Audio surfaced from 2001, featuring White House Information czar Cass Sunstein dreaming of a day where the government could "strongly suggest" (force if necessary) websites and other publications to offer opposing viewpoints to political thought.
In an audio excerpt of an interview which was posted on the Breitbart.tv website today, Sunstein discusses how conservative websites should provide links to liberal websites and vice versa or even how political blogs should be made to include pop ups that show “a quick argument for a competing view”.
Why not check out the clip:
“The idea would be to have a legal mandate as the last resort….an ultimate weapon designed to encourage people to do better."
Now how is that for change... a complete gang rape of our first amendment rights.
A Brief History of Fascism
To be fair, Sunstein claims he renounced those statements in 2008.
And while that might be so a recently as January, 2010 Sunstein made similar cries for a totalitarian solution to quiet the chatter of conspiracy theories. In his white paper tittles "Conspiracy Theories", Sunstein outlined a less than American solution for dealing with rabble rousing conspiracy theorist [note: not people trying to pull off a conspiracy but the wingnuts (myself included) listening to Coast to Coast with George Noory with their pants off an crank in hand talking about shadow governments and secret societies and the sort.]
Let’s start with how Sunstein feels about conspiracy theories:
"... Conspiracy theory can generally be counted as such if it is an effort to explain some event or practice by reference to themachinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role..."
No argument there...
”... Conspiracy theories generally attribute extraordinary powers to certain agents – to plan, to control others, to maintain secrets, and so forth. Those who believe that those agents have such powers are especially unlikely to give respectful attention to debunkers, who may, after all, be agents or dupes of those who are responsible for the conspiracy in? The first instance. It is comparatively easier for government to dispel false and dangerous beliefs that rest, not on a self-sealing conspiracy theory, but on simple misinformation or on a fragile social consensus. The simplest governmental technique for dispelling false (And also harmful) beliefs – providing credible public information – does not work, in any straightforward way, for conspiracy theories. This extra resistance to correction through simple techniques is what makes conspiracy theories distinctively worrisome..."
That parts a little bit dismissive, but not unexpected, given that he is a man who holds a seat of power.
"...And indeed, there can be no doubt that some people who accept conspiracy theories are mentally ill and subject to delusions...”
And there we have it... people who buy into conspiracy theories are nuts (or at least some of them are).Now before we all go running into the streets terrified that hordes of paranoid mentally ill people suffering from delusions are going to somehow get so worked up by their flights of fancy that our society is going to crumble into history, Ol' Cassie does offer what he feels is the inevitable solution for this coming problem.
"... What can government do about conspiracy theories? Among the things it can do, what should it do? We can readily imagine a series of possible responses. (1)Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories. (3) Government might itself engage in counter speech, marshaling arguments to discredit conspiracy theories. (4) Government might formally hire credible private parties to engage in counterspeech. (5) Government might engage in informal communication with such parties, encouraging them to help. Each instrument has a distinctive set of potential effects, or costs and benefits, and each will have a place under imaginable conditions. However, our main policy idea is that government should engage in cognitive infiltration of the groups that produce conspiracy theories, which involves a mix of (3), (4) and (5)."
Taxes, fines, and censorship...
That’s exactly what will get rid of conspiracy theories.
Not because it will shut up the paranoid or anything like that. It’ll just get rid of them because they would have finally all come true.(To read the Cass Sunstein's Conspiracy Theory, follow the link...)