Silicon Valley, although it’s been instrumental since World War II in driving innovation in the US, is really America’s best answer to what happened to the country economically in the 1970s, as destructive monetary policies and scleroticizing bureaucratic liberalism became ascendant. The new beliefs in equal representation in the workplace and fairness over excellence tended to be subverted on the west coast.
The region and the influential institutions there (like Stanford) were willing to sacrifice William Shockley’s reputation and career to the beasts in the east, and after feeding the man to them, they were mostly granted some leeway to discriminate in hiring based on effective intelligence.
Speaking of intelligence, the long-standing links between Silicon Valley, the military-industrial complex, and America’s signal intelligence organization, the NSA, have also been helpful in fending off the regulatory state. So have all the enormous donations to the Democratic party as well as the warm relations with the Bill Clinton / Robert Rubin team, the cooperation of which made the modern commercial internet possible. Without the tax incentives and deliberately light regulatory hand placed on the web, there’s no way that these industries could have grown in the way that they have in the last couple decades.
It’s not even particularly clear that any contemporary president could tolerate an independently minded Treasury Secretary. The last time one of them tried to be responsible, he was sacked and publicly excoriated. So now, the only people who can be considered for such jobs are servile cronies who don’t even make a pretense of taking a helpful long-term action.
Over the last several years, the relationship between Washington (and its orbiters) and Silicon Valley has become more strained. This strain seemed to become worse when many prominent executives went to the White House to issue personal complaints following the repeated embarrassments created by dissidents/traitors like Edward Snowden and the rest. This has been countered recently with Washington demanding that network security be nationalized, which would force these companies to give up a lot of autonomy in return of what would probably be much less security.
Further, the public humiliation and libel of one of the co-founders of Palantir in the pages of the New York Times Magazine is an important indicator of how willing people in Washington are to dispose of some of their closest partners in building and maintaining its global surveillance network. For context, Palantir is a company that, among other functions, makes it easier for our friends in the intelligence agencies to make intercepts and publicly available data more intelligible in a social context to analysts and other spook types.
So, why is Washington and its friends giving so much guff to its own creation? Probably because the level of political talent at the highest levels in politics is declining, so they are doing stupid and self-destructive things. Allowing economic competition also puts pressure on many of the Democrats’ other corporate clients. “Disruption” sounds cool when it’s lifting the values of government pension funds, but it sounds awful when it’s vaporizing a corporation that lards your campaign coffers and employs your constituents.
Silicon Valley likes to portray itself as maverick and independent — the digital frontier — but it’s really more of a protected romper room. Washington can destroy what it created at any particular time, and can use that capacity to push the companies there this way and that way.
The pressure to make the digital economy more like the decaying and destroyed corporations that play by the rules is increasing in part because Washington has more ideological dependents that it needs to get jobs for in order to maintain its power base. They know that these profitable firms could afford to employ more useless people in profitable make-work jobs. Using the press and other means of intimidation, they can get what they want.
Some people are upset and incensed by this, but really it’s just another halfway-competent sovereign hungry for golden gooseflesh.
This notion that the American right should ride to the defense of a business community that, politically and in terms of the inclinations of most of the rank-and-file, are in the tank for the Democrats, is just ridiculous. After the same business community, as one of its first major political initiatives, tries to open up immigration even further (solidifying the power of the left permanently) — and fails — it starts feebly making motions to get support from the same people that it has contempt for.
Democrats throttling their own supporters to death should be mostly seen as a good thing, even if it’s having deleterious effects on enterprises which have done a fair amount of good for the world. The other advantage to this is that it encourages the others to watch an obese and crazy Titan devour some of its own children.
And, frankly, even if the American right wanted to defend the Valley against the same hungry hungry horde of feminists eager for make-work jobs, it couldn’t do it, so they’re really locked in a cage of their own making with a beast that they’ve been feeding for years.
Hope all that time smoking dope and building the perfect Harry Potter-themed polyamorous community made you tough enough to handle an insane monster eager to rip out your guts and bite your head off.