The Tech Lords are Fools and Knaves
It’s easy, after the notorious censorship of the New York Post’s investigative piece on Joe Biden’s corruption, to blame Big Tech for being evil. But I think the problem is deeper than that. I think the problem is what you might call the Lina Lamont Problem: the Tech Lords are not as smart as they think they are.
You remember Lina Lamont in Singin’ in the Rain and her Jaysey accent: “What d’yer think I yam? Dumb or Some’pn?”
Let’s get real about the Pichais, the @jacks, the Zucks of the world. They are super-duper at building tech empires. But when would they have had time for anything except ingesting the conventional political wisdom of their class and generation?
I can even see an innocent reason for censoring the Post’s piece for “hacking” and publishing embarrassing private information. It’s understandable that the Tech Lords would want to damp down the plebs from publishing each other's sordid little scandals. There’s a kind of Tech Lordly noblesse oblige about making sure that the plebs behave: Don’t want to lower the tone of the social media, old chap.
Problem is, dear Tech Lords, that everything in politics is about hacking and publishing the embarrassing private information of the opposition. Here is Charles Dickens in 1843 satirizing the New York press of the time. He writes, in Martin Chuzzlewit, of the “New York Sewer” and
the Sewer's exclusive account of a flagrant act of dishonesty committed by the Secretary of State when he was eight years old; now communicated, at a great expense, by his own nurse.
Imagine that! In 1843! Christine Blasey Ford, please copy.
And where were you, dear Tech Lords, when the Obama administration “hacked” the private conversation between LTG Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador? Where were you when the Hillary Clinton campaign publicized false embarrassing private information about Donald Trump? Where were you when the New York Times published President Trump’s private tax returns?
Exactly. It would never have occurred to you noble lords that those Trump scandals, that you published without a second thought, are exactly the same as the New York Post story that you censored.
Why? Because you chaps know literally nothing about politics. Here’s one reason why.
It appears, in the current New York Post censorship scandal, that you have hired a bunch of Democrat staffers -- and even a Brit establishment knight -- to executive positions in your censorship hierarchy. Only people that knew literally nothing about politics would do such a thing. Don’t you realize that, in the crunch, these swamp creatures would obviously use their positions to help their team, and damn the reputation of Twitter or Facebook or Google?
But, really, that never occurred to you, did it? Because you basically accept the educated Gentry position that the Democrats are the Good Guys and the Republicans are the racist-sexist-hompohobe white oppressors, go to jail, do not pass go.
I mean, seriously chaps. If any of you had half a brain you would have decided that, given that Big Tech is right in the cross hairs, it would be sensible to hire swamp creatures from both sides of the aisle. And it would make sense for your Truth and Safety Commissions to be carefully balanced, politically. And it would be prudent to be contributing to both parties, because you never know when you might need a friend in high places. Obviously, when the going gets tough, any swamp creature would betray your trust. That’s what swindlers did in Victorian novels back in 1843, and I dare say they still do.
But you Linda Lamonts are too dumb to understand that.
I remember back in the 1990s that the young Microsoft kept a low profile, keeping out of politics. But then in 1998 the Clinton Justice Department filed an antitrust case against Microsoft. Welcome to the real world, Bill Gates. Shortly afterwards Speaker Gingrich came to Seattle to teach a seminar to the Microsofties on the facts of life. You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.
I know that all you Tech Lords know that you know better. But often in politics that doesn’t count. That truth is encompassed in my highly sophisticated maxim, that “there is no such thing as justice, only injustice.” Justice is something a Tech Lord aristocratically imposes when he shuts up an unruly New York tabloid. Injustice is what an ordinary Commoner voter experiences when a lordly Tech Lord cancels his voice.
No doubt it will shortly come down to this, as we Commoners boil over with rage:
Let the Tech Lords tremble at a Commoner Revolution. The Commoners have nothing to lose but our chains. We have a nation to win.
COMMONERS OF AMERICA UNITE!
Yes. You could look it up in The Commoner Manifesto by a noted American firebrand. It’s rather good, if I say so myself.
Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.