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Michael Senger on Fauci's Red Guards
Michael Senger published a terrific commentary today on our lawsuit findings, which provides helpful historical context.
Michael Senger, who writes at the Substack, The New Normal, framed the recent findings in our free speech Missouri v. Biden case with some helpful historical context. He opens his piece by introducing the concept of “forced preference falsification”, which helps explain how citizens in a totalitarian society are conditioned to go along with policies that are clearly repressive:
One aspect of dictatorships that citizens of democratic nations often find puzzling is how the population can be convinced to support such dystopian policies. How do they get people to run those concentration camps? How do they find people to take food from starving villagers? How can they get so many people to support policies that, to any outsider, are so needlessly destructive, cruel, and dumb?
The answer lies in forced preference falsification. When those who speak up in principled opposition to a dictator’s policies are punished and forced into silence, those with similar opinions are forced into silence as well, or even forced to pretend they support policies in which they do not actually believe. Emboldened by this facade of unanimity, supporters of the regime’s policies, or even those who did not previously have strong opinions, become convinced that the regime’s policies are just and good—regardless of what those policies actually are—and that those critical of them are even more deserving of punishment.
He then provides a vivid example of forced preference falsification from Mao’s totalitarian regime:
One of history’s great masters of forced preference falsification was Chairman Mao Zedong. As László Ladány recalled, Mao’s decades-long campaign to remold the people of China in his own image began as soon as he took power after the Chinese Civil War.
By the fall of 1951, 80 percent of all Chinese had had to take part in mass accusation meetings, or to watch organized lynchings and public executions. These grim liturgies followed set patterns that once more were reminiscent of gangland practices: during these proceedings, rhetorical questions were addressed to the crowd, which, in turn, had to roar its approval in unison—the purpose of the exercise being to ensure collective participation in the murder of innocent victims; the latter were selected not on the basis of what they had done, but of who they were, or sometimes for no better reason than the need to meet the quota of capital executions which had been arbitrarily set beforehand by the Party authorities. From that time on, every two or three years, a new “campaign” would be launched, with its usual accompaniment of mass accusations, “struggle meetings,” self-accusations, and public executions… Remolding the minds, “brainwashing” as it is usually called, is a chief instrument of Chinese communism, and the technique goes as far back as the early consolidation of Mao’s rule in Yan’an.
This decades-long campaign of forced preference falsification reached its apex during the Cultural Revolution, in which Mao deputized radical youths across China, called Red Guards, to purge all vestiges of capitalism and traditional society and impose Mao Zedong Thought as China’s dominant ideology. Red Guards attacked anyone they perceived as Mao’s enemies, burned books, persecuted intellectuals, and engaged in the systematic destruction of their country’s own history, demolishing China’s relics en masse.
Forced preference falsification can operate outside of fully totalitarian societies, and Senger describes. This is among the many reasons why freedom of speech must be central to a free society:
Through this method of forced preference falsification, any mass of people can be made to support virtually any policy, no matter how destructive or inimical to the interests of the people. Avoiding this spiral of preference falsification is therefore why freedom of speech is such a central tenet of the Enlightenment, and why it is given such primacy in the First Amendment of the US Constitution. No regime in American history has ever previously had the power to force preference falsification by systematically and clandestinely silencing those critical of its policies.
Until now. As it turns out, an astonishing new release of discovery documents in Missouri v. Biden—in which NCLA Legal is representing plaintiffs including Jay Bhattacharya, Martin Kulldorff, and Aaron Kheriaty against the Biden administration for violations of free speech during Covid—reveal a vast federal censorship army, with more than 50 federal officials across at least 11 federal agencies having secretly coordinated with social media companies to censor private speech.
Singer then goes on to summarize the findings and evidence we uncovered on discovery, which I described in my post from yesterday. You can read Senger’s entire piece here: