14 votes

Why Do We Tolerate Saudi Money in Tech?

7 comments

  1. [6]
    Magneto
    Link
    Saudi Arabia is one of those necessary (in terms of a western perspective) evils in global politics. Without Saudi Arabia, western influence in the middle east will evaporate. China will then no...

    Saudi Arabia is one of those necessary (in terms of a western perspective) evils in global politics.

    Without Saudi Arabia, western influence in the middle east will evaporate. China will then no doubt buy out the region, align with SA, and proceed to take control of the Persian Gulf. The US Dollar will collapse while the Chinese Yuan takes it's place.

    The pros of being an ally of Saudi Arabia outweigh the cons. So you're going to see Western politicians turn their cheek in response to Saudi Arabia's immoral practices.

    8 votes
    1. [2]
      beiz
      Link Parent
      good insight, but i would like to add that this problem, and the current decay of the US wouldn't exist if they hadn't gone to war in order to preserve the dollar as the oil exchange currency;...

      good insight, but i would like to add that this problem, and the current decay of the US wouldn't exist if they hadn't gone to war in order to preserve the dollar as the oil exchange currency; since even china was on board with switching over to euro as reserve back then. now that china has a power hungry dictator, and are organizing a global market split together with russia, the gambit is over. the US desire to be in control of the globalization has doomed it from ever happening, and doomed the nation. it's just one mistake after another killing the country by pushing for a free market economy that doesn't work. as soon as all the money sits in the pockets of bezos etc, that's the end of the US. he, and his ilk, are not rockfellers willing to sacrifice even a small part of their fortune to save the country, and why should they? life is pretty good if not better elsewhere, for the moment, because of US neoliberal influence making life easier for the rich. all they have to do is to get on their private jets and leave the ruins behind. start their extractions, and move again once the place is dry.

      13 votes
      1. stephen
        Link Parent
        I think you misspelled "state capitalism." That one thing aside, I agree with you on all counts. In a lot of ways, MBS is a more perfect form of a business man. Saudi Arabia is like a massive,...

        free market economy

        I think you misspelled "state capitalism." That one thing aside, I agree with you on all counts.

        In a lot of ways, MBS is a more perfect form of a business man. Saudi Arabia is like a massive, private company and their CEO rules by divine rite.

        9 votes
    2. stephen
      Link Parent
      It's true. The Americans in charge of foreign policy would rather be powerful than enact any of the values they espouse in books, op eds, and interviews. Americans really only care about...

      It's true. The Americans in charge of foreign policy would rather be powerful than enact any of the values they espouse in books, op eds, and interviews. Americans really only care about convenience. When freedom, equality, and popular suffrage stop being convenient for powerful Americans they stop existing.

      8 votes
    3. balooga
      Link Parent
      If that's the only thing keeping the US Dollar strong, it deserves to fail.

      If that's the only thing keeping the US Dollar strong, it deserves to fail.

      4 votes
    4. Kuromantis
      Link Parent
      True, (although I don't think the dollar will collapse. Maybe more countries will pick the euro). We don't have any real 'allies' in the middle east other than Israel, which is one of the most...

      True, (although I don't think the dollar will collapse. Maybe more countries will pick the euro). We don't have any real 'allies' in the middle east other than Israel, which is one of the most important regions on the planet in resources and trade, mostly due to religious persecution which dates back to the crusades and reconquista. The problem is Saudi Arabia is too powerful for anyone to pass up, meaning they call the shots, not us. Also all that military apparatus cost fuel, and as brain4brakfeast put it: The US Navy is the linchpin of global politics, and the linchpin within that linchpin is the supplier of the fuel that runs that navy.

      1 vote
  2. stephen
    Link
    Is it any wonder that profit-seeking, hierarchical organizations like Uber and Twitter would find a strong partner in a despotic state like Saudi Arabia? Back in the 80s and 90s people like John...

    Is it any wonder that profit-seeking, hierarchical organizations like Uber and Twitter would find a strong partner in a despotic state like Saudi Arabia?

    Back in the 80s and 90s people like John Perry Barlow saw the digital infrastructure of the world as a new place. The digital frontier of cyberspace was in many ways a power vacuum waiting to be filled and in a lot of ways it was already dominated by the same groups that dominated realspace - banks, big companies, and influential individuals. But still there was a lot of untapped potential in terms of the sorts of power and domination possible in the new space of the internet.

    Now, a generation later, cyberspace has developed largely unchecked by the state. In forgoing their regulatory function as a check on corporate power the internet has come to amplify the existing power structure of real space. It's time to face the facts.

    Digital behemoths and start ups alike, despite their smart and stylish claims in press releases and tweets of "purpose" and "disruption" (or whatever), are authoritarian hierarchies which unaccountably pursue profit at other's expense. Some are run by outright accelerationist. Saudi Arabia is no different. The crown prince's coming-to-power U.S. press junket, which the big media firms and tech companies alike all ate like a bunch of suckers, was a farce. MBS like any chief executive is an entitled, power-hungry tyrant with monomaniacal focus on the enrichment of his company - in this case the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

    Until we see massive companies and countries like Saudi Arabia as the despotic, oppressive hierarchies they are and confront them, society cannot progress. They are not good faith actors. They are not stewards or partners of a brighter future. They are singularly focused on self gain. They will only make concessions to pithy concerns like the health of our democracies and our individual freedoms of expression when this aligns with their interests.

    8 votes