Source: Vasko Kohlmayer
A couple of days ago I received an email from a reader who had some nice things to say about my book[i] The West in Crisis: Civilizations and Their Death Drives. As authors know, it always feels good to receive appreciation for one’s efforts, especially for a work into which one has poured one’s soul and invested a great deal of thought and effort.
In the closing sentences of his email, however, the reader mentioned something that startled me. He said he sought to get my views on the latest events but could not find any of my recent writings on the internet when he made his google search. I was very surprised to learn this, since I have published a great deal in the last twelve months on highly visible and widely frequented websites such as LewRockwell.com, American Thinker and LifeSiteNews.
My first thought was that the reader must have mistyped my name when he submitted his google query. So, I tried to do it myself and to my astonishment the query returned none of my writings from last year apart from a single piece on lewrockwell.com. This was a tiny fraction of my output that encompasses some sixty articles and essays of nearly one hundred thousand words.
Previously this kind of search would readily bring up most of my writings in an easy-to-see format. I had conducted such searches regularly, because I discovered that the quickest way to access my work for reference or links was through a Google query bearing my name. Such a search returned none of it. The impression is that I have been completely inactive writing-wise, which is contrary to reality.
Suspecting what may be behind this, I tried to do some searches for fellow writers who have been prolific contributors to the outlets which have run my articles and who have enjoyed a wide readership as a result of their excellent work. These websites included American Thinker, LewRockwell.com and LifeSiteNews. My Google queries which contained the names of these writers returned virtually no material from the websites where they post. I don’t know when their work stopped appearing on my Google screen.
I am no tech expert, but I wonder if Google has further recalibrated its search algorithms in a way that certain writers and /or websites – apparently those that present views not in line with the left’s official narratives and which can be said to belong to the political right – do not come at all in simple queries involving a name, word or phrase? Even if you specifically type the name of the website into the query you only get very limited and skewed results.
Such algorithmic manipulation would constitute a brazen form of censorship by high tech which renders these outlets virtually invisible to those who are not already aware of their existence in the first place. This is the algorithmic equivalent of the Night of the Long Knives, which apparently took place at Google the other day. If this state of affairs persists, it will be very difficult for such websites to grow their readership.
It gave me an eerie feeling to see my efforts and writings being disappeared in this way from one day to another by Google. George Orwell’s “Memory Hole” immediately came to mind. For me, however, it is especially distressing to see this, because when I left communism for the West some three decades ago, I would have never thought I would ever experience this kind of thing again. Unbelievably, it is now happening here as well. Who would have ever thought such a thing possible in America, a country that has always been seen as a citadel of liberty and free speech by the peoples of the world?
If we want to preserve our freedoms, people of goodwill need to stand up against the encroaching totalitarianism in whatever way is appropriate to our situation. If you care what becomes of our society and what we leave to our children, I urge you to support the outlets that stand for liberty, for Western civilization, for decency, and for the values of classical liberalism.
May we be able to freely say and express what we feel is true. May the totalitarians among us not succeed in their unwholesome works. May our liberty and civilization be preserved. And may God watch over us and help us. So, I pray.
[i] I would also like to ask you to consider reading my book The West in Crisis: Civilizations and Their Death Drives. In this book I draw upon my experience of living under communism to shed light on the psychological roots of the totalitarian mindset. One of the things I try to explain is why the censorious types who are trying to silence us behave the way they do.
To give you an idea of the book’s thrust, I quote from my reader’s email which I referenced at the outset. I value his words highly, because he is also someone who witnessed totalitarianism himself and who is likewise worried by the disturbing parallels between what he saw in the country of his birth and what is happening in the West these days. Please pay attention to his words, because they come from lived personal experience and convey a dire warning for us all:
I just finished reading your excellent book The West in Crisis: Civilizations and Their Death Drives. While the complete dishonesty and falsehood of claims about so-called institutional racism in the USA, as well as other leftist lies, had been clear to me for quite some time, your book offered a good explanation how such completely nonsensical and irrational things can become accepted at face value by large number of seemingly reasonable people. And I completely agree with you that the current crisis in the USA (and in the West) is not just political, but civilizational in nature.
I spent the first half of my life in the Soviet Union, so I very well understand how false ideology can sway the whole country. Still, what happened in America during the last year, and how quickly everything fell apart, came as a shock. I felt that I was back in my old country – and it is not the Soviet Union of 1970s and 80s where I grew up, where nobody seriously believed in communist slogans anymore and where the prevailing mood was apathy and inertia, but the Soviet Union of 1920s and 1930s, with its fiery enthusiasm of building the new society and destroying everything and everybody on the way.