If you read anything today, read Andre Damon’s analysis of the concerted effort by the state and its corporate partners—the very essence corporatism, fascism as Mussolini described it—to once again dominate the narrative as it did before the internet and the web.
Damon critiques a paper put out by the Atlantic Council. The author, John T. Watts, a former Australian Army officer and consultant to the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security, writes that in order for the state to regain its monopoly over the narrative, it must engage in censorship.
The problem, according to Watts, is that “Technology has democratized the ability for sub-state groups and individuals to broadcast a narrative with limited resources and virtually unlimited scope… In the past, the general public had limited sources of information, which were managed by professional gatekeepers.”
In other words, the rise of uncensored social media allowed small groups with ideas that correspond to those of the broader population to challenge the political narrative of vested interests on an equal footing, without the “professional gatekeepers” of the mainstream print and broadcast media, which publicizes only a pro-government narrative.
“The most striking element of the document, however, is that it is not describing the future, but contemporary reality. Everything is in the present tense. The machinery of mass censorship has already been built,” Damon writes.
If the dismemberment murder of Jamal Khashoggi demonstrates anything, it is that the state will use the most extreme measures to maintain its monopoly of power.
The uninformed may argue this would never happen in America. Granted, the liquidation of serious opposition to the neoliberal regime usually does not require murder and dismemberment, although it has resorted to assassination in a number of cases (the murders of the Kennedy brothers, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Fred Hampton come to mind).
The state always wars against dissent. From the Palmer Raids to COINTELPRO and beyond, there is a mechanism waiting in the shadows to undermine, sabotage, and eliminate political dissent.