The Accidental Fascist

Apple CEO Tim Cook (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

How did Tim Cook get suckered into becoming a TV spokesperson for Vigilante Fascism? It just doesn’t seem like something the head of a large public company should do. At least, not in the United States. Yet as RedState’s Mike Miller reported yesterday, here is Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, looking all of us right in the eye on Fox News Sunday, condescendingly trying to sell us a patently false story about why his company has volunteered to perform law enforcement services of the sort people associate with tyrannical governments.

To hear Cook tell it, Apple removed the Parler app from the choices available to iPhone users because, “We looked at the incitement to violence that was on there, and we, we don’t consider that free speech and incitement to violence has an, has an intersection,” Cook said.

We should care about this for three reasons.

The first is that the kind of confluence that we see here between the state and the corporate sector is the primary characteristic of Fascism. Having it happen, right before our eyes, in the United States of America, should set off the loudest of alarms. Under no circumstances should private entities be taking it upon themselves to enforce the law in pursuit of public safety. If there are people openly plotting insurrections or advocating violent actions, that is a job for the FBI. In our system, the law enforcement machinery is entrusted to people we elect and can replace. It is not the task of self-anointed corporate managers who give us a song-and-dance about how they are crusaders for Truth and Justice.

The second reason is that the action taken — deeming certain speech “not free speech” — is characteristic of tyrants and tyrannical governments. Here is the head of a private company, on national television, telling us that “we don’t consider that free speech.” Tim Cook can ‘consider’ anything he likes, but when he starts using his shareholders’ assets to shut people up because he doesn’t like what they are saying, something has gone seriously awry. In claiming that he is saving us from violent seditionists, he is engaging in law enforcement… something no one anywhere authorized him or his company to do.

And finally, this should concern us because he is lying to us. Here is the head of the fourth-largest corporation in the United States telling us that his company is engaged in self-appointed, do-gooder vigilante law enforcement, and the reason he gives us is patently, obviously, a dodge. Every social media platform is riddled with posts that advocate violence. Just yesterday, famous gay-basher Alec Baldwin had a dream — not on Parler but on Twitter — about Donald Trump being hung by the neck until dead. His post is still there.

So is this ‘tweet’, from someone who calls himself “Red Guy”:

Has Tim Cook removed the Twitter app from Apple products? No. Yet Twitter is rife with posts like that. It seems that “advocating violence” only matters when it appears on Parler. It’s an excuse Cook gives us for what is essentially a political act motivated by political concerns. So long as the person advocating violence shares Cook’s politics, Cook does nothing. When he disagrees with the politics, he metes out punishment in the form of economic damage without benefit of trial or due process of any kind. He has arrogated unto himself the powers of judge, jury, and executioner. He is wielding the powers of a state, with zero justification for doing so except his own inflated sense of importance that deems him some sort of Savior of Humanity. The nerve. The incredible nerve.

Let us assume for a moment that Tim Cook does not realize that he has turned into a Fascist. He thinks that having private entities carrying out the functions of the state without any authorization whatsoever is just how things are supposed to be. It also does not occur to him that he is dispensing vigilante justice… deciding on his own which behaviors are infractions, and who is guilty of them, and what their sentence shall be. Not realizing that he is a Fascist, he thinks running an ersatz Justice Department is something every private corporation should do, for the good of humanity. Because he is such a virtuous fellow.

Tim Cook would do well to recall these words from a fellow Big Tech CEO:

Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.

I realize that there is currently a stampede in the Silicon Valley community to take swift and decisive action in pursuit of Revolutionary Socialism. But that is no reason for Tim Cook to turn into something that he knows he hates. Since when is Tim Cook responsible for determining which speech shall be free, and then usurping the assets he has been hired to manage to do what an authoritarian state would do… if he ran that state. That is not Tim Cook’s inner voice. What has happened to that man?

† Steve Jobs (2005)