POITOU, FRANCE – Our subject this week…
…how the Big Tech companies became such jackasses.
Google, Twitter, Facebook, et al. raced ahead with innovations that brought them millions of customers. They provided the equivalent of an “open mic,” where anyone could sing any tune he wanted. Then, they sold the info to advertisers, who used it to find customers of their own.
But then, the tech companies decided to impose their own musical tastes. If they think you’re off-key, you’ll be canceled, deplatformed, and disappeared.
It happened, famously, to Donald Trump. The ex-president is, of course, a moron. And private companies can cut him off if they want.
But if Twitter took down the accounts of every moron who can’t carry a tune, it would be out of business.
Instead, the social media companies just cut off some morons… not all of them. And therein hangs a tale…
As politics become more important, private companies become more political. That is, when a country’s elite goes mad, its private sector goes mad, too.
Just try opening a bank account.
First, there are fewer local or regional banks; the smaller ones have been less and less able to survive in the world of complex federal control.
Second, the big banks that are left act more like chartered, federal monopolies. They don’t give you a toaster anymore. They give you a grilling…
Who are you? Can you prove where you live? Where did your money come from?
And then, thanks to the Federal Reserve, you put money on deposit and the banks don’t pay you any interest.
ValuePenguin, whatever that is, tells us that the average rate of interest on savings accounts is 0.06%. At today’s inflation rate, a saver loses over 5% per year.
The big banks get their money from the Fed. They are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Naturally, they lick the hand of their masters whenever it is offered.
Is it any different for the media?
You may expect the banks, heavy industry, military suppliers, and Wall Street to collaborate with their biggest customer. Always and everywhere, capitalists do what they have to do. They adapt to whatever politics they confront.
In Hitler’s Germany, for example, IG Farben, Volkswagen, BMW, Siemens, Kodak – all were eager suppliers to the Nazi regime. Hugo Boss even made its uniforms.
Even in the stalags of the Third Reich and the gulags of the Soviet Union, capitalists did the best they could with what they had to work with.
What is surprising is how eagerly the press wags its tail.
After our disgraceful defeat in Afghanistan, for example, you’d think the American press would be blasting the knuckleheads who got us into it – the generals… the think-tank war boosters… the private sector profiteers, who made billions from aiding and abetting the military’s boondoggle.
You’d think the media would be howling for the heads of them all… including retired General David Petraeus (who led U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and subsequently headed up the CIA) and G. W. Bush himself.
They lied. They blundered. They wasted trillions of dollars and have the blood of thousands of people on their hands.
But if you want to understand what happened – beyond the usual “mistakes were made” excuses – don’t expect to find it in the major U.S. media.
Celebrated, not Canceled
Here’s Sri Lankan “social theorist,” Indi Samarajiva:
The American war on Afghanistan was a $2.26 trillion scam. Somebody pocketed all that money, and it certainly wasn’t the people of Afghanistan. That amount is 115 years of Afghan GDP, and it mostly went to arms dealers, the corrupt US military, and corrupt US politicians. Meanwhile the Taliban gets to keep the weapons. This wasn’t just a waste, it was a gigantic fraud.
Shouldn’t the people responsible for this scam at least be put in prison? Better yet, shouldn’t a gallows be set up on the Capitol mall… and Petraeus and Bush hung… to serve as a proper warning to the next group of warmongers?
Instead, the people responsible for the war now sit on the boards of Raytheon and Boeing. They advise the nation on “defense” issues and live in their mansions in Northern Virginia… as if they have nothing to be ashamed of.
A cop killed George Floyd, and the media went bananas.
In Afghanistan, U.S. soldiers killed thousands. Where is the press? Where are the demands for justice? Where are the investigations – what did they know? When did they know it? And how much money did they make on the affairs?
How come? Because the media were in on the game from the beginning.
Dan Cohen, in Behind the Headlines:
Imagine a country where there’s no separation between the government, the military, and the media. A lot of Americans would think of China, Russia or North Korea, but it’s a perfect description of the United States today.
When you read the news, you may think you’re getting the lowdown from an unbiased source. Often, what you are really getting is a press release from the U.S. government filtered through a toady “reporter.”
Here’s how it works…
A “Think Tank” is created, such as the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). It takes in millions of dollars from the defense industry, oil companies, big banks, and foreign governments.
Then, it gives “residencies” to reporters, from The Washington Post, for example, who follow defense issues and are granted special “access” to the Pentagon.
Naturally, the reporters are very sympathetic to the defense industry… and to the government and all its works.
They are not objective observers of the Deep State’s military wing; they are part of it.
And Facebook, Twitter, and Google? What role do they play?
More to come…