The famous phrase about truth as the first casualty of war is everywhere these days if only because the people recognize the truth is often nowhere.
There are variations of this saying, and this one on populism is appropriate given the past decade of rising animosity to elites and global management.
Truth is not the first casualty of war alone: it is the first casualty of populism.
— Theodore Dalrymple
You’ve heard the term “if it’s free you are the product”? Well, that’s always been a quaint yet silly advertising slogan for our collective malaise with our digital world. The implication being if it’s free, you will be paying for it in may other ways that you cannot see. A more appropriate and honest slogan would be: “You are and always have been the target.” Your body, your mind, your mental state, your political beliefs, your private and public habits, your DNA (the past two years) and now your bank accounts and ideological and philanthropic associations are being targeted by western governments for lists, censorship, seizure and freezing out from participation in society unless you submit and obey, forever.
What’s happening in Canada will not stay in Canada. What’s happening in Russia will not stay in Russia. What’s happening in Czechia, The UK, Slovakia, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, New York Kindergartens will not stay there. Tyranny may have arrived with a bioweapon wrapped in a pandemic PR campaign and the pretense of a deadly threat, but it’s quickly mutating in virulence with a manufactured war designed to massage our lizard brains and pull our heart strings.
In order for tyranny to gain a permanent foothold across the west with future Silent War fronts against humanity, it will require total control over information so that events can be framed through manufactured narratives. Right now there are far too many leaks for the truth to escape and expose and undermine those prepared narratives. For tyranny to maneuver freely under benevolent disguises of safety and security it must have the consent of the people, which can only be artificially manufactured with lies and propaganda that are unvarnished by truth.
Our present digital model is one of social and civilizational rot which is why using the term ‘social media’ is a fallacy that should be substituted with ‘attention networks’. The organizing principals of our digital model of monopolized attentions networks is one that shadow governments and intel agencies adore and finance and partner with for new normal fascistic capitalism’s mass surveillance and censorship circus. The capitalism side of that equation no longer matters in a future of great resets and great narratives created by the gatekeepers of ‘stakeholder capitalism’, a controlled and engineered future of centralized technocratic power that must destroy the old models.
For years scholars have separated online mass surveillance from censorship, often ignoring the latter altogether. The two are linked. You cannot have censorship without first having mass surveillance in order to know what is forbidden, even if determined by artificial intelligence programmed by humans with little intelligence on the consequences of censorship. The role of official state censors has always been pervasive in the post printing press world to keep out information and ideas that were a threat to whatever centralized powers controlled the censors. We have only existed in a world without official censors for a very brief time, and were naïve to think given the structure of information creation and consumption today that it could last much longer. In fact, you could say it no longer exists at all. The official censors are back. Their resurrection happened in the algorithmic shadows, at first quietly, but now in a torrid rush playing out for all to see, or not see if they’re allowed to succeed.