Connect with us

Latest

Analysis

News

Destabilising Saudi Arabia? Crown Prince consolidates control; eliminates rivals

Saudi Crown Prince’s attempts to concentrate power put Saudi Arabia’s whole system of governance at risk

Alexander Mercouris

Published

on

7,686 Views

The round-up of Saudi Princes which took place on 5th November 2017 is simply the latest in a succession of purges initiated by Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Deputy Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman, as he tries to consolidate his position by getting his hands on all of Saudi Arabia’s levers of power.

As is often the case in purges of this kind, a large number of people have been rounded up on ‘corruption charges’ (the standard pretext used to conceal power struggles of this sort) in order to conceal the identity of the true target of the purge.

That target was Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, the commander of Saudi Arabia’s National Guard, the third in the triad of defence and security agencies which underpin the rule of Saudi Arabia’s Royal Family.

Of these three the largest and most powerful is the Saudi military, which Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman controls directly as Saudi Arabia’s Defence Minister.

The second is the Interior Ministry, which controls Saudi Arabia’s police and law enforcement agencies.

Its former head, Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, was appointed Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s own father, King Salman, in April 2015, shortly after King Salman succeeded to the throne following the death of King Abdullah, the previous Saudi King.

As Interior Minister Prince Muhammad bin Nayef headed a sprawling police and internal security apparatus built up by his father Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud, who was Saudi Arabia’s Interior Minister from 1975 to 2012, and who was also briefly Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince for a few months before his death.

In addition, from February 2014 Prince Muhammad bin Nayef also became the head of Saudi Arabia’s external intelligence agencies in succession to the notorious Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who was sacked following a disastrous “secret” meeting with Russian President Putin in the summer of 2013..

As Crown Prince, Prince Muhammad bin Nayef retained overall control of both of the Interior Ministry and of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agencies.  However he was abruptly demoted and  sacked from all his posts in the first purge engineered this year by Prince Muhammad bin Salman in June 2017. Prince Muhammad bin Salman, who up to then had been Deputy Crown Prince, then arranged to have himself declared Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince in direct succession to his father King Salman in place of Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, making Prince Muhammad bin Salman the direct heir to the Saudi throne and the intended successor as Saudi King of his father King Salman when King Salman dies.

By securing Prince Muhammad bin Nayef’s downfall, Prince Muhammad bin Salman therefore removed from the scene a powerful Prince who was a rival for the throne.

As might have been predicted, Prince Muhammad bin Nayef’s downfall then appears to have been followed by a purge of his supporters from his former power base – the Interior Ministry – and their replacement with people Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman presumably considers loyal to himself.  It seems that the powers of the Interior Ministry have also been significantly cut back.

Having eliminated one potential rival in the person of Prince Muhammad bin Nayef and brought the Interior Ministry under his control, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman has now turned his attention on another potential rival – Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah – and the third agency in Saudi Arabia’s security triad, the Saudi National Guard.

This is a huge well-equipped paramilitary force – it is said to number 100,000 men – which operates within Saudi Arabia as practically a parallel army to the ‘official’ Saudi army which is headed by Prince Muhammad bin Salman.

Like the army the National Guard is equipped with heavy weapons (though not tanks) and has its own air arm consisting of helicopters and light aircraft.

Unlike the official Saudi army recruitment to the National Guard is restricted to members of tribes believed to be especially loyal to the Saudi Royal Family.

In effect it functions within Saudi Arabia as a sort of Praetorian Guard, protecting the Royal Family from the risk of an internal revolution or coup.  As such it also controls security in the two Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, the control of which gives the Saudi Royal Family its legitimacy (the official title of Saudi Arabia’s King is “Custodian of the two Holy Mosques” ie. of Mecca and Medina).

The commander of the National Guard is therefore a key figure in the Saudi power structure.

Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, its now ousted head, was not only one of Saudi Arabia’s best connected  and most influential Princes, but he also had a continuous connection with the National Guard extending back to 1990, making it loyal to himself and an effective power base.  He became its commander in 2009.

Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah is also the son of King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia’s former King, who was King from 2005 to 2015, making Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah therefore a potential rival for the Saudi throne.

Like Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah also belongs to a more senior generation of Saudi Princes born in the 1950s, who must be feeling unsettled by the meteoric rise of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, who was born in 1985 and is only 32.

In addition it seems that Prince Muhammad bin Nayef and Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah were friends, and political allies, a fact which would have made them doubly threatening to Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, and which would have ensured that the fall of the one would be followed swiftly by the fall of the other.

By ousting Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah from his position as commander of Saudi Arabia’s National Guard Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is therefore looking to eliminate a powerful potential rival, and to bring the National Guard under his control.

If Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman can pull off the trick – and for the moment he seems to be doing so – he will have control of all of Saudi Arabia’s defence, intelligence, and internal security institutions – the Defence Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the country’s intelligence services and the National Guard – in his hands.

With Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman already in charge of Saudi Arabia’s economic policies and its civilian ministries, and with a purge of Saudi Arabia’s clerical establishment previously carried out in September, he must hope that this will concentrate all the levers of power in Saudi Arabia in his hands.

Though in the short term Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman appears to be achieving some success, it must be said that this is a high risk strategy.

Though Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, its King has never before ruled as an autocrat.  Rather he has ruled on behalf of the entire Saudi Royal Family as its trustee.

That means that the Saudi King has traditionally consulted widely within the Royal Family before making important decisions, and that he has always given power to other members of the Royal Family, to whom he has entrusted important functions such as the control of the Interior Ministry and of the National Guard.

Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is throwing all that out of the window.  By seeking to concentrate all power in his own hands he really does seem to be aiming at making himself Saudi Arabia’s autocrat.

In the process he must be causing intense anger within the Saudi Royal Family, with many of its members furious at the way in which they are being shunted aside, and at the shabby treatment – as many of them will see it – of the Family’s senior Princes like Prince Muhammad bin Nayef and Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah.

Beyond that the use of the issue of corruption as the cloak behind which to carry out the purge is one which is all but guaranteed to provoke further anger and alarm.

Saudi Arabia though possessing many of the trappings of a state is nonetheless ultimately the property of the Saudi Royal Family.  In such a system lines between what is corrupt and what is not inevitably become blurred.

The result is that what in many countries would be seen as corruption in Saudi Arabia is the accepted norm, becoming in effect the organising principle of Saudi Arabia’s government and society.

It is doubtful that most of the Saudi Princes, accustomed to thinking of the Kingdom’s wealth as their own collectively held personal property, even think of many of the things they do as corruption.

The result is that almost any prominent Saudi Prince can be classified as ‘corrupt’, with the term from their point of view having little or no meaning or having much relevance to the things they do.

In such a situation for Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman to start jailing Saudi Princes because he calls things which all of them do and have been long accustomed to doing ‘corrupt’ is all but guaranteed to provoke alarm and anger across the rest of the Royal Family.

Since the accession of his father King Salman in 2015 Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman has been remarkably active as he he looks to put into effect his own vision of himself and of the future of the Kingdom.

He has launched a war against the Houthis in the Yemen which by all accounts is not gong well.  He has also conducted a feud with Qatar which seems ill-advised, and he has now extended his meddling to the affairs of Lebanon as well.

He has also committed the Kingdom to a grossly over-ambitious and unrealistic economic policy, with the latest fantasy being the creation from scratch of an all-new industrial city for which there is no obvious purpose or need.

He is now acting to eliminate his rivals and to concentrate all power in the Kingdom in his hands, achieving thereby a position of greater power in Saudi Arabia than any Saudi King before him except for the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdul-Aziz Ibn Said.

At the same time he is purging the country’s clerical establishment, enacting liberal innovations such as allowing women to drive cars, whilst declaring that he intends to replace Saudi Arabia’s stern Wahhabi religious ideology with a more ‘moderate’ version of Islam, which he claims – falsely – to have been that of the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud.

This purported internal ‘liberalisation’ of Saudi Arabia looks to me like a ploy by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman to gain popular support as he consolidates his power from the younger, more liberal and better educated members of the Saudi elite.

