December 19, 2016


Tech Meets Trump : Silicon Valley won't make political statements because it has always been part of the military-industrial complex (Jacob Silverman, December 16, 2016, The Baffler)

 As Ben Tarnoff persuasively argued in The Guardian, Trump's victory is, above all, a victory for the already ascendant forces of neoliberalism. For years, conservative politicians have pledged to run the country more like a business--slashing taxes on the rich, privatizing services, eliminating regulations, condemning workers to immiseration--and Trump is in many ways the limit-case example of this promise. "Trump has taken it to an extreme," Tarnoff writes, "applying the logic of neoliberalism so literally as to be almost parody."

Trump's boardroom meeting this week with tech bigwigs was cast as a clash between Silicon Valley social liberalism and the Orange One's boorish outer-borough 'tude. But as Tarnoff and a few other critics have noted, this was a meeting of mostly like minds, united by the driving logic of the market. In digitizing so much of life, the tech industry has established surveillance as its standard business model and remapped the world as a series of competing metrics. The unceasing appetite for personal information and ever-more granular ad-targeting reflect neoliberalism's drive to turn all of life into markets. By capturing more and more human activity in the form of personal data, and by turning the internet into a vast arbitrage machine for human attention, tech companies have distinguished themselves as the lead proselytizers of the neoliberal faith. In Trump, whose pathological fixation on "deals" and tacky luxuries is only matched by his wounded narcissism, they've found a suitable match. 

If they weren't neo-liberal ()capitalist) they wouldn't be running successful companies.

Posted by at December 19, 2016 9:14 AM