Friday, February 12, 2021

Briefly Noted: When Corporations Are Big Brother

Michael Snyder has a nice piece that's been republished at Zerohedge:  When Corporations Become More Powerful Than The Government, Our Definition Of "Big Brother" Needs To Change. He's working off a op-ed at Newsweek by Orin Hatch, Reining in the Techno-Oligarchy. Both are worth looking at, if only to solidify your perspective on the state of the public square. While neither Snyder nor Hatch quite explicitly state that Big Business is pushing a specific ideology, it's implicit in the singling out of conservative voices for canceling. Thus, when Big Business becomes Big Brother what happens is that they acquire the power to advance a well defined ideological agenda, but without the nuisance of having to be elected.

The problem is that most politicians see no incentive to rein in our corporate overlords. On the Left, politicians and big business are ideological allies. On the right, in order to get elected it's easier to scramble for crumbs under the corporate table than to spend most waking hours grubbing for small donor contributions. The politicians are owned by big business and, for most, it's a relationship that works. For them--not for America, and not for We The People with opinions, in particular.

Here's a brief excerpt from Snyder, which includes a quote from Hatch as well:

Here in the United States, the federal government still has a monopoly on power in areas such as border security, national defense and foreign policy.

But when it comes to the things that matter the most in the day to day lives of most Americans, it could be argued that the giant corporations have now become more powerful than the federal government.


Over time, it has become increasingly difficult for any American to become truly independent of the corporate system.  Even if you own a small business or you work for yourself, there is a good chance that you depend on the big corporations in many ways.

If you doubt this, just try to “go it on your own” without ever using any corporate products, without ever dealing with a big tech company, and without ever bringing in any income from any corporate source whatsoever.


Beyond that, now many large corporations have decided that there are certain beliefs, opinions and values that their employees are not permitted to have.

By now, you have probably heard that a certain actress was fired by Disney for having opinions that were not acceptable.  That was a very high profile case, but the truth is that this sort of thing is constantly happening all over the country at this point.

As we move into the future, being guilty of “thought crime” is going to eliminate large blocks of people from ever having certain types of jobs.  If you do not pledge fealty to the current version of political correctness, you simply will not be permitted to hold a prominent position in society.

If your beliefs are considered to be “offensive”, you may get to mop the floors for the elite if you are lucky.

Anecdotally, from acquaintances who are familiar with the corporate world, this is very much the case. And, as commenter aNanyMouse has been pointing out today, there's no need to go looking for trouble on the job--the human resources people will come looking for you, to make sure you're not guilty of WrongThink.  And, of course, under the guise of diversity training, this is also very much true in all government employment. Snyder is not exaggerating when he says the conservatives will be lucky to obtain simply menial employment.


Even when you are at home, the elite want to endlessly monitor and control what you do, say and think.  The primary way that they do this is through the Internet, and in recent months they have tightened their control considerably.  The following comes from an opinion piece that was just authored by former U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch

Consider the events of the last month. Social media sites banned the sitting president of the United States from their platforms. A purge of conservative voices on Twitter ensued. Amazon Web Services expunged Parler, a conservative social media site, from the internet. Just days later, YouTube blocked public access to a Senate hearing on COVID-19.

These events confirmed what many of us have long known: true political power no longer resides in Washington, but in Silicon Valley. Big Tech now effectively decides who has the right to speak, who has the right to assemble online and who has the ability to build a business in the digital age. For many Americans, Twitter’s terms of service agreement now has more power over what they can and cannot say in the public square than the First Amendment does.

In the old days, Americans could go to the public square and say anything that they want.

But now the big tech companies are the public square.

Freedom of speech is a thing of the past on the Internet, and more voices are being “deplatformed” with each passing day.

Orin Hatch's solution is, from a legal and constitutional perspective, rather vague. His idea is to require private companies to conform to the First Amendment, but the whole point of the First Amendment is that it only applies to government:

If these companies want to base their business models on providing digital access to the public square, then they should have to abide by the well-established standards regulating free speech in the public square. Insofar as they conform to First Amendment standards in their terms of service, these companies should continue to enjoy immunity from civil liability under a revised section 230. But if they want to go beyond the First Amendment and prohibit forms of speech protected by the First Amendment, they should be liable just like any publisher who engages in content moderation (which is really content discrimination).

I'm sure there are ways to accomplish this. The big problem is getting the politicians to actually act and, as was already stated, it will be a tough job to get a sufficient number interested in reform. This is, perhaps, an area that could call for a constitutional amendment.


  1. The 'nail' was hit squarely early on in this article. The Democrats have no incentive or desire to rein in our corporate overlords because: (1) they benefit most while in office and (2) benefit most when not in office.

    1. Yes: benefit.

      Somebody more articulate than I am has to make it crystal clear that, inter alia, this 'benefit' is all about power and greed...about money...about status and security...but ultimately about money.

      Its not about racism, or white nationalism, or homophobia, or diversity, or social equity.

      I have already posted today that it is not about Trump.

      Its about power and money.

