Violated by Corporations
Another day allegedly on Earth… >.>
For a while now, in reaction to the increasing turn to authoritarianism & the simultaneous surge in death-cult neoliberal individualism, which, in my mind are somehow related concepts that fuel one another, I’ve tried to focus on democracy & equality. It’s extremely fringe & countercultural, you might not get it. But I want you to <3 …
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s been my contention that capitalism is inherently unequal, hierarchical, predatory, exploitative, and individualistic, & that democracy is equalizing, regulatory, cohesive, protective of privacy, human rights, & basic dignity. Unfortunately, I’m a high school dropout, so I’m not formally educated in any of this & these are merely the ramblings of a bored housewife… Being that as it may, I also acknowledge that, of course, there sadly is no perfect system… (unless you’re the authoritarian leader implementing your “perfect” agenda like a pathetically weak and insecure loser, like a literally mentally underdeveloped toddler). Nevertheless, this juxtaposition of democracy & capitalism is how I conceptualize the two. I see democracy as being a counteractive measure—a contradiction of capitalism. And I think that’s how both can function at their best, by counteracting one another and forming a tense balance.
What we’ve seen since the 1970s has been a gargantuan shift of power to the private sector. Libertarians, neoliberals & reactionaries should support this, & from my perception, many of them do. Normally I’m not particularly eager to make authoritative statements, but I’ll make an exception in this post to save energy. Argue with me if you want…
Since the 1970s there has been a marked shift of power from the public sphere to the private. We can see this in the erosion of public welfare, public space, public funding, etc. Not only in the US but across “THE WEST”. The era of social welfare died decades ago. In its stead, there has risen the opaque world of the technocratic private. Private funding, private enterprise, private property, private access. Slowly, the private has entirely swallowed the public and encapsulated it in private chambers of solitude. Social media is an example. Private schools, private insurance, and private transportation are others. Those who cannot afford the private are left to waste away in the sewers of the public. And what does it lead to? This libertarian hollowing of the public in favor of ever-increasing demands on the individual, and at the same time, an ever-increasing violation of the individual?
The Apple Goggles make this painfully explicit. Private enterprise is incapable of genuine innovation. The only thing left is for them to double down on invasive extraction, data collection, surveillance, prediction & behavioral modification. Private enterprise cannot build a better world, it either cannot or does not want to improve lives, so the private will continue to destroy them & they will have us pay to be siloed & blindfolded, quite literally like lambs at the slaughter. We must reform the public and make the private work for it, rather than the other way around.
The private has grown so powerful that it is now completely untethered from the public. It scorns the public, it holds in disdain the masses. It has no obligation to the public & it has no respect for the masses. It has eroded public trust. Private research, private funding, and all systems of opaque operation have completely betrayed public welfare & the common good. Unfortunately, for libertarians, the world outside of themselves does, in fact, exist, and everyone alive is deserving of a basic level of dignity, privacy, and “human rights”. Only the privileged and spoiled can sit in their luxury and ridicule and mock the importance of maintaining respect, autonomy, freedom of movement, etc.
The Apple Goggles are such a timely example of this unforgivable transgression that the private has inflicted upon the public. Apple (and most other tech companies of this dull, spoiled, and greedy era), force themselves onto the public without our consent. The tech companies in particular often produce tools that explicitly go against what many have stated they do not want. This enters RAPE CULTURE territory. Private enterprises continually pushing private agendas onto the public without the public’s knowledge or the public’s consent is VIOLATIVE. It is a violation of consent; it is a violation of freedom. The public deserves to have a voice when it comes to the production of mind-reading, eye tracking, nervous system hijacking, etc;, private technologies. The public demands a right to informed consent, rather than manipulative coercive tactics designed to pollute the psycho-social-biological sphere.
Some can argue that “buying is a choice”, or “purchase is consent”. However, these corporations are some of the most powerful in the world, producing some of, if not the wealthiest men in the world, & “they” alter the cultural and social landscapes in which they release their gadget weaponry. There is a feedback loop of culture informing the development of tools & tools shaping the standards & norms of society. The private sector must be tempered by the public, and held accountable, to the public, for their productions. The public does not exist as a carrion to feed the private.
The private can no longer be allowed to sell itself as innocently assuaging the needs of consumers with glossy ad campaigns. From exploitative algorithms, targeted advertising, invasive prediction, extractive data collection, and neural modeling simulations derived through eye tracking technology, to total biometric surveillance… it is undeniably obvious that the private sphere hasn’t the slightest care nor respect for human life, animal life, nor the environment. The private sphere simply does not give a fuck. It will extract the data of a thousand decaying corpses, run statistical & predictive analyses, sell it as an immersive experience of death, and make you pay 500 USD to experience the sensation of dying. The private will kill you if it yields a higher profit margin. The public must protect itself from the parasitical vulture of the private.
Most people do not want to be surveilled, they do not want to be tracked and covertly manipulated without their knowledge or consent. The imbalance of power has become so great that I, as a stay at home mom, must blog about it. This is a terrible situation…
“Tech” has become a competition in fraud & violation. It spreads a truly noxious culture of predation, cannibalism, & rape. Private software rapes the user of their mind, it denies the user their autonomy (through exploitative algorithms designed to keep users scrolling), denies their freedom of movement by tracking every step & every visited location, it denies people their right to privacy by using cameras to map out their physical surroundings & gather biometric data from our eyes, it robs people of a future through intricate predictive modeling and behavioral modification. The list can go on. This is a blatant disregard for human dignity & human rights.
Not is it bad enough that these incompetent spoiled & coddled losers keep forcing their loser machines onto the populace, but they encourage a sense of defeatism and nihilism that tries to steal from us a sense of possibility to imagine alternate futures. Many people behave as if our only future is one that is subservient to technocrats & technosolutionism. As if we have no choice but to adopt their weapons and adapt to their culture. These tools are invasions of the human mind. We need to #cometogether and defend ourselves from the assault. Or, at the very least, form a strong public voice that can speak in opposition to these weapons & impose regulations & enforce basic privacy rights to cognition, & limits to surveillance & prediction.
The economic crisis of neoliberalism doesn’t need to be remedied by cannibalism & necrophilia (by this I mean feeding off the dead for profit, automating humanity into a living-dead zombie that exists to be data mined & controlled by surveillance). The economic crisis should & ought to be remediated by a #return to the social. The crisis should be solved by people. It’s so simple, yet the French committed genocide in order to reach it. Democracy isn’t for the weak…
Anyway… the “ONLY” solution to increasing isolation & division is radical solidarity & cohesion.