Fascism is a corporate-government alliance, and that seems an apt description of what’s going on between big tech and the Democrats. From Robert Bridge at strategic-culture.org:
Although there may not be tanks on the streets and a dictator inciting crowds from his bully pulpit, the end result has been pretty much the same.
Most Americans can probably still remember a time when U.S. companies were in business with one goal in mind – providing a product or service for profit. It was a noble idea, the bedrock of capitalism, in which everyone stood to gain in the process.
Today, the monopolistic powers now enjoyed by a handful of mighty corporations, which are no longer shy about declaring their political bent, have tempted them to wade into the deep end of the political pool with deleterious effects on democracy. Indeed, corporate power wedded to government is nothing less than fascism.
In presenting such a case, it is important to put aside the notion that fascism is a purely right-wing phenomenon, complete with a chauvinistic demagogue haranguing a frenzied crowd. The new dictator on the block is not some fanatical Fuhrer, but rather Silicon Valley, the fountainhead of technological advancement and the formidable fortress of liberal ideology. In other words, fascism is an ideology that moves fluidly along the political spectrum, although some say the ideology grew out of European progressivism.
Big technology lined up squarely against Trump and did everything in their power to defeat him. From Andrea Widburg at americanthinker.com:
When Tucker Carlson attacked Sidney Powell, I was unhappy with him. However, I said I would still watch Tucker because he’s mostly smart, brave, and funny, qualities I like. Some people (politely) disagreed with me. Having seen Tucker’s Monday monologue, though, I am glad that I stuck to my guns by sticking to Tucker. Tucker excoriates the real fraud in the 2020 election, which is the way the media and Big Tech manipulated the system to destroy Trump.
It’s hard to explain to people who came of age during the Trump era how differently the establishment treated his presidency. Even when the media loathed presidents — as they did with Nixon and Reagan — they at least went through the motions of showing respect.
With Trump, the media’s hate-fest is unbounded. They ignored the usual 100-day honeymoon. Instead, from the moment Trump was elected, media hacks began to exhaust their limited vocabulary of insults: Trump is Hitler. Trump is worse than Hitler. Trump is a Hitlerly copy of something worse than Hitler.
If they’re not making Hitler analogies, you have Anderson Cooper calling the president of the United States an “obese turtle on his back flailing in the hot sun.” Stay classy, Anderson! Where’s that sophisticated guy who got drunk and talked about his mother’s sex life on air?
The big software and internet tech monopolies are developing their own hardware to further extend their dominance. From Mule’s Musings at mule.substack.com:
Everyone loves to talk about tech monopolies. Their acquisition spree and obvious market power in a world with no distribution cost is likely better discussed in the DOJ recommendation or at the venerable Ben Thompson’s Stratechery. Instead, I want to talk about some good ole fashioned monopolizing. And that’s vertical integration via going down the technology stack into hardware. I want to discuss why now, why does it matter, and how is each of the large platforms positioned.
The phrase “Owe the bank 500 dollars, that is your problem. Owe the bank 500 million – that is the bank’s problem.” is something that comes to mind for some of the tech monopolies right now. There is a shifting relationship between the largest software companies in the world and their suppliers, and as the leading software companies have become ever-larger portions of the compute pie, it’s kind of become the problem of the tech companies, and not the semiconductor companies that service them to push forward the natural limits of hardware. Software ate the world so completely that now the large tech companies have to deal with the actual hardware that underlies their stack. Especially as some companies like Intel have fallen behind.
Will Big Tech rule the world? From tr4head at theburningplatform.com:
The Big Tech CV19 fix is in. Brick and mortar is dead and gone and replaced with virtual, for your own protection. And, for your kids (it’s always the kids). Big Tech has come to save the day!
No disrespect intended to the great Mighty Mouse who fought the bad guys, but what better world could the likes of Bezos, Zuckerberg, Cook, Gates and all the other Big Tech Internet mongering Robber Barons get than what is on the near horizon? CV-19 tm allows Big Tech to be “Save the Day” heroes by claiming to keep us healthy living in a virtual world. This will, unfortunately, make all the rest of us poor as dirt by comparison to their wealth which is already insanely and disproportionately high, and grows ever larger with each money printing Fed fiasco.
As of August 12, 2020, here are the combined stock equity value totals of just the top 5 of the S&P 500 (in descending order of insanity).
Apple. $1.93 Trillion
Amazon. $1.58 Trillion
Microsoft. $1.59 Trillion
Google. $1.02 Trillion
Facebook. $.740 Trillion (what a slacker)
Big Tech Top 5 Combined Equity: $6.86 Trillion*
*Japan Nominal GDP: $5.15 Trillion
The S&P 500 is 80% of the entire market value of all of the companies in America. The top 5 Tech companies represent 1% of the top 500 companies in America and have 25% of the stock equity. If that doesn’t mean that Big Tech rules I don’t know what does.
Don’t be fooled by Big Tech’s rhetoric about protecting your electronic devices from government snoops. From Bill Blunden at theamericanconservative.com:
The law can already get into your phone anytime. But Apple needs you to think it isn’t helping them.
