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Slava the Ukrainian Socialist

May 10, 2024

Not only Socialists read Marx and Engels to understand the evolution of socio-economic superstructures. Capitalist think tanks are also studying scientific socialism and dialectical materialism to better protect their class interests. They are increasingly desperate, ready to spare no cost, to prevent workers of the world from uniting and overthrowing current oppressive systems. 

The establishment has pushed Cultural Marxism, Critical Race Theory, and other Pseudo-Marxist ideas to confuse those interested in understanding class contradictions. And the ruling class has worked tirelessly for decades to cultivate methods of control that it believes could stop people from taking revolutionary steps. 

It would be naïve of true Marxists to ignore this important fact that the imperialists have spent billions of dollars and decades cultivating a fake Left; that the world's richest and most-powerful wouldn't fight us for control of means of production and the establishment of Socialist states worldwide.

To understand the dialectics of censorship, our research focus should be twofold. First, to explain how Capitalists prepare against potential proletarian uprisings by explaining, clearly, the methods they deploy, highlighting different examples from the 21st century and drawing parallels between earlier digital age techniques vs. the advanced approaches of today’s reality. 

Our second strategy should be to analyze new solutions the imperialists employ to prevent any possibility of a revolution; including things like digital ID, carbon restrictions, and smart 15-minute cities; and how we can combat these creeping fascist moves by explaining to the masses the underlying purpose of such measures.

Let’s start with the evolution of censorship and discuss the crackdown methods prior to the internet and social media, in an attempt to better understand the historical context of modern censorship.

Pre-digital censorship

Throughout the annals of history, censorship has cast a shadow over the realm of free expression, with its roots extending back to ancient Rome and China. In these ancient civilizations, rulers wielded their authority to censor texts deemed subversive or critical of the government. 

Similarly, in ancient Greece, the city-state of Athens appointed officials known as "censors" to scrutinize public behavior and literature, ensuring no content disrupted the established social order. The trial and execution of Socrates exemplified censorship's purported role in "protecting" the public welfare, a notion that resonates in contemporary struggles with social media shaming. 

Throughout the ages, the tension between the principles of freedom of speech and censorship has endured, with figures like the playwright Euripides championing the cause of unrestricted expression.

Medieval and Enlightenment eras 

During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church exerted significant control over written material. The Index Librorum Prohibitorum, a compendium of banned books, served as a mechanism to suppress publications deemed heretical or morally objectionable, resulting in the censorship of countless works.

Despite attempts to regulate the dissemination of information, during the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods, we witnessed a surge in intellectual freedom, facilitated by the invention of the printing press. 

Nevertheless, authorities remained vigilant in censoring works deemed blasphemous or seditious, leading to clashes with notable figures such as Galileo Galilei and Voltaire.

The establishment of postal services in the 18th century facilitated wartime censorship, exemplified by practices in the British Empire. 

The emergence of newspapers in 19th-century Europe presented new challenges, prompting concerns about information control during times of crisis. The Enlightenment era spurred advocacy for individual rights, culminating in Sweden's enactment of press freedom laws in 1766.

While press censorship persisted in 18th-century Europe, the 19th century witnessed the ascendancy of an independent press. Revolutions in this period ignited waves of censorship as governments sought to stifle dissenting voices. 

Last century

Despite evolving societal attitudes, apprehensions surrounding controversial literature endured, as evidenced by recurrent threats of censorship against Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."

The abhorrent spectacle of book burning in Nazi Germany in 1933 signaled a foreboding escalation in censorship tactics, foreshadowing greater calamities. The fascists weaponized censorship as a tool of propaganda and political coercion. Dissident voices were silenced, and information was meticulously controlled to perpetuate the regime's grip on power.

In 1964, the publication of "The Invisible Government" by David Wise and Thomas Ross challenged the veil of secrecy shrouding the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), despite concerted efforts by the Agency to suppress it. This exposé, which coincided with escalating U.S. involvement in Vietnam, reshaped public perceptions of the CIA and galvanized the anti-war movement, fueling the emergence of the "deep state" narrative.

The Cold War era witnessed a surge in censorship efforts as governments on both sides of the ideological divide sought to manipulate the flow of information to shape public opinion. There was a proliferation of censorship tactics, including government surveillance, blacklisting, and propaganda campaigns.

We see how censorship methods have evolved time and grown in sophistication. The appearance of the internet changed everything. Before, only activists and famous figures were usually targeted, as well as those who chose to be on the front lines of the informational war, like journalists and writers. Today, everyone who has social media is subjected to censorship. The next article of this series will discuss the beginnings of internet censorship.

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