Eric Blair (1903-1950) went by the pen name George Orwell. He is famous for his books Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-four (1949). Nineteen-Eighty-four examines the dangers of totalitarian rule by following the experiences of the main character Winston Smith. Smith has a low-ranking job altering historical records to fit the government’s official narrative. In the beginning, Winston grows to dislike the government’s oppressive policies and grows rebellious, which is punishable by death. He notices a coworker and worries that she is an informant who will turn him in for his thoughtcrime. But the two fall in love and have a relationship. He then befriends a supervisor named O’Brien, who he believes is a secret member of the Brotherhood, seeking to overthrow the government. Obrien gives him a book on the Brotherhood. But this turns out to be a trap and gives the authorities a reason to arrest Winston and Julia. After months of torture, Winston betrays Julia and offers allegiance to the party. With his spirit broken, authorities release him. He eventually meets Julia, but he has learned to love Big Brother.
In May of 2022, Elan Musk bought Twitter for 44 billion dollars, making it a private company. Twitter had become ever more repressive of free speech while promoting the government’s official narrative, which often contradicted the truth. The deal brings the platform under one of the world’s wealthiest people. Musk, a prolific Twitter user, has repeatedly decried efforts to moderate speech on the service. Jack Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter, said that the company “has been owned by Wall Street and the ad model” and that “taking it back is the correct first step.”
In May of 2022, just days after Musk announced he intends to buy Twitter, the Biden Administration announced the formation of a Disinformation Governance Board (the Ministry of Truth) to combat “misinformation.” See my blog post number 170. This new agency will be under the Department of Homeland Security. DHS has not made any specific congressional funding requests to Congress – so stay tuned for more developments. The Biden Administration justifies this new agency by claiming that disinformation threatens homeland security. But, “what constitutes disinformation?” Disinformation is anything Homeland Security claims is disinformation. This new law enforcement agency will have free reign to persecute anyone whose ideas are contrary to the official narrative. The First Amendment to our Constitution reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Leave a comment below with your thoughts.
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