William Barr has proposed a sensible, cheap solution to remove the dangerous gap in the 5G mobile data technologies where China is 1 year ahead of Europe and 5-10 years ahead of the U.S.: just invest several tens of billions into Nokia and/or Ericsson, and elevate the indirect strategic control of the U.S. companies but also the U.S. government over these industries. Make sure that the abundant U.S. cash is being poured into these technologies so that the gap is disappearing.
Some clueless ideological hecklers have immediately greeted the sane proposal by Barr, a long-time Telecom companies' lawyer, with the insult: "It is socialism". Because I've been saying the same things as Barr for months, my ideas were labeled equally. I find these comments totally clueless and indeed, very analogous to the screaming "Don't touch Facebook, Twitter, and other private companies, they have the right to ban anyone".
The analogy is more than obvious. In both cases, they are hysterically reacting to attempted minor interventions by the government or lawmakers that would prevent a much greater anti-capitalist threat that is either taking place or is likely to be taking place.
The U.S. government has the duty to defend the Americans' national interests. When Americans find out that their mobile data connections may be at risk because they didn't praise the Chinese president passionately enough last night, it may be too late. The U.S. government has both the duty and the funds to prevent such situations. Similar threats are real and it's possible to remove them cheaply, for something like 0.1% of the annual U.S. GDP.
Yes, the government would put some money into the private business. But as the clueless and mindless hecklers screaming "socialism" fail to see and understand, the governments in the real world are already spending and redistributing some money. The U.S. government spends almost $5 trillion every year – and it collects almost $4 trillion. Even the difference between these two numbers, the deficit, is huge.
The "it is socialism" hecklers are suspiciously silent when it comes to any entry in the $5 trilion expenditures (like $1 trillion a year for Social Security, of course, the largest item). But when it comes to the spending of a few billion to fight the actual and obvious danger that the socialists and communists will completely take over whole sectors of the economy, they are extremely active protesters. (Similar illogical protesters are protesting against similar billions spent for particle physics but they don't seem to care when trillions are being thrown out because of nightmares allegedly suffered by a retarded Swedish teenager.) So I think all these people are either useful idiots or they are just downright fighters for socialism or communism who just pretend otherwise. In order to be generous, I will assume the latter and call them "fake anti-socialists".
The fake anti-socialists claim that Twitter, Facebook, and similar servers have the right to harass and ban right-wingers. It's what capitalism is all about, to allow everyone to ban the damn supporters of capitalism, right? But the freedom of speech is actually a deeper assumption that is a necessary condition for any meaningful capitalism. If the valley holding a monopoly over this industry happens to be hijacked by fanatical and brainwashed leftists, and this is arguably the case of Silicon Valley today, they have the ability to outlaw any support of capitalism (and other things that the normal right-wingers find dear) and effectively end it in the U.S. or the whole world.
To any sane person, this very genuine threat that the whole system may be over is much more important than the ban on their ban of "several" people who are being censored or banned for political or ideological reasons!
The very statement that the bans of Alex Jones, Katie Hopkins, Laura Loomer... and many even much milder people... represent the "freedom of the private subjects" is an incredible lie by itself. In reality, it should be the shareholders who decide. But show me a vote of the Twitter shareholders who would be directly or at least indirectly deciding whether Katie Hopkins should be banned from Twitter. Nothing like that exists. These decisions are being done by the management and they are being done under the pressure of aggressive far left activists who are harassing and blackmailing everybody.
If you support the "right to ban the right-wingers", you are clearly not supporting the power of the private subjects to freely deal with their property. You are supporting far left criminal scum that is terrorizing the private owners and everyone else. The previous sentence isn't obvious and doesn't always follow from the universal axioms but it is true today, as everyone sees if he looks in the real world at all. You are surely helping to weaken, not strengthen, capitalism. Just look how any of these decisions to ban someone started. None of them was initiated or pushed by a major shareholder. Pretty much every single one was initiated and pushed by some left-wing scum whose ownership of the company's stocks is virtually zero or, most often, exactly zero.
It's analogous in the case of the Chinese 5G. China's undemocratic political system is doing all sorts of terrible things. In some respects, we may conclude that the Western countries already have less freedom than the communist China. But I think that in most respects, especially on the Internet, the West is still vastly more free than China. In particular, China runs the Great Firewall of China. This blog, the whole blogspot.com domain, and tons of other important websites are just unavailable from regular, not enhanced, Chinese Internet browsers.
China is running the social score and other things. When you collect a sufficient number of sins which include inconvenient political positions, you may be prevented from boarding commercial flights or even trains and other things.
Now, roughly a gigabyte may flow through a 5G connection each second. It's something that will become widespread simply because higher-capacity connections with a faster response are obviously better than the low-capacity, slowly responding ones. The West can't fully ban the import of the 5G technologies across the world – Trump isn't even able to persuade Boris to do this ban for Huawei's gadgets – and the reasons are obvious. 5G is actually really useful for many people.
