Tag Archives: Techno-Tyrants of Silicon Valley

PUCK: ROBBER BARONS THEN AND SILICON VALLEY ROBBER BARONS NOW

puck cartoon robber barons tying up uncle samPuck 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.”

Creepy LineThis 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. Continue reading

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Filed under LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES, Neglected History, opinion, Puck Magazine

BALLADEER’S BLOG IS BACK IN ACTION, NO THANKS TO TECHNO-FASCISTS …

Mascot sword and pistolBaby, I’m BACK, just like that notoriously bad sitcom starring Demond Wilson. The problem was NOT WordPress, so don’t blame them, but it was just another round with me refusing to be silenced by Techno-Fascists who abuse their internet influence. 

I’ll be catching up on my Halloween Month posts and other items now that I’m live again, but for right now here’s an appropriate rerun of my blog post DYSTOPIA NATION: TECHNO-TYRANTS OF SILICON VALLEY – 

Here at Balladeer’s Blog I write plenty of items about myths from around the world. I often mention that my blog posts about figures from the American West are along the same lines to me since I think the exaggerated tales of whatever their real-life stories were originate the same way that many religious fables do: the usual human tendency toward superstition and embellishment.

Dystopian literature is similar but instead of embellishing figures and events from the past this type of fiction involves taking contemporary problems and/ or trends and extrapolating them into larger than life menaces in the near or far future.

Soylent Green did it with overpopulation and food shortages, One Blade of Grass did it with environmental issues and Orwell’s 1984 did it with totalitarian political forces which still threaten to use his nightmarish novel as their road map. Countless other examples could be cited.   

THE TECHNO-TYRANTS OF SILICON VALLEY – The modern-day versions of the disgusting old Robber Barons might well be the corporate fascists aka techno-fascists in assorted tech industries, not just regarding Silicon Valley but also  privacy-violating rich pigs at Facebook and elsewhere.

In fact, you could make the case that people like Mark “Skippy” Zuckerberg and his fellow corporate fascists are even worse since I don’t recall bloated rich pigs like E.H. Harriman or Cornelius Vanderbilt trying to police other people’s every thought, word and deed. The invasive and ever-expanding tentacular reach of techno-fascists or in this fictional case Techno-Tyrants would make these villains a very credible threat to political freedom and freedom of expression.

Freedom of expression amnesty internationalIn recent years outfits like Twitter, Facebook and others even made public noises about banning customers based on their conduct UNRELATED TO THOSE UTILITIES! Can you imagine the old, old Ma Bell monopoly cutting off people’s phone service because their operators caught those users discussing voting for political candidates disapproved of by Ma Bell’s upper echelons or expressing opinions frowned upon by Ma Bell?

Even worse, places like Google and others have made it firing offenses to be caught holding opinions at odds with the one percenters and bloated rich pigs who run those tech-related outfits.

For the fictional Techno-Tyrants of this blog post it’s a quick jump to depicting such abusive totalitarians working in tandem with an oppressive government. They could leave citizens unable to access the internet or their various accounts or medical records until they recant any statements or opinions frowned upon by the Techno-Tyrants of Silicon Valley. Continue reading

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Filed under LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES, opinion

DYSTOPIA NATION: TECHNO-TYRANTS OF SILICON VALLEY

Mascot sword and pistolHere at Balladeer’s Blog I write plenty of items about myths from around the world. I often mention that my blog posts about figures from the American West are along the same lines to me since I think the exaggerated tales of whatever their real-life stories were originate the same way that many religious fables do: the usual human tendency toward superstition and embellishment.

Dystopian literature is similar but instead of embellishing figures and events from the past this type of fiction involves taking contemporary problems and/ or trends and extrapolating them into larger than life menaces in the near or far future.

Soylent Green did it with overpopulation and food shortages, One Blade of Grass did it with environmental issues and Orwell’s 1984 did it with totalitarian political forces which still threaten to use his nightmarish novel as their road map. Countless other examples could be cited.   

THE TECHNO-TYRANTS OF SILICON VALLEY – The modern-day versions of the disgusting old Robber Barons might well be the corporate fascists aka techno-fascists in assorted tech industries, not just regarding Silicon Valley but also  privacy-violating rich pigs at Facebook and elsewhere.

In fact, you could make the case that people like Mark “Skippy” Zuckerberg and his fellow corporate fascists are even worse since I don’t recall bloated rich pigs like E.H. Harriman or Cornelius Vanderbilt trying to police other people’s every thought, word and deed. The invasive and ever-expanding tentacular reach of techno-fascists or in this fictional case Techno-Tyrants would make these villains a very credible threat to political freedom and freedom of expression. Continue reading

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Filed under Future History, Neo-Pulp, opinion