Posted on January 31, 2023
Truth Vs. Power
Punishment for thoughtcrimes has begun
Liberals like to congratulate themselves for imagined acts of bravery by claiming that they "speak truth to power," but is it still possible to do that, even if one were so inclined? Now that power has appointed itself the arbiter of truth, anything you say that conflicts with an officially approved narrative will be deemed untrue, regardless of its factual correctness. When the arbiters of truth tell you that freedom is slavery, as in the novel 1984, you must not point out the obvious fact that freedom and slavery are antonyms. If you do, you may find yourself banned from social media, slandered in news publications, investigated by the Department of Justice, and, of course, fired.
<![if !vml]><![endif]>If only we could return to those wistful times of yesteryear, when mere silence was considered an acceptable response to such tyranny. Simply refraining from citing disapproved facts is no longer enough. Now, you must affirmatively state things that you know to be false, or face the consequences.
Suppose your co-worker Melvin comes in one day wearing a wig and a dress, and your boss tells you that Melvin is now a woman, and that Melvin's pronouns are she/her. Of course, you know that Melvin is not a woman, that people do not have pronouns, and that you would not have reason to speak of Melvin in the third person in his presence anyway. Nevertheless, there will be times when you need to refer to him when talking to somebody else.
In those cases, you could stay rooted in reality by using masculine pronouns, and hope the other person doesn't inform on you. You could awkwardly substitute Melvin's proper name in all cases, as in, "Is Melvin at Melvin's desk? I have to talk to Melvin about the revisions Melvin needs to make to Melvin's report." Or, you could simply go along with the absurdity. Pointing out the fact that Melvin is still a man might not seem like a wise or responsible thing to do in this situation, especially if you have a family to support. Thus, millions of well-meaning people who are not themselves dishonest have nevertheless become a critical component of an orchestrated campaign of lies.
Though it may sound counterintuitive, this suppression of objectivity has coincided with a campaign against "disinformation," which is defined as any statement that challenges the chosen narrative of the arbiters of truth. Last year, President Biden attempted to establish a "Disinformation Governance Board" within the Department of Homeland Security, whose purpose was made deliberately opaque. In response to public outrage, the creation of the board was suspended, until such time as the Democrats can figure out how to successfully repackage it.
Thanks to Elon Musk's "Twitter files," we have learned that the FBI played a role in burying the Hunter Biden laptop story, which dozens of bureaucrats had falsely assured us was the product of "Russian disinformation." They offered no evidence to back up this claim, yet all information to the contrary was prohibited from the public square until after the 2020 presidential election.
Twitter and other social media have censored spreaders of "disinformation" about COVID, which would be disconcerting even if those people's assertions had been uniformly false. Mostly, the objects of this campaign were making completely defensible arguments, such as that authoritarians were using the virus as a pretext for revoking our freedoms, that the virus had come from a laboratory and not from nature, that the experimental vaccines may have unforeseen effects, and that a cloth mask is far too porous to impede the spread of the virus. The problem was never that these points of view were invalid, but only that they were undesirable.
<![if !vml]><![endif]>Last June, retiring New York congresswoman Carolyn Maloney introduced a bill she called the Stop Anti-Abortion Disinformation Act, with the intention of shutting down pro-life crisis pregnancy centers. These facilities are genuine nonprofits that not only provide free services, but also offer material assistance to the women who seek them out. Nevertheless, the aptly titled SAD Act would have empowered the Federal Trade Commission to impose penalties of up to $100,000 on them, based on some bureaucrat's highly fanciful definition of "deceptive or misleading statements."
As everyone who pays any attention to the issue is aware, it is those on the pro-abortion side who specialize in duplicitous language ("products of conception," "ending a pregnancy" and "bodily autonomy" being but a few examples). So what is it they would consider deceptive and misleading? Telling a pregnant woman she's carrying a baby?
The Federal Trade Commission is an organ within the Department of Commerce, which is headed by former Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo. The day after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Raimondo issued a press release condemning the decision, which is a doggone peculiar thing for a commerce secretary to do. Had SAD passed, this obviously biased and unaccountable person would have been enlisted in the disinformation police. If Maloney had her way, it would be effectively illegal to counsel a pregnant woman without explicitly advocating the very thing that the CPCs hope to prevent.
It is a common totalitarian tactic to look for ways in which we are arguably all connected, in order to justify the oppression of the individual in the name of the common good. If we all belong to some nebulous entity called "the health care system," that means your personal habits and decisions are everyone else's concern. By that reasoning, President Barack Obama openly declared it to be his responsibility to change our eating habits and reduce sedentary behavior. If mundane human activities connect us all by threatening environmental destruction, then it is in other people's interests that bureaucratic wonks regulate everything from our gas mileage to the capacity of our toilet tanks. Now, it is being posited that our words, through their ability to persuade, have a destructive potential that requires them to be regulated as well.
So much for speaking truth to power. Not only must certain truths be silenced today, but we must tell those in power the things they demand to hear, even when we know those things to be untrue. Hunter Biden's laptop is Russian propaganda. Hunter's father has no knowledge of his business dealings. Wearing a mask is the most effective means of combating the COVID virus. Carbon dioxide is destroying the earth. A baby in the womb is no different from an inflamed appendix. Melvin is a woman. Freedom is slavery.
The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press