How Could We Have Been So Naive about Big Tech? By Jeffrey A. Tucker

Once upon a time a lot of Ayn Rand oriented libertarians essentially assumed the “goodness” of business, and that it would never become an arm of the government. Obviously Big Tech these days destroys that illusion. From Jeffrey A. Tucker at brownstone.org:

The 1998 movie Enemy of the State starring Gene Hackman and Will Smith seemed like fiction at the time. Why I didn’t regard that movie – which still holds up in nearly every detail – as a warning I do not know. It pulls back the curtain on the close working relationship between national security agencies and the communications industry – spying, censorship, blackmailing, and worse. Today, it seems not just a warning but a description of reality.

There is no longer any doubt at all about the symbiotic relationship between Big Tech – the digital communications industry in particular – and government. The only issue we need to debate is which of the two sectors are more decisive in driving the loss of privacy, free speech, and liberty in general.

Not only that: I’ve been involved in many debates over the years, always taking the side of technology over those who warned of the coming dangers. I was a believer, a techno-utopian and could not see where this was headed.

The lockdowns were the great shock for me, not only for the unconscionably draconian policies imposed on the country so quickly. The shock was intensified by how all the top tech companies immediately enlisted in the war on freedom of association. Why? Some combination of industry ideology, which shifted over 30 years from a founding libertarian ethos to become a major force for techno-tyranny, plus industry self-interest (how better to promote digital media consumption than to force half the workforce to stay home?) were at work.

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