Ron Paul Calls for the Separation of Tech and State
Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey has recently gotten into it with new Twitter owner, SpaceX CEO, Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Markey warned Musk to “fix your companies” or “Congress will.”
Markey’s threat caught the attention of former Texas Congressman Ron Paul. In a recent piece titled, “Separate Tech and State”, Paul noted that Markey’s threats “referred to an ongoing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation into Tesla’s autopilot driving system and Twitter’s 2011 consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).”
In addition to making threats to Musk and his companies, Markey joined several other Democratic senators in writing a letter to the FTC calling for an investigation into Musk’s actions as the new owner of Twitter. What these Senators want to determine through this investigation is if Musk broke the consent decree or consumer protection laws.
Paul noted that because “FTC Chair Lina Khan wants to investigate as many businesses as possible, it is likely she will respond favorably to the senators’ letter.”
President Joe Biden himself has backed the idea of investigating the role foreign investors played in funding Musk’s purchase of Twitter.
As a seasoned political actor, Paul understands what could really be at stake here. Namely, a Musk-led Twitter would likely expose some of Hunter Biden’s sketchy business deals:
“Biden may be concerned that Musk is not likely to ban tweets regarding Hunter Biden’s business deals.
Concerns that Musk would allow tweets containing information embarrassing (or worse) to the Biden administration point to the real reason many Democratic politicians and progressive writers and activists are attacking Musk. They support efforts to suppress conservative, libertarian, and other “non-woke” speech on social media. They view the prospect of a major platform refusing to silence those who dissent from the woke mob or the Democratic Party establishment as a threat to their power.”
Musk’s move to restore Donald Trump’s previously banned account on Twitter has obviously angered the powers that be. However, Paul noted that the threat to liberty isn’t exclusively coming from Big Tech. In his view, “it is from the alliance between big tech and big government.”
Paul is not in favor of fully using the state to regulate social media. Instead, he argues “increasing the US government’s power over social media can just end up putting more power behind government threats like those from Rep. Markey.” The former Congressman added, “Expanded government control over how social media companies conduct their business can also further incentivize the companies to work with the federal government to shut down free speech.”
Paul argued that “Big tech companies silence their users to curry favor with politicians and bureaucrats, often after “encouragement” from politicians and bureaucrats”, demonstrating that Big Tech companies are not acting on their own volition. They’re very much being poked and prodded by nasty state actors. Paul concluded with the following statement, “The way to protect free speech online is to separate tech and state.”
Indeed, there are valid concerns about having the federal government regulate Big Tech. After all, the federal government is corrupt to the core and its functionaries only work to enlarge their power at the expense of the American people.
Instead, nationalists should focus on using state governments to clamp down on Big Tech companies who collude with politicians to undermine American freedoms. This is a modest compromise that any America First nationalist can embrace.