Censorship In The 21st Century
by Vince McLeod
Censorship was straight forward in the 20th Century. If you wrote anything the rulers didn’t like, they confiscated all copies of it or put you in prison. There was no Internet back then, and no social media, and therefore no realistic possibility of building up a following outside of mainstream media and publishing. Things are different in the 21st Century.
Today, it’s more subtle. Instead of the physical gulag, there is the financial gulag. The Establishment uses the financial gulag to achieve the same deterrent effect on others as the physical gulag, but with the political advantage of evading accusations of totalitarianism.
Deplatforming is a central tactic of this decentralised censorship. The modus operandi is for some influencer to persuade dozens or hundreds of their minions to bombard a private company with demands to deplatform some wrongthinker. Any wrongthinker so deplatformed will have a harder time making money to support themselves – this is the financial gulag.
The logic is that the platforming of wrongthink normalises it, and therefore it’s a moral imperative to prevent its platforming whenever possible. Allowing wrongthink to get platformed jeopardises the entire authoritarian plan of shaping the human race into something perfect. As Josef Goebbels wrote, any attempt to establish a mainstream narrative is threatened by the existence of contrary narratives. Therefore they must be banned.
New Zealand saw this logic in action in 2019 when Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern had booked the Bruce Mason Centre, and then the Powerstation, to give talks covering a number of topics, including the deleterious effect of mass Muslim immigration. Globalists created a shitstorm of negative media attention, and the booked venues reneged on their deal to provide space for the Canadian duo.
The most recent example of this tactic in New Zealand was last month, when Napoleon Busch’s listing for a first edition CounterSpin mug was taken down. Hordes of virtue-signalling baizuos flooded TradeMe with messages accusing CounterSpin Media of being “disinformation spreaders” (“disinformation spreaders” being Newspeak for ‘wrongthinkers’).
TradeMe initially caved to mob pressure, removing the listing, but have since rescinded this decision. But in any case, the back-and-forth is emblematic of the arbitrary nature of 21st Century censorship.
VJM Publishing also suffered from this assault on free speech. Our best-selling book, Clown World Chronicles, was cancelled from TradeMe after a campaign launched by a self-admitted far-left extremist. Not even a change.org petition with 300+ signatures was enough to persuade TradeMe to relent.
The truth is that the political Establishment and the commercial Establishment are the same people. So the political Establishment can simply ask their friends in the commercial Establishment to ban anyone they don’t like, and their friends in the commercial Establishment are happy to oblige. The persecution of wrongthinkers is just another favour to be traded.
Having your right to speak taken off you is not even the worst aspect of 21st Century censorship.
The Canadian Trucker’s Convoy protests and the response by the Canadian Government gave us a new word in the fight against freedom: ‘debanking’. Debanking is when the Establishment withdraws financial services from people in order to starve them into submission. In the 21st Century, it’s not enough to remove from wrongthinkers the right to speak – they also have to lose the right to eat and pay bills.
Incredibly, the trucker’s convoy protesters were not debanked after a thorough investigation leading to a judge signing a warrant. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police simply gave the banks a list of names, and the banks cancelled the accounts of anyone on the list. If it sounds tyrannical, that’s because it is. And it’s not even the most egregious example.
Lauren Southern’s family came in for similar treatment when they tried to book an AirBNB, only for it to be cancelled on account of their family ties to Southern. Because Southern’s family was “closely associated” with her, and because she was already deplatformed, her family had to get deplatformed as well.
By contrast, no such corporate censorship was levied against Jeffrey Epstein, even after he was convicted of the sex trafficking of children. In fact, Epstein’s bank, JP Morgan, supported his actions even after Epstein was found guilty of soliciting a minor in 2008.
So if you oppose the ruling class, you and your family can be cancelled from any service for any reason, but if you support the ruling class, you can traffic and rape children with no cancellation. It sounds like North Korea, but it’s the modern West.
The political Establishment claims that there’s nothing immoral about this new censorship, because it’s being carried out by commercial and financial entities and not by government departments. As such, it claims, these cancellings are merely the free market in operation and nothing that we ought to be concerned about.
In reality, this is the political Establishment working together with the commercial and financial Establishment to silence their common enemies. They’ve simply found a loophole in the law that allows them to claim plausible deniability. So instead of using the Police and Army to commit human rights abuses, they now use venue companies, banks, TradeMe, AirBNB and other corporate entities.
Make no mistake: censorship in the 21st Century isn’t the “little people” fighting back against their oppressors by using the weight of numbers. It’s the oppressors destroying their enemies by using the mob. 21st Century censorship might be less brutal than it was in the 20th Century, but its no less immoral.