A government that wants the media to do what they want will still not say “we want the media to shut up and we want everyone to do what we want, we want everyone to obey us without question”. They still have to hide. And the things that they hide behind are ideas of freedom and a liberal ethos and democracy.
So when someone “raids” a media organization, obviously because the media organization has been speaking out against bad policies of the government, they can’t say they have attacked this media organization because they will not obey us. They have to say it is a “tax raid”.
They have to say it is some other investigation. They have to say it is something else because, regardless of how bad things are, the tyrant still has to take refuge in the values that he seeks to destroy. Values like equality, freedom, and democracy. We have seen our leaders say, “No, no, that is not true. We are very liberal. We are very open. We are very democratic. Don’t say such things about us. So what they are essentially doing is hiding behind the thing that they seek to destroy.
I wrote a little thing on YourQuote a couple of weeks ago. It was a little parable about there being a tree and a bunch of woodcutters cutting it down. And the forest people who don’t want the tree to be cut down, come and say, “stop cutting that tree down” and they start throwing stones at them. And that is when these these woodcutters hide behind the tree and say, “Why are you throwing stones at the tree? Why do you hate the tree so much?”
Truth is, they don’t give a shit about the tree. They only want people to stop throwing stones at them. So they hide behind the tree that they’re trying to cut. That is what is happening with our “raids” as well. I think that regardless of how dark things may be, I think we still are not at a place where all is lost because as long as people have to hide behind the tree, it means that at least the tree’s importance is being acknowledged. They worry that they will be seen as woodcutters. They worry that they will be seen as destroyers. I know things are bad. But the truly dark times will begin when people stop worrying about this.
We have had bad times recently where people do bad things and then refuse to apologize and refuse to back down. They refuse to take any kind of responsibility. In fact, they say we are proud of having done this bad thing. But as long as we still have some semblance of shame on the global stage where people say “don’t call me undemocratic” because that brings them shame, we have hope.