There is nothing stronger than an idea whose time has come. – Victor Hugo
In the 50s, when I was attending school in Chicago and Lake Forest, America was flying high as a world power. Our defeat of the Nazis and the Japanese during World War II had changed the course of history for us. Everywhere we went, we were lavished with respect and attention. In the world’s eyes, we were the greatest. For the average schoolboy like me, it was another story.
Creeping into our education was a view of life that was modifying how we thought of ourselves as a people and as a nation. Instead of our educators underscoring our special strengths and achievements, they criticized our inherited values and subverted our national pride by praising morally bankrupt cultures. Slowly, in very small doses, we were becoming a different person without ever realizing it. Our entire culture (the media, the arts, and even the government) were all contributing to it. Although our country was rich and dynamic and humane, to our educators we had little value, as a culture. We weren’t altruistic enough. We were too materialistic. We allowed our citizens too much freedom without sufficient regulation, and more ad nauseam. Many of our educators refused to enlighten us about the spectacularly important gift that our Founding Fathers had bequeathed to us. They were too busy identifying our faults and rewriting their view of history to give any serious attention to the value of our inheritance.
Over the years, the accumulated impact of such teaching began to alter us significantly. The results for many turned out to be painful. Many Americans learned to hate everything about themselves — their color, their wealth, their ideas and even their Constitution. Without a moral compass to guide them, they rejected our history and embraced anarchy and nihilism, and, in recent years, political correctness.
Thanks to the successes of our mentors, we began to turn our back on our noble strengths and to find pleasure in depravity. Today the results are evident everywhere. Psychotic terrorists are attacking and killing “infidels” at will; teenagers and adults are overdosing on opioids and other harmful drugs; sexual predators are kidnapping the minds and bodies of our children, and no one is willing to address the real cause. Instead, our huge communication monolith is blasting us with psychological and sociological excuses for what’s happening and systematically desecrating everything positive about our culture (politically, socially and financially).
Many of us have struggled hard for our independence; we have fought bitter wars for our freedom; and along the way, we have made huge personal sacrifices for our successes. In return, we have been rewarded with a crumbling nation.
Fortunately for me, early in my life one of my professors succinctly identified an important historical reality, which stuck. According to him, throughout history, two primary forces were forever at war, freedom, and domination. In America, because of our respect for the rights of man, the great force that dominated our culture and made it special was our love for freedom, which through hard work and focus gave us a very prosperous lifestyle.
Many Americans knew this instinctively, but few of them were able to defend their views against the communication monolith that attempted to control their thinking. Starved for great thinkers like Schiller, Dostoyevsky, and Hugo, they revealed their need in many different ways over the years. This was especially apparent in the 1980s when Les Miserables became a huge success around the world. The musical play’s moving story of crime and redemption immediately connected with people starved for liberty, stolen from them by educators and other statists.
Today we are hearing the rising cry of the common man for liberty almost everywhere. It is being delivered, not by our establishment who is actively trying to squelch it, but by the individual voices of men and women who are using the Internet to protest what’s happening to them. Together, as one, they are waking us up. To protect itself, the entrenched establishment is using the Internet — subtly, but effectively – against us in retaliation.
This new adversary, which has become one of the most powerful and democratic communication systems known to men, is being used to strip us of our most important defenses against tyranny, our First Amendment Rights (freedom of speech). At this very moment, as I write, it is all being done invisibly by creating algorithms to filter out information programmers deem unacceptable from appearing on Internet searches. The lawyers representing Google, Facebook, and Twitter are currently in Washington, meeting with Congress. They are ostensibly in the District to discuss ways to protect us from the infiltration of Russian influence into our elections and to prevent ISIS from using the Internet to recruit terrorists, but I strongly believe something more is being discussed.
“Research I have been directing in recent years suggests that Google, Inc., has amassed far more power to control elections—indeed, to control a wide variety of opinions and beliefs—than any company in history has ever had. Google’s search algorithm can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more—up to 80 percent in some demographic groups—with virtually no one knowing they are being manipulated, according to experiments I conducted recently with Ronald E. Robertson.
We are at a pivotal point in history. We have taken a powerful communication system, and we have allowed a few men in Silicon Valley to use it to control our thoughts. This power could be particularly effective if Silicon Valley ever decided to partner with Washington.
When Victor Hugo made his profound observation over a century ago, he lacked the insight then to grasp what we know now. Thanks to Silicon Valley we have something greater than an idea whose time has come. We have the Internet. With the right algorithms filtering our information, we can change the way the entire world thinks overnight.