The Internet is a twenty-year-and-counting free speech-free market Xanadu.
The free market part has been amazing. United States Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have invested more than $1 trillion building the connective tissue – the infrastructure that inter-Webs us all.
And the result has been us going from “What’s the Internet?” – to the Internet being 1/6th of our $18-trillion-per-annum economy. And our Net speed going from 14.4K dial-up sloth – to 1GB+ of blitzkrieg bop. And ever-climbing speeds – by the hour, it seems. And just wait until they deliver unto us 5G.
The Web’s free market explosion – has fostered the accompanying, unprecedented free speech explosion. Nothing prior made it so easy to speak one’s mind – and thereafter amplify said speech.
Unfortunately, as nigh always happens when a new free market sector rises up – there is a tendency for it all to be controlled by a tiny cabal. Where a few players with foresight stake out massive claims to their respective swaths – and quash and squash all subsequent competitors.
As our nascent nation’s nascent economy grew, we came to have the the late 1800s Robber Barons. Where Industrialists commandeered and controlled their massive portions of the program.
You needed oil? You pretty much had to use John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. You needed steel? You pretty much had to use Andrew Carnegie’s Carnegie Steel Company. And so on….
As the Internet sprung from nothing into something – it delieverd us its Robber Barons. Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s Google, Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, Twitter’s founding quartet, and so on….
And because our economy is so much larger now, today’s Silicon Valley Robber Barons grew exponentially faster – and to be exponentially more powerful – than their forebears.
And to go along with it, governments now – are exponentially larger than governments then.
As is always the case, the wealth gap between the rich and everyone else – is as big or small as is government. You want to shrink the economic divide? Shrink government.
When government is this big – Big Business loves it. Because only Big Business can afford Big Government. And that leaves the Little Guys who are looking to compete – gasping for air and grasping at straws.
Big Government – means more power for Big Tech.
And Big Tech is not at all shy about using governments everywhere – as additional weapons against anyone attempting to challenge them. Born is Big Cronyism.
Perhaps because the Silicon Valley Barons are exponentially more powerful than their forebears – they feel perfectly comfortable imposing political preferences on their business models.
This corporate ideological favoritism – is a fairly new phenomenon.
Basketball legend Michael Jordan is a lifelong Democrat – who never publicly said so or did anything about it. When asked years ago why, he wisely replied “Republicans buy sneakers too.”
The original Robber Barons sold their products to all comers.
But today’s Tech Titans? Not so much.
Today’s Tech Titans – are speech platform hosts. And they are ever-more-openly censoring anyone to the Right of Josef Stalin or Mao Zedong.
This has been happening for at least a decade. And none of the usual suspects – The Left, Big Media and Big Government Officials (please pardon the redundancy) – minded. Because Big Government was benefiting.
Big Tech was giving Big Government Officials access to their massive data caches – so that Big Government Officials could keep getting elected and imposing ever bigger, ever-more-crony government – so all was swell.
But then the unthinkable happened. A Republican-aiding joint <GASP> figured out how to manipulate Big Tech’s massive data caches – to its benefit.
And all that was old – was new again. The Left, Big Media and Big Government Officials – were all suddenly OUTRAGED.
Oh – do we even know if then-candidate Donald Trump benefitted from this?
It appears it did nothing for Trump. It appears Trump didn’t actually benefit:
“The Trump campaign did not utilize the Facebook data obtained by Cambridge Analytica and the firm is not affiliated with the president’s re-election effort, two sources directly involved with the campaign’s decisions tell CBS News.”
But the Left never allows facts to get in the way of a good beating.
Oh look – Facebook responds…by banning yet another non-Leftist. Shocker. Tough to work against – yet alone overcome – muscle memory.
And of course, “Big Government Official” – is not the exclusive purview of the Democrat Party:
“On NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said that he was ‘disturbed’ by the news and questioned if Facebook’s policies have kept pace with their growth as a major social media platform over the past decade and a half.
Well Howdy, Senator Rubio. If I may borrow from Christmas flick character John McClain – “Welcome to the party, pal.”
Where have Rubio and his Republican ilk been for the last decade-plus – while Big Tech was over and over and over again using its Big Data to aid and abet Big Government Officials?
We can at least understand why all of the usual suspects were so long silent. The Left, Big Media and Big Government Officials were working together to their collectivist benefit – so all was swell.
But they’re working against your Party, Republicans. They are working against the issues and ideas for which you claim to stand.
Why did you remain steadfastly silent all these years – only to be rousted from your slumber by what has to be at least the nine trillionth Big Tech big data abuse?
Is it because the nine trillionth Big Tech big data abuse…allegedly benefited Trump?
And you find an alleged benefit for Trump – exponentially more egregious than a decade-plus of very real, nauseatingly incessant benefits for the Left and their Big Government cronies?
I am having an inordinately difficult time reaching any other conclusion.
This first appeared in Red State.