Is BigTech Censorship a Flaw in Capitalism?
For many years I’ve talked about capitalism, democracy and free enterprise as the greatest forces on Earth. They have driven America to the greatest society the world has ever seen. Want to argue with that? The fact that you can argue is one of the best signs of how freedom works in America and its greatest strength!
But capitalism has two flaws. The first is at the bottom. Sometimes people fail so badly that they cannot right themselves, they can no longer participate in free enterprise or sustain themselves until they get another job. The cure for this is the social “safety net” which includes unemployment, social security and an array of other services. These are undeniably needed, although one can argue about the levels of support needed and the dangers of making the clients of such services too comfortable to strive for more and re-enter the mainstream world.
The other is a bit more insidious. In capitalism, it is possible to “win all the way,” to become so big that no one else can compete. I won’t go into how this defeats free enterprise and makes society less productive, because a lot of literature already covers this. We have anti-trust regulations to help us deal with this.
But here is the real flaw. When you “win all the way” you get to change the rules. Think about a warlord who conquers and enslaves a city. With that kind of power, the citizens have no choice, no one in power can enforce the freedoms they would have chosen for themselves.
Right now there are a small number of very large tech companies who have “won all the way” and control a great deal of communications in America. They have been shown (and I have experienced personally) a propensity to censor political speech, contrary to what our Constitution guarantees. This means our society no longer has freedom of speech, we no longer have fair elections, our private data is no longer our own.
The impact on our society is potentially devastating. We are being ruled by successful but unelected capitalists (whose agenda is questionable and certainly not America’s) because we do not have the means to protect our freedoms.
Ron DeSantis, the Governor of Florida has launched an investigation of Facebook for interference in the elections. The results will be very interesting.
Does America still have the power to protect its freedoms?
Please comment and let me know what you think.