Posted: Sep 01, 2018 2:29 am
by Hermit
jamest wrote:
Hermit wrote:
jamest wrote:...my prediction is that social media will ultimately fuel a revolution whereby all bollocks (including religious) will be cut off. In the end there will be an elected leader of the people for the people. I sincerely hope that no experience of pain is involved, but history indicates that this is the likely outcome. Regardless, he or she won't be representing the USA, he or she will be representing the whole planet.

That's the future: One ruler for One planet.

Dream on. We have one ruler for this one planet already, but it's not a person. It's the global economy. The social media are owned and manipulated by it, not for the benefit of democracy or any other high-faluting ideal, but the bottom line. In principle the past will be like the future - haves lording it over the havenots. If the latter get anywhere near becoming unmanageable the internet will be restricted or cut off entirely.

This won't happen in the future...

Here is the news: It is happening right now.

Google is about to be allowed back in to China. There's just one condition: It has to conduct censorship on behalf of the Chinese government. Right now Google is preparing to do exactly that (Source).

Since 2016 rulers of 13 African nations have used an even more blunt instrument on 21 occasions by switching the internet off completely to thwart unruly plebs from getting organised (Source).

There isn't a nation in the world that is incapable of doing the same when push comes to shove. It's simply a matter of telling its population that there is a very dangerous enemy threatening whatever principles are held dear by it and invoking emergency laws. Every country has those.

How easy it is to bullshit the masses has been demonstrated time and time again. Herman Goering described the underlying principle succinctly in 1945:
Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

The masses are easily led - and mislead.

What is more, there is no indication that social media is biased in favour of improvement. Look at the so-called Arab spring. The popular uprisings organised through the internet were not intended to replace dictators and tyrants with enlightened rule. They wanted to replace them with theocratic dictatorships. At best they gave its peoples a choice between a frying pan and fire. The internet also facilitated the recruitment of thousands of aspiring terrorist from all over the world to gather in the Middle East and North Africa in order to blow themselves up after raping and pillaging the respective areas there were in on behalf of ISIL.

There simply is no evidence whatsoever for the claim that social media lean towards "the good". In fact, the racists, theocrats and other undesirable groupings use them to good effect, maybe even more effectually than, say, the Southern Poverty Law Center, because they have fewer scruples about lying and using unfair methods. They are using the tools of freedom or whatever you want to call the social media to destroy them, and there's nothing new about that either. Josef Goebbels (in 1935) this time (Source):
...we National Socialists never asserted that we represented a democratic point of view, but we have declared openly that we used democratic methods only in order to gain the power and that, after assuming the power, we would deny to our adversaries without any consideration the means which were granted to us in the times of opposition


Edited to replace Goebbels quote with a more accurate version.