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Matt Taibbi: America Enters the Samizdat Era

re: gears of the machine
re: Matt Taibbi

apropos: Scott Adams: Levels of Awareness in Politics

Here in America, and growing.

Taibbi: America Enters the Samizdat Era

2024-03-07. Emphasis added.

Thanking fellow honorees Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Miranda Devine, and explaining why an American Samizdat Prize is both great and scary

I began studying in Leningrad, in the waning days of the Soviet Union, beginning in the fall of 1989. I was 19 years old, more interested in girls than politics, and thought of life behind the Iron Curtain as more novelty than terror...

Not until much later, after I’d heard years of stories from Russians who’d lived through harder times, did I start to understand the brutal system whose end I got to witness... The bloodiest period of Soviet totalitarianism ended in the fifties, but the habits remained long after, including the advanced system of alternative media that ultimately broke the state: samizdat.

Tonight, along with Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and New York Post reporter Miranda Devine, I’ll be accepting the inaugural Samizdat Prize, given by the RealClear Media Fund.

...the Internet gave ordinary people access to information in ways that before had never been allowed. The inevitable result was that populations all over the world began to see more clearly the warts of leaders and governments that had previously been covered up, thanks to tight control over the flow of information... the election of Donald Trump was the Rubicon-crossing event for information overlords.

...Then Trump came along and destroyed the whole system with one stroke, getting elected in spite of the blunt disapproval of media. His single Twitter account allowed him to bypass the press and speak to people directly. When that worked, and similar episodes like Brexit caused panic abroad, governments decided to take the anarchic potential of the Internet and turn it on its head. What was something like the “Self-publish” culture of the Soviet Union suddenly became, as we saw in the Twitter Files, an instrument of surveillance and social control

...The Internet, in other words, was being transformed from a system for exchanging forbidden or dissenting ideas, like Samizdat, to a system for imposing top-down control over information and narrative, a GozIzdatWorse, while the Soviets had to rely on primitive surveillance technologies, like the mandatory registration of typewriters, the Internet offered breathtaking new surveillance capability, allowing authorities to detect thoughtcrime by algorithm and instantaneously disenfranchise those on the wrong side of the information paradigm, stripping them of the ability to raise money or conduct business or communicate at all.

...

DIGLLOYD: I hardly recognize my country anymore.

Meanwhile, the hell with the Constitution:

'Alarming' surveillance: Feds asked banks to search private transactions for terms like ‘MAGA,’ ‘Trump

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