This Is Nazi Nouveau

By T J Martin

Germany in the 1930s. Hitler’s Third Reich rising. We’ve all viewed the footage. And we’ve all recoiled in horror at its scenes: Mass processions singing, circling, marching; swastikas dancing, torches waving in the darkness; books tossed into flames, rising as smoke and ash. Narrating, a voice-over calmly intones the words of the German writer Heinrich Heine who cautions, “Where they have burned books, they will end up burning human beings.”

And so they did.

The burning came about incrementally: Ethnic differences were first exploited, then codified by the 1935 Nuremberg Laws into legalized discrimination. Persecution and segregation of society’s “undesirables” logically followed. As violence became justifiable, persecution, seizures, and mayhem followed. Mayhem soon metastasized into incarceration, starvation, medical experimentation, torture, and murder in what we now know as the World War II Holocaust.

First books, then people. Millions of them. Smoke and ash.

How we, today, love to hate those damned Nazis! How we revile their goose-stepping conformity, their malignant propaganda, lies, and crimes. How sophisticated and distant we feel looking back at their primitive and primal displays.

In 2023, we no longer march through the streets torching paper and ink bearing words with which we disagree. We have no need of smoke, fire, and spectacle to rid ourselves of ideas–even people–which bring discomfort or who have fallen from favor. We have the Internet!

Once viewed as an electronic forum founded on the ideal of free-flowing information–a true democracy of ideas–the Internet has become everything but!
In Washington, D.C.’s Holocaust Memorial Museum, a Hollerith Machine is on display. The letters IBM clearly identify its parent company. Holleriths tabulated old-fashioned punch cards and were employed by the Nazis to quantify and identify populations. According to a recent lawsuit against IBM, these bulky machines also tracked those deemed undesirable, i.e., Jews, dissidents, gypsies, those slated for transport to Nazi concentration camps.

Technology aiding, abetting tyranny?

Today’s technology is exponentially more capable of profiling and tracking populations than those clunky Holleriths. Texts, photos, emojis, comments, conversations, thoughts– very facsimiles of our lives–are transmitted around the planet via the Internet in seconds! News, information, and entertainment likewise travel in vast electronic rivers, enabling us to partake of lives and events far distant from our own. Education, medicine, law, science, commerce, government–and the archaic concept of privacy—all have been transformed.

Edward Snowden first warned us. At great personal cost, he risked everything to inform Americans that privacy was essentially dead, that everything and anything transmitted online was actively collected and archived by the United States government. Personal texts, emojis, comments, conversations, thoughts—very facsimiles of our lives—freely volunteered via social media and just as freely harvested.

Ten years have passed since Snowden’s revelations. Amazingly, they have engendered little shock and virtually no resistance amongst a docile population seemingly resigned to ubiquitous data harvesting and the loss of personal privacy. How many times has someone glanced at his phone and casually quipped, “Oh, they can hear everything I say, but I’m not doing anything wrong, so why worry?”

And this is OK? Technology aiding, abetting government surveillance of citizens who have broken no laws?

Harvested data has also become part of corporate business models. Purchases, financial transactions, Internet searches, social media posts, subscriptions, even electric meters provide vast amounts of personal data which is bought and sold like the commodity it has become.

How many times has an online advertisement appeared for, say, new shoes following a real-time conversation about new shoes, as if one’s phone were eavesdropping? How many personal Internet searches are followed by emails selling the item that was just searched, often at deep discount? How many predictive algorithms are employed in the marketing of products and profiling of consumers? How much data does Alexa harvest?

Siri? The Roomba surveilling your floor-plan as it sweeps your floors? The television potentially able to watch you?

And this is OK? Technology aiding, abetting corporate interests at the expense of personal privacy?

But what if the very quality of electronic information on the Internet were curated, tweaked, subverted? Why do different search engines provide vastly different results on the same topic, and why do so many of the biggest engines seem to advance similar points of view? Why must people espousing unpopular views jump operations from server to server and site to site, all to avoid being defunded or deplatformed? And why are search results querying those people buried amongst pages of irrelevant and sponsored information? Have they been “ghosted”?

