Nov 28, 2016

Crisis: Barbarians, Non-mainstream, Trump, Free Speech, Media, Neofascism
Sections                                                                     crisis index

Waiting for the Barbarians
2. Journalists Decry Washington Post’s Story on Source
     That ‘Blacklisted’ Truthdig and Other Outlets

3. Conflicts of Interest Could Put Trump in Violation of
     Constitution 'On Day One

4. All the Tools to Suppress Dissent and Kill Free Speech
     Are Already in Place

5. Trump’s Seven Techniques to Control the Media
6. These Are The 48 Organizations That Now Have Access
     To Every Brit’s Browsing History

This is a Nederlog of Monday, November 28, 2016.

This is a crisis log with 6 items and 6 dotted links and it consists (mostly) of some further deliberations on the meanings of Trump's election as president of the USA:

Item 1 is about a fine article by Chris Hedges, who expects the barbarians (and I think he is probably right); item 2 is about crazy propaganda that seems designed to help forbid the alternative media in the USA; item 3 is about the enormous conflicts of interest that are created by Trump's businesses (which I think Trump will carry on with as president); item 4 is about all the tools that have been created by Bush Jr and Obama to suppress dissent and kill free speech, that are now delivered into Trump's hands; item 5 is about Trump's techniques to control the media (which will soon be extended by new laws); and item 6 is on the parliamentary decision that brought about Neofascist Great Britain, where everything anyone does is now (almost) fully known to no less than 48 governmental institutions (without any defense or any security for anyone who was an ordinary citizen).

-- Constant part, for the moment --
B. In case you visit my Dutch site: It keeps being horrible most days. And it still does (on 11 - 17.xi.2016). 18.xi. was correct as
was 19.xi. 20.xi again was a stinking mess, as was 21.xi and 22.xi. It was correct on 25.xi. And horrible on 26.xi and 27.xi.

In any case, I am now (again) updating the opening of my site with the last day it was updated. (And I am very sorry if you have to click/reload several times to see the last update: It is not what I wish, nor how it was. [1]

C. In case you visit my Danish site: This worked correctly on 11 and 12 xi.2016, but not the day before nor on 13.xi.2016. It was OK on 14.xi.2016 and on 15.xi.2016. But not on 16 and 17.xi.
18.xi. was correct as were 19, 20, 21 and 22.xi. This also was
correct on
25, 26 and 27.xi.

And I think now this happens intentionally on both my sites, for this did not happen for 20 years on the one, nor for 12 years on the other. (And this is not "automatic": it changes from day to day.)

I am very sorry, and none of it is due to me. I am simply doing the same things as I did for 20 or for 12 years, that also went well for 20 or for 12 years.

I will keep this introduction until I get three successive days (!!!) in which both providers work correctly. I have not seen that for many months now.

1. Waiting for the Barbarians

The first item today is
y Chris Hedges on Truthdig:

This starts as follows:

We await the crisis. It could be economic. It could be a terrorist attack within the United States. It could be widespread devastation caused by global warming. It could be nationwide unrest as the death spiral of the American empire intensifies. It could be another defeat in our endless and futile wars. The crisis is coming. And when it arrives it will be seized upon by the corporate state, nominally led by a clueless real estate developer, to impose martial law and formalize the end of American democracy.

Yes indeed - or at least: This is what I think is the likeliest outcome as well: Some sort of crisis that would seem to motivate the imposition of martial law
in the USA, after which Trump - who is both a mad megalomaniac and a neofascist (see [2] for my understanding of neofascism) - can do as he pleases with everyone he dislikes.

Next, Chris Hedges poses a great number of questions on the first of the two pages his article takes. Here is the beginning of the list:

When we look back on this sad, pathetic period in American history we will ask the questions all who have slid into despotism ask. Why were we asleep? How did we allow this to happen? Why didn’t we see it coming? Why didn’t we resist?

Why did we allow the corporate state to strip away the rights of poor people of color and force them to live in terror in mini-police states? Why did we build the world’s largest system of mass incarceration? Did we not see that the rest of us would be next? Why did we agree that those defined by the state as terrorists could not only be deprived of their rights but be assassinated? Did we think the state would restrict itself to persecuting and murdering Muslims? Why did we remain silent as the state arrogated to itself the right to detain and prosecute people not for what they had done, or even for what they were planning to do, but for holding religious or political beliefs that the state deemed seditious? Why did we stand by and permit the state to torture? Did we not see that once rights became privileges the state would one day revoke them?

