Intelligent Design

Zuck is Why We Have Trump

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Yesterday ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Mark Zuckerberg about his company’s policy of censoring posts that are intended to organize protests of the government’s shelter-in-place orders.  Zuckerberg said that Facebook takes down posts that it classifies as “harmful misinformation.”  Then he said this:  “At the same time, you know, it’s important that people can debate policies, can basically give their opinion on different things.”

Translation:  You can debate policies and give your opinions on Facebook as much as you want just so long as you don’t step out of line and disagree with us about the government’s coronavirus response. 

Before I go on, let me say this:  Facebook is a private company.  No one is forced to use it.  No one even pays to use it.  Mark Zuckerberg is entitled to censor the content of his social media platform to his heart’s content.  This post is not a call for the government to “do something” about unfairness at Facebook.

Now to my point:  Mark Zuckerberg and people like him are why Donald Trump is the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  There is a growing suspicion among many people that the “experts” really blew it when they stampeded government policy makers into shutting down half the economy and throwing tens of millions out of work.  Yet Zuckerberg is so contemptuous of the point of view of these millions of people, he insists on stamping out their voice at least so far as he is able to through his control of the world’s largest social media platform. 

I can think of no better example of the the progressive elite chattering classes’ contempt for common people. They say, “We are the experts; we know what’s best; you don’t need to even have a voice, much less a choice.”  In 2016, Trump tapped into the masses’ discontent with this attitude and it propelled him into the White House.  The chattering classes’ response:  Double down.

5 Replies to “Zuck is Why We Have Trump

  1. 1
    Denyse OLeary says:

    In 2016, faced with a number of irrational reactions to US 2016, I set out to study and write about reasonable explanations (for example, Taking Polls Apart for Salvo) . It was largely wasted effort as far as the victims of Trump Derangement Syndrome were concerned, But discovering critical facts was a useful exercise for me.

    Zuckerberg is running a virtual monopoly and can be quite the kingpin where progressive government rules. A pandemic is a gift because it gives him the right to shut people down, right or wrong. Don’t expect him to give it up easily.

    In China, that sort of thing was a reliable way of spreading the virus. See Coronavirus in a world without trust. But dead people don’t matter. Live captive audiences do.

    So it’s not even a question of what strategy is best for saving lives. What matters in both cases is what strategy enables progressives to get and keep control, irrespective of other outcomes.

  2. 2
    David P says:

    I dislike facebook and Zuck as much as the next guy but shifting the blame is wrong.
    Republicans are the reason Trump is on office. Trump was not the least bit censored when he told people who he was during the campaign. And they STILL voted for him.
    Remember Trump mocking a handicapped reporter? Bankruptcies? Over 3,000 lawsuits? Was there any constraint about Trump saying he grabbed women by the p****?
    Zuck and his tactics may be deplorable but our conservative Christian friends should not have voted for Trump.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks,

    I think Plato has somewhat to say to us about where we are taking our civilisation:

    It is not too hard to figure out that our civilisation is in deep trouble and is most likely headed for shipwreck. (And of course, that sort of concern is dismissed as “apocalyptic,” or neurotic pessimism that refuses to pause and smell the roses.)

    Plato’s Socrates spoke to this sort of situation, long since, in the ship of state parable in The Republic, Bk VI:

    >>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures.

    Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it]

    The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27].

    Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

    Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus.

    [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State [ –> here we see Plato’s philosoppher-king emerging]; for you understand already.

    [Ad.] Certainly.

    [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary.

    [Ad.] I will.

    [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. [–> the issue of competence and character as qualifications to rule] The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ –> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers.

    [Ad.] Precisely so, he said.

    [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction [–> the sophists, the Demagogues, Alcibiades and co, etc]; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [–> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical].

    [Ad.] Yes.

    [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained?

    [Ad.] True.

    [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable [–> implies a need for a corruption-restraining minority providing proverbial salt and light, cf. Ac 27, as well as justifying a governing structure turning on separation of powers, checks and balances], and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other?

    [Ad.] By all means.

    [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ — > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ –> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [–> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>

    (There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)

    The lessons of sound history were paid for with blood and tears. If we neglect, reject or dismiss them, we doom ourselves to pay the same coin, over and over again.

    KF

  4. 4
    groovamos says:

    David P. Remember Trump mocking a handicapped reporter?
    There are several videos of Trump making the same kind of made up spastic motions. At different times, mocking the ideas of different persons. At the time he used this tactic mocking the reporter in question’s sayings, there was no type of affliction the reporter had that could be construed as spasms.

    You should get informed on this instead of promoting falsehoods promoted by Trump hating media persons. This lying has large segments of the population likely to vote to keep them and their masters out of power.

  5. 5
    john_a_designer says:

    If I were to use a political label I would describe myself as a classically liberal wannabe independent. I’ve never been much of a joiner so I prefer to steer clear of any kind of explicit political affiliation. As a classical liberal I have a strong belief in small d democratic style government, universal human rights and tolerance. I would actually prefer to refer to myself as just a liberal but unfortunately that term has been co-opted, at least in the U.S., by so-called progressives on the far left (as is the term progressive.)

    However, these so-called liberals are anything but genuinely liberal. They don’t really believe in democracy as much as they know how to exploit it. For example, in January of this year there was an almost successful effort to impeach and remove the U.S. president from office completely along partisan lines. While the democrats could argue that acting constitutionally it’s hard to argue that their actions were the original intent of the constitution’s framers– not to mention they were trying disenfranchise 63 million voters for no legitimate reason. Not liking the president is hardly a rationale for impeachment.

    Liberals view of universal rights is that they are not transcendent. In other words, they are arbitrary and man-made. And like their view of morality, rights are relative. Nevertheless, they then do a bait and switch and argue for their newly discovered (invented) rights as if they are somehow transcendent and universally binding. So much so that they are willing to almost completely by-pass the democratic legislative process. In the U.S. the “right” to abortion and the “right” to same sex marriage were created virtually whole cloth by the U.S. Supreme Court, not the U.S. Congress and not by the will of the people.

    Finally, these so-called liberals are also very intolerant. Instead of real tolerance they use rhetoric to present the pretense of tolerance. What we get from them instead is a lot of rhetoric and virtue signaling about wokeness, social justice and oppressed minorities etc. but this is all a façade. They only tolerate people who agree with them. They don’t tolerate– indeed they vilify, demonize and marginalize people who disagree with them. Furthermore, they are ready to denounce anyone who disagrees with them as racist, sexist, homophobic… But tolerating people who disagree with you is what tolerance really is. Democracy can’t exist without real tolerance. Intolerant “liberals” are doing more than anyone else to undermine its foundations.

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