This week witnessed two important actions that drew only slight notice. The first was a series of Eric Weinstein tweets directed at Jack Dorsey. The second was a mass email sent to Gab members by Gab’s founder, Andrew Torba. Both efforts tell us what’s right – and wrong – with their nascent movement.
Weinstein’s tweets attempted to call out Mr. Dorsey’s opaque algorithms that shadow ban citizen-empowering voices. Torba’s goal was similar: to rally “populists” toward new methods of action.
Both men are enlightened and erudite representatives of their positions. And both show the courage of their convictions. But there’s a difference between recognizing a problem and building an effective solution. They’ve completed Part A. There is no plan for Part B.
Their common theme centered on Big Tech’s disingenuous controls. But neither could separate his left-right leanings from the larger issue at hand. Weinstein’s tweets read like the plaintive pleas of a liberal jilted by a fellow member of the left. Meanwhile, Torba’s quite accurate comments about centralization were mixed with unproductive exhortations about his Christian beliefs.
Neither man was able to visualize today’s conflict with the required accuracy.
For example, social media wields influence at the behest of its enablers …… the DNC, Deep State, globalist CEOs, and related groups. None of those players functions as a free-standing entity. Each operates within an alliance that works to concentrate power. Their agenda sometimes leans liberal, but the far larger goal is control.
What Weinstein and Torba are missing is this: The primary conflict of our era is Centralized Power against Decentralized Power. It’s a significant shift from the previous era, where liberal values squared off against conservative values.
Each of these Fundamental Questions – Power and Values – drives a society’s decisions in different epochs. Torba and Weinstein have nobly stepped forward to lead today’s conflict, but they’re like generals fighting the last war. Left-Right divisions are now secondary.
Can either side of this new battle – centralized or decentralized – be considered inherently good or categorically evil? Many examples show the damage wrought by overly-concentrated power: Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia, Saddam’s Iraq. Likewise, too much decentralization leads to chaos, as Somalia shows. The question America faces today is one of balance: can each side keep the other in check?
It’s clear that the elites are not being held in check. No citizen-empowering alliance counters today’s centralizing coalition. Instead, decentralizing voices “on the left” still naively address monopolistic figures “on the left” as friends. But Jack Dorsey is not their friend. Neither is any figure associated with the DNC. Meanwhile, on the right, activists like Torba don’t separate their religious beliefs from the society’s move away from liberty. This conflation of power with values has hamstrung efforts to build citizen-empowering coalitions.
Weinstein could easily undercut Twitter by becoming a prominent voice on Gab or Parler. But Torba has dis-invited liberals by mis-associating Christian values with free speech. Neither person will develop into a effective leader until he draws better distinctions between his adversaries and his allies.