Ukraine

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Americans barely knew nor thought about Ukraine until Vladimir Putin’s Russian forces invaded the country, which then erupted into the largest land war in Europe for at least 75 years. The vast majority of support for Ukraine has been supplied by Americans, led by folks who just 50 years ago were devotees of the anti-war movement. Let’s take a look.

We can pretty much agree that Russia’s actions are barbaric and something we thought we moved past in the civilized world. We can also pretty much agree that Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s elected leader, has been steadfast in his defense of his country. We can also agree that the Ukrainians have put forth a valiant effort to rid themselves of the Russian invaders without asking for America or its allies to supply troops. They have told the world: “give us arms and we will fight and win the war.” There is not much dispute on these points.

My concern is that anyone espousing something other than blind allegiance and support to Ukraine is branded as a malcontent and thus misguided. Many elected officials and some members of the press (on both sides) are pointing at these people as traitors to the cause. Let me remind you we have the guaranteed right of dissent in this country and let me also remind you this is not World War II where we were attacked.

There are two parts to question here – money and Zelenskyy.

We have already provided vast sums of money to Ukraine and more will be coming. The first question is where are our allies? Some have been there — mainly Poland and the three Baltic states. We have provided more military aid than all other countries combined. The rich countries of Europe like Germany and France have been verbally supportive but lacking in financial support. Once again it has fallen on our shoulders while the others watch from the sidelines.

Do not be fooled by the recent commitment by some countries to supply tanks. They cannot even come to an agreement to accomplish that.

At some point this war will end and who do you think will get stuck with the bill to rebuild Ukraine? French and German engineering firms will be anxious to provide services, to be paid with American dollars.

If Biden is pressuring other countries to do their appropriate share, then he is doing so very quietly and highly unsuccessfully.

Then there is the question of where our money is going and assuring it does not end up in Swiss bank accounts. I recently discussed this issue with someone who countered that our government rarely knows where vast sums of money we allocate lands. That certainly is a fair point. However, it is still important to make sure U.S. dollars sent to Ukraine are properly spent and on American goods where possible.

When Zelenskyy was recently in the U.S., one publication I read briefly mentioned a person was on the job who monitors expenditures for the military. If that is so, let us see a report. The military is big on reports. Ukraine was a notoriously corrupt country before the war. That alone dictates extra caution.

Then there is the problem of Zelensky himself. We are constantly told this is a fight between a Democracy versus an Autocracy. That may be so, but in multiple ways that is not true since the war started.

Zelenskyy has:

1. Outlawed long-standing recognized religions in the country.
2. He has outlawed opposing political parties.
3. He has put restrictions on free speech.
4. Signed a bill that would permit him to control all media, censor new online sites and shut down new sites.

If these matters were brought forward by Biden while Zelenskyy was here, then Biden’s people should have announced that loudly and clearly. When all those members of Congress were warning us about not supporting Ukraine and were providing greater funds, they should have been pressuring Zelenskyy to reverse these restrictions on basic freedoms.

People will argue that Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War. They will argue during World War II we imprisoned Japanese Americans and did other things restricting communications. All those actions are now looked upon as tragic mistakes in our history. Why should we be condoning these actions in a country that knows without our funding they would have probably been crushed?

There have been reports that the allies have wanted to pursue peace talks and Ukraine has rejected them. Now the Ukrainian foreign minister has finally stated publicly they would be interested in having discussions starting in February. The United States has done little to pursue a peace track even while the war threatens to cost more lives and potentially expand beyond Ukraine’s borders.

It is not supportive of Putin and Russia to question these matters. In fact, it is errant on the part of our leaders not to question these concerns, and worse that they would attack anyone who does.

We want to make sure that all those countries are really with us and not just spewing platitudes. Europe is still not fully carrying its weight in NATO. This should be a test of their resolve and real commitment. We are not supporting this cause in Ukraine to end up with a country that is contrary to our democratic values.

It is right and just to bring up these points. When people want to close off debate on a subject that is when you should question the validity of their positions.

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This article was first published by FlashReport and is reproduced by permission of the author.

Did Washington Ignore Warnings About Fentanyl?

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“We are losing an entire generation due to drugs,” said Michael Cole, the founder of Lauren’s Wish Addiction Triage Center, an organization named after the daughter he lost to a fentanyl overdose. Growing up in West Virginia, Lauren was a strong student, athletic, and kind to others. At 16 she became addicted to opioids. She died on July 9, 2020, at the age of 26.

