One of the oft repeated messages of globalist culture is connectivity. Being connected is a positive thing. The interconnectedness of the global economy brings us together and prevents major wars. Interconnectedness also manifests itself through the glut of advanced social media platforms for average people.
Narcissism may fuel the social media economy, but it does allow for connection to one’s social circle. What was considered a joy and positive tool that the Internet provided has now turned into a dystopic panopticon for men and women.
It started innocent enough with platforms like Friendster and Myspace where people connected with their friends and shared silly posts. Facebook followed and enjoyed the white flight out of Myspace with better spam controls and massive media support. Keeping in touch with old friends and far-flung family became easier. It was wonderful for those living far from loved ones. A dying grandparent could flick through pictures of grandchildren near and far. Twitter was like a CB radio for the Internet, and people eagerly signed up with their real names attached to their accounts. Corporate HR departments had not figured out social media yet, and your trusty employee handbooks were silent about use of them.
There was a moment when this all peaked as something more than just a weird Internet phenomenon. For those who remember what Napster was like in the late ’90s, it was a literal industry changer or destroyer that young people discovered at college and then told the folks back home about on breaks. Napster was shivved and its brief moment in time made people wary of how stable and secure an Internet program would be. Filesharing programs repeatedly suffered the same fate. What changed the feeling about social media, and also perfectly captured the change in our culture was the moment you saw the trailer for the film The Social Network in theaters.
The Social Network was a 2010 film based on a 2009 book about the origins of Facebook. The first reaction might have been “Wait, they’re making a movie about Facebook?” but the trailer captured everything about the social media phenomenon that now grips our society. The trailer used the song “Creep” by Radiohead but sung by a Belgian women’s choir. The song adds a haunting, unnerving mood to the images shown. The images are simple things one would do on Facebook and social media sites like upload a photo, click ‘like’, make a post, change a relationship status, etc. This also fed into the viewers’ knowledge of the reaction to said actions: “did you see Jim’s single… why did he like this… she posts pics with him but hates her husband…” Layered over the lyrics, which is about a white guy wanting to be perfect and fantastic but is a socially awkward creep, everything comes together.
These two minutes also showed clips from the film, which is a dramatization of one insider’s account of the past. The dramatization was so incredibly worrisome for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg that he donated $100 million to Newark city schools mere weeks prior to its release. The donation was tremendous public relations to distract anyone who went to the film from noticing the malicious autistic guy who was in charge of a firm that held all your personal information. The details of the film did not matter as much. What mattered was the moment where a trailer laid it out for viewers exactly what social media had done and how much of an effect it was already having.
People had already placed so much of their existence and focus on their digital representation. The identity and person they could be online could be perfect, special, and fulfill all of the desired goals that Radiohead sings about in “Creep.” That trailer in 2010 crystallized it for viewers. It also marked the peak. The anxiety over being watched, and gleefully allowing it, was slipping into public consciousness. The trailer was just a promotional tool for the film, but it marked a change in the social landscape. It was a coming out party for Mark Zuckerberg of sorts as well as the system incorporating social media as a part of it.
Social media became a darker landscape. Multiple generations of iPhones were released, and competitors allowed for smartphones to be in far more hands for “app” use. In the same month the movie debuted (October 2010), Instagram was released, allowing for narcissism and food glorification to enter a new stage. People could get the dopamine hit of a ‘like’ in even newer and broader ways. Tinder was a 2012 app that has turned the dating world into a nightmare, yet people cannot reject the tech. Everyone’s mom joined Facebook. Socially, different platforms appealed to different demographics as people sought some freedom. Facebook’s new mommy ghetto demographic pushed many younger users away.
The desire for systemic control crept in as the progressives needed to dampen an uncontrolled public platform in their system, which relies on manipulation of public opinion. HR departments implemented social media rules. Being fired for Facebook posts started, being fired for Tweets from years past started, and going anon or pseudo became the trend. Newspaper comment sections began requiring a linked Facebook profile in hopes to get dissidents to self-censor. In a little over five years, Facebook went from a website you could not believe Hollywood would use for a film to the online Stasi for Merkel’s Germany. Germans now get arrested for complaining about their government’s imported dependent-criminals on Facebook. Migrant rapists get suspended sentences if even arrested.
