Meet The New Silicon Valley Boss, Same As The Old Economy One

In times of crisis, you learn what people are really made of (boldface mine):

I’m still coming to terms with seeing Sheryl “Lean In” Sandberg sitting behind her bottle of Trump water, an arms’ reach from a guy who boasted of sexually assaulting women. I’m still trying to understand Safra Catz — an Israeli daughter of Jewish parents who has joined Trump’s transition team and has repeatedly refused to rule out helping build a database to monitor Americans based on their religion. Or Tim Cook – a gay man whose company claims it will not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind. Or Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post, a newspaper which has bet its future on being the most aggressive anti-Trump voice amongst America’s papers of record. Or Larry Page or Elon Musk, or any of the world’s smartest men and women sitting around that table who were supposed to represent the best of Silicon Valley, a place which itself was supposed to represent all the good that America could offer the world….

Not only was there no storming out, there was apparently no dissent at all. Just the humiliating normalization of a bigot, a fascist and a tyrant. And for what? The possibility of the possibility of maybe a few H1Bs and help doing business with Trump’s pal Putin. “The way that you influence these issues is to be in the arena,” Cook later said, recalling the powerful influence so many Christians had on so many lions…

Surprising or not, the fact is the most powerful people in tech — the billionaires able to buy and sell Trump many times over, and the companies he relies on to get his message out to his base — have rolled over without even token resistance. They are working for him now.

The idea that tech leaders huddled in the liberal stronghold of California might provide a firewall against the rise of fascism in America was as much a fantasy as the idea that they might respect our privacy, or stamp out cyberbullying or pay sharing economy workers fairly or only give jobs to people who don’t assault women. All that bullshit about keeping our powder dry for the first meeting was just that — bullshit, as evidenced by the rush to arrange follow-up meetings and for several in attendance to formalize their partnership with Team Trump. It’s done.

Because keeping our powder dry worked so well for Clinton-era New Democrats in the late 1990s (remember that? I do). They were never good people. A lot of good, upper-middle class people looked at them and saw superficial similarities: went to the same schools, have the same tastes and so on. But they knuckled under. For money. Good people don’t do that.

Good people do this (boldface mine):

To: ‘safra.catz’

Subject: Transition Team

Safra,

You were recently quoted “I plan to tell the President-elect that we are with him and are here to help in any way we can.” prior to joining the Trump transition team.

Based upon Trump’s own words and validated in his Cabinet selections he will seek to dismantle Social Security and Medicare –important retirement security for our aging and disabled population.

Trump stokes fear, hatred and violence toward people of color, Muslims and immigrants. It is well-known that hate crimes are surging as he has provided license for this ignorance-based expression of malice.

He disrespects Gold Star military families, women and the disabled.

He seeks to eviscerate environmental protections, the public education system, LGBTQ rights and women’s rights.

His tax and economic policies will greatly increase the national debt while concentrating wealth –exacerbating an alarming growth of wealth inequality in America.

I began with Oracle in 1993 and was proud to work among some of the best software development and operations engineers in the world. I’ve made significant contributions to Oracle along the way in my various roles ranging from consulting, product development, customer advocacy, program management and now in Cloud.

I am not with President-elect Trump and I am not here to help him in any way. In fact –when his policies border on the unconstitutional, the criminal and the morally unjust –I am here to oppose him in every possible and legal way.

Therefore I must resign from this once great company.

George A. Polisner | Governance/Service Delivery

If we’re lucky, this is just a horrible hybrid of the Reagan and Bush eras–on steroids. But this might get a lot worse–think either Putin or maybe even Pinochet. And our supposed great men and women were nothing more than greedy lap dogs.

Same as it ever was.

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4 Responses to Meet The New Silicon Valley Boss, Same As The Old Economy One

  1. Tom_b says:

    I don’t think meeting automatically leads to complicity. Oracle notwithstanding, my expectation is that the tech leaders are mostly scoping out the enemy. Tech’s interests (serving their customers) and Trump’s interests (making Trump & family, inc. richer on the backs of everybody else) do not coincide.

  2. anthrosciguy says:

    “Tech’s interests” are not “serving their customers”; they are serving their bottom line. For instance, as one of many possible examples, take Apple, which has a reputation for doing things and making things customers want. If their interest was mainly “serving their customers” would they have addressed those iPhone antenna problems a few years back by stonewalling, then blaming their customers for “holding their phones wrong”? “Tech’s interests” are shown by things like Apple’s Irish connection, basically how to keep tax fraud legal for them.

    If Tech can serve their interests (money making) by actually serving their customers, they’ll do it. If they can serve those interests by screwing their customers, by blaming their for design flaws, by making them subsidize Tech’s existence through legalized tax fraud, they’ll do that.

    • Ougaseon says:

      I get what you’re saying, and agree too, but you can’t ignore the fact that Apple also has very publicly stood up for privacy when they refused to cooperate with the FBI. Trump himself got all pissy about it. It’s hard to argue they were screwing customers by taking that stand. Heck, most customers don’t give a shit about privacy, and caring about it is arguably detrimental to the kind of AI assisted tricks people like from Google. They are definitely gonna hope for bullshit trade related to the Irish thing, but they’ve also already demonstrated they’re willing to push back even when nobody else cares, which is way more than can be said for companies like Oracle.

  3. Net Denizen says:

    To paraphrase Michael Jordan: Even fascists buy iPhones

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