Stifling free speech in a financial crisis

One of the things I find alarming about current events right now that absolutely did not exist during the 2008 financial crisis is the social media shame game where the media and users try to pile on any dissenting opinion, even to the point of trying to destroy someone’s life and reputation over what they’ve said.

In fact, in the 2008 financial crisis, most of the American population was totally unaware of what was happening. Now everyone is hyper-involved, and they are trying to bully people into sharing their profoundly illiterate opinions on economics and government.

Right now, we have an extreme government response to the coronavirus that is worse than anything ever done in past plagues, worse even than the rationing of resources during unfathomable global conflicts that killed tens of millions of people. And you aren’t allowed to disagree with it online.

Elon Musk is pretty much the only celebrity voice speaking truth to power at the moment, and it is bonkers to see how he is treated in the media. I’m not too worried about Musk personally, as history will undoubtedly be kind to him and his vision for the world. But people with less resources are being attacked viciously for doing the same thing. If you go out to walk the dog, someone is going to post a video of you online as an evil disease-spreader trying to destroy humanity.

This whole “we are going to run off this economic cliff together and you better get on message or we’re going to ruin you personally even faster” response is certainly a new development in financial crises. The United States is truly in a Soviet era at the moment culturally, and it’s vaguely terrifying to see. People really seem mentally ill. And you are stuck with the consequences of their lunacy.

And it’s not about political parties. I’m watching conservatives engage in exactly this sort of behavior, which not all that long ago they were decrying on the left. It’s really changed my mind about a lot of people.

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