Earlier this month Twitter engaged in what has become all to common among the online communications giants, they banned conservative content from their platform. This time, their targets were conservative humorists.
Two of the banned accounts, Titania McGrath and the Babylon Bee, offer some of the most hilarious satire to be found anywhere. And as with any great satire, sometimes at first glance, the uninitiated will not even realize its a joke.
After a few days, Twitter reinstated both of these accounts, but another target of the ban, the satirist Jarvis DuPont, remains inaccessible. DuPont’s musings can still be found on Spectator USA, but because the focus of his ridicule was trans ideology – which constitutes the uttermost pinnacle of intersectional sanctity – he shall never be seen on Twitter again.
It is difficult to overstate the global power of these companies. Not quite two years ago, in an article entitled (all too accurately) “How Big Tech Will Swing the Midterms, Then Take Over the World,” a financial snapshot of the seven biggest high tech and social media companies was included. That graphic is reproduced below:These are companies of almost unimaginable financial power. Twitter, the smallest kid on the block, by far, in terms of their market value, back in late 2018 was nonetheless sitting on nearly six billion dollars in cash. That’s cold hard cash, sitting in their checking account.
Together, these seven companies, which collectively exercise almost absolute control over what information reaches the vast majority of Americans, had $386 billion in cash back in late 2018, and had a combined market value of 4.4 trillion. For those who haven’t thought this through, a trillion is equal to one thousand billion, or one million million. And that was then.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the shut down of small businesses across America, with many of them never to come back. It also empowered the further consolidation of the American economy in the hands of multi-national corporations. But among those behemoths, few have done as well as big tech. With outdoor activities sharply reduced and shops closed, screen shopping and screen entertainment fills the void. The total market value of these seven companies is at an all time high, all of them have nearly doubled since October 2018; combined they are now worth $7.6 trillion, up 71 percent from less than two years ago.
As for their cash position, these seven companies now have just shy of a half-trillion dollars to deploy, anywhere, anytime. Twitter, still the small fry among these titans, now has nearly $8 billion in cash.
Companies this big have the power of nation states. Of the five companies on earth that have market values of $1.0 trillion or more, four of them are among these big tech companies. The only other company worth over $1.0 trillion is Aramco, the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia. In comparison to national GDP, the market value of these seven big tech companies, $7.6 trillion, puts them in third place, behind the United States and China. Even when making the more apt comparison of the combined sales of these seven companies, $1.0 trillion, to national GDP, they come in at #17 in the world, right behind Indonesia ($1.1 trillion) and ahead of the Netherlands ($0.9 trillion).
Financial Power is Only Part of Big Tech’s Power
It’s important to describe just how wealthy a handful of companies, controlled by a literally a few dozen people living on America’s West Coast, because it’s even greater than one might casually assume. These are companies that are financially powerful enough to buy small nations. They are powerful enough to invest in almost any market sector on earth and dominate it. They are powerful enough to absorb or crush any emerging competitor, any time, and they do. But that’s only half the story.
What Big Tech does with their money, and their technology, is far more significant than the mere fact of their insanely immense wealth. For all practical purposes, these companies exercise monopolistic control over how we access information and communicate. In the earlier article on Big Tech, how these companies accomplish this is covered in some detail. They are rewriting history, redefining language, arbitrating international borders and manipulating how we perceive physical geography. They are managing what information we are exposed to, or not, as well as controlling the underlying messages in news reports. And of course, they are using this power to influence elections.
To describe the grip Big Tech wields on how we communicate and access information, however, is still to only reveal a fraction of their power. A troubling video released on August 15 by online reporter and journalist Millie Weaver called “Shadowgate” alleges that government directed and funded private contractors are using radical new technologies to manipulate public opinion and retool law enforcement. Weaver’s video only lasted a few days on Facebook and YouTube, but can still be found on BitChute. As an aside, it is perhaps futile, yet pertinent, to ask exactly how YouTube justified the Shadowgate video being “removed for violating YouTube’s policy on hate speech,” or, why Millie Weaver was arrested a few days before she released her video.
To discuss all of the allegations included in the Shadowgate video would go beyond the scope of this article. And the question of how interlinked the Big Tech giants are with these private contractors was not answered. Clearly the technologies being employed to microtarget individual American citizens with so-called “internet influence operations,” as well as the desire to see Donald Trump replaced by Joe Biden in January 2021, are shared by these contractors and Big Tech. But to what extent are they working together?
The whistleblowers interviewed in the Shadowgate video – who do not enjoy whistleblower protection because they worked for private contractors, not the government – explained how it is now possible, using existing online surveillance assets and AI programs, for private contractors to “get inside their minds, know what makes them angry, happy, get into their world, know everything about them, their fears, their friends, their secrets, their injuries, use their fears, their anxieties to control their behavior” – for every individual person in America.
Where mental manipulation fails, there is law enforcement. In this realm as well, Big Tech is ushering in a paradigm shifting revolution. In the Shadowgate video the people interviewed allege that the anti-racist “defund the police” movement, as well as the responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the provisions of the “Green New Deal,” are all being used to facilitate this paradigm shift.
As they put it, “AI and robotics for law enforcement are already here. There is an international push for autonomous law enforcement to remove the human factor. The objective is full integration of all data including the internet of things, autonomous patrol robots, autonomous drones, computer vision software, tracking and tracking systems, nanotech vaccines, contact tracing apps, predictive modeling for social distancing, and forecasting tools such as systems and methods for electronically monitoring everyone to determine potential risk.”
An ominous corollary to this is the medicalization of all three of the facilitating initiatives being pushed by Big Tech and the state establishment. Along with COVID-19, “systemic racism” and “climate change” are now being increasingly touted as medical emergencies. Housing and homelessness are now “public health issues.” And as the COVID-19 pandemic has made all too clear, medical emergencies supersede the Bill of Rights as well as property rights. These emergency declarations could begin the day Joe Biden takes office, and it’s awful hard not to conclude that is the reason that Big Tech and the state establishment are doing everything they can to make certain Joe Biden becomes the next president of the United States.
Against this backdrop, it is almost a sideshow that Big Tech is cancelling anyone and anything online that contradicts their preferred narrative and political agenda. Online censorship violates everything Americans have traditionally believed in. It is a fundamental threat to freedom of speech, a right that Americans used to take for granted. But it is nonetheless only a part of something much bigger. Big Tech is using its considerable power to restructure American society in what may well be a fatal erosion of all the freedoms Americans have taken for granted.
In that context, the fact that Twitter banned three conservative satirists, and then allowed two of them back (gee, thanks), is relatively insignificant. But it does indicate something more about where we’re headed, thanks to Big Tech and the establishment state. The culture that we’re being steered into has no sense of humor. No ability to laugh at itself. There are few signs of tyranny more obvious than the failure to appreciate a clever joke, especially one that mocks the dominant culture.
So go tell a trans joke, if you dare. But watch out. It may be your last public utterance.
This article originally appeared on the website American Greatness.
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Edward Ring is a contributing editor and senior fellow with the California Policy Center, which he co-founded in 2013 and served as its first president. He is also a senior fellow with the Center for American Greatness, and a regular contributor to the California Globe. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Forbes, and other media outlets.
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