Who Censors a Lie?

Would you censor a lie?

Growing up and becoming an adult during the Cold War, I had the opportunity to see what propaganda and censorship by true authoritarians look like. In my years in the Army, I served in Europe, and I was able once to take a tour through Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin on an officially sanctioned bus tour. During that tour, we learned many things, we young men of the Field Artillery who sat quietly in our dress greens as the official Soviet chaperone boarded the bus. He would be our “tour guide,” which is to say, he was our official “minder.” Naturally, like any other such tour that ever occurred, we were on official orders to be permitted onto this tour. We learned so much, but only if you paid close attention. Apart from the minder, our chaperone, the first thing we learned is how statists always hide the truth.  Standing in West Berlin, looking East into the imprisoned city, apart from the ghastly wall and watch towers dividing the city, you could only see what appeared to be tidy, ordered city.  The truth, however was much different, as we would soon learn: Only the truth is ever concealed by authoritarians. Why would you censor a lie?

As we passed into East Berlin, and the bus gathered speed, one of my fellow soldiers soon whispered and nodded toward the rear, not wanting to be noticed by the minder. A few at a time, we looked back at the Eastern faces of the buildings and structures we were passing, and what that revealed was something none had expected: War damage. The year was 1986, and for more than forty years, no battles had raged in these streets, but the evidence of the fierce war when the Soviets laid siege to and finally conquered Berlin was all over the buildings behind us. They’d never been repaired. Chunks were missing from concrete and stonework, bridges and ancient walls and monuments, but the Western face, what we could see from the West, was all repaired and painted, as though no war had ever raged there. They’d merely concealed the truth of the destitute state of East Berlin from the world. Nothing had been repaired fully, because there hadn’t been the money to fund repairs under the communist system. They repaired only what could be readily viewed from the West. The uncovered, naked truth could be seen fully from the East.

The next lesson we learned was economic.  They took us to an open market.  Here, we disembarked long enough to walk among the vendors and the shops, where we could purchase such items as they offered.  There was one store, an electronics shop, and I thought it would be neat to just see the state of audio equipment there. (In those years, I very much loved audio equipment, and had accumulated quite the ensemble of high fidelity audio gear.) I looked around, and the first thing I noticed was that the best of the equipment was laughable. When I’d been a little boy, in the early 1970s, I’d had a little record-player that folded open, allowed you to place your LP on it, and when you folded the cover down, it would play the record with the tone-arm and stylus in the lid. The lone turntable on display in this shop was roughly on par with my childhood toy, albeit in black. The speakers they sold were similarly terrible little boxes filled with the most depressing assembly of parts I’ve ever seen. These were the jewels of the productive might of communism. Remember, this market in which were permitted to browse was a showplace intended to display how great things were under communism. The other thing I quickly noticed is that several aisles of the store were essentially empty, but for empty racks and shelves that were dust-covered and clearly hadn’t held goods in a long time, if ever. It was all a show. Even the other shoppers, allegedly East German civilians, were entirely showpieces, meant to give the impression of bustling, busy commerce. Three of us noticed the same women with different shopping bags of goods in the space of 15 minutes. They were all play-acting, or they were spies, or both. Even the shopkeepers were fake. Two of us walked into what passed for a grocery store. The worst convenience store into which you’ve ever stumbled was a palace of plenty compared to that mortuary. Mostly empty, what little was there was all for show.

From there, we went on to a War museum, in which we saw old Soviet weaponry, mannequins dressed in the uniforms of the day, and the museum guide told us about the “Great Patriotic War” from the Soviet perspective. His history was as falsified as everything else we’d seen on the day, but what was interesting was how he omitted the roles of the other Allies in defeating Germany. To hear his telling, you’d never know that anybody but Germany and the Soviet Union had been combatants in the second World War. When a couple of our less bashful soldier very respectfully asked questions, he replied in very censored language about the subject.  It was clear there were topics about which he was not permitted to speak, and they all bordered on the topic of political aspects of history.

What we learned on this trip is that statists, specifically communists, but any authoritarian of any sort, never hide lies. They never censor falsehoods.  They spew propaganda, but you can know that whatever they seek to hide, or whatever they try to suppress, is always, always the truth. There would be no point in censoring a lie.  If I were to tell my followers on Twitter that the sky was pink with purple polka-dots, Jack Dorsey and his army of electronic TwitNazis would have no reason to censor it. It would result in self-censorship, because all who saw such a tweet would soon realize I was either completely mad or simply a liar, and would quickly unfollow me.  Similarly, Mark Zuckerberg and his army of FacsistBook minders would never bother to throttle the circulation of such a post.  Why bother?  Who would share it on their own profile page or timeline?  Nobody, except perhaps somebody equally insane or intent upon a prank. No, ladies and gentlemen, there is no real reason to censor a lie. There is no point to hiding an untruth. Lies quickly reveal themselves.  Only the truth need be concealed. Matters of opinion are that, and nothing more, but to conceal facts and truths because they are accompanied by relevant opinions is simply more of the same.

There is a reason @Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg are using their platforms to conceal what the President’s been saying. There’s a reason these networks now cut away from the President every time he starts talking about the election fraud that’s been going on this week and before. There is a reason that people who support the President in various media are being censored, throttled, banned, and shadow-banned. That reason is the same as it has ever been: There is no reason to conceal a lie, or cover-up a falsehood. There is no reason on Earth that justifies what they’re doing, and the sooner the American people come to understand what me and my fellow artillerymen learned that day in East Berlin, the better off they’ll be. There is no reason to censor a lie, so that if you see censorship, you should immediately demand to know what truths are being concealed, by whom, and for what purpose. Communists and other authoritarian statists always claim that which they seek to conceal is “disinformation,” or “misinformation,” or “propaganda,” meanwhile they peddle their own propaganda shamelessly and unrelentingly. This is never accidental.

They’re censoring you, your President, and indeed, anybody who supports him. They’re doing it in social media, in television, radio, and in print. The only motive is to conceal that which reveals their lies, just as sure as if they claimed to you the sky was pink with purple polka-dots. The election of 2020 is being stolen from you. Don’t doubt it. Proclaim it. Loudly. Broadcast it everywhere. If they’re permitted to conceal this simple truth, we will never see the end of it, and we will never get our country back.

 

 

Advertisements

Comments are closed.