Once upon a time there was a country where a group of people had been selected by the rest of the people to be in charge. (The rest of the people may have made a big mistake doing this, but that’s another story.) Anyway, this group could be identified in various ways. They all dressed the same, spoke in the same way (usually no more than three words at a time, repeated incessantly, that would bear little relevance to anything in the real world), earned the same astronomical amounts of money and had accounts in the same offshore tax havens. Sometimes they would try to pretend they were different from each other by disagreeing, but they always did things the same way in the end.
Now these people had two aims: to get even more money than they currently had, and to enable all the people they knew (other people with lots of money) to get more money as well. They needed to hang onto their power to make this happen, and they discovered that their power might be in danger of being taken away. They tried to control how much information the rest of the people had about what they were getting up to, and they pretended that bad things meant good things when they had to tell people something. But the problem was that the rest of the people had other ways of talking to each other, and the ones who found out about the bad things would go around and tell everybody.
So the group in charge concocted a plan. They passed a law to make it illegal for anyone to say bad things about them. They said that if bad things were said then this put the country in danger, and it destroyed the country’s reputation. They said anyone who said bad things was bad themselves, and they should be put in jail.
The law was passed. And the bad things got worse. And anyone who said anything about it was sent to jail. Bad things got more bad, and everyone was too scared to say.
This is not long ago and far away. This is now, and it is closer than you think. What is your government up to? Do you know?