The right must recover the Republican tradition of skepticism towards centralized economic power, says Rachel Bovard, writing for The American Conservative.
For the first time in a century, Republicans find themselves on the brink of an antitrust revival. Though derided in some corners as the “hipster antitrust” of the “neo-Brandeisians,” the right has largely woken up to the threat of concentrated economic power, acting at scale, because it has been so overtly wielded against them.
Powerful tech companies, from Google to Amazon and Facebook, have suppressed conservative political views, prohibited circulation of news stories critical of the Democratic party, shielded progressive figures from criticism while deplatforming those on the right, kneecapped their conservative market rivals on transparently pretextual grounds, and memory-holed a president of the United States.
Collectively, these actions raise concerns about rights to speech and the nature of free discourse. But they must also be acknowledged for what they are: blatant expressions of market power. Absent market power, such actions ripple, but they do not overwhelm. But when unprecedented economic dominance is paired with activist progressive dogma, one witnesses an ideologically driven economic cartel: a handful of powerful tech firms able to alter the flow of information, crush small competitors, and change the nature of independent thought and public discourse in free societies.