So, yesterday I wrote:
An agent provocateur seeking to discredit the right-wing conservative sliver of the European political spectrum would have a hard time doing a better job. It is the perfect excuse to persecute and silence opposing voices… We’re heading for dark days.
And today we find indications that dusk is indeed setting.
Via EURef we get the delightful news that in the Guardian one Thomas Hylland Eriksen writes:”anyone familiar with the darker waters of the blogosphere would for years have been aware of the existence of a vibrant cyberscene characterised by unmitigated hatred of the new Europe, aggressive denunciations of the ‘corrupted, multiculturalist power elites’ and pejorative generalisations about immigrants, targeting Muslims in particular”
Breivik must willingly have allowed himself to be brainwashed by Islamophobic and extreme rightwing websites. However, had he instead been forced to receive his information through a broadsheet newspaper, where not all the stories dealt with Europe’s loss of confidence and the rise of militant Islam, it is conceivable that his world would have looked slightly different.
No, you read that correctly: Had Breivik been forced to gather his news from the MSM only, he might not have gone over the edge. It is all so clear now: it’s the fault of the blogosphere! It my fault!
Excuse me while a retreat to a small dark room to flagellate myself, wail uncontrollably and gnash my teeth.
All joking aside, as Dr. North writes: This is seriously scary stuff. A world where the MSM retains its monopoly as information providers, where “citizen journalists” are corralled and then banned where they do not follow the approved path: This is the voice of a new totalitarianism.
Attempts to regulate the internet are not new, as Witterings from Witney reminds us.
Unfortunately what the events in Norway have done is to provide politicians with the ideal opportunity to control that which they fear most – free speech.
In May the Guardian reported that Nicholas Sarkozy had called for international regulation of the web, at the G8 summit, something David Cameron was reported to be against. Forward to July and the Guardian reports that David Cameron is in favour of press regulation, but one regulated by an independent body that is free from government interference – although we have yet to see any ‘independent’ body that is free from government interference, one way or the other.
As the EURef post shows, the Norway atrocity may be the catalyst in a renewed, re-invigorated drive to shut down independent bloggers, independent thought. To drive it underground even further.
But that will only worsen the situation. Democracy and free speech are the pressure valves used to let off the feelings of frustration of the disenfranchised and the dissenters. Remove them, and you have a pressure vessel, in which the steam gathers strength. And having no way to go, it will eventually blow up the whole vessel. As WfW comments: The more politicians attempt to regulate our thought words and deeds, the more chance there is of a tragic event like the Norway bombing and shooting reoccurring.