Knowledge and technology have a way of inserting themselves to change customs and traditions of the past. What a person believed and spoke about in one era could be accepted as true, only to determine that it was false later because of a deeper understanding of the subject. I still believe Galileo was a heretic.
For example, ideas like believing or not believing in god were somewhat of a hot point during the 1950s when Madeline Murray announced she did not believe in god. She was roundly shouted down. Sixty years later, people practicing religion find themselves being verbally abused in the way they abused Murray.
Time changes everything. Totalitarian Communistic regimes are secular, while “In God, We Trust” is still on our dollar bill. The Leninist interpretation advocated the repression of those of the capitalist class. As long as the capitalist class existed, there would be a need for a dictatorship of the proletariat. They would be enabling the democratic rule of the working class over the capitalist class.
Limiting the power of the capitalist class to speak and conduct their transactions was a key item in establishing a worker paradise. The equalizing factor was the communication revolution when computers and instant communication became a reality.
In 1979 when someone in Iran said, “Death to America,” we all knew about it. In the early 1900s, no one would know that happened, and it would be no big deal. We watched as people stood before the camera and screamed that chant, and we knew it within hours, not days or months.
Having these folks chant “Death to America” was unsettling. They took it further and chanted, “Death to the infidel, Carter.” Jimmy Carter may have been many things, but he was a man of faith and not an infidel. But he did not have the same religious belief as the people chanting.
We have held the First Amendment as sacred. Oliver Wendell Holmes addressed prohibited speech in 1919. He argued in Schenck v. the United States that “falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater” was prohibited.
In 1995 President Clinton seemed to move toward prohibited speech when he condemned “loud and angry voices of hate” after the Oklahoma Federal Building Bombing. As a preventive measure for violent acts, “hate speech” was developed as a concept to ban verbal communication, physical gestures, or the written word that were prejudicial against an individual or group.
Groups have started to expand the concept of “hate speech” to a public statement against mask mandates, Covid vaccinations, illegal immigration, or same-sex marriage. All can be labeled hate speech. The stunning developments in Virginia concerning a man who complained that his daughter was raped in a school’s girl’s room by a young man who identified as a female caught my attention. He was not even complaining about his daughter but complaining that they assigned the aggrieving individual to another school, and he did it again.
Whole classes of people were then prohibited from expressing themselves. Hate Speech was applied to groupings of people who were supposedly to blame, regardless of what individuals in each class might say or believe.
Combine that with a version of the news, either right or left, and it is a recipe for a totalitarian state to evolve. Take, for example, the origin of the coronavirus. This is a bat virus that was weaponized, and any mutation of the virus is a mutation of the spike protein as some of the viruses are not as deadly as others.
This virus did not evolve naturally as there is no way that three amino acids can line up in a row. Someone made this, but to say that it is weaponized has been censored … it is now a “gain in function.”
The virus has been used to attack the capitalist class with small businesses suffering. Mom and Pop shops across America are starting to disappear. I witnessed it. I toured the country from May 15, 2021, to June 15, 2021, and there has been serious damage done. You can ask the aspiring young chef about his job opportunities.
The summer of riots also specifically targeted small businesses as windows were broken stores looted, dashing the dreams of small entrepreneurs across the country. I witnessed it when I toured the cities where the riots occurred. People then were shut down when they condemned those actions. When I condemned the riots attacks I was called a racist.
One thing I saw that solidified my thinking on this subject was a store window in Palo Alto for “Bias Bots” with an attitude (dee below). Conversational computing devices that can embrace particular communities’ point of view. It occurred to me these may not even people trying to limit my speech… it is a technological innovation, not knowledge.
Barry Cassidy is a freelance grant and economic development consultant. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bias Bots are conversational computing devices that can convey expertise and embrace a particular communities’ points of view. Illustrating the trust that results from boundary building, Bias Bots abandon the fiction of objective neutrality in a global knowledge base and allow these AI agents to express views that are aligned with consumers’ attitudes and their commitments.
Papal Pal, for example, features expertise in the current canon of Catholicism. Sustainabot, on the other hand, can coach a family to lead a greener lifestyle. Your Bias Bot will still dim the lights but might stretch the truth or even cop an attitude if your kids ask about Darwinian evolution.