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It’s 1564 for Amazon—and Its Customers
The advent of the printing press, and of literacy among the faithful, impelled the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church to issue what came to be called an Index, or the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. This Index was a list of (published) works that the faithful were abjured by His Holiness from reading. These works were in His judgment capable of misleading members of His flock from the True and Faithful path to salvation as prescribed by … him.
Although the Index was abolished in 1966 by Pope Paul VI, the concept and reality of an Index remains alive and quite well not only in the Catholic Church, but in states and societies the world over. Germany since the defeat of its National Socialist regime in 1945, for example, has ever since maintained an Index on writings that seemed to exonerate, glorify, or otherwise treat kindly the defeated National Socialist regime. The brief of the Index has, not surprising to note, expanded somewhat to include other matters that … are secret. It’s not so much that the government doesn’t wish every/anyone to know what it is suppressing (though that becomes quite handy enough), as that a certain kind of citizen would eagerly fasten onto the contents of the Index, and go seek out and read them—because they were indexed—and evidently did, in great numbers before the contents of the Index were made secret.
Today, if you’ve published, or attempted to publish, something the authorities disapprove of, you’re (privately) told so, sooner or later, further publication or advertisement of your work is suppressed, and persons who have purchased more than two copies of your work are invaded so as to confiscate their copies and add them to otherwise-confiscated stocks of your publication, which are all consigned to destruction. Does this sound like some dystopian, futuristic novel like Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 to you? Well it might, but the details are all true, not only in Occupied Germany (it’s still very much occupied, in this regard) but here at home in the USA.
The Index in the USA (indeed, throughout the Anglosphere) is a good deal more-furtive, even, than the officially secret list maintained and enforced by the German government, and it appears to involve no government at all, since Amazon is a “private” company, but governments exert influence on Amazon in a thousand ways, including in the Anglosphere, where most governments (including that of the USA) maintain no official index at all.
Technically, the process might be labeled “delisting.” Obviously, rejection for listing, or denial of listing from the outset would qualify also for inclusion under this rubric, while “delisting” would specifically refer to works that had once been listed on Amazon, then later delisted, as is the case with over 70 titles published by the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust, delisted on March 7, 2017 along, possibly, with dozens? Hundreds? Thousands? Of other works listed on Amazon whose content was found to be—of a sudden—in violation of Amazon’s vaunted “content guidelines.” And that’s the beauty of this ugliness: there would seem to be no organized, dependable way to ascertain how many books have been delisted, nor when. As for “why,” the short answer is simple: violation of “content guidelines.” The long-form answer is … there isn’t any. Amazon’s delisting is the verdict of a Star Chamber, to be penetrated possibly by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, and anyone else he cares to make privy to the information. No reason, no particulars, are given in delisting notices; just the name and ID of the book in question, along with a threat to deny listing pro forma to further submissions from the publisher in question if they don’t straighten up and fly right, and fast.
To the extent that people use the listings on Amazon as indications of whether a book is to be had, or even exists, this is de facto censorship with a vengeance—no trace whatsoever survives of a book after it has been delisted. You might try Google, but recent developments suggest that Google, too, may soon purify what it returns to queries, at least as to the order in which they appear, and evidently also with helpful guidance from … someone, perhaps Mark Zuckerberg in consultation with the Great Delister, Jeff Bezos, as to what to make of the otherwise variegated returns to this or that misguided or unfortunate query.
The Internet does, indeed, seem to be becoming the Global Mechanism for Thought Regulation that the traditional, more-obviously centralized media of yore have long-since been shown to be. And all this, to date, without the Government showing its ugly face.
The enablement of this mental enslavement of the masses is, of course, concentration, or what Robert Metcalfe made famous as the “network effect,” the tendency of users or consumers of a service or product to favor a few, or as in Amazon’s case, a single provider where such concentration itself enhances the quality or usefulness of the product or service. The chief network effect among parties dealing with Amazon is actually among publishers, not readers—they want their offerings listed on Amazon, ironically, because that is where all the other books are listed. Readers go there because that’s where “everything” is.
