Big Tech Is Now a Shadow Government
24 hours after a failed coup, the lead story on Twitter is Elon Musk becoming the wealthiest man in the world
On my podcast last week, public health expert Dr. Abdul El-Sayed highlighted that while viruses are naturally occurring, epidemics are a function of human action or inaction. This week, as a mob overran the U.S. Capitol, his observation registered increased purchase.
Extremism, misinformation, sociopaths stewarding profit-incentivized algorithms: All viruses. What we witnessed Wednesday afternoon — and have seen at least since November 4th — is an epidemic. Record deaths from Covid-19 and the U.S. Capitol overrun by a mob on the same day. How did this happen?
The virus has broken containment, preying on our comorbidities.
The ascendant comorbidity is the steady denigration of our public institutions, particularly government and its agencies, over the last four decades. Since the Reagan Revolution in 1980, a conservative philosophy of limited government has morphed to an anti-government creed. President Trump is the manifestation of that narrative. The president blames the “deep state” for every setback and has stocked his cabinet with appointees opposed to the departments they lead, from a Secretary of Education who doesn’t appear to believe in public education to a Secretary of Energy who once proposed eliminating the Department of Energy.
Skepticism of government is healthy, when tempered with respect for the mission and those who serve. Otherwise, we risk a population that lacks faith in our mission and each other. Keep in mind, all elected representatives are Americans schooled in U.S. institutions, who carry the same passports and were elected by other Americans.
A similar assault has been waged against the press. Just as elected officials helped hollow out the government they are charged with leading, the mandarins of media bear blame for the weakness of their branch. Conservative outlets have shelved citizenship as they recognize that novelty and tribalism make more cabbage than truth. Social media firms are doing the same — but at greater scale. Liberal media, terrified of being labeled…