A16z jumps into politics. Oh frabjous day.
The Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, known also as "a16z" for a really dumb reason, announced today that they were going to save us all from those awful politicians stopping your iPhone from getting more pixels.
As software has eaten the world, it has become integral to every industry and nearly every endeavor in our society. As a result, the governments around the world have become increasingly interested in the implications and how they might regulate the technology.
As we’ve seen with Internet regulation in the 1990s, high quality regulation can enable an industry to thrive while protecting consumers. However, as we’ve seen with the regulation of nuclear power, misguided and politicized regulation can kill an industry and greatly exacerbate problems like climate change.
We believe that advancing technology is critical for humanity’s future, so we will, for the first time, get involved with politics by supporting candidates who align with our vision and values specifically for technology.
(Yes, they opened with "software has eaten the world". As a good thing. This is what we've got to work with here.)
Essentially this is the other shoe dropping from Marc Andreessen's hilariously overwrought manifesto that I might have written when I was 14 years old and very serious about things: technology is good, and people who want to stop technology are bad and we must stop the bad people from slowing down the good people who just want to help the world.
I am not making any of this up.
Technology is the glory of human ambition and achievement, the spearhead of progress, and the realization of our potential.
For hundreds of years, we properly glorified this – until recently.
Who are the bad people who aren't properly glorifying the neon gods that we have made? Oh, he'll tell you.
Our present society has been subjected to a mass demoralization campaign for six decades – against technology and against life – under varying names like “existential risk”, “sustainability”, “ESG”, “Sustainable Development Goals”, “social responsibility”, “stakeholder capitalism”, “Precautionary Principle”, “trust and safety”, “tech ethics”, “risk management”, “de-growth”, “the limits of growth”.
That's right, "trust and safety". Social media moderators are against everything good in the world. The whole thing reads like someone who really wanted to like "Atlas Shrugged" but could only get through the first ten pages and then put it down (and if this is actually what happened, I respect Marc so much for that alone).
In fact, his bibliography of "techno-optimists" to read include such luminaries (no actual books cited, of course, as who has time to read?) as the alluded to "John Galt", who Marc apparently believes is a real person, and James Burnham, who actually was a real person and advocated a bizarre crypto-Marxist technocratic Fordist dictatorship where everyone lived according to the demands of the 1940s managerial class. You can also conquer the world as him in the "Kaiserredux" Hearts of Iron mod, because he's a freaking villain.
He also namechecks Friedrich Nietzsche because, I can only presume, one would need to be a nihilist to survive in Marc's techno-dystopia. Or maybe it's because he saw Nietzsche on a list somewhere.
Anyway, this is clearly a very serious person whose opinions you should pay attention to because of their import and thoughtfulness, and not the fact that a16z can presumably throw any election they want by dropping a few million here and there to get rid of politicians who annoyingly insist on retrograde ideas like "regulation", "safety", "competition", and "safety nets".
Of course, the first salvo in this barrage was Elon Musk's hostile takeover of Twitter (I mean, they let him do it, he was just very hostile about it) and the victory dances of technobros like David Sacks who hung around the Twitter offices immediately after the takeover, I presume as some sort of zampolit to ensure the liberals exited the building in a safe and orderly manner. People like Sacks, Musk, and Andreessen believe that since they failed gloriously upward in the tech boom, there is nothing stopping them from failing gloriously upward in literally anything they choose to do, and anyone who tells them "No, maybe not" is just mean like Mom was.
When fascism comes to America, it will be cloaked in stupidity like this. People who turned everything tech-related into literal shit, in a madcap race to direct everyone's money into their own pocket, want to do the same to our government. How hard can it be?