Ask a properly brainwashed liberal why they support the censorship of someone who disputes US narratives about Russian war crimes in Bucha or Mariupol and they’ll probably tell you something like “Well, it’s disinformation!” or “Because it’s propaganda!” or “How much is Putin paying you??” But what they won’t be able to do is articulate exactly what specific harm is being done by such speech in the same way that they could when defending the censorship of Covid skeptics or the factions responsible for last year’s riot in the Capitol building.
The one argument you’ll get, if you really press the issue, is that the United States is in a propaganda war with Russia, and it is in our society’s interests for our media institutions to help the United States win that propaganda war. Cold wars are fought between nuclear powers because hot warfare would risk annihilating both nations, leaving only other forms of war like psychological warfare available. There’s no argument that this new escalation in censorship saves lives or protects elections, but there is an argument that it can help facilitate the long-term cold war agendas of the United States.
But what does that mean exactly? It means if we accept this argument we’re knowingly consenting to a situation where all the major news outlets, websites and apps that people look to for information about the world are geared not toward telling us true things about reality, but toward beating Vladimir Putin in some weird psywar. It means abandoning any ambitions of being a truth-based civilization that is guided by facts, and instead accepting an existence as a propaganda-based civilization geared toward making sure we all think thoughts that hurt Moscow’s long-term strategic interests.
And it’s just absolutely freakish that this is a decision that has already been made for us, without any public discussion as to whether or not that’s the kind of society we want to live in. They jumped right from “We’re censoring speech to protect you from violence and viruses” to “We’re censoring speech to help our government conduct information warfare against a foreign adversary.” Without skipping a beat.