In the fall of 2016, Mark Zuckerberg announced a plan to end all disease.
I’d rather he just stopped being one.
A week after the optimism of a rebuke of Trump, we have Amazon owning New York City and Facebook owning Washington and a hundred further reminders that the underlying infrastructure that has allowed the public good to be commandeered is still in place and needs uprooting.
We also have Democrats succumbing to the billionaire demands of Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, and in that a reminder that the capture of American life by money is a bipartisan phenomenon.
Zuckerberg didn’t just turn himself into a world changer. We made him one by writing that story, buying that story, failing to see past that story.
We have allowed our robber barons to masquerade as saviors, thinkers, community builders, political sages, activists, and more.
And Sheryl Sandberg used her power and privilege, before silencing critics, to shame women into believing that sexism could be overcome by trying harder. She would have been down in Alabama urging African-Americans to be better passengers if they wanted to be let on the bus.
And we listened to these cynics as though they were oracles of the new world. We guzzled down their ideas, not seeing that they were just sales pitches gussied up with optimism.
How many different shades of lipstick must be applied to our piggish winners-take-all economy before we realize it is still a pig?
We need business journalists to model their work on stories like this. No more puffery. No more oracular, sitting-at-the-knee bull. No more change-the-world lists. No more conferences of world-changers where every speaker is a CEO.
The only way to address this is by creating a new politics that isn’t subservient to money. A politics rooted in movements of people. And a politics rooted in a culture that values humanity more than money. A politics of actual world-changing.
A risk of a chaotic time is that we see each of the dramas as its own.
But we are fish swimming in the sea of an ideology that has put money over everything; and so much of what ails us, from our fraudster president to climate to inequality to tech, is a result of that ideology.
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