It’s well established that the Biden regime, with its abortive Disinformation Governance Board and collaborations with the social media giants to silence COVID dissidents, is no friend of the freedom of speech. In fact, it is working actively to circumvent the First Amendment and render it a dead letter. This initiative, however, didn’t spring out of nowhere. America’s invidiously corrupt and compromised universities are on board as well, as we saw again on Wednesday when Stanford University launched a new initiative to destroy the freedom of speech — in order to save “our democracy,” of course.
Michael Shellenberger, author of the masterful critique of how Leftist policies destroy cities, San Fransicko, and an indelible takedown of the climate hysteria, Apocalypse Never, tweeted on Thursday: “Stanford wants to ‘govern’ how we get information in order to save democracy. Naturally, they’re calling their new censorship initiative, ‘Project Liberty.’” Naturally indeed. The Orwellianism is always thick in such initiatives, and Project Liberty is no exception. The Left’s endless weeping over the alleged threat that Trump and his supporters pose to “our democracy” doesn’t actually emanate from any concern about our republic at all; what Leftists really mean is that they’re worried about threats to their hegemony. Project Liberty is no less a cynical manipulation of language.
Stanford wants to “govern” how we get information in order to save democracy.
Naturally, they’re calling their new censorship initiative, “Project Liberty.” https://t.co/z520QykqRn
— Michael Shellenberger (@shellenberger) June 8, 2023
“Digital technologies,” the Stanford Report informed us Wednesday, “from social media platforms to cryptocurrencies to generative AI, are the source of a variety of problems that undermine the interests of individuals and organizations, and the foundations of democracy itself. In order to fully enjoy any upsides, these downsides need to be effectively addressed.” Heavens to betsy! What are these terrible problems and downsides?
Three guesses. Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (Stanford HAI), explained: “From recent experience, we know that the flow of truthful and thoughtful information through our vast digital web of social connections is critical to the well-being of society, to economic progress, and to democracy itself.” You said it, Erik! After all, just imagine what might have happened if, say, 51 top intelligence officials assured the nation and the world that Hunter Biden’s laptop, with all of its evidence of influence-peddling for The Big Guy, was Russian disinformation?
That sort of thing is not what the learned Professor Brynjolfsson has in mind. He continued: “Our focus must be on designing and implementing social and technical systems that promote truth, insight, and cooperation while mitigating those that amplify misinformation, confusion, and polarization.” Yeah, hey, that sounds terrific. Truth and insight! No more misinformation, confusion, and polarization! And who will decide what constitutes the “misinformation” that is going to get stamped out? Why, the same sort of people who promised that Hunter’s laptop was fake.
“Stanford University,” the Stanford Report continued, “is joining Project Liberty’s Institute, a consortium of experts in law, policy, social sciences, ethics, and technology working together to shape emerging technologies and a new internet designed and governed for the common good.” Oh, well, then! They’re working for the common good! What could possibly be wrong with that? “Our goal,” said political science professor Rob Reich (not to be confused with the pint-sized Commie former Clinton administration official who is always plumping for Leftist authoritarianism on Twitter, although there is likely little difference between the two Reiches), “is to bring about a culture shift on campus, at other universities, and in the wider world.” A shift, that is, in decisive favor of authoritarianism and socialism. “To ensure a flourishing and inclusive democratic society,” Reich continued, “we need to transform the training of the next generation of tech entrepreneurs and leaders.” He said he and his colleagues were working toward training “a new breed of technologists who place in the foreground the ethical and societal implications of their work – and who are committed to building tech that serves rather than subverts democracy.” That is, tech that serves the Left, not tech that allows dissidents a platform.
The whole Leftist elite is on board with this initiative. Barack Obama spoke at an event sponsored by The Atlantic and the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy,” on April 6, 2022. In the course of a long and rambling discussion with The Atlantic’s sycophantic Jeffrey Goldberg, Obama called for government control over the internet in order to stem the “demand for crazy” that was spreading what he called “disinformation.” As Leftists always do, Obama claimed that this “disinformation” was threatening “our democracy”—that is, the Left’s political and cultural hegemony.
Just weeks after that, Hillary Clinton tweeted: “For too long, tech platforms have amplified disinformation and extremism with no accountability.” She called for more censorship in order to “bolster global democracy before it’s too late.” Apparently in order to “bolster global democracy,” we have to kill it and only allow opinions that the elites approve to be published and circulated. Now Stanford will help administer the coup de grace.