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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Inequality of power

What an awful world the left is creating—and how to prevent it

G overnments have the power to imprison and kill their citizens, to keep us in poverty, and generally make our lives miserable. Employers and businesses might not be able to imprison or kill us, but they can make us just as miserable, poor, and oppressed as any government.

No one can argue any longer with a straight face that Google and its cronies do not censor information to match their politics. You might ask what good is half an index—an index so skewed that, for all practical purposes, only articles with one point of view are accessible. Surely, you might say, some other company will come along and correct this.

But this is to misunderstand the reality of power, which is this: power flows from those who act to those who do not or cannot resist. Those who advocate waiting ten or twenty years for a new company to fill the market niche, re-hire them, and provide the services they need will find that their values will be so far from mainstream that it is impossible to defend them.

By arguing ourselves into passivity, we are welcoming oppression, and corporations have no incentive to change. It is the same with the suppression of history. Unless there is pushback, we will soon be in a country where cities have no names and citizens must refrain from speaking their opinion or lose their means of livelihood.

Chess knight sawing a pawn, with blue ketchup
Inequality of power

Washington, it is said, owned slaves. So the left, Taliban-style, tears down statues and dreams of blowing up Mount Rushmore. If unopposed, they will end by naming cities and states by number, in grim Soviet style. Washington could be renamed City No. 1 and Oklahoma renamed State No. 46, just as the Soviet Union, in its expression of dominance, created Tractor Factory No. 147.

Passivity would be to accept a country with no past, no monuments to attract tourists, and no shared memories, where your ability to succeed, to find a job, and to buy toilet paper is determined by who you know and what you profess to believe.

This cannot be prevented by adopting a strategy of passive denial. It would guarantee a gray, cement world with no history and no sense of itself, and therefore no future.

It would be a world where patriotism and national loyalty no longer exist. Loyalty comes from the recognition that one's own side is different from the other. The academics and their students will turn to patriots and the military when things turn south. But if there are no traditions, no countries, and no principles to defend, why would they fight?

People are asking where it all ends. They know the answer: it ends nowhere.

Some conservatives are already rationalizing: they're only statues, inanimate objects. And the free market will save us. Anyway, what can be done? They are like those elderly people who drive at 15 miles an hour and sit at redlights for 3 or 4 cycles with their left turn signal blinking. Their opponents are like the ones who cut in front of them at red lights, pass them at stop signs, and give the finger to anyone who gets in their way.

The era of corporations being politically neutral seems to be ending. If we look only to the Feds and the Bill of Rights for protection we ignore the fact that our civil liberties can be preserved in other ways.

Google, Cloudfare, Paypal and the other corporate oppressors have two terrible liabilities. The first is deep, deep pockets. The second is that the American people still value and understand freedom, and they sit on juries. A few thousand eye-wateringly expensive lawsuits would stop this revolution in its tracks.

Pushback could include defamation suits against whoever calls you a racist, or whenever some big conglomerate falsely accuses you of being a white supremacist to block your company from doing business on the Internet. Even if the owner isn't a member of a so-called protected class, restraint of trade is still actionable. The target need not be Google or Paypal. As Alinsky wrote, pick a target and freeze it. We are blessed today with a target-rich environment.

In tort law there are such things as ‘injurious falsehood’ and ‘interference with prospective advantage.’ The latter has a long history. In 1906, in Brennan v. United Hatters of North America, the court wrote:

In a civilized community which recognizes the right of private property among its institutions, the notion is intolerable that a man should be protected by the law in the enjoyment of property once it is acquired, but left unprotected by the law in his effort to acquire it.

A large body of civil tort law has grown up around this principle. Let the lawyers do something useful for a change instead of chasing ambulances.

aug 24, 2017; last edited aug 29, 2017, 8:52 am

See also

Silicon valley's declaration of war
Big Internet companies have decided to fight fascism with more fascism.

Witch-hunt hysteria at Google
James Damore at Google discovered an uncomfortable fact about human nature

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