, the elimination of all error and deviation from party orthodoxy, the ruling class ensures that it will always be able to point to a looming threat from extremists—a threat that justifies its own iron grip on power.

    A siren song calls on those of us alive at the dawn of the digital age to submit to the authority of machines that promise to optimize our lives and make us safer. Faced with the apocalyptic threat of the “infodemic,” we are led to believe that only superintelligent algorithms can protect us from the crushingly inhuman scale of the digital information assault. The old human arts of conversation, disagreement, and irony, on which democracy and much else depend, are subjected to a withering machinery of military-grade surveillance—surveillance that nothing can withstand and that aims to make us fearful of our capacity for reason.

    • IJ Scambling
      May 3, 2023 at 19:09

      My thoughts (especially re the ending note):

      I conclude that the view of the technocrats, as indicated by Siegel, is that democracy as once conceived is worn out and too weak for today’s challenges. Instead, party doctrine (that is uni-party doctrine) should be accepted as guidance on how to handle problems brought on by the extremist factions—those that deviate from the wisdom of party doctrine. Intelligence machines now rule thinking, with their superior ability to survey, surveil, conclude, and posit—and at incredible speeds which save time over human bumbling and trying to express ideas precisely. Humans are simply not sufficiently evolved from weak, irrational creatures for the demands of our time.

      And this is the new “liberalism,” which, that is, has evolved from the old liberalism so that we get the paradoxical term “liberal totalitarianism” in which two opposites prevail simultaneously (a good and kind sort of totalitarianism, that is, or a soft totalitarianism). Huxley’s Brave New World might be close to this concept. The new liberals such as Robert Reich and Hillary Clinton want the very best for us and are ultimately concerned to save us from our rawness and inferior abilities to deal with current affairs. This explains this new non-democratic need to preserve order instead of the messy “freedom” and idealism of the old days.

      And in this case Julian simply must be silenced and prevented from any further thinking or expression because he stirs the rabble, or the barbarians, who are irrational and dangerous, causing turbulence in our world. Trump et al is another example, and if we lied about these people somewhat it was all in the best interests of those of us who should be ruling because we’re the smartest and most knowledgeable in this matter.

      But, rest assured, we’re not fanatics or extremists of any sort, and we have your best interests at heart, so if you’re thinking we belong in the middle-ages or even further back, you’d perhaps better get with google and look up “the dark ages.” That should show you how far we rulers have come since then.

  2. JonnyJames
    May 3, 2023 at 11:54

    Speaking of “journalism” in the Guardian online today an article entitled ” journalists are persecuted, we all suffer”
    Margaret Sullivan. “The world is becoming more dangerous for journalists. On this World Press Freedom Day, there are ways to help”

    (Yes there are ways to help, try speaking out to free Julian Assange, you pathetic %%#@)

    Not ONE word is mentioned about Julian Assange. The article is simply an anti-Russia hit piece. It is one of the most hypocritical, disgusting propaganda articles I have seen on the Guardian – and there is a lot of competition.

    • Arch Stanton
      May 3, 2023 at 19:11

      The Guardian these days is nothing more than a corporate mouthpiece.
      It’s had zero credibility for many years now, although, I do remember a time when it used to report on the ill treatment of Palestinians by the occupying apartheid Zionist regime (Robert Fisk) alas, no one in the MSM is allowed to do that anymore. Coincidence?

    • Valerie
      May 4, 2023 at 07:53

      Jonny, you might find this link interesting. I discovered it months ago. I have no idea how reliable it is but the list of partners is revealing:


      (I know what you mean about the Guardian. Haven’t seen that article you mentioned but there’s another one by Trevor Timm – “If you care about press freedom, make some noise about Julian Assange.” I think USA/Europe get different articles)

      • JonnyJames
        May 4, 2023 at 11:47

        thanks Valeria, I’ll check it out.

      • JonnyJames
        May 4, 2023 at 11:53

        Oh I see, the NYT, The Guardian the Washington Post and Bellingcat are on the list of partners. That raises a big red flag.

        • Valerie
          May 4, 2023 at 14:05

          Exactly Jonny.

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