Posted by Sam Fenny - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 22 June 2024

Springtime for Tyrants

People are, it seems, growing increasingly more aware of, and increasingly more wary about, what has come to be called the ‘censorship industrial complex’ – that conglomeration of NGOs, academics, journalists and state entities which seems bent on controlling the diet of information which citizens are permitted to digest. But we have only really begun to grapple with what the ‘disinformation’ movement really signifies. How are we to think about it?

In a recent post I described the essence of tyranny as being a set of consequences of government action, which can be summarised as:

The slow but sure erosion and erasure of private lives, private opinions and private property, and the gradual reduction of the sphere of the social to a desultory rump over which the state exerts total oversight.

Tyranny, in other words, consists in the enervation and vulnerablisation of the populace, achieved through policies which have the effect of dissolving all barriers that exist between state and society, such that each and every individual is sundered from social ties and made utterly reliant on his or her relationship to public authority.

I was amused, then, to be given a glimpse of the type of mentality which breathes life into the ‘tyrannical tendency’ in a recent piece of journalism by the BBC’s resident ‘Disinformation Correspondent’ Marianna Spring. Spring, for those who don’t know of her, is the smiling face of the ‘censorship industrial complex’ in the U.K. – a figure who appears, generally around election time, to hint darkly at the existence of sinister forces (Russian spies, trolls, bots, Brexit supporters) subverting the cause of democracy through various nefarious online activities.

Her most recent concern, it turns out, is that, well, Russian spies, trolls, bots and Brexit Reform U.K. supporters are, er, subverting the cause of democracy through various nefarious online activities. The problem that is particularly exercising her this time around is that people keep popping up in large numbers on TikTok videos to leave comments saying dastardly things like ‘Vote Reform U.K.’ This, she suggests, is evidence that something sinister is going on: the online ‘conversation’ is being somehow ‘shaped’.

You can read the article and decide for yourself whether it is entirely sane and exactly how unhinged it is. But what particularly interested me about it was the ‘tell’ which appears towards the end, in which Spring provides us with an insight into a particular way of understanding democracy that a certain class of people nowadays hold.

“[Online] comments that boost the perceived support for a political party,” Spring tells us in the passage in question, “can embolden more real people to join in” (emphasis mine). She goes on:

It is one more piece of evidence in this election that suggests individual social media users and anonymous accounts have the ability to shape the online conversation just as effectively as the content coming from the political parties themselves.

I am sure Marianna Spring is basically a nice and honest person who wants what is best for the world, but I earlier used the word ‘unhinged’, and it is important to note first of all how divorced from reality the disinformation movement actually is. Since time immemorial, when elections take place, people have chosen to signal their support for one party or another visually by putting up signs in their gardens or living room windows saying things like ‘Vote Labour’ or ‘I’m Voting Conservative’ or ‘Ron Smith for MP’. They have dialled into radio talk shows and appeared on TV in vox pops and written letters to newspapers. And they have also conversed with each other – friends, neighbours, colleagues, acquaintances, strangers at bus stops – with regard to whom they are voting for and why. Why, then, would anybody expect them not to do these sorts of things online, and why would anybody, all of a sudden, see anything illegitimate or dangerous in them doing so, when similar activities have never been perceived that way in the past?

So on its face the notion that there is anything sinister going on here is, to put it politely, silly. But there is something deeper at work here. Read Spring’s comment again and pay careful attention to the wording (emphasis mine):

[C]omments that boost the perceived support for a political party – whether they come from U.K. voters or inauthentic accounts – can embolden more real people to join in.
It is one more piece of evidence in this election that suggests individual social media users and anonymous accounts have the ability to shape the online conversation just as effectively as the content coming from the political parties themselves.

Read More: Springtime for Tyrants

The Dream

From our advertisers