We are now entering into a phase where even free-market conservatives may have to rethink their tech utopian dreams.
Until recently, conservatives tended to view entrepreneurial progress as an unalloyed good—and the entrepreneur as a sort of hero. But this view is simplistic. There are always tradeoffs, and—in many ways—disruption is sometimes at odds with traditional conservative values—a point that has become more obvious in the era of Donald Trump and Steve Bannon.
This is not a new observation, however. In his classic book, The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, writer and sociologist Daniel Bell observes that “delayed gratification, career orientation, devotion to enterprise” are still valued attributes. “Yet,” Bell notes, “on the marketing side, the sale of goods, packaged in the glossy images of glamour and sex, promotes a hedonistic way of life whose premise is the voluptuous gratification of the lineaments of desire. The consequence of this contradiction… is that a corporation finds its people straight by day and swingers by night.”