Republican solutions to Big Tech tyranny do not begin to address financial de-platforming, the cancellation of citizen dissidents en masse, including the infringement of the right to partake in the public square and make a living.
In their weak case against Deep Tech (“Deep” to denote enmeshment with The State), Republicans are still defending only some speech on the “merits,” rather than all speech, no matter how meritless.
In a sense, the statist anti-trust bills—targeting especially Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google—being pushed by lawmakers are worse than useless.
The anti-trust impetus is misguided as it conflates corporate size with anti-competitive practices: the larger, the more monopolistic. However, reducing the size of an entity–a corporation–doesn’t necessarily alter its nature.
When a malignant cell divides, it doesn’t grow less potent. To the contrary, it innervates and enervates more spheres. Likewise breaking up Big Tech. Smaller malignancies metastasize and kill just as well.
The habitual failure of the representatives sent by Deplorables to D.C. to prevent cancellation en masse–the Orwellian nightmare from unravelling–cannot be understated. On the line is dissidents’ ability to speak, publish, partake in society; sell our cultural products, and transact financially over the country’s major online economic and social arteries.
No wonder the Tech crooks appear periodically on The Hill to make fun of the country’s comical representatives and their gullible, pliable voters. The richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, has no qualms about letting his delivery drivers, who, “operate under severe [app monitored] time constraints,” urinate in bottles for fear of losing their low-wage jobs.
Do you think the dim bulbs in Congress, posturing for the cameras, scare his ilk?
Do not forget that anti-trust busting or the repealing of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act are solutions the GOP had failed to implement when in control of both chambers and the presidency.
It was under Republican control that de-platforming (of a president, no less), the banning of legions of powerless dissident citizens, including detrimental financial de platforming, “occurred.”
Given this incontrovertible reality, The People have an obligation to quit the “my party, right or wrong” unconditional love, and demand the GOP work to unban ordinary, innocent folks, the crooked politicians be damned.
Section 230 Hype
Certainly, Section 230 solutions are insufficient to the task. “Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act,” explains the Guardian, tech companies currently enjoy broad immunity from civil lawsuits, stemming from what users post, because they are treated as ‘platforms’ rather than ‘publishers.’”
Section 230 “protects social media companies from being legally liable for content on their networks published by users.”
What Republican reformers who never reform are advocating is that social-media censors be deprived of their state-grants of privilege and protections against liability. Thus depriving these social engineers and censors is more than reasonable.
However, ordinary folks–small, independent entities who’re excommunicated by social media–cannot afford to mount a legal challenge against conglomerates whose revenues are greater than the GDP of multiple G20 nations.
Yes, Section 230 is a cynical slap in the face of citizens. Repeal it. But, do not count such political tokenism as a solution to financial and social excommunication by the Big Tech superhighway.
DeSantis’ Big Tech Bill
To get an idea of erroneous Republican “thinking,” take Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “Big Tech” Bill. It most certainly doesn’t give private citizens deserving, unfettered access to the social media public square. His “Big Tech” bill is neither useful nor fair to the Little Guy or Gal—not unless he or she is prepared to and can afford to launch law suits. I can’t. Can you?
DeSantis has simply made “it illegal for large technology companies to remove candidates for office from their platforms in the run-up to an election.”
And I thought that The People’s representatives were supposed to further our interests, and not grease the skids for themselves and their oleaginous amigos!
This is near-useless tokenism in solving Deep Tech tyranny. DeSantis’ “Big Tech” bill’s beneficiaries are the politicians. They receive protections The People don’t.
By-the-by, has anyone heard a politician or a pundit speak of the cancelling and silencing of the speech of regular dissidents, who aren’t invited to bloviate on Fox News? I haven’t.
Recently, a typical Fox News segment dealt with Facebook’s decision to ban Donald Trump for another two years. Not a word did the unbanned, urbane elites anchoring the segment say about MAGA America.
My own hardly lowbrow websites have been banned by the slum dogs of Facebook for life, presumably, with no discernible way to appeal.
Conversely, former President Trump seems able to appeal.
All you and I really deserve, as innocent, law-abiding individuals, is to have unfettered access to social-media’s irreplaceable public square–to Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, PayPal and other banking facilities–without being singled out for excommunication absent a crime. What are we, social leppers?
No question, the Section 230 grant-of-government privilege must be done away with, but this conventional solution is insufficient for the self-serving reasons DeSantis’ Bill is inadequate.
WATCH: “DEEP TECH’S Economic Terrorism”
NEXT WEEK: The Solutions.
Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian think piece since 1999. She’s the author of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Gab, YouTube & LinkedIn; banned by Facebook, and has a new Podcast
So the Republicans are useless, as usual. File that, along with Summer being hot and Winter being cold, as things that never change.
Prepare mentally for life without access. It won’t be easy, but it will be possible.
Also, what the heck is behind that curtain? A waterfall?
I basically agree with Ms Mercer.
Private companies like Google and Facebook etc are partly products of government policies that effectively stamp out or reduce competition. The corporate income tax and the personal income tax, for example, prevent potential competitors from amassing capital to start new businesses and new lines of business. So we are faced with fascist organizations hostile to reason that wage war on their ideological enemies.
Philosopher Stephen Hicks explained in a book on Hitlers’s fascism that regulations issued by the nation state were of limited number and impact. Much of the responsibility for the regimentation and punitive measures that made German life hellish were voluntary measures of businesses and organizations. These entities and people believed in the national socialist program and wanted to implement it.
