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Thoughts on the bizarre power of weblogs

Have emperors always gone about in their new birthday suits? Maybe there are always contradictions between obvious realities and the official stories everybody reputable agrees to. Or maybe there’s something about an expertised formally educated mass-media society, in which something can only become a fact or issue if the right people recognize it as such, that’s very like an imperial court.

However that may be, today we see around us, pushed on us by our instructors and leaders,

  • Democracy in which the people rule as long as they make the right decisions.
  • Free and unfettered debate as long as you don’t say the wrong thing.
  • Liberal education that’s hard to distinguish from propaganda, to which everyone who displays the slightest talent has to submit for 16, 18 or 20 years on threatened pain of poverty.
  • Freedom and equality that reduce humanity to an disconnected and powerless aggregate ruled by administrators and money.
  • Human rights that make irresponsible power global and all-pervasive.
  • Antiracism that makes race an eternal topic of privilege and resentment.
  • Feminism that destroys family, home and femininity, turns sex into a commodity, and transforms women into raw material for the world of competition, hierarchy and objective functionality.
  • Extremist right-wing ideologues who are simply people who resist being re-engineered and want to live by the understandings they’ve always lived by.

Such things make the potential power of the internet comprehensible. Even something as small as a weblog gives uncertified people the unedited and unsanitized power to name what’s happening. If knowledge and opinion were formed and organized in a reasonably functional way that wouldn’t much matter. In the current set-up though that power can be explosive. How such things will turn out we can’t know, but we should push them for all they’re worth.

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Comments

In reading your list, I was reminded of the phrase, “the inverted society.”