The commonly-accepted wisdom of bloggers (such as me) is that we are slowly but surely winning the battle to spread the truth.
After all, the web has now become the most popular source for news.
And the alternative media has sometimes pounded on stories so hard that the corporate news was forced to cover them, and the politicians and business elites were forced to scramble to explain away their actions.
But a comment on my website tonight posted by dogismyth summarized something I've been thinking about for the past week:
This is why there is still unlimited, unfettered access to freedom of speech on the internet. Because the powers that be (PTB) know that people feel better about the situation just openly talking about the issues. The internet to them is not a threat, but it is our crutch. People complain, explain, disdain, sustain and act in pain on the internet about a myriad of problems.
AND THEY FEEL BETTER. So much better, that they do absolutely nothing else. Well, most do anyway.
I hope he's wrong, and that we are really winning - even if slowly - the infowars.
But remember that the internet was created by the military (it was originally called Arpanet - "Arpa" standing for "Advanced Research Projects Agency").
And that a former CIA officer says that seed money from the the CIA helped launch Google.
And that the security services - especially the NSA - are tracking everything we do on the net. Indeed, as I've previously written:
A governmental unit operating in secret and with no oversight whatsoever is gathering massive amounts of data on every American and running artificial intelligence software to predict each American's behavior, including "what the target will do, where the target will go, who it will turn to for help"...
The Pentagon is also running an AI program to see how people will react to propaganda and to government-inflicted terror. The program is called Sentient World Simulation:
"U.S defense, intel and homeland security officials are constructing a parallel world, on a computer, which the agencies will use to test propaganda messages and military strategies.
Called the Sentient World Simulation, the program uses AI routines based upon the psychological theories of Marty Seligman, among others. (Seligman introduced the theory of 'learned helplessness' in the 1960s, after shocking beagles until they cowered, urinating, on the bottom of their cages.)
Yank a country's water supply. Stage a military coup. SWS will tell you what happens next.
The sim will feature an AR avatar for each person in the real world, based upon data collected about us from government records and the internet."
So we are using the web to spread the truth.
But the powers-that-be may also be using the web to let us blow off eSteam - venting our frustrations in a virtual environment, instead of actually doing something in the real world, like surrounding Congress in a peaceful protest, or taking other action to challenge those in power.
And they are studying our every moves, to study not only what we're doing, but to be able to predict how best to manipulate us.
Am I saying that we should stay off the web?
No, the web is one of the most powerful tools ever for spreading truth, researching information and organizing. But we also have to take action in the brick-and-mortar world away from the computer.
And we also have to start thinking about the ways that the powers-that-be are not only trying to game social media and censor critical information, but also using the web as an offensive weapon for their own purposes.
As Sun Tzu wrote in the Art of War:
It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.
We may know ourselves - and the truth we wish to spread. But unless we also know our enemies and their strategies for fighting on the web, we will not win many battles.