Indeed, a revised vernacular has evolved reflecting the Internet’s devolution from two-way information superhighway to a single broad lane of officially sanctioned thought.

The revision began so nobly, so equitably, in response to decades of social change. Firemen became firefighters, policemen officers. Chairmen became chairpersons.
Change comes incrementally, innocuously.

Over time, global warming became climate change; non-subscribers to its tenets climate deniers or lately climate criminals.

Words are so very important, especially when they are endlessly shared, sent, tweeted,
reposted, echoed in the Internet’s vast Hall of Mirrors.

As the reboot of traditional values continued, gay marriage became marriage equality.
Abortion became a woman’s right to choose.

Husbands and wives became partners but then reverted to husbands and wives, especially in same-sex unions.

Pronouns have become politicized, weaponized, penalized if used incorrectly. Gender has become fluid, non-binary, a personal choice.

Mothers have become birthing persons.

Breastfeeding is becoming chest feeding.

Child genital mutilation has now become gender affirming care.

Given their unifying theme, one must question whether these recent revisions merely reflect societal change, or do they serve to engineer it, especially amongst our most vulnerable population, the young.

Words are so very important; they shape and mold perception itself.

When denying another’s existence becomes ghosting or shadow banning, when manipulation becomes gaslighting, are we so distant from the Nazis’ smoke and ash? It was only after Jews were deemed “vermin,” that industrial-scale “extermination camps” were built to eradicate them.

First ideas, words, propaganda. Then people. Change is incremental.

We no longer need to physically kill people or burn books. We simply cancel them. Disappear them. Nowadays, we immolate not with fire, but with word.

And this is OK? Technology aiding and abetting what can only be described as thought-control?

Speaking of control, how is it that a federal judge recently ordered the Biden administration to not collude with social media giants in censoring information available online? The judge added that the Biden administration’s handling of social media during the Covid pandemic–i.e., pressuring social media companies to delete “protected free speech”–resembled the “Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.’”

That the Biden administration has already appealed this ruling suggests that it views such censorship as a legitimate arm of government power.

Technology facilitating government censorship? How is that OK?

During the “pandemic,” it seems Big Government joined forces with Big Tech to push Big Pharma’s “safe and effective” Covid jabs.

This unholy triumvirate—Government, Tech, Pharma–employed influencers, propaganda techniques, copious media messaging, carrots and sticks, rewards and punishments to cajole as many people as possible into submitting to what, inarguably, is the largest medical experiment in history. Their joint effort was a clear violation of the “informed consent,” absence of “coercion,” and freedom from ”medical experimentation” mandated by 1947’s Nuremberg Code of Medical Ethics, written in response to World War II Nazi atrocities.

And again, vocabulary was modified to advance the prevailing agenda:
Vaccine sceptics became anti-vax conspiracy theorists and dangerous.

Asking valid questions became spreading misinformation and subject to censure.

Love became staying away as we practised being alone together.

Safe and effective became anything but!

Make the lie big. Keep repeating it.

Covid was a modern war fought not on battlefields of blood, but rather on keyboards. It was–and is–a war waged by well-compensated influencers against populations subjected to pervasive propaganda and manipulated data. A war of words facilitated by Internet technology actively withholding and suppressing vital information instead of impartially delivering all points-of-view.

Technology aiding and abetting the loss of personal and bodily sovereignty?

Technology facilitating what can only be deemed medical experimentation?

First ideas, then people? Those goose-stepping Nazis of old would be envious!

Growing numbers of people are awakening to this dark side of technology. Their eyes are opening to the Internet’s infinite capacity to influence, propagandize, profile, track, trick, control, subvert, censor, censure, and silence.

Growing numbers are deciding that none of this is OK! NONE! Are you?

It's only a vaccine

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