Under normal circumstances, human rights need to improve as the ages develop, but in the world where human beings are, this is the opposite. Knowledge is older than human history. Knowledge is something that can be discovered. All dictators fear knowledge, from China to the United States. The disease of controlling knowledge does not belong to our age. Hitler’s Germany banning classical music, the banning of Einstein’s books, the murder of scientists living in Salem are the first examples that come to mind. The Catholic Church condemned Gnostic thinkers to death for their political interests. Galileo was convicted. Bruno was burned just because he said the universe was infinite. Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicu introduced himself as God and demanded that he be worshiped. He caused an economic crisis with their unnecessary expenses.
Let’s sort the burned libraries:
- Persepolis Library was burned by Alexander and his soldiers. Thus, human memory regarding the ancient East was emptied. The sacred book of Zoroastrianism called Avesta, written on 12 thousand buffalo skins, was burned and destroyed in this library. We do not even know the names of thousands of lost books.
- The fanatical Apollo priests in Rome destroyed the Sibilli inscriptions. All the books in this library belonging to the ancient period of Italy were burned.
- The Library of Alexandria was burned down by the Romans. The legendary library of 400 thousand books burned.
- Caliph Omar said the following before ordering the burning of the Baghdad library: “If what is written in these books is in the Qur’an, there is no need for them; If they are not in the Quran, then there is no need for them!” This was how the book was burned.
- Istanbul Library burned by the Crusader army. Steven Runciman has said of this incident: “There has been no greater murder than the fourth crusade in all of the world history.”
- M.S. Books burned by the Catholic Church in Medieval Europe in the 14th century: Thousands of books containing information contrary to the birth of the Catholic Church in Medieval Europe, under the grip of scholastic thought, were burned together with the authors of these books.
- The Andalusian Umayyad Library was burned by the Spanish supposedly to eradicate Muslim history. In the main roles were the inquisition priests. Spanish inquisitors burned precious Arab Andalusian libraries. This happened almost only 500 years ago.
- The Maya and Inca Manuscripts were burned by the Spanish. They burned all the legacies of the great Mayan Civilization.
- The Berlin Library was burned by the Nazis in order not to be captured by the Russians.The Nazis, famous for burning harmful books before the war, also burned the famous Berlin Library so that it would not be left to the Russians at the end of the war.
- In 2003, the Baghdad Library and 17 thousands of historical artifacts and hundreds of thousands of manuscripts were burned after being looted and plundered by American soldiers, historical artifact smugglers and then by the Baghdad people.
- B.C. 212, Chin Shin Huang, one of the five mythological kings of China, ordered that all books and literary works related to China be burned.
- A.C. 700, the manuscripts of the agnostics were burned by Catholic priests. Priests burned the 10,000 rolls of the manuscript.
- The Isorian Legion burned 300 000 books in the Byzantine library.
- Charlemagne (Great King), who elevated the Carolingian State to empire status and laid the foundations of France, burned the Torur, Nantes and Toledo libraries with thousands of books.
These examples can be increased further. We wanted to write examples from as many different cultures as possible. Why were billions of books burned? Why did Catholics target Gnostic writers? Why did Byzantium burn its own library? Why were thousands of books censored? It would be a mistake to interpret these questions only in a cultural context, politically or religiously. We come across a clear reality: Dictators are afraid of knowledge. Because knowledge spreads easily and affects everyone. Knowledge is dictators’ nightmare. We see this clearly in the reform and renaissance movements, as well as in the French Revolution.
Most autocrats became the head of the state they would rule either by democracy or by coup. Their next step was to try to destroy democracy and the republic. When we look at the periods before taking over, the misery and misery of the targeted population despair catches the eye. The misery during the Great Depression and with the Treaty of Versailles. A disgraced German people was a crucial ground for Hitler’s manipulative moves. Where knowledge is high, the intellectual structure gains the majority. The idea of ”Superior Race” has easily found its way into Germany. An autocrat is also an individual. Hitler placed great emphasis on the light and image of his abilities, because his broad audience is the one who has a say and aims to drag him after himself. Autocrats are the instigators of human herds. Autocrats’ approach is systematic and consists of clear orientations. Something about the ultimate unity of the strict political aim, the destruction of democracy. More than that, the content and presentation of the propaganda itself is inherently linked to nature.
Of course, talking about the multitude of negative manipulations when it comes to autocrats is plausible. Autocrats often use their own ideas and management style to the masses. They do not hesitate to use negative manipulation methods to be accepted.
Freud said, “If the individuals in the group come together to form a union, there is no doubt that something has to happen that unites them, and this bond is a group’s characteristic structure. It is the very thing that creates.” The link in this quote of Freud is the autocrat itself. The autocrat itself is the idol for the audience that follows. Freud thinks that there is an opinion that the integrative bond has a libidinal nature. Autocrats mean that libidinal is the embodiment of desire. Individuality melts with the mass and other individual pleasures; its integration becomes a primitive source of pleasure for every individual within that mass.
The purpose of this article is not to uncover censorships one by one, but to reveal why dictators target knowledge.
Throughout the ages all dictators have well managed to move the masses for their own ends.
We can simply divide dictators’ methods into the following headings:
- ORATORY AND WORD SELECTION
ORATORY AND WORD SELECTION
Most of the autocrats have a talent for rhetoric from childhood. Oratory power and word use are important for conveying messages. Autocrats themselves educate on the constructive-destructive effects of words. Lying, diversion, denial, and word exchange are methods autocrats and dictators use. Autocrats in front of the crowd prefer to convey the message directly and harshly.