Driven largely by fentanyl, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans ages 18 to 45. In 2020, close to 92,000 Americans died of a drug overdose, but the number rose sharply during the pandemic and lockdowns. In 2021, life expectancy in the U.S. hit its lowest point in two decades. In 2022, there were 109,000 overdose deaths, according to provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control, with deaths from synthetic opioids up 80% over the same period and most of those attributable to fentanyl.

Other countries in the world don’t come close to America’s level of illegal drug consumption—or to its death tallies. The U.S. now consumes about 85% of all the world’s opiates. As a result, the rate of overdose deaths is around 20 times higher in America than the global average.

To understand how it is that a deadly and highly addictive poison has flooded the streets of American cities and small towns, one has to untangle the knot of connections linking Chinese drug manufacturers, Mexican cartels, and a homegrown culture of addiction that uses chemical remedies to treat economic and spiritual woes. That globalized and lethal supply chain, which is enriching criminal cartels while undoing the fabric of American life, is in part the result of shortcomings in U.S. policy, multiple former agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration told Tablet. According to them, the federal government failed to respond to repeated warnings about the coming fentanyl crisis, even as the casualties began to mount…..

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Continue reading this article at Tablet Magazine.

‘Ground Zero’ Arizona Republicans Sounding Alarm Over Fentanyl Flowing From Border

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Arizona Republican state legislators doubled down on their call to action on the border crisis, particularly on fentanyl, at a news conference on Thursday.

The legislators said that the rise in fentanyl deaths in the state is deeply concerning and called for more resources to support law enforcement and greater education on prevention techniques like the use of naloxone for accidental overdose deaths.

“We need to take swift action to deal with what is happening to combat it,” Rep. Steve Montenegro, who is the Chairman of the House Health & Human Services Committee, said.

Opioid overdoses, which commonly stem from fentanyl, result in over five deaths daily in Arizona, according to the state’s Department of Health Services.

Montenegro mentioned introducing a “placeholder bill” that will later be amended after talking with other government officials and experts.

“Now, Gov. Hobbs has stated that she agrees that this is a crisis. But her actions in gutting border-related funding to law enforcement says otherwise. That’s unacceptable,” he said.

Hobbs’s proposed budget cuts to the state’s Border Strike Force, The Center Square reported.

Later in the news conference, Republican House Majority Leader Leo Biasiucci also criticized the governor.

“She is not here to help the Arizonans with our border crisis. We are as Republicans,” Biasiucci said of the Democrat, who took office earlier this month.

Former interim director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tom Homan spoke as well, and he referred to Arizona as “ground zero” for fentanyl.

When The Center Square asked if the legislation would crack down on social media platforms being used for trafficking activity, Montenegro said the current focus is raising awareness.

“The focus is making sure Arizona understands this is a public health crisis. This is a public safety crisis,” he said.

“It’s a porous border. Fentanyl is killing our – kids aren’t blue or red. Kids that are dying, they don’t understand politics, but they’re dying. And we need to do something about that,” Montenegro added.

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This article was published by The Center Square – Arizona and is reproduced with permission.

Take Your Foot off the Gas

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In 1991, a year after his controversial firing as men’s basketball coach at North Carolina State University, Jim Valvano published a book titled They Gave Me a Lifetime Contract, and Then They Declared Me Dead. It’s a great title.

The past few weeks’ convergence of energy and environmental news reminded me of the irony of that book title. Rolling blackouts, which the 2022 State of Reliability report by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) had previously warned about, affected several states on Christmas Eve. Days later, a White House announcement on December 29 hailed Pres. Joe Biden’s “goal that 50 percent of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in 2030 be electric vehicles” and advertised new and revised tax credits for people buying electric vehicles (EVs). Then on January 9, a Biden appointee to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) openly talked about possibly banning gas stoves, which are used by an estimated 40 percent of households across the country.

So half of all new cars and trucks sold in the future would have to be electric? Nearly half of households (not to mention so many professional kitchens) in America would have to switch to electric stoves? We’d need to generate much, much more electricity to fill the void of all that power once produced by millions of gasoline-powered engines and gas-fired stoves.

If environmental zealots in the Biden administration were to get their way, then something would have to answer the call for such a huge increase in electricity demand. Do they have an answer for this challenge?

No. They declared natural gas the bridge fuel to renewables, and then they declared pipeline projects dead.

