Culture Wars/Current Controversies

“Cancel Culture” War is a Fight Against the Free Market

David is right about private publishers like the firm that publishes Dr. Seuss having the right to publish or not publish whatever they wish. However, I’m not sure I would apply the same  “private company” framework to the question of tech companies.  In my ideal economy, all economic organizations would be voluntary associations and decentralized local communities, which means that people could de-platform or discriminate against anyone they pleased for any reason they wished. But that’s not the system we have now. Social media companies are piggybacking on public infrastructure, receive monopoly or oligopolistic privileges via intellectual property, subsidies courtesy of taxpayers, actively collaborate not only with the government but with law enforcement and intelligence, and are under pressure from the government to impose censorship. These companies are about as “private” as the Communist Party of the Soviet Union or the Catholic Church of the middle ages.

–The right-wing battle against so-called “cancel culture” is really a fight against the free-market capitalism that the American right-wing claims to support.

6 replies »

  1. “David is right about private publishers like the firm that publishes Dr. Seuss having the right to publish or not publish whatever they wish.” True, but for what I know Dr. Seuss Enterprises L.P. owns all Dr. Seuss intellectual propriety and can stop everyone else from printing it, and I am pretty sure that you agree with Kinsella, Carson, McElroy and others that intellectual propriety is just a form of monopolism. (Therefore, they should have the right to not print it if they want, but they should not have the right to stop others to print it…)

  2. “Social media companies are piggybacking on public infrastructure, receive monopoly or oligopolistic privileges via intellectual property, subsidies courtesy of taxpayers, actively collaborate not only with the government but with law enforcement and intelligence, and are under pressure from the government to impose censorship.”

    I absolutely agree with all of that. That they are doing that, NOT that it is good that they are doing that!

    I think freedom requires that there be a modern equivalent of the “town square” concept. We had that, kinda-sorta, until a few years ago. Say, 2015 or so, at least as an approximation.

    • Keith is right on about the CCP nature of today’s largest corporations. One would never argue that wechat, China messaging app and digital payment system, was “private” even though it is listed on the NASDAQ!

      Likewise, the East India Trading Company was not just a strong arm of the Crown and Empire, because it has the word “company” in it?

      Amazon makes a large portion (possible majority) of it’s money through cloud computing for the military, but is still 100% “private”.

      Additionally, though a bit controversial here, Moderna, with it’s DARPA funding, and billions of monopolistic government contacts is “just” a vaccine company doing us all a favor!

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