The real story about the media’s assault on Libs of TikTok

In the Soviet Union, and other states which were under communist oppression for generations, people who were opposed to the regime or dissented in any small way were banned from communicating with the rest of society through the written or printed word, meetings or the use of broadcast media.

That applied not only to direct political opponents of socialism – who, if identified, were almost certain to be interned or even murdered, but to a vast range of civil society groups spanning academia, religion, literature, the arts, and even sports.

The human spirit has shown itself to be resilient even when the guardians of the flame are a tiny minority, and the Soviet and other dissidents devised ingenious means to subvert totalitarianism. The most famous of these means – as symbolised by underground writers like Solzhenitsyn and Hsia Chih-yen – was the circulation of actual and fictionalised testaments to the horrors of Stalinism and the Cultural Revolution generically known as samizdat.

The Russian word literally means self-publishing. Polish freedom activists used the term drugi obieg which means something like, “the second (publishing) circuit.” What it literally entailed was the painstaking recopying by hand or by typewriter of forbidden manuscripts, and if possible their mimeographing, so that they could be circulated more widely among the population.

It was – and still is in China and Cuba and North Korea – a courageous undertaking that led and still leads to unknown numbers of people being murdered by the secret police and sent to camps. Among them was Elizaveta Voronyanskaya who was tortured by the KGB in 1973 to force her to give them the copy of the Gulag Archipelago that she had typed. She hung herself in remorse.

All of that may appear to be very arcane and light years removed from the high tech media world of a democratic open society. Perhaps not if we look at the current furore over Libs of TikTok.

To those unfamiliar with the story, Libs of TikTok is a wildly popular social media account which reposts videos and other materials from liberals, thereby bringing strange behaviours and agendas to wider attention. The Washington Post revealed this week that the creator of the ingenious idea is apparently Chaya Ryichik whose day job is in real estate in Brooklyn, New York.

The Post came under fire for publishing a link to the woman’s work address and other work details in the piece, and a later version of the story removed the link.

The Post published their “doxing” piece on Tuesday under a typically hysterical headline referring to “fuelling the right’s outrage machine” by “spreading anti LGBTQ+ sentiment” and – wait for it – “shaping public discourse.”  Which reads like a charge taken from Article 58 of the Soviet criminal code.

The author of the Post piece is Taylor Lorenz who, as Tucker Carlson refers to in a video interview with the creator of Libs of TikTok, is a typical example of what Carlson describes as narcissists who are so exaggeratedly obsessed with themselves that they spend most of their time attempting to destroy others. We have a mini industry operated by such types in Ireland.

The Washington Post piece is basically a combination of a pulp fiction detective pseudo drama – as though Lorenz and her basement dwelling NGO observer types had caught Whitey Bolger – and a long rant about the harm that Libs of TikTok has done to the “marginalized” and “disenfranchised.” What Lorenz does not tell you is what Libs of TikTok actually does do.

Lorenz uses the tweets she claims were sent by the creator of the actual site, and which contain pretty mainstream conservative views and opinions – including thoughts on the harm that increasing numbers of people across the United States believe that leftist extremism is causing in schools through the promotion of radical transgender and racial ideology.

What Lorenz does not tell you is that what Libs of TikTok does. It has become so popular – and conversely hated by the left liberals – because that it simply finds examples of the above being propagated in numerous contexts, and share them among people who would otherwise probably never see the fanaticism and downright madness that fuels much of the contemporary identitarian left.

What the ingenious creator of Libs of Tik ok shares with the creators of samizdat is that where most of the mainstream is closed off, that there are ways to subvert that censorship. Not by explicitly attacking them which may invite censorship and worse, but by using what is permissible. Arthur Griffith did this in Ireland with Scissors and Paste to circumvent British censorship during World War I.

It is also in the tradition of writers like Milan Kundera and Alexander Zionviev who turned the absurdities of late totalitarianism back on the system itself. Brilliantly so in the case of Zionviev whose satire managed to evade the lingering brutality of the bumbling Brezhnev era. Stalin would simply have had him sent away or murdered. Brezhnev’s goons needed a less crude excuse to get someone and had to be content in the end with expelling him a few years after Solzhenitsyn.

The reason that the Democrat liberal left and the extreme leftists hate Libs of TikTok – and in the case of the latter are no doubt attempting to find the person doxed by Lorenz in order to do her harm – is that it holds up a mirror to their own absurdities.

There are no actors mouthing and screaming the lunacies you can see. They are from the horse’s mouth as it were. Or perhaps the other end of the horse. Their own words.  Watch and laugh from this compilation while you still may.

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