HomeArticleSpeech Is Only Free If Dissenting Voices Get Heard: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Speech Is Only Free If Dissenting Voices Get Heard: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Listen to a reading of this article:

How many journalists are capable of doing what Julian Assange did to expose the criminality of the powerful? Not many. How many are both capable and willing? Fewer still. How many of those are now willing after seeing what’s being done to Assange? Even fewer. And that’s what his persecution is all about.

Americans: healthcare please

US government: Sorry did you say send 100 tons of weaponry to Ukraine?

Americans: no, healthcare

US government: Alright, you drive a hard bargain, but here’s those 100 tons of weapons to Ukraine you asked for.

A Ukraine war is very easily avoidable and anyone suggesting otherwise is a lying shitstain who you should hate intensely and never forgive.

“Kids, a nuclear war has started and we’ll all be dead soon.”

“Oh no! Why??”

“I don’t really know. Something about NATO open doors and needing to confront Putin in eastern Ukraine? Couldn’t understand it but I trust that it was worth it.”

Our foreign policy establishment is writing checks that our ability to tolerate nuclear radiation can’t cash.

Free speech matters because dissent from the status quo is how the status quo gets changed. If voices which oppose the status quo are consistently denied access to mainstream platforms and are algorithmically suppressed online, they’re unable to change the status quo. They don’t have free speech in any meaningful sense, because they’re actively obstructed from using free speech to do what free speech is supposed to do: challenge existing consensus, norms, systems, and power structures.

If the only way to get your voice into a position of influence is to support the status quo, then as far as the actual reasons free speech is considered an important right are concerned, it’s functionally the same as having no speech at all. It’s like saying “You have free speech; you can say anything you want into this hole in the ground!”

It doesn’t matter what you’re free to say if nobody hears you say it. If those who support the status quo are loudly amplified on all media while those who oppose it are denied access to mainstream audiences and algorithmically censored, dissenting views have no effect. They might as well not exist. An environment where everyone has “free speech” but only those who support the status quo get heard is functionally indistinguishable from an environment where no one has free speech and only authorized state propaganda gets heard.

Which is of course the idea. A tremendous amount of effort goes into keeping the public from awakening to and freeing themselves from the injustices of status quo systems while still giving them the illusion of freedom. Whoever controls the narrative controls the world.

“Nobody’s obligated to give you a platform” is a nonsense argument if all platforms with any meaningful influence are depriving a voice to literally everyone who wants to significantly change the status quo. And they are.

“Nobody’s obligated to give you a platform” is a nonsense argument if all platforms of any influence are heavily intertwined with and supportive of status quo power structures. And they are.

“Nobody’s obligated to give you a platform. If you want to oppose the status quo you are free to oppose it quietly, on your own, where no one can hear you, while those who support the status quo are loudly amplified on new media and traditional media so everyone can hear them. This is what free liberal democracy looks like.”

Maybe get okay with the fact that literally any strategy for revolutionary change is going to look like a long shot. Because the system is just that entrenched and the public is just that propagandized. Ignore anyone who dismisses an idea for facilitating healthy change as a long shot. They’re all long shots.


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Latest comments

  • 100% The only mass media platforms were you won’t be obstructed or shadow banned are as establishment sponsored controlled oppositions, or, a pro-establishment spruiker, or, something that simply has no negative impact on the establishment. We are increasingly approaching a point (if we aren’t there already) where the Establishment believe they only require their own certified ‘think tanks’ to make choices and move forward. Everyone else are the time wasting and simply to be ignored, chattering classes.

  • It all starts with having the right to say it, after that everything else falls into place, this is why I cannot understand maninstream media journalists silence on what’s happening to Assange, yes the MSM journalists, well the majority of them, are bought and paid for, that in itself will never allow them to report truthfully on matters that are very important to a nations wellbeing.

    By staying silent on what’s happening to Assange they are effectively selling out their own children’s futures to faceless men intent on shutting down the truth to control a narrative that could seriously affect their families, such as war, or domestic or global pollution etc.

  • Okay.
    So we phased out the Queens, Kings, Emperors, Lords and Fuhrers,
    but replaced them with Satan’s Suited Soldiers.
    Dumb move.
    At least with royal lineage there was always a chance of a benevolent dictator.
    Not any more.

