I’ve compiled a list of articles below with topics I’ve been reading (lately, in the past, or in the not so distant past) that get at some of the most concerning trends I see occurring. The Republican and Democrat divide going to extremes is of course front and center for many of us because of the major news sources, but I’m even more concerned about underlying, structural, societal issues with discourse, governance and the elites running the show. And I’m not talking about “shadowy” elites playing the puppet strings. I’m talking about those in power and leadership positions openly doing so. It also seems to be we are quickly pivoting toward a culture of screaming down our opponents, taking them down in virtual flash mob, pitchfork-like attacks or flounder-gigging if you will to social exclusion either from career or status. This is the bitter, logical end of relativistic, post-modernism (also called post-postmodernism): sheer power wielded by those possessing the power to get what they want based on their version of truth. The only question is, whose truth will reign? And it turns out it’s a power wielded primarily by the small number of elites versus the people who will get what they want.
The left is a dominant force in this regard and honestly the most concerning in terms of legislation and power in America. But the right, in an attempt to power grab the past four years resorted to (and as it was said of the Joker in Batman, “in their desperation they turned to a man they didn’t fully understand”) is now resorting to the same modus operandi for sheer power grab attempts (hence the Capitol riot). Therefore, one big concern has to do with this back and forth between extremes getting worse over time and those in the middle getting caught up in the fight itself (particularly Christians for whom our unity in Christ is of supreme importance) or caught up and falsely accused of aiding one side or the other for a particular position they may take and self-censoring as a result.
Even greater (or worse) though is that established and accepted mediums of communication that have arisen in the past 15 years (collectively social media and cloud services in general) are now one in thought on de-platforming those with whom don’t fit our newly declared social norms. On top of that and even worse, if they rise to the level of having too much influence against this groupthink, they will get de-hosted completely from cloud platforms like AWS or Google Cloud (e.g., Parler). Sidenote: I think it’s a good idea for people to consider hosting their stuff in foreign hosting centers if possible, and not foreign hosting with BigTech to be clear.
In light of the Capital riots, though it was legitimately a concerning event to be sure (and a supreme lapse of security), more concerning is this use of the relatively new phrase “Inciting Violence” social media companies are now using in their policies in regard to speech on their platforms resulting from that incident. It’s really broad, just like “hate speech.” In some cases, they are correct and appropriate uses of the terms. But who decides? Whoever has power. The left has dominant cultural power and now political power. The pendulum has swung back. I suppose now it’s those who scream the loudest via traditional, new or alternative media and force the hand of the powers that be to enforce an outcome. They get pitchforked, flounder gigged by the mob using the large platforms that are well established. There are numerous examples of this but I just want to post a few I’ve seen of late. And this isn’t just occurring against the right for stances they hold. It’s happening within the left as well.
The problem is no one can legitimately claim their constitutional rights are being taken away or violated because it’s not the government technically who is taking them away. It’s the mob and the elites, pressured by the mob. Power and the ability to control speech on the internet have been concentrated into the hands of the few. Sir Tim Berners-Lee warned about these things years ago.
So with that rather long-winded introduction, here are the articles I’m compiling and archiving. Important to keep in mind: these are not reactionary conservatives for the most part, they’re mostly liberals with a libertarian, constitutionalist adherence that are concerned with any sort of consolidated power (corporate, government or otherwise) that would be a threat to citizens and their ability to flourish. In fact, this is precisely what the founding fathers were concerned with as well.
***Be forewarned*** (and a disclaimer) – much of this reading is fairly depressing and something which I have been taking a break from for my own sanity until recently. And on that point, it’s possible it’s not as dire as put here (such as Charles Hugh Smith articles and others), but it’s at the very least sobering and makes some very good points to consider. I think believers need to prepare themselves for some really hard times at the macro and then of course personal level as a result.
