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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

[W]hile SOPA/PIPA may be stalled for now, a big part of the reason is that tech companies got into the lobbying game, too…That’s right, slowly but surely, Congress is sucking the tech industry into their world, making us play by their rules. We have to pay them off, literally with cash, or we get slaughtered.

…Well, we’re now playing by big government rules. Congress can set up a fight pit with Hollywood in one corner and Silicon Valley in the other. Who cares what happens. The money will just roll right in.

This is how criminal organizations run protection rackets. Congress is doing just that, only it’s completely legal.

- TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington on the spanner thrown into the works of SOPA/PIPA (for now)

5 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Stephen Willmer

    He’s just worked out that regulatory bodies are protection rackets. Oh, well, the more the merrier. Welcome aboard, mate.

  • BrendaK

    Yes, well, ACTA put paid to all of that, didn’t it? And fabulously for Hollyweird, no need for congressional approval of that treaty (as I’m sure the DoJ advised the Precedent.)

  • I have a hard time feeling sorry for the Silicon Valley types. For years they have subsidized the “green” NGOs who’re pushing to shove our civilization back to the paleolithic .

    I’m sure that in a few years Al Gore will be lecturing us on how bad polished stone tools are for the environment.

  • MattP

    I find it amusing that this gentlemen is just figuring out now that Congress is just a legalized form of organized crime. Mark Twain observed back in the 19th century that “(t)here is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”

    One of Congress’ favorite sports to author bills they call “juicers” or “squeezers.” These are bills they don’t really intend to pass, but they put pressure on industries that then need to spend lots of money on lobbying and campaign contributions to get the congresscritter to back off from his threats.

    I don’t understand how people can think Congress is in “big business’” hip pocket. It’s really the other way around. Members of Congress can extort all the money they please by threatening to pass laws that will kill a business. They can also make a ton of money through insider trading, which is illegal for everyone else. There’s a reason people leave Congress as multi-millionaires. Nancy Pelosi’s net worth went up over 60% between 2010 and 2011. On average, people outside of Congress or feeding at the public trough as a bureaucrat has seen their net worth go down in this economy. In Washington, on average it’s going up. Rapidly, as we can see. She claims she made “smart investments.” If I was picking the winners and losers in the economy and was privy to proprietary information due to my investigatory powers, I could make some pretty profitable investments and trades, too.

    Congress is full of people who think the whole point of being in government is for the payoffs. Both for themselves and their constituent groups. I can’t believe Michael Arrington is only noticing now. It’s been that way since forever.

  • YogSothoth

    Well said, MattP. When I’m speaking to folks about the
    relative power that government and business have, I
    always ask this question: “Who can shut down whom?”.

    If business so decreed, could it shut down congress,
    on a dime? No, obviously not. But we need look no farther than Obama’s banning of deep water drilling to understand that the state can (and does) shut down business operations at its whims.