I think all of these questions are justified, though answering them rationally and reasonably in any detail may be either difficult or contentious. But here is one broad and systematic answer that seems quite good to me (and I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch) and have meanwhile published over 1400 articles just about it):
The failure of our capitalist democracy was collective. It was bred by ignorance, indifference, racism, bigotry and the seduction of mass propaganda. It was bred by elites, especially in the press, the courts and academia, who chose careerism over moral and intellectual courage. Our rights as citizens were taken from us one by one. There was hardly a word of protest.
Yes indeed - and to reformulate this a little: The main causes were ignorance, stupidity [3] and indifference for the fates of others in the American public; mass propaganda, lies and dishonesties in the mainstream media; and corrupt elites in the press, the courts and academia "who chose careerism over moral and intellectual courage". [4]
Where were the lawyers, judges, law professors and law school deans who should have ferociously defended our rights to privacy, due process and habeas corpus? Why didn’t they challenge Barack Obama’s signing into law Section 1021
of the National Defense Authorization Act? Section 1021 overturns the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibited the military from acting as a domestic police force. The section also permits the military to carry out extraordinary rendition of U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military detention centers. 
My own answer is that most of "the lawyers, judges, law professors and law school deans" are not really any of that kind ("lawyers, judges, law professors and law school deans"). What they were - for a long time also, in my opinion - are persons trying to get a lot of money for themselves, and who gave up all or most of their ethical, professional and academic stances to make a lot of money. [5]

Then (and there are more - quite interesting - questions that I skip) there is this on the economists and political scientists:

And where were all the economists pointing out the absurdity of the neoliberal ideology that told us that human society should be governed by the dictates of the market—that is, until the market collapsed in an orgy of fraud and corruption and needed the government to bail it out? Why did the political scientists chase after “value-free” data, carry out quantitative projects and seek an unachievable scientific clarity?
The economists mostly followed the fraud Milton Friedman who explicitly said that the only thing a corporation should be committed to is to maximize its own profits: Every other norm should be discarded. Also, economy is not a real science, for the most part: Very much is propaganda, much of it is ideology, and indeed also many economists seem to believe that they are doing science because they know some mathematics (which is false).

As for the political "scientists": Their science is mostly not a real science either, and besides nearly all of them were and are corrupted by money and by the - totally
false - denial of any values.

Then there is this about the modern academics [6] which seems quite right to me (and I know modern academics now since 1977 and have known a great many of them: I have met maybe 5 honest and intelligent ones, and many hundreds dishonest or stupid ones - and that is all without speaking about their sciences, which are mostly not real sciences in most cases, in so far as I know - and I've read for 50 years in many real sciences, pretended sciences and partial sciences, and have an excellent M.A. in psychology and an excellent B.A. in philosophy):
Why did those in academia commit intellectual treason? They traded their intellectual integrity and autonomy for tenure, publishing contracts, lecture fees, research grants and coveted deanships or college presidencies.
Yes, precisely. I have known very few academics (of many hundreds) who were not corrupted in these ways: Nearly everyone I have known in Holland in academia is explicitly corrupt, and has been corrupted by money and lack of any maintained standards other than personal profit.

There is this on
the poor and on the press:
Why did the press render the poor and the working poor invisible? Why did it walk away from its role as the investigator of corruption and abuse of power? Why did it become a courtier to the elites?
The poor are systematically not considered because almost no one in any elite speaks for them, and that is the case mainly because the elites - who write or speak professionally - cannot profit from the poor.

As to the press: It got corrupted in part because investigating corruption and abuse of power is risky, and because there was no money for it, neither in the paper press, which lost lots of money due to lack of advertisements, nor in TV, that anyway was mostly corrupted by the rich to speak for the rich. And the press became "courtiers to the elites" from a lack of any real ethical, moral or scientific standards; because propagandizing is much easier than investigating; and because doing propaganda-as-"news" pays well.

There is this on morality, religion and political correctness:
Where were the great moral and religious truth tellers? Why did they use the language of identity politics as a substitute for the language of social justice?
I am an non-religious atheist and will for that reason skip religion. As to morals (and ethics, which is something different, and would have been more in place here): It was mostly lost by the ordinary nearly omni-present propaganda, or indeed was there but in a fraudulent fashion (and also quite long ago, in Holland at least).

