‘PC’, Orwellian censorship – 1984, official lies, media lies, ‘socialism’ and modern ‘democracy’

Many from the ‘Left’, progressives, Cultural Marxists and activists keep trying to stymie democracy with their shrill, often illogical, Orwellian and ideological views. The following articles provide evidence.

Will of the people be damned as the ‘virtuous’ elite browbeats all

Will of the people be damned as the ‘virtuous’ elite browbeats all  By Chris Kenny, The Australian, 21 September 2019

Jacinta Price was told by the Coffs Harbour council that she had to get permission from local Aboriginal groups to speak in the NSW mid-north coast town, an edict she wisely ­ignored.

We are rapidly transitioning from the end of history to the demise of rationalism. Much of what underpins the success of Western liberal democracies — what Francis ­Fukuyama saw as the pinnacle of human history — is under threat.

Our societies are dumbing down dangerously, ignoring what has delivered our success and ­indulging in self-loathing and ­delusion. Leading the charge are members of the self-proclaimed intellectual elite.

Just look at the hysteria, mis­information and rigid conformity of the media, political and academic classes in the US as they continue to rail against the democratic result of the 2016 presidential election. They will exaggerate any fault, invent any fake news and pursue any conspiracy to defy the will of the people and flatter their own vanity; hoping to have their misgivings endorsed so they can consign to history their misinterpretations of Donald Trump.

The more information and ­voices available, it seems, the less public debate is beholden to facts and reality.

Opposing the US President has become an identity trait, and facts are irrelevant when the aim is to demonstrate or ­reinforce defining characteristics.

When hating the President ­reflects your virtue and defines your values, getting Trump, no matter how, becomes essential to your public image and sense of self. Especially in the digital age (as Douglas Murray, Jonathan Haidt and others have examined) issues are used to define people, rather than the other way around.

We see this most strongly with climate change, people identifying with global warming as a means of displaying their priorities and qualities. Nothing so banal as temperature records, global emissions trajectories or policy options are allowed to derail them from emotive, onanistic postures. Climate protests and solar panels help ­people feel fulfilled and virtuous.

Economic, social, intellectual and political freedoms are under assault. In large part they are being undermined by the adaptive forces of the socialist left who, having morphed into the green left, are sustained in universities, bureaucracies and quangos by taxation revenue from the capitalist operations they abhor. We can see Trump, Brexit and Scott Morrison as correctives against this trend — and that was clearly the intention of voters — but having won their democratic battles, all are under assault from the anti-democratic rearguard ­actions of the so-called elites. These are the democracy deniers, and they are chalking up the wins.

In Britain the parliament deliberately defies the will of the people on Brexit and undercuts Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s EU bargaining position. In the US the Democrats and the courts conspire to thwart the implementation of election policies such as temporary immigration bans and a border wall, while the political apparatus is used to pursue never-ending conspiracy theories.

In Australia activists and courts thwart successful immigration policies repeatedly endorsed by voters, journalists barrack incuriously on climate alarmism, and local councils intercede on climate and foreign policy issues outside their remit.

This activism is given intellectual and ideological succour by the academic and media classes, who choose to side with what they perceive as the elite view against the choices of the mainstream. This frustrates the democratic will of the people and ultimately may test their patience.

It is difficult to resist pessimism. Perhaps Fukuyama’s end of history was essentially correct, except that the evolutionary high point of the liberal democratic state, through complacency and indulgence, inevitably leads to self-­destruction; so the process restarts.

By global standards Australia remains a beacon of prosperity, opportunity, fairness, tolerance and security. But while we continue to toy with our success, the West’s strategic and ideological rival, China, works assiduously to extend its economic and political reach, all the way into our universities and parliaments.

In a country committed to Paris emissions targets and already paying a high economic price from ­climate-related policies, schoolchildren, medical students, council staff and state public servants were encouraged to join a global strike for climate action on Friday. Questions about what action, at what cost, for what benefit were ignored by participants, media and political supporters.

