The irony is compelling.
The Progressive Left is siding with the most powerful corporation in human history. Meanwhile, the Alt-Right is defending free speech, workers’ rights and demanding that the massive corporation in question be tightly regulated or broken up. This contradicts the stereotypes of the Left being the defender of the little man against the power and wealth of evil, huge corporations and the Right being the defender of wealth, privilege and power.
Just yesterday I wrote about the need to break up Google, the gatekeeper of information and communication in our age. Google owns multiple monopoly shares of the market over key Internet services and increasingly projects real power in Washington, DC. The company is also firing employees who do not toe its Leftist line on speech restrictions and shuts down websites and censors users who disagree with the company’s politics and social values. And the Progressive Left establishment is going to bat for Google against growing criticism and calls for the monopoly company to be broken up. Karen Hao writes for Quartz that “the Al-Right’s coordinated attacks on Google should disturb you”:
The alt-right and its predecessors have long antagonized Silicon Valley for its views and practices, but it wasn’t until James Damore that they truly mobilized to take down one of its companies. No sooner had the former Google software engineer been fired for penning and circulating a manifesto titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” did the alt-right co-opt his narrative.
…It is no accident that the alt-right chose Damore’s firing as their catalyst. This was not the first time accusations over a tech giant’s censorship of their views sparked outrage within the movement. Breitbart News has vigilantly tracked Facebook’s “war on free speech” since the 2016 US election campaign. Gab, a “free speech” social media platform popular among the alt-right, was created in response to Twitter’s censorship policies. But more than any other tech giant in the Valley, Google is synonymous with progressivism. And when the confluence of several other variables—the seemingly rational tone of the manifesto; Damore’s awkward and unassuming demeanor; the hyper-attentive mainstream media—rolled out a carpet to the national stage, the choice to attack only became more obvious. This is the “beginning of the alt-tech revolution,” Gab founder Andrew Torba told the Washington Post.
…Today, in an industry roiled by diversity and sexual harassment issues, Google preserves its benevolent reputation. Externally, its community-based initiatives—Girls Who Code and Made with Code to promote women in STEM;CODE2040 to foster black and Latinx tech talent—solidify its image as a force of good. Internally, its culture is considered by many as the safest haven for minorities in tech. As I heard over and over again from minorities who worked at Google or Silicon Valley at large, no place in tech is actually good for women and people of color, but Google is as good as it gets. It’s really trying.
…This is what makes it the perfect target for the alt-right. For the predominantly young, internet-savvy branch of white nationalism, bred within the underground meme-ridden culture of anonymous discussion forums like 4chan, few things feel more powerful than the subversion of benevolence, authority, and political correctness. Their tactics to push white nationalist ideas into the mainstream stem from this philosophy: Find the benign, the benevolent, the mundane and “corrupt” it with associations of fear and hatred.
The article continues in this manner, depicting the world’s most powerful corporation as an idealistic defender of the oppressed while attacking those critics who have been censored or fired by the company as advocates of “hate.” Such is the Left-Right battle of today as it addresses corporate power, information access and communication.