Well, not quite “everything.” In fact, rather less and less of everything as each delisting of items not previously delisted is implemented. In delisting, Amazon is actually expending its very self—its unique selling proposition, like a mortally wounded hyena eating its own entrails. But at the present juncture, Amazon has built up such a towering lead over its nearest competitor (who would that be, Barnes and Noble?) that it’s got network effect to burn. Plenty more where that came from.
And burn it, it will, especially if the rewards for doing so are great enough. So, where, when, how did the rewards for banning—yes, let’s just go ahead and use the approximate verb that conveys the essential quality of delisting—banning, then, a certain category of books, books on a particular subject such as alternative historical opinions regarding the Holocaust become so tempting, possibly irresistible, to Amazon? Well, maybe the world is turning against Holocaust revisionism. Maybe people are tired of hearing Holocaust revisionism everywhere whenever they raise their heads and look outside. Maybe they don’t believe it, or feel it must be invented and propagated by Nazis (we’re certainly told this with great frequency and certitude wherever Right Thinking holds sway). Resistance—of the very most-false and unfair variety—to Holocaust revisionism is every bit as old as Holocaust revisionism itself, and if only from Amazon’s recent action, it may indeed be said that that Resistance is growing. As for growth in the number of adherents to Holocaust revisionism, there seems little outward evidence of this, though that might actually be another case of the support for President Donald Trump that did not emerge until voters in their millions enjoyed the privacy of the voting booth.
The arguments of Holocaust revisionism, inherently persuasive to many of the few who permit it to enter their eyes or ears, would seem likewise not to have gained ground in any sudden or discrete way. The accumulating mass of evidence and reasoning undergirding Holocaust revisionism is more like the accumulation of snow on the mountainside before it finally cascades down the slopes in a thundering avalanche. So this wasn’t brought on by any breakthrough of revisionism that’s visible at the present remove.
But one development, also somewhat gradual and unnoticeable, is the inroads the US government has made into the revenue stream that sustains the larger entity of Amazon.com, the one that encompasses a vast empire of computer-driven services including a very large and lucrative one called Amazon Network Services. This is the Internet-hosting entity that in 2010 kicked Wikileaks off its servers when Edward Snowden released his tsunami of government-damning evidence that launched him into what looks like it will be exile for the rest of his life. Since that time, AWS has “gotten into bed” with the CIA and other components of the so-called Intelligence Community in a big way—as big as $600 million per year at last report.
Amazon.com, the corporate entity, is now beholden to the US government in a truly massive magnitude, no doubt itself a secret total amount. And a significant, discrete event that took place recently is the accession of Donald Trump to the presidency. Rightly or not, Trump bears in some quarters the stigma of being anti-Semitic. This, in turn, may be the most-perfect of covers for the infusion of an entire infrastructure of Israeli/Zionist agents starting at the top with Trump’s senior advisor Jared Kushner. Kushner and his operatives may have managed by now to gain a sufficient grasp on the levers of power to make Amazon see that continuing to carry CODOH’s 70 forbidden texts might put AWS’s lifeblood in some jeopardy, or perhaps merely slow its growth or even invite competing contractors to insert their snouts into the Intelligence Community’s ever-deepening trough.
But for now, perhaps AWS’s main source of revenue is secure, and exclusive. And Amazon’s customers, the Largest Customer Base on Planet Earth, is likewise secure in the ignorance that anyone, anywhere ever had the temerity, not to say diligence and integrity, to raise serious questions about the Holocaust mythology that has ruled the world since 1945.
Don’t be fooled by all the Gigabytes, baud rates, Megahertzes and other computerish paraphernalia—it is now 1564. By no coincidence, it was a great year for the Inquisition, too.
Imprimatur (let it be printed)!
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|Title||It’s 1564 for Amazon—and Its Customers|
|Dates||published: 2017-03-18, first posted on CODOH: March 18, 2017, 4:05 p.m., last revision: n/a|