petej + libertarianism   132

Bring your own sunshine
From Brexit to domestic policy, a cloud of illegitimacy hangs over Downing Street. Johnson takes office on the back of an election in which 0.2 per cent of the population could vote, at the end of an abnormally long parliamentary session, with a legislative programme he has no intention of fulfilling, and a manifesto long since binned. He knows that a new session in Parliament would require him to test the confidence of the House, with a serious risk of his ministry collapsing over Brexit policy. He attacked Gordon Brown for not holding a general election after assuming office in 2007; a petty Caesarism that attempted to stretch out a parliamentary session on the edge of expiry as a way of dodging the House’s verdict would far outstrip Brown in arrogance and contempt. But it reveals the uncomfortable truth beneath the ersatz sunshine and wishful thinking: Johnson’s party is fractured, his options are few, and his hand is weak.
UK  politics  JohnsonBoris  voluntarism  optimism  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  CummingsDominic  noDeal  negotiations  procedure  contempt  civilService  policing  socialCare  TheRight  libertarianism  deregulation  dctagged  dc:creator=ButlerJames 
july 2019 by petej
Is there a growing far-right threat online? - BBC News
"Neo-Nazi ideology does not attract the masses in Austria anymore. So it made sense to modernise their appearance, to modernise the language and to some extent to also modernise their ideas.

"They have replaced terms that have been considered historically stained by newer terms that are more appealing to a broader public. For example they don't speak of mass deportation - they speak of 're-migration'. They say, 'we're not racist, we're ethnopluralist.'"
Christchurch  massacre  TarrantBrenton  hatred  Islamophobia  Austria  GenerationIdentity  identitarianism  farRight  Europe  SellnerMartin  Muslims  migration  neo-Nazism  separatism  racism  fascism  libertarianism  4chan  Gab  Discord  recruitment  radicalisation  tactics  Charlottesville  violence  Internet 
july 2019 by petej
Force Fed — Real Life
This was the dream of the early internet utopians: that “the web” was a form of real anarchy, a totally voluntary system of association, interest, and desire. But of course, the internet was created and has evolved to serve the needs of capital, not the people who use it. Technology companies have recognized the possibilities for social domination opened up by increasingly geographically dispersed workplaces and communities. And the algorithmic discipline they have developed has a corresponding geopolitical imaginary.

Unlike the liberals, who have proved utterly incapable of a coherent political vision moving forward, tech libertarians have recognized the imminent collapse of the nation-state and its nonsovereignty in the face of global capital. Seeing that London, Tokyo, and New York City have more in common with each other than with Birmingham, Osaka, or Albany, they envision the political return of much smaller sociopolitical units capable of serving as effective nodes in integrated global flows without all the hang-ups of nations, borders, or social services. The “neoreactionary” right wing of this group advocates the return of monarchy, while the Burning Man–types dream of seasteading city-states, or California splitting into six parts. But in all these visions, corporate sovereigns replace national ones. The internet economy is set up to deliver and manage such a world.

The tech-futurists are post-nationalists; theirs is a fundamentally different vision from that of the neo-fascists currently rising to power. The resurgent nationalism and ethno-fascism represented by the likes of Donald Trump are a counter-tendency that wants to reinvigorate the nation-state through virulent racism and hard borders. Despite their far-reaching hopes for ethnic cleansing, these neo-fascists lack a transformative economic vision. They may be able to plunder the wealth of the wrong types of people — queers, Black people, Muslims, immigrants, Jews — who their program of intensified policing, both at borders and internally, would make vulnerable to further robbery, low-wage exploitation, or prison enslavement. Combined with total deregulation and the selling off of what’s left of the social democratic state in one last cash grab, the strategy could offer continued profits and stability of the system for the medium term. But fascist nationalism has no more ability than neoliberalism to actually solve the economic crises of capitalism or save the nation-state.
games  gaming  YouTube  recommendations  algorithms  extremism  neo-Nazism  targeting  profiling  marketing  correlation  masculinity  whiteSupremacism  predictions  conformity  stereotyping  NRx  neoreactionism  libertarianism  post-nationalism  fascism 
november 2018 by petej
Silicon Valley Is Turning Into Its Own Worst Fear
There’s a saying, popularized by Fredric Jameson, that it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism. It’s no surprise that Silicon Valley capitalists don’t want to think about capitalism ending. What’s unexpected is that the way they envision the world ending is through a form of unchecked capitalism, disguised as a superintelligent AI. They have unconsciously created a devil in their own image, a boogeyman whose excesses are precisely their own.

Which brings us back to the importance of insight. Sometimes insight arises spontaneously, but many times it doesn’t. People often get carried away in pursuit of some goal, and they may not realize it until it’s pointed out to them, either by their friends and family or by their therapists. Listening to wake-up calls of this sort is considered a sign of mental health.

We need for the machines to wake up, not in the sense of computers becoming self-aware, but in the sense of corporations recognizing the consequences of their behavior. Just as a superintelligent AI ought to realize that covering the planet in strawberry fields isn’t actually in its or anyone else’s best interests, companies in Silicon Valley need to realize that increasing market share isn’t a good reason to ignore all other considerations. Individuals often reevaluate their priorities after experiencing a personal wake-up call. What we need is for companies to do the same — not to abandon capitalism completely, just to rethink the way they practice it. We need them to behave better than the AIs they fear and demonstrate a capacity for insight.
SiliconValley  technology  artificialIntelligence  culture  capitalism  hubris  regulation  libertarianism 
december 2017 by petej
A platform for working class unity? The Revolutionary Communist Party’s Red Front and the 1987 election – Hatful of History
Why is the Red Front worth revisiting historically? The RCP, for better or worse, was one of the most infamous left-wing groups in Britain during the 1980s and 1990s and their influence has reverberated far beyond their relative size in the two decades since dissolving. The Red Front was an episode in the RCP’s history when the group attempted to break out of its contrarian persona and whether sincere or not, tried to build links with other leftist groups and activists. Initiatives to build unity across the British far left have occurred throughout the twentieth century (and even into the twenty-first), usually in times of ascendency, and have almost always failed. The Red Front is an interesting example of this at a time when the British left was in retreat in the face of Thatcherism.
RCP  RevolutionaryCommunistParty  Spiked  LabourParty  KinnockNeil  RedFront  LivingMarxism  libertarianism  AIDS  TheNextStep  TheLeft  FurediFrank 
november 2017 by petej
Driverless Ed-Tech: The History of the Future of Automation in Education
We hear it all the time. To be fair, of course, we have heard it, with varying frequency and urgency, for about 100 years now. “Robots are coming for your job.” And this time – this time – it’s for real.
I want to suggest – and not just because there are flaws with Uber’s autonomous vehicles (and there was just a crash of a test vehicle in Arizona last Friday) – that this is not entirely a technological proclamation. Robots don’t do anything they’re not programmed to do. They don’t have autonomy or agency or aspirations. Robots don’t just roll into the human resources department on their own accord, ready to outperform others. Robots don’t apply for jobs. Robots don’t “come for jobs.” Rather, business owners opt to automate rather than employ people. In other words, this refrain that “robots are coming for your job” is not so much a reflection of some tremendous breakthrough (or potential breakthrough) in automation, let alone artificial intelligence. Rather, it’s a proclamation about profits and politics. It’s a proclamation about labor and capital.
technology  automation  education  edtech  ThrunSebastian  SiliconValley  Uber  UAV  driverlessCars  autonomousVehicles  robots  jobs  employment  capitalism  politics  regulation  deregulation  disruption  libertarianism  RandAyn  individualism  cars  driving  publicTransport  personalisation  control  precarity  surveillance  algorithms  dctagged  dc:creator=WattersAudrey 
april 2017 by petej
Rochester by-election: Ukip has started a class war - and is winning - Telegraph
"Cast your mind back to 2010. Ukip was a single issue party: anti-EU. Dig beneath the surface and it was composed of disaffected Thatcherite Tories – in favour of a flat tax and broadly libertarian in a way that stood to benefit the upper middle-class. Fast forward to 2014 and they are completely different. One suspects that their core appeal is on the subject of immigration; Europe is a background theme but by no means their standard; and they’ve adopted a populist philosophical position that confounds old golf course stereotypes of this party. Yet their leadership remains pure Maggie Thatcher! Nigel Farage is on camera saying that he’d like a privatised NHS and Douglas Carswell is a free market guru beloved of online libertarians. Mark Reckless looks and sounds (and probably thinks) like an awkward squad Tory MP from the 1990s – the kind that kept John Major on the verge of a nervous breakdown with countless threats of revolt over the EU’s war on imperial measurements. Somehow these posh, wide boys have managed to connect with an extraordinary coalition of angry middle-class and alienated working-class voters."
UKIP  populism  libertarianism  class  workingClass  immigration  politics  UK 
november 2014 by petej
‘Bitcoin is Teaching Realism to Libertarians': An Interview With Old-School Cypherpunk Vinay Gupta
"The primary function of Bitcoin, the long-term political value of this experiment more than any other single factor I can identify, is that it’s teaching realism to libertarians.

Libertarianism simply does not prevent the establishment of monopolies, cartels, or power-law distributions of wealth. Never has, never will. Libertarians needed to see that happen in order to understand that their ideology is actually not going to protect them against centralized power.

Now they will need to decide: did they want libertarianism, where property is used to divide everything? Or did they want anarchy, where it’s our inherent human nature that gives us freedom, not our property rights.

If these libertarians would be good enough to grow the hell up and become anarchists like normal people, then perhaps they would start to get serious about controlling centralized authorities rather than fantasizing that they will cease to exist."
Bitcoin  state  libertarianism  power  WallStreet  finance  monopolies  control  anarchism  property 
november 2014 by petej
Change the World - The New Yorker
"Young people drawn to Silicon Valley can be more insular than those in other industries—they tend to come from educated families and top universities, and achieve success at a very early age. “They’re ignorant, because many of them don’t feel the need to educate themselves outside their little world, and they’re not rewarded for doing so,” the young start-up entrepreneur said. “If you’re an engineer in Silicon Valley, you have no incentive to read The Economist. It’s not brought up at parties, your friends aren’t going to talk about it, your employers don’t care.” He found that college friends who came out to the Valley to seek their fortune subsequently lost interest in the wider world. “People with whom I used to talk about politics or policy or the arts, they’re just not as into it anymore. They don’t read the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. They read TechCrunch and VentureBeat, and maybe they happen to see something from the Times on somebody’s Facebook news feed.” He went on, “The divide among people in my generation is not as much between traditional liberals and libertarians. It’s a divide between people who are inward-facing and outward-facing.”"
SiliconValley  PaloAlto  inequality  wealth  technology  SanFrancisco  entrepreneurs  startups  technoUtopianism  change  Google  Facebook  government  libertarianism  velocity  politics  ZuckerbergMark  AndreessenMarc  lobbying  advocacy  sharing  economy  poverty  exclusion  middleClass  pay  wages  Apple  meritocracy  sharingEconomy  pace  ObamaBarack 
august 2014 by petej
LiSC: Lincoln Social Computing Research Centre: Reflecting on the making of a political speech at a HCI conference
"To summarise, I would argue that HCI papers that are presented as objective and apolitical, which are not concerned with values or politics, are quite likely to contain quite right-wing values. They suggest that we should let the market, rather than our collective knowledge, skills and expertise as researchers and scholars, decide what technology we should have, and how our societies should be effected by those technologies.

I would argue that if you don’t go about the design of technology specifically with values such as fairness, dignity and privacy as goals, then there is no reason why you should get those as outcomes. I think that there is value in nailing your political colours to the mast and letting your practice, or research, be guided by the fact that you value specific societal outcomes.

And there is value in presenting and overtly political paper at a computer science conference if it generates discussion on ideologies inherent in apparently objective and apolitical research agendas."
design  HCI  academia  punk  politics  libertarianism  markets 
may 2014 by petej
Cyberlibertarians’ Digital Deletion of the Left | Jacobin
"At bottom, cyberlibertarianism holds that society’s problems can be solved by simply construing them as engineering and software problems. Not only is this false, but in many ways, it can make the problems worse. Since much of the thought grounding it emerges from the Right, encouraging mass computerization as a political project typically encourages the spread of rightist principles, even if they are cloaked in leftist rhetoric.

When we assume that the goals of the Left are promoted just by digital innovation, we too easily forget to think carefully and deeply about how to articulate those goals, and to work with others who share them. We put faith in a technocratic progressivism that does not clearly emerge from leftist foundations and that, without close and careful work, is unlikely to support those foundations. Most worryingly, we put aside active efforts to solve social problems and advance leftist perspectives by giving in to a technological form of magical thinking that is the opposite of engaged political action."
TheLeft  Internet  libertarianism  technoUtopianism  populism  openSource  EFF  BarlowJohnPerry  openData  business  solutionism  politics 
may 2014 by petej
Technolibertarians, Mozilla and boycotts
"The best thing about the Mozilla boycotts, and all the drama around Google and the NSA is that it might remind people that the technology business isn’t some radical messianic project to make the world a better place, it’s just a business. No more or less ethical than any other."
Mozilla  EichBrendan  boycott  business  markets  capitalism  ethics  libertarianism  liberalism 
april 2014 by petej
Rebecca Solnit · Diary: Get Off the Bus · LRB 20 February 2014
"One of the curious things about the crisis in San Francisco – precipitated by a huge influx of well-paid tech workers driving up housing costs and causing evictions, gentrification and cultural change – is that they seem unable to understand why many locals don’t love them. They’re convinced that they are members of the tribe. Their confusion may issue from Silicon Valley’s own favourite stories about itself. These days in TED talks and tech-world conversation, commerce is described as art and as revolution and huge corporations are portrayed as agents of the counterculture.

That may actually have been the case, briefly, in the popular tech Genesis story according to which Apple emerged from a garage somewhere at the south end of the San Francisco Peninsula, not yet known as Silicon Valley. But Google set itself up with the help of a $4.5 million dollar government subsidy, and Apple became a giant corporation that begat multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns and overseas sweatshops and the rest that you already know. Facebook, Google, eBay and Yahoo (though not Apple) belong to the conservative anti-environmental political action committee Alec (the American Legislative Exchange Council).

The story Silicon Valley less often tells about itself has to do with dollar signs and weapons systems. The industry came out of military contracting, and its alliance with the Pentagon has never ended. The valley’s first major firm, Hewlett-Packard, was a military contractor. One of its co-founders, David Packard, was an undersecretary of defence in the Nixon administration; his signal contribution as a civil servant was a paper about overriding the laws preventing the imposition of martial law. Many defence contractors have flourished in Silicon Valley in the decades since: weapons contractors United Technologies and Lockheed Martin, as well as sundry makers of drone, satellite and spying equipment and military robotics. Silicon Valley made technology for the military, and the military sponsored research that benefited Silicon Valley. The first supercomputer, made by New York’s Remington Rand, was for nuclear weapons research at the Bay Area’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

The internet itself, people sometimes remember, was created by the military, and publicly funded research has done a lot to make the hardware, the software and the vast private fortunes possible. Which you wouldn’t know from the hyperlibertarian language of the tech world’s kings. Even the mildest of them, Bill Gates, said in 1998: ‘There isn’t an industry in America that is more creative, more alive and more competitive. And the amazing thing is that all this happened without any government involvement.’ The current lords talk of various kinds of secession, quite literally at the Seasteading Institute, an organisation that’s looking into building artificial islands outside all national laws and regulations. And taxes. Let someone else subsidise all that research."
SanFrancisco  SiliconValley  Google  buses  activism  gentrification  cities  housing  culture  ideology  libertarianism  military  LRB  dctagged  dc:creator=SolnitRebecca 
february 2014 by petej
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