Internet and Character
[This is the foreword only that I wrote to a recent NF internal document.]
Again I must warn you that this is going to be a long one. Sorry about that. I keep trying to cut back on my verbiage, but word addiction is like alcoholism. I keep falling off the wagon. I have this mid-20th century habit I acquired as a youth of trying to convey ideas with correctly spelled words in sentences, instead of with abbreviations, emoticons, cartoons, and pictures drawn on the wall of the cave, and I can't seem to get out of it. It's as if Shakespeare were suddenly snatched up in a time machine and dropped into the middle of the O.C. He would still speak the language, but he would be only just barely comprehensible. (Rambling this early on? Not a good sign, Harold. - Harvey)
Okay, the crux of it is: we have to find some way to make a hell of a lot better use of the internet than we're doing.
I know I fantasize about withdrawing from the Net completely and going back to the good old days and the good old ways of postal and printed literature only. To some degree we're going to be forced by the circumstances of living in a modern Surveillance State to do that, but FTR I do understand that it's not possible to turn back the clock completely. The Net is here, and it isn't going away. It can't be uninvented any more than gunpowder or nuclear power can be uninvented. Like it or not, the majority of our Folk have become dependent on it for communications and for entertainment, and that is only going to increase.
Eventually, about ten years from now, everyone will have one big flat screen in one wall of their house, similar to Orwell's telescreen in 1984, and they will use that for everything--TV, telephone, personal computer, banking, shopping, records-keeping, etc. Our lives will be ruled by The Box even more than now. Somehow we are going to have to adapt to that reality and make use of it now, while we still can.
I remain convinced that at some point in the medium-term future, our lords and masters will make a serious effort to seize control of the internet and ban dissenting opinion and dissenting people from accessing it or using it to convey unauthorized opinion, rather like what is happening now in Communist China. I have been saying that for years, and no one believes me. I still say it, and I will eventually be proven right.
I base this belief not so much on any conspiracy theories as on my lifelong knowledge of the enemy we face. They cannot indefinitely allow the uncontrolled flow of information and unauthorized knowledge all over the world.
Like Orwell's Big Brother, they have sense enough to know what really threatens their perpetual power, and true freedom of thought is deadly dangerous to them. The first and vitally necessary step to control thought is to control speech, to make every man an island, hearing only what he is allowed to hear and knowing only what the Power wants him to know. Eventually the American ZOG will unite with the Europeans and the Chinese and the Russian ruling elites to blockade the information superhighway.
There are signs that this is seriously beginning even now, such as the persecution of the Heretical Two for posting a Robert Crumb cartoon to a server here in the United States where it is not illegal as it is in Britain, and also the recent arrests and detention without trial of Bill White and Hal Turner.
Yes, yes, I know that both White and Turner are dumbasses who spent years abusing the Net and deliberately provoking the power structure like naughty little boys throwing stones into somebody's yard, in the odd belief that they were somehow immune and invincible. They finally succeeded in angering the Power and they got stomped on. We can take all that as read.
But the fact remains that the "crimes" for which they are being liquidated consist not of any overt act, which is what you used to have to do in order to get busted by the Organs, but simply of publishing material on the internet which the authorities did not like. This makes what is being done to them a very sinister development.
[The rest of the document is restricted to Party members and certain associates only.]