In Coffs Harbour on the NSW mid-north coast, an elected local council allowed its bureaucracy to ­impose a special condition on an Aboriginal woman speaking in the town. Jacinta Price was told to get permission from local Aboriginal groups, an edict she wisely ­ignored. While the ABC joined the illiberal pile-on and eventually apologised for doing so (after media pressure), Coffs Harbour mayor Denise Knight refused to apologise or even explain whether these demands were placed on Price ­because she was a woman, an ­Aboriginal or a conservative — or all three.

It is not hard to imagine the likely outrage had this episode played out around different figures: perhaps a council resisting an Aboriginal activist spruiking a treaty; a city rejecting the visit of a climate evangelist; or a media ­organisation demonising a female progressive. But Price — indigenous, female and right-of-centre — was fair game.

Never mind that Price’s views reflect the mainstream; the self-proclaimed elites reject majority opinion in favour of attempts to slander and silence their opponents. If democracy can’t deliver on green-left aims, they find other ways; this is the disintegration of civil society.

Elsewhere in recent days councils have abandoned Australia Day and rejected Christmas celebrations — they embrace a climate “emergency” but reject traditional community. In state parliaments gender is eradicated from birth certificates or becomes a matter of timeless and unconstrained choice. In government departments and major companies, signs invite people to select the bathroom that suits their chosen gender. Yet the same people passionately advocate for gender-based quotas in parliaments and boardrooms. Go figure.

On any given Sunday, on the public broadcaster’s premier political panel show, we are likely to see a host and three panellists who all picked the last federal election completely wrong and repeatedly have misread border protection and climate change for the best part of a decade. Yet they are proffered as experts — reality and election results are not allowed to interrupt their circular discussions.

This week The Conversation — an online publication that is publicly funded, is supported by leading universities and operates under the motto of “intellectual rigour, journalistic flair” — announced it would not publish or tolerate comments from anyone with sceptical views on global warming, or indeed, anyone it dubs a climate change denier.

This is the polar opposite of ­intellectual rigour and journalism. And it comes from a publication that talks about carbon dioxide emissions “destroying the planet” and has often published the likes of Tim Flannery, renowned alarmist and promoter of erroneous climate predictions. So silly extremes are tolerated only if they exaggerate global warming.

Water Minister David Littleproud received the full “gotcha” media treatment for daring to be ambivalent about the role of human-induced emissions in climate changes.

There is more journalistic investment in such nonsense than there is in pursuing answers from either major party on how their climate policies can deliver any benefit while global emissions continue to rise.

Labor MP Matt Thistlethwaite promised me this week that the ALP would always “do more” than the Coalition on climate action, but would not commit to cutting emissions beyond the Paris targets. The position is a paradoxical nonsense.

Labor cannot claim to be doing more on climate without further reducing emissions. But, surprise, surprise, there was no media interest in this own-goal policy gotcha.

This month we have heard ­experts and authorities describe the Queensland bushfires as unprecedented. They were not.

Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville says it is not worth building dams because rain will no longer fill them. She wants to spend more on desalination plants instead.

It is hard to know how the desal plants will be powered because Victoria has clamped down on gas exploration, forced the closure of coal-fired electricity generators and boosted its renewable aspirations. This is emotion, gesture and ideology trumping rational thinking, and people will suffer.

In NSW a coalmine was rejected partly because of what it might do to the climate — so South ­Korean generators will probably burn dirtier coal from another country. Medical students joining the climate strike told us global warming could damage the health of the elderly in the future — but just this winter a study has shown that the number of people dying at home or being admitted to hospital from the cold has risen by 34 per cent because pensioners can’t pay their power bills (which have more than doubled across a decade largely because of climate-driven market interventions). Hardships of the present are ignored in favour of scares about the future.

Facts are being subsumed by feelings. Democracy is being usurped by so-called elites. Liberal democracies will forget what has made them great at their own peril.

