The oligarchs are now reaping what they sowed from allying themselves with the progressive Left. They have been eager to promote themselves as loyal followers of the Left’s party line on issues of racial diversity, trans-awareness, and feminism, but that line now has moved toward economic policies that stress egalitarian solutions. Amazon may well be a great expression of capitalist innovation, but Ocasio-Cortez considers the very existence of billionaires like Bezos “immoral.” Rather than accommodating capitalists like Bezos, her Green New Deal envisions a socialist ecotopian commonwealth, with no place for even the most enlightened billionaires. To keep the pitchforks at bay, tech moguls might favor increased subsidies to both the middle class and the poor, but they don’t show much interest in having their own dominance constrained by meddlesome regulations or confiscatory tax rates.
In New York, a tough political atmosphere at any time, the oligarchal dream of combining monopoly capitalism with dogmatic progressive orthodoxy turned into a political nightmare. Rather than win new allies, the tech titans have wound up bolstering the very groups that want to eliminate them. And this is likely to mark just the beginning of a process that will unveil—in a way that no doubt would have delighted Marx—the fundamental contradictions of combining socialist aspirations with even beneficial capitalist cupidity.