January 02, 2019

Dark Times and Their Avoidance

It's a long post but I strongly suggest that you read it all, it is...sobering.

When people stop talking to one another, when they cannot communicate with or understand the other side...when the speech stops...the war begins. 

With that in mind, Peterson and Rubin have both decided to leave Patreon, effective the 15th.  

It's 31 minutes, but I again recommend you watch the whole thing. They do touch on something that I noted as the main concern when I did a post on the subject two weeks ago

The financial services issue. 

That Patreon did what they did to one of their customers who had not violated their TOS, was unprofessional at best and somewhat worrisome for anyone on the platform. However, what, to my mind at least, elevated this to "Serious Business" was the fact that Pay-Pal and the other online payment outfits pulled the plug on Subscribe Star when Subscribe Star did not refuse service to the clients ejected from Patreon. 

At that point the situation became a blacklist..one with teeth.

In that vein, over at Ambient Irony, Pixy links to an article at One Angry Gamer that describes similar actions being taken against a Death Metal band.  

The piece points out that the precedent for this was Obama's Operation  Choke  Point which weaponized financial institutions against businesses the Administration did not like, like porn stars and gun dealers. Choke Point was put down in 2017, but some of the electronic and informal infrastructure and more importantly the precedent for such counter constitutional restraints of trade presumably still exist.  about 15 paragraphs down though the  OAG article proposes that Pay-Pal and company are still getting their marching orders for these bans from the FDIC and this is all a deep state conspiracy.

Here's the thing. 

I don't think the FDIC took a stance on Sargon of Akkad. 

However, the same article links to a rather scattershot video by SFO that has some things to say about MasterCard. (He's really dug deep into Mastercard)

THAT is less silly, because Master Card (and financial bottlenecks in general ) came up not only in the Peterson/Rubin video above in the transcript of the much discussed phone call  between Matt Christensen and Jaqueline Hart concerning the larger matter of free speech on Patreon.
JACQUELINE: The problem is is patreon takes payments.  And while we are obviously supportive of the first amendment, there are other things that we have to consider. Our mission is to fund the creative class. In order to accomplish that mission we have to build a community of creators that are comfortable sharing a platform, and if we allow certain types of speech that some people would call free speech, then only creators that use patreon that don’t mind their branding associated with that kind of speech would be those who use patreon and we fail at our mission.  But secondly as a membership platform, payment processing is one of the core value propositions that we have.  Payment processing depends on our ability to use the global payment network, and they have rules for what they will process.    

MATT:  Are you telling me that this was Patreon’s decision then, or someone pressured you into this? 

JACQUELINE:  No - this was entirely Patreon’s decision.  

MATT:  Well then I don’t understand passing the buck off to somebody else.  

JACQUELINE:  No, I’m not passing the buck off.  The thing is we have guidelines, but I’m trying to explain, #1 it is our mission to fund the creative class and obviously some people may not want to be associated.  

MATT:  Well if it’s your mission, then payment processors are irrelevant.  It’s your mission.  That’s what you’re pursuing.  

JACQUELINE:  We’re not visa and mastercard ourselves - we can’t just make the rules.  That’s what I’m saying - there is an extra layer there.  

MATT:  Right, but that extra layer is not necessarily relevant if your own goals that you’re pursuing are already doing that anyway.  

JACQUELINE:  I don’t necessarily see it that way.  I sort of see it along two lines - so if we said, we want this to just be a free speech platform - we’re 100% dedicated to free speech - then that isn’t really true to our mission.

MATT:  What percent dedicated are you to free speech?

(Long Multipage Break)

JACQUELINE:  We’re not a free market.  Again, this goes back to - 

MATT:  Okay.  I’m glad you admit that.    

JACQUELINE:  This goes back to what I was saying about that we are a payment processor and that is one of our core value propositions that we have, is that payment processing depends on our ability to use payment networks and we have to abide by those rules.

MATT:  But that is not what you’ve been telling me repeatedly.  You go back and forth between telling me we have to uphold our ideal, and then passing the buck off to payment processors who are holding you to this standard, begrudgingly I suppose.  Either you agree with that standard or you don’t.   

JACQUELINE:  What I’m saying is we have to have policies whether or not I personally believe in something or-or.

MATT:  When I say ‘you,’ I mean Patreon, obviously.   

JACQUELINE:  The problem though is that Patreon itself has to base their guidelines on the people that they work with and that they share information with and so- 

MATT:  But you have been telling me this whole time that you support those guidelines.

JACQUELINE:  I do support those guidelines.

MATT:  Okay. So - 

JACQUELINE:  But you have to base those on something so this is what I’m saying. Even if I personally came into Patreon and said, you know, ‘I believe 100% in absolute free speech’ I-I will not be able to make that the guidelines even if that’s what I personally believe. We have a lot of people here who believe that, but -

MATT:   Well let me ask you this - has there ever been a case where a payment processor has come to Patreon and said ‘you guys are enabling too much hate speech, we’re gonna cut you off?’

JACQUELINE:  As in Patreon?

MATT:  Yeah - is there a reason you have to bend the knee to these payment processors? Have they made you bend the knee before?

JACQUELINE:  I-I’m not going to get into a discussion about our payment partners specifically. 

So...I think this is not a great government conspiracy. 

However, there do seem to be a bunch of like minded people who have decided to determine whose cool and whose not. This is at it most basic the same as a bunch of preppies or mean girls in High School working to protect the exclusivity of their clique, and the emotional sophistication is probably similar. 

Illuminati this ain't.

However, this clique controls banks, so the power they wield and its implications are consequential.

 The upper echelons of our society and the world at large are in many ways a monoculture that has gotten exceedingly provincial over the last decade or so despite their aspirations to cosmopolitanism. The secular faith that they discarded their old timey religion for has at its disposal the manic enthusiasm of the newly converted feeding its own ruthless Inquisition. The Gramscian march that created this intolerant and incurious monoculture is a thing of the left so there is an inherent political aspect and bias to this, but we need to be clear headed about the situation.

 The situation is genuinely troubling, but it is not hopeless. Decentralization and preferably distributed networks  are the best ways to neuter the gatekeepers. Rubin, Peterson and others look to be working on that. 

So be of good cheer in the new year. 
And don't bend the knee.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 07:30 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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