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Quick Thoughts on Trump’s Upcoming Order About Internet Monopolies

A few days ago, I started seeing articles about people within the Trump administration leaking various drafts of an upcoming executive order which would allegedly “break the internet”. Other presstitutes have written pieces about how this order would “censor” the internet, and still others claim it would be “illegal” or something along those lines. As usual, my thoughts on this topic are nuanced and about the larger picture as opposed to most clickbait-type ‘hot takes’ found on the internet. Also, I am not going to pretend knowledge about the final version of that executive order nor will my views on this topic be popular with everyone.

So let us start by talking about the real reason why we are even having this discussion. It is no secret that the public image of internet monopolies, tech companies and basically anything they touch has suffered an irreversible decline during the past decade. Remember how you used to believe about Google, Amazon, FakeBook, Twitter, Apple etc were “innovators” in 2008-2009? Remember that time when most of you believed that Google could make no mistake and how their search engine used to just work. It might be hard to believe, but there was a time when Google did not deliberately crappify their products through generations of bad design or shove unpopular and monopolistic changes down their user’s throats. They once even had OK customer service. I know the previous sentence is hard to believe.. but it is true.

While Google has gone down the proverbial shitter to become an inferior version of IBM from the 1960s, it is clearly not the only tech company which taken that route. Indeed, I cannot think of a single internet or tech company which has not become an unpopular, inferior and shittier version of itself over the past decade. Adobe, Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, FakeBook, Cisco, Twitter, Apple and even Intel have become sorry excuses of what they used to be a decade ago. Sure.. they have become more profitable and made their upper management much richer, but have lost the battle for their public image. But why would this matter? After all, monopolies and oligopolies don’t have to care about what their customers think.. right?

Regrettably for their autistic founders and sterile drones.. I mean workers, public image matters- even if you are a monopoly or oligopoly. That is why totalitarian governments in “communist” eastern bloc countries fell so quickly in the late 1980s to early 1990s. That is also why ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’ works so well in China. The ability to deliver adequately, on time and fulfill public expectations is the most important predictor of whether an organization or institution retains public trust and good will. But why is it important to retain good will, if (as some autists at Google believe) one can manipulate perceptions at will. Well.. for starters, you cannot manipulate public perception over any significant length of time. Isn’t that obvious by now?

The second reason is more important and, as you will soon see, goes to the heart of the issue. Turns out, popular legitimacy is extremely important for medium- to long- term survival of any institution. Without such legitimacy even the most tyrannical institutions become fragile and implode under the slightest external stresses. Ever wonder why people in China have a far higher opinion of their government than people in USA. Here is a clue.. look at photos of the same part of any city in China from 1990 and today. Now do the same for USA. It is important to note that people who grew up in USA between 1933 and 1974 have a far higher opinion of government because they saw it largely deliver what was promised.

But how is any of this relevant to a proposed executive order which would gut legal protection to large social media platforms currently granted under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. See.. if something like this had been proposed by even an allegedly popular president like Obama in 2008, 2012 or even 2014, it would have elicited massive public outrage. There would have a series of large movements against such an idea, and a groundswell of popular support for tech companies. Do you see anything like that now, and don’t forget that Trump is an unpopular president by historical standards. So what changed between 2012-2014 and 2019? Well.. a lot, and none of it has helped the public image of internet and tech monopolies.

The precise moment when people started hating internet and tech monopolies varies from person to person, but here are some important milestones. For some, it was the progressive crapification of google maps and email starting sometime in 2012. For others, it was the SJW-led censorship in the wake of Gamergate in 2013. Many detested the underhanded tactics used by Microsoft to push Windoze 10 (aka spyware as operating system) on its customer base starting 2015. Others were mortified by Snowden’s disclosure about the nexus between large tech corporations and government surveillance agencies in 2013. Others started hating them after learning about how most smartphone apps spy on their users without explicit consent.

Still others got tired of a seemingly endless series of hostile site redesigns. Some got burned by interactions with Amazon, Paypal, Yelp, Uber and other “darlings” of tech sector. Many others have come to hate these corporations because of how they constantly mistreat and abuse their customers and this includes everyone from Microsoft and Apple to all those “voice assistants” which spy on you 24/7. Then there is Internet of Shit.. I mean Internet of Things, an idea so horrendous from a security viewpoint that I am still not sure whether anybody who buys “connected” and “smart” devices has any capacity for rational thought. And we haven’t even talked about arbitrary censorship etc on social media and sites such as YouTube.

