There’s a lot of fuss these days about American polarization. Sometimes this takes the form of people advocating for a national divorce or dire warnings of impending civil war.
A national divorce seems unrealistic and America is too fat for civil war. Even better proof that the country is already collapsing is the talk of the “parallel economy”. We’ve come a long way since that 2016 moment of self-awareness about our need to break out of the echo chamber. By 2020 it seems everyone wants their own. Now we redecorate the walls of the echo chamber. Add some throw pillows. But as corporations wake up to DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and the Great Reset – a huge market, consisting of average Americans, is being alienated or shamelessly pushed out. While Big Tech and Big Government and Big Pharma increasingly work in lockstep to censor any dissent, dissent, skepticism or pushback, the free market marches on.
A recent ad for Jeremy’s Razors, a shaving company launched by conservative websites Daily Wire, was clear about his intentions. “Friends don’t let friends shave with wake-up razors,” their copy read. It ends with a call to action: “We cannot build a parallel economy overnight — it will take time. But with your promise it will happen. And razors are just the beginning.” Shortly thereafter Daily Wire Announced a move to put $100 million into children’s entertainment.
Peter Thiel seems to be single-handedly funding the right-wing parallel economy — to the extent that pundits joke about the “Thiel Box” while the gravy train is rolling. Not only is the billionaire entrepreneur investing in politicians like JD Vance and Blake Masters, he’s backing a “femtech” corporation “28” and video platform Rumble to name a few ventures.
Rumble also acquired a stake in the aptly named payment processor Parallel Economy, and the company is building its own servers. These guys are literally building their own internet and payment processors. But does it matter?
“Create your own Twitter,” left-wing activists and journalists have mocked as high-profile trolls like Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos have been banned from the social media platform. Right-wing social media site Parlor did just that. They built their own network only to find themselves removed from the Apple and Google App Stores and their hosting services canceled by Amazon Web Services after the January 6 storm at the Capitol. Even Angela Merkel thought Twitter went too far in banning Donald Trump. When Germans tell you to calm down with authoritarian behavior, it’s time to listen.
It’s not just a provocateur like Jones or Yiannopoulos. Or former presidents like Donald Trump. Many voices have been silenced and demonetized and you’ve probably never heard them. It’s left-wing political commentators like Lee Camp, whose entire life’s work has disappeared from YouTube. Or a feminist like Meghan Murphy who was permanently banned from Twitter for referring to Jessica Yaniv, a trans woman, as “her.” Or evolutionary biologist Colin Wright, who recently shut down his PayPal and Etsy account for “promoting, advocating, or glorifying hatred or violence against protected groups.” His merchandise featured male and female symbols with the slogan “Reality’s Last Stand”.
Perhaps the most egregious example of overreach occurred during the trucker protests in Canada, when Justin Trudeau seized the activists’ bank accounts and blocked the crowdfunding platforms supporting them. Trudeau also allowed financial institutions to stop service on personal and business accounts that are participating in the blockade.
This is why we should unite. If there’s one thing we all have in common, it’s that people on both the left and the right are being distorted, censored, and demonized for “wrong thinking.” When they say “build your own internet,” they don’t really mean it.
Long before conservatives decried Big Tech censorship, adult movie stars like Cherry DeVille warned us that financial institutions, especially the Visa and MasterCard duopoly, had too much power. DeVille has written extensively about the hoops his industry has to jump through to stay one step ahead of payment processors and why the decrees of companies like MasterCard should scare everyone.
Wake up, sheep. The frog is cooked, hard and rubbery. The moment is long past when the average person has the luxury of being in the dark about what is going on. There will be times when you want to buy a gun, or raise money for a protest, or speak your mind — and suddenly you find out that not only have you been booted from Twitter, but you can’t access your PayPal funds. . In this issue, the porn stars were Cassandras – and we failed to heed their warnings.
We’ll have to wait and see if the Overton window shifts so far to the left and kicks out so many consumers that the parallel economy becomes mainstream — or will it shift so far that investors reap the rewards of spending their Thiel bucks?
This article was originally published by audienceIts November 2022 world edition.