Last month, the European Union banned the Russian news agencies RT (previously known as Russia Today) and Sputnik.
This means that Europeans can no longer access their websites and RT cannot broadcast its shows in European countries.
The EU coordinated this move with Twitter, that made it impossible to read RT’s and Sputnik’s tweets in the European Union.
A shockingly totalitarian move, which is unprecedented in Europe and in most of the world.
The decision was taken to “prevent Russia from spreading toxic and damaging disinformation” (quote by Ursula von der Leyen).
There’s a lot to unpack here. Apparently, as we have seen before, Western states are increasingly using their power to decide what is ‘real’ or ‘fake’ news, and what is right or wrong.
By doing so, they are depriving citizens of the possibilities to decide for themselves, and to look into other opinions and alternative sources, as I wrote last month in a previous blog.
Ultimately, I predicted, this will lead to a society in which people only hear the state-approved opinions, and have become too passive to research anything themselves.
The government will then completely control its citizens.
I expected that it would take some more years to reach this point.
How very wrong I was.
Just one month later, the EU decided to impose a complete ban on news agencies whose information it did not want its citizens to read.
It was done within days, by the top leaders of the union, without any democratic process.
The EU was criticized by numerous free press organizations, but apart from that… silence.
What is the West so afraid of that it feels compelled to start banning news outlets altogether?
Does the EU not want its citizens to hear the truth?
Every sane person understands that there must be multiple perspectives on the crisis in Ukraine.
There should be nothing to fear when people read other viewpoints.
If your argumentation is stronger, they will never fall for what others are saying.
This leads us to the inevitable conclusion that maybe, just maybe, the case of the West is not as strong as you would think.
Because if it was, there was no danger in exposing people to other opinions.
So what does the EU not want its citizens to know?
Does it not want Europeans to read about Ukraine’s neo-Nazis?
Its war crimes in the Donbass and its mistreatment of Russian soldiers?
The full story, in other words?
Because, if people would know all this, would they start protesting the arms supplies to Ukraine and the expansion of NATO?
And outvoting all those currently in power?
I bet they would.
And Ursula von der Leyen and her peers know it too.
Moreover, this is another excellent example of the EU’s double standards.
For years, they have complained about press freedoms in Russia, China and other countries, but when the people in power are afraid to lose their own positions, they start cracking down on news agencies they do not like in an instant.
So much for the “free West.”
I would like to end on a positive note.
The West, always scolding other countries from its moral high horse, has now completely let its guard down.
Nobody can now say with a straight face anymore that the European Union is a beacon of freedom and democracy.
It has become clear for everyone, even staunch defenders of the Union, that the EU is moving in a totalitarian direction, in which different opinions are not allowed.
This move by the EU has opened people’s eyes, and change has become inevitable.
We just have to sit back and be patient.
By Maria Heemskerk, Dutch political commentator who blogs at https://ruslandinperspectief.wordpress.com/
Originally published by One World Press in April 10, 2022
Republished by The 21st Century
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of 21cir.com