So the predatory rich have worked for years now to control information. You can see this everywhere from cable news networks, to for-profit universities, to robocall and social media campaigns that spread misinformation. By stifling net neutrality and allowing companies to regulate both internet speed and content, they are, again, tying information to the highest bidder. This is like taking the backdoor to kill freedom of speech. Under the net-killers’ scheme, anyone could say whatever they wanted, but the only ones to hear it would be those who paid for a ticket to the right hall.
In my novel about an oppressive church, students have to stand around their seated master while he teaches. This is to keep the information insular, because the church has realized that information is power. My novel’s world crumbles to war, on account of propaganda, so-called heresy, and revelation. The church names enemies; the church names crimes and penalties; and anyone who tries to assert information to the contrary is added to the church’s list. My protagonists are scholars, back-alley teachers, and information thieves. I’ve taken my inspiration from the Reformation, the reigns of Ivan the Terrible, and the Soviet gulag. But if the Trump administration continues on its path, then I–and other artists, and journalists, and profs–will also speak both from and to this country, while for the first time in maybe ever, it begins to post guards at the doors to the largest library the world has ever seen.
(Originally posted November 22, 2017)