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6

leftous wrote

Obvious move to slowly phase out the "free democracy" aspects of their society, just as Trump is doing. Without a credible free press, the entirety of liberal ideology is undermined.

3

sand wrote

interesting idea; seems true. do you have recommended reading on this strategy/its history? (sorry to impose -- no worries if you don't have energy/time to guide. i can do my own digging when i get time)

6

leftous wrote (edited )

The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. On the receiving end you get not only one lie—a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days—but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.

~ Hannah Arendt, a scholar on the origins of totalitarianism

The goal of the totalitarian state is to wield "the truth" as a weapon of control; they can do what they please with subjects that cannot discern what the truth is. The small buffer of truth and dissent the corporate media gatekeeps into public discourse is now eroding with their credibility.

There are already cases of authoritarian despots using "Fake News" to shutdown dissent and even an American history of this strategy that can be traced back to the idea of liberal "press freedom" becoming entrenched.

I am not sure if there is a single text or author that puts these ideas together. I'd like to read it as well. Overall I would say this "fake news" phenomenon demonstrates the folly of liberal democracy.