CHRIS KENNY

ASSOCIATE EDITOR (NATIONAL AFFAIRS)

Commentator, author and former political adviser, Chris Kenny also hosts The Kenny Report Monday-Thursday 12-2pm, Kenny on Sunday at 8pm, and Kenny on Media on Mondays at 8pm on Sky News. He takes an unashamedl… Read more

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Is Orwell’s Ministry Of Truth Alive? Why Don’t We Hear Much About Julian Assange?

Is Orwell’s Ministry Of Truth Alive. Why Don’t We Hear Much About Julian Assange By Michelle Wood, via Medium.com and Zerohedge, 12 September 2019

 In Orwell’s dystopian fiction 1984, the government’s mission through the Ministry of Truth is to supply its people with news, entertainment, books, films, plays and songs, packed with the information it wants the people to know. It constructs lies to fit the narrative it wishes to establish and sets about rewriting historical documents so they match the constantly changing current party line.

Have we slept walked our way into 1984 with the curious witchhunt of Julian Assange?

From the time Wikileaks published Collateral Murder in 2010, exposing the slaying of Iraqi civilians at the hands of merciless US Apache soldiers, in what became the biggest news story of its time, the United States has wanted Julian Assange silenced and forgotten.

He has lived in a state of confinement since May 2010 when he was arrested and jailed in the United Kingdom, lived under house arrest for a further 18 months in England and then sought political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy from June 2012 .Yet many people think Assange was in a position where he could simply walk free.

Has there been a well crafted smear campaign to dehumanise Assange and coax the public into forgetting him? How else could he have been detained within two tiny rooms devoid of sunlight for more than six years without public commentary and concern? The apparent dismantling of Assange’s character and disinformation has been thorough. Most people do not know the specifics of his case, but “believe” he is an arrogant rapist and an ungrateful, badly behaved houseguest, smearing faeces on the embassy walls and being cruel to his cat. These disputed claims are now so well accepted it’s inconceivable that they could actually be lies.

The one surety about Assange was that he did publish secret State documents and videos. Embarrassing yes, but surely not indictable in a country that protects freedom of speech in its constitution. Never mind the fact that Assange is an Australian citizen, but far from protecting him against being tried for espionage in America, the Morrison government’s public statements have been limited to assurances that he is being treated like any other citizen with ongoing consular assistance.

Are we being served by our “free media’ in its reportage of the Wikileaks expose and the subsequent treatment of Julian Assange?

Instead of seeing the 2016/17 Democratic National Committee (DNC) email leaks as important data on presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the prevailing narrative by the mainstream media was that Wikileaks’ handed the presidency to Donald Trump. Although the voter count showed Clinton had the majority by just over 3M votes and that Trump’s win had more to do with the American Electoral College system, the focus remained on the now debunked “Russiagate.”

Julian Assange before his internet was taken away in 2018

In March 2018, the Ecuadorian government imposed new conditions on Assange, removing all forms of communication and restricting his social visits. He was then unable to do any further work with Wikileaks and had limited connection with the outside world. His silencing was almost complete.

In April this year, Ecuador’s illegal breach of Assange’s asylum followed with his immediate arrest by UK police and a 50 week sentence in a maximum security prison for breaching bail. News organisations had been alerted to Assange’s imminent arrest by Wikileaks press releases but these were ignored. Ironically the images of the world’s “most dangerous man” being hauled from the embassy were supplied by only one agency, Ruptly, a branch of Russia Today. Without this footage how might this story have been reported?

It appears the news media is choosing not to report much of Assange’s ongoing plight. Strange, given he was once feted for his courage and innovation, winning the Sydney Peace Prize and one of Australian journalism’s coveted Walkley awards. The case against Assange concerns the criminalisation of journalism at a time when media organisations in his own country are under siege. Federal Police raided the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in June for reporting alleged warcrimes by Australian forces in Afghanistan. This followed search warrants being executed at the home of Murdoch media journalist Annika Smethhurst over a leaked plan to allow government spying on its citizens. The coverage included detailed reporting of detectives rifling through her underwear drawer.

Contrast this with the lack of reportage on some important aspects of the Assange case.

