Jon Faulkner: The Silicon Valley conservative

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By JONATHAN FAULKNER

Silicon Valley tech-giant, Marc Andreessen, recently published “The Techno-Optimist Manifesto,” which documents the belief system of our nation’s leading innovators. In it, Andreessen describes a very conservative-minded sector of influencers. His optimism in technology is coupled with a prescription for unleashing the spirit and ingenuity of modern America and delivers a message of hope for freedom-loving people everywhere. 

True, Andreessen avoids religion and the de-humanizing impacts of technology, but he boldly asserts the tenants of a philosophy that conservatives and libertarians will find authentic, coherent, and refreshing.

Declaring his Techno-Optimism to be a material philosophy, not a political one, Andreessen unapologetically embraces the ethos of material abundance that comes from free markets and technology, arguing that these forces create the leisure and freedoms that allow humans to choose how we want to live. 

Free enterprise is defended as the greatest force to lift humanity out of misery and into prosperity than any other in history. Believing free markets are an inherently individualistic way to achieve superior collective outcomes, Andreessen declares centralized planning as too complex and doomed to fail. Decentralization and free markets are far superior forces that harness complexity and exploit the best of us for the benefit of all. 

Andreessen’s heroes embrace accountability and individualism, competition, and achievement. They believe in unfettered discourse and reject censorship. They are unwavering in their belief that markets are the most effective means to relieve suffering for the greatest number of people, and that there is no antagonism between profits and social welfare. Rather, these interests are aligned, since it is the production capacity of free markets that generates the wealth that pays for virtually everything.  

“We believe free markets are the most effective way to organize an economy…only free markets impose lasting discipline…When market discipline is absent, there is corruption and craziness.  Markets prevent monopolies and cartels.”

Andreessen’s techno-optimist believes fundamentally that wages should be determined by the marginal contribution to production of the worker, and that technology drives wages and productivity up, not down. Rejecting universal basic income as leading to “…zoo animals farmed by the State”, he regards freedom as the central pillar of human pride and well-being.  Citing Adam Smith, he reminds the reader that this system does not rely on the good intentions of our fellow man: 

 “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages.”

Andreessen acknowledges enemies, but they are not bad people, only bad ideas—like anti-merit, anti-ambition and anti-achievement. He blames the last half century’s “demoralization campaign” on misguided infatuation with failed ideas like Communism, statism, collectivism, central planning, and socialism.  These distortions have been propagated by old institutions that were once invigorated by the search for truth. Now, they are “…compromised and corroded and collapsing – blocking progress in increasingly desperate bids for continued relevance, frantically trying to justify their ongoing funding despite spiraling dysfunction and escalating ineptness.”  He continues: 

“Our enemy is the ivory tower, the know-it-all credentialed expert worldview, indulging in abstract theories, luxury beliefs, social engineering, disconnected from the real world, delusional, unelected, and unaccountable – playing God with everyone else’s lives, with total insulation from the consequences.”    

Finally, Andreessen avoids globalist agendas in favor of narrower prescriptions for progress. He replaces climate change rhetoric with confidence in nuclear fusion and with harnessing human intelligence. Likewise, technology is the antidote to environmental destruction since only a technologically advanced society can protect and improve our environment, while a technologically stagnant society ruins it. He cites communist countries as the worst examples of environmental devastation.  “We believe in nature” he writes, “but we also believe in overcoming nature. We are not primitives, cowering in fear of the lightning bolt. We are the apex predator; the lightning works for us.”  

For the God-fearing among us, there is hope even in this last statement, since peaceful realization of our earthy gifts can still derive from–and serve–a Divine purpose.

Jon Faulkner is the president of Alaska Gold Communications Inc, the parent company of Must Read Alaska.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Great article Jon. In this vast Great state we call the Last Frontier, it takes courage , perseverance & faith to be in and on this land to advance our dreams & realize the “Spirit of Alaska”, I got it and if in my Family, I hope not to ever lose it! Freedom comes at a cost! Liberty Ed

    • TMA,what is there to prove ? Lies sound good too, but in reality they are lies! They ( lies ) are exactly too good to be true! The “Spirit of Alaska” doesn’t need to be proven but lived! What’ your reason for living, just to try someone’s opinion everyday on this site, mind you in obscurity? Are you, like the Raven screaming at everything they see. Is that your purpose ? Your responses . don’t get me wrong, have merit but so does the Raven, ask an elder!
      Liberty Ed here! Dire to call me? Raven’s do all the time. 907-252-7857 Good day ! This is a test of your courage & bravery ! I have known many Ravens they are very Brave!

      • My, my, aren’t you butt hurt.

        My reasons for living are my own, but one of them may be to live rent free in your head.

        BTW: 1-you’re a bigger fool than I thought (good acknowledgment, I had a low opinion going in) if you think I would call you from anywhere.

        2-if I did, I would DARE to call you, not DIRE. Two different words, two different meanings.

          • Thank you Oosk Puk, it seems this guy with no underbelly has fun just being contemptuous with every opportunity with any & all articles on MRAK … makes one wonder if he could be a BOT or Troll that plays online games when not trolling or other disconcertments! Poking a bear is easy when your safe behind the keyboard or in a cage… once again TMA come out, come out from behind your Keyboard!

        • TMA still afraid to come from behind the scenes maybe something to hide ?? Sad to not know the real you! Not but hurt at all just believing one with such a desire to run everyone down with your all knowing knowledge You mite not to hide it just saying ! Come out come out from wherever you are! As for my misspelling it’s not the first time I’ve gotten caught I will admit that 😊

  2. That’s a large step in “overcoming nature”. There are two beliefs at play here; living in harmony and balance with nature, and being master over nature. Which one do you think will win?

  3. Funny how these Silicon Valley stooges espouse free markets when it benefits them. When SVB went down all we heard was the wailing of the rich pleading for a government bailout. Which they of course received. The US government loves to bail out the rich; who are by far the largest welfare recipients in the country.

    Name a billionaire and it always leads back that they would never had made it without copious government handouts.

    Bezos – USPS and welfare subsidizing ultra- low employee salaries
    Musk – massive new green deal grift subsidizing every facet of Tesla’s business
    Waltons – welfare subsidizing ultra-low employee salaries
    Brin/Page – CIA/NSA/DOD contracts in spades

    Privatized profits and Socialized Losses!

    • And this is exactly what I was thinking when I said sounds good-prove it.

      I’m old enough to have seen and heard all this before.

  4. Sounds good, but unfortunately that is not the direction the good ol’ United States has been going in for the past five decades. Endless wars, multiple foreign policy debacles, more intrusive bureaucracy, rampant corruption in Washington, DC, deficit budgets, foreign lobbying run wild, lack of honest and fair elections and corporations defined as people in our electoral processes define America today. The road to Hell is indeed littered with good intentions!

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