Josh Marshall has a long and thoughtful piece on the power of Google (and, by extension, other concentrators of influence). The piece was prompted by allegations of Google’s bullying a website the views of which Google found distasteful (no, it wasn’t one of those websites that have been so much in the news lately). Rather, it seems from the context of Marshall’s remarks, which are all I know of the situation at this point (links are in the post) to be a website that questioned the concentration of power in the hands of corporations, including digital outfits such as Google.
I have always found Josh Marshall to be a careful and deliberate thinker and commend the post to your attention. Here’s a bit:
But what is more interesting to me than the instances of bullying are the more workaday and seemingly benign mechanisms of Google’s power. If you have extreme power, when things get dicey, you will tend to abuse that power. It’s not surprising. It’s human nature. What’s interesting and important is the nature of the power itself and what undergirds it. Don’t get me wrong. The abuses are very important. But extreme concentrations of power will almost always be abused. The temptations are too great. But what is the nature of the power itself?