The New Domestic War on Terror is Coming – Glenn Greenwald (Archive) – I’ve been concerned about these things coming to fruition going on 14 years now, ever since the corruption in Wall Street and Washington was demonstrated from 2005-2008 leading to the Great Recession of 2009, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, in terms of policy setters (not those who served) proved to be something we should have never engaged in on that scale in the first place. The fear of 9/11 prevailed and we got the Patriot Act taking away freedom for security. None of this has been rescinded. That all really opened up a whole new understanding of how the mechanisms work at the intersection of politics, economic policy (including and especially Fed policy), defense, and security, to this point at hand. It also demonstrated who is in charge and that we have unaccountable powers at the helm making policy against the will or consent of the people. And it’s not a “conspiracy” of powers. They’re just openly doing it. Just read the news, especially these days.
The Moronic Firing of Will Wilkinson Illustrates Why Fear and Bad Faith Mob Demands Reign Supreme – Glenn Greenwald (Archive) – This is about a New York Times, center-left contributor getting forced out for one lapse of judgment in a tweet, meant to be satirical and getting mob-rushed by some of the very people who are on the same page with him. Telling.
How Silicon Valley, in a Show of Monopolistic Force, Destroyed Parler – Glenn Greenwald (Archive) – I don’t even think it was coordinated. Maybe it was, who knows. All that matters is Groupthink has to take over. “The other guys are doing it,” under pressure from the elitist mob and their helpers, ergo, we must as well.
Why the Democratic Ethic of the World Wide Web May Be About to End (2006) – NYTimes (Archive) – Before the dominance of social media for collaboration. It came about differently than envisioned as a tiered internet, but here we are.
Twitter Summons “The Birdwatchers” In Expanding Campaign Against “Misinformation” – Jonathan Turley (Archive) – Modern brown shirts or comrade-style informants for the virtual age, policing speech and reigning down fire on their opponents.
Impeachment Mania Hits Universities: Students Are Facing Trials Or Removals Over Political Views – Jonathan Turley (Archive) – More concerning “academia” activity.
The Equality Act Accelerates Anti-Christian Bias – Andrew T. Walker (Archive) – Written when the legislation was first introduced as a possibility. At some point I believe this will be reality.
This is What Worries Me – Charles Hugh Smith (Archive) – Take with a grain of salt, probably the most pessimistic outlook.
The Coming Revolt of the Middle Class – Charles Hugh Smith (Archive) – Again, take with a grain of salt, probably the most pessimistic outlook.
Now is the Time for a Great Reset – WEF (Archive) – Interestingly, the global financial elites are themselves calling for a great reset of capitalism, openly.
The Best of Times During the Worst of Times – Peter Schiff (Archive) – Peter called the 2008 collapse before it happened and was laughed at. Now he’s calling for a collapse in the status and global value of the dollar. Is he right? IDK.
America Isn’t Far Off From China’s ‘Social Credit Score’ – Observer (Archive) – Nothing to add.
Fangkong Gone Global – Peter Leithart (Archive) – This is a really concerning thought, tied in with Social Credit systems.
SolarWinds attack explained: And why it was so hard to detect – CSOnline (Archive) – On the security front, we’re open to the public for foreign intelligence cyber attackers for all kinds of espionage and data exfiltration at this point. It will take years, yes years to figure out the full scale of how breached all of these systems are. How many other APT supply chain attacks like this are currently under way? No telling.
SolarWinds cyber attack: How worried should I be, and what do I do now? – Computer Weekly (Archive) – More about it
(I’ll keep adding to this list and archiving as I can as a find more interesting commentary and concerning material, unless I’m de-platformed, meaning AT&T would cut my internet since I run this site from home)
And last but not least, for believers in Christ, now would be a good time to consider our exile in this world. It’s always been a category for us, but our status in America and the wealth we’ve experienced have hidden this vitally missing aspect of our existence in this world as American’s, and at a practical level, makes it very hard to pray when you think you don’t need anything. Our pastor did a series on the book of Daniel speaking on this very thing which is really good. Our hope is not in this world or a “rebuilt America.” I want this country to do well, don’t get me wrong, and at the same time, it’s not our ultimate home and our primary focus needs to be the Kingdom of God.
Living As Exiles: A Study of Daniel – Trinity Presbyterian Church