Dictators seldom announce their arrival. They come like a thief in the night. They arrive with thought control. They arrive with language control. They arrive with the most overreaching spy measures. They arrive with gun control. They don’t arrive with warnings of tyranny, they arrive with promises of prosperity and security.
The road to serfdom doesn’t have signposts, we need to study it well before we begin the travel and understand the destination. Few political commentators saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late. Democrats never spoke out against Obama’s increased power to the executive branch of American government, and now they lament this power because of what came next.
The 25 point plan of Nazis isn’t a mere matter of historical intrigue. It’s a matter of political prophecy. We shouldn’t read it to look, we have to understand the horror that awaits us if we fail to act. Of the 25 points, the nationalist and anti-immigration points have all largely been articulated by Donald Trump. The socialist points have all largely been articulated by Bernie Sanders. The willingness of their supporters to savagely curtail freedoms in a passionate frenzy is the starkest realism we must face.
I wouldn’t say that Trudeau, Macron, Sanders, Trump, or the like are Nazis – they aren’t. They are laying the infrastructure for tyranny, which is entirely different. They’re paving the road to serfdom. It was the Weimar Republic that disarmed German citizens, which in hindsight was a poor decision; now we have foresight for such decisions.
Once again I’ve been Zuck’d. I posted a meme of Himmler praising gun control and this was enough to set Facebook against me. I requested a review and received no mercy.
Sadly libertarians have a terrible habit of applying our political philosophy to ethics as well. I’m assured that Facebook’s dismissal of libertarian views is morally justified on the grounds that they are a private company. If it were true any company can do as they wish on their private property, Facebook could ban people of colour, or Muslims, from using their platform, and one could argue this is politically justifiable as a freedom, it would still be highly unethical and merit criticism from other private organizations.
However, the premise of the justification is also questionable. Facebook colludes with government officials. They have recently struck a deal with Emmanuel Macron to silence their interpretation of hate speech.
Asking questions such as what caused the rise of tyranny in the 20th century are legitimate questions. A library that purges itself of Keynesian literature is a poor library. Facebook has become a platform willing to discard those it disagrees with.
The most horrifying this for me with this entire ban is how many people have told me they’re ok with it because they disagreed with the politics. Although it’s been shared endlessly I don’t believe this wisdom and warning have waned for Martin Niemöller’s poem:
First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
As an entire political group faces the prospect of losing its voice, I feel it necessary to point out the leap from legitimate concern of hatred that incites violence and rampant, mother bear, paranoia is much shorter than we imagine it to be. As our language becomes more controlled, as our governmental spy programs increase, as our dissenting voices are silenced, I fear it necessary to point out we don’t appear to be winning. How coincidental that the one philosophy that stands for individualism over statism, cautioning this leap, is the one being censored.