Big Tech in league with Big Money has been asserting itself for some time as the face of the New Left, establishing a digital panopticon to control public opinion, keep tabs on users, and possibly to sway the result of national elections. The result is a species of high-tech totalitarianism practiced by a raft of billionaires, unrepentant capitalists who paradoxically manifest as techno-Marxists. Their activities are generating a radical transmutation in our way of life, gradually depriving us of agency and independence.
Co-founder of Amazon and owner of Pravda-like The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos’ net worth is in the order of $147 billion. His fortune, as Franklin Foer writes in an article titled It’s Jeff Bezos’s Planet Now, is not mitigated by the tax collector or constrained by antitrust laws. The Jeff Bezos Earth fund will disburse $10 billion in the name of fighting climate change, perhaps the greatest government fraud of the current age.
“Bezos has begun to subsume the powers of the state,” Foer continues, funding the exploration of space and spending $700 million “to retrain workers in the shadow of automation and displacement.”
“When Amazon locates its second headquarters on the Potomac,” Foer speculates, “it will provide a perfect geographic encapsulation of the new balance of power.” Meanwhile, Bezos is using his WaPo bully pulpit to promote far left, anti-Trump and feminist screeds filled with doctrinaire misinformation.
Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft, comes in second at $107 billion. A convinced globalist and a champion of mandatory vaccination, Gates is a major donor to the ethically compromised and China-friendly W.H.O., which would be enough to disqualify him as the moral paragon he is made out to be.
He is a passionate advocate for microchip implant (ID2020 Alliance-Digital Identity) against the Coronavirus and the subsequent issuing of “digital certificates” to track vaccination data and “a variety of forms of identification,” thus enabling total government control over the daily life of its citizens, as is very much the case in Communist China. (Gates’ friend, Warren Buffet, at approximately 69 billion in net worth, pledged $31 billion in company stock to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.)
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, who deploys a net worth of $76.4 billion, found himself grilled by Congress, in the words of the The New York Times, “on the proliferation of so-called fake news on Facebook, Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election and censorship of conservative media.” Zuckerberg seems to be coming round to a more reasonable position on the public responsibility of social media to eschew the policing of opinion. But his apparent conversion remains to be tested.
We mustn’t forget Larry Page, co-founder of Google and owner of YouTube, who enjoys a personal fortune of $65 billion, which he uses to control the giant platforms and to censor conservative voices in the interest of his leftwing politics. My wife’s Fiamengo File video series, for example, has found itself regularly demonetized and shadow-banned.
Wikipedia reliably documents a series of reasons for disenchantment with Google, including “tax avoidance, misuse and manipulation of search results, its use of others’ intellectual property…compilation of data [that] may violate people’s privacy…censorship of search results and content, and…traditional business issues such as monopoly, restraint of trade, antitrust, “idea borrowing“, and being an “Ideological Echo Chamber.”
Jeff Zucker, chairman of WarnerMedia and president of CNN, the epitome of fake news networks and depauperate in credibility, is at $20 million a whimsical afterthought, a mere caddy for the Golfing elite, but no less malign for all that. Mining for truth on CNN is like mining for gold on the moon.
These are among the most powerful wheelers and dealers ushering in a new millennium of techno-socialism in which the usual style of doing party politics has gone out the window. In a 2010 Breitbart profile for TIME, (no longer available), Steve Oney remarks that “the Big sites devote their energy less to trying to influence the legislative process in Washington than to attacking the institutions and people” that once dictated the American conversation.
A recent instance of this process is Twitter’s biased “fact check” of a tweet by President Trump, which constitutes interference in the electoral domain by attempting to sway public sentiment against a Republican adversary.
The downstream cultural drift, to echo Breitbart, of the technocratic left seems unstoppable, relentlessly approaching its equilibrium profile—unless popular resistance to the current can be mounted. Whether such a populist revolt is feasible in the present circumstances, given that the digital socialists control the media and the Internet and are busy chumming the waters with charitable endeavors, remains moot. They may linger in a state of contradiction as leftist moneymen, but this is no consolation for those who are devoid of the sinuous talent for corruption and lack a faculty for politics.
Others have noticed the social metamorphosis the West is undergoing, in particular two notable writers on opposite banks of the cultural divide, Naomi Klein and Michael Rectenwald.
Though I have never been sympathetic to Klein, whose leftism goes so deep it seems amniotic, her critique of what she calls a Pandemic Shock Doctrine in her essay Screen New Deal is a wake-up call. She focuses on a project for the dictatorial control of the public under the smokescreen of fighting COVID-19 via “permanently integrating technology into every aspect of life.”
This initiative projects a future running on AI in which the individual’s “every move…is data-mineable by unprecedented collaboration between government and tech giants.” It is currently in the planning stage, involving a partnership between New York State governor Andrew Cuomo, former presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg and Eric Schmidt, former Executive Chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet.
Klein’s term for this is “disaster capitalism.” But since all these players herd sharply leftward, are staunch supporters of the Democratic Party, and envision totalitarian control of the masses, it is far more appropriate to regard them as proponents of Marxo-Capitalism.
In his piquantly titled The Google Archipelago, Michael Rectenwald comes even closer to the heart of the matter. Though using the term “monopoly capitalists,” his brief in fact details how Big Tech is really a form of “leftist authoritarianism,” the brainchild of “international socialist capitalists” that aims at establishing a corporate hegemonic state reminiscent of but even more “magnified, diversified, and extended in scope” than the Fascist and Communist regimes of the modern era. “Late capitalism,” he argues, “has already been replaced by hybrid varieties of postmodern and Marxist capitalism.”
“Even if only augmentations of state power,” he continues, “the apparatus of Big Digital [will] produce an enormous sea change in governmental and economic power,” including “enhanced capabilities for supervision, surveillance, tracking, facial recognition [and] un-personing or otherwise controlling populations.” Rectenwald’s argument bears a close affinity with Klein’s, but he is clearer on the profoundly socialist nature of the digital takeover of Western nations.
The concept and resurgence of fascism, as many believe, is not to the point here; we recall that the Nazis were “National Socialists.” Our plutocrats are one-party leftists, pure and simple, Marxists with deep pockets who, byvirtue of their control of information may soon alter the destiny of the nation.
I have argued on many occasions that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which effectively shields the media platforms from government intervention and oversight, needs to be modified on the grounds that these platforms and search engines now function as information monopolies with vast political power. What we are witnessing is the deployment of a totalitarian methodology camouflaged as the legitimate practice of a private company.
President Trump’s recent Executive Order targeting legal protections for these social media giants is a step in the right direction, a much-needed cultural correction. According to Breitbart, Rep. Matt Gaetz is now training his sights on the big platforms, adding that “It is not ‘good for the country’ regardless of politics when these social media companies cease to stay neutral platforms.”
As I contended in a June 29, 2019 article for this site, if Trump does not act forcefully against the perversion of electoral justice and journalistic ethics and break up the information monopolies, then there is a strong possibility that he will go down to a defeat he does not deserve. It would also be a defeat that the nation does not deserve.
The unholy alliance of Big Tech with Big Money now poses a grave, if not the gravest, threat to the health and longevity of the Republic. It represents the New Left at its most insidious. It must be dealt with.
David Solway’s latest book is Notes from a Derelict Culture, Black House Publishing, 2019, London. A CD of his original songs, Partial to Cain, appeared in 2019.