No new pipelines means no new supplies of “bridge fuel”

The “bridge fuel” conception of natural gas promotes it as a reliable baseload generator with significantly lower emissions than coal (a reliable baseload generator). From there, this view envisions natural gas serving as an emissions-lowering stopgap until sometime in the future when zero-emissions renewable resources and battery storage will be able to meet electricity demand reliably, to the extent that they can replace natural gas to scale. President Barack Obama talked about it in his 2014 State of the Union address, for example, and last year Biden’s “Special Envoy to the Climate” John Kerry talked about it (with some caveats) to the US Chamber of Commerce. Some environmental extremists dislike it on principle, of course, or they suspect that even when renewables and storage were finally ready for the big time, utilities would choose instead to continue favoring low-cost, efficient electricity from natural gas.

The natural-gas bridge is alluded to in the NERC report: “natural-gas-fired generators are now necessary, balancing resources for reliable integration of the growing fleet of variable renewable energy resources and can be expected to remain so until new storage technologies are fully developed and deployed at scale to provide balancing” (emphasis added). Furthermore, “With the continued retirement of coal and nuclear units and a growing reliance on natural-gas-fired generation, the interdependency of the electricity and natural gas industries has become more pronounced.”

In other words, the existing demand for electricity in this country is more dependent than ever on natural gas. NERC warned of an increasing risk of energy shortfalls as “the resource mix evolves” away from “flexible generation (i.e., fuel-assured, weatherized, and dispatchable resources)” such as natural gas and toward weather-dependent, fickle sources such as solar and wind.

Note that this risk is growing before an increased demand for electrification to power cars, trucks, and buses, and possibly also stoves. The Biden administration seems oblivious to the risk, however. Biden’s day-one cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline permits set the stage, cementing his campaign promise to stop pipeline infrastructure. By May of last year, the Biden administration and Congress had taken over 100 separate actions that make it harder to produce oil and gas in America.

On March 24, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) proposed changing its policies regarding pipeline approvals, no longer relying on precedent agreements and also adding “adverse impacts” (including such things as “environmental interests” and “environmental justice communities”) for which it could deny an application. FERC also proposed a new greenhouse gas policy that would require FERC’s oversight of natural gas pipeline projects’ “reasonably foreseeable” greenhouse gas emissions. Those, however, could include future emissions, construction and operation, and even upstream and downstream effects.

Both of those changes would increase the uncertainty surrounding the viability of pipeline projects, which would at best increase their expected costs and at worst prevent new natural gas pipelines from being built.

Federal efforts to delay and block pipeline projects compound the efforts of environmentalists filing expensive lawsuits and of state regulators withholding or slow-walking permits until the projects become too expensive to finish. The Institute for Energy Research described it as the “‘death by a thousand cuts’ approach to stopping pipelines.”

Leaving people worse off while getting in their own way

By stopping pipelines, however, federal overseers are also standing in the way of their own goal of seeing electricity generation transition to zero-emissions resources without dangerous power disruptions. (Of course, they could simply advocate for the only baseload zero-emissions resource out there, which also happens to be the most efficient, reliable generation resource: nuclear power. That they don’t is a great mystery.)

It should go without saying that government taking popular consumer choices away from people leaves them worse off, as consumers as well as makers and sellers. The drive to deprive people of gas stoves and conventional cars and trucks is fueled by the same environmental extremism that opposes gas-fired electricity. It betrays an impatience with people making choices that best address their own needs, and it also shows an inability to wait for entrepreneurs and innovators to solve the riddle of zero-emissions reliable electricity generation (other than nuclear, for whatever reason).

Instead, regulators would rather force changes through government that not only level serious harms against people, but even cripple their own long-term goals.

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This article was published by American Institute for Economic Research and is reproduced with permission.

A Major Shift in the JFK Assassination

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President Biden’s recent decision to permit the CIA to continue keeping its 59-year-old records relating to the Kennedy assassination secret from the American people has brought about a public backlash that has not been seen since the enactment of the JFK Records Act in 1992. This major shift is a tremendously positive development in the JFK assassination.

You will recall that a couple of years ago, Biden used the Covid crisis as an excuse to give the CIA another extension of time for secrecy. Biden has now returned to the tried-and-true “national-security” excuse for, once again, letting the CIA get away with another secrecy extension. Apparently the idea is that if the CIA’s 59-year-old secret assassination-related records are released to the public, the United States will fall into the ocean or be taken over by the Reds.

The backlash to Biden’s decision has been substantial.

