Missouri's latest senator is part of a wave of (extremely selective) Republican enthusiasm for trustbusting

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/25/stopped-clock-1200-1200-1200.html


As much as I’d like to see a broader view on the part of the government as to the kind of societal damage that defines a monopoly (i.e. not just price-gouging but other exploitation), that’s not the main goal here. These conservatives are not so much interested in breaking up corporations for the betterment of society as they are interested in punishing and damaging a powerful industry sector that dares to stand in opposition to them on certain fundamental issues.*

[* issues so fundamental that this is happening despite Silicon Valley’s deeply ingrained techno-libertarianism]


It’s interesting to watch Breitbart residents being groomed to accept more laws and greater government control.

For far right old money, big tech new money is scary. (“Someone created new wealth that we don’t control? OMGWTFBBQ!”)


Now if only someone would ask the question as to whether the political Duopoly system within the United States is benefitting its citizens.


Not a freakanomics fan, but I like this quote from your link:

The only thing either party has to do to thrive, to win the next election, is to convince the public that they are just this much less hated than the one other choice that the voter has when they go to the ballot; which means that that gives those two companies, essentially, the Democrats and Republicans, the incentive to prioritize other customers.


That line of argument applies much more strongly to monopolistic ISPs such as Comcast and Frontier. I’m not entirely against breaking up Alphabet, if it is done in a thoughtful manner, but really, who has more control over our usage of the internet than the companies that provide our access?


I am completely confused as to what the hell @doctorow 's ideals are. How many posts has he made condemning both unchecked capitalism, monopolistic practices, pro-net neutrality (and the big tech opponents to it), and wagging finger of the various bad actors in Big Tech from Apple to Facebook to Google.

So now you have a guy who promoting putting these huge corporations in check and it’s a bad thing? Fair point he isn’t pushing for limiting power in other industries. Fair point this push maybe not be for 100% altruistic reasons. But if he is still pushing for regulation in areas that have repeatedly been warned about being bad actors, why is that a bad thing? It’s almost like he can’t possibly begrudgingly say the broken clock is right twice a day because it has an elephant on it :confused:

“easily stampeded and easily corralled useful idiots”
sounds like a pretty apt description to me.

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I don’t know enough about this topic to speak with any authority.

Having said that, if you are expecting Josh Hawley to be the good guy, you have almost certainly miscast the role.


“Since it has the power to censor the Internet, Google should be regulated like the public utility it is, to make sure it doesn’t further distort the free flow of information to the rest of us,” Carlson said last year.

Then he must believe the internet itself is a public utility.


in my opinion @doctorow is not quite as willing as, say, churchill about accepting partners in worthwhile endeavors. where churchill said “if hitler invaded hell i would at least make a favorable reference to the devil in the house of commons.” i don’t know that cory is quite so happy to take the assistance of awful figures, especially when those figures aren’t interested in dealing with the general drift to monopolization and monopsony that have spread to so many industries.


and certainly not for Big Cable TV, which would be most relevant to Carlson’s repugnant career

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I tried to acknowledge the point in your last sentence above.

And I get what Churchill was saying. But what does this mean, today, politically? Is one going to actively campaign AGAINST the regulation Big Tech monopolies and bad practices? That just seems incredibly inconsistent and hypocritical. It seems to a casual observer one is beholden to the fight against a party, vs for specific ideals.

I suppose if there was a specific badly crafted law I would understand something like, “We need anti-trust laws, but this is not a good law.”

You seem to be upset about something that Cory never said

I think this is a mixed bag. The far-right echo-chamber is built on the idea of deference to authority, which means that right-wingers who gain dominance in their little Lord of the Flies LARP rarely get checked from within (publicly, at least – privately, they’re all about the long knives in the back). So when Carlson and Trump talk about antitrust and assure their underlings that the proles will understand that antitrust is fine for Big Tech but not for Big Health Care and Big Oil and Big Coal and Big Auto, the bootlickers they surround themselves with will wet themselves with servile reassurances.

But I can easily see how a right-wing anti-establishment trustbusting movement could break free of the careful boundaries set by a leadership that views the base as easily stampeded and easily corralled useful idiots, and end up driving a bipartisan antitrust enthusiasm that uses laws and regs and precedents set in the process of attacking Big Tech to attack capitalism itself.


What - hyperbole isn’t fair play now?

I think Tucker and such have concerns about Google largely because one can usually get fairly objective information off of Google. And they hate that, as their brand is based on false assertions such as global warming denial, the US is the greatest country ever in every which way, brown foreigners are almost always bad, universal health care is dangerous and undoable, and Trump is a decent president. So they’re going after it as part of their Fake News campaign to confuse susceptible people enough to make it seem like the Republicans have valid viewpoints. As one has to look at both sides…

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