Here’s How to Fix It.
Yet another tome purporting to solve the worlds problems by restricting what information people have access to. That is not the answer if one believes in a democracy or a democratic republic like the United States.
“That means tech companies that are subject to proper democratic control, countries where free trade and movement can be both embraced or curtailed, and an overall framework that makes those choices possible, so that people don’t feel they have to overturn the whole of society to have their voices heard.”
What are the details exactly of “proper democratic control” of tech companies? And why would that matter? Is the “democratic control” of private tech companies actually proper? A democracy can make really awful choices that are antithetical to other ideals of justice. Majorities are not wise by default.
In an age that is obsessed with ‘minorities” it’s a bit uncanny to simultaneously witness the worship of “democracy.”
If we take what many Democrats and Republicans are asking for, the proper control of tech behemoths involves allowing or even forcing them to restrict some voices because it is deemed “misinformation”.
What does the author think about that? Unfortunately I feel like that kind of mystery and lack of clarity runs through this whole piece. Except that he thinks Trump and Brexit ushered a collapse of his dreams of global domination. That was pretty clear. It seems that is now a standard practice among many authors--to symbolically demonstrate some opaque political allegiance by blaming Trump for the world’s problems.
Interesting view and policy proposals. My (small) quibble is that it sometimes appears as if you’re conflating the terms “interdependence” and “codependence” or using the synonymously. I might need to read it again to confirm. But according to my understanding (and I might be wrong here) there is a crucial difference. Codependence is usually used to describe an unhealthy, toxic relationship where one party derives value from being “the victim” and the other derives value from being “the savior” and though they choose these parts willingly, it’s detrimental to the thriving of both.
Interdependence, on the other hand, is a sort of midway point between total independence (isolationist/“man in an island”) views and total dependence (inability to survive alone) views. The difference between the two is, as you state, the creation of boundaries - not in the international sense but in codified agreements listing what kind of interactions and transactions are OK between two parties and which are not and the consequences for breaking these agreements. But maybe something like a broad “Russian Doll” type analogy might be a good way to design such agreements. All in all, I think there’s something right about this view but I’ll need to think about it more.
Although there's a passing mention of people feeling that they're "strangers in their own lands", all of the solutions seem related to economics. I'm not European, but I had the impression that a good part of the dissatisfaction with the EU is the cultural/philosophical homogenization. People want to live their lives by their own rules, which don't necessarily match those of the elites, who are absolutely sure of the direction that social progress points and willing to impose it on everyone.
As for the economics, I doubt you'll find a good way to insist that corporations make less money than they can or that people pay more than they need to, meaning that Biden's proposal is not likely to be accepted (and if accepted, not likely to work), and the same goes for similar engineering of markets. What you *can* do is allow countries to do what they would normally do: Control immigration. Maybe give the people who work for think-tanks control over the immigration of think-tank workers -- that should satisfy everyone.
I applaud Mr. Leonard for updating his priors. Such insights are sadly uncommon amongst one-world technocrats. I'm left in many respects but I regard the nation-state as the bedrock of liberty.
I appreciate the analogy between nations and individuals with regards to relationships: the need for boundaries, rules and mutual respect for autonomy, leading to mutual benefit.