Facebook, the Government, and the Super-rich / by kevin murray

The market capitalization of Facebook is in the staggering amount of nearly $200 billion.  Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder, is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $33 billion.  These numbers are absolutely astonishing considering that the concept and the construction of Facebook were started not even ten years ago.  Mark Zuckerberg comes from a degree of privilege, as his father is a well-respected dentist and his mother an accomplished psychiatrist.  While the Zuckerbergs’ proper are certainly well off, they are not super-rich, nor especially privileged, what they are in fact are very intelligent, hard working, and dedicated.  Mark Zuckerberg’s greatest asset is his super-hi intelligence and the fact that his parents provided him with a very stable and productive family life.  There is absolutely no surprise that Mark Zuckerberg is quite successful, what is only a surprise is that his wealth is staggering to consider at almost every conceivable level.


Having created this enormous wealth this has also created an interesting paradox for Mark Zuckerberg, as Facebook is no longer a privately-held corporation, but in fact one of the largest corporations in the world by market capitalization to which the biggest stockholders of Facebook have a tremendous and abiding invested interest in seeing that its success continues.  All of this may sound like an exclusive good but it isn’t, because essentially Facebook is in the business of accumulating massive amounts of both specific and extremely personal information about individuals which is a tremendous power in its own right.  While Facebook can state that they don’t solicit this information, that this information is instead provided via the free volition of its users, this is really not the complete truth of the matter.  Facebook and its compatriots are making it their business to accumulate, correlate, and to market their database to those that have a desire for this impressive and comprehensive encyclopedia of personal minutiae while not fairly disclosing this pertinent information to their users.


Facebook's accumulation of information that they may consider being company privileged is, in fact, a treasure trove of information that the government and its agencies have an urgent and abiding interest to be a part of.  At its best, Facebook may behave in such a manner as to try to prevent or to preclude the disclosing of such sensitive information to government agencies, and we can see that they are indeed concerned about this undesired government intrusion because of the recent placement of high political figures, such as, Ted Ullyot, Marne Levine, Joel Kaplan and many others to work at Facebook.  This implies at best that Facebook is trying to “make nice” with the government, and at its worst, implies that Facebook is merely exercising damage control.  No matter how you conclude the former, what cannot be denied are vested interests that in aggregate are more powerful than the CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, will never allow, nor permit the market capitalization and the influence of Facebook to be endangered.  Essentially, this means that what the government wants from Facebook, they will get, sooner or later, in the format that they desire, sooner or later, and Facebook, despite whatever public or private protests that they make, will give in to government agencies, because the only value of making any sort of principled stand against said government agencies, will be for public show, deception, or for their own gratification.


The super-rich and the government or its’ proxies do not and have never opposed one another.  Instead, they have a symbiotic relationship between each other, and while for public consumption it may appear that they are at loggerheads from time-to-time, the end result will always be essentially the same.  A powerful centralized government always gets what it wants, if it doesn’t, you will for the first time understand exactly how much or how little power that you truly have, as the government that controls directly or through proxy the printing and issuing of currency, its treasury rates, and thereby the

vicissitudes of the stock market, are the absolute arbiters of whether they will or will not allow you to continue to play with them.