In a corporatist system of government, wherein there is no meaningful separation between corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is state censorship. Because legalized bribery in the form of corporate lobbying and campaign donations has given wealthy Americans the ability to control the US government’s policy and behavior while ordinary Americans have no effective influence whatsoever, the US unquestionably has a corporatist system of government. Large, influential corporations are inseparable from the state, so their use of censorship is inseparable from state censorship.
This is especially true of the vast megacorporations of Silicon Valley, whose extensive ties to US intelligence agencies are well-documented. Once you’re assisting with the construction of the US military’s drone program, receiving grants from the CIA and NSA for mass surveillance, or having your site’s content regulated by NATO’s propaganda arm, you don’t get to pretend you’re a private, independent corporation that is separate from government power. It is possible in the current system to have a normal business worth a few million dollars, but if you want to get to billions of dollars in wealth control in a system where money translates directly to political power, you need to work with existing power structures like the CIA and the Pentagon, or else they’ll work with your competitors instead of you.
– From the Caitlin Johnstone post: In A Corporatist System Of Government, Corporate Censorship Is State Censorship
Let’s be clear about something up front because it’s extremely important. This narrative that three tech giants, Apple, Google and Facebook all decided independently and simultaneously to de-platform Alex Jones without any threats or pressure from U.S. politicians and other powerful forces behind the scenes is pure fantasy. This isn’t private companies doing that private company thing, this is Silicon Valley oligarchs making a decision to appease politicians and the status quo system which made them billionaires in order to avoid regulation.
I’ve been warning about this for a long time, but let’s revisit something the late Robert Parry noted in September of last year.
The article purports to give the inside story of how Facebook belatedly came to grips with how the “company’s social network played a key role in the U.S. election,” but actually it is a story about how powerful politicians bullied Facebook into coming up with something – anything – to support the narrative of “Russian meddling,” including direct interventions by President Obama and Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee and a key legislator regarding regulation of high-tech industries.
In other words, Facebook was sent back again and again to find what Obama and Warner wanted the social media company to find. Eventually, Facebook turned up $100,000 in ads from 2015 into 2017 that supposedly were traced somehow to Russia. These ads apparently addressed political issues in America although Facebook has said most did not pertain directly to the presidential election and some ads were purchased after the election.
This seemed important at the time, but it’s become even more significant in light of recent events. For instance, Mark Warner appears to be the point man for Democratic politicians who intend to use Russiagate and “fake news” hysteria to intimidate tech giants into submission. It appears to be working.
There’s a big piece to this story that people seem to be missing, which I explained in a brief Twitter thread earlier today.
About a week later, Alex Jones and Infowars is de-platformed by virtually all the tech giants at once.
Politicians are threatening the tech giants with regulation unless they censor as politicians want.
The tech giants do as told, just like they did with surveillance.
— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) August 7, 2018
It’s no coincidence Warner’s paw prints appear to be all over the latest pressure exerted upon tech giants. He and other Democratic politicians are methodically using fear around Russiagate and fake news to get Silicon Valley oligarchs do as they please.
Moreover, they know for a fact this sort of thing is effective, because the U.S. government’s done it before. Specifically and spectacularly with regard to domestic surveillance.
Major American tech companies have cooperated with the US government before, and they will again. If they don’t cooperate, they will be compelled to cooperate.
Again, politicians have no interest in actually reining in the power of the tech giants, they merely want to further weaponize them for their own ends.
The big game here is politicians bullying tech companies so that they censor their platforms in a way they see fit. See the following tweets by Democratic Senator Chris Murphy:
I know Facebook and Apple and YouTube have gotten so big they sometimes seem like the government.
But they aren’t.
They are private companies that shouldn’t knowingly spread lies and hate. They took a good first step today by removing Infowars.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) August 6, 2018
Don’t worry though, that’s not a veiled threat just a friendly suggestion from the politburo.
Meanwhile, it appears Sen. Murphy got an earful following those tweets and responded by pointing out that Trump demonizes the press daily. That’s true, but so is the following:
Scorecard thus far:
Trump’s stupid threats against the press. Zero actual impact on CNN or MSNBC’s ability to publish nonsense.
Democratic politicians threatening tech giants: People with large audiences actually being de-platformed in real life.
— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) August 7, 2018
There’s a big power play afoot — you can ignore it at you own risk.
Oh, and DELETE Facebook.
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