Monday, January 13, 2014

'Progressive' Silicone Valley

Joel Kotkin has a pretty good piece concerning how the leftward shift of silicone valley could destabilize the democratic party.  For all the claims that republicans are the party of big business interests, and it isn't entirely without historical merit given that the the northeast had been its' traditional base until their political shift in the late 1960's, it becomes bit harder to maintain such a stance when you consider that the many of the most influential and wealthiest companies, and the leaders of those companies, in the United States are following a decidedly progressive line.  But progressive ideology has limits when it comes to many and the elite who run these companies are more than willing to advocate policies that are decidedly progressive when it suits their interest.

Joel postulates that this disconnect between the nominally progressive technology leaders and other parts of their base could be difficult to reconcile.  Historically there is every reason to believe that this will happen considering that political parties are simply amalgamation of interest groups and that the focus of the party is driven by the interest group that wields the most influence.  The republican party, despite all the rhetoric of the party as the conservative party, used to be quiet progressive relative to the time.  Party focus and allegiances change and this will happen within our lifetimes.  The real question is how?

Joel notes that the wages have dropped for black and latino minorities in silicon valley cities despite the wealth generated by those mega-tech firms.  While there is a possibility that the growing disconnect could cause an electoral revolt within the ranks, I am skeptical to a degree given how blacks are wedded to the democratic party despite historic racism and the empirically terrible results of their policies and the rapidly waning influence of unions throughout the country. At the same time there could be a general shift if working class individuals begin to see not only the failure of progressive politics, but also the hypocrisy of those elites.  This could potentially be a chance for republicans but I would consider it a remote one at this point and time. Most importantly, even if this did happen why should we care?  Unless the elites of the republican party actually begin to see a benefit of classical liberal ideology outside of the rhetorical, then a shift from the democrats to the republicans wouldn't actually mean a whole lot.

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Seattle resident whose real name is Kevin Daniels. This blog covers the following topics, libertarian philosophy, realpolitik, western culture, history and the pursuit of truth from the perspective of a libertarian traditionalist.