As to political correctness: This is what modern "leftism" was reduced to, already in the 1980ies and 1990ies: Totally insane demands that one should not offend anyone, not even in speech. (Also, I think this was itself a product of
propaganda. And it has nothing to do with real leftism, and a lot with real cowardice and totalitarianism.)

Then there is this, which is somewhat personally interesting to me:
The desiccation of our liberal institutions ensured the demise of our capitalist democracy. History has amply demonstrated what was to come next. The rot and political paralysis vomited up a con artist as president along with an array of half-wits, criminals and racist ideologues. They will manufacture scapegoats as their gross ineptitude and unachievable promises are exposed.
I agree with this, but my personal point is that Chris Hedges seems to have disagreed with me for a long time (very probably without knowing anything about me: I do not send my stuff around), for I maintained (and maintain)
there is capitalism-with-a-human-face (say, schematically, from 1946 till 1980) and capitalism-without-a-human-face (
schematically from 1980 till 2016), and indeed this may now be replaced by capitalism-with-an-inhuman-
aka neofascism (and see note [2]).

There is this on the crisis this article started with:

Our ruling mafia will use the crisis much as the Nazis did in 1933 when the Reichstag was burned. It will publish its own version of the “Order of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State.” The U.S. Constitution will be in effect suspended. Personal freedom, including freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom to organize and freedom of assembly, will be abolished. Privacy will be formally eradicated. Search warrants will be unnecessary.
This is an expectation and a prediction of the - near - future. I think it may well be correct (and privacy already has been eradicated in Great Britain: See item 6 below).

Here is the last bit that I'll quote, which is again an expectation and a prediction:
Anyone who is not white or “loyal” will be attacked, first verbally and then physically. Everyone will be constantly watched. The prisons will swell. Militarized police will no longer be confined to operating in marginal communities. Lethal, indiscriminant force by the state will be common. The courts will condemn with little or no evidence. The press will utterly unplug itself from reality and speak to us as if we lived in a functioning democracy.  Academics will burrow deeper into their holes of obtuse jargon and quantitative irrelevance. The last remnants of our labor unions will be crushed.
I fear this may well be correct - and Chris Hedges is one of the persons who runs a considerable risk, as indeed do many of the journalists who write on alternative news sites, such as Truthdig, AlterNet, Common Dreams, Mother Jones, Truth-out and ProPublica.

And this is an excellent article that is strongly recommended.

2. Journalists Decry Washington Post’s Story on Source That ‘Blacklisted’ Truthdig and Other Outlets

The second item is by Kasia Anderson on Truthdig:

This starts as follows, with an Editor's note:

Editor’s note: Glenn Greenwald’s and other journalists’ criticism (below) refers to a recent Washington Post article that suggested Truthdig and numerous other news outlets were propagandists for Russia. The Post’s story is based on unsubstantiated allegations by an anonymous organization. Truthdig never has and never would propagandize for anyone.

I have paid attention to an earlier article by Lee Fang on The Intercept: See yesterday's Some Fake News Publishers Just Happen to Be Donald Trump’s Cronies.

But this is new and the present article starts as follows:

A new McCarthyism has emerged in the wake of the contentious 2016 presidential election: Several independent thinkers and independent publications that criticize established power structures and policies have been accused of being pro-Russia propagandists.

What’s more, one anonymous source of these accusations has been given wide media exposure thanks to The Washington Post’s uncritical treatment and tacit stamp of legitimacy. On Thursday, Post reporter Craig Timberg published an article that relied heavily on the source, a vaguely defined organization promoting its claims via a sketchy website called PropOrNot.

What concerns me most here is the publication of totally untested and completely unverified bullshit (which is bullshit for that reason: anybody can lie, and anybody anonymous can say anything without the least personal responsibility) by the Washington Post, that seems to turn into a neofascist (see [2]) publication.

Here is some the Washington Post wrote - without saying that no one (in the media) knows who PropOrNot is, nor who finances it, nor of any real evidence for their claims:

PropOrNot’s monitoring report, which was provided to The Washington Post in advance of its public release, identifies more than 200 websites as routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans. On Facebook, PropOrNot estimates that stories planted or promoted by the disinformation campaign were viewed more than 213 million times.

