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The Reactionary Politics of Silicon Valley

For a while, the internet was an unambiguously revolutionary phenomenon. Everyone could broadcast truth to the world. But as the internet became ubiquitous, and with the more recent impact of social media and broadband, what had been a revolution is becoming a coopted new manifestation of establishment power. The modern internet is a propagandist’s dream. Perpetual internet access to an infinite audience and infinite content has altered the human psyche, making it easier than ever to manipulate the beliefs and passions of entire populations. Control of this interaction by a small handful of mega corporations in Silicon Valley has given those companies almost indescribable power.

The ironic surprise in all this is how Silicon Valley’s tech companies have used their power. They have embraced a reactionary politics, reflected in who they promote and who they erase. What online behaviors they reward, and where they direct the herd. To understand why Silicon Valley’s big tech companies have become reactionaries, one must understand how the American Left – which includes the overwhelming majority of big tech company employees and founders – has over the past 10-20 years moved from opposing corporate globalization to fully endorsing it. This shift, gradual but steady, came into the open with the election of Donald Trump in 2016.

The Populist Uprising Against Globalism

Donald Trump’s heresy was to focus on the negative impact globalism was having on Americans. He catalyzed a revolution by challenging what had become truisms for the establishment—trade deficits don’t matter or […] Read More