Apr 26, 2018

Rundle: next stop, socialising Google and Facebook

As the banking Royal Commission makes clear, the need for social ownership and public control of financial institutions is more important than ever. And it doesn't stop there.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


The banking royal commission -- and its tales of shonky loans, systemic selling of the customer to the product --  is Australia’s own contribution to the global revival of socialism as a proposition for government. Not mere social democracy, but actual socialism, in which key sectors of the economy -- call them the commanding heights, or the underlying utilities, whichever direction you want to come from -- are in social ownership and public control.

Elsewhere, the exposure of the real practices of other industries is having the "socialist effect". Five years ago, the proposition that Facebook or Google should be socialised was a marginal idea. Now, with their power being exposed, people can see that they are not simply an innovative product like a Dyson vacuum cleaner, but general online connection and information, respectively.  

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6 thoughts on “Rundle: next stop, socialising Google and Facebook

  1. gjb

    Starting with a global cap on the production of humans. The most populous large mammal of all time with the capacity to consume a planet but lacking the insight to realise their destruction in the process.
    Next war needs 5 billion dead or immediate action towards sustainability and avoidance.
    Take your pick

    1. AR

      As PJ O’Rourke, the archetypal republican reptile said of GWII, “give War a chance!”.
      Can’t say that it wouldn’t be a game changer though.

  2. Dog's Breakfast

    Socialise Google, it’s essential these days.

    Forget Facebook, we’d be buying a lemon, it’ll be history soon enough, for both reasons of lack of necessity and its own lack of ethics. As soon as people work out that they don’t need it anymore, and worse, that their lives are better without it, that’s the end. The tipping point may not be far off for them.

    1. zut alors

      Dogs, it’s possible to manage without Google, try They keep no history of searches & money does not buy a preferential listing.

  3. AR

    Dear gRundle, still ensnared by quotidian concepts like facts & reality – FarceBuch et al have not just cast the moorings of civilisation, they slashed the cable & jettisoned the anchor.
    Ahoy there, here be dragons.

  4. Arky

    Guy, Guy, Guy.

    I see you’ve tried to avoid the obvious “and which government owns it, exactly?” trap with public ownership by suggesting Facebook would be run by a board elected by Facebook users but of course this has its own problems starting with the fact that anyone and their dog can have a Facebook account and in fact do. Vote early and vote often, and vote in your millions if you’re a Russian bot farm. Not to mention that more than likely, any Facebook vote that can will elect “Vote McVoteface”. Not to mention that Facebook would still need to monetise data in order to continue, you know, operation, unless we’re socialising the operation costs of this apparently essential service as well?

    You haven’t even tried to suggest how socialising Google could possibly work. Wisely.

    Capitalise democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others, guy. The inequality problem needs fixing, but capitalist democracies have created so much. That we can be complaining about inequality and not about being thrown in jail for protesting the government, or famine, or queues and rationing for the most basic goods, or civil war, means we have it much much better than most countries under most systems of government throughout history. I am frequently amazed how much some of my fellow lefties want to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

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