Our successor to This Week in the Guardian, This Week in the New Normal is our weekly chart of the progress of autocracy, authoritarianism and economic restructuring around the world.
1. The French “Election”
The new season of “Presidential Election” has just kicked off, and they are already repeating plot points from the American version.
We have the “centrist” establishment figure taking on the “far-right nationalist”. We had a “leftist firebrand” too, but as usual, he lost on the preliminary rounds after getting just enough mainstream air time to pretend real change was possible.
Blah, blah, blah. Whatever. Macron will “win”, or maybe – maybe – Le Pen will “win”. Either way, there will be no democracy and no real “election”.
Let’s have a little reality check on Emmanuel Macron, shall we?
He is an ex-employee of the Rothschild investment bank. In 2016 he announced he was running for President as leader of a political party that was less than a year old. He had never even run for office of any kind before, let alone won.
Nevertheless, his “movement” stormed over the established political parties and he won the presidency.
This year, despite Covid and lockdowns and eighteen months of yellow vest protests, he’s still expected to win a second term.
Does any of that really make sense?
2020 saw the most obviously-rigged US Presidential election since 2000, and there was a decidedly shady UK election in 2019. We’ve watched Bernie get cheated off the ballot twice in 4 years, and blithely take it on the chin each time.
We are living through year two of an entirely fake pandemic, staged with the cooperation of dozens of national governments, intelligence agencies and multi-lateral organizations.
…do we really think “elections” mean anything at all? That they would leave something like that up to chance?
There is no reason to ever believe any election is genuine.
2. Elon Musk buying Twitter
You’ve probably heard that billionaire Tesla-founder Elon Musk is putting together a financial package to become the sole proprietor of Twitter. Having already purchased 10% of the social media giant’s shares, Musk turned down a seat on the board of directors and decided to just buy the whole place.
To be clear, we don’t much like Musk and trust him less. The whole story is likely just another non-issue for people to squabble over.
…that said, you’d have to be made of stone not to take some bitter pleasure in watching the squirming of “liberal” pundits who are suddenly having their own sophistry turned against them.
Remember how those of us concerned about corporate censorship have always been told that “private companies can do what they want” and “if you don’t like, go make your own platform”? Well, apparently those arguments no longer apply.
In fact, according to Robert Reich in the Guardian, “going to another platform” is not an option. Funny that.
Mehdi Hasan rants about Musk’s “problematic free speech escapade” in his latest show, setting up a strawman so large he could burn it and guarantee a bountiful harvest.
The Conversation hosts an article that argues allowing everyone equal room to express themselves is actually bad for free speech because it doesn’t protect “the vulnerable” from harassment.
But the prize for the most-revealing reaction goes to Max Boot of the Washington Post, who said on twitter:
I am frightened by the impact on society and politics if Elon Musk acquires Twitter. He seems to believe that on social media anything goes. For democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less.
— Max Boot 🇺🇦 (@MaxBoot) April 14, 2022
It’s delightful. From the refusal to acknowledge that the paper he works for was only just recently purchased by Jeff Bezos, the second richest man in the world, to the coy euphemism for censorship, all good stuff.
But why is all this happening? And where is it all going?
There are a few ways this could go. For one, the government might step in and stop Musk from buying the company. Protecting social media from becoming a “monopoly”, scoring some points with the “left” for “standing up to billionaires”, and setting a precedent for state interference in private business.
It could be that Musk does buy twitter, and scraps any limitations in line with his “free speech absolutist” claims…but then nation-states will be “forced” to make new rules limiting speech since “irresponsible tech companies refuse to act to stop hate speech” or something along those lines.
Whatever happens, its easy to see how this could further the war on free speech, one way or another. Or maybe nothing will happen at all, and it’s just fun and games.
3. “Russian Cyberattacks” incoming?
The last few days has seen a barrage of warnings and predictions of possible Russian cyber warfare.
The Telegraph warns that work from home software could be vulnerable to Russian cyber attacks. The Guardian says that “cyber crime groups” have “publicly pledged support for Putin”. ITV wants you to be scared of cyberattacks taking down the NHS or a nuclear power stations.
Apparently, those darn Ruskies have already started, attacking not the Western banking system, the NHS OR a nuclear power station…but the Ukrainian post office, for printing propaganda stamps.
It’s all ludicrous propaganda, of course…but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a “cyber attack” (or something they pretend is a cyber-attack).
Remember, Klaus Schwab and the WEF have been predicting a “major cyber attack” with “Covid-like characteristics” (whatever that means) for over a year now, including holding a “cyber pandemic” training exercise as part of Cyber Polygon in October 2021, well before the Russian “special operation” in Ukraine.
With both the energy and food markets beings put under deliberate pressure to raise the cost of living, a “cyberattack” to take out the power grid or further hurt supply lines is not at all out of the question. But if it does come, it will have nothing to do with Russia.
BONUS: Vice headline of the week
This week VICE is asking an important question: How come you’ve heard of El Chapo and Pablo Escobar…but no FEMALE druglords? Sexism, that’s why.
You've heard of Pablo Escobar and El Chapo, but probably not these top drug boss women. pic.twitter.com/qHfCLTSZkm
— VICE News (@VICENews) April 20, 2022
We will never be a truly progressive society until the CIA starts giving men AND women equal opportunities to exploit desperate third-world farmers, funnel drugs into the inner cities and launder US taxpayer money to fund black ops and military coups in Latin America. #GirlDrugBoss
It reminds me of this video from a couple of years ago, good for a Sunday afternoon chuckle…
All told a pretty hectic week for the new normal crowd, and we didn’t even mention court employees losing their jobs for refusing the “vaccine” or German TV claiming Russians “aren’t European, even though they look European”.