“Here’s the thing, there’s about 150 people that rule the world. Anyone that wants to go into politics they’re all f*cken puppets, okay? There are 150 — and they’re all men — that run the world. Period. Fullstop.
“They control most of the important assets — they control the money flows. And these are not the tech entrepreneurs. Now, they are going to get rolled over, over the next 5-10 years by the people that are really underneath pulling the strings.” — Chamath Palihapitiya, Nov 10, 2017, Stanford Graduate School of Business
Some of you may remember Chamath Palihapitiya from his warning that social media was “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” which received generous attention in the media and went viral as a result.
What most people completely missed, and what no single major media outlet reported — at least to the best of my knowledge — was when he explained that “150 men rule the world” and they are “going to roll over” the tech entrepreneurs in the coming years.
Censorship Has Since Grown To Unprecedented Levels
Within just a few months of these unambiguous claims, a series of controversial laws from different governments were either proposed or passed, that would impose harsh penalties and fines on tech companies that did not censor postings considered to be “harmful” or “dangerous” by the authorities.
In Germany, for example, the government passed a law that would fine social media sites up to £44 million if they did not remove whatever they decided qualified as “hate speech” within 24 hours.
Similarly, the European Union proposed that “terrorist” content be taken down within an hour or face harsh penalties. Repeat offenders could be sanctioned by up to 4% of their global turnover, which amounts to billions and billions of dollars.
As we all presumably know by now, censorship has since grown to unprecedented levels.
I myself have had my YouTube and Facebook accounts deleted, as has the Free Thought Project, amongst many others who have been accused of “inauthentic activity” or something equally ambiguous.
And then more recently, in the face of this current pandemic, censorship of information has become even more brazen, to the point of even targeting respected experts, such as Knut Wittkowski and many, many others, for challenging the lockdown policies being imposed.
In all instances the authorities claim that this is for the public’s safety and protection.
Whether this censorship is the result of the “150 men that rule the world” or not, is something that we can only speculate about since the likelihood of an admission is practically nil.
Considering his wealth and position in society, and also his frankness and authenticity of expression, however, Chamath Palihapiti’s claims should not be taken lightly.
They Don’t Give a Sh*t About What You Think of Their World View
Later on in the interview, Chamath proceeds to explain how this ruling class actively use their money and wealth to propagate their own worldview to their personal benefit and self interest, and whether we like it or not, “they don’t give a sh*t about what you think of their worldview,” they are going to use their enormous power and influence to propagate it nonetheless.
Being as such, “you have a moral imperative to make sure that if you have a point of view that matters” you make money that will help you influence public perception in a positive way.
Of course, this is much easier said than done, especially since many of those most familiar with the injustices of this world tend to be the ones that come from financial scarcity and material poverty. It also becomes all the more difficult when activists who have worked sedulously to build large followings that they could then use to help support their visions and plans to create positive change are censored or have their accounts entirely deleted.
Nonetheless, as Chamath points out, money (and more so those who control it) “drives the world, for better or for worse”.
There Is Another Way
My personal position is that we are far more likely to change this toxic system for the better, if we stand together and aggregate our collective capabilities and resources to accomplish that goal.
No one person can accomplish this daunting task alone for obvious reasons. None of us have all the knowledge, financial resources, and so on and so forth needed to create authentic positive change. But if a decent number of us stand together, then we can aggregate everything that we need.
Someone might have the money to purchase a new piece of land, for example, another the knowledge to farm it, another the insight to build sustainable homes, another the knowledge to start new schools for children, another the skills to protect the community physically from those who potentially mean to do harm, and so on and so forth. Everything needed is already out there but we must stand together if we are to have a chance.
In order to still keep the hope of creating a better future alive though, the best and most immediate course of action we can take is to migrate to platforms where we can still at least communicate freely, such as:
When we consider that there are people out there being arrested for simply making social media posts protesting these lockdowns, then we should know that this censorship is only going to get worse unfortunately, and potentially escalate to much more dangerous authoritarian levels.
Thus it is imperative that we start our exodus away from these tech companies under the control of the ruling class sooner rather than later.