GLENN GREENWALD—In a January Wall Street Journal op-ed, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and Yale Law School’s constitutional scholar Jed Rubenfeld warned that Congress is rapidly approaching this constitutional boundary if it has not already transgressed it. “Using a combination of statutory inducements and regulatory threats,” the duo wrote, “Congress has co-opted Silicon Valley to do through the back door what government cannot directly accomplish under the Constitution.” Added: Deleted: That article compiled just a small sample of case law making clear that efforts to coerce private actors to censor speech implicate core First Amendment free speech guarantees.
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In this video Caleb discusses the origins of liberalism and individualism as a progressive development in the 17th and 18th centuries, essential parts of the anti-feudal capitalist revolutions, and their eventual ideological degeneration as capitalism itself became dialectically obsolete and an obstacle to human progress.
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ERIC ARNOW—WHEREIN our colleague and friend, Eric Arnow, provides a helpful aide memoire for those who—even technically in “left” ranks—still cling to the notion that the sociopathic narcissist and con man Donald Trump and his entourage of swamp creatures represented some sort of improvement on the usual disgraceful team of oligarchic bootlickers that passes for an American executive. Alarmingly incompetent at best, and even if he had had genuine good and “patriotic intentions” toward the American hoi polloi, which we doubt very much considering his betrayals of the working class at every turn, a posture which would have roughly aligned with the disorganized effort by the lesser bourgeoisie supporting Trump to preserve some of the attributes of an American labor aristocracy and semblance of an old fashioned middle class, Trump still represents a complete and utter failure as a president. You don’t have to be a brainwashed or a cynical Democrat to think that Trump was a dangerous and profoundly undemocratic and destructive leader.
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ALASTAIR CROOKE—We have today almost unlimited web access: Yet, its sheer overload seems to cause us to ‘dig in’, rather than ‘open up’. Anyone who wants it, can find a whole universe of alternative viewpoints online, but very few do. Paradoxically, the Information age has made us less willing to consider worldviews unlike our own. We cleave to the like-minded. We want to hear from the like-minded and have them as our friends.
And since it is so much easier to confirm our perspective and biases – and disdain others’ – the notion of politics by argument or consensus, is almost entirely lost. We can, and do, live in our segregated digital worlds, even when physically, those ‘others’ may indeed be our next door neighbour.
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CAITLIN JOHNSTONE—We’re so far from justice that even the table scraps of “You’re too crazy to extradite” are welcomed. You want justice? Free Assange, shower him with awards and compensation, and lock up everyone who helped persecute him. That would be justice. Then you’d be getting somewhere.