Ayn Rand explained that politics is not primary; it is a derivative of more basic philosophical principles or beliefs. Individualism had been advanced in history by the rise of respect for reason. Now reason is in retreat–notice the insanity of the medical claims behind the so-called pandemic–and totalitarianism is unleashed.
I wrote and published articles for my blog on face book, until they shadow banned me. I got a note from a censor saying she’d let my heresy pass “this time”. Right away I saw where face book’s censorship was headed and stopped writing.
Very good article,and yes I agree with you agreeing with her.Thanks.
But this is not new.It may be eons old,the standard operating procedure.
I’ve been battling “financial terrorism” most of my adult life and it is not fun.
It is absolutely based on belief.Religion is the root,under even the dirt,
that is attempting the dominion of life on planet earth,by…Gods “word”.
These “fascist organizations hostile to reason” are people,your neighbors.
God needs their help to create peace and love in countries over those borders.
It is much worse than we know… “this”… is NOT God.
Jason Bourne or rev. Jesse Jackoff. Be glad you’re only being censored.
Looking forward to “pt.2,the solutions”
Lol… Publicly traded companies like Google and Facebook are not “private companies”.
Good article. A relative of mine, out of the blue, was told by her bank they were ending her checking account. They notified her she had to immediately remove her money from their bank. She had no idea why they were doing this, but thought it was due to her “conservative” views. It certainly wasn’t due to anything she did at her bank. A day later, her other bank did the same. Apparently, almost all banks use ChexSystems, to gauge customer risk. If a bank or “someone” posts something negative, all banks will blacklist the person, without any recourse for that person, nor with any explanation. It becomes a legal risk for Banks to tell you why you were denied an account, because they can be sued. My relative applied to many banks, was accepted, but within a week the bank would rescind her account. She had no bank to transfer the money to, so she couldn’t ask her original two banks to issue checks to her. She had to cash it all out in twenty dollar bills that she carried around with her in a backpack. She deemed $100 bills too risky, because they might think her cash was earned through an illegal drug trade. For six months, she searched for any bank that would accept her, but they all used ChexSystems to gauge customer risk. Chexsystem effectively blacklisted her. That went on for six months, but she eventually found a “second chance” bank. She still has no clue why they did that to her. Conservatives can likely expect this in the future. It’s best to always use an alias on these sites. It’s becoming illegal to be a conservative.
It will get even better when they eliminate cash. She’ll live on the little UBI they load on her JP Morgan®️Citizens’ Express card, provided she doesn’t violate the Citizens’ Account terms of service. Her twenties will be useful as toilet paper or to start the fire to keep warm.
Corporations are creations of government, they are enabled by government, and they operate like a government.
Is there any reason to be surprised by their behavior?
If the nation turns to UBI, I suspect the homebuilders will join us in retirement, leaving us all homeless and defecating on the streets of San Francisco, without twenties or toilet paper, where we will spend our spare time engaged in violent verbal conflicts with traffic lights. The more sensible ones would choose to do the same on warmer Waikiki Beach.
Alternatives will arise. Check out Dave Rubin’s ‘Locals’ company. One thing with computer technology is that it gets cheaper and easier all the time. Eventually people will go to places where they can do what they want. And radical leftists can scream at each other all day on Facebook, etc.
Well little Miss Von Mises, before the Internet Age, I don’t recall Libertarians ever being outraged over a banking law (still in effect) that gives banks the right to terminate banking relationships with account holders for any reason whatsoever. The account holder needn’t have a bad or slipping credit rating, questionable business practices etc. About the only people who have any protections from whimsical bankers’ decisions to terminate banking relationships are minorities, especially negros.
But hey, muh free enterprise, right?
still wearing the choker, I see. And Ilana, what’s with the
Every time I see someone wearing a choker I think about 70s teen idol, Bobby Sherman. Wonder what ever happened to that dude?
Cue: I Think I Love You by The Partridge Family
So mercer is against legislative moves that tend to curb or shrink the Big Techs…
for several reasons.
One of them is that you should rather accept the omnipotence of BEZOS, faces or twitterism because that s our inevitable21st century fate.
Ok, i ve taken good note.
Until you accept that the great corporations are enemy to the core and act accordingly you will never get anywhere. Still, the problem lies in the American concept of democracy and the citizen’s responsibility or lack thereof. It is the public that has made this situation possible.
This was acerbated by the failure to define the meaning that every state and the Federal Government should have a Republican form with great care. If this had been done either we would not have the problem we now have or we would know exactly where the problem is.
Parties should have been forbidden from the beginning. The citizens would have had to find means to debate among themselves at each election and select candidates. In the general election a none of the above candidate would exist meaning all candidates are rejected and new elections with new candidates selected. The old ones could not run again in that election sequence.
This is just a beginning. The electorate are officers of the government and must be held accountable for their actions and they must stand ready to defend their choices of officers if circumstances require it. Anonymous voting must end. Electing egregious traitors should be held against the voting public who selected them. Elections are serious business and none who vote may be allowed to be cavalier in their choices.
The electorate needs to be large and generally representative but it need not be universal. Obvious fools need to be excluded. People who are obvious followers of opinion should be excluded as clearly supernumerary.
The above is only meant to scratch the surface of the unaddressed issues in elections. The Founding Fathers spent so much trouble creating checks and balances in an effort to contain the venality of elected officials, but spent no time considering how the electorate could undo the whole effort by electing venal officials. We are now paying the price.
The great failure of the late 18th century was to assume that the people are the voice of God. They are not and popular sovereignty was and is no guarantee against tyranny but can be a bulwark of tyranny when unthinking people are blandished by the silver tongues of evil candidates and supporting media.