To make a very long story short, internet and tech monopolies are now so hated and despised that a significant minority would vote for a presidential candidate whose sole campaign promise was to torture and kill anybody and everybody associated with this deeply tainted sector of the economy. And this is the environment in which Trump is going to sign his executive order about regulation internet monopolies in the near future. Regardless of how bad a solution his stupid flunkies come up with, it will be widely seen as good- if only because it shits on the aspy losers in Silly Valley and Seattle. And we have seen this dynamic before.. in 2016.

As some of you might remember, I was able to predict Trump winning the republican nomination and presidency because of my ability to sense the depth of hatred, contempt and disgust most people felt towards all those establishment parasites.. I mean politicians. It was this popular hatred for, and lack of trust in, certain institutions which allowed that orange conman to defeat 16 republicans and then HRC. We are likely to see a repeat of this, where even the most ineffectual and counterproductive legislation by Trump will be welcomed by a majority of people just because they enjoy seeing somebody finally kick Silly Valley types in the balls.

I cannot resist pointing out that the democratic party had multiple opportunities over the last decade (and even past 2 years) to start reigning in internet and tech monopolies. But they did no such thing, given how much Silly Valley contributes to their party. In fact, Obama went further than doing nothing and encouraged consolidation in tech sector and turned a blind eye to their ever increasing abuses. Let me make another prediction.. most people are going to get boners watching the aspy losers of internet and tech monopolies squeal like a pig after such an executive order is passed- even if its bad, stupid and dangerous in the long-term.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. doldrom
    August 13, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    One of the main problems in any organization and in society itself is to decide on what scale something should be organized or can be organized best. In China, Korea, and Japan, they are not completely invested in ideological dogma, so they can be practical about many things. It is simply the nature of railroads not to admit of competition (four tracks next to each other) but to look for some cooperative or collective solution. For any activity, there is often a best scale to reach optimum results, but it not a trivial question to determine what scale works better or what kind of organization is better, especially when different types of activities interface with others that demand completely different organization. In the US, which prides itself on being practical, you see instead an inability to reach optimum organization. Take the cities, for instance, where the wealthy abscond and pay no taxes by moving into exurbia even though they are economically in the orbit of the city. American cities are a huge patchwork of municipalities and counties, each pursuing their own interests, and a complete inability to organize regional/urban/metro governance and infrastructure at some level to benefit such regions. The last time I commuted in New York (as a tourist) I needed to buy 3 tickets from 3 different companies for a single trip downtown for god’s sake. The main thing holding society back from taking a practical take on things like industrial policy is ideology (capitalism, small government, bla bla). In other countries they are less constrained in innovating with governance and policy-making, and it shows in the results.
    The irony is that complete rackets such as MicroSoft, Amazon, etc. (to say nothing of education, healthcare, the military) are continually justified with appeals to private property and private enterprise, despite there being a completely adequate body of law to split them up and bring some competition back into the market place. I don’t know what’s in this executive order, but splitting up concentrations of capital is generally a good thing. The real point, however, is that in American society there can never be any sensible discussion on what is better done by policy or by markets or by cooperation or by competition, because the whole intellectual and media space is completely captured by ideological constraints that serve to justify inequality, profiteering, rackets, and concentrations of capital.

  2. Jagim
    August 14, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    Americans started hating SiliCON Valley when they started growing really powerful, and exploiting workers for their own corporate greed. When a place like San Francisco starts turning into an arena of douchbaggery and companies pushing for MORE H-1B visa workers from India and China into the area which has destroyed demographics and culture, that’s when people started revolting. Add the SJW movement and parading to liberal WOKE agendas of these companies and it’s easy to see why they are hated upon.

  3. Stan Wright
    August 14, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    I think you should start preparing predictions on how horribly Trump & team will screw up what should be an easy execution of big tech. As you pointed out, democrats didn’t have the balls to do anything about this when it should have been a natural for them, but the republicans are probably too stupid to do anything effective at fixing any of this, & with the proper hostile media spin, Trump will somehow engender sympathy for that lizard creature wearing Zuckerberg’s skin & acting like the CEO of Facebook.

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