"Cash and Cachet": a sequel to Pride and Prejudice" and "Sense and Sensibility" by Squire Zuckerberg and Some Other Gentlemen
Apr 8, 2013
Mark Zuckerberg, having fulfilled all his original ambitions (and a few more that he didn't even know he had) by the age of 28, has been casting around for another project worthy of his brain, abilities, personality and ego.
Unfortunately, the post of Master of the Planet is has been discontinued and thus, like so very many before him, Mr. Zuckerberg has decided that it is time for him and his fellow Internet demi-gods to go into politics. (Surely it can be no more than coincidence that he is the same age as the callow, porcine clown currently in charge of North Korea, can it? Or have the Old Ones up there on Mount Olympus been at the Ambrosia again and are having a bit of a laugh at humanity's expense?).
Zuckerberg is starting with what Facebook describes as "a political advocacy group" called "The Silicon Valley Political Actions Committee" (SVPAC). In the first instance, the "Committee" will focus on "immigration and education reform". Some commentators have already said that sounds sinister enough, but it is the Committee's prospectus, which, unsurprisingly, has been leaked to the media, that illustrates the boastful arrogance of some of those behind the nascent organisation.
The prospectus was, it seems, authored by one Joe Green (yes, that is the same Joe Green who was Mark Zuckerberg's room-mate at Harvard and the chap who decided to stay on at university and get a degree rather than packing it in to become a hobbledehoy billionaire), the man who, according to the US publication 'Politico', will run the Silicon Valley Political Actions Committee.
There's a section in the prospectus headed "Our Tactical Assets" which articulates just why the SVPAC thinks it has such a rosy future - and it all boils down to cash and social cachet.
It seems "people in tech" have the potential, and indeed the fright and perhaps even the noblesse oblige to coalesce into "one of the most powerful political forces".
This is is because;
We [i.e. they] control massive distribution channels, both as companies and individuals.
Our [i.e. their] voice carries a lot of weight because we [they] are broadly popular with Americans. (Yeah, and that could soon change, sunshine.)
We [i.e. they] have individuals with a lot of money. If deployed properly this can have huge influence in the current campaign finance environment.”
Once the prospectus was out there in the public domain, Mr. Green was forced into some rapid back-tracking and apologies. He wrote, "Some of the information contained [in the prospectus] is outdated and not representative of the kind of work this organisation will perform. Moreover, I regret some of the language in the email was poorly-chosen and could give a misimpression of the views and aspirations of this organisation and those associated with it."
Really? Sure it wasn't a matter of changing the tune after being caught out?
All this reminds me of the great story about the American academic who complained to the university authorities because he hadn't been allowed to fly business class to the East Coast from the West Coast to deliver his paper on hubris.