In the wake of this year’s Munich Security Conference, members of the European Union are pushing back against warnings by the United Statesabout networking gear sold by Chinese telecom giant Huawei. American officials have alleged that Huawei can covertly access its equipment through backdoors designed for law enforcement, and voiced concerns about the risk associated with installing hardware that could give the Chinese government the ability to remotely monitor or even disable other nation’s networks.
The insistence of countries like Britain and Germany on integrating technology from a police state directly into their digital infrastructure is definitely curious. But it’s not like supply chain subversion hasn’t already transpired on an industrial scale. For example, we know now, thanks to a recent Washington Post report, that during the early days of the Cold War, the Central Intelligence Agency succeeded in secretly compromising encryption technology used by over 120 different countries. For years, American spies were tapping lines and pilfering secrets from all over the globe.
Back to 2020. American officials are sounding alarms about Huawei having backdoors, though that hasn’t stopped them from supporting U.S. law enforcement getting their own access to everyone’s data whenever they want. But theirs is a “noble” cause: high ranking members of the political establishment are warning that they won’t be able to protect us against terrorists, drug cartels, and child pornographers unless Silicon Valley allows in American security services.
Big Tech has come to the pitiable state where it ostensibly promotes free speech while stifling speech with which it doesn’t agree. From Peter Hasson at washingtonexaminer.com:
For better or worse, social media is the new public square. Of adults, 68% use Facebook, 73% use YouTube, and a quarter use Twitter. The numbers are much higher for adults under 50. Two-thirds of adults and roughly 4 in 5 under 50 use social media to consume news. Three-quarters of Facebook users are on the site every day, and Twitter users have a disproportionate influence on the media because so many journalists are on the service.
The size and scale of social media companies exploded primarily because they presented themselves as open platforms — blank slates. Google, Facebook, and Twitter all characterized their products as engines for social improvement. “We think of Twitter as the global town hall,” said former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo. “We are the free speech wing of the free speech party.”
Costolo was Twitter’s chief executive from 2010 until 2015 and the immediate predecessor of current CEO Jack Dorsey. Twitter’s general manager in the United Kingdom, Andy Yang, likewise described Twitter as the “free speech wing of the free speech party” in March 2012. Google became a multibillion-dollar company by offering a portal for free, unrestricted information to anyone with access to the internet; famously, its original motto was “Don’t be evil.” An internal Facebook memo circulated in June 2016 stated that at Facebook, “we believe in connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people more often is de facto good.”
The year almost past saw the ascendence of some uncommonly stupid ideas. From Max Gulker at aier.com:
At first glance 2019 was a rough year for anyone in favor of an economy and society guided from the bottom up by people with the freedom to exchange, cooperate, and think as they choose. The highly visible left flank of the Democratic Party, fully embracing socialism in name and approach, erupted with proposals that would drastically change the country in ways they intend and many more in ways they do not. Meanwhile, the Republican Party’s debt from its Faustian bargain with President Donald Trump began to come due.
What can we learn from bad ideas? Plenty, if we approach them with curiosity rather than assumed intellectual or moral deficiency on the part of those trafficking in them. The truth, that people have a really hard time understanding the benefits of free markets and bottom-up organization, is both difficult and galvanizing. Free-market ideas don’t really have a place in the current incarnation of our two-party system. We’re free agents and that can open a world of new possibilities if we let it.
Posted in Business, Capitalism, Economics, Economy, Governments, Politics, Technology, Trade
Tagged Big Tech, Elizabeth Warren, Green New Deal, protectionism
Silicon Valley has become a bastion of left-wing politics and politically correct ideology. From Ian Miles Cheong at humanevents.com:
Big Tech amplified the culture war: now it is putting its thumb on the scale.
The early days of the internet were rife with optimism about the future of the technological society. Techno-utopians naively hoped that a society running on the so-called “Information SuperHighway” would be armed with facts, and civic life would evolve past the tired dialectic of partisan politics.
Of course what they predicted, and what ended up happening, are two very different things. Far from enlightenment, we’re confronting a world of conspiracy theories and alternative narratives produced within echo chambers and widely disseminated through social media—some of which are downright dangerous.
Before we can understand why things are the way they are, it is necessary to recall what happened in the first two decades of the 21st century. That’s likely what motivated Joe Bernstein’s recent retrospective on BuzzFeed. For all the utopianism and hope that defined the end of the 20th century, we still haven’t ended starvation and inequality, accomplished world peace, or established a colony on Mars. Instead, we have the culture war and a myriad of trivialities that threaten to ensconce the human race in low-stakes concerns like preferred pronouns and microaggressions.
Bernstein, who’s very much a “normie,” laments the ways in which the new age of enlightenment, driven by technological progress, failed to deliver. But the utopia he grieves for is very much a product of Big Tech’s monocultural hegemony. Big Tech, which has engineered the current state of political discourse, has been subsumed by leftist beliefs—both from within and without.