  • One more regarding Ukraine. Most of this goes back to Bush II, who suggested Ukraine join NATO. It is the borderland though, and it becoming ‘aligned’ is a non-starter for Russia and for Europe. Austria and Finland remained out of NATO after WWII and kept their freedom.
    Border countries *have to* be ambiguous. Taiwan is another example. China controlling the South China sea, the worlds biggest shipping lane: Non-starter for the West. Won’t happen. The West having “An unsinkable gigantic aircraft carrier” off China’s coast: Non-starter for China. Won’t happen. Add the semiconductors, and it’s just the icing. Thus Taiwan must move towards status quo and ambiguity. US didn’t help, China didn’t help with the treatment of Uighers and Hong Kongese. Everyone needs to cooperate to let a border be a border.
    The history of borderlands should teach us they must cultivate ambiguity. It’s the only road to peace in these cases. Ukraine has been contested and complicated for currently-existing governments for well over 100 years. Drawing hard lines in the sand about its status and alliances either way is a formula for war.

  • Caitlin,
    I have just finished a study of Nobel Laureate Thomas Schelling’s masterwork on Game Theory and Strategy: “Strategy of Conflict.” One key takeaway, in a zero sum game, that is a game where one person’s gain is another’s loss, all strategies boil down to deception.
    Deduction: Where there is much surveillance and control of your ability to decide what to uncover, you know that the other party (1) view’s themselves as strictly in competition with you (2) is building an advantage for them to win, and you to lose. The main things you know from the things you are pointing out is that those in control view this as a strict competition for limited resources, and they are playing to win.

    • I have been studying the Game Theory too. There are many games described there, and real people do not necessarily act only one game, or do not necessarily follow the rules all the way.
      The reason to not have military folk in charge (the US Sec. of Defense is supposed to be a civilian) is precisely because it is very annoying to be around people whose only game is conflict and zero-sum thinking.
      Same goes for hypercompetitive billionaire oligarchs. These people are nuts.
      Besides they do not have any right to play any games with our lives, because our lives are our own.
      Nice explanation, though.

  • Very simply-live not by lies. an essay Dare to try this.

  • Assange recently got the right to appeal to the UK’s supreme court. He might live long enough to get out after all. He wisely chose to get vaccinated against covid, so that will help.

    • Got vaccinated had a mini stroke.
      Coincidence or adverse reaction?
      Millions of similar ‘coincidences’ around the world.
      Odd, ain’t it?
      Millions died ‘of’ not ‘with’ Covid.
      Millions sick and many dead ‘with’ vaccine not ‘of’ vaccine.
      The narrative of psychopaths.

      • He got checked out by a doctor. He didn’t get a stroke from the vaccine. Science is real, Rush Limbaugh was lying to you.

  • Thank you, Caitlin.
    The need to “Ignore anyone who dismisses an idea for facilitating healthy change as a long shot. They’re all long shots” is an important point in the public debate of policy. I may quote you on that.

  • Caitlin, you put that very well, as far as general principles are concerned. However, one thing I think you need to keep in mind is that censorship in our society is not just top-down. Our people aren’t so apathetic or poor that a single dictator or a small group of establishment morons can dictate what shall be said, or at least, as you say, what shall be heard in public.
    What we have, whether it is better or worse, is a vast number of educated people who think they are smarter than we are, and that they have a right and duty to keep us from having thoughts that might harm us, or harm society. (They aren’t actually smarter, just more mentally submissive.)
    I could go on to develop theory out of that, with the main point being that “education” is now actually our State religion, but I have done that before to zero response, so I’ll let it go.

    • Educational curricula have been dumbed down since I was in college (1960s). We now have college students taking courses in Harry Potter. We have college students whining and crying because they are made to study subjects that make them feel they are not in a “safe space”! We have postmodernism, identity politics, and critical race theory destroying the brains of the young (and which have already destroyed the brains of their teachers).

      • Thanks for the reply, Carolyn. I was starting to wonder if the powers that be had doctored things so I could see my post, but nobody else could.
        I don’t disagree with what you say here. C. S. Lewis would agree, too. I gather that some Communist/socialist states sometimes have had quite high standards in at least some of their educational institutions. Even Ayn Rand depicts that in her semi-autobiographical novel, ‘We the Living.’
        I think that once a religion becomes very powerful, it tends to split its messages, with one set for the elite, and another set for the “masses.” I have had enough to do with Catholic people to know that this applies in the Church. C. S. Lewis mentions it as an ethical problem for Church of England clergy, and a fellow named I think Bart Erhman wrote a book recently about how what American Protestant clergy (Baptists and suchlike) learn in training has nothing to do with what they tell their congregations later.
        We are always going to need capable engineers and doctors, and the education system is obliged to produce them, since it has commandeered control of all training. Carpenters and suchlike will always need to know enough maths to do their jobs. Many people in management need to at least pretend to be able to understand statistics. But apart from that, the educators are free to inculcate their own prejudices. Many of them, as you say, have had their brains destroyed by the same system, and probably don’t even realise what they are doing.

