Increasingly, it is becoming a police officer. It is deciding what is right and wrong, who gets to be heard, who is silenced. It is locking out of the financial system those people or brands that have slipped outside the parameters of acceptable discourse, those who threaten the consensus of the gatekeepers. The consensus is hard to articulate; it is an ideology lacking clearly defined ideological contours. But the tenets of that consensus are unmistakable: the new progressive politics around race and gender are a force for good, the Covid lockdown was just, the war in Ukraine is noble, and an unfettered exchange of ideas and opinions is an unacceptable threat to all of the above.
An obvious point, but one worth making: We tend to think of social-credit systems as the province of governments, but the big American tech companies are right now imposing their own such system — and in some ways are better placed to do it than our government would be.
As I have been saying for several years now, the “ideology [is] lacking clearly defined ideological contours” because it’s not an ideology, it’s a feeling of defilement and a consequent need to be purified, cleansed. I should do a long readthrough here on the blog of Ricoeur’s Symbolism of Evil….