Top
Art by Yuri Zalevski
PhilosophyTop Section

Silicon Valley Struggle Sessions

Siri will only ever answer “Kim K’s ass,” but I hope we’ll remember it was Andrew Anglin or Matthew Prince who truly broke the Internet. There’s more humor in blaming an Irishman for the damage, but Cloudflare’s unprecedented act of admitted censorship against him is your sign.

Considering Google’s Damore Affair and the response to Charlottesville, we can better understand Heidegger’s claim that the essence of technology is by no means anything technological. Its essence is a frame of mind (“enframing”) that views human populations, strains of discourse, ideation, as manageable resources and flows. Facebook announces it will steer how Daily Stormer articles are shared. Every firm in the Bay Area competes in a ritual purge of crimethink.

These addled hysterics do not see themselves as wage slaves for data combines. They believe that their work is expelling the Negative from the Social. They are parties to a form of violence more powerful than anything seen in Charlottesville, or any of the other cartoon demonstrations to come. This is the violence of consensus.

The Violence of Consensus

In 2012 I was kicked off the crowdfunding site Indiegogo. That year Stratasys Inc. revoked my lease of one of their 3D printing machines and forcibly repossessed it from me. By December I was labeled a terrorist by Bloomberg-controlled political lobbies and marked by the tech publications as one of the most dangerous people in the world. Versions of this cycle have happened to me every year since then. The hell the alt-right is catching now ain’t new.

This is the subtle violence of “deterrence, pacification, neutralization, control — a violence of quiet extermination,” in the words of my master Baudrillard. This is the business of politics after the passing of the political. This is a “communicational violence — the violence of the consensus and conviviality which tends to abolish” the roots of radicality itself. Transhumanism? The Singularity? The tech industry is everywhere a contractor of the state in the prevention of such gothic hypotheses.

And did Damore buck The Consensus? Recall that he was not questioning his company’s motivations or desired ends in his critique of diversity training. His memo was meant as a constructive contribution toward Google’s industrial-psychological protocols for building a better IQ shredder. Yes, I mean this in the Landian sense.

Though it employs elite engineers who perform heroic feats almost daily, Google is still at its core a mere advertising company, and it has made the Internet a sewer of ads. At some point a moving front of companies along with Apple or another giant will break their business model with an Internet payments layer. This is inevitable. Whence, then, comes its hubris to elect itself an enforcer of American monothought? Are these just Conquest’s Laws at work?

We may not have an answer, but we all dimly understand that we hate Google for its transparent exercise of power. We all understand that we hate Facebook and the rest of Silicon Valley for creating and exercising this level of control from such empty pretenses.

Hatreon

When society has allowed no space for violent opposition, of the historic and transcendent quality we may remember studying as children, all that’s left is Hate.

Unlike traditional violence, which may be measured in response to active oppression, Hate is a distinctly modern form and born of the very safety and indifference to which we are habituated in first world life. You’ll recall many of the young men in Charlottesville were ridiculed for their anger because they had never faced oppression in their lives. But dearhearts, this is the very font of Hate.

Hate is born of a lack of oppression and a common enemy. It is objectless and ambiguous, a “desperate protest against the indifference of the world.” If the so-called Nazis of the week before have one thing in common, it is their nostalgia for The Event that never happened. Their deep misgivings over having been born after the End of History. This is more than a delusion shared by extremists.

The left has it no better. We’ve watched anarchists grope toward voting for Corbyn’s Labour Party  after Brexit, and Maoists reduced to cheering on GOOGLEFACEBOOK as the historical agents of the revolution. F.B.A.M.S. – Fash Bash at Mass Scale. The computers have done it for us. Suddenly the full spectrum of available leftism is non-utopian.  “The Resistance” cries out to @FBI and @GoDaddy for justice with every Bush-era neologism. You take to the streets of Charlottesville to find the police department has already sent the Nazis packing. How humiliating.

It is this objectless humiliation that sends us all searching now – even the Libertarian Party has been frenziedly slinging some fascism renunciation petition. I have built a website as a tribute to our political embarrassment. I hope it will be a living collection of anomie itself, and a regular stain on the bluff conscience of Silicon Valley. But it is not an answer to all this.

Secession

Culture arises from secession, Sloterdijk reminds us. But by no means is every form of life that appears in our society a culture. “Only those comparable to existence under a monastic rule in terms of explicitness, strictness, vigilance and reduction to the essential,” he writes.

I offer that these recent ejections of rightists and red-pilled thinkers from official culture have not made it necessary to rebuild 20 years of internet infrastructure. They should instead be seen as a better test for determining who among us are trapeze artists versus those only bound to accelerate their post-historical plight.

It is obvious that the American techno-state has after religion become more fundamentalist, and has after generations of global decolonization become more imperial. After the Cold War it is far more aggressive in its global technical control and surveillance. The national passion is for literally programming a social visa. “Your speech is not free from consequences,” they tell us. This is now cybernetically guaranteed.

Understand, however, that however many billions login to Facebook that the site can only ever be a social prosthesis. All this soft Maoism in the Bay Area is about fighting over mechanisms meant to aid a society that is “already exterminated in… its symbolic wheels.”

Your enemies should have by now made you feel your necessity. You should hear in their acts against you the absolute imperative to become excellent and prestigious beyond all probability. Yes, you must change your life.

Much is monstrous. But nothing more monstrous than man.

Cody R. Wilson is the founder of Hatreon, a crowdfunding website, and Defense Distributed, a producer of 3D-printable firearm designs.