      The 'mail-in voters' in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and Atlanta and Milwaukee had no idea what they were really voting for.

  2. Trust busting would help.

    Also, how do you correct a nation who refuses to enforce it’s most basic precept as a nation?

    Anyway, we are entering the dystopian universe of “The Company” as depicted in Aliens, Blade Runner, and other science fiction works.

    1. I suppose most people have been more or less brainwashed by their upbringing to believe that what's clearly happening is simply impossible in America so it must not be happening. We've been trained well.

    2. THIS^^^

      I'm having trouble understanding why it's taking the right so long to understand that the nature of this conflict is not political. It is seriously existential. How long into the future do you think it will be before the consequence of wrongthink is actual incarceration? The over-under is 15 years and I'm taking the under.

    3. You may like this article--although you need to suppress frustration in the early going:

      Why Establishment Conservatives Still Miss the Point of Trump

    4. I read Caldwell's Age of Entitlement last month followed recently by Cynical Theory by James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose. After the 1964 Civil Rights Act softened up America's collective head, Foucault and the post-modernists created a theoretical approach that refuses to submit itself to criticism or refutation--you either agree with them that you are racist or, de facto, you suffer from false consciousness. The Theorists no longer are interested in describing how the world works, but their project is about how the world ought to work--and they, naturally, have all the answers.

      For large parts of society to buy into this nonsense--or to be intimidated into genuflecting (literally) before its adherents, is explained by liberalism's success in promulgating the overriding good of civil rights-based accommodations to the formerly oppressed. But those FBI'ers famously photographed on their knees in front of the BLM rabble are missing something rather large: BLM has no interest in redressing grievances. They want only to destroy the host society that they parasitically attack and weaken.

      We've let this new religion jump from academia to the real world. Rather than the world administering a swift comeuppance to the young mush-heads, the mush-heads have remade the world to their vision--with the help of the "everything is now a right" crowd of Civil Rights provenance.

      I like Avik, but it is revealing that his piece was published in NRO--the online ragazine that after five years is still steadfastly refusing to understand why the Losing Ground class pushed Trump to the fore.

      We have a lot of work to do to convince those who should be our natural allies, let alone to convince our enemies that they ultimately cannot win.

    5. It's quite apparent that Avik Roy is a Libertarian, or Classicial Liberal, ideologue. Reality is not an idea, i.e., human beings are not ideas, and their societies are not ideas. They are organic developments based on insights into the reality of order in human nature and history. Roy makes clear that he has no commitment to Western civilization, only to an ideology that is at the root of the destruction of that civilization.

  3. @Mark

    "I'm sure there are ways to accomplish this. The big problem is getting the politicians to actually act and, as was already stated, it will be a tough job to get a sufficient number interested in reform. This is, perhaps, an area that could call for a constitutional amendment."

    No disagreement. I just want to remind you and your readers that this is a promising area for State action, since the States have extensive reserved police and other powers. I believe the proposed Florida legislation is directly on point and I believe other States have announced interest in similar legislation.

    I don't know any better than any one else how exactly We the People will restore balance to our systems, but I (for one) am not ruling state action out.

    1. Good point. Smart governors could see real political opportunity in this, as well as DeSantis' example of effective management of the Covid situation. It's no wonder the Zhou Baiden regime are already looking for ways to address DeSantis' rising star.

  4. Thread on the question of, do conservatives even know how to fight:

    "Is it possible to fight against totalitarian statists without ever compromising conservative "principles?" Is it better to play "fair," and constantly lose? Can you grapple with monsters without becoming a monster? That's the question at the heart of the schism on the Right."


  5. Nikki Haley appears to have jumped off a Trump Train still moving at a fairly high rate of speed.

    Did she just join Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney on the sidelines?

    So who's a conservative? Who's not? Who's on Trump's team? Who's not?

    I don't have all the answers, put perhaps here's a good place to start. Also, notice who's not on the list.

  6. Haley was never on the Trump train, just another one of the GOPe / decepticons that worked to derail the trump agenda. She has been posturing herself for a presidential run for the past 2-3 years now. I'm betting she will be one of the Bush / Romney type contenders of 2024.

    My personal guess is that very few if any in DC are actual conservatives. They may not be raging progressives but that isn't the qualifier of what a conservative actually is.

    Even if a new party pops up you would have to question any that jump ship. I state this based on what the Rubios, Gowdys and Ryans did to the Tea Party. Infiltration is the best way of destroying a rebellion.

    My nagging inside voice always begs the question of, why do we see so few actually calling out the GOPs actions publicly. Sure, you see the mild "disagreements" and deflections but you see to few stand up and actual hurl a "WTF"!?! at their own parties doings... It's blame the democrats, defect the RINOs. I would gander that Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney the few honest ones. The GOP has a hypocrisy there and it speaks louder to me than any words.

    Our government is corrupted beyond repair. Everything is just a symptom of the larger problem.

  7. Can you please remind me / post link to which of your posts discussed the GOP target deomgraphic compared to the Trump demographic? It had some good splatter charts...thx.