Authoritarians Suck

By Jeffrey Wernick

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

These words are engraved at the U.S. Holocaust Museum and are adapted from a sermon by the German pastor Martin Niemöller following World War II. In this repentance we find eternal wisdom about how to respond to authoritarians of any stripe.

Thankfully, today we are not faced with the prospect of being dragged off to concentration camps, although some have actually proposed “re-education” camps for those they deem guilty of thought crimes.

The self-appointed guardians of “acceptable thought” – specifically the tyrannical authoritarians of Big Tech – would have us believe they are the ultimate arbiters of truth. Their desire for limited thought and unlimited power is as dangerous today as it has been throughout history.

Across millennia people who claim to be guardians of the truth have attacked those who challenged accepted thought. They’re the ones who burned witches and rejected Socrates, Galileo, Tesla, Einstein, and Robert Fulton. Fulton’s steam engine was even popularly labeled “Fulton’s Folly” because it was such a radical new idea for shipbuilding – until it sailed down the Hudson.

Taken at face value, the authoritarians who take it upon themselves to police acceptable thought are claiming to be omniscient. Anyone who claims omniscience therefore claims to have reached the end of knowledge.

To claim to be omniscient and to have reached the end of knowledge is ludicrous. As Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman said, “We can never be right, we can only prove we’re wrong.”

My good friend and business partner Dan Bongino was permanently removed from YouTube for questioning the authoritarians’ narrative about COVID-19 mandates. He dared challenge the conventional wisdom of Silicon Valley and Washington, DC, and they shut him down for it.

Dan is a fighter and was fighting back even before the oligarchs at Google threatened his YouTube channel. He invested in Rumble – a free-speech video platform that The Parallel Economy is proud to consider a partner – and has built a gigantic audience outside the Silicon Valley oligarchs.

Google had the right to remove Dan. They are a private company, they can do what they like. The question is, as consumers and citizens, how should we respond? Should we continue to let their algorithms tell us what to think, or should we build our own filters and think for ourselves?

The authoritarians – the Experts – don’t want you to question their authority. They would have you believe that they have the answers and you just need to turn your thinking over to them. They want to deny you your opportunity to choose.

Innovators like Dan have always fought the tyranny of experts. History is full of examples of those who dared to challenge the establishment and were mocked, abused, and killed for it. But they were right.

The only way we learn is through speculation and challenging the status quo. The Experts aren’t omniscient. They don’t have all the facts. We are not only not at the end of knowledge, we are nowhere close to the end of knowledge.

At The Parallel Economy, we will not be subject to the tyranny of the Experts, nor will we claim to be omniscient. We believe, like Friedrich Hayek, that knowledge is distributed throughout society, and the marketplace is the best venue to discover knowledge.

We promote an ecosystem of companies protecting free speech and free commerce to encourage debate, dissent, and discussion in a distributed framework. We have started with payment processing, but this is just the beginning.

Wherever self-anointed tyrants police alleged thought crimes, persecute people for their ideas, de-platform them, demonetize them – we will be there.

Standing up to tyrants is not for everyone. It takes guts. It takes fortitude. It takes persistence. It takes perseverance. As Churchill so eloquently stated, “we will never surrender.”

I will make my own decisions, and I will live with the consequences of those actions. I reject every platform that attempts to think for me and places themselves superior to me. I reject their judgment of me, and I preserve my own right to judge them by rejecting their platforms. If that means that deprives me of an audience, I gladly, happily, enthusiastically am willing to pay that price. I will choose my platforms to access as much information as I can from the marketplace, free from the self-appointed and self-anointed thought police of Big Tech.

Doing nothing is an option, and those who make that choice will live with the consequences of that choice. As Albert Einstein observed, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”

When they come for your neighbor, your parent, or even the person you disagree with on every issue – will you speak out?

Don’t let Big Tech win. Join us. Think. Be free. And to quote Spock, “Live long and prosper.”