WHAT if America were ruled by socialists already? And what if they achieved their rule undemocratically – through social media, traditional media, education, and even the Department of Justice and intelligence community?
This startling argument is inevitably partisan, but part of the argument is that partisans have politicised the institutions. Thus, only political allies deny institutional partisanship, and only their political opponents make an issue of it.
Socialists have always advocated a ‘long march through the institutions’, as Rudi Dutschke put it in 1967 (paraphrasing Antonio Gramsci from the 1930s). The Democratic Party and Republican Party used to align against such politicisation. However, in recent years, Democrats have shifted leftwards. In the process, they have enabled socialist conquest of the institutions, without popular sanction.
This is the argument articulated by Republican Congressman, Devin Nunes, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee from 2015 to 2019, in a political pamphlet which exposes how the Democratic Party has changed beyond recognition. Once the party of anti-communism and tax-cutting under President Kennedy, it is now dominated by a surging socialist movement and led by a presidential candidate who vows to ‘transform’ America.
Big Tech are key to this story. Socialists gained control of education in the 1960s, and journalism in the 1990s, but their conquest of the other institutions needed co-operation from social media and digital telecommunications. If you control the communications, you control information.
Surely big business should be anti-socialist? Well, virtue-signalling is good business when the alternative is constant pillorying as heartless capitalists. Secondly, sometimes new capital comes from old socialists. For instance, the Washington Post (the most circulated newspaper in the capital) published a supplement provided by China’s Communist Party at least once per month from 2011. Thirdly, socialism is a form of over-compensation for all that affluence and influence.
This is especially true for the social media barons. Unlike traditional media which can no longer turn a profit, unless, like the Washington Post, they take millions from China to include propaganda, social media makes money without China’s help, turning profits from ads and selling data. The primary reason is that social media are protected from accountability for content.
The guilt helps to explain why billionaires sit pretty in tax havens while pouring millions into Marxist organisations. For instance, Black Lives Matter received in excess of $100million in donations during the first two weeks of June 2020 while leading the violence that cost dozens of lives and between $1billion and $2billion in insured property damage. Social media and search engines were directing users to the myths of ‘overwhelmingly peaceful protests’ and ‘systemic racism’. Most elected Democrats, all the way up to Joe Biden, peddled the myths, while BLM linked to Act Blue (a fundraising arm of the Democratic National Committee).
Even traditionally non-partisan but conservative institutions are corrupted. For instance, in 2013, the CIA awarded a contract worth $600million to Amazon for cloud computing. In the same year, Jeff Bezos paid $250million for the Washington Post. By 2016, these institutions were ready to collude with the campaign to elect Hillary Clinton.
Her opponent was Donald Trump, who was committed to reforming the intelligence community, education, and social media. By Nunes’s estimate, his opponents invented hundreds of smears – as ridiculous as the front-page headlines describing him as Hitler.
The most damaging allegation was that Trump colluded with Russia. This allegation was invented by Hillary’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, in collusion with, of all people, Russian agents. The allegation was spread by co-partisans inside the intelligence and justice communities, which were still administered by Barack Obama’s appointees.
Trump won anyway, but the unelected part of government persisted with its subversion, so far as to spy on members of his administration, prosecute its earliest joiners, and attempt the impeachment of the President. Years later, most Americans remain ignorant that all the accused were cleared of colluding with Russia, while their prosecutors were proved to have abused their authorities in pursuit of partisan agendas.
The investigation into the Russia collusion hoax forms the bulk of the ethos behind Devin Nunes and his political pamphlet. He was chair of the Intelligence Committee in the House of Representatives until 2019, when the midterm elections reduced him to ranking member. In this minor position, he still leads Congressional investigations into the intelligence community’s partisanship.
In the process he uncovered social media conspiracies. Social media are local to him. Nunes is from the San Joaquin valley – one of the few constituencies in California that is still agricultural and (relatedly) Republican. It is less than 50 miles from Silicon Valley.