In May, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer visited Assange in Belmarsh Prison producing a damning report which was widely circulated, but surprisingly had little impact.

“It was obvious that Mr. Assange’s health has been seriously affected by the extremely hostile and arbitrary environment he has been exposed to for many years. Most importantly, in addition to physical ailments, Mr Assange showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma.

Mr Melzer’s report included this extraordinary claim:

“In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonise and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law. The collective persecution of Julian Assange must end here and now!”

How could such a grave statement not have triggered further investigation and commentary other than by independent journalists? Melzer’s horrific diagnosis involves the life of a western journalist going to a western jail for doing his job.

UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer discussing Julian Assange

In July 2019 US Federal District Judge John Koeltl dismissed a DNC lawsuit against Wikileaks, emphasizing the “newsworthiness” of Wikileaks publishing activities describing them as “plainly of the type entitled to the strongest protection that the First Amendment offers.”

“If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet,” — Judge Koeltl

Even today an online search of reportage of this Federal court judgement appears to show an absence by Australia’s main media outlets such as the ABC, Nine news media and News Corporation. Would it influence the public perception of Julian Assange if more knew a US Judge considered his work to be worthy?

Recently multi-awarding winning journalist Mark Davis gave an eyewitness account refuting claims Assange was reckless and that he carelessly dumped documents endangering the lives of many. Instead he reported the Wikileaks founder took great care to redact and protect innocent people named in the trove of documents released as part of the Afghan war logs. Davis said he considered Assange acted with journalistic integrity.

Where was the mainstream reportage of the Davis testimony? Social media posts of articles by independent journalists appear to be the most reliable way to keep up with the unfolding Assange story. These are primarily shared within circles of advocates and independent media which limits their reach and sometimes creates questions about their accuracy.

This means the majority of people wont know how shocked veteran Australian journalist John Pilger was after seeing Assange in prison last month. They wont know his health is said to be deteriorating while confined to his single cell for almost 21 hours a day. Nor will they know that he gets just two social visits a month and is denied the opportunity to prepare with his US lawyers for his upcoming extradition trial.

Do not forget Julian #Assange. Or you will lose him.
I saw him in Belmarsh prison and his health has deteriorated. Treated worse than a murderer, he is isolated, medicated and denied the tools to fight the bogus charges of a US extradition. I now fear for him. Do not forget him.

John Pilger joined with musician Roger Waters to organise a rally this week in London to honour their friend, calling for the UK government to resist the US extradition request.

About 1000 people gathered in front of the Home Office to listen to an emotional Waters sing his hit song “Wish You Were Here”. Just as Julian Assange couldn’t hear the tribute from his cell at nearby Belmarsh, the majority of people did not hear of this public event.

This evening outside the #UK government’s Ministry of the Interior (Home Office) #PinkFloyd’s @rogerwaters performed his song ‘Wish You Were Here’ in solidarity with imprisoned journalist and @wikileaks founder #JulianAssange. @telesurenglish #Wikileaks

The general public will likely miss the plea by Gabriel Shipton, Assange’s younger brother, who read a letter at the rally that he’d written to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. His concerns about his brother’s welfare and the PM’s silence, have largely gone unnoticed by mainstream media. More silencing? More forgetting?

On September 7 on Twitter, Julian Assange’s name was trending when people started sharing an interview with celebrity and activist Pamela Anderson.

Anderson appeared on the American ABC’s long running talk show The View. As she was talked over and drilled for information, the former Baywatch star kept her cool as she schooled her fellow panellists with facts about Assange’s case and countered their claims, calling them smear and lies.

Here was a story that combined celebrity and controversy, but it has barely received mention in the Australian press?

At a recent press freedom conference in England, Special Envoy for Media Freedom, Amal Clooney, spoke of the alarm felt by journalists around the world at the Assange US indictments which “criminalises common practices in journalism that have long served the public interest.” If this is true who are the concerned journalists and why aren’t we hearing from them?

Not only has the UK government silenced Assange in prison, but the last decade of his life appears to have been censored. Who is steering the narrative in a near vacuum of information and repeated disinformation? Is there are a modern day “Ministry of Truth” behind the ongoing media blackout of one of the most influential and controversial people of our times?

“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they rebelled they cannot become conscious” — George Orwell

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Forget 1984, We’re Facing A Brave New World

Forget 1984, We’re Facing A Brave New WorldBy Eta Onrish, via Zerohedge

I see quite frequently, people warning that the US is becoming an ‘Orwellian nightmare,’ or that we’re living in a country that’s fast becoming a new 1984. I think they’re wrong. It’s worse.

We here in the US look at what China’s doing as if they’re on a reality TV show. Seeing what they’re doing with surveillance and their social credit system as if we’re watching some kind of dystopian entertainment series fashioned after the George Orwell book, 1984. Our burgeoning dystopia isn’t as overtly dystopian as Orwell warned against, and that’s the problem.

If you haven’t read 1984, you really should. I’m not really a fan of the storyline since it’s pretty crappy but the message still comes through, and it’ll give you an idea of why people reference it so much when talking about governments gone awry. Then, get yourself a copy of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and you’ll start to see the problem. The story’s a little better, but not much. The message is more apropos, however.

1984 was about a government that would ban information and rule with a leather boot on your throat, whereas Brave New World was about a system that would slowly seep into our life like a drug. In other words, Orwell warned us about a dystopia that we wouldn’t be able to stop, Huxley warned us about a dystopia that we would beg not to stop.

The US isn’t becoming Orwellian, it’s becoming Huxleyan.

Social credit systems are coming.

In 2013, China started its social credit system, coordinated by the Central Comprehensively Deepening Reforms Commission. What they’re planning to do by next year is to have a comprehensive credit system under one roof that will cover pretty much everything in the lives of its citizens. It’s already well on its way.

In that system, your life is measured based on how well your actions align with the Party’s vision of what you should be doing, and how often. It’s a little like the credit score your mortgage broker pulls up when you buy a home but instead of deciding if you’re allowed to borrow money, this system increasingly decides if you can do anything.

Good social credit? You’ll be able to travel freely around the country and get into jobs that you want and live in better neighborhoods, and your kids will attend better schools. Bad social credit? You’ll be increasingly limited in where you can go and how comfortable your life is until you finally get yourself back in line with everyone else.

Sounds like a good plan, right?

The ‘biggest’ problem is that these freedoms that you enjoy will be infringed without due process. The social credit system is a very nebulous and fuzzy system that lacks any sort of transparency. Also, if you happen to speak out against the government or are somehow considered a threat, you could easily find yourself without a job or money and unable to travel – and not only could this be done without any proof that you’ve done anything illegal – this could happen completely behind the scenes. Because there is no legal proceeding, you have no recourse other than to fall back in line and hope they give you your life back.

So what? We don’t have social credit here in the US and we wouldn’t allow such a thing, right?

Wrong. China’s system of government allows them to pull from the 1984 rule book but our system is worse. In this case, it isn’t directly the government that’s the problem, it’s Big Tech.

The Brave New World of Big Tech

Our lives are now steeped in social media and corporations that leverage user-created content to make money. Instead of getting our news from trusted news agencies, we now get it from our echo chambers on Facebook. If we do want to explore past that, we get on Google and “fact-check.”

Now part of the problem here is that mass media news stations long ago stopped being news, and threw out their ethics in exchange for advertising revenue. It’s big business. However, it gets worse.

Both Facebook and Google have been caught censoring information that they deem not to their liking. Now, they’re both private companies and we don’t HAVE to use them, but they’re essentially monopolies that are allowed to exist. By dropping certain viewpoints lower down in the algorithm or even outright blocking them altogether, you now no longer get any sort of balanced view of the world. You start seeing things the way they want you to.

Our Growing Social Credit System

For quite a while now, we’ve gotten used to user-created credit systems such as Yelp and Amazon reviews. They’re very helpful with deciding what product to buy or service to use. They’re also very unreliable and easily faked.

