With the arrest of Catalonian President Carles Puigdemont this week and the cutting off of Internet access and visitation rights for whistleblower Julian Assange by the Ecuadorian Embassy in the UK, moves towards the criminalization and banning of political opposition are accelerating. Now, not content to censor individuals and websites, the major technology corporations are moving to censor books.
I’ve noticed that what we are witnessing in the United States (and much of the West, as I understand it) is a case study in the break down of civil society and the emergence of civil conflict. I imagine that if you could see into the living rooms and street corners of the American, French and Russian revolutions or the American, Spanish or English Civil Wars, you would find a lot that is similar to the current dynamic.
But this time something new is happening. This time, huge portions of the conversation (perhaps the majority) are happening online. And, it seems, the entire process is rolling out in what feels like “fast forward.” This is interesting. And, of course, in this most dangerous of times, extraordinarily dangerous.
…two things we can now be sure the internet will deliver up at Easter are rehashes of the tedious “Jesus never existed” thesis and memes telling us that “Easter is actually pagan!”. The one above has become one of the most popular in recent years, so much so that its “Ishtar = Easter” claim has taken on internet factoid status…
It doesn’t take a genius to notice that something is up with the markets. On this chart, the great economic crash of 2008 barely shows up against the enormity of both the Dot Com boom and the “Quantitative Easing” boom of the past five or six years. I have been waiting for shoes to drop for a while now (obviously to my fiscal detriment thus far!), so don’t count on me as any sort of financial wizard or market predictor.