Scholar and author Thomas Harrington has warned that America’s powerful intellectual class finds joy in making us obey and comply.
America’s intellectual class has been given so much power by the public that their misuse of such power is threatening the fundamental freedom of speech in the country, says scholar and author Tom Harrington.
“It’s absolutely remarkable how easily we’ve gone from free speech to asking, ‘How can I make my way around the censorship that’s here?’” Harrington said in a recent interview with Jan Jekielek on “American Thought Leaders” that premiered on May 11. “Sometimes, there’s this idea that reality just is. That’s partially true but in the cultural realm, there’s always someone developing it and distributing it who has more access to power.
“Those people generally are well-educated people who we hold up as exemplars of knowledge. They have a lot of power and they are deferred to quite readily.”
Harrington warned that people are delivering a lot of their power into the hands of “experts” who tend to have a “flipness” with which they have used such power.
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“Worse than flipness, there seems to be almost a perversion and a joy in making us obey and be compliant for compliance’s sake. This is very troubling in a society.
“You need the intellectual class or the credentialed class to have the reality of their status back up the title of their status. It seems to me these two things have separated in these last few years, and that’s really troubling to me.”
Harrington pointed out that censorship and cancellation are “two cudgels” used against the public.
“We’re beginning to see that a lot of this hooting down is not as spontaneous as many of us would like to believe. With the recent ‘Twitter Files,’ and the case that the attorney generals of Missouri and Louisiana are trying now, we’re finding out that this was anything but spontaneous. There were a number of government actors working in concert with private actors to achieve a censorship that, frankly, for those of us of a certain age, is unimaginable.”
On March 17, investigative journalist Matt Taibbi released a version of the so-called “Twitter Files” exposing the alleged collusion between Twitter and Stanford University’s Virality Project (VP) to censor what they deemed to be misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. VP is also found to have colluded with the U.S. government.
“Though the Virality Project reviewed content on a mass scale for Twitter, Google/YouTube, Facebook/Instagram, Medium, TikTok, and Pinterest, it knowingly targeted true material and legitimate political opinion, while often being factually wrong itself,” Taibbi stated on Twitter.
The initiative “accelerated the evolution of digital censorship, moving it from judging truth/untruth to a new, scarier model, openly focused on political narrative at the expense of fact.”
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