Some players in this online echo chamber were knowingly part of the propaganda campaign, the researchers concluded, while others were “useful idiots” — a term born of the Cold War to describe people or institutions that unknowingly assisted Soviet Union propaganda efforts.

For me the above is sick baloney, because it is without evidence, without personal responsibility, and may be total fantasy, but it is also very frightening.

Before turning to that, here is my stance on anonymous messages: Everybody who hides behind an alias should not be copied; and everybody who writes without evidence should not be copied. [7]

Here is why this anonymous bullshit is very frightening:

Despite the seriousness of PropOrNot’s allegations, not to mention its call for “official action,” the organization’s motives, institutional affiliations and methodology were all left unaccounted for and uncontested in the Post’s article, even as Timberg repeated claims that effectively blacklisted more than 200 outlets. Truthdig, Truthout, the Black Agenda Report, Naked Capitalism and many others were included on PropOrNot’s list, along with the Ron Paul Institute, The Drudge Report, InfoWars, Russia Today and WikiLeaks.

In fact, I think this may well be the start of a campaign to forbid any of these - which will be the end of alternative media in the USA. Is this possible? Quite.

And this is a recommended article.

Conflicts of Interest Could Put Trump in Violation of Constitution 'On Day One

The third item is by Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows and is about Donald Trump's global business interests:

President-elect Donald Trump's global business interests continue to come under intense scrutiny, with two top ethics lawyers +saying the Electoral College must reject Trump on December 19 if he does not divest his holdings and establish a truly blind trust. 

Norman Eisen, chief ethics counsel for Barack Obama, told ThinkProgress this week that "the founders did not want any foreign payments to the president. Period."

"This principle," explained ThinkProgress editor Judd Legum, "is enshrined in Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution, which bars office holders from accepting 'any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.'" The provision, he said, is aimed at limiting foreign influence over the president.

I think it may be safely assumed that Trump does not know the Constitution, and almost as safely that he will also not abide by it.

In turn, "to vote for Trump in the absence of such complete divestment...would represent an abdication of the solemn duties of the 538 electors," said Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe to ThinkProgress, concurring with Eisen's analysis of Trump's holdings. 

"Trump's ongoing business dealings around the world would make him the recipient of constitutionally prohibited 'Emoluments' from 'any King, Prince, or foreign State'— in the original sense of payments and not necessarily gifts — from the very moment he takes the oath," Tribe said.

This is one reason why Trump will probably say "Fuck you!": He gets paid; he doesn't receive "gifts". There is also this:

As Michael J. Green, who served on the National Security Council in the administration of George W. Bush, and before that at the Defense Department, told the New York Times for its exposé published Sunday: "It is uncharted territory, really in the history of the republic, as we have never had a president with such an empire both in the United States and overseas."

Indeed, the Times piece suggests that rather than disentangling their business interests, "Trump's family appears to have been preparing for the transition to the Oval Office and ways to capitalize on it both in the United States and around the globe."

Yes, the last bit is probably correct: Being president is just another expansion of Trump's empire, and he will probably do everything he can to keep controlling his empire while being president.

Here is one risk:

It all lends credence to Eisen's warning to ThinkProgress: the country is facing a "wholesale oligarchic kleptocracy of a kind that we have never seen before in our history."

Yes indeed. And this is a recommended aerticle.

4. Donald Trump's Surveillance State: All the Tools to Suppress Dissent and Kill Free Speech Are Already in Place

The fourth item is by Thor Benson on AlterNet and originally on Salon:

This starts as follows:

When Donald Trump takes office in January, he will inherit a surveillance state that George W. Bush largely created and that President Obama refused to rein in. As has been explained before, privacy is vital to a democracy, and the fate of free speech and the free press are in the hands of a thin-skinned bully who doesn’t seem to care for them.

“Surveillance powers have a history of abuse in totalitarian societies,” Neil Richards, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, told Salon. “They also have a long history of abuse in the United States, from wiretapping to new forms of digital surveillance.”

Richards also explained that American agencies have created files on dissidents and used their power to disrupt political expression.

Yes indeed. I have explained this many times before in Nederlog since 2013,
and refer you to these in case you need explanations.

Here is some more:

When people know they’re being watched, they tend to not speak out. If you’re considering protesting, writing about the  president or acting in any political manner, you’re less likely to do so when you think those you’re opposing are keeping tabs on you.