There is Tucker Carlson’s monologue on Fox News in which he expressly stated his belief that the CIA was involved in Kennedy’s assassination. Given that Carlson is the most popular commentator on Fox News, that monologue is obviously a huge breakthrough.

Robert Kennedy, Jr., is the son of Robert Kennedy, the president’s brother, who himself was assassinated. Kennedy, Jr., sent out a tweet that included a link to Carlson’s monologue. Kennedy’s tweet stated, “The most courageous newscast in 60 years. The CIA’s murder of my uncle was a successful coup d’état from which our democracy has never recovered.@Tucker Carlson.”

In his online show System Update, the noted political commentator Glenn Greenwald has also now weighed in on the JFK assassination. You can see his presentation here (go to 43:00). Greenwald doesn’t specifically state his conviction that the CIA helped carry out the JFK assassination but there is no doubt in my mind that, based on his presentation, that is what he believes. In his presentation, he features Carlson’s monologue and Robert Kennedy’s tweet. He also recommends David Talbot’s book The Devil’s Chessboard. For a written summary of Greenwald’s presentation, see here…..

Continue reading this article at The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Net Zero Will Lead to the End of Modern Civilisation, Says Top Scientist

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Devastating consequences

A damning indictment of the Net Zero political project has been made by one of the world’s leading nuclear physicists.

In a recently published science paper, Dr. Wallace Manheimer said it would be the end of modern civilisation. Writing about wind and solar power he argued it would be especially tragic “when not only will this new infrastructure fail, but will cost trillions, trash large portions of the environment, and be entirely unnecessary”. The stakes, he added, “are enormous”.

Dr. Manheimer holds a physics PhD from MIT and has had a 50-year career in nuclear research, including work at the Plasma Physics Division at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. He has published over 150 science papers. In his view, there is “certainly no scientific basis” for expecting a climate crisis from too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the next century or so. He argues that there is no reason why civilisation cannot advance using both fossil fuel power and nuclear power, gradually shifting to more nuclear power.

There is of course a growing body of opinion that points out that the Emperor has no clothes when it comes to all the fashionable green technologies. Electric cars, wind and solar power, hydrogen, battery storage, heat pumps – all have massive disadvantages, and are incapable of replacing existing systems without devastating consequences.

Manheimer points out that before fossil fuel became widely used, energy was provided by people and animals. Because so little energy was produced, “civilisation was a thin veneer atop a vast mountain of human squalor and misery, a veneer maintained by such institutions as slavery, colonialism and tyranny”.

This argument hints at why so many rich, virtue-signalling celebrities argue not just for Net Zero but ‘Real’ Zero, with the banning of all fossil fuel use. King Charles said in 2009 that the age of consumerism and convenience was over, although the multi-mansion owning monarch presumably doesn’t think such desperate restrictions apply to himself. Manheimer notes that fossil fuel has extended the benefits of civilisation to billions, but its job is not yet complete. “To spread the benefits of modern civilisation to the entire human family would require much more energy, as well as newer sources,” he adds.

The author notes that the emphasis on a false climate crisis is becoming a “tragedy for modern civilisation”, which depends on reliable, affordable and environmentally viable energy. “The windmills, solar panels and backup batteries have none of these qualities,” he states. This falsehood has been pushed by what has been termed a climate industrial complex, comprising some scientists, most media, industrialists and legislators. Furthermore, he continues, this grouping has “somehow” managed to convince many that CO2 in the atmosphere, a gas necessary for life on Earth, one which we exhale with every breath, is an environmental poison…..

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Continue reading this article at Summit News.

Pfizer Exec Caught Saying They Plan on ‘Mutating’ Covid to Increase Infectiousness

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Last night, Project Veritas released a video that shook the internet. In it, a Pfizer whistleblower caught a Pfizer executive on camera saying that their company was “mutating” the Covid-19 virus to increase infectiousness. Chalk up another one for the “conspiracy theorists.”

Another Pfizer executive previously admitted that the company had not tested its COVID-19 vaccine for effectiveness. It is not only the opposite of effective, but it also causes death and other serious side effects in many people.

In the above video, Jordan Tristan Walker, Pfizer Director of Research and Development – Strategic Operations and mRNA Scientific Planning (try saying that three times fast) says that Pfizer wants to mutate the virus to “preemptively develop new vaccines.” That does raise “a risk of like. . .no one wants to be having a pharma company mutating f—king viruses.” The experiments with mutating viruses would be performed on live monkeys, the Pfizer executive said. Walker tried to claim that “Directed Evolution” is different from gain-of-function research, even though they sound like the same process. That research is already “ongoing.”

