Posts Tagged ‘media’

How to route around federally filtered news and history?

January 22, 2008

This blog has started to document the extreme statist bias that occurs in our news and other political information sources, including even much of the libertarian blogosphere, by the effects, direct and indirect, of tax money, the motivation to lobby to obtain some of that tax money, and effects on surrounding culture, including even people who believe themselves to be “libertarians” but associate primarily with paycheck vampires and each other. The United States federal version of this paycheck vampire culture I call the Orange Line culture after a D.C.-area subway system near which most of the area’s media, governmental, and academic institutions are located (see the anti-blogroll at right for a partial list).

Ron Paul’s campaign routed around the D.C. establishment in two ways: (1) the Internet, and (2) Hollywood and New York City entertainment shows. It’s no coincidence that Paul was on Bill Maher, John Stewart, Jay Leno, and similar entertainment shows far more than on election news coverage by D.C.-centric reporters. The threat the Internet poses to traditional media has been much noticed, but less noticed has been the growing rift between Hollywood and D.C. and the willingness of Hollywood to facilitate the process of “routing around” Orange Line culture.

Mencius Moldbug among others has documented how such biases amount to information warfare against taxpayers. These federal attacks against the interests of property and freedom, which threaten the statist’s tax revenues and political power, have dominated mass media for at least a century. He proposes “Revipedia” as an “information warfare” project to counter the information warfare that is perpetrated, as Orwell described, in both political news and history against traditionalists and libertarians by paycheck vampire culture.

Mencius’ main good idea is to bias the research towards old and very new sources (via the bias of online sources towards pre-1922 and post-1995), which eliminates the intermediate ultra-statist 20th century but includes the relatively libertarian 18th and 19th centuries and the libertarian early years of the Internet. This introduces a bias that partically balances out the profound Orange Line bias still found in most media, including the blogosphere.

But MM goes on to propose administrators to filter content — supposedly chosen to share our “reactionary” values. This is a very bad idea, not out of some atavistic blind faith in democracy, but out of information warfare considerations. Administrators are dangerous because they can be targeted for smearing and corruption by the Orange Line. They are central points of failure that can be blackmailed. The extra power of administrators also discourages non-administrators from participating. I certainly would not participate unless I had equal editing privileges, and I’d encourage any other reactionary to act likewise.

Besides the crude temporal filter, we should use a crude geographical one. Our task is to eliminate the vast bias that has been and continues to be introduced into political thought and history by the narrow beltway culture. OrangeFreePedia might use, formally or informally, automatically or mentally, geolocation to exclude any contributions from the Washington, DC area, government universities, and government labs. My “Orange Line” anti-blog is a first stab at a mental filter that the reader can use.

Raimondo on the anti-Paul smear campaign

January 18, 2008

Justin Raimondo, Why the Beltway Libertarians Are Trying to Smear Ron Paul, is a good defense of the Paul newsletters and contains more good information on the nature of the smear campaign.

The hysteria that is energizing the campaign to smear Ron Paul and his supporters as “racist” is reaching a crescendo of viciousness, as the Beltway “libertarian” crowd revs up its motors for a righteous purge…Reason, of course, in it’s new incarnation as the official organ of the libertarian movement’s aging hipsters and would-be “cool kids,” vehemently opposes reaching out to middle and working class Americans: that is far too “square” for the black-leather-jacket-wearing Nick Gillespie, formerly associated with something called Suck magazine, and Matt Welch, who was an unknown quantity before getting the job at Reason…The decidedly “square” Dr. Paul—a ten-term Republican congressman from Texas, no less, and a pro-life country doctor of decidedly conservative social views—was and is anathema to Team Suck…

… [Radley] Balko laments that

“Unfortunately, the quotes pulled from these newsletters will for many only confirm those worst stereotypes of what he represents. The good ideas Paul represents then get sullied by association. The Ann Althouses of the world, for example, are now only more certain that opponents of federal anti-discrimination laws should have to prove that they aren’t racist before being taken seriously.”

