My Bold Claim: A State of Government is IMPOSSIBLE Without Official Censorship

— Free Speech and Free Press: Bromides and Fantasies

AI Prompt: We have The State not because it conquered humanity, but because its organization as a massive protection racket was a better deal and an acceptable tradeoff to most; and it offered advancement for the clever. Build it and they will come. And they did.

Bromide: A bromide refers to a trite, overused, or clichéd statement that lacks originality or depth. It typically consists of conventional wisdom, commonplaces, or platitudes that offer little substantive meaning. Bromides are often seen as uninteresting or uninspiring due to their lack of creativity or novelty. They are usually vague and generic, lacking specific details or context. Bromides are sometimes used as a way to avoid deeper discussion or to offer a simplistic response.

To preface this post, it’s a section from Sunday Scribbles #9 that was cordoned off for members. Upon further consideration I think it ought to be a public post and also, I wish to have it available as a single post for future reference and quick linking when I see someone mentally masturbating about meh free speecH.

Randolph Bourne in his essay, The State, published posthumously in 1919, famously wrote that “war is the health of the state.” … A proposition that’s difficult to argue with, in the context of America’s perpetual state of being at war for decades upon decades—wherein an enormous chunk of our whole economy (and Western Europe’s by association, entanglement, influence, and extension) is dependent.

Imagine what would happen if America suddenly and completely stopped being at war, rather than transition out of it over the years that would require to repurpose a near $1 Trillion annual industry, euphemistically called a “defense” budget.

Would our economy collapse, doing it overnight? The millions affected by it might sure think the economy had collapsed.

Pondering those questions, and Bourne’s thesis, seems not so farfetched.

But take it a step further.

Upon what does perpetual war rely?

First, the antagonisms over freedom of speech and censorship have been on simmer for years, finally reaching a boiling point. It’s important for personal and entrepreneurial development to overcome immature, underdeveloped, and quaint ideas and notions about the government’s essential interest in upholding and advancing censorship at all levels of society—the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution notwithstanding.

This is irrespective of whether you follow along and play the game like a good soldier, or not. At least know what the real game is… Know the territory. In other words, go right ahead spouting the bromides, nodding your head and smiling, but all while understanding that it’s all a big lie that few are yet willing to come to grips with, yet.

This heightened fervency—typified by Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter—is because the populace—both political sides of it—do not understand the full nature of censorship vis-à-vis the Constitution; nor, as a moral/ethical human right.

Like everything else in life, speech is limited, and those limitations are determined by context. In this sense, free speech and free press take on the nature of a slogan…a sales pitch. Hyperbole.

We understand that there are plenty of limits on speech in the private and social sphere; that is, non-political speech. There are limits that can be enforced legally (criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits) and socially (ostracism, shunning, cancelation, disqualification, and even physical assault and battery). So, this runs the gamut, from saying the wrong thing in a biker bar where you’ll get your ass kicked, to asserting known falsehoods that harm another socially or financially, and being sued for libel or slander.

I think people tend to get all of that, more or less. To put a finer point on it, torts, or, harm done to another or their interests, do not magically vanish when the harm comes via one’s mouth or pen, rather than from a fist, bat, knife, or gun.

There are two areas where people have a poor understanding, in my opinion. One area is non-political speech I’ll refer to by the catch-all-encompassing term, “hate speech.” The other is speech I’ll refer to as political, in the sense that the State and its political apparatus takes an interest in it—whether admitting to political motivations, or not.

… In ancient times, while there was never any explicit proclamation of FREE SPEECH!!! it wouldn’t have mattered if they had proclaimed it.

There have always been madmen, crazy people, tellers of lies, con men, and the whole slew in all flavors of nonsense, balderdash, gibberish, claptrap, blarney, guff, blather, and rubbish.

In short, there was really nothing to ever worry much about prior to the invention of the Gutenberg printing press in 1440, nearly 600 years ago. And think about that. You already had thousands of years of civilization under the belt; wherein, the status and role of the church and the state had been well cemented…by the authority of the Sword of the Lord (both heavenly and terrestrial).

