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December 04, 2020

Trump Threatens to Veto Defense Spending Bill -- Unless It Contains a Repeal of Section 230

This thread is for political discussion.

The thread right below it is a Happy Fun Time thread for non-political chatter.

The corporate cucks -- James Inhofe among them -- are threatening to vote to override his veto.

Good. We're going to have to build up a case for primarying these motherfuckers-- they must be put on record servicing their Tech Monopolist Donor Overlords.

We have to make it very clear who they are serving, if we want to boot them out of office.

And we do have to boot them out of office.

They must be made to understand that their Corporate Cronies give them money, but only we give them votes.

And we can withhold those votes, or send them to a primary candidate, or send them to a third party candidate.

If James Inhofe and Mike Lee and Jim Jordan and James Sensenbrenner think they can fucking get hundreds of thousands of votes from Google and FaceBook -- well, let's see them put that plan into action.

You want to override the veto? Good. Put your name on it fellas. Stop just living in sin with your corporate masters; put a ring on it.

Let the voters know who you actually serve.

Meanwhile, Joel Kotkin writes that the real fascist threat isn't Donald Trump.

It's the Leviathan Tech Monopolies who now have complete control over the flow of political information.

(Most of the Trump Derangement has been edited out of this excerpt. But it's there in the original.)

Under the kindly gaze of Uncle Joe, we soon may find ourselves living under an updated version of the fascist "corporate state" -- an alliance between political leaders and a handful of ultra-rich, ultra-powerful companies that increasingly dominate the economy and culture. This new American-style corporate state reflects not a conspiracy but the politics of a society with unprecedented concentrations of wealth and power.

These firms, based largely in the tech industry, have benefited massively from the lockdowns and now account for nearly 40 percent of the value of the Standard and Poor index, a level of concentration unprecedented in modern history, As the giants get even more gigantic, up to 30 percent of America's small businesses face bankruptcy and the ranks of the poor have grown by 8 million.

...

Biden raised record sums from the corporate elite, notably the tech oligarchs and their Wall Street allies. Among financial firms, communications companies and lawyers, Biden outraised Trump by 5-to-1 or more. Besides providing money, the tech giants actively helped direct Biden's campaign and volunteered their digital savvy, with Mark Zuckerberg himself financing election day operations in many critical states, something sure to titillate the tinfoil-hat wing of the GOP.

Like many Americans, tech moguls and elite financiers rightly despised Trump's crudity and nativist memes, but they were more immediately motivated by self-interest--starting with their need to maintain a pipeline of immigrant workers to collusively keep their labor costs down and to keep maintain trade and commerce with China. Biden also had the virtue of being able to stop real progressives, like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who openly challenged oligarchal power.

...

Not surprisingly the new regime will likely favor controls on information that fit their own interests and inclinations. Despite suggestions to the contrary by the New York Times, history suggests any meaningful effort to rein in the oligarchs is now dead on arrival. There will be little restraint as platforms like Facebook and Google accelerate their attempts to "curate" (read: control) news--or in Amazon's case, remove books or videos--to minimize or exclude those who violate their world-view.

What we see now is something of an American version of the Chinese system of power concentration and control--the leading fascist model of today. In America this will be achieved not through government but by allowing a handful of private companies to control information. Indeed Richard Stengel, head of the Biden transition team for media, has openly advocated controls on "hate speech," a conveniently vague term. Such an approach is widely supported by organizations like the German Marshall Fund as well as prominent "liberal" legal scholars who openly praise China's censorious approach.

This notion of thought control has been emerging for at least a decade on issues like climate change and more recently the pandemic. It also was all too evident during the recent election as platforms like Facebook and Twitter made assertive editorial judgements to cut off stories about Hunter Biden's laptop even as they allowed equally absurd anti-Trump conspiracies to travel widely.

This new emerging American corporate state provides a perfect way for the oligarchs to consolidate power and boost their profits. Corporate lobbyists, working for Wall Street, tech and other giant companies all but assure that Biden, like Barack Obama, will wink and nod as Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google acquire or crush competitors, continuing the erosion in anti-trust enforcement that's happened under both parties. Monopolistic control is critical to maintaining the enormous profit margins and unprecedented wealth of the oligarchal class.


...

We cannot hope to have a functional (as opposed to a nominal) democracy when property and information are controlled by a small number of companies tightly allied with political power. This is not either a right-wing issue or a left-wing one, but a matter of protecting our republic before it is too late.



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posted by Ace at 03:09 PM

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