Walker even confessed, “It’s pretty good for the industry to be honest. It’s bad for everyone else in America.” Government regulators who want to work for Pfizer later will be easier on Pfizer’s products, he explained. That’s true for the military, for pharma, across multiple industries, he said. Below are more quotes from Walker (notice how he discusses the financial return to Pfizer on its dangerous and ineffective Covid vaccines):

“You have to be very controlled to make sure that this virus [COVID] that you mutate doesn’t create something that just goes everywhere. Which, I suspect, is the way that the virus started in Wuhan. . .From what I’ve heard is they [Pfizer scientists] are optimizing it [COVID mutation process], but they’re going slow because everyone is very cautious. . .

You’re not supposed to do Gain-of-Function research with viruses. Regularly not. We can do these selected structure mutations to make them more potent. There is research ongoing about that. I don’t know how that is going to work. There better not be any more outbreaks because Jesus Christ. . .Part of what they [Pfizer scientists] want to do is, to some extent, to try to figure out, you know, how there are all these new strains and variants that just pop up. So, it’s like trying to catch them before they pop up and we can develop a vaccine prophylactically, like, for new variants. So, that’s why they like, do it controlled in a lab, where they say this is a new epitope, and so if it comes out later on in the public, we already have a vaccine working.

Veritas Journalist:Oh my God. That’s perfect. Isn’t that the best business model though? Just control nature before nature even happens itself? Right?

Walker: Yeah. If it works. . .Because some of the times there are mutations that pop up that we are not prepared for. Like with Delta and Omicron. And things like that. Who knows? Either way, it’s going to be a cash cow. COVID is going to be a cash cow for us for a while going forward. Like obviously. . .it’d be perfect.”

Veritas previously verified evidence that Anthony Fauci lied under oath, because the US did fund gain-of-function research on coronaviruses in different locations, including Wuhan.

Walker perfectly stated the reason Pfizer will continue to produce and try to force its ineffective and dangerous vaccines on people: “COVID is going to be a cash cow for us for a while going forward.” Your life for their bonus.

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This article was published by Pro Deo et Libertate and is reproduced with permission.

Chinese State Media Cites Klaus Schwab, UN’s Guterres to Support Analysis of Davos

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Exclusive: Chinese Communist Party (CCP) state propaganda outlet Xinhua News had its commendations and its complaints about the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Davos 2023 conference, but it particularly cited WEF head Klaus Schwab and United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to support its analysis. When the greatest mass murderer of all time (CCP) running a horrendous authoritarian regime cites someone favorably, that’s a condemnation in and of itself.

But Schwab must especially be in the CCP’s good books, because Xinhua specifically mentioned that “China was given plenty of attention.”

We shouldn’t be surprised at the CCP liking Schwab and Guterres, however. Schwab recently said on Chinese state TV that “China is a model for many nations.” And Guterres has a history of sycophantic pandering to the CCP. It’s all one big global cabal.

“[Xinhua News] This year’s version remained unchanged in some respects. For instance, global elites gathered for brainstorming in the same ‘Davos spirit,’ China was given plenty of attention and climate change was a hot topic.

But there were some notable and lasting changes.”

These changes, Xinhua said, were a divided geopolitical Europe, a “growing consensus that humanity’s challenges have never been greater,” and a shift in focus from growth to resilience (in other words, get ready to be poor and oppressed). But it particularly cited Schwab and Guterres.

“WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab has repeatedly stressed that today’s world is facing multiple unprecedented crises, such as an energy transition, the pandemic, climate change and geopolitical tensions…

‘Our world is plagued by a perfect storm on a number of fronts,’ said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his Wednesday speech. ‘We are in the worst situation I can remember in my lifetime,’ he warned.”

Xinhua also cited the managing director of the WEF’s Centre for Nature and Climate, Gim Huay Neo, and Michelle Williams, dean of the faculty at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

WEF wants one world government, and the CCP is planning to run it.

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This article was published by Pro Deo et Libertate and is reproduced with permission.

First Small Modular Reactor Gets Certification From Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Estimated Reading Time: < 1 minute

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced the first-ever certification Friday of a small modular reactor design, a big step in the process of developing a new generation of new and more flexible nuclear reactors.

The NRC approved the reactor design from NuScale Power, making it the first SMR design to be certified by the regulator and only the seventh reactor design cleared for use in the United States.

