Eric Zuesse, originally posted at Strategic Culture
No democracy can survive censorship. If there is censorship, then each individual cannot make his/her own decisions (voting decisions or otherwise) on the basis of truth but only on the basis of whatever passes through the censor’s filter, which is always whatever supports the censoring regime and implants it evermore deeply into the public’s mind — regardless of its actual truthfulness.
The public does have a mind, as a collective constituting the majority of the residents in the given land, which majority rules any democratic government. If the government doesn’t really represent the majority, it’s no democracy, at all, but instead represents other individuals, the real rulers, who might be hidden. Consequently, if a democracy exists but a censor somehow becomes allowed, and emerges into existence in a given land, then democracy will inevitably be snuffed-out there, and dictatorship will inevitably be the result — merely because censorship has been applied there, which blocks some essential truths (truths that the rulers don’t want the public to know) from reaching the public.
Nothing is as toxic to democracy as is censorship. Censorship prevents democracy.
If a dictatorship already exists in a given land, then it does so by means of censorship, because only by that means will the public be willing to pay taxes to the regime and to go to war for it and to kill and die for it. Without censorship, none of that could happen, except in an authentic democracy. An authentic democracy has no censorship.
This is why democracy is so rare. Almost every dictatorship calls itself a ‘democracy’. But a government which calls itself “democratic” isn’t necessarily democratic, but more likely it has simply fooled its public to think that it is one (such as the United States has by now been scientifically proven to be — an actual dictatorship).
Anyone who endorses censorship is a totalitarian, a supporter of totalitarianism, even without recognizing the fact. If the person fails to recognize the fact that censorship is applied only in a totalitarian regime, then that person has bought into the most basic belief of totalitarianism: the idea that censorship can be justified in some circumstances. Dictatorships always pump that lie, so as to be able to continue to exist as a dictatorship. There is no circumstance which ever can justify censorship, unless one believes that dictatorship is, or can be, good instead of bad.
If you think that some censorship is good, then you have bought into the fundamental belief that is promulgated in any dictatorship. It’s a lie, but it fools the majority of people, in a dictatorship.
No writing, nor any other statement, should ever be censored, no matter how vile it is. Indeed, if it is vile, then it needs to be exposed, not hidden; because, if it is hidden, then it will fester until it grows in the dark and finally becomes sprung upon a public who have never been inoculated against it by truth, and therefore the false belief becomes actually seriously dangerous and likely to spread like wildfire, because it had been censored before it became public. The most deadly infections are those that grow in the dark and then become released upon a population who have no pre-existing protection against it.
Every religion, and every evil regime, seeks to censor-out whatever contradicts its propaganda, and is therefore intrinsically hostile toward democracy, but the danger is always being presented not by the writers and speakers of the propaganda, but by its publishers (regardless of media: print, broadcast, or online) — they are the source of all censorship. They are the censors. The people who select what to publish, and what not to publish, are the censors. The regime’s media are what perpetrate censorship, routinely, because those media are actually essential arms of the dictatorship, even if they are not directly owned by the government but instead by the clique who actually possess control over the government because they possess control over the mainstream (and much of the non-mainstream) media and thus the public’s mind in a ‘democracy’ in order to make it the dictatorship that it actually is.
Much has been written about how this censorship has been perpetrated in the post-WW-II (post-26-July-1945) U.S.A., such as here, and here, and here, and here. (All of that has been censored-out from the major media — they don’t report that they represent the regime instead of the public.) As a consequence of that censorship against truth, history is being revised to be ‘history’ so as to portray a false ‘reality’ to people today. And there are numerous other examples of this, by the U.S. regime, each instance, of which lying, is affirmed as being truth by the regime’s agents, but is actually nothing more than vicious lies that are spread by the regime and its agents. What goes on behind the scenes is hidden from the American public, not really in order to protect them, but purely in order to deceive them. The deception of the American people, and of the residents in all of the U.S. Government’s foreign vassal-states (or ‘allies’) in Europe and elsewhere, is extreme, in all fields of international relations. Whereas Julian Assange was the world’s strongest enemy against censorship, he has been almost ten years now under some form or another of imprisonment, including solitary confinement and torture, all without ever having been convicted of anything, and all because he is an enemy against censorship instead of a flak for censorship. And Twitter and other ‘social media’ are hiding from the public — censoring — the sheer outrageousness of it all. (The United States in 2019 ranked #48 out of the 180 nations on the Press Freedom Index. That’s worse than almost all industrialized nations. However, I find the truthfulness of its mainstream-media international news reporting to be worse than that in some countries which rank near the very bottom of the list. I consider the ranking-system to be slanted toward U.S. and allied countries. If anything, U.S. receives far too favorable a “Press Freedom” ranking, and should be listed somewhere near the very bottom — at least as regards truthfulness. But its scoring below almost every other industrialized nation already places it far lower than the country’s myth about itself does, regarding “Press Freedom.” And heroic whistleblowers, such as Assange, experience the very worst of it.)
The solution to the problem of lies is not censorship, it is banning censorship. On 7 June 2019, the need for this seemed even clearer to me after Russia’s RT headlined on that date “Glenn Greenwald rips liberals who ‘beg for censorship’”, and that brilliant lawyer and investigative journalist presented powerfully the case against any censorship at all. As one can see from the accompanying video interview there of him, Greenwald was like a force of nature, in that video, or (to use a different metaphor) a huge dose of mental draino for clogged minds.
This also means that issues of libel and slander are only to be addressed in the civil courts, and not, at all, in the government’s prosecutions, the criminal courts.
All censorship needs to be banned. The question therefore becomes: How can this be done? That’s a question I have never seen discussed, perhaps because it is being censored. It’s a very serious question. Any ‘political science’ which exists that has no extensive literature about this question is fake. Perhaps draino for clogged minds is needed especially for scholars.
Things are worse than we know, because censorship exists. Maybe censorship is pervasive.
So: I shall venture a solution to this problem: By law, all media which discuss national and/or international affairs will fire all editors and producers of “news,” but not the employees who have only managerial, presentational, and/or stylistic assignments, and will replace these people (all personnel who select what to present and what not to present) by a randomized algorithm being applied to each topic, so that, if, for example, something is entered into a search-box, then the order or presentation of the findings will be listed either (at the user’s selection) from earliest-posted to latest-posted, or latest-posted to earliest-posted, but not by anything that is chosen or determined by the search-engine itself. (In other words: no search-engine will be allowed to censor.) On print or broadcast media, every news-piece will be controlled in real time by its audience so as to determine what the questions are and then to bring into the presentation randomly selected scientifically qualified experts regarding each such question. For example: on the question of climate-change, the experts would be individuals who have terminal graduate-level degrees in each of the related climatology sub-specialties, such as those listed at Wikipedia, but also in essential related fields such as economics (an important climatological sub-specialty that’s not listed there). If, indeed, over 90% of climatologists agree that man-made global warming is a reality, then the result of this method of selecting the “experts” who will be presented is that that viewpoint will be represented by over 90% of the experts — and this outcome would not be controlled by the given ‘news’-medium, nor affected by its advertisers. In other words: only the subject-matter and academic qualifications — no governmental positions or background — would qualify individuals as being “experts” on the given topic. If a terminal degree isn’t a qualification for expertise on a topic, then what is? Aren’t government officials supposed to be relying on them? And if, for example, the topic is Syria, then shouldn’t all individuals who have terminal degrees on Syria be the “experts” who are invited, on a randomized basis, to comment to the public about Syria-related issues? If that were the case, then — for example — perhaps many Americans would know that the U.S. and NATO “began operations in April- May 2011 to organize and expand the dissident base in Syria,” “organizing defectors in Syria,” and “smuggle US weapons into Syria, participate in US psychological and information warfare inside Syria” to produce regime-change there, and that Syria had never posed any threat to U.S. national security, yet the U.S. has invaded it for over eight years. And Barack Obama was hoping for such opportunities to overthrow Syria’s Government even when he became President in 2009. If the American public didn’t know those things at the time, then perhaps America’s censorship was total — which would indicate how absolutely crucial a randomization of the public’s information-sources is, so as to replace the power that the existing mainstrean ‘news’-media have over the public’s mind, in America, and in its vassal-nations (which don’t yet include Syria). If the public do not have unprejudiced — which means entirely uncensored — information presented routinely to them, then democracy isn’t even possible. With this method, there still would be a system of exposing lies. But censorship would not be a part of that.
Anyway: that is one proposed way of replacing censorship, and overcoming dictatorship. How many politicians are proposing such changes? Why aren’t any? Are all of them afraid of the dictators? Is there no basis for hope, at all?
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.