Nunes discovered that while mainstream media were hysterical about Russian influence on the 2016 election, Russia spent less than the Hillary campaign on Facebook ads – and most of the Russian ads were viewed retrospectively. Two weeks after she lost, Obama complained to Mark Zuckerberg that Facebook had not done enough to promote Clinton.
Nunes wrote his pamphlet in July 2020 to ‘document the destructive events of the last four years and the dark forces driving them’, to warn against a Joe Biden presidency, and to ‘help [readers to] stem the socialist tide’.
Nunes defines socialism as ‘giving vastly more power to the central government and a corresponding restriction on the people’s economic and personal freedom’. It aims at ‘total government power over the individual’. Thus, socialism and fascism are minor variants of ‘totalitarianism’. Strategically, ‘socialism is a resentful ideology that exploits and widens class conflict, racial strife, and other social cleavages’.
For the Democratic Party, race is the most convenient cleavage. The party sided with the Marxist myth of a racist nation in order to undermine conservative communities. Nunes asserts his own ethos as the descendant of Azorean Portuguese immigrant farmers, growing up in a majority Mexican community. This community was harmonious by shared experience, irrespective of ethnicity. Socialist dogma perversely erodes these ethnic identities by lumping them as Latinos.
Nunes chose a book as his medium, to bypass what he calls ‘the disinformation funnel’. Universities produce research that peddles socialist dogmas such as social justice theory. They also produce graduates indoctrinated in this fake theory, who go on to be over-represented in the media. Traditional media propagandise rather than investigate. Social media promote the propaganda and suppress the other side. The content is delivered via electronic devices to the individual, without the expert filters and friendly peer discussions that previously served as checks and balances on the individual’s credulity.
According to Nunes, the socialists don’t just filter information, they fake it. Nunes coins the term ‘narrative bombs’ – ‘highly publicised but false stories widely reported throughout the media, all geared toward creating a political effect’. For instance, when Trump referred to the MS-13 gang as ‘animals’, he was misreported as referring to immigrants. The media colluded in suppressing the corrections and amplifying the original story until the next narrative bomb was ready.
For Nunes, this is personal. In 2018, the McClatchy group of 30 newspapers accused him of hiding evidence of Trump’s collusion with Russia. The newspapers cited Left-wing groups with misleading names such as Campaign for Accountability. Those same groups would cite the newspapers – and the cycle went on.
One of the provocateurs was Fusion GPS – the same company that employed Christopher Steele to concoct a dossier of smears against Trump in 2016, for which the Democratic Party was the client. By 2018, the Campaign for Accountability was paying Fusion GPS to dig for dirt that could vaguely justify its many allegations that Nunes had violated Congressional ethics.
Of course, for Nunes, this will get worse with Joe Biden’s administration, which is stacked with appointees from Big Tech.
At one point, Nunes warns of ‘one-party rule under the Leftists now masquerading as Democrats.’ He warns that Democrats want to enfranchise felons, 16-year-olds, and non-citizens, make mail-in voting more corruptible, abolish the Electoral College, give free rein to partisanship in the media and education, and go easy on Left-wing political violence.
Nunes doesn’t specify many solutions. He urges the reader to share his pamphlet, to stay out of the ‘disinformation funnel’, and question the ‘narrative bombs’. Nunes advocates communications ‘as much as possible through newsletters, direct mailings, podcasts, and other means’. Further, ‘no conservative or Republican should talk to any mainstream media outlet’. This returns some control, but also amounts to self-ghettoisation. Parler is the one outlet Nunes specifies as ‘a viable place where Americans from across the political spectrum can talk freely’, but Parler ended the year with about 2.3million daily users, compared with Twitter’s 187million.
This is little comfort now that the Democrats – or socialism’s allies, as Nunes characterises them – control the White House, the House of Representatives, and (thanks to the Georgia runoffs) the Senate too.