“SMRs are no longer an abstract concept,” said Kathryn Huff, assistant secretary for nuclear energy at the Department of Energy. “They are real, and they are ready for deployment thanks to the hard work of NuScale, the university community, our national labs, industry partners, and the NRC.”

NuScale is one among many nuclear energy companies working to re-imagine the legacy nuclear reactor technologies developed in the 20th century by scaling them down, with one leading motivation being to make the construction of nuclear power plants more cost-effective.

The company, which was awarded a contract to build an SMR power plant on-site at DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory, celebrated certification of the design Friday of its advanced light-water reactor. The reactor uses power modules that each can generate 50 megawatts of electricity.

By comparison, the two new reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia are each rated at 1,250 megawatts.

The Biden administration has prioritized the advancement of new nuclear technologies, as well as the preservation of existing and operating power plants.

The Inflation Reduction Act, Democrats’ new green energy and healthcare spending law, offers a mix of tax incentives to nuclear power generators and funding to produce the uranium necessary to fuel advanced reactors…..

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Continue reading this article at Washington Examiner.

The Twitter Files: Lenin Would Be Proud

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The vast majority of commercial and industrial establishments are now working not for the free market but for the government.” V.I. Lenin, State and Revolution; 1917

This Lenin quote leapt to mind amid the recent revelations coming from the “Twitter files” and exposed over the past several weeks. Among other disclosures, the files revealed direct lines of communication between government agencies, including the FBI and Department of Defense, and the social media company.

Twitter was found to not only be a landing spot for many agents in the government intelligence community, but also doing the bidding of agencies to suppress information deemed to be antithetical to the agencies’ goals and preferred narratives. Indeed, journalist Matt Taibbi went so far as to describe Twitter as an “FBI subsidiary.”

And it wasn’t just Twitter that the government targeted. Late last month Elon Musk tweeted “*Every* social media company is engaged in heavy censorship, with significant involvement of and, at times, explicit direction of the government,” illustrating his point by saying, “Google frequently makes links disappear, for example.”

Such revelations undercut many defenders of tech giants, who insist “they’re private companies, they can do what they want.” Instead, we must ask: are these truly ‘private companies’ in any meaningful sense?

Indeed, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrup Grumman are all nominally “private companies.” But they are private in name only because they are in reality appendages of the state, relying on defense contracts (not market transactions) for their success.

We should treat big tech companies with the same skepticism we apply to tools of the military industrial complex. Certainly so after the “Twitter file” revelations.

In his quote above, Lenin was, of course, bragging about the progress made toward complete nationalization of industry in the Soviet Union of the time.

But we can also consider his statement as descriptive. When your main mission is to do the bidding of the state, rather than serving consumers in the voluntary marketplace, you are not really a private company in the true sense of the term. Your company is not a market phenomenon.

It’s no longer possible to defend social media corporations on the basis of private property rights, because big tech are what Michael Rectenwald would describe as “governmentalities,” not private companies.

Michael Rectenwald, former professor of liberal studies at New York University and author of the book “Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom,” provided context for how he believes tech goliaths like Google and Twitter come to do the state’s bidding in a November 2020 lecture.

“In a series of lectures entitled Security, Territory, Population, the postmodern theorist Michel Foucault introduced the term ‘governmentality’ to refer to the distribution of state power to the population, or the transmission of governance to the governed,” Rectenwald noted.

“Foucault referred to the means by which the populace comes to govern itself as it adopts and personalizes the imperatives of the state, or how the governed adopt the mentality desired by the government—govern-mentality,” he added.

Rectenwald, however, went even further than Foucault. “I adopt and amend the term to include the distribution of state power to extragovernmental agents—in particular to the extension and transfer of state power to supposedly private enterprises.”

What transpires, then, is a form of ‘governmentalization’ of nominally private enterprises, rather than the privatization of government functions that free market advocates prefer.

How intertwined with the government are the tech giants? The relationship predates the more recent phenomena revealed by Elon Musk’s divulgences.

“First, both Google and Facebook received start-up capital—both directly and indirectly—from US intelligence agencies,” Rectenwald informs us. In their early days, Google in particular was heavily reliant on CIA contracts and deals with other U.S. intelligence agencies.

As Lenin boasted, “The vast majority of commercial and industrial establishments are now working not for the free market but for the government.” And work for the government, including shutting down dissident voices, is what big tech has indeed been doing for years.

As a result, they can no longer be defended with cries of “but they’re private companies,” and instead be called out for what they really are: tools of state oppression.

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This article was published by American Research for Economic Education and is reproduced with permission.