HOW HAVING AN ALTERNATIVE OPINION CAN BECOME A CRIME
A them and us environment within mass media is rapidly gaining ground across the western world.
The ‘them’ consists of the traditional establishment individuals and entities, the government, the most popular news broadcasters and those who occupy some position of power across the primary nodes of influence.
The ‘us’ consists of the rest of us essentially. Some of ‘us’ rely on the above establishment individuals and entities to tell them what’s true, what’s factual, what’s real news, what are real issues worth talking about, and what is not.
For ‘them’ things are pretty cut and dried. They decide what the truth is and then they relay that truth to ‘us’.
Now those in the establishment camp along with those who look to ‘them’ for the truth have a problem.
There is a minority section within ‘us’ who have become highly skeptical regarding the ability and/or wish of ‘them’ (our establishment elites) to tell (or tell ‘us’) the truth. This minority is now rapidly being seen as committing a crime, almost a crime against humanity, in communicating this skepticism and what’s more communicating their own view on what’s true.
This has in the past being known as having an opinion.
Of course having an opinion doesn’t mean it can be relied upon as pointing to anything inherently true or factual. Hasn’t decade after decade of America right-wing shock jocks spewing everything idiotic under the sun proven this time after time after time? But did anyone seek to shut them down, insane as they were? Warmongering and racist as they often were? If there was a call to do so I didn’t hear it. (Of course many people might have wished this to have taken place but I suspect that in the end leaving it to grown adults to make up their own minds was ultimately the better option.)
With the advent of social media platforms such as YouTube things have been taken to another level. There are a growing number of ‘us’ there giving a different take that the establishment ‘them’. These pundits, observers, analysts, commentators and communicators are often HIGHLY skeptical of establishment narratives (and by this point, considering all the known establishment lies over the last two decades it is hardly surprising).
It wouldn’t matter to the powers-that-be if these commentators were talking within a virtual vacuum chamber with only a few listening... but there lies the problem. Many have large audiences who tune in regularly and even contribute financially to these channels broadcasting an alternative message to the mainstream. They are becoming increasingly successful and influential.
Therein lies the bundle of problems that are increasingly beginning to irk those in the ‘them’ category. The success of alternatively-thinking voices threatens the relied-upon and much-deployed potency of establishment narratives. In future years these unregulated voices may even threaten the continuing high income enjoyed by the major media channels.
This is why we are likely to see an increasing number of calls to regulate the outlets such voices can now be heard on in even more stringent fashion than now. Or even remove them completely from each and every one of the major social media channels they now broadcast from.
This very process has been underway for some time now.
As Kim Iversen has said in a recent video, this is to a large extent what was seen in the “evolution” on Cable TV in the USA. When it first arrived it was largely unregulated and much more varied content could be seen there than on the mainstream TV channels. This caused uproar among a section of ‘us’ that voiced their outrage that sexual content in particular should not be so easily available to their young. Over subsequent years Cable TV was then gradually tamed and sanitized.
The ability to experience alternative views that contradict the generally agreed-upon views within the establishment elites and their adherents is being eroded. Currently it is still in reasonably healthy shape with many successful observers able to communicate their opinions, analyses, theories and investigative reporting direct to the eyes and ears of those with a mobile phone, laptop or Internet TV. Gradually however, as Kim Iversen has related on many occasions, the net of censorship is being widened to include more and more topics. Those ‘opinion criminals’ (a term I may use often in future) who deign to express themselves on these topics are being demonitized (receive no income for videos containing banned topics) and may even be removed from a social media platform for continued “criminal” behavior.
This is certainly the direction of travel. And, as Kim Iversen revealed on one of her recent shows certain members among the establishment elite are identifying such people communicating their own views successfully to others are going to be characterized as spreading misinformation. Anything that comes from Russia, China and indeed from anyone repeating views that are not at least closely aligned with western establishment narratives if not mirroring them 100% will be labelled as misinformation. With this kind of framing why would they tolerate it? Why would they tolerate Kim Iversen, Max Blumenthal, Abby Martin, John Pilger, George Galloway, Jimmy Dore, Lee Camp, Aaron Mate, Ben Norton, Anya Parampil or any of the increasing number of alternative voices? You can see the next step clearly that would enter their minds. If this activity is inherently wrong, deceiving and bad for society why should they tolerate it?
And then you have it. In the societies that conceive themselves to be the absolute epitome of free speech... having an opinion which doesn’t fit that of the establishment... becomes a crime.