GLENN GREENWALD: The Pressure Campaign on Spotify to Remove Joe Rogan Reveals the Religion of Liberals: Censorship.
Given the climate prevailing in the American liberal faction, this authoritarianism is anything but surprising. For those who convince themselves that they are not battling mere political opponents with a different ideology but a fascist movement led by a Hitler-like figure bent on imposing totalitarianism — a core, defining belief of modern-day Democratic Party politics — it is virtually inevitable that they will embrace authoritarianism. When a political movement is subsumed by fear — the Orange Hitler will put you in camps and end democracy if he wins again* — then it is not only expected but even rational to embrace authoritarian tactics including censorship to stave off this existential threat. Fear always breeds authoritarianism, which is why manipulating and stimulating that human instinct is the favorite tactic of political demagogues.
And when it comes to authoritarian tactics, censorship has become the liberals’ North Star. Every week brings news of a newly banished heretic. Liberals cheered the news last week that Google’s YouTube permanently banned the extremely popular video channel of conservative commentator Dan Bongino. His permanent ban was imposed for the crime of announcing that, moving forward, he would post all of his videos exclusively on the free speech video platform Rumble after he received a seven-day suspension from Google’s overlords for spreading supposed COVID “disinformation.” What was Bongino’s prohibited view that prompted that suspension? He claimed cloth masks do not work to stop the spread of COVID, a view shared by numerous experts and, at least in part, by the CDC. When Bongino disobeyed the seven-day suspension by using an alternative YouTube channel to announce his move to Rumble, liberals cheered Google’s permanent ban because the only thing liberals hate more than platforms that allow diverse views are people failing to obey rules imposed by corporate authorities.
It is not hyperbole to observe that there is now a concerted war on any platforms devoted to free discourse and which refuse to capitulate to the demands of Democratic politicians and liberal activists to censor. The spear of the attack are corporate media outlets, who demonize and try to render radioactive any platforms that allow free speech to flourish. When Rumble announced that a group of free speech advocates — including myself, former Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, comedian Bridget Phetasy, former Sanders campaign videographer Matt Orfalea and journalist Zaid Jilani — would produce video content for Rumble, The Washington Post immediately published a hit piece, relying exclusively on a Google-and-Facebook-aligned so-called “disinformation expert” to malign Rumble as “one of the main platforms for conspiracy communities and far-right communities in the U.S. and around the world” and a place “where conspiracies thrive,” all caused by Rumble’s “allowing such videos to remain on the site unmoderated.” (The narrative about Rumble is particular bizarre since its Canadian founder and still-CEO, Chris Pavlovski created Rumble in 2013 with apolitical goals — to allow small content creators abandoned by YouTube to monetize their content — and is very far from an adherent to right-wing ideology).
Flashback: Beyond the Culture of Repudiation. “In all of his political writings, [the late Roger Scruton] takes on the Left for scorning existing norms and customs, and for promoting a ‘culture of repudiation.’ The Left is ‘negative.’ It dismisses ‘every aspect of our cultural capital’ with the language of brutal invective: accusing every defender of human nature and sound tradition of ‘racism,’ ‘xenophobia,’ ‘homophobia,’ and ‘sexism.’ Like 1984’s ‘two minutes of hate,’ this language tears down, intimidates, and can never build anything humane or constructive—it is nihilistic to the core. At the same time, Scruton wants to reach out to reasonable liberals who eschew ideology and who still believe in civility and the promise of national belonging. His conservatism can discern the truth in liberalism (another Aristotelian trait) while the partisans of repudiation see half the human race as enemies.”
* I’m so old I can remember when Naomi Wolf at the Huffington Post screamed in September of 2008 that it would be John McCain and Sarah “Evita” Palin who would usher in “the Rovian Police State:”
Please understand what you are looking at when you look at Sarah “Evita” Palin. You are looking at the designated muse of the coming American police state.
You have to understand how things work in a closing society in order to understand “Palin Power.” A gang or cabal seizes power, usually with an affable, weak figurehead at the fore. Then they will hold elections — but they will make sure that the election will be corrupted and that the next affable, weak figurehead is entirely in their control.
Um, thanks for letting us “understand” how things work, Naomi. And from here, she regales us with a strong dose of melodrama:
I realized early on with horror what I was seeing in Governor Palin: the continuation of the Rove-Cheney cabal, but this time without restraints. I heard her echo Bush 2000 soundbites (“the heart of America is on display”) and realized Bush’s speechwriters were writing her — not McCain’s — speeches. I heard her tell George Bush’s lies — not McCain’s — to the American people, linking 9/11 to Iraq. I heard her make fun of Barack Obama for wanting to prevent the torture of prisoners — this is Rove-Cheney’s enthusiastic S and M, not McCain’s, who, though he shamefully colluded in the 2006 Military Tribunals Act, is also a former prisoner of war and wrote an eloquent Newsweek piece in 2005 opposing torture. I saw that she was even styled by the same skillful stylist (neutral lipstick, matte makeup, dark colors) who turned Katharine Harris from a mall rat into a stateswoman and who styles all the women in the Bush orbit –but who does not bother to style Cindy McCain.
Wolf continues to wave her magic butterfly net with yet more inadvertently comedic gems:
...She uses mafia tactics against critics, like the police commissioner who was railroaded for opposing handguns in Alaskan battered women’s shelters — Rove’s style, not McCain’s…
…Reports confirmed my suspicions: Palin, not McCain, is the FrankenBarbie of the Rove-Cheney cabal…
…I believe the Rove-Cheney cabal is using Sarah Palin as a stalking horse, an Evita figure, to put a popular, populist face on the coming police state and be the talk show hostess for the end of elections as we know them. If McCain-Palin get in, this will be the last true American election. She will be working for Halliburton, KBR, Rove and Cheney into the foreseeable future…
Just do a CTL-F and swap out the names, and you’ll have an excellent preview of how the left viewed former President Trump. The Evita references are particularly nostalgic, considering AOC’s embrace of Peron’s legacy in 2019: