2019 Apr 9, 8:04am
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A decade ago, even most Republicans admired the rugged entrepreneurialism of the high-tech Masters of the Universe who had built a multitrillion-dollar, world-dominating Internet, and the computer, mobile-phone, online-sales, and social-media industries, defined by marquee companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Yahoo.In turn, Democrats gave up their suspicions of big money, as they canonized liberal Jeff Bezos, Sergey Brin, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg. Their wealth was okay, since the creators of it were progressives and dressed like Woodstock hipsters as they spread their billions freely among progressive think tanks, foundations, and political campaigns.Not now.In a near blink of an eye, Republicans finally caught on, and they now see the new billionaires as rank partisans who rig Internet searches, censor social media, manipulate data to help warp elections, push far-left causes, bully their own nonconformist employees, and demonize their conservative critics.Equally abruptly, Democrats see the new billionaires as our new robber barons, who set up monopolies, destroyed competition, snooped and surveilled their own consumers, and trumped the shenanigans of the old 19th-century Jay Goulds and James Fisks. In other words, unlimited and unaudited power and wealth are a timeless prescription for abuse, whether in ancient Rome or 2019 America — a forever law that not even Mark Zuckerberg in T-shirts and jeans could escape.***Computer technology was just as unpredictable in its ability to alter the world as we know it. At first, the Internet and social media seemed simply to make life easier and more enjoyable. But soon such Frankenstein monsters devoured their idealistic creators and were recalibrated to contaminate almost everything they touched, as Twitter turned into an electronic lynch mob; Facebook, an instant tool of progressive intolerance; and Google, a Big Brother screen that snooped into its users’ living rooms for sport and profit. The tech revolution in communications simply accelerated and empowered the preexisting human desire of its creators to be all powerful and force others to believe as they do.
rig Internet searches, censor social media, manipulate data to help warp elections, push far-left causes, bully their own nonconformist employees, and demonize their conservative critics.