I am as skeptical of it as is Gilbert Mercier and I would add that it is anyway at odds with the reality of the rapidly growing centralisation of power in Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s own person which is now underway.

As I said in my previous discussion of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s grandiose economic policy, the person of whom his actions increasingly remind me is the late Shah of Iran.

Like the Shah Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman promotes an appearance of ‘modernisation’ and ‘liberalisation’ in order to disguise and justify his increasingly autocratic and arbitrary behaviour.

Like the Shah Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is doing this whilst pursuing a break-neck military build-up, a grandiose and completely unrealistic foreign policy, and an economic policy which is so grandiose that it has left all reality behind it.

Like the Shah Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman has the unqualified support in all his follies of the US, whose Secretary of State Rex Tillerson almost certainly gave the purge the green light during the course of his recent visit to Riyadh.

In the case of the Shah it all ended in tears, with the Shah forced into ignominious exile by the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

Saudi Arabia is a very different society from Iran, lacking Iran’s history and its ancient culture and tradition of parliamentarianism and democracy.

The fact however remains that by acting to eliminate all rivals Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman must be provoking huge anger within Saudi Arabia, whilst by concentrating all power in his own hands he will have no one else to blame if things go seriously wrong.

Meanwhile his purported religious ‘liberalisation’ – because of the way it is being combined with his growing trend towards achieving personal power – is more likely to be seen as threatening by most sections of Saudi society than as attractive to them.

One way or the other by his recent actions Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman has taken Saudi Arabia further down the road first to autocracy, and then to collapse.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Latest

New Zealand weapons ban dream move of leftist activists

The American left is sure to pick this up and start screaming for an “assault weapons ban” because this supports their agenda so well.

Seraphim Hanisch

Published

on

Reuters reported on Thursday, March 21 that the Prime Minister of New Zealand enacted a sweeping change, banning weapons of the type that were used in the massacre of at least fifty Muslims, who were gunned down on livestream while in Friday prayer services in Christchurch last week. We quote from the Reuters piece below, with added emphasis:

New Zealand will ban military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles under tough new gun laws following the killing of 50 people in its worst mass shooting, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday.

In the immediate aftermath of last Friday’s shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, Ardern labeled the attack as terrorism and said New Zealand’s gun laws would change.

“On 15 March our history changed forever. Now, our laws will too. We are announcing action today on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our gun laws and make our country a safer place,” Ardern told a news conference.

“All semi-automatic weapons used during the terrorist attack on Friday 15 March will be banned.”

Ardern said she expected the new laws to be in place by April 11 and a buy-back scheme costing up to NZ$200 million ($138 million) would be established for banned weapons.

All military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles would be banned, along with parts used to convert weapons into MSSAs and all high-capacity magazines.

Australia banned semi-automatic weapons and launched a gun buy-back after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 in which 35 people were killed.

Ardern said that similar to Australia, the law would allow for strictly enforced exemptions for farmers for pest control and animal welfare.

“I strongly believe that the vast majority of legitimate gun owners in New Zealand will understand that these moves are in the national interest, and will take these changes in their stride.”

This is undoubtedly going to be real red meat (or perhaps real vegetables) for the anti-gun lobby in the United States. This is because New Zealand strongly resembled the US in terms of firearm rights and the penetration of numbers of guns in the populace of this remote island nation. Reuters continues, with statements that would probably surprise, even horrify some gun owners in the States, but which are doubtlessly useful for the application of pressure on such individuals:

New Zealand, a country of fewer than 5 million people, has an estimated 1.2-1.5 million firearms, about 13,500 of them MSSA-type weapons.

Most farmers own guns while hunting of deer, pigs and goats is popular. Gun clubs and shooting ranges dot the country.

That has created a powerful lobby that has thwarted previous attempts to tighten gun laws.

Federated Farmers, which represent thousands of farmers, said it supported the new laws.

“This will not be popular among some of our members but … we believe this is the only practicable solution,” a group spokesman, Miles Anderson, said in a statement.

