The Daily Libertarian was banned from a Facebook group yesterday for spreading false information. The post in question was titled, The Fascist States of America, and it contrasted the United States’ political and economic system to fascism, using not Nazi Germany as the fascist base, but Mussolini’s Italy. The post showed that fascism was a Marxist construct – or more to the point, that fascism was created as an ‘improved’ version of Marxism, after the original fascist thinkers, Giovanni Gentile and Benedetto Croce, saw what was happening in the Soviet Union. One of the moderators of the Facebook group in question said that Mussolini came to power in 1918, and that the Soviet Union was not founded until 1922. I pointed out that while the ‘Red Revolution’ did not achieve final victory until 1922, the revolution started in 1917, and that by the time the Soviet Union was unified under the Red Army, fascists had five years of Soviet rule over parts of Russia to look at. I also pointed out that Mussolini came to power in 1922 – not 1918. Finally, I linked to historical data on Gentile and Croce, which corroborated my timeline and my history of events. The citation on Gentle and Croce was linked in a separate Daily Libertarian article, called Fascism was Socialism 2.0. For posting a cited article and saying ‘here – this one is cited’, I was accused of using myself as a citation, to which I responded that I linked to a separate article that included citations for the issues being questioned, and that it was the citations within the second article I was using, and not the article itself. For this, the person I was debating, who was also a moderator of the group, banned my blog to prevent anyone else in the group from seeing my citations. I have no interest in being a member of a group that lets admins use moderator powers as a debate tool – that is, for me, a bridge too far – and so, I left the group.
I bring this up not to complain about the group that banned my blog (I am a member of a number of large groups, and my blog will continue to grow without this particular group), but because it is indicative of how many people debate today: they use whatever means are at their disposal to shut-down opposing viewpoints. In this case, that involved banning this blog. In other cases, it may involve deleting posts and/or comments, belittling someone without viable grounds to do so, making threats against someone (or the family of someone) who has posted something, or other similar techniques designed to shut-down discord rather than to respond to it. Facts that support opposing viewpoints are called, ‘fake,’ as are sites that support those facts. In my case, Wikipedia was used as a source to refute my position. I posted other Wikipedia pages that directly contradicted the one used to refute my position, and suggested that Wikipedia might not be the most viable source. I was told that my Wikipedia pages had fake facts, and the other Wikipedia page was correct. It did not matter that I was correct – I was shut down for disagreeing with a moderator. Clearly, ‘correct’ meant, ‘in agreement with the moderator of the group,’ and not ‘correct’ in terms of being, ‘factually accurate.’
These are scary times. Not only does our country no longer have a shared sense of identity or purpose, but we disagree on the nature of what constitute ‘facts.’ Postmodernists say that no such things as ‘facts’ even exist, or more accurately, that ‘facts’ are subjective, such that anything anyone believes can be considered ‘factual’ to that person, and the more oppressed someone is relative to the people they are talking to, the more relevant their facts are. Postmodernism blurs the line between ‘feelings’ and ‘facts’ to the point where the two are the same, and postmodernists rate who is ‘correct,’ not by objective analysis, but based on which set of ‘feelings/facts’ come from the most supposedly-oppressed group.
Once a society gets to the point where it can no longer agree on what constitutes a ‘fact’ and what is factually not true, there is no opportunity for rational discussion. Our country has passed this point. Today, what is ‘true’ or ‘not true’ depends entirely on who is asked.
Is the Trump Dossier full of credible, verified information, or is it garbage? Did Trump ban the CDC from using certain words and phrases, or not? Were the results of the 2016 election in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania manipulated, or not? Did Trump purge references to Climate Change from the White House website, or did he not? Both sides have very different answers to questions such as these, and to add insult to injury, the press has developed a game in which it reports something that is clearly not true on page one, and then a few days later buries a retraction somewhere on page 30, where it knows nobody will see it. Those who focus on the retraction and claim the original article was not accurate can then be accused of spreading ‘fake news.’
I’m not going to say that only liberals play these games. Conservatives have learned to do so as well. Realistically, these kinds of games started under President George W. Bush, and got significantly worse once Obama was elected. With the Trump election, the wheels came off. We no longer have ‘news,’ and nothing any of our so-called news sources say (including Fox) can be trusted. All of our sources of information are more than happy to lie to the American people, and the lies are so pervasive and constant, that none of us have any way of knowing what is truly happening in the world around us.
Some news stories do not get reported at all. How many people know that ISIS has been all but defeated? How many people know that the crown-prince of Saudi Arabia wants to reverse a generations-old Saudi policy of spreading anti-Western hatred throughout the Sunni world? I suppose that those who want to celebrate the new crown-prince’s direction for Saudi Arabia would first have to admit that Saudi Arabia has been spreading anti-Western Wahhabi beliefs throughout the Sunni world, and that those beliefs have, to a large degree taken hold. You’ll never see a liberal admit that Islam is in a dark age…
Those who believe in social justice measure ‘equal treatment under the law’ based on the outcomes different systems provide. As such, if there are differences in outcomes between groups, oppression toward the group with the worse outcomes is automatically assumed – any other explanation is dismissed out of hand as ‘blaming the victim.’ In such an environment, there is no chance for common ground with those who believe in actual justice, where justice is applied only on an individual basis.
Increasingly, there is no chance for common ground on anything.
I’m going to stop short of saying that we are headed toward a civil war. The truth is that I don’t know what we are headed toward, and I don’t think anyone wants a civil war. What I will say is that a society that has no common ground, and no shared set of facts, has no means for rational communication, much less compromise. We are beyond the point of compromise, and in a period where one side of the political spectrum will have to impose it’s will forcefully upon the other. If conservatives win, we will see an increase in personal liberty and personal accountability, and a return toward cultural norms that consider our country the last, best chance for freedom in the world. If liberals win, we’re going full-bore socialist, with an international flavor.
Liberals are all in on running against Donald Trump’s character in future elections. 2018 will an indictment of Donald Trump, not as a President, but as a human being. Anyone who has the same party affiliation as Donald Trump will be held as unsuitable for office, and Democrats believe that their victory in Virginia proves they can win. Should Democrats take the House and Senate in 2018, they’ll try to impeach Trump. They’d likely get the impeachment, but it’s unlikely they would be able to remove Trump from office. They will however try to make the 2020 election a referendum on Trump’s character, and an impeachment from the House would help.
Should the Democrats win the Presidency in 2020, I expect to hear them make a national discussion (amongst themselves) over how white Christians and white racists elected Donald Trump, and about how in 2020 we are beyond the point were we can allow an election system in which one demographic holds enough political power to elect someone like Trump. Where that discussion would lead is anyone’s guess, but should someone speak against it, they’ll be banned from whatever forum they speak in, just as The Daily Libertarian was banned from a Facebook forum yesterday. The days of national discourse are over, replaced with raw, unbridled hate.