Opinion

Leftists Want to Control Everything

One of the first freedoms found in the First Amendment is “freedom of the press.” The design of this amendment was not so the press could report anything it wanted or leave some things unreported. The goal was so the press would report accurately no matter what political party was in power with no restrictions by the government

The press was to be an equal opportunity truth-teller. This is no longer the case, and it’s the main reason why our country is so divided. The media — the press — cater to one side, and it does it in a less than rigorous way. Consider the following from Joel B. Pollak:

The media seem not to have watched the impeachment hearings: they stopped paying attention the moment the witnesses’ prepared statements were leaked and the Democrats’ talking points were posted. Nor did many journalists bother to read the transcripts of the witnesses’ depositions in the earlier, closed-door hearings.

Partly that was because Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) rushed the public hearings before some of the most important transcripts were ready. Partly that was because the sheer length of the transcripts — hundreds of pages each — was daunting for journalists working on deadline.

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But partly it was because some journalists are simply lazy, and others share the Democrats’ goal of bringing down President Donald Trump by any means necessary.

I believe the major problem is that many people do not read what we read. They are oblivious to alternative news sources. They get their information second-hand. That’s why Schiff and Co. used so much hearsay evidence since they knew the media would spoon feed it to the masses and the masses would consume it believing it was fresh from the farm.

Where would we be today without alternative news sources? The thing of it is, there are many people who are opposed to the existing political structure who do nothing to change it. They’ve given up. They won’t act unless they can find a perfect candidate. There is no perfect candidate. Keep in mind that in terms of politics, there are thousands of political positions in the running every two years. It’s not just the presidency. There are 534 members of Congress in addition to every state legislature and county government. This doesn’t count the judiciary that has a near-monopoly on telling us how to think, believe, and act.

Much of what we’re facing today is a result of educational rot (get your children out of government schools), sloppy thinking (teach your children how to think), malformed information fed to us by a corrupt media (read alternative news sources), and churches that teach a very narrow biblical worldview and a pessimistic eschatology.

As a result, millions of people believe the government is their savior. Why do people from socialist countries come to the United States and vote for socialism here? Because they believe socialism is done better here. They don’t realize that if the political scales are tipped, they will be right back where they started. Many of these immigrants aren’t after freedom; they are after a better quality of free stuff. Of course, this isn’t all immigrants, but it’s enough of them that a grand political shift is taking place.

Some people were able to peer into the future by having an uncanny ability to put all the pieces of the present together. Alvin Toffler (1928-2016) was probably America’s most noted futurist. His books Future Shock (1970) and The Third Wave (1980) set the standard for predicting social, political, information, and technological trends. Future Shock sold more than seven million copies around the world. This is an astounding number for a non-fiction book “considering that it doesn’t deal with Hollywood or sex.”1. The Third Wave was another international bestseller.

The following is taken from his 1983 book Previews and Premises. It’s an extended interview with Toffler of what he saw coming more than 40 years ago. While he missed seeing the streaming revolution, downloadable music and video, cell phone use, and much more, he did get one big thing very right. It helps explain why liberals want control of platforms like Facebook, Youtube, and Google:

Imagine the decline of the mass media and the appearance of direct broadcast satellite, cable, cassette, ad hoc networks, and small circulation, small audience media for every conceivable group in society, and information flooding in from every part of the world. Imagine not centralized data banks and computers, but an Apple or TRS-80 [an over-sized personal computer by Radio Shack, often called the “Trash-80”] in every kitchen, all linked up in ever-changing networks. That’s more like we’re headed and it’s a nightmare for central planners.

That kind of society is much harder to control from the top. The “decision load” of the planners becomes literally unmanageable.

Here’s the key: the more diverse or differentiated any society becomes, the more the local conditions vary, the faster the changes become, the more variation there is from moment to moment…. You can’t make good decisions unless you can continually monitor their effects. For this you need people who are located on the periphery to tell you what’s happening. You need information and you need it on time. You most especially need information about your errors. It’s called negative feedback.

But that’s the last thing you, as a central planner, want to hear. You’re always afraid your boss will punish you. Whole careers are built on denying error.

So the people down below, not being stupid, sugar coat the information or just plain lie, or send in the truth too late, or play any number of other games with the information.

Why not? If they can’t participate in making a decision, or setting quotas, and have no responsibility for the decision, it’s better to tell you what you want to hear or, better yet, tell you as little as possible. Or, alternatively, drown you in useless information. They have no control over how the information will be used. It might even be used against their best interests.

At a minimum, the central planner must have multiple, parallel channels of information extending into every capillary of the system under control, and he or she needs internal devil’s advocates, whistle-blowers, critics and nay-sayers who have nothing to lose by talking back. But I know of no centrally planned economy in which anything remotely like this exists — and for obvious reasons. Any such system, honestly run, poses a continuing threat to the central planner.

So the central planner in a non-participatory system lives in a world of lies, illusions and anachronisms—and whole economies can be wrecked as a result, and, indeed, have been. History is littered with stupid decisions made by quite intelligent central planners.

* * * * *

I don’t care how intelligent the planners are, how many Ph.D.s they hire, or how good they are at delegating, or how big their computers are. At some point, in the high-diversity, fast-change environment we live in, they’re overwhelmed. The people at the center have to make too many decisions about too many things they can’t possibly understand.2

Toffler wasn’t a mystic. He was a student of history and social and economic trends.

It’s not difficult to predict what damage political and economic planning can do and why it is impossible. Socialists claim it’s the duty of the State to implement laws to break down economic and social “inequities,” a form of class warfare, pitting the “rich” over against the “poor.” The effect of socialist policies has been disastrous. Rich and poor do reach parity under a socialist system — everybody becomes poor, except those implementing the laws.

  1. Alvin Toffler, Previews & Premises: An Interview with the Author of Future Shock and The Third Wave (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1983), 1. []
  2. Toffler, Previews & Premises, 96–98. []
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