A core component of the unfettered neoliberalism that has caused such havoc across the West over the last decade is the capacity for large firms to become ever larger, increasing prices for consumers and other businesses, forcing down wages and stifling investment and innovation (that’s not just supposition, that’s all well documented, as I noted in The Mess We’re In).
Combine that with tech and we’ve created a marketplace that stretches from absurdity to capitalist nightmare. Tech companies are increasingly forcing us to use their products and blocking lawful ways to get around their monopolies — and regulators don’t seem to care. Hardware simply stops working at the whim of the provider, because it’s been designed not to work with other systems. And the brutal logic of tech monopolies: they buy up potential competitors, and things stop working.
LIFE AMONG THE DICTATORS
Why Iran’s Revolutionary Guards might decide regime change is a good idea — financially speaking. Plus, coping with disasters, dictatorship style — how the Chinese public service struggles with reality. And is mass ineptitude China’s new approach to military espionage?