by Paul Craig Roberts, Paul Craig Roberts:
My generation associated dystopias, such as George Orwell’s 1984, with the Soviet Union, a country in which explanations were controlled and criticism of Stalin would land a person in the Gulag. We thought of the United States and our life here much differently. But with the passage of time the difference between life in the Soviet Union in the 20th century and life in the Western world today is disappearing. Today, the journalist Julian Assange is undergoing the same kind of state terror and torture as any Soviet dissident, if not worse. The Western media is as controlled as the Soviet media, with print, TV, and public radio serving as a propaganda ministry for government and the interest groups that control government. Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter are systematically denying their platforms to those who express views not supportive of the ruling order and its agendas. It has turned out to be easy to get rid of the First Amendment guarantee of free speech as the media have neither the ability nor the intention of exercising it.