The main opposition National Party, which draws strong support in rural areas, said it also supported the ban.

The changes exclude two general classes of firearms commonly used for hunting, pest control and stock management on farms.

“I have a military style weapon. But to be fair, I don’t really use it, I don’t really need it,” said Noel Womersley, who slaughters cpoliticalattle for small farmers around Christchurch.

“So I’m quite happy to hand mine over.”

To be absolutely fair, the attack on the mosques was an awful event, made the worse by the shooter’s deliberate attempts to politicize various aspects of what he was doing and what he “stood for” as an attack ostensibly against US President Donald Trump, some seven thousand miles away in the United States.

The immediate reaction of the people interviewed, some among them related or friends with the victims of the massacre, was to embrace the weapons reform laws:

Nada Tawfeek, who buried her father-in-law killed in the attacks, Hussein Moustafa, on Thursday, welcomed the ban.

“It’s a great reaction. I think other countries need to learn from her [Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern],” Tawfeek said.

Mohammed Faqih, a member of the Islamic clergy who flew in from California and attended the funerals for some victims on Thursday, said he was “extremely grateful” for the gun ban.

“I wish our leaders in the States would follow on her footsteps and do the same thing,” he said.

One can expect there to be quite the outcry among American liberals about gun control, especially if anything remotely resembling this event takes place or is thwarted in coming days in the US.

It may seem very cold and cruel to focus on the political angle of this story rather than the human tragedy that it is. However, in this situation we have seen signs that the most vile form of human tragedy has actually taken place – the murder of dozens of innocent people for a mere political point. Indeed this thought has been noted and vilified already, as Mr. R.X. Dentith, writing for the New Zealand website Spinoff here quoted:

American paleo-conservative Rush Limbaugh was one of the first to note: “There’s an ongoing theory that the shooter himself may, in fact, be a leftist who writes the manifesto and then goes out and performs the deed purposely to smear his political enemies, knowing he’s going to get shot in the process. You know you just can’t – you can’t immediately discount this. The left is this insane, they are this crazy. And then if that’s exactly what the guy is trying to do then he’s hit a home run, because right there on Fox News: ‘Shooter is an admitted white nationalist who hates immigrants.’”

…[P]eople like Limbaugh… can’t stomach the idea the terrorist action in Otautahi might be motivated by the kind of rhetoric Limbaugh helps disseminate – tend to think there is a culture war going on, and they are on the losing side.

This war has many names, and the enemy is easily identified: it is the battle against Cultural Marxism; the fight against Toxic Feminism; the resistance to Identity Politics; and the fear of the Great Replacement, the thesis at the heart of the terrorist’s own manifesto.

The Great Replacement thesis posits that the majority white European countries are being “invaded” by non-white, non-European peoples. Not just that, but due to declining birth rates in the West, this “invasion” constitutes a wholesale replacement of the white population over time.

Mr. Dentith tries further to knock down this notion of the Great Replacement. However, he misses a much more basic point.

Someone who goes and takes human lives and broadcasts them for any reason is not a mere political operative. The person who does this is a very sick, deranged human being indeed. Evil is certainly appropriately used here.

However, evil is often quite cunning, and despite the intellectual arguments about the reality or non-reality of any particular manifesto statement, in this case, the killer played the media with infernal intelligence, and they took the bait. It is possible that Prime Minister Ardern also took the bait, in this most awful of bad situations, and to give her credit, she took swift actions to try to “correct” what was wrong.

But the problem here was not the type of weapons used. The problem is the fact that they were used by a person who thought these fifty people’s lives were worth nothing more than a bit of policy change. One of the worst examples of human evil in recent times, this incident shouts to the world that there is a problem, but the problem remains unsolved, even though many people will hand over their firearms out of a genuine wish for compassion to those lost and the hope that somehow this action will prevent a future incident.

But the logic of this emotional reaction is nil. And what is worse is that the American Left knows this, but does not care. The movers and shakers of liberalism will likely milk the actions of sincerely horrified New Zealanders for all they are worth to try at affecting change in American constitutional rights.

