The front page article on TAC last night was a plea from Rick Santorum for conservatives not to use state power to crackdown on Big Tech.
“The events of recent months contain many lessons for popular political movements in the future. In the age of COVID-19, much of American politics has migrated from “real life” onto the internet (which is just as real). More than ever, it is becoming clear that populist movements of either the left or the right—or some combination thereof—must seek to reclaim control of the digital network, which now constitutes a substantial part of the political and economic infrastructure of the neoliberal order. Populism must find some way to develop a form of technocratic expertise if it is to have any hope of controlling the digital network. In other words, as the Marxist scholar Edmund Berger has written, populism must become technopopulism.
The 2020 election revealed Trump’s most formidable enemies to be, not the Democrats who sit in the Senate or the House of Representatives, but the CEOs of major corporations of Silicon Valley. As election season approached, the political motives of these tech lords–and the extent of their power–began to emerge more clearly. When the New York Post published an article detailing evidence of corruption in the Biden family, social media companies like Twitter and Facebook responded with shameless censorship, making clear whose “side” they took in the coming electoral battle. When the election itself finally came in November, and Trump began to make accusations of election fraud, the tech giants didn’t hesitate to fact-check his claims on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and so on.
The media immediately characterized the whole event as an attempted coup d’etat. Trump had clumsily given them the perfect reason to portray him as the fascist villain they have always claimed he was; an instigator of violence, a threat to American democracy. Suddenly, the tech companies could seize the opportunity to discredit and disempower him, with an apparently good reason to do so. Thus, they went in for the kill, banning him on practically every major social media platform. Donald Trump, still the sitting President of the United States, was now completely disabled from making his Presidential voice heard in America’s public sphere. Nominally still in office, he was no longer in power. …
This was the real coup: a technological coup—one accomplished behind the scenes by the omnipotent technocrats who manage the digital network that is effectively America’s commons. …”
No wonder they have been losing.
The consensus among idiots like that for the last fifty years has been that what conservatives need to do is pass huge tax cuts, deregulate everything, import cheap foreign labor, remove every obstacle to the growth of monopolies, undermine unions, keep wages as low as possible, etc. It was so powerful that even Donald Trump’s signature legislative accomplishment was a huge corporate tax cut for his biggest enemies which had the effect of making them richer and more powerful than ever before.
Here is Blumpf the plutocrat, demogogue and fake populist making a gigantic fool out of himself less than a year before these people banished him from the internet: