The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

21st-Century Digital Stalinism

Posted on | August 19, 2023 | Comments Off on 21st-Century Digital Stalinism

BEFORE: Josef Stalin and Nikolai Yezhov, 1937

AFTER: Nikolai who?

Of all the sinister aspects of the Soviet Union — secret police, famine, mass murders — perhaps nothing was ultimately more frightening than the way the Communists literally erased history. After Trotsky was purged, Soviet propagandists began airbrushing the former Bolshevik leader from historic photographs, so that his role in the Russian revolution, and his leadership of the Red Army during the ensuing civil war, was made to disappear. It was this aspect of Stalinism — the absolute control of information, including the rewriting of history to suit the needs of the Communist leadership — that George Orwell depicted so memorably in Nineteen Eighty-Four, which envisioned a Soviet-style future in England. Our own Stalinist regime is now in charge:

A new report revealed Wikipedia’s permissive role in the concerted effort to protect President Joe Biden by blocking Americans from reading politically-negative information tied to his embattled son. According to data entries reviewed by independent journalist Lee Fang, Wikipedia allowed special consultants “hired” by Hunter Biden to manipulate the “Hunter Biden” page with “stealth edits.” Wikipedia, a site funded by leftist billionaire George Soros, seemingly stood idly by as entries tying Hunter to damning bribery scandals were edited “without any fingerprints.”
As reported by Fang, Hunter ordered FTI Consulting, a crisis management public relations firm, in 2014 to help him and his dad save face by keeping Americans from accessing the Bidens’ ties to shady business dealings on Wikipedia. In one email, Hunter advised Ryan Toohey, then an advisor at FTI, that Eric Schwerin, a business partner of the Bidens, would be making “additional edits.” According to Fang, “Toohey, emails from Hunter’s laptop show, confirmed that his company would get to work.”
According to Fang, Hunter also inexplicably pushed to delete the ties between the CIA and the National Endowment for Democracy, a company he worked for, highlighting instead his board memberships at non-profits. Shortly thereafter, countless anonymous users in Wikipedia followed suit and proceeded to “airbrush” negative references on Hunter’s page.

(Hat-tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.) Even though I use Wikipedia frequently, I’ve noticed how the editors nowadays add “wokeness” wherever possible. Just the other day, for instance, I noticed that the biography of Zelda Fitzgerald — the Jazz Age socialite who married F. Scott Fitzgerald — has been updated to include all kinds of stuff about her father’s role in upholding white supremacy in Alabama. Given the place and time, and the fact that her father was a justice on the state Supreme Court, this isn’t very remarkable, but I suppose the Wikipedia editors want to “cancel” Zelda (for whom a road in Montgomery is named), the way Albany, N.Y., has canceled Philip Schuyler.

The Left’s rewriting of the past, however, is not confined to defaming the dead, but also in altering more recent facts, such as trying to erase the facts about Hunter Biden’s corrupt foreign dealings. It’s very Soviet-like — whatever the Party says is true, must become true, and if any fact should contradict the Party line, well, it will soon cease to be a fact.



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