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Reblogged:Issues? Yes. Insights? Not So Much.

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To understate, I found a recent piece at Issues and Insights extremely disappointing. The title might have said it all -- were Donald Trump in power -- but it's even worse than that.

"Coming Check on Big Tech Tyranny Long Overdue" is dated January 22, 2021 -- only a few days into the era of Democrat control of the executive and legislative branches. Whatever "check" on "big tech" comes, it will be with their buddies, the Democrats in charge.

This is not to say that the GOP aping the Democrats on this -- or anything else -- would be a good thing.

Someone who actually disagrees with the left should shudder at the thought of the Democrats deciding what tech companies ought to do regarding what they do and do not permit on their own platforms. (Read: private property. Remember that?) And frankly, even someone who doesn't shouldn't be cheering this on.

Oh. Wait a minute....

Christian Josi complains about the obvious double standards Twitter uses when exercising its property rights to ban users or not, and then quotes Frederick Douglass:

To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.
What Douglass said is true, but only governments can suppress free speech. All Twitter is doing is denying some people a platform that they don't owe them. I disagree with many of Twitter's decisions on that score, but I don't own Twitter, so it's not my call.

My desire to use Twitter's (or Jeff Bezos's) property to broadcast my opinions is "free speech" just like my desire to laze about and sip mint juleps is a claim on the labor or person of Frederick Douglass. In other words, it isn't.

Josi then shows us his capitalist credentials -- Issues and Insights had at least tried in the past to be pro-capitalist by my recollection -- by using that scourge of American jurisprudence, antitrust law, to assert that he is on the right side of the law.

Let's consider what a real pro-capitalist, Ayn Rand, had to say about antitrust law:
samizdat.jpg
If you think it's hard now to compete with Twitter, you have another thought coming. (Image by Nkrita, via Wikimedia, license.)
The Antitrust laws -- an unenforceable, uncompliable, unjudicable mess of contradictions -- have for decades kept American businessmen under a silent, growing reign of terror. Yet these laws were created and, to this day, are upheld by the "conservatives," as a grim monument to their lack of political philosophy, of economic knowledge and of any concern with principles. Under the Antitrust laws, a man becomes a criminal from the moment he goes into business, no matter what he does. For instance, if he charges prices which some bureaucrats judge as too high, he can be prosecuted for monopoly or for a successful "intent to monopolize"; if he charges prices lower than those of his competitors, he can be prosecuted for "unfair competition" or "restraint of trade"; and if he charges the same prices as his competitors, he can be prosecuted for "collusion" or "conspiracy." There is only one difference in the legal treatment accorded to a criminal or to a businessman: the criminal's rights are protected much more securely and objectively than the businessman's.
So conservatives are cheering on making it a crime (or at least a pretext to an indenture) to offer a free public platform for speech -- because the owners of a few of the biggest ones are capricious idiots.

By the time the left is done with this gift, anyone who isn't a socialistic woke-scold will be communicating through underground channels, and we'll be lucky if those channels aren't bootleg typewriters and pilfered scraps of paper.

The right needs to get over the fact that, sometimes, people who create value don't behave as they would hope, and remember that they should be fighting for the freedom to own property and thereby to create our own platforms.

Parler was shut down by Amazon? That sucks, but that doesn't entitle people to get free server time, or free Twitter accounts, or whatever Obamacare-like scheme the supposedly pro-capitalist right seems to imagine or wish it's going to get from the government in general or the Biden Administration in particular.

-- CAV

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