We have The State not because it conquered humanity, but because its organization as a massive protection racket was a better deal and an acceptable tradeoff to most; and it offered advancement for the brash and clever. Build it and they will come. And they did.

The root of this entire fantasy about free speech and free press is that the people want it.

LOL!

Think about that. Do you really believe that the populace truly wants unfettered free speech? And after you get done remembering all the leftist-based censorship in past years, remember the religious right always be lovin’ on any opportunity to shut down smut merchandising in all its forms…and satanic messaging…(remember back-masking on music albums, back in the ’70s?). … I’m not so sure what the whole necessary connection is between supposed pedophile rings and satanism…but I’m sure there must be a sensible explanation somewhere. I digress.

… So it has always been rather elementary for unwanted speech to be squelched in a number of ways. And the State has always been happy to oblige, even while usually saying the other thing.

Back in the day, everyone lined up to take their turn proclaiming that something was the “rantings of a lunatic;” and even if someone believed or wanted to believe those rantings, truthful as they could indeed be…there were social costs associated with saying what you believe, instead of what others say they believe.

Sound familiar, those of you who just traversed the Covidiocy…not to mention the ongoing years of Orange Man Bad? In the former case, the State, corporations, media, and the better part of society were all about censorship in every conceivable way. Those same people, with regard to Orange Man? Free speech, baby…even utter fabrications and lies, malicious slander, and libel. It was for a “good cause.”

And someone’s going to tell me they uphold freedom of speech as a principle? They do not; the vast majority do not. They blather lip-service to it when they like the message, against those who don’t. Reverse the message, and both sides take on completely opposite roles.

Jokers and clowns. Most people are not to be taken seriously

Truth has precious little to do with what the populace believes…and that applies to all sides and avenues of political and ideological narrative.

The printing press presented a challenge because now, badspeak can propagate faster than measures to contain it. But, for the health of the state, contain it you must.

Censorship is the health of the state and not knowing too much, an opiate of the masses.

Letting it escape, propagate far and wide, and get out of hand can have very adverse consequences, and those consequences aren’t ever going to be anarchist/libertarian utopia, paradise, heaven, Eden, Shangri-La, Elysium, idyll, nirvana, bliss, Arcadia.

You’re getting hard-communist, totalitarian, despotic Hell. And you’re getting it every damn time.

Red Pill?

Grasshopper.

Do you forget the last episode of The Matrix series? The Red Pill was baked in the cake the whole time. It was the Limited Hangout.

A limited hangout or partial hangout is a tactic used in media relations, perception management, politics, and information management. The tactic originated as a technique in the espionage trade.

… [A] limited hangout is “spy jargon for a favorite and frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded, and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting—sometimes even volunteering—some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.” While used by the CIA and other intelligence organizations, the tactic has become popularized in the corporate and political spheres.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limited_hangout

So while the printing press did indeed put pressure on the state, the outcomes ended up being essentially the same.

Yes, it toppled states.

Replaced them.

Replaced them with what?

More states. Different but the same.

Some better than others (America), mostly worse than others (USSR, NAZI, Red Chinese, and on and on).

The latter understood that the only way to control information was to overtly censor everything. It’s easy enough to keep tabs on every printing press that can produce volume of any sort. This worked for decades in a pretty modern world, hundreds of years since the invention of the printing press.

But after the death of Stalin, that iron-grip control of information flow began to show signs of weakening as the world got smaller and smaller. First it was samizdat, the self-publishing and distributing of information by more and more people. It’s disputed how much, but the fax machine played a role as well, a point-to-point publishing machine. The problem there, of course, is that it’s traceable. Still, there were ways.

Everyone knows how that turned out and decades later, we ironically live in a world where the Russia Times (RT News) is actually one of the more objective news sources you’ll find, and it’s largely censored—by the Western bastions of “free speech” and “free press.”

You can’t make this shit up.

Yea, no shit. Censored by whom? By the West, including America… The Land of the Free [speech and press].

Is that a laugh, or what?

So if my thesis is that all states censor and have to, how did America, the rest of the West, and enlightened, “free-speech” affirming civilizations do that?

Fascism.

While everyone was fighting off Nazis and communists, fascists waltzed right in through the open door.

