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Sunday, March 10, 2013

GOP Corruption = Bait and Switch Principles

Ezra Klein writes in his article "Derek Khanna wants you to be able to unlock your cellphone" about how a fellow named Derek Khanna got fired for delving too deeply in current GOP stated principles. He wrote a paper on how “current U.S. copyright law is based on three myths,” which are:

  1. 'that “the purpose of copyright is to compensate the creator of the content,”
  2. that “copyright is the free market at work,” and
  3. that “the current copyright legal regime leads to the greatest innovation and productivity.
  4. Source: and

And he proceeded to demolish these myths. Which at first got him enthusiastic report, until the lobbyists started reading carefully. He got fired for his paper. He was actually showing the corruption and poor constitution of the implementation of copyright law, which is based on a constitutional requirement that the law encourage at least two of those myths to be realities.

Now he's leading a fight within the Republican party to regain the Soul of the Conservative movement. And his enemy? The Republican party. Ezra Klein summarizes the quandary well:

Khanna had unwittingly stumbled into a deep fissure in today’s Republican Party. The party sees itself as the champion of private enterprise. But which private enterprises? The ones that exist today? Or the ones that might exist tomorrow?

If Republicans were really about "laissez faire" as sold to most of us, they would not be for monopolies and grants of title of any kind; and they'd agree with Democrats about the importance of a level playing field. But if they are about supporting the current government of business and it's establishments and power; then shutting up and marginalizing Derek Khanna is important. I have little respect for Republicans because I like and agree with free market principles, when scoped to the areas where they are supposed to apply, and when those principles are articulated clearly, as Khanna does, and not corruptly. The problem is not simply ideological, it is about corruption and power. As Ezra says:

There’s a difference between being the party of free markets and the party of existing businesses. Excessively tough copyright law is good for big businesses with large legal departments but bad for new businesses that can’t afford a lawyer. And while Khanna, like many young conservative thinkers, believes in free markets, the Republican Party is heavily funded by big businesses.

And the fact is, that the Republican party, and most of it's tea-bagging insurgents, are about the party, not only of existing businesses, but about a hierarchy of businesses with tyrannical and oppressive power. Hence, Khanna is no longer working for them. He took the bait too seriously and got trapped by the switch.


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