Silicon Valley was going to disrupt capitalism. Now it’s just enhancing it


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Once the self-serving disruption narrative bursts, Silicon Valley will wake up to an unpleasant truth: rather than ushering in a new type of flexible capitalism that would rid us of giant, wasteful and hierarchical firms, it may be making the kind of capitalism it claims to despise far more resilient, dynamic and – the ultimate irony – difficult to disrupt.

We might baulk at swallowing electronic data-hoarding sensors handed to us by pharmaceutical or insurance firms, but if Google gives them to us – free! – why not? By getting into bed with the world of data, capitalism put itself in a position where anyone who opposes it is standing in the way of scientific and technological progress.