Smartphones, AI algorithms, and social media have joined multi-passenger carriages, lanterns, and the waltz as targets of pseudo-intellectual snobbery, writes Washington Legal Foundation’s Senior Litigation Counsel today in the highly regarded blog Truth on the Market.
The same type of people that today question whether Facebook might “break democracy” and deride YouTube’s auto-play feature, Corbin Barthold writes, were sounding alarms over the new technology of their times in the past. This “smart set” refuses to take a “wider view of history” because “it’s not in their nature.” Corbin continues:
“As Schumpeter understood, the ‘intellectual group’ cannot help attacking ‘the foundations of capitalist society.’ ‘It lives on criticism and its whole position depends on criticism that stings.'”
The “old fashioned and priggish” naysayers, Corbin explains, simply don’t trust the average American to make his or her own choices about activities like online shopping and watching videos:
We now hit the crux of the intellectuals’ (and Josh Hawley’s) complaint. It’s not a gripe about Big Tech so much as a gripe about you. You, the average person, are too dim, weak, and base. You lack the wits to use an iPhone on your own terms. You lack the self-control to post, ‘like’, and share in moderation (or the discipline to make your children follow suit). You lack the virtue to abstain from the pleasures of Prime-membership consumerism.
Read the post in its entirety here.