Spencer Kellogg | @TheNewTreasury
“Freedom of speech is meaningless unless it means the freedom of the person who thinks differently.” – Rosa Luxemburg
The first amendment to the Constitution is not a poem. It was not scribbled, in jubilant prose, between recesses on the playground schoolyard. It’s an adult tragedy and morbid testament to the way of things as they really are. Free speech was meant for the lunatics as well as the poets. A document with no trace of the ideological molasses of postmodern bourgeois liberal mores, the first amendment is a passage saturated in the true and dark nature of how humans are and how they speak. And it belongs to all of the citizens of the United States whether conservative, liberal, socialist or fascist.
We have always been brutes. No wild invention, or scientific marvel, or intersectional ideology, or organic elixir has ever cured the same disease that inflicts all societies. Alex Jones is a particular king of brutes patently made for the 21st century. Behind his blistering blue Infowars set, Jones’ voice booms out to an audience of millions. As much as he’s a blowhard for the right wing, he’s certainly not a Nazi in the traditional sense (you know, like Hitler and such). Jones has always sounded like a 4th way John Birch, paleo-American, pro-gun, conservative of the anti-empire stripe. More than anything though, he’s a bully showman. Jones all but agreed to that assessment when his lawyer admitted that his on-screen rantings were Jones “playing a character.”
What kind of character is Jones? He is loud, obnoxious and unceremoniously conspiratorial. His cartoon riot eruptions have brought him fame, fortune and a dedicated, rabid fan base that defends him (like Trump) with a deity-like fervor. He is also the great ire of the neoliberal left who suggest that his words are hurtful and thus grounds for removal from the society run by polite technocrats. Jones styles himself as a relentless renegade against a perceived tyranny that sits atop American and global politics. Puffing out from under his too small sports coat, he has become the quintessential king of the soulless, shrieking lizard brain of western media.
It wasn’t always that way. Earlier in his career, Jones was known as a wild card with a principled libertarian streak who stood at the forefront of a new form of in your face guerilla video journalism. Always sitting on the fringe of the critical conservative lens, Jones built his career and platform through public access t.v. in Austin, Texas and in 1995 was removed from a rally for then-governor of Texas George W. Bush after demanding The Federal Reserve and The Council For Foreign Relations be abolished.
It was the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting that threw a massive mainstream spotlight onto Jones for all of the wrong reasons. During his coverage of the event, Jones insisted the shooting had “inside job written all over it” and that “Sandy Hook is a synthetic, completely fake, with actors, in my view, manufactured. People instinctively know there’s a lot of fraud going on but it took me about a year to come to grips with the fact that the whole thing was fake.” Jones had gone too far. In those moments he let his obsession with the elites, the government, and the all-consuming paralysis of a ‘man behind the curtain’ conspiracy cloud any rational sense of judgment and today he is paying for it. In the courts, Jones is being sued by family members of Sandy Hook. I fully believe he should be punished for those comments. But how much is too much and what do we all give up if we allow these giant tech corporations to unilaterally purge a member of society.
Jones ban on four of the largest media hubs is suggestive of a creeping, aggressive dogma that seeks to quiet the major, key tenet of our first amendment – the right to say whatever you want. The forced removal of his social media accounts by Apple, Facebook, Youtube & Twitter within a 12-hour censor spree on Monday, August 6th should have us all worried. It is just another in a long string of troubling signs for American civil rights as we navigate the nascent age of big technology monopolies. If nothing else, Jones’ ban is representative of the streamlined capacity for today’s tech giants to redefine the terms of free speech in the United States with one swift, coordinated swoop.
While Antifa and other left-wing ideologues are rarely censored for speech, Conservatives and anti-imperialist isolationists have found that sharing their opinions in the forums of thought centralization is often met with fierce censorship. Whether it is Infowars, Austin Petersen, Candace Owens, or the staff at AntiWar.com, opinions that sit squarely outside the neoliberal underpinnings of the San Francisco corporate matrix will be sharply persecuted.
Facebook and Twitter have seen drastic falls in their stock prices recently due to falling membership numbers as many commentators on both platforms have loudly and consistently declared their distaste for the censorship rules. The multi-platform ban on Jones looks like a coordinated attack on free speech from the unelected technocrats of Silicon Valley. Behind computers thousands of miles away from Congress, four technology monopolies have decided to silence one of the most watched personalities in the country.
Jones is not a good guy in all of this. If his accounts were all plugged back into the psycho grid tomorrow, I wouldn’t hit the follow button. But this isn’t about me. This is about that scintillating idea of wild freedom that made the United States a nation of booty twerkers, root farmers, low riding mafiosos, cigar smoking pioneers and unabashed ranchers pissing in the wind. We were made to respect the rights of a person to think and speak as they wish if no threat or harm of violence is done to another human. No matter how ugly the words.
Where does this end? Who is next? And when will they come for you?
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