“Big Brother is watching you,” comes the warning from George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984. In other words, you have no privacy, no freedom, no ability to change the future – because power to control what you see and do, know and do not, is concentrated. Orwell was prophetic, a fortune teller. Social media controls what we know and will soon ally with socialist government.
Is it too late? No. But is this dystopian future creeping on us? Well, you tell me. Wrote Orwell: “Those who control the past control the future; those who control the present control the past.” Are we there? Maybe not, but are there those pushing us there? What do you think?
Have you seen a movement to erase what is best in our national past, the powerful goodness, God-given rights, magnificent sacrifices, and quiet, unfailing commitments? Have you seen attacks on individualism, faith, courage, risk, differentness – all of which created and sustained the nation we are?
Have you seen Marxist calls to suppress liberty, and the law and order preserving it? Have you seen – Orwell was so prescient – calls for less privacy to push utopian socialist control? Perhaps, after all, this is why Trump’s clarion call for less government and more transparency resonated?
Now, we come to chapter Orwell did not write. He foresaw all-powerful Government, imagined government controlling information flow – but he never told us how the two merged. Perhaps we are now learning.
First, we had pre-election suppression of politically conservative, freedom loving, accountability-demanding stories, opinions, and revelations – concerning Hunter Biden and others – by highly concentrated social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and others. See, e.g., https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/10/twitter-and-facebooks-shameful-repression-of-the-new-york-posts-hunter-biden-story/.
Now, we see intentional post-election suppression of truth – including questions concerning electoral fraud and transparency. Last week, new stories underscored what George Orwell – and Ronald Reagan – tried to teach us. Concentrated power controlling information – is dangerous.
Last week, Twitter “suspended” a seasoned, highly respected attorney – Sydney Powell – presenting credible claims and evidence in Georgia Federal Court which aver serious election fraud, potentially turning Georgia to Trump – and in the process, elevating chances of a Supreme Court review of states like Pennsylvania and Michigan. Twitter even blocked access to the public record filings. While reinstated, hours count, and she lost 12 hours. See, e.g., https://www.citizenfreepress.com/column-1/sidney-powell-issues-statement-suspended-by-twitter-for-12-hours/; and https://bipartisanreport.com/2020/11/22/sydney-powell-responds-to-getting-fired-with-new-kraken-phrase/; and https://www.theepochtimes.com/sidney-powells-website-apparently-blocked-by-twitter_3594648.html.
Why did this happen? Little doubt – partisan politics. How could such a thing occur, when Americans on both sides of the aisle have a “public interest” in this clear “matter of public concern?” How could this happen when that powerful outlet holds itself as a “public forum,” open, safe, editorial policing only for criminal and defamatory material? No excuse – none.
Truth is, social media is becoming Orwell’s feared Big Brother, a power-seeking, political force that is unchecked, unaccountable, invades privacy, serves its own purpose, and is run-a-muck. As it promotes socialism, suppressing contrary views and rule of law, the danger grows.
In effect, what Orwell and Reagan would tell us is – this is how individual liberties are lost, by allowing gradual concentration of power, loss of open and honest dialogue, unfiltered access to information flow, the end of personal privacy, and a marriage of sorts between big tech (in this case, social media) and government (particularly socialist-leaning government).
Our job is to be painfully vigilant, consistently vocal, unremitting in our defense of our basic constitutional rights, aware of those who aim to trample them, the arrogant, uncaring, unapologetic, and undemocratic. Power is being concentrated.
Our job is to remember Orwell – and Reagan – and boldly speak up, stand up, utilize other levers of popular opinion and politics, to stop the seepage, the growing flow away from individuals of their right to know and hold to facts, an accurate understanding of the past and present – to assure a free future.
If all this sounds ominous, it is. If it sounds like a threat to constitutional government, and to our individual liberties, it is. Like big government, aggressive, politically aligned, monopolistic behavior is a threat to free people – to the free flow of free ideas aimed at protecting freedom.
The likely next step, already emerging, is growing public resentment, distrust, and condemnation of these sources of concentrated power – high tech and big government. The answer is staying strong and loyal to principles, pushing an end to laws like Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields social media from lawsuits.
The answer is also aggressive use of federal antitrust laws, including the Clayton and Sherman Antitrust Acts, when and where possible. They came to life under Theodore Roosevelt, expressly to stop concentration of private power, that in turn abuses the public trust. They aimed to stop arrogant, untamed monopolies and oligopolies (that is, groups in control), protecting consumers, voters, and the Republic.
More to the point, people have their own power – to call out abuses, realign consumption of social media, demand changes and truth, pivot from untrustworthy outlets, encourage legislative reform at State and Federal levels, encourage civil lawsuits, and make the kind of noise that prevents the world of 1984 from becoming reality.
We still have time, strength, and the most robust, free, freedom-loving Republic on the planet. Our job is to use the power we have – of concerned citizenship – to prevent the social media juggernaut from merging with socialist government and proving Orwell right – in the worst way. Americans should have no interest in, or toleration for, Big Brother.