Democratize Social Media (Dispatches from a Dying Democracy, Part II)

If the impact of social media advertising and censorship are a concern, then—the thinking goes— why not turn major platforms into public utilities like PBS and NPR, where the government can’t have a relationship with advertisers and where speech is protected by the First Amendment? But while this idea on the surface sounds incredibly appealing, I can’t help but shake the suspicion of “good in theory/monstrous in practice.” In light of the fact that the United States has become a post-9/11 surveillance state, both by means of the Patriot Act and through NSA spying, it seems a tad naive to entrust this same state to somehow be the protector of our dignity and privacy online. Far better, I submit—and far more ambitious, perhaps— to turn major platforms like Facebook and Twitter into the world’s largest cooperatives.

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Eros: An Obituary (Dispatches from a Dying Democracy, Part I)

Capitalism drives all human interaction away from affection toward profit motive. In the age of dating apps which function as virtual “people stores”, consumer mentality has caused individuals to be commodified into “personality packages” meant for consuming and discarding upon whim (ultimately leading to feelings of dissatisfaction for the user and the used); and in this sense radical egalitarians, within feminism and wider leftism, who seek to bring about the end of romantic love find within the monstrous economic system a strange bedfellow.

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