Why is everybody so divided and so freaked out about Uber that they are rioting over it? Why are presidential candidates taking a stand on it. Because Uber is fascist. Let Ted Rall walk you through the many parallels between Uber and various right wing totalitarian movements of the 20th century.
Seriously, let’s walk through the parallels between the Silicon Valley startup and the genocidal right-wing totalitarian movements of the mid 20th century.
At right: The interior design of Uber’s office in San Francisco updates Albert Speer for the new millennium.
The vast majority of tech startups, including those whose activities are sinister as well as fellow members of the so-called “sharing economy,” are warm, fuzzy and downright cute. Uber stands apart for its adoption of a Teutonic coldness that even corporations find too austere. You don’t find such environments outside of dystopian films, the vampire hotels in the TV series “Trueblood,” and goth bars, if those still exist.
If Voldemort founded a taxi company, its logo would look something like Uber’s.
When you think “Uber,” what do you think of? Awesome?
If you are of a certain age, or like to watch World War II movies, there’s no way to avoid the association with “Deutschland Uber Alles,” the German national anthem.
Also worth mentioning: “California Uber Alles,” the 1979 song in which the Dead Kennedys suggested that then-Gov. Jerry Brown marked the rise of “zen fascists” under the guise of easygoing hippies.
(For whatever it’s worth, Kalanick’s family is supposedly Czech and, ahem, Austrian.)
The trains ran on time in Germany under Hitler and in Italy under Mussolini. Any Uber user will tell you that one of the things that they love about the service is its remarkable on-time performance.
Crushing the individual
Yellow-cab drivers and Uber drivers alike complain that Uber is decimating their incomes and treating them “like slaves.” Slave labor: No one did it better than the fascists.
The cult of The Leader
Many tech CEOs are egotists. But Kalanick takes it to the next level, saying that the taxi business required “a fearless leader” — him — to disrupt it. As Vanity Fair put it, he’s always “spoiling for a fight.”
Typical quote: “You can either do what they say or you can fight for what you believe!” Remind you of a certain corporal?
For Uber, it’s 1939 in Nazi years. Founded in 2009, the company has, much like Chancellor Hitler, gone from nothing to the verge of world domination. That’s in six years. Fascism and Nazism viewed themselves not just as mere ideologies, but as dynamic movements that had to be constantly conquering new territory.
Uber’s goals are no less ambitious.
“Today we are one step closer to our vision of UberEverywhere — a bold idea that no matter where you are, a reliable ride with Uber is just five minutes away,” the company announced last year. Lyft, its main rival, has only a fraction of the cities in which Uber is active.
During their drive to power and well into the early years of their regime, the Nazis claimed to adhere to the outlines of legality, while constantly skirting the spirit of the law and trying to get away with, literally, murder. Given the choice between negotiating with traditional authorities or treating them like rivals, they often resorted to thuggish, bullying tactics.
Numerous municipalities around the world say that Uber ignores laws with a view toward destroying the traditional taxi business and Lyft. In the end Uber wants to be the only one left — “too big to ban,” as Wired put it.
Uber has even flirted with hiring detectives to dig up dirt on journalists who write negative stories about them.
Just remember: When you ride with Uber, you’re riding with Hitler.
You’ve probably heard some variation on this quote: “When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and waving a cross,” possibly attributed to Sinclair Lewis or Huey Long. The only problem: there’s no evidence that either men said it.
From It Can’t Happen Here (1935): “But he saw too that in America the struggle was befogged by the fact that the worst Fascists were they who disowned the word ‘Fascism’ and preached enslavement to Capitalism under the style of Constitutional and Traditional Native American Liberty.”
From Gideon Planish (1943): “I just wish people wouldn’t quote Lincoln or the Bible, or hang out the flag or the cross, to cover up something that belongs more to the bank-book and the three golden balls.”
Also, the author behind the site What Shii Knows has done some research and found two other possible sources:
“When and if fascism comes to America it will not be labeled ‘made in Germany'; it will not be marked with a swastika; it will not even be called fascism; it will be called, of course, ‘Americanism'” – An uncredited New York Times reporter covering Halford E. Luccock in an article published September 12, 1938.
AN AESOP FABLE
From What Next? Vital Question for the German Proletariat, 1932
* * *
A cattle dealer once drove some bulls to the slaughterhouse. And the butcher came night with his sharp knife.
"Let us close ranks and jack up this executioner on our horns," suggested one of the bulls.
"If you please, in what way is the butcher any worse than the dealer who drove us hither with his cudgel?" replied the bulls, who had received their political education in Manuilsky's institute. [The Comintern.]
"But we shall be able to attend to the dealer as well afterwards!"
"Nothing doing," replied the bulls firm in their principles, to the counselor. "You are trying, from the left, to shield our enemies -- you are a social-butcher yourself."
And they refused to close ranks.
Fascism's Rise to Power
International Marxist Tendency
Even Hitler later confessed: 'Only one thing could have broken our movement - if .... of fascism, they rejected it out of hand with the phrase 'After Hitler, our turn!'.