The recently revealed Twitter Files suggest that political cheating was attempted in America through ‘censorship by surrogate’.

“Handled.” That one word, responding to a 2020 demand to censor a list of Twitter users, speaks volumes about the thousands of documents released by Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, on Friday night. As many of us have long suspected, there were back channels between Twitter and the Biden 2020 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to ban critics or remove negative stories. Those seeking to discuss the scandal were simply “handled,” and nothing else had to be said.

No one can know for sure whether, if the Biden scandals had not been “handled”, the presidential election could have resulted differently. But the secret manipulation of the public seems offensive in its own right. Like the creepy Charles Boyer character in Gaslight the fact checkers told the suspicious public that they were only imagining things about the 2020 elections; that they were going mad, morphing into Nazis, when they were not. What’s really frightening is how cynical, how feigned the supposed campaign to Save Democracy all was. But outrage in this case is misplaced, or at least a waste of time. Politics is not conducted under Marquis of Queensbury rules.

The object of politics is power and the methods used are “by any means necessary”. A permanent majority or a New World Order is the constant desire of politicians who believe they alone have the wisdom to order the affairs of humanity. They will pursue it as long as they can, and not just through Twitter. Assuming one wants to retard the march toward autocracy, it is necessary to derail the concept of the Divine Right of Kings, which takes the modern form of assuming that a select group of virtuous superior people have been annointed to carry out History’s plans. This means arguing for the wisdom of crowds. How shall we do that?

First, point out that elite governance, the admirers of Communist China notwithstanding, has its shortcomings. Autocracy is built on vast social and bureaucratic constituencies. It’s a giant pyramid of rice bowls. This structure gives autocracy its characteristic ponderous fragility. One of the reasons democracy is better than autocracy is that a democratic society can be in many simultaneous states at once without being compelled to resolve itself. It contains much more information than a strictly regimented one. No top-down administrative state, however elaborate, can process the complexity of human activity without creating bottlenecks. Not even China. The bandwidth of life is just so much greater that autocracy inevitably gums up the works.

“In recent weeks, Apple Inc. has accelerated plans to shift some of its production outside China … It is telling suppliers to plan more actively for assembling Apple products elsewhere in Asia, particularly India and Vietnam.” The reason? China cannot adapt its Covid lockdown policies to changing epidemiological conditions and public fatigue.

Turmoil at a place called iPhone City helped propel Apple’s shift. At the giant city-within-a-city in Zhengzhou, China, as many as 300,000 workers work at a factory run by Foxconn to make iPhones and other Apple products. …The Zhengzhou factory was convulsed in late November by violent protests. In videos posted online, workers upset about wages and Covid-19 restrictions could be seen throwing items and shouting “Stand up for your rights!”  …

Coming after a year of events that weakened China’s status as a stable manufacturing center, the upheaval means Apple no longer feels comfortable having so much of its business tied up in one place, according to analysts and people in the Apple supply chain.

The stability of autocracies is an illusion. Hidden systemic risk builds up over time because the pyramid of rice bowls has no give. What some analysts mistake for stability is repetition, like the rigged outcome of a biased coin. Once it makes a mistake it tends to get stuck on stupid. Chinese lockdowns remain because it “is the requirement that the regime never admit mistakes. In China, as in all tyrannies … the leader is always right—that is, the Party cannot err.” Looking West from China one might add that for the same reason Russia cannot retreat from Ukraine: Putin can never err. Dismayingly neither can the new autocratic Western elite. The Twitter Files will be dismissed by them as yet another conspiracy. The supposed interference never existed. But those denials could not keep things hidden forever. The tension between reality and the curated Narrative, which is what old Twitter became, increased until it snapped like a rubber band. The greatest ambition of power, to ‘know everything in advance’, could not anticipate discovery.

Politics is not conducted under Marquis of Queensbury rules. But you knew that already.

Books: Against the Great Reset: Eighteen Theses Contra the New World Order Kindle Edition by Michael Walsh (editor). In this timely and necessary book, Michael Walsh has gathered trenchant critical perspectives on the Great Reset from eighteen eminent writers and journalists from around the world. Though I wouldn’t exactly consider myself an eminent writer, mine is one of the 18 chapters in this book, and I think it’s worthwhile.

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