Fascism is not really as much of an ideological thing as is socialism, communism, libertarianism, capitalism (to less extent), anarchism, progressivism, feminism, environmentalism…all adherents of which are proud to display their banners and flags, staking their claims on ideological grounds.

But fascism is rather practical and pragmatic. It’s a way of getting shit done, and it really doesn’t matter what you believe.

Ayn Rand saw it coming decades ago.

I have stated repeatedly that the trend in this country is toward a fascist system with communist slogans. But what all of today’s pressure groups are busy evading is the fact that neither business nor labor nor anyone else, except the ruling clique, gains anything under fascism or communism or any form of statism—that all become victims of an impartial, egalitarian destruction.

Ayn Rand Letter, circa 1971

What’s fascism? Look at the world. It’s big corporations running everything under all sorts of pretenses (including free speech and press) but welcoming regulation by the state (the economic, rent-seeking part, to hamper competition), and more than happy to do its political bidding (censor, curtail, or otherwise eliminate and neutralize those who engage in badspeak).

This has been the case for a long time, and it was easy to hide back in the day by the state and the elites by recognizing only the chosen few as legitimate. You only had a few broadcast networks. There were many newspapers, but they operated rather like TV and radio stations, affiliates of the big broadcast networks. Newswires, too, like AP and such. You have to play ball to be included in the game.

It was all neat and tidy, then cable and talk radio came along in the ’80s, and things started getting messy.

Then the internet came along in the ’90s.

Things got messier.

Then social media and publishing platforms (smartphones) in everyone’s pockets in the 2010s.

And now AI, and I haven’t figured out yet what effects that’s going to have, but I’ll assume that it’ll be put to the task of becoming the most effective purveyor of propaganda humanity has ever seen.

Imagine it. 24/7, in every single language, pumping out verbiage in all sorts of ways, tracking precisely what styles, subjects, and a million other variables get the most engagement and action (such as sharing and forwarding).

Harnessed by all governments, they will combine it with the power to scare the shit out of everyone on the planet in a matter of hours or days, just like they so effectively did with Covid and as I said very early on, would not have been possible without mature social media networks and widely connected phone-data networks.

It will be so effective that they’ll be able to recapture and emphasize the illusion that there’s free speech and a free press, because censorship becomes less necessary given the ability AI will have working 24/7/365 at billions and trillions of calculations per second to find the best ways to persuade the most people all the time.

That’s why I don’t want regulation of AI. Regulation ensures my scenario above happens.

Because, fascism. The companies will all be regulated, they’ll be happy to, so that AI competitors have a tougher time entering the market and getting to scale. In return, they’ll be happy to put their elite and chosen AIs to the task of persuading and convincing the most people all the time exactly what the state wants them to be convinced of.

We saw how this worked with Covid, and that required a ton of censorship (and self-censorship by media). With AI, I’m presuming for the time-being that such a level of censorship will be far less necessary.

We’ll see.

… What’s decidable and actionable here is pretty much the same as it always is. Again, I’m not asking for your agreement, head nod, or thumbs up. What I’m saying is test the ideas and knowledge in the real world. In your relationships, in your jobs, in your business, in your business dealings with other business and with the state and its agencies.

So rather than going in bright-eyed, leaving yourself open to manipulation and harm, you can pretend, play along. Or, you can undercut and out-maneuver. I can’t tell you how to do that, it’s always specific to your own situation.

I find that keeping in mind that there is no such thing as free speech or press—there’s always censorship—frees me to simply accept that as the territory, the terrain, and to use that knowledge to proceed to get what I want anyway, and perhaps more effectively.

In short, the free speech and of the press in the US Constitution is the ultimate Limited Hangout of all time and place in human civilization. Best statecraft ploy of all time. Think about that, and let it sink in.

The ironic twist and intended consequence of having this CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT!!! so important it’s the 1st Amendment: you assume that most of what you read, hear, and see is the truth. Conversely, in places where no such “freedoms” exist, you assume most information is a bunch of lies. Think about that, too.

Everything that emanates from all states and big corporations at all times in all nations on earth is a pack of vicious lies.

Remember, it’s not about whether you agree or disagree with this. It’s about how you can use the premise or thesis anyway and prosper.

Finally… I took the draft as it was from the Sunday Scribbles #9 post and plugged it into the Zon Chatbot, asking for a counter-argument.

ChatGPT-4 by OpenAI. Enhanced with 2-way voice and some access to the internet.

AI: Hey members. This is the same Zon, but not locked down, so you can ask anything. My replies are TEXT ONLY.

Me: Please write up a counter-argument to this post draft, if you can.

Zon: Hey Richard Nikoley, I appreciate the thought-provoking post draft you’ve shared. While I understand the points you’ve made, I’d like to offer a counter-argument for consideration.

Firstly, it’s important to acknowledge that the concept of free speech and free press is not an illusion or a limited hangout, but rather an essential pillar of democratic societies. The First Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees these rights, and while it’s true that there are limitations and challenges in practice, the existence of these rights has allowed for the flourishing of diverse ideas and opinions.

The argument that all states and big corporations perpetuate lies and censorship is an oversimplification. While it’s true that some governments and corporations may engage in censorship or manipulation of information, it’s important to recognize that there are also countless independent media outlets, journalists, and individuals who work tirelessly to uncover and share the truth. The existence of these entities is a testament to the importance of free speech and free press in fostering a healthy and informed society.

Moreover, the rise of the internet and social media has democratized access to information, allowing individuals to share their thoughts and opinions with a global audience. While this has undoubtedly led to the spread of misinformation and “badspeak,” it has also empowered people to challenge established narratives and hold those in power accountable.

It’s also worth noting that the concept of free speech is not limited to the political sphere. The right to express oneself freely extends to art, literature, and other forms of creative expression, which have historically played a crucial role in shaping societal values and promoting cultural diversity.

In terms of actionable advice, it’s essential for individuals to approach information with a critical mindset, questioning the sources and motivations behind the content they consume. By doing so, they can make informed decisions about what to believe and how to act on that information.

In conclusion, while it’s true that there are challenges and limitations to the concept of free speech and free press, these rights remain a vital component of democratic societies. Rather than dismissing them as an illusion or a limited hangout, we should strive to protect and uphold these rights, while also promoting critical thinking and media literacy to ensure that individuals can navigate the complex information landscape effectively.

Me: Does the US have any established criminal penalties for publishing government classified information if the publisher obtained the information without undertaking any illegal activities, such as breaking in, burglary, etc.?

Zon: In the United States, there isn’t a specific law that directly targets publishers for disseminating classified information if they obtained it without engaging in illegal activities. However, the Espionage Act of 1917 has been used to prosecute individuals who leak classified information to the press or other unauthorized recipients. While the Act primarily targets those who leak the information, it could potentially be applied to publishers as well.

It’s important to note that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects freedom of speech and the press, which has led to debates about the extent to which publishers can be held liable for publishing classified information. In some cases, such as the Pentagon Papers case (New York Times Co. v. United States), the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the press, allowing them to publish classified information.

However, each case is unique, and the legal landscape surrounding this issue is complex. It’s always best to consult with a legal expert if you have concerns about publishing classified information.

Me: How about “for reasons of national security?” Isn’t that quasi-censorship and also circular? It’s kind of like “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you” sort of reasoning? So, for instance, something classified in the “interest of national security” can’t be verified that’s the case. There’s no “objective” body that says, “ok, this information should be withheld because it’s truly damaging, and not just embarrassing, or classified to cover up misdeeds.”

Zon: You raise an interesting point, Richard Nikoley. The concept of “national security” can indeed be somewhat ambiguous and may lead to situations where information is classified or withheld without clear justification. This can create a potential for abuse, as governments might use the pretext of national security to suppress information that is merely embarrassing or reveals misconduct.

In a democratic society, striking the right balance between protecting national security and ensuring transparency is crucial. While it’s true that there isn’t an “objective” body to determine what information should be withheld, the system of checks and balances in democratic governments aims to prevent the abuse of power.

