Shortwave radio has long been a weapon in the war of ideas, and continues to be so today, much to the surprise of many. So powerful a weapon, at times throughout history simply being caught in possession of a shortwave radio could warrant imprisonment or death.
It is a significant fact that those threatened by shortwave signals have never been friends of freedom. So it is fitting that our guest, Paul Lambert, who sponsors Just Right on shortwave broadcasts heard around the world, should join us in a discussion about shortwave and about some of his European perspectives on many of the issues often raised on the show.
As a resident of Berlin, Paul’s views on the political environment within Germany offer some fascinating comparisons to the narratives heard outside that country in the major news media. From the disturbing social trends between men and women developing in conjunction with Germany’s mass migration policies, to arbitrarily forcing households, employers, and even car rental agencies to pay a ‘TV tax,’ these trends may well become the norm in a not-too-distant North American Leftist future as well.
At the heart of every issue discussed is, of course, the very ‘right’ itself to discuss any matter or issue with willing participants, and to share those discussions with willing listeners/viewers. A ‘TV tax’ is merely one contrived way to force the unwilling to finance views and values not shared or even opposed.
Ironically, Germany’s ‘TV tax’ must be paid even by those who do not own a TV set, a circumstance not so unusual, given today’s technological alternatives. As much of the world has adopted the internet as a means of communicating and interacting globally, traditional radio, television, and other ‘wireless’ means of transmitting signals have been abandoned in favor of the ‘wired’ technology. If a ‘TV tax’ proves anything, it is that ‘technology changes; politicians don’t.’
Thus, the very technology originally predicted to ‘virtually’ guarantee a means of free expression, has also fostered new ways of controlling and manipulating the expression of ideas. Thus, the ‘wired world’ has become subject to the same phenomenon – censorship – as the one already experienced in the ‘wireless’ world, particularly on shortwave.
Just as they today block undesirable web sites from their ‘internet’ services, it has long been a common practice of nations like Russia and China to block radio and television signals from the Western nations and other undesirable sources.
This, Paul observes, makes more significant the trend of Western nations’ abandonment of their official shortwave broadcasts to the communist and socialist nations of the world. Traditionally, these broadcasts were often their only source of news and information from the ‘outside.’ Meanwhile, non-Western nations themselves are increasing their presence on shortwave, leaving the task of preaching and spreading Western values on shortwave radio to the private sector.
Whether on line or on shortwave, censorship routinely targets what’s Right, leaving an open field of expression for what’s Left – no matter how offensive or false.
Fortunately, thanks to sponsors like Paul, shortwave can continue to be, for many, the only alternative to hear many of the ideas and perspectives that are Just Right.