Sunday, December 17, 2017

They Can’t Stop The Revolution From Coming

The FCC’s decision on December 14th to revoke the net neutrality rules creates a new era of corporate control over information. Unless our enfeebled democratic institutions intervene, Internet service providers will be able to block or throttle disfavored websites by the end of January 2018. This will destroy open discourse.

Alternative publications, largely out of print, could lose almost all of their audience. Internet will become more of a luxury item as ISPs are allowed to raise prices for service. In this constrained and pathetic media landscape, the ideas of the ruling class will thrive. The warmongers, racist demagogues, neo-McCarthyites, corporate propagandists, and inane media distractions that infest our discourse will be given elevated platforms. Poverty, the absence of functioning democracy, and the tragic effects of war will be made a lot easier to ignore. The two corporate parties will continue sparring, their small differences presented by the media as meaningful political controversies.
Even if the FCC’s actions won’t have such catastrophic effects, the drive to silence dissent will only keep escalating. In addition to the censorship measures of governments and online companies, the Trump administration has banned the Center for Disease Control from mentioning the words “vulnerable,” “transgender,” fetus,” “evidence-based,” “science-based,” “entitlement,” and “diversity.” This purging, though, is being widely reported on and resisted. The political and media establishments have been subtly destroying words for decades. 
Terms like “neoliberalism” and “nationalism” have been largely omitted from mainstream conversations and then replaced with benevolent-sounding alternatives, like “capitalism” and “patriotism” in the case of those two. “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words,” goes a line from 1984 about how the propagandists for totalitarian regimes eliminate threatening language. For those who don’t assimilate into the new language and worldview, the state still has the options of imprisonment and violence.
We are struggling against what’s turning into the most extensive and deadly police state in history. This state is enforced by the American surveillance apparatus, which monitors all of our digital communications in violation of the Fourth Amendment. It emerged from the glorification of guns, the obsession with security, and the rise of reactionary politics that’s defined recent decades. Its lower class adherents, consumed in nihilism and rage from the robbing of their industrial livelihoods, are rallied toward embracing authoritarianism. This is a state that currently imprisons more than 2.3 million people, that has heavily armed police shoot unarmed blacks routinely and with impunity, that’s destroyed the relevance of the constitution and the Geneva Conventions, and that will only become more vicious as social unrest increases.
Fascism’s greatest weakness is that it can’t fulfil the needs for intimacy, empathy or creativity. The only emotions it feeds off of are anger and fear, and the empty thrill of endlessly fighting a series of designated enemies. This is why fascist regimes always relegate art, individuality, and empathy as unimportant or dangerous. They’re threatened by the raw, untameable energy that these things represent.
The fascists will try everything they can to crush the looming class revolt. They’ll keep capitalizing as much as possible on terrorist attacks and natural disasters, as Donald Trump has done with almost blatant eagerness. They’ll instigate pointless, spectacular wars, like the one being prepared for in North Korea. They’ll continue their current rampage against workers’ rights and the social safety net. 
None of this can stop us from building our opposition, however small and futile it might seem most of the time. When we align ourselves with the vulnerable, we make the corporate state weaker. When we refuse to be manipulated by the voices of hatred and fear, we make the corporate state weaker. When we remain human, we make the corporate state weaker.

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