This should not have been a shocking development because social media was too great of a tool for a regime not to use. The Craigslist Killer Case taught us that Facebook will hand over every single thing you have ever done to the authorities when it is subpoenaed. If that power is there for a complete profile of a human being after a crime, then the power to mold, nudge, and control groups is too seductive for any government to resist. Merkel’s Germany calling on Zuckerberg’s private organ makes perfect sense considering the information and control over information that his computer code has.
Metternich would have considered it a great tool in his censorship program, which is derided by historians of the modern regime for suppressing revolutionary thoughts in the shadow of the bloody French Revolution. Metternich’s secret police operated at its greatest extent between 1815-1848, surviving even Metternich’s removal. France, German states, and the United Kingdom all had programs similar to Metternich’s, but nowhere near as complete. All thoughts but the political were allowed to flourish exemplified in Mitteleuropa’s 19th century art, but the modern West places the political primary. Modern Western censorship and thought suppression is against the opponents of the immolation of the West or speakers of dangerous truths, which is acceptable since it is the modern regime’s goals.
The Polizeihofstelle was instituted in 1789 but only took control of censorship in 1801. In 1815, it had twelve members and thirteen permanent censors. The regular police could be called on to help, and different districts had their responsibilities. The secret police itself was responsible for surveillance of suspects, opening mail, censoring books, press censorship, censorship of art, and promoting the regime’s desired goals. This is no different than the current progress regime censorship organs, but these modern censors are not deputized formally, and the regime calls upon conspiracy members to enforce the thought control.
In opposition to our current regime’s practices of selective administration of surveillance and prosecution, Metternich’s system did not place anyone beyond suspicion. Evidence was followed up or down the social ladder for the security of the state and of majority opinion. It was to protect the state and Catholics from the violent nationalists that were agitating and would bubble up in 1848. The censorship was mild enough that the empire was not intellectually walled away from the surrounding moods of Europe. The censorship also was supported by many of the subjects of the Habsburgs. Metternich’s system’s greatest success may have been its reputation, as it appeared far more successful than it truly was, and seemed to have far greater reach than it did.
If one were designing a regime from scratch and wanted to create the ultimate snooping and profiling tool, what better way than to hide it in a friendly mindspace for someone to connect to all of their friends and family? Media persuasion herds the many into a voluntary program. The secret police never went away; they just went private. A secret police does not have to be everywhere but give the impression that it is everywhere, for influence can create self-censorship and self-limiting actions. The key as always is aligning the goals of the elite rulers with the governed.
The government found a way to watch you, but the scarier effect contradicts a shibboleth of the globalists. Connectivity did not bring us together. It forced us together and showed all of our differences. It showed us why the kumbaya spirit is a utopian dream that will never happen. Not just our differences in appearance and customs, but simple reactions to daily events. What formerly would never have even come up between siblings or friends turned into online shouting matches and accumulated anger. Self-censorship started, and suddenly a space with friends and family required it, as well.
Social media became a battleground, not a playground. The dopamine hit via social media may not compare to the conflict hit. In our sanitized modern society, people love meaningless conflict. The fight shows they care, shows I care, ohhh what a rush! What better way to feed that need than a program that provides you hundreds of items to scroll through and fuel your outrage? Twitter sees death threats and rape threats crisscross by the minute. What might have been an online community to share things with and retreat to from a busy or boring day at work became Faceborg. One must assimilate and become part of the approved collective, or one will be shamed and unfriended. Twitter is now a progressive regime organ like any legacy media outlet.
This outcome, this environment, was hinted at by some in 2010. Some noted that the erosion of privacy would make privacy suddenly a desired good after years of oversharing and attention seeking. Sitting there in the theater, the average viewer realized that something had changed in society. It was not just a website, but human relations. Being able to dig so deeply into our lives, it was too attractive a tool for the regime to resist. No one could have guessed just how not only the system, but one’s closest friends and relatives would use social media to turn life, real and online, into non-stop surveillance and critique. Few could have guessed how so many were so comfortable with it.