Fast Company has this insightful little analysis by John Ellis, entitled “The Internet Power Grab.” In it Ellis argues that the new economy heroes of Silicon Valley were unduly dimissive of politics, and when that new economy slowed down, paid the price. Whereas old economy players, like regional Bell monopolies, ended up playing the politics card to their best advantage, seizing control over the rollout of DSL, for instance, a technology which so much of Silicon Valley is depending on for its future profits. Regardless of any bogus free market rhetoric (since the mid 19th century, when corporations were given personhood, there has not been a free market in the US, period), our legislators can fuck up your day, if they choose, and they do it for the highest bidder. If you choose to ignore Congress, they sure as hell will ignore you, and they’ll lavish plenty of attention on other interests, which will probably run counter to your’s.
Now, if Congress actually supported the interest of the public–not the most powerful, well moneyed and organized minority of the public–this indeed might be a good thing. But, instead, it serves as an object lesson in plutocratic corruption. The market, such as it is, includes the government and, especially, our easily-purchased representatives. If you have any thoughts of winning anything, you’d better walk in with cash in hand. Otherwise Sen. ScratchMyBack ain’t gonna pay no attention, no matter what you’re start-up, IPO-throwing ass thinks.