Tag Archives | Freedom
The New York Times reports on some disturbing developments on China:
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BEIJING — If anyone wonders whether the Chinese government has tightened its grip on electronic communications since protests began engulfing the Arab world, Shakespeare may prove instructive.
A Beijing entrepreneur, discussing restaurant choices with his fiancée over their cellphones last week, quoted Queen Gertrude’s response to Hamlet: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” The second time he said the word “protest,” her phone cut off.
He spoke English, but another caller, repeating the same phrase on Monday in Chinese over a different phone, was also cut off in midsentence.
A host of evidence over the past several weeks shows that Chinese authorities are more determined than ever to police cellphone calls, electronic messages, e-mail and access to the Internet in order to smother any hint of antigovernment sentiment. In the cat-and-mouse game that characterizes electronic communications here, analysts suggest that the cat is getting bigger, especially since revolts began to ricochet through the Middle East and North Africa, and homegrown efforts to organize protests in China began to circulate on the Internet about a month ago.
The self-styled independent watchdog organization Freedom House has just released a report entitled “Freedom in the World 2011: The Authoritarian Challenge to Democracy,” warning that “A total of 25 countries showed significant declines in 2010, more than double the 11 countries exhibiting noteworthy gains.” Some of the key findings include:
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Free: The number of countries designated by Freedom in the World as Free in 2010 stands at 87, two fewer than the previous year, and representing 45 percent of the world’s 194 countries and 43 percent of the world’s population.
Partly Free: The number of Partly Free countries increased to 60, or 31 percent of all countries assessed by the survey, comprising 22 percent of the world’s total population.
Via Media Roots:
In George Orwell’s 1984, Britain is depicted as a totalitarian police state that is ruled by the Party, or Big Brother — an enigmatic, ubiquitous elite that controls society through heavy surveillance, nationalist propaganda and historical revisionism.
The concept seems like a far-fetched portrayal of a Democratic nation’s demise into totalitarianism, but in America’s “post 9/11” climate of fear, the United States government has been building a comprehensive grid of surveillance and control that bears frightening similarities to Orwell’s fictional narrative.
The glaring difference between the two is that Orwell’s dystopian society is overtly totalitarian. America, conversely, operates under a “soft fascism” – an insidious, systematic method of preventative action and corporate top-down control over society’s media, economy and politics – while maintaining the necessary illusion of personal choice and freedom. A populous with little to no concept of their subjugation makes them the perfect subjects to rule.… Read the rest
Good question. Alasdair Wilkins asks on io9.com:
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Corruption is as old as human history. For as long as people have organized themselves into groups with powerful leaders, those leaders have sometimes abused their power. But evolutionary biologists say corruption might actually be holding societies together.
That’s the theory put forward by evolutionary biologists Francisco Ubeda and Edgar Duenez. The pair used game theory to figure out why people cooperate to form a society even though the ones in charge are corrupt. The model they developed assumes that government officials and law enforcers — in other words, the individuals responsible for punishing noncooperators — can get away with a certain amount of noncooperation themselves in the form of corruption, and that they can sidestep most punishments when caught being corrupt.
Their findings make a lot of intuitive sense — most people will continue to cooperate to keep their society together, in part because they don’t want to be punished by law enforcers.
Site editor’s note: This article was originally published as part of the Russ Kick-edited Disinformation anthology, You Are STILL Being Lied To. Hancock’s latest book is a novel dealing with some of the issues presented below titled ENTANGLED: The Eater of Souls.
We are told that the “War on Drugs” is being waged, on our behalf, by our governments and their armed bureaucracies and police forces, to save us from ourselves. “Potential for abuse and harm” are supposed to be the criteria by which the use of drugs is suppressed—the greater a drug’s potential for abuse and harm, the greater and more vigorous the degree of suppression, and the more draconian the penalties applied against its users.
In line with this scheme drugs are typically ranked into a hierarchy: Schedules I, II, and III in the US, Classes A, B, and C in the UK, and so on and so forth all around the world.… Read the rest
A Rand Paul supporter stomped on the head of a MoveOn.org volunteer Monday night outside of a debate between the Kentucky Senate candidate and his opponent, Jack Conway. The woman, identified by CNN as Lauren Valle, was pushed to the ground -- her blond wig was pulled off in the scuffle -- and then held down...
Nathan Janes writes on Pupaganda.com:
“Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible. Even if all are miserable, all will believe themselves happy, because the government will tell them that they are so.“— Bertrand Russell, 20th Century Philosopher & Nobel Prize Winner
The most widespread form of slavery today is of the mind. Individuals are controlled and managed by the Establishment on a level that can be hard to recognize. Disinformation is continuously spread by the mass media. Children are schooled by the State yet never receive education. The traditional family is in danger of extinction. Our food and water is full of toxins. We have adapted to incremental changes that amount to significant threats to our personal freedoms, independent thoughts, and quality of life.… Read the rest