By Auguste Meyrat January 20, 2021 American Greatness
Conservative politicians should extend civil rights protections to political minorities.
For those making their arguments about whether Section 230 should be repealed or reformed to protect conservatives on social media, it’s time to declare that this ship sailed long ago. Most of the world has now come to accept that these monolithic platforms can remove people or their content at will. The banning of President Trump and a host of other conservatives from all major platforms has proven this point beyond dispute.
Those who argue whether this is a violation of free speech or a perfectly valid exercise of freedom (“It’s a private company! It can do what it wants!”) should now realize it is a moot point. Whether or not it was fair, these private companies banned a political point of view and now they face the consequences of any private company that rejects a large portion of its customers: they lose money.
The problem now is that the content creators who rely on these platforms also lose money. Furthermore, alternative social media platforms like Parler are also being shut down since web hosting and financial companies are refusing service to businesses that show any kind of sympathy to conservatives. Even insurance companies are discontinuing the policies of their conservative clients.
In effect, right-leaning opinion in all media is gradually being marginalized and erased into oblivion. And anyone who says anything about it, like Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) in his book about Big Tech, will also be silenced by legacy publishing houses. (Happily, Regnery this week announced it would pick up Hawley’s book.)
It must be added that this marginalization of conservatives and conservative thought has taken place in all other areas of public life. For a long time now, conservative employees and students have known they can be fired and kicked out of establishment institutions for their opinions.
All this amounts to a systemic prejudice against conservatives. If one ascribes to conservative philosophy and rejects progressive identitarian ideology, it is quite possible, and probable, to shut him out of all institutions. Perhaps, he can live off the grid and strive for self-sufficiency in the style of Henry David Thoreau, or more likely he will live the life of a pariah residing in physical and intellectual ghettos for the rest of his days.
Before considering the great animus that fuels this dystopia, it is important to understand the conditions that enabled it. One of the great changes in the 21st century has been the American government’s decline from a democratic republic to a plutocratic oligarchy (or a “managed democracy” as Patrick Basham puts it); the other great change has been the American economy’s decline from a capitalist free market society to a corporatist oligopoly. In other words, big government and big business have grown even bigger, and the people running those institutions, consequently, have become more powerful. By contrast, the citizens, employees, and customers must increasingly conform to the dictates of the elite.
Therefore, any kind of effort to reform the government or business would have to require some kind of breakup. For businesses, this means breaking up the monopolies that destroy competition and heedlessly push their political agendas onto their customers. The biggest culprits in the post-COVID age are not necessarily Facebook and Twitter, but Google and Amazon. Roughly speaking, Google has a monopoly on all internet traffic while Amazon has a monopoly on all retail. If these two companies blackball a website or a business, it will be virtually impossible for them ever to grow or make a profit.
Last year, a class-action antitrust lawsuit was launched against Google, but this is unlikely to go anywhere with a new administration that’s friendly with Big Tech. And nothing much has happened to Amazon which continues to kill off competition and rake in billions from continued lockdowns. For now, the best option for fighting today’s monopolies is to stop using them whenever possible.