How Big Tech Subverts Capitalism

There’s a backlash against the Silicon Valley brand of capitalism, according to the Guardian newspaper. It’s deserved, and it isn’t enough.

Evgeny Morzov’s thoughtful essay noted that the world’s most admired brands and most profitable companies are now getting grief for everything from enabling terrorism and tolerating sexual harassment, to pushing incomes down while making housing more expensive.

There’s much more to his story, but I think Morzov makes his real point when explaining the fundamental disconnect between Big Tech’s capitalist dream, and what it actually delivers:

“…how could one possibly expect a bunch of rent-extracting enterprises with business models that are reminiscent of feudalism to resuscitate global capitalism and to establish a new New Deal that would constrain the greed of capitalists, many of whom also happen to be the investors behind these firms?”

Exactly, only they’re not just failing to revive capitalism.

They’re destroying it.

Capitalism relies on the efficiency of free and open markets in which ideas can be vetted and valued, whether as products, services, policies, and laws. Adam Smith envisioned places where people could interact in ways that were mutually beneficial — i.e. good for them individually, and for society collectively — and not where one person or group could exploit another.

The quality of information would define how well a market functioned, and a market functioned to make that information available to all participants.

When it comes to Big Tech, the market doesn’t function at all. Just consider the many costs associated with buying and using digital tech…

Read the entire essay at Recapitalism