Zucked Up Beyond All Recognition

Stop the video. Rewind the clip. Watch the steam go from the ears to the head, forming a crown, not of apostolic succession but apocalyptic surrender. Picture, too, a trio of technicians off-camera: engineers in white coveralls—men pacing inside a 1967 Ford Econoline—struggling to grab the toggles on a remote control, while the man in charge radios headquarters to shut Mark Zuckerberg . . . down.

Zuckerberg’s latest failure to pass the Turing test is a warning to those wayward Disney Imagineers who, through a combination of intellectual vanity and theft of intellectual property, assembled a CEO from pneumatic valves, hydraulic fluids, threaded rods, metal reeds, and magnetic tape. 

Zuckerberg’s assertion that Facebook is a democratic system, with its own currency and soon-to-be Supreme Court, proves one of three things: Either Zuckerberg believes what he says, which constitutes a revolution in the definition and management of a for-profit corporation, as well as a revolution in thought, that Zuckerberg can and does think, or our erstwhile leader—a Lincoln of Adamsean stature—is a very bad liar.

Facebook is a democracy in the same way Twitter is an online version of the Algonquin Round Table. Which is to say it is not; which is to say we have no say; which is to say what Zuckerberg says rules, all courts, boards, and committees to the contrary.

Some words, also, about Zuckerberg’s choice of words. 

Our republic is mortal, our rights eternal. 

Whether America endures, democratic in spirit and republican in practice, whether the truths we hold remain self-evident, whether we hold our government accountable, whether the government defends our national bank account of justice and opportunity—all this depends on our decision to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity.

We have a social contract, not a social media contract.

The wants of one man do not trump the natural rights of all men, of one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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About Bill Asher

Bill Asher is a writer and retired executive. He lives with his family in Massachusetts.

Photo: Andrej Sokolow/picture alliance via Getty Images

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