Autocrats use symbols or symbols in the shape of a total reflection of their ideas. They need structures. The masses are more likely to believe in an embodied lie rather than an abstract idea. The commodification of a strong idea and mass loyalty are the key to ensuring. Totems seen in primitive tribes, tribal signs, cross symbols and temples set good examples of symbolism.
A movement, a being and an idea are conceptualized and brought to life. Every ritual has a name and its name gathers the masses under one roof. SS (SchutzStaffel), REICH (Hitler’s all German Ideal of gathering speaking communities under one roof), LEBENSRAUM (For the Master-Race The Idea of creating a living space) are examples of these conceptualizations.
Each autocrat’s image is unique and varies according to the audience he wants to control. Autocrats’ appearance does not easily change over decades. Same hair and beard order, use of accessories are seen. An autocrat wants to keep first public appearance, and that first date. It is prepared carefully for the moment. Autocrats skillfully use propaganda tools to reflect their images.
When you look at the examples of dictators around the world, you will see that they use all of these skills. Where is the knowledge in this? The only weapon that can reveal all these methods used by dictators who want to control the masses is knowledge.
With the texts Gnostics wrote, the Gnostics revealed that the concept of religion was not what the Catholics said. His books were banned because Einstein showed that a single superior race was not suitable for evolution and that the concept of the superior race was an illusion. Classical music was banned because children who grew up with classical music questioned the cases more. The Library of Alexandria was burned to destroy cultural heritage, because if the legacy continued, the desired manipulation would not have happened. Why was Bruno burned because he said the universe was infinite? Hence the inquisition courts of the time, everything was created for the world and the reflection of the god was the priests. All these people who waged war on knowledge in the past were aware of the power of knowledge as it is today. Their image and order were threatened by knowledge.
What happened today is not much different from what happened in the past. Knowledge is now easily spread on the internet. Interaction in the world increases with the internet. Something that is at one end of the world can easily be learned by people on the other side of the world. This unpreventable speed of the internet frightens dictators around the world. Because the things that are hidden by those who want to manipulate the public are easily revealed and can spread with the internet. When a parliamentarian in Europe lies, an Indian citizen can expose the parliamentarian’s lie. The dangers of a censorship law negotiated in the United States can be exposed by Australian activists. War crimes can be broadcasted to the world by brave journalists and people, along with the Internet. Autocrats are no longer able to create their images as they used to, they cannot easily manipulate the public with lies, or easily play word games. For the groups who want to control the people, there is only one thing left to do: Control and censor the internet.
For all these reasons listed above, dictators are now targeting the internet, not the real libraries.
More than 54 percent of the world’s population (more than 4.1 billion people) uses the internet. If this opportunity is used correctly, it means a great power. People can now hear more from each other and can support each other. As we all know, the most important tool of politics and politicians is a lie. It is to direct the people with lies. The proliferation of the Internet can take away their most powerful weapon.
Let’s explain how countries are trying to influence the internet:
- There isn’t anything North Korea doesn’t heavily censor thanks to its iron grip over the entire internet. Users are unable to use social media, watch porn, or use torrents or VPNs.
- In China, Western social media is blocked, while political media is heavily restricted. Journalists often face severe prison sentences if they publish anything that goes against the government. All privately-owned media is tightly controlled by the Communist Party and foreign journalists frequently find themselves in dangerous situations. According to Reporters Without Borders’ latest report, over 120 bloggers and journalists are currently imprisoned in life-threatening conditions. The country has a small army (upwards of 50,000 people) monitoring internet activity at all times.
- Russia blocks torrenting sites and VPNs. Some social media sites are also accessible but these too are heavily monitored and controlled.
- News media is heavily censored in Iran. Iran also blocks VPNs. The punishment for spreading knowledge which is anti-Iranian government is often execution.
- Turkmenistan blocks social media.
- In Belarus, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Eritrea, political media is also heavily censored. The internet is heavily monitored and alternative media are almost not allowed. Turkey’s swelling blacklist of 100,000 websites, coupled with harsh penalties for any whiff of anti-government sentiment, have created an extremely restrictive environment for Turkish internet users.
- Quite a few countries block social networks during elections. This is often the case in Africa with Mauritania recently disrupting connectivity following a disputed election. Ethiopia also shut down the internet during national exams to curb cheating, while Somalia banned social media when exams were taking place in high schools across the country.
- In Chad, a 16-month social media ban finally came to an end in July 2019. The reason for the ban was “national security.”
- The United States threatens anyone who reports against USA, wherever in the world, and asks its own technology companies to provide citizens’ information.
- Almost no content that the government does not want is published on the internet in Vietnam.
- The European Union is already implementing many censorship laws under the name of national security and working with private data companies.
We all know how dirty things have been in the past of all the countries listed above.
Half of all countries in the world want to control the internet. The remaining half have limited access to the internet anyway. A big part of the world’s population access an internet that is at least partially censored. While there is a big increase in the rate of censorship, there has been a decline in the technological advancement of the internet.
The Internet is a free space where you can easily spread knowledge. People can teach each other new things on the internet. Ideas are exchanged and discussed over the internet. For those who do not want their lies to be revealed, who want to exploit citizens for their own interests and who want to deceive people with false images, the internet will of course be the biggest danger.
The biggest enemy of a false perception, a false concept, a false image and a false word is knowledge.