And the innocent dead will not rest in peace, because the real problem has not even been examined.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Upstart Populist Party Shocks In Dutch Election Upset, 2 Days After Utrecht Attack

International reports have described the FvD as receiving “a surge of last-minute support” in the days following the Utrecht attack.

Published

on

Via Zerohedge…


Dutch voters have sent shock waves through Europe at the polls on Wednesday in the wake of Monday’s deadly Utrecht terror shooting, in which a now detained 37-year old Turkish man went on a terrifying tram killing spree which left three dead and three injured.

Euroskeptic party, Forum for Democracy (FvD), has emerged victorious in key provincial elections this week, paving the way to making it one of the two largest groups in the Dutch Senate, and representing growing Dutch frustration with the recent unprecedented refugee influx in Europe.

Newcomer Forum for Democracy party is led by 36-year-old Thierry Baudet, who is a critic of the EU and of the Netherlands’ immigration policies, via EPA

International reports have described the FvD as receiving “a surge of last-minute support” in the days following the Utrecht attack, which investigators have since described as having a “terror motive” based on a letter found in shooter Gokmen Tanis’ possession.

Forum for Democracy party leader Thierry Baudet had immediately placed ultimate blame  for the incident on the government’s “lax immigration policies” and provocatively stated a day before the elections (referencing his political rival)

If people want more deadly shootings like the one in Utrecht, then they have to vote for the VVD.

Baudet, riding a wave of renewed Euroskeptic sentiment, and whose party also wants to see more military spending, green initiatives, and an easing on income tax while greatly restricting the borders, said in the aftermath of Wednesday’s vote: “The voters in the Netherlands have spread their wings and shown their true power.”

Referencing the Utrecht attack and other deadly terror incidents on European soil, he added: “We have been called to the front because we have to. Because the country needs us.”

Three were killed and several injured in Monday’s Dutch tram terror attack, which raised the country’s emergency threat level to five as it was unfolding, its highest level.

Interestingly, the 36-year old Baudet and his party continued campaigning down to the last moments even as others stopped in the wake of Monday’s attack which rocked the Netherlands. According to Al Jazeera:

Following the lead of US President Donald Trump, Baudet opposes immigration and emphasises “Dutch first” cultural and economic themes. He opposes the euro and thinks the Netherlands should leave the European Union.

Baudet had continued campaigning when other parties stopped after Monday’s attack in Utrecht, in which a gunman shot three people dead on a tram. The populist leader blamed the incident on the government’s lax immigration policies.

The FvD is now set to take 12 seats in the upper house of parliament, which is equal to Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s conservative VVD Party, a scenario before this week considered unlikely according to many observers.

The FvD slightly outscoring the VVD means Rutte’s government has lost its majority for the 75-seat Senate ahead of upcoming May elections.

In a post-election speech on Wednesday, Baudet described further that what’s now being described in international media as “an upstart populist party [that has] shocked the Dutch political establishment” as punishing the arrogance of elites.

In his pro-Western civilization themed remarks, Baudet added, “We are standing in the rubble of what was once the most beautiful civilization in the world.”

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Will The Trump White House finally punish Facebook for censorship?

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 113.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at US President Trump’s tweet where he has said that he would be “looking into” a report that his social media chief, Dan Scavino Jr. has been censored by Facebook.

Are we finally about to see the Trump White House move to punish social media outlets for their blatant and bias censorship of alternative narratives that dare to stray from globalist neo-liberal and radical left ideology?

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

“Conservatives face a tough fight as Big Tech’s censorship expands”, authored by Donald Trump Jr., via The Hill…

As Big Tech’s censorship of conservatives becomes ever more flagrant and overt, the old arguments about protecting the sanctity of the modern public square are now invalid. Our right to freely engage in public discourse through speech is under sustained attack, necessitating a vigorous defense against the major social media and internet platforms.

From “shadowbans” on Facebook and Twitter, to demonetization of YouTube videos, to pulled ads for Republican candidates at the critical junctures of election campaigns, the list of violations against the online practices and speech of conservatives is long.

