Our voluntary submission to GAFA
The GAFA companies and their consorts have become very powerful across the globe. They are now so present in, and indispensable to, our daily lives that they are competing with governments. The European Union, and even Trump’s United States, are fully aware of this and we are now participating, stunned, in the first outbursts of this battle of the titans between public powers and shark-like corporations.
Basically, in the Gospel of the GAFA companies, national borders are becoming an old-fashioned relic. They must be gotten rid of. They must disappear in order for these transnational companies to really take flight and entrench their domination over governments that have been reduced to the role of simple administrators. According to these hyper-corporations, globalisation can be built only on the cadaver of governments folding in on each other, one after another, side by side: it’s the price to pay to ensure the intrusive almighty power of the GAFA companies. Far wealthier than governments – even Western ones –, Apple and its consorts have to crush this idea – that still exists among many of our co-citizens – of national borders in order to be in a better position to pilfer personal data, before making exchanges on them and making money. Reduced to the simple level of commodities, our lives, our journeys, our families, our friends, our communications and our intimate moments are being patiently amassed by these companies. And what’s worse is that many of us graciously give up this information, and in industrial amounts.
Isn’t it abhorrent that Facebook and Google now know far more about us than the government of the country we live in? Whereas our democratic nations are strictly framed and regulated, technology companies are capitalising on knowledge about us that would make any dictator blush from embarrassment. We’re not that far from it, the day a user, or a group of individuals, takes the side of Apple or Amazon against their own government. The power of persuasion – and of blackmail too! – of these GAFA companies is now massive among many people who have much more confidence in them than in their public powers.
The battle of heart and mind seems to be tipping in favour of GAFA because of the basically absolute submission of societies and people in general, who routinely turn the other cheek. Our allegiance to technology is about to supplant our allegiance to the country where we were born and where we’re from. National identity is, for its part, giving its soul so that companies and brands may profit. A day not too far from now, the football World Cup will see itself played out – not by France versus Brazil – but Facebook versus Google.