  • ……fuckin’ shit ….here we go again!……………for $19.99 a month….you can have the greatest free speech ever!…….that’s right….for $19.99 a month…..say what you want!…..express your feelings and thoughts……tell it like it is!…or was…..or will be!…….CALL NOW!…..time is running out…..for YOUR FREE SPEECH!……this offer is limited…..if you CALL NOW we’ll send you this FREE BULLHORN( just like the ones seen at media events)to let the world know YOU’VE GOT SOMETHING TO SAY!….so SAY IT!……NOW!…..an extra FREE BONUS are WOODEN PLANKS for that platform…..if you CALL NOW we’ll also include this DESIGNER FAIR TRADE USA HANDMADE SOAPBOX for those spontaneous urges to EXPRESS YOUR FREE SPEECH!……(planks and soapbox are plant based/plant sourced and sustainably harvested)…..WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?……FREE SPEECH?…YOU GOT IT!….for $19.99 a month….CALL 1/800/666-4355….don’t miss out on this chance to have all the main ingredients of FREE SPEECH!….SO BE HERD!….and SCENE!………………

  • US says Russia’s going to start a war so I’m confident that that’s the last thing we need to worry about.

  • Agreed, they all are long shots but necessary, giving up is not an option. They allowed graphic footage of BLM nonviolent protesters being beaten by security forces to go viral. They have surveillance and infiltration to suppress movements. Perhaps only worsening material conditions will engage the populace in spontaneous civil unrest that can effect change. Things may not be bad enough just yet.

  • Nostalgia of when we did have free speech:
    This is actually my favorite scene in the whole history of cinema :o)

  • Two Murkans sit amid piles of scorched rubble and radioactive carbonized skeletons. Having fought each other to a standstill over possession of a mouldy cabbage leaf, they have agreed to divide it.
    One says, “Well, we kicked some butts, eh? Damn Rooskies will think twice about trying that again.”
    “Damn right,” says the other, having spat out the last tooth in his head.

  • So I decide to start my own platform for completely free speech. I own it and system cannot stop me. So they throttle down my site speed so no one can access it. I decide to create my own cable company and internet but the system sees where I am headed and will not give me the license to proceed. So then I decide to buy out a competitor and convert it to my vision. Again I am thwarted by the system with regulations and the SEC. The roadblocks have benn laid slowly for generations and seemingly innocent laws provide the cement. Nothing is ever as it seems.

    • 100% The only mass media platforms were you won’t be obstructed or shadow banned are as establishment sponsored controlled oppositions, or, a pro-establishment spruiker, or, something that simply has no negative impact on the establishment. We are increasingly approaching a point (if we aren’t there already) where the Establishment believe they only require their own certified ‘think tanks’ to make choices and move forward. Everyone else are the time wasting and simply to be ignored, chattering classes.

      • There is the World Socialist Web Site. Not supported by anyone except readers and supporters of the struggle for socialism. Read it. Every day.

  • As intelligence crystalizes, courage becomes a waning characteristic-the investment of time in a particular world view must be protected.

    The emotional need for validation then outweighs the intellectual curiosity fundamental to the human condition-what has been becomes the seduction to slumber.

    Tomorrow’s children have too many questions to believe anything or anyone absolutely; yesterday’s parents know this, but the institutions that have led us into dependent submissive thinking will not accept it.

    Evolution, like innovation, entrepreneurship and change itself, are what we have always been. This will not end until we do.

  • My favorite Noam Chomsky quote — “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….”

    • Quote reminds me of a scene from the movie The Jerk with steve martin. Hes a carney and says you win. You can have any prize you want from the third shelf to the far right in that little space. It holds two cheap items among a myriad of nice prizes which you can look at but never have.

    • Freedom of speech, but by God, NICE speech. Don’t be a Karen.

    • Sounds about right. Manufacture socially acceptable boundaries, re-brand opinions that harm your goals/ideologies as offensive, and wallah! There’s your control.

  • Just heard: Ukraine has lithium reserves. So we coup them just like Bolivia.

  • Essentially you get heard only if you are extremely wealthy, or agree with them. Who has the most money, the US Federal Bankers aka Federal Reserve. What do they want? If you consider that they can’t print more USD money without causing higher inflation, in times of high inflation they would, just like regular consumers, want to buy real assets. At a National Level that would mean land and resources of other countries. How do you get that from other countries if it is not for sale? With the military force.
    We now know why the US is mobilizing troops, instead of nationalizing healthcare.

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