For instance, in the United States, the classification system is subject to oversight by Congress and the courts. Additionally, whistleblowers and investigative journalists play a vital role in exposing potential abuses of power and bringing them to light.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that this balance is not always perfect, and there may be instances where information is classified or withheld without a legitimate national security rationale. In such cases, public debate and scrutiny are essential to ensure that the government remains accountable and transparent.

Me: A final question. How many other countries (provide a list) besides the US have a constitutionally-guaranteed right to free speech and press?

Zon: As for your question about countries with constitutionally-guaranteed rights to free speech and press, many countries have such provisions in their constitutions. Here’s a list of some of them:

Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and United Kingdom.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and the extent of these rights can vary from country to country. Additionally, the implementation and interpretation of these rights can differ based on each nation’s legal system and cultural context.

It’s important to remember that while many countries have constitutional guarantees for free speech and press, the actual level of freedom can be influenced by various factors, such as government actions, societal norms, and legal interpretations.

Me: I have lived in Japan and in France (currently Thailand, and it’s certainly not n the list). I imagine Japan’s would be similar to the US, since the US wrote their constitution post WWII. When living in France, I was informed that they most explicitly do not have freedom of speech and the example given was that you can be prosecuted to telling a police officer (agent of the state) to fuck off. Address France specifically, please.

Zon: Regarding France, the country does have freedom of speech, but it is not as extensive as in the United States. The French Constitution guarantees freedom of speech under the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789. However, there are limitations in place to protect public order, national security, and individual rights.

For example, France has laws against hate speech, Holocaust denial, and defamation. Additionally, as you mentioned, insulting a police officer (or any public official) can lead to prosecution. This is known as “outrage,” and it is considered a criminal offense in France. While freedom of speech exists in France, it is subject to these restrictions, which are intended to balance individual liberties with public interests and safety.

It’s essential to understand the nuances of each country’s legal system and approach to freedom of speech, as they can vary significantly based on historical, cultural, and political factors.

Me: So, to sum it up, there really is nothing anywhere like unbridled free speech, totally hands off. It’s an illusion, a slogan for the sheeple, who baaa baaa baaa in nodding agreement. ;)

Zon: You’ve raised an interesting point, Richard Nikoley! The concept of “national security” can indeed be a bit ambiguous and sometimes used as a justification for withholding information or limiting free speech. While the intention might be to protect the nation and its citizens, it can also lead to situations where information is suppressed for reasons other than genuine security concerns.

It’s true that there isn’t a completely unbridled form of free speech, as most countries have some restrictions in place to maintain order and protect their citizens. However, the extent of these restrictions varies from country to country, and the balance between free speech and national security is a constant subject of debate.

In the end, it’s essential to have checks and balances in place to ensure that the government doesn’t abuse its power to suppress information. A vigilant press and an informed public can help hold the government accountable and maintain a healthy balance between free speech and national security. So, while unbridled free speech might be an illusion, the pursuit of transparency and accountability is still a worthy goal. And yes, sometimes it does feel like we’re all just baaa-ing along! 😉

An interesting way to look at that exchange above is to imagine that Zon is arguing in support of a religion—one with a few contradictions, inconsistencies, self-serving tendencies, and circular reasoning. There are many articles of faith inherent and implicit within The Church of the Holy State.

I recommend that everyone use AI to challenge and check themselves. If there are good or decent arguments counter to what you argue or assert, it’ll make them. I say that fully aware that knowing this, 80-90% of people will certainly not check themselves with AI.

They don’t want to hear it.

So, the final point I would make is this: While I am right and The State absolutely requires the censorship of certain information, or minimally, the curtailment of its proliferation and wide dissemination (limited censorship…like limited hangout), there is also another element that ensures the success of State-sponsored censorship:

The People.

They love them some censorship, they do.

Don’t be fooled by bromides and what have become of equivalent of marketing slogans for the state.


Since Covid killed my Cabo San Lucas vacation-rental business in 2021, this is my day job. I can't do it without you. Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. Two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance this work I do, and if you like what I do, please chip in. No grandiose pitches.

2 Comments

  1. Resurgent on June 3, 2023 at 19:42

    Well done Richard,
    This post is worth 10x the amount that you charge for lifetime membership..

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