I certainly had my suspicions confirmed when Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, “accidentally” censored a post I made regarding the Jussie Smollett hoax, which consequently led to me hearing from hundreds of my followers about how they’ve been having problems seeing, liking or being able to interact with my posts. Many of them even claimed that they’ve had to repeatedly refollow me, as Instagram keeps unfollowing me on their accounts.

While nothing about Big Tech’s censorship of conservatives truly surprises me anymore, it’s still chilling to see the proof for yourself. If it can happen to me, the son of the president, with millions of followers on social media, just think about how bad it must be for conservatives with smaller followings and those who don’t have the soapbox or media reach to push back when they’re being targeted?

Thanks to a brave Facebook whistleblower who approached James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, we now know that Mark Zuckerberg’s social media giant developed algorithms to “deboost” certain content, limiting its distribution and appearance in news feeds. As you probably guessed, this stealth censorship was specifically aimed at conservatives.

Facebook appears to have deliberately tailored its algorithm to recognize the syntax and style popular among conservatives in order to “deboost” that content. “Mainstream media,” “SJW” (Social Justice Warrior) and “red pill” — all terms that conservatives often use to express themselves — were listed as red flags, according to the former Facebook insider.

Facebook engineers even cited BlazeTV host Lauren Chen’s video criticizing the social justice movement as an example of the kind of “red pills” that users just aren’t allowed to drop anymore. Mainstream conservative content was strangled in real time, yet fringe leftists such as the Young Turks enjoy free rein on the social media platform.

Despite the occasional brave gesture, politicians have been far too sluggish in recognizing the extent of the problem. But the Republican Party and the conservative movement are becoming more vigilant against the suppression of our speech, as we saw at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Silicon Valley lobbyists have splashed millions of dollars all over the Washington swamp to play on conservatives’ innate faith in the free-market system and respect for private property. Even as Big Tech companies work to exclude us from the town square of the 21st century, they’ve been able to rely on misguided conservatives to carry water for them with irrelevant pedantry about whether the First Amendment applies in cases of social media censorship.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has been making a name for himself as a Republican prepared to stand up to Big Tech malfeasance since his time as Missouri’s attorney general. He delivered a tour de force interview with The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel in front of the CPAC crowd, one that provided a clear-eyed assessment of the ongoing affront to the freedoms of conservative speech and expression.

Hawley demolished the absurd notion that “conservative principles” preclude taking action to ensure free debate online simply because Big Tech firms — the most powerful corporations in the world — are private companies.

Hawley pointed out that Big Tech companies already enjoy “sweetheart deals” under current regulations that make their malfeasance a matter of public concern. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, for instance, allows them to avoid liability for the content that users post to their platforms. To address this problem, Hawley proposed adding a viewpoint neutrality requirement for platforms that benefit from Section 230’s protections, which were originally enacted to protect the internet as “a forum for a true diversity of political discourse.”

“Google and Facebook should not be a law unto themselves,” Hawley declared. “They should not be able to discriminate against conservatives. They should not be able to tell us we need to sit down and shut up!”

It’s high time other conservative politicians started heeding Hawley’s warnings, because the logical endpoint of Big Tech’s free rein is far more troubling than conservative meme warriors losing their Twitter accounts. As we’re already starting to see, what starts with social media censorship can quickly lead to banishment from such fundamental services as transportation, online payments and banking.

Left unchecked, Big Tech and liberal activists could construct a private “social credit” system — not unlike what the communists have nightmarishly implemented in China — that excludes outspoken conservatives from wide swaths of American life simply because their political views differ from those of tech executives.

There is no conservative principle that even remotely suggests we are obligated to adopt a laissez-faire attitude while the richest companies on earth abuse the power we give them to put a thumb on the scale for our political enemies.

If anything, our love of the free market dictates that we must do whatever is necessary to ensure that the free marketplace of ideas remains open to all.

Donald Trump Jr. is executive vice president at The Trump Organization.

 

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending