Puck magazine (1871-1918), the well-known political humor magazine, was at its height under original founder and creative director cartoonist Joseph Keppler. Here is a February 23rd, 1881 Keppler political cartoon depicting Jay Gould, the telegraph monopolist, and Cornelius Vanderbilt the railroad baron.
The point of the cartoon is the way those two Robber Barons – allied with like-minded newspaper tycoons – abused their wealth and political influence to bind the United States (represented here by Uncle Sam) to their will.
Joseph Keppler was outraged at the power so unethically wielded by such figures to cloak themselves in righteous, philanthropic public images while in reality they – in Keppler’s words – clutched “the United States and all its institutions by the throat.”
This is similar to the way the Silicon Valley and Social Media Robber Barons of today cloak themselves in “socially conscious” public images while in reality clutching the United States and all its institutions by the throat.
The Robber Barons criticized by Puck magazine exerted their ugly influence on behalf of right-wing politicians. The Robber Barons of the 21st Century tend to exert their ugly influence on behalf of left-wing politicians. The end results are equally totalitarian.
*** For THE CREEPY LINE, a documentary about abuses by Google, Twitter, Facebook and others CLICK HERE
30 responses to “PUCK: ROBBER BARONS THEN AND SILICON VALLEY ROBBER BARONS NOW”
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You are so right that Zuckerberg at Facebook and Dorsey at Twitter are like the old Robber Barons.
Thank you for saying so!
Silicon Valley fascists are the worst.
That is certainly true.
So accurate! Jack Dorsey and the rest are today’s robber baron one percenters.
Thanks! I know what you mean.
Interesting parallel but I think you’re too rough on Zuckerberg.
I understand. I never require everybody to agree with me.
The more things change the more they stay the same.
You know it!
I like the way you often call them technofascists too.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much!
Brilliant comparison! That old political cartoon is great too!
Thank you very much! I agree that it does!
Interesting parallel between the old Robber Barons and today’s Dorsey and Zuckerberg barons.
Thanks. Corporate abuses are corporate abuses.
Jeff Bezos today’s Rockefeller, Mark Zuckerberg today’s Du Pont, Bill Gates today’s Ford
That’s an interesting way to match them up.
Damn right about how disgusting the silicon valley capitalist scumbags are.
You know it!
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Very nice! Google and Twitter and facebook have way too much power.