America's Dying Freedom of Speech
In 1,000 ways, big and small, free speech is being strangled in America.
Last week it was the turn of a newspaper - the Babylon Bee - that was "canceled" and "de-platformed" by "Big Tech" over a satirical article where they mocked Joe Biden's transgendered Health Secretary formerly Richard Levine, now Rachel Levine, as "Man of the Year." When otherwise mainstream - and truthful - satire and jokes are being censored, for not following a narrow political party line, then we as a society have hit a crisis point.
What makes this censorship so outrageous is that it is blatant illegal. The US Constitution Bill of Rights guarantees Freedom of Speech and the Press. That should mean the opposite of censorship.
By by creating "Big Tech" Monopolies to control the internet - and then telling the Monopolies what to censor - government is destroying that Bill of Rights.
The government shaped the creation of the internet, through hundreds of billions in taxpayer subsidies and a regulatory structure set forth in the 1996 Telecommunications Act. The government's preferred internet networks - Big Tech - got the money, exemption from antitrust laws, and immunity from being sued for defamation. They became the all-powerful "information super highway" upon which all free speech and commerce now depends.
The theory was that Big Tech would be like "public utilities" - like the Electric Company or the Gas Company or the Cable Company. But then the new Big Tech billionaires and their government allies got a taste for their horrible new power. Every business, every newspaper, every TV station now depends on the internet to survive.
Just imagine if the Electric Company or the Gas Company could shut-off your power or heat because they didn't like your political opinions. Or they didn't like your religion. Or your race. What if the Electric Company could cut the power to TV stations or newspaper offices, if they didn't like a news story being reported ?
Yet that is exactly what is happening. The 2020 "cancel" censorship of the New York Post - America's oldest and fourth largest newspaper - for truthfully reporting a major news story was a fatal warning. If Big Tech and government can censor the New York Post - then no one is safe. Free Speech and a Free Press are already dying.
Government created the Big Tech internet monopolies. They are a creature and a product of government. They now hold massive arbitrary power. Unless they are controlled - soon - and their power to target people is broken, then they, and their government allies, will be the uncontrollable new masters of a land of slaves and serfs.
George Orwell in his prophetic novel 1984 wrote, "Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two equals four. If that is granted, all else follows..." Do we still have that Freedom ?