Parallax Views w/ J.G. Michael

Bit Tyrants: The Political Economy of Silicon Valley w/ Rob Larson

April 27, 2020

On this edition of Parallax Views, Silicon Valley is often hailed as pushing the world towards a better, more prosperous future through a model creative destruction and brave technological innovation. Economics professor Rob Larson, however, offers a competing viewpoint to this rose-colored narrative of darlings of the tech world like Microsoft, Apple, and Google in his new book Bit Tyrants: The Political Economy of Silicon Valley (Haymarket Books, 2020). In many ways picking up where his previous book, Capitalism vs Freedom: The Toll Road to Serfdom (Zero Books, 2018), left off, Rob launches a scathing but thoughtful critique on libertarian-style techno utopianism and reveals the often ignored aspect that the public sector has played in important technological innovations. Additionally, Rob details the less savory elements of the Silicon Valley story and how historically the Silicon Valley's current position of power and the effect it has on society bears a resemblance to the Gilded Age. Rob joins us to give an overview of this fascinating new book and fills us in on how it connects to his previous book Capitalism vs Freedom: The Toll Road to Serfdom in the course of this fascinating conversation. All that and more on this edition of Parallax Views.