“There’s fairly significant evidence to back the idea that when you think you’re being watched you tend to conform, in large part because humans are fairly conformist animals, and we like making sure that our neighbors don’t hate us,” Margot Kaminski, an assistant professor of law at Ohio State University, told Salon. “This is the reason the Stasi established its version of a surveillance state in East Germany, because if people think they’re being watched all the time, they’re more likely to move toward the mean, which means less dissent.”

I think Ms Kaminski sounds quite naive. I agree with her that the great majority of people is both conformistic and much more so than they should be, but this
is neither the reason for the Stasi nor for the KGB and the Gestapo:

These were less out for making people conform (which was mostly done by more ordinary means, like The Party and The Komsomol and The Pravda, in the Soviet Union) than for arresting, torturing and killing or locking up anybody who protested totalitarianism.

And as soon as something like totalitarianism gets established in the USA (which may happen simply by forbidding most of the alternative media) this is what will happen in the USA as well.

There is this on Trump's enormous (megalomaniac) thirst for revenge on anybody who dared to criticize him:

Considering Donald Trump is known for being a person who relishes revenge, it seems highly plausible that he will use the vast powers of the presidency to pursue personal vendettas. A man who can’t stop himself from writing an angry tweet in the middle of the night when someone offends him is likely not someone who will crack open a book on civil liberties before targeting a political enemy with surveillance powers and more.

What I think Trump very probably will do is change the laws - and that will be the complete end of what remains of democracy in the USA: To protest Trump may soon be a crime (legally, for the Republicans very soon will own the whole government).

There is this on the American police and the powers of government:

Although Donald Trump will not have direct control over local police departments, he will likely be able to influence them significantly. As we saw with the War on Drugs, police departments can be coerced into behaving as the federal government wishes by offering funds tied to the prioritization of specific goals. The federal government can also convince police departments to adopt specific technologies, like surveillance technologies, by offering them large grants.

I don't know whether the above is "coercion", but it does seem as if the federal government mostly will have the police it desires to have.

Finally, there is this on the surveillance state that was created by Bush Jr. and Obama:

Our surveillance state has few checks and balances, and it is controlled almost exclusively by the executive branch. If President Obama wants to use his final months wisely, he should do everything he can to change this. In absence of that, we can only rely on a few vocal Democrats and Republicans in Congress, including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), to stand between us and an all-seeing, all-hearing orange- skinned Orwellian nightmare.

Forget about Obama: A man who for eight years extended Bush Jr.'s surveillance state will not try to stop it now. And I also do not expect much from Wyden or Paul:

The power is (from January 20, 2017 onwards) in the hands of "
an all-seeing, all-hearing orange-skinned Orwellian nightmare".

5. Trump’s Seven Techniques to Control the Media

The fifth item is by Robert Reich on his site:

This starts as follows:

Democracy depends on a free and independent press, which is why all tyrants try to squelch it. They use seven techniques that, worryingly, President-elect Donald Trump already employs.

Yes indeed, though I do not think much of democracy is left, after 15 years
of breaking it down systematically
. Then again, there is still some left that
soon may be destroyed, and indeed may soon be made illegal.

Robert Reich discusses the following seven ways in which "tyrants" have abused the press. I give the titles and do not give the text, for which you are referred to the last dotted link:

1. Berate the media.
2. Blacklist critical media.
3. Turn the public against the media.
4. Condemn satirical or critical comments.
5. Threaten the media directly.
6. Limit media access.
7. Bypass the media and communicate with the public

Reich ends as follows:

The word “media” comes from “intermediate” between newsmakers and the public. Responsible media hold the powerful accountable by asking them hard questions and reporting on what they do. Apparently Trump wants to eliminate such intermediaries.

Historically, these seven techniques have been used by demagogues to erode the freedom and independence of the press. Even before he’s sworn in, Trump seems intent on doing exactly this. 

Yes. And as soon as he is sworn in, he can start changing the laws. And as soon as the laws are as he desires them to be, the alternative media will be dead.

This is a recommended article. Here is the last bit on privacy, which now is dead in Great Britain, where it was killed by parliament:

6. These Are The 48 Organizations That Now Have Access To Every Brit’s Browsing History

The sixth and last item is by Don Quijones on Raging Bull-Shit:

This starts as follows:

Last week, in a troubling development for privacy advocates everywhere, we reported that the UK has passed the “snooper charter” effectively ending all online privacy. Now, the mainstream media has caught on and appears to be displeased. As AP writes today, “after months of wrangling, Parliament has passed a contentious new snooping law that gives authorities — from police and spies to food regulators, fire officials and tax inspectors — powers to look at the internet browsing records of everyone in the country.”

