Episode

12/7 Vanquishing ‘Big Tech’ For Good; Mass Atrocities In Sudan w/ Cory Doctorow, Raga Makawi

December 7, 2023

It’s an EmMajority Report Thursday! Emma speaks with author Cory Doctorow to discuss his recent book The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation. Then, they speak with Raga Makawi, editor at African Arguments, to discuss the ongoing conflict in Sudan. First, Emma runs through updates on Israel’s now two-month siege on Gaza, the continued eviction of Gazan refugees, Israel’s murder of journalists, the White House’s arms package, the House GOP’s attempt to censure Jamaal Bowman, the ethics probe of Matt Gaetz, Dems taking back power from hedge funds and big pharma, the mass shooting at UNLV, and Eric Adam’s plunging approval, before parsing through leaked audio from an Israeli hostage’s visceral critique of Netanyahy’s heartless siege on Gaza. Cory Doctorow then joins, diving right into his latest nonfiction book on his unrelenting solution to Big Tech’s unregulated monopoly on contemporary social life, and how to go about solving that issue without pushing more regulatory power into the hands of the very executives that brought us here. After briefly touching on some overarching themes in his solution, Doctorow walks Emma through the evolution of policy choices that led us to this moment, with Reagan advisors Robert Bork and Milton Friedman helping to cripple the US’ anti-trust regime in favor of bolstering successful monopolies, making room for the rise of massive tech conglomerations to push their political agenda, and give birth to an industry with no threat of discipline from labor, users, competitors, or regulators. Doctorow also touches on the threat to the privacy of everyday citizens as a unifying force in the fight against Big Tech, before walking through his tactical blueprint of antitrust, privacy legislation, and the return of interoperability. Next, Raga Makawi walks Emma through the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Sudan, with the government of the Sudanese Armed Forces outsourcing the murder and displacement of some 5 million to the paramilitary Rapid Defense Forces after violence broke out in April. Next, Makawi explores the tactics of RSF and the Sudanese Government rule, with a particular emphasis on their use of militant minority rule to keep local populations at odds, before wrapping up with an assessment of the political similarities and material differences between this ongoing disaster, and the conflict in Darfur two decades ago.

And in the Fun Half: Emma is joined by Brandon Sutton and Matt Binder as they assess the Nikki Haley-cited study on the proliferation of antisemitism and anti-zionism on social media and what it casually (and actively) ignores about the difference between the two. They also dive into the bad-faith arguments about theoretical genocides while real ones are occurring in front of us, Chris from Crown Heights dives into the antisemitic “dual-loyalty” trope, and Madip from California expands on that conversation. They also watch Donald Trump play with his food (Sean Hannity), and assess how little Tim Pool knows about the most recent anti-woke talking point he’s espousing, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Cory’s book here: https://www.versobooks.com/products/3035-the-internet-con

Check out Cory’s newest FICTION book, “The Lost Cause”, here!: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250865939/thelostcause

Check out Raga’s podcast appearance on African Arguments: https://africanarguments.org/2023/11/sudan-in-revolution-and-war-a-podcast/

Check out more from African Arguments here: https://africanarguments.org/

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