Some years ago, in a book I read, the writer used the term ‘democratic censorship’ to describe a kind of totalitarian society in which the government does not have to carry out heavy-handed control over speech and the press, a la the old Soviet Union. In the ‘democratic” censorship method, the people themselves are indoctrinated so fully that they will police each other (and probably self-censor as well) so that peer pressure will discourage independent thought or heretical views. At the time I thought such a system would be very suited to Americans because it seems we Americans are very tuned into the consensus; most Americans don’t want to be the odd one out, the one who steps outside the bounds of what’s socially popular. We don’t want to feel excluded or outside the acceptable norms.
Now of course there are always some who don’t fit the majority pattern. There are always some who go to the other extreme — this is often true of the adolescent and the perpetually adolescent, who make a point of being nonconformist and rebellious in an attention-seeking way, or just to be a thorn in everyone’s side. And there are a few, I mean a real few, who simply seek out the truth, without caring if the majority agree or not. There’s a saying something along the lines of “It’s better to be in the right with two or three than to be wrong with the majority. “
Whatever the reason, most Americans prefer to fit in with their crowd, whoever that may be, and will avoid taking controversial stands. I suppose that’s why it seems we dissidents are seemingly outnumbered by the SJWs, the antis, and all their motley groups.
So it seems we have a kind of ‘democratic censorship’ in which we’ve learned like Pavlov’s dogs to salivate when the bell rings, in anticipation. I think that many we call ‘normies’ are people who try to ascertain which way the wind is blowing before they come down on one side or the other. Principles are optional for these people; they may change with the direction of the political/social winds. It was that way in the American revolution; most colonists were in the “big middle”, and something like a third were for the Revolution, with others being ‘anti’.
It happened that I just read an article on the TakiMag blog, wherein Taki writes about how the present war on free speech is being prosecuted not by government primarily but by private entities: the Big Media, including the Social Media goliaths. I agree with Taki substantially, and it does seem strange that the fictional dystopias written of by Orwell and Huxley were the work of all-powerful governments. Now here we are with private corporations telling us what we may say or write, and despite the warnings by Thomas Jefferson so long ago, we no longer have a free press.
We also seem to have a government, though, which acquiesces for the most part in the censorship and the dishonesty of the major media. We have a government which does not, or will not, carry out the primary duty of a national government: to protect from foreign invasions. So it seems as if our government as a whole is at best, taking a hands-off role regarding the obvious unconstitutional actions of private corporations.
But the strange role played by supposedly private entities in dictating to us what we can and cannot say or write is something I’d like to hear a libertarian address. I always wondered why libertarians clamored for everything to be privatized, to be handed over to the private sector, which is apparently incapable of becoming corrupted or compromised, unlike government. I’ve noticed for most of my adult life that private entities, banks, and other financial institutions, often oppress in ways of their own, just as much as governmental entities do. How, then, does placing more power in the hands of corporations (think of big media, big pharma, big medicine, big whatever) improve things for us, much less make us freer?
As for the censorship we now endure, in which many of us who blog live under the shadow of being de-platformed for our ideas and our thoughts, it seems that they really need not bother; the average citizen, especially those who’ve been thoroughly brain-laundered and gaslighted, will use peer pressure, shunning, and other such social means to discourage fellow citizens from coloring outside the lines and thinking outside the narrow bounds of “socially acceptable”, PC speech and thought. It seems, though, that there is a concentration of efforts on the part of several forces here.