This idea of reviews is being expanded to other systems. Uber allows you to review your driver so others can have a better ride experience or avoid someone who’s smelly or annoying. Airbnb lets you read about locations and owners to give you a better idea about what the stay will be like. Did you know that you’re also being evaluated when you use these services?

Uber allows drivers to rate their passengers. If your score drops to a certain point, Uber will ban you from using their system. Airbnb is even worse, stating with regard to banned accounts:

“This decision is irreversible and will affect any duplicated or future accounts. Please understand that we are not obligated to provide an explanation for the action taken against your account.”

They can ban you for life, with no explanation, and you have no recourse. So what? Read on.

Earlier this year, New York’s Department of Financial Services stated in its guidelines that it will allow insurance companies to use non-traditional (which could potentially, and may even already include both social media posts and information from such places as Uber or Airbnb) to determine your risk and cost and the only stipulation is that they can’t use it specifically to target protected classes:

An insurer should not use an external data source, algorithm or predictive model for underwriting or rating purposes unless the insurer can establish that the data source does not use and is not based in any way on race, color, creed, national origin, status as a victim of domestic violence, past lawful travel, or sexual orientation in any manner, or any other protected class.

They added to that in a press release, stating:

…insurers’ use of external data sources has the potential to benefit insurers and consumers alike by simplifying and expediting life insurance sales and underwriting processes. External data sources also have the potential to result in more accurate underwriting and pricing of life insurance.

The Coming Future

As these rating systems continue to be more pervasive, and as companies, agencies, and governments increasingly refer to these scores, they will continue to erode your freedoms and those freedoms could easily be constrained by someone with an agenda, purposely manipulating your score.

Because these systems aren’t regulated with any sort of effective oversight, they’re ripe for misuse and manipulation. No longer will you have protections against punishment for living the life you currently live or speaking out. Our laws that protect you against such invasions do not apply to this new de facto system of government that we’re allowing.

As we become more accustomed to this increasingly-aggregate score being allowed to affect our lives and our freedoms, we will be more willing to follow whatever guidelines are put in place to achieve higher scores, whether that be buying the right things, saying the right things, or even worse – not saying the wrong things. As we see more value in these systems, we’ll not only stop fighting against them affecting our lives, we’ll soon beg for them.

We may not be living in 1984 but have no doubt, a Brave New World is on the horizon.

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Previous articles

    • pauling-hansons-first-speech-in-the-senate-14-september-2016
    • cairns-post-editorial-201016  Laws of diminishing returns as the ‘nanny state’ takes over control of our freedom, By Julian Tomlinson, Cairns Post, 20 October 2016

About Peter Senior

I'm a very experienced and pragmatic management consultant. I've reviewed and led the restructuring of many organisations - large and small corporations and Government Departments, much of the time as President of the New Zealand Institute of Management Consultants. Before that I was General Manager of a major NZ newspaper; earlier, an analyst for IBM UK. I gained an honours degree in engineering at London University, and studied management at Cambridge University. This wide range of experience has left me frustrated: I continue to see too many examples of really bad management. Sometimes small easily fixed issues; sometimes fundamental faults; and sometimes really tricky problems. Mostly these issues can be fixed using a mixture of common sense, 'management 101' and applying lessons from years of management experience. Unfortunately, all too often, politics, bureaucracy and daft government regulations get in the way; internal factors such as poor culture and out-of-date strategies are often evident. So what's gone wrong, and why, and most importantly, how to fix 'it'? I hope there are like-minded people 'out there' who will share their thoughts enabling 'us' to improve some significant management failures that affect the general public. If you just accept bad management, you don't have the right to complain! If you'd like to share thoughts on any aspects of management, send me an email to petersenior42@gmail.com . My latest project has the interim title 'You’ve been conned. Much of what you were taught and read is largely irrelevant, misleading or plain wrong – this is the REAL story of life: past, present and our possible future.' The working paper so far comprises 105 pages, many listing references and interim conclusions. The main problem is finding sufficient credible evidence, and realising the more Iearn, the more I realise I don't know!
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