Browsing through a single day’s worth of articles on the libertarian website lewrockwell.com is enough to confront one with a smorgasbord of despair:
- The bankruptcy of Western nations and their collapsing economies;
- Increasing wars and overseas intervention;
- Desperation to maintain Western-led hegemony;
- Increased state censorship and invasion of privacy;
- The dangers of state-sponsored medicine and disease control;
- Digital enslavement;
- The lack of integrity of the political class; official lies and corruption.
The website – amongst the best read of all libertarian websites in the world – is almost unique in its unfailing commitment to draw attention to many of these important aspects. But it is difficult to quell a swelling of pessimism when faced with this kind of line up.
Nevertheless, it is vital not to lose optimism in the face of such adversity. And while it may seem that the noose of retrogression into tyranny and oppression is tightening its stranglehold on the average citizen, there are several key reasons for us to remain optimistic.
The first is that – in spite of the increased efforts of censorship and “cancel culture” – it is far easier to disseminate alternative ideas and information today than it was just a generation ago. True enough, the dominance of “big tech” and traditional media outlets may mean that such ideas seldom come to the direct attention of the masses. But they can can be obtained within seconds from any corner of the globe by those who are prepared to look for them.
We must remember, of course, that technological development is not the be all and end all. After all, digitisation and instant communication in particular are in the process of being deployed in the service of regimentation and control as much as freedom. Moreover, a specific problem with the internet is that people can go looking for the answers they want rather than for the truth. Ultimately, whether technology is beneficial depends upon whether the people that use it are motivated towards good or towards ill.