Prior to the dawn of social media, we already had billionaires, Marxists and madness. They were like those little seasoning packets you sprinkle on certain kinds of food – lightly used and not often encountered in daily life.
In fact, their scarcity in ordinary life spoke to their separation from ordinary Americans, who survived by working hard, took their enjoyment in life from raising a family and looked forward to a summer driving vacation.
Freedom was rampant in America. If you got sick, the government didn’t tell your doctor how to treat your illness, when to treat your illness, and when it was time to withhold treatment and let you die.
Communities, neighbors and schools reinforced the messages of personal responsibility and patriotism that were taught at home. Nonconformists were chastised, not held up as shimmering examples of individuality to become guiding lights to us all.
Churches taught about the Bible, Creation and the all-powerful Being to whom we were all accountable for the way in which we lived our lives. Many church members tried to live out their faith in their daily life. This was considered commendable by their friends and acquaintances, and hypocritical by their detractors and enemies. Despite the many flavors of Christianity on display, together they gave the nation a cohesion that served it well through good times and bad times.
Cheating and corruption were ostracized, not admired and copied. Government corruption was especially despised and its practitioners removed from public service. The term “service” implied doing something for the greater good, not the greater theft or power grab. Public pay scales and lower pensions highlighted this focus versus the income possible in the private sector.
Billionaires weren’t yet a real thing. There were rumored to be certain individuals who had accumulated assets worth a thousand million dollars or more, but almost no one actually knew one. Millionaires were a thing, and they usually lived in fancy houses in a certain section of the city, often set higher than the parts of the city around them. For the view, of course. Paper millionaires were even more common, depending on how the markets closed that day.
Madness was what happened to some people as a result of life. Sometimes people so afflicted were cared for by their family. Sometimes the government locked them up in mental institutions. If they became violent, the police, courts and jails dealt with them. Their actual lives were of interest mainly to academics, filmmakers and those unfortunate enough to encounter them in daily life.
All of this and much more had to be destroyed before Marxism, which is the blight of the billionaires, could flower and pollinate the internet with the guilt and self-loathing that permeated the “culture” we see today. The billionaires are a curious mixture of arrogance, guilt, pride and self-loathing. Having accumulated so much of the pie, they want to help the less-fortunate (all of us), but not at their own expense.
Rather, they focus on funding corrupt and often criminal politicians, whom they expect to do the dirty work of cleansing their wealth-guilt, while the corrupt and criminal orchestrate utopia for the rest of us. When they do choose to give away their own money, they use elaborate nonprofit corporations to protect themselves from their own failures.
Early on, even before the internet gave rise to our current crop of billionaire overseers, it had already created a form of social media. These were called news groups and mailing lists. You accessed them with newsreaders and ordinary email. These tools were frequently used by researchers and students. People could post whatever information they wanted, and the other members were free to praise, expand or flame it. Disk space was still a costly commodity, so images were scarce.
Social media would not arrive until after the development of web browsers, personal websites and the Pentagon’s Lifelog project at DARPA. You know its descendant as Facebook. I’ve no idea why Twitter emerged, perhaps to limit thoughts to a few characters blasted out in response to private stimulus. Rather like broadcast text messages sent to cell phones worldwide.
Social media was thought initially to be the tool to bring everyone together, the thought-playground of Hillary Clinton’s “village” that was needed to raise all of Bill’s unclaimed children. Satan knew what he was doing: It destroyed our thought processes, consumed our shrunken attention spans and transformed political discussion into an endless stream of one-line retorts.
The end effect of social media demonstrates conclusively that not everyone is cut out to be a publisher. But the process of publishing (newspapers, magazines, even radio and television broadcasts) had trained the public that certain credibility checks were in place when information was published. Haaaaa! The joke’s on all of us.
Congress sought to encourage this new technology, and making everyone a publisher succeeded beyond even their wildest dreams. As with much of life, when everyone is responsible, no one is responsible. The social media platforms were left to self-regulate speech in America.
Marxists abhor a vacuum. Censoring free speech is what they are about. No informed person would support an ideology that has caused governments to murder tens of millions of their own citizens, just because they disagreed with Marxist leadership. But with big tech’s terms and conditions click-bait, America gave the Marxists control over even our own Constitution.
Maybe the internet needs its own “coronavirus”? Steve, my hacker introduced in “Absolution: The Singularity (Vol. 3),” has his own ideas.
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