Huawei is 1% owned by a man and 99% owned by some trade union community or something, clearly another form of the communist non-ownership. The control of the Chinese government over that company may be expected to be complete. The gadgets may have hidden features that make them stop operating when the Chinese leaders find such a termination desirable. They may send some data elsewhere, i.e. spy on you, either at all times or when they're ordered to do so by a backdoor command. Tons of other things are possible. China may threaten others in the future: "We will stop your mobile Internet tomorrow and send you to the Stone Age if you do or don't do something..." and so on. It's hard to assign probabilities to such scenarios but the probabilities are substantial.
But even without the risks, the near monopoly by a Chinese company – sufficiently controlled by the leading Chinese politicians – is simply dangerous. Even when all the steps are "legitimate", the Chinese folks may decide about the prices they offer to Western Telecom companies. They may influence the adjacent industries – and don't forget about the potential new applications of 5G in all sorts of new industries – in many ways. So a big part of the Western industries would depend on the decisions made by the Chinese communists. Lots of people would be existentially worried and they would try to behave in a way that the Chinese communists prefer.
For some reasons, the fact that a big part of the users and companies in the West may be genuinely pressured by the Chinese communists seems less important than some minor investment (tens of billions of dollars) that Barr wants to make into some private companies. The fake anti-socialists completely lack the sense of proportion or they pretend to lack it. The proposed investment is probably less than 1% of the U.S. government's annual budget. On the other hand, many percent of the whole West's economy may come under the influence of the Chinese decisions for the next decade or decades.
These things' impacts differ by orders of magnitude and of course that the influence of the Chinese players over the data industry is a bigger deal than the "socialist interpretation" of a modest investment by the U.S. government.
There's another statement by the fake anti-socialists that I find fascinating. Some of them say "government-funded research is great" and they implicitly or explicitly recommend the U.S. government to fund the reinvention of the wheel from scratch – which would clearly be more expensive (and slower) than to start at a decent place where friendly enough folks have gotten by now. It seems that these fake anti-socialists would prefer the "government-funded research" even if they knew for certain that it would be more expensive and slower. It probably looks less socialist for them if the government grows more than necessary and if it wastes more money!
It's just incredible. The government should still try not to waste the money for things like the reinvention of the wheel. The discussions has badly deteriorated when even such sentences have become controversial. And it is completely wrong and a path to socialism or communism to invent and expand the list of individuals or whole industries that get an "exception" from the need to keep the markets capitalist and from the need to keep the government small enough. Government-funded researchers are such an exception, they have done some amazing things (like theoretical physics up to the Higgs discovery or string theory) but this broader class of the people has also done some breathtakingly useless and toxic garbage that was funded by the taxpayers.
Much of the neo-Marxist movement has been created out of the parasitic people in this quaternary, quinary, if not senary sector of the economy whose connection to any tangible values is basically non-existent. The neo-Marxist movement that is crippling the Western civilization today (and that has a chance to completely demolish it within a decade) has been made by the people who have never worked with their hands, who were never hungry, who always got what they asked for, and they got it for free, and who takes their "right" to be spoiled brat and freeloaders for granted. That's clearly how it works. Most of them are worthless people who screw everything they touch but who believe that their bullšiting, parroting, canceling, complaining, and whining is much more valuable than any person's real work, nevertheless.
Why did this class become so powerful? Because it grew in size – and these people have a disproportionately large power to write, speak, and influence others (through schools, media, and more – even as trolls on Twitter). This class grew so large because the societies have allowed for an increasingly long list of increasingly unexceptional exceptions. An increasing number of people and mostly idiotic parasites were included into the class of "government-funded researchers" who weren't watched by the fake anti-capitalists at all because of that exception.
I am sorry but it is these exceptions – the suppression of the normal market relationships that occurs in practice – that leads from capitalism to non-capitalism in almost all cases.
Such exceptions are simply wrong. It is right to fight against the disappearing capitalism in practice. Any labels including "it is socialism" that are detached from the conditions in the real world are naive or demagogic. In this fight, the realistic or probable threats and the threats the involve deeper freedoms and larger financial amounts must always be considered more important than some minor fixes or small investments. Everyone who fails to set the priorities right is a useful idiot or an anti-capitalist warrior who pretends to be something else. These are the people who will scream "We have the best capitalism and we will be loyal to it forever" once the societies turn into full-blown dystopias ruled by hard left Bolsheviks in Beijing or San Francisco.
At least in the recent 100 years, none of the Western countries has had a full-blown and pure capitalism. The influence of the governments has always existed. In particular, the 20% taxation is equivalent to the 20% ownership of the stocks by the government. And the voting power by the government is arguably higher than 20% because the governments often influence companies by lots of constraints and other decisions (e.g. carmakers' CEOs start to be loud about the existential threats posed by the climate alarmist imbeciles in the governments who want to wage a war against the ICE and "force" the totally uneconomic electric cars on everybody). But our task is to keep this percentage sensible, 15-25 percent, and to prevent the growth above 50%, for example. It seems that the fake anti-socialists, while screaming "it is socialism" at totally demagogic and inappropriate places (that could change the percentage from 15.12 to 15.13 percent), are rooting for out societies to become more than 50% communist.
And that's the memo.