By John Dunkelgrün
This week saw the beginning of the biggest antitrust trial since the 1997 case against Microsoft. Google is under fire for monopolizing its search engine. Several of the big tech companies are being looked at. Not just the public, but the administrations in the US, the EU, Britain, etc. are getting nervous about their size and influence. Size and power are only a few of their worries. Elon Musk can on his own take a 44 billion dollar company and break it, firing thousands of employees at will. Like an old-fashioned potentate, he can decide what is free speech and what isn’t. Facebook, TikTok, Apple, and Amazon have been in rough water too for a variety of reasons, all to do with abuse of power.
But last week a new and very scary development was made public in a new book about Elon Musk. It mentioned that Musk admitted that he had cut off his satellite services in the area around the Crimea to stop a Ukrainian attack on the Russian fleet. It appeared that he had done so after talking to Russian diplomats. Funnily enough not much was written in the media about this momentous event. The fact that one man, one private man, can influence battlefield tactics, is too crazy for words. It is hard enough for the experts in the Pentagon to assess a nuclear threat. They have experience, contacts, and many sources of information, but still, it is hard. For a single person to evaluate the arguments of the Russians is impossible.
Today many companies broadcast their intention to be “good global citizens”, and to take care of all stakeholders, not just of the shareholders. Just imagine that Google, for instance, involving their “Do no harm” credo, decides that Ukraine continuing the war is bad for the planet and cuts off all of its services there until Ukraine is willing to sit down with Russia and forge a compromise. What if any of the big cloud companies refuse to sell cloud space to companies, whose climate or woke policies they don’t like? The more you think about it, the scarier it becomes.
What if having “green goals” means that a major company decides to refuse to do business with other companies or individuals they consider insufficient in dropping fossil fuels, even though they are well within government limits? What if companies become so woke as to demand a 50% female and 50% colored managerial staff in any company with which they do business?
Companies and individuals should stay away from areas that rightfully belong to the administration, the legislation, or the judiciary.