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Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Oppressing Us To Keep Us Safe - Big Brother, Censorship, And The New Orwellian Dystopia

In a seriously disturbing move, the Governor of New York has said that she will launch a new, aggressive program to monitor and control free speech, all to ensure that New Yorkers feel safe. Not in recent memory has there been such an arrogation of power, a transparent attempt to center and consolidate government power, and a hypocritical defense of it.  

We’re very focused on the data we’re collecting from surveillance efforts — what’s being said on social media platforms...Our media analysis, our social media analysis unit, has ramped up its monitoring of sites to catch incitement to violence; direct threats to others, and all this is in response to our desire, our strong commitment, to ensure that not only do New Yorkers be safe, but they also feel safe.


The Governor's initiative is all the more craven and self-serving because she couched it in pseudo-moralism. 'Hate has no home here' say suburban lawn signs, thinly disguised, arrogant statements of moral identity and political righteousness.  Governor Hochul has placed this febrile cant front and center, and raised the specter of Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, a chilling tale of a future dystopian, authoritarian regime whose contradiction - oppression is freedom - is the ethos of governance.  

Intrusive, universal surveillance, identification, arrest, and punishment - the tools of Stasi, Sevak, and the KGB - will be applied in New York State. The reach of government will be universal and permanent.  Every keystroke will be monitored, every word, every line parsed for intimidating intent; every post, every article, every reference will be read, reviewed, analyzed and judged by government standards by government censors.


There will be no room for interpretation - satire and humor are no justification for the words themselves.  It is the most obvious, venal, and transparent tautology - hate speech is wrong because it is hateful.  You'll know it when you see it because of the lexicon, a dictionary of words, terms, and phrases that must be eliminated.  All speech is suspect speech, no assumption of innocence can be made when the words appear.

This appointed group of government censors and their newly-written AI algorithms are now the arbiter of social morality and ethics.  It is Hochul's crewe who will determine what can or cannot be said.  They will be definers of intent, and any infraction of the rule of righteous intent will be summarily punished. 

American jurisprudence is based on the principle of intent. First or second degree murder?  Juries, not appointed councils must decide.  Perception is a tricky business as the inconsistencies of eye witnesses and the art of Browning, Kurosawa, and Durrell have shown. Even with sophisticated electronic tools, determining intent is a dubious affair; but governments like Hochul's in New York have assumed an ability that no one else has - the ability to know hate speech when they hear it.  It is hate speech because it is hate speech. 

Progressives have deliberately, consciously used the aftermath of the October 7th massacre of Israeli civilians and the consequent IDF action in Gaza as a cover for this renewed assault on free speech.  There is too much hate in the world, say progressives, and we know how to rid American society of its pernicious, anti-Utopian effects.  Under such a calculated cover, the Left has removed 'offensive' statues to historical figures, changed the names of streets, schools, and public buildings, all in the name of creating a 'safe space' in which Americans can live.  

The whole idea of safety has been twisted, deformed, and co-opted by progressives in its attempt to consolidate power.  It is their speech which must be protected, and their ideas which the words express that matter  

It is discouraging to see how a nation created on the principles of freedom and enshrined in the Bill of Rights - a nation of rugged individualists who have always sorted out their differences, fought or colluded, compromised and cooperated, and through the natural course of normal exchange created wealth, prosperity, and a satisfactory life - could be so easily co-opted.  Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, and Franklin never anticipated a state which was the arbiter of right - only the adjudicator of disputes.  There would always be disputes, and fairness in hearing both sides was the only principle therein.  


Out of chaos comes order, the age-old principle of social behavior, accounting for human nature and the need for cooperation to ensure self-interest, has never been doubted or dismissed.  We are a nation of individuals warned by Jefferson to consider social consequences in the pursuit of happiness. 

Why was the culture of victimhood, so encouraged by the Left, so quickly adopted by the electorate? Since when did we abandon the sense of individual responsibility and hand it over to government caretakers?  Why were we so gullible to have accepted every word and apocalyptic warning about the demise of democracy, the rise of the hate state, the fear of re-enslavement of the black man, the gulag incarceration of the gay one?

It is this particular arrogation of moral authority which has fomented the divisions in America.  The Left has been autocratic in its approach to American society - a society which, according to them is rotten to the core and in desperate need of reform.  Only under their tutelage and with their guidance can the evils of individualism be expunged and a new, collegial, verdant, peaceful world come about. 

The whole idea of Utopianism is falsely premised. There is no such thing as Utopia nor will there ever be.  Human nature is antithetical to enforced compromise.  The Soviets learned this the hard way; and yet the progressive Left in America still marches to that old drummer.  

The Presidential election coming up in November 2024 is likely to put a halt to this arrogant government intrusiveness.  A conservative presidential nominee who has made it clear in his first administration that he has no patience for the patently idealistic codes of race-gender-ethnicity, diversity-inclusivity and one world hyperbole will be the much-needed brake on Orwellian presumptions of righteousness. 

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