For those who missed our original reports, here is the new law in a nutshell: it requires telecom companies to keep records of all users’ web activity for a year, creating databases of personal information that the firms worry could be vulnerable to leaks and hackers. Civil liberties groups say the law establishes mass surveillance of British citizens, following innocent internet users from the office to the living room and the bedroom. They are right.

Yes, indeed - and I have "welcomed" the news as I think fit: Great Britain has changed to Neofascist Great Britain, where the government, the police and the secret services hold all powers, and were everybody who is not part of the government, the police or the secret services, and who is also not very rich, has been turned into an open book for the government, the police and the secret services.

It was the end of all democracy, and democracy was finished by an act of parliament, who may as well in majority be reckoned as belonging - for a long time already - to the government, the police, the secret services, and the very rich, which in all may be some hundred thousands of powerful persons, or a few thousands or tenthousands without the police.

Here is a sketch of what happened in Great Britain that made it into Neofascist Great Britain:

Coming at a time when the mainstream media is lashing out at non-traditional websites, which it brands either with the derogatory “altright”, or simply slams as “Russian propaganda” to deflect from the fact that the MSM has been exposed as being a PR arm of the ruling establishment, the Investigatory Powers Bill-  called the “snoopers’ charter” by critics –  was passed by UK Parliament this month after more than a year of debate and amendments, and with its passage shifts “1984” from the fiction to the non-fiction section, as the formation of the surveillance police state is now effectively complete.

Indeed, an alternative name is Orwellian Great Britain. There is also this - which in fact seems to me too optimistic:

In a move right out of the Soviet Union’s darkest days (which never even imagined central planning to the extent that modern “developed market” central bankers have unleashed this decade), the law requires telecommunications companies to store for a year the web histories known as internet connection records — a list of websites each person has visited and the apps and messaging services they used, though not the individual pages they looked at or the messages they sent.

The government has called that information the modern equivalent of an itemized phone bill. But critics say it’s more like a personal diary.
This is too optimistic in my view because the secret services and now also the police and many other governmental institutions know everything about anybody, which is in fact tens of millions of times more than the KGB knew about the population it controlled.

There is this on the supermen and superwomen who belong to the British government (who have tens of millions of times more power and more knowledge than the KGB had over the population it controlled):

Officials won’t need a warrant to access the data, and the list of bodies that can see it includes not just the police and intelligence services, but government departments, revenue and customs officials and even the Food Standards Agency. “My worry is partly about their access,” Huppert said. “But it’s much more deeply about the prospects for either hacking or people selling information on.”

Even worse, the new law also makes official — and legal — British spies’ ability to hack into devices and harvest vast amounts of bulk online data, much of it from outside the U.K.
I am - once again - extremely glad that my illness prevented my having children (etc.), for this is neofascism (see [2]) plain and simple - except it is a neofascism with far more powers to maintain itself and its very small band of very rich people than any other dictator ever had.

This ends as follows:

Renate Samson, chief executive of the group Big Brother Watch, said it would take time for the full implications of the law to become clear to the public.

“We now live in a digital world. We are digital citizens,” Samson said. “We have no choice about whether or not we engage online. This bill has fundamentally changed how we are able to privately and securely communicate with one another, communicate with business, communicate with government and live an online life. And that’s a real, profound concern.”

It remains to be seen if the UK’s citizens will be able overturn the law once it does become clear to the public what has just happened.

Samson is right that "We have no choice about whether or not we engage online", which itself is a neofascistic shame.

I refuse to use a cellphone. I refuse to use Facebook. I refuse to use Google, Yahoo and Bing. But I am forced to use a computer, which itself has turned out to be THE instrument that created neofascism.

To end: Is there any hope? In fact there is, but it will not come from the press, the politicians, the governments, or the rich: The economy will very probably collapse, and if it does it will probably collapse in a major way.

It will collapse because while the non-rich will be mostly repressed, silent and conformistic, or else dead or disappeared, the rich will continue their specula- tions, which are almost certain to bring down the economy.

What will happen then remains to be seen, but that is the hope I have: Greed will in the end kill itself, though only after killing many fine persons, I fear.

[1] Alas, this is precisely as I said it does, and it goes on for months now. I do not know who does it, and I refuse to call the liars of "xs4all" (really: the KPN), simply because these have been lying to me from 2002-2009, and I do not trust anything they say I cannot control myself: They have treated me for seven years as a liar because "you complain about things other people do not complain about" (which is the perfect excuse never to do anything whatsoever for anyone).

I am saying this not because I want to offend but because I want to explain, and my own explanatory definition of neofascism is this:
Neofascism is a. A social system that is marked by a government with a centralized powerful authority, where the opposition is propagandized and suppressed or censored, that propounds an ethics which has profit as its main norm, and that has a politics that is rightwing, nationalistic, pro-capitalist, anti-liberal, anti-equality, and anti-leftist, and that has a corporative organization of the economy in which multi-national corporations are stronger than a national government or stateb. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a social system.

Also, I am rather certain that most (not: all) of those who style themselved as "neoliberals" in fact are neofascists as defined (even though they probably do not like the term).

And this is fascism as I defined it:
Fascism is a. A social system that is marked by a government with centralized authority and a dictator, that suppresses the opposition through propaganda, censorship and terror, that propounds an ethics founded on discipline, virility, and collectivism, that has a politics that is totalitarian, anti-liberal, anti-individualist, anti-equality, and anti-Marxist, that is also authoritarian, rightwing and nationalistic, and often racist, and that has a corporative organization of the economy, b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a social system.
See the following if you are interested: On Fascism and Neofascism: Definitions. (This lists 22 definitions of the term "fascism", and critically reflects on them.)

[3] It is not only ignorance but also stupidity that are quite important, and I do not understand why intelligent people do not say so (apart from Bill Maher, indeed). Well... I do understand, probably: There are now 4 billion mostly stupid people connected by Facebook,
and they may censor you anonymously in the crudest and cruellest possible fashion.

And yes, this is a major difference with how things were, and I will soon write about it.

I do not think one can judge academics really well without a university degree: You need to know them, and to know them you generally need to have attended a university. I have and finished it brilliantly as a psychologist, though indeed I was forced into that by a denial of my legal right to take an M.A. in philosophy (in 1988).

So I do know them, at least in Holland, and I can tell you that between 1977 and 2005 I have met all of 5 intelligent and honest persons within academic life. The rest were either incompetent or dishonest, and most were both. (And I am sorry, but speak the truth to the best of my very considerable knowledge. Also the average of my M.A. psychology was 9,3 so I think I ought to have some credit for courage, honesty and intelligence.)

[5] Yes, it really is as simple as that: If you get enough money - as is the case, mostly - to belong to the richest 10% or 5%, which is what all lecturers and all professors in Holland do get, it turns out to be extremely easy "to forget" about any other norm than personal profit.

[6] I am speaking here about the Dutch academics I have known, but of these I have known a lot, for I have studied three main studies; I was a prominent student who also played an important role in the university- parliament, through which I met many more academics; and I have attended the University of Amsterdam regularly between 1977 and 2005. Also, I have been very much discriminated because I said I was not a Marxist, and I was not a postmodernist, and I also have been denied the legal right to take my M.A. in philosophy.

And I grant I know much more about Dutch academics than about non-Dutch academics, and there are some differences, but by and large it is my guess that the majority of the non-Dutch academics are as moral and as intelligent as the vast majority of the Dutch academics I have known well: hardly moral and hardly intelligent. (There are exceptions, I know, though indeed mostly in mathematics, physics, chemistry and some other real sciences.)
[7] Incidentally: I fall under this as well, for my last name is not Maartensz. The two reasons why I adopted my alias were that I had been denied the right to take my M.A. in philosophy when I was asked to publish about psychology (which I did here) and I knew already that the majority of the lecturers and professors of psychology "would love to see you dead", while I also had been gassed (literally: I survived because the house was a dump) by the drugsdealers that Amsterdam's mayor Van Thijn had illegally permitted on the bottom floor of the house where I lived, who were also permitted to threaten me with murder, to keep me from sleeping, and to gas me, and against whom nobody in the whole Amsterdam bureaucracy did anything. Since there also have been many drugs-related murders in Amsterdam, I decided I would take an alias in 1988. So I believe I am one of the very few who has an alias based on respectable reasons - and I do not abuse it to scold anyone in comments.

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