If you are an outspoken right-winger, you will no doubt be aware that in the eyes of the establishment all your views are “racist” and “fascist”, and all the websites you visit are “fake news”. These accusations of fascism and fake news are two heads of the same beast. Both are employed to first suppress right wing voices and then censor them.
Hate speech and censorship
The elite has built a vast infrastructure, covering the right and the left of the political spectrum, to retain control and keep those they don’t like out of power. When one challenger accidentally breaks through their safety nets and starts trying to dismantle the establishment’s grasp on power, naturally that same establishment will start psuhing back hard. At every opportunity we hear of the new President’s “abuses of power”, how he is instating a “dictatorship” and how “the President doesn’t respect the rule of law”.
This is not out of genuine concern for our wellbeing, the future of democracy, our nations or civilization. It is fear of losing power. Imagine if Donald Trump would introduce regulations for social media such as they exist in Germany, where tweets are withheld based on content. This would be seen as further proof of Trump’s perceived “fascism”, another big step on the way to an American dictatorship. None of that in Germany, where censorship is applied under the guise of fighting “hate speech” so the establishment approves, even though this is in actuality a thinly veiled effort to muzzle the right and take down criticism of the government, mass immigration and islam.
The threat of dictatorship does not come from the right-wing challengers, it is embedded within the current system and it started with the merging of the journalistic and political establishment into one. In its soft dictatorship, the establishment hardly ever uses brute force, but the people are continually nudged, herded, conditioned to think a certain way and to block certain criticisms of that way of thinking from their consciousness. Every establishment attack on Donald Trump, or his counterparts in Europe (Geert Wilders, Nigel Farage, Victor Orbán, Alice Weidel), is meant to further condition the audience and to deter others from choosing a similar political path. The message is that the system is designed so that it is almost impossible to acquire power if the establishment doesn’t like your politics, and the system can’t be changed or destroyed. The system is meant to keep the next Donald Trump (or even Trump 2020) out of office, and get only establishment-friendly politicians elected again.
It is somewhat similar to the home computer market. You may not like Microsoft and Apple, but most people are not even aware that there is an alternative available, and even if you do it takes (self-)study, know-how and perseverance to abandon the beaten path and venture into these new terrains.
The power monopoly
There should be no doubt that the establishment is working hard to take down Trump. The Trump administration could be working equally hard to destroy the establishment and expost its corruption. Let’s suppose that Donald Trump will manage to succeed and several figureheads of the political elite are taken down. No matter how strong the evidence would be, the elite will proclaim loudly that the Trump administration is fascist, they will decry the “witch hunt” and the “political trials”.(*) The fear mongering will go into overdrive. Those who already disliked Trump will echo those sentiments, because it is more comfortable for them to continue believing that Trump was an anomaly which could potentially be undone after four years than to have to re-evaluate their entire political world view and conclude that the people they have trusted all their lives are actually a nefariously corrupt band of power hungry predators.
FBI Agent Peter Strzok is openly and fanatically anti-Trump, and his infamous talk of an “insurance policy” against Trump taking office proves that he is willing to abuse his power and the authority of the FBI to undo the democratic process. This should be a huge scandal, but the mainstream media are utterly forsaking their duties as watchdogs of power. Imagine if this would be the other way around. Do the same for the Obama – Hezbollah scandal. If this had been a Republican president, everybody would immediately know what the scandal was, because they would have been told by the mainstream media. Now, well, ask around. There is an endless line of examples like these of how the establishment protects the establishment and attacks its opponents. The single biggest threat to our autonomy and individual liberty is the unification of media, cultural, political and educational elites. Together they control the minds of the masses and they have thus become almost impervious to outsider attacks.
We are not bound to keep intact a power monopoly, a network of corruption, no matter how well-built or established it is. The elite artificially keeping opinions they don’t like out of power is not “rule of law” or “democracy”. And fighting them for it is not a danger to either of those things. These suggestions, which are made routinely in mainstream media and mainstream politics, are Orwellian newspeak in its purest form. Non-establishment politicians are pushed aside as “extremists”, “racists”, “fascists” and many more accusations which are as colorful as they are unfounded, and in similar fashion non-establishment media are dismissed as “fake news”.
In our political ‘bubble’ on the right, “fake news” has become a meaningless term, but do not underestimate how many casual readers will take the phrase at face value (remember how many times you have seen people declare about Antifa on Twitter, “How can you be against anti-fascism?“). Several European countries are already cracking down hard on social media, in most cases with a blatant political bias. The UK and France are not far behind Germany in this new wave of censorship.
Ministry Of Truth
And then there is The Netherlands. One of the most dangerous politicians in the West today is the newly appointed (two months ago) Dutch Minister of the Interior (and vice-prime minister) Kajsa Ollongren. Ollongren is with the D66 party, founded on the principle that the people should have more influence on the political process and with democratic innovation as a top priority. Since becoming part of the new coalition government in The Netherlands, D66-minister Ollongren has already been responsible for killing the referendum law, originally proposed by D66, but that was before the people turned out to be less progressive than the party leaders once imagined (the Dutch voted against the EU consitution in 2005 and against the EU’s association treaty with the Ukraine in 2016).
The government is rushing the retraction of the referendum law and has already declared there will not be a referendum about the retraction itself. Ollongren declared in front of the cameras: “I don’t think it’s right to give people the suggestion that they have a lot of influence.” Politicians are rarely this honest, but any outcry over the erosion of our democratic process rarely leaves the anti-establishment bubble. Outside of that bubble, those who trust the establishment seem to trust it blindly and endlessly.
Many will vote for the establishment parties again in the next elections. They will be voting away their own influence on the political process. They will ignore what has been said out loud. Or they will defend their choice by claiming “the people” don’t understand politics anyway and therefore it’s good that they don’t have too much influence. Which might as well be a plea for the abolishment of democracy altogether. Because why let people vote in an election then? Is that not equally complex? Democracy is far from perfect, but the people are not its problem. Politics is the problem. Politics exploits the people, enticing them with empty, short-term promises and thereby turning itself into the vacuous popularity contest it has become.
After killing what little direct democracy The Netherlands had, Ollongren is now in the process of setting up a real-life Ministry of Truth. Within one month of her appointment as Minister of the Interior, Ollongren launched her attack on “fake news”. Ollongren’s idea of fake news is no different than the rest of the establishment, which is to say it is short for all news which does not fit the establishment agenda. In his Christmas speech, King Willem Alexander of The Netherlands (whose role is officially only ceremonial, not political) emphasized the dangers of social media, transparently creating cover for the government’s planned crackdown on social media, and free speech in general.
Ollongren is pointing her finger at Russia (unsurprisingly), but she has not produced a single believable and relevant example of Russian meddling in Dutch affairs. Regardless, the die has been cast and it is a matter of time before social media platforms will see additional regulation in The Netherlands. I expect The Netherlands to become one of the most repressive countries in the world for online speech, equalling or even surpassing Germany.
One of the plans over at the Ministery Of Truth is to introduce social media permits, which would allow an overseeing organization to decide who gets to share news online and who does not. In theory, this would suppress fake news and make everybody happy. In actuality, this means that Facebook and Twitter will not only be allowed to suppress the anti-establishment right wing, they will be urged or even required to do so.
(*) The same would probably apply the other way around, but since Donald Trump does not have the support and protection of the elites in media, education and other (perhaps all) institutions, the impact of his possible corruption would be far smaller than the impact of Obama and Hillary’s possible corruption.