Some thoughts on the corporate silencing of Trump and the far right. I understand the urge to silence and censor. After years of lies and racist tweets and cruelty and calls for violence, Trump being silenced feels like justice. But we should remember that the corporations doing the silencing are no friends to democracy. They aren’t friends of the left either.
Over the past few years, progressive and leftist websites have been shut out by the algorithms of Google. Pages and groups were shut down and removed by Facebook. Zuckerberg isn’t some kind of hero here. He is a corporate capitalist. And Trump’s brand was becoming bad for his business. Same with Twitter and others.
Another thing to consider is this: censorship never truly extinguishes dangerous elements in society. It merely drives them further underground. Many of the people involved in the storming of the Capitol were at or went to Parler, but most of the serious planning was going on in the so-called “dark web.” At least on Twitter and Parler, we could keep track of Trump. We could keep track of the feelings and sentiments of the far right. Now that they are forced onto the dark web, we are in the dark.
In addition to this, I am concerned about liberals calling for more “security” and more action by agencies like the FBI or Homeland Security, etc. These institutions have a long and sordid history of infiltrating and cracking down on groups who dissent, especially Black, Indigenous, LGBTQ, women, environmentalists, antiwar and anti-capitalists. After 9/11, the surveillance/intelligence state grew even larger, and it led to gross infringements on civil liberties.
The corporate state is no friend to us. So while we condemn what happened at the Capitol and are vigilant about the rise of fascism, we should be careful not to put our trust in this wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Kenn Orphan January 2021
*Title art by Banksy.
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