by Richard Enos, Collective Evolution:
Recently, Senator Richard Pan of the California State Legislature introduced legislation entitled ‘False Information Strategic Plans,’ a bill that would task all social media sites that have a physical presence in California not only to have a plan to fully distinguish between the truth and falsity of all the content they publish and share, but also to “mitigate the spread of false information through news stories,” presumably through some remarkable discipline of self-censoring, or by “placing a warning on a news story containing false information.”
Where do we even start with this one?
For us to believe that Mr. Pan actually harbours expectations that the state could succeed in compelling social media sites to make the enormous effort to implement such a plan is ludicrous for so many obvious reasons.
Arbiters Of Truth
To begin with, fully distinguishing what is true from what is false is the stuff of spiritual masters who have reached enlightenment. Few, if any in our society, are in a position to be arbiters of truth. Those of us who are earnestly seeking to find the truth are muddling along slowly but surely, improving our discernment along the way.
Authentic truth-seekers do not have the least desire to censor that which is false, even if this falsity is blatantly deliberate; rather, they see falsity as an opportunity to hone the very discernment of truth that marks their progress. Conversely, those who want to limit or control the unfettered proliferation of information and opinion are not searchers of truth; they are agents of control.
The Legislation Of Control
As so often is the case with legislation, it is not so much about what it is asking us to do as it is about what the State gains the power to do if, based on their own subjective definitions, we do not comply with the regulations.
To the casual observer, the ‘False Information Strategic Plans’ Bill does not seem to contain any overtly oppressive measures. It is simply requesting social media sites to help in the effort to protect the public from the perils of fake news. The deception is by design. The introduction of this bill is an attempt to lay the foundation for unmitigated powers of censorship and suppression of information in the hands of the Deep State.
Imagine, if you will, a website—Collective Evolution (California branch), for example. And they publish a story—say, a story that criticizes Deep State efforts to gain more control over freedom of information. Well, if the bill introduced by Richard Pan became law, it could very well give the state the power to shut down the website entirely, based on the state’s subjective assessment that the social media organization had not conformed to the requirements by law to “mitigate the spread of false information through news stories.”
1984 All Over Again?
The parallels with the dystopian state of George Orwell’s 1984 are unavoidable. Richard Pan’s legislation portends the eventual creation of some form of state-run ‘Ministry of Truth’. And as has been the case for decades, invoking the famous novel as a prism through which to assess our current level of enslavement at the hands of our governing body is instructive.
However, there is no longer a need to fear or despair the revelation of such parallels. It’s not 1984. It’s 2018. We as a collective are not the suppressed and alienated citizens of Oceania; we are a formerly sleeping giant whose awakening is well underway.
We no longer succumb passively to state-sponsored dictums such as ‘Ignorance is Strength’. We grasp ever more immediately the irony inherent in the proclamations of those who would ‘protect’ us by limiting our freedoms.