It’s all about impressing Ms. Althouse, the notoriously dyspeptic and cranky lawyer-blogger-know-it-all…

….

Why the Orange Line fears libertarians

January 16, 2008

How does the Ron Paul candidacy threaten the journalists, think tankers, and academics who live and work along the Orange Line in Washington, D.C.? The answer is straightforward analysis of economic incentives, with some common cultural patterns thrown in.

Familiarize yourself with the main economic plank of Paul’s platform: eliminating the income tax with no replacement. If it succeeded, most of the friends, fellow partiers, sources, and sex partners of the Orange Line journalists and think tankers would be out of work. Even partial success (for example influencing other candidates into advocating deeper tax cuts to win Paul supporters, or motivating more Congressional candidates to run on an anti-tax and anti-war platform and thus creating a libertarian base in Congress) would harm economic interests in their social circles. Furthermore, there would be far fewer spoils for the lobbyists to lobby over, and fewer important articles for the journalists to write about D.C. politics, so they’d suffer personally as well as socially.

There are also “economic preferences” in politics not reflected in money — desires for power, desires to “change the world”, etc. (These two motivations are easily interchangeable near the Orange Line). D.C. attracts people from all over the country with strong preferences along these lines. These, too, would be hurt by a growing success of anti-tax libertarianism. To the extent Ron Paul succeeded, they would be less able to shut down the madrassas and save Muslim women from the dastardly Muslim male. They’d have less control over oil. They couldn’t provide all Americans with health insurance. And (keeping in mind this is only one of many motivations) they couldn’t provide as much protection for Israel. Generally speaking, practically everybody who came D.C. did so to get the federal government to solve various problems they are passionate about. They feel very strongly about these: much more strongly on average than people who do not live near the Orange Line. Success by Ron Paul or his acolytes would start stripping away from them the power they believe they need to solve these problems.

Remember, Paul ranks right up there with McCain, Huckabee and Romney for the 18-29 year old vote. Paul has come very close to winning a plurality of that vote in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Michigan, ranking far ahead of Thompson and Giuliani for the young vote in all three. Paul ranks ahead of _all_ the other Republican candidates in Internet searches and search results. Contrary to myth this represents not “spam” but just the high concentration of Paul supporters on the Internet, comparable to the high concentration of Democrats in the mainstream media (MSM). Both the Internet and MSM are unrepresentative slices of American political opinion.

But the Internet is growing at the expense of the MSM and Paul represents a large chunk of the future of Republican politics. The MSM, including its political bureaus along the Orange Line, finds the Internet threatening. Orange Line bureaucrats think of “radical” libertarians (i.e. those who would eliminate the income tax with no replacement) as maniacs out to destroy their jobs. Ron Paul brings these two fears together.

Moving beyond economic incentives and to human cultural patterns, the Orange Line crowd are a tribe, a monoculture defending itself from an alien tribe that is hostile to them, namely libertarians who don’t like how the federal tribe makes it’s living (via skimming off their paychecks). It’s tribal warfare.

All in all, it would be extremely surprising if the Orange Line did _not_ try to attack Paul. The only surprising thing for me has been to observe how much Orange Line “libertarians” are culturally aligned with the Orange Line rather than with anti-government libertarians.

This analysis has been a straightforward matter of economic incentives with some common human cultural patterns thrown into the mix. This economic analysis gets obscured because, on the one hand, those not privy to the workings of D.C. can only describe it metaphorically in terms of conspiracy theories. The Orange Liners laugh them off the stage. But the economic analyses in their rough form sound a bit like the conspiracy theories, so they too are shouted down by the bullhorns of the Oranger Liners and those who parrot their authoritative opinions. They are laughed off as “conspiracy theory” before the analysis can even start to begin. Most of the MSM when it comes to political issues, and even much of the “alternative media” like Reason Magazine and the Orange Line bloggers, are part of the Orange Line culture. Using these Orange Line bullhorns to make fun of or smear independent thought and independent sources of political power is one of the main levers of federal power.