I thought I might share a few thoughts with you on what I regard as the biggest issue of our time: tech apartheid.
Silicon Valley wants you to believe that it is a force for good but the evidence of its bias and fraudulent dealings couldn’t be more obvious even to a fair, impartial observer.
Most recently this duplicity concerns payment processing, namely the fraudulent company Stripe which canceled FreeStartr’s account despite record low chargebacks. FreeStartr wasn’t alone. All of those companies who had their accounts suspended — Bitchute (a YouTube competitor), MakerSupport (a Patreon competitor), and FreeStartr.com (a Patreon, Kickstarter competitor)– were created by Trump supporters.
This canceling of our business was done for political reasons by Edwin Wee, a Democratic political operative turned Stripe employee, and it exposes the libertarian lie that one can simply just go and create a competitor if one dislikes Silicon Valley ventures. You can’t. We need to get over that canard.
I’ll delve into the parochial issues concerning FreeStartr’s banning from Stripe later, but I am thoroughly convinced that if action isn’t taken in the very near future, our politics will be permanently titled to the far left for the foreseeable future. Ask your congressmen, your friends, to speak out on this issue and take necessary corrections.
We’ve had other discussions about the censorship and Google, Facebook, and Twitter, and yes, those trends are extremely worrisome. But what I’m talking about here as concerns Stripe and PayPal is far more dangerous both for politics and for our society writ large.
Every regime has scapegoats, and ours is no different. Whether you’ve participated in a Twitter mob and/or been its target, you know its power. Ours is a herd based species, and it is quite disturbing the speed with which mores can shift. What was once commonplace — big game hunting, smoking, corporal punishment, etc., — become frowned upon, then the province of cranks, and ultimately unthinkable. There is increasingly good social science evidence for how this process unfolds — where a small minority changes the standards of behavior in a population. Sometimes these changes are so abrupt as to be jarring and yes, even violent. Twitter mobs force you off of their platforms and begin the practice of targeting your employment, your spouse’s employment, etc. until you are ruined. There is no due process here.
This is not dissimilar from the ancient punishments of exile or death. To be fired from your job for your politics constitutes a kind of death; it is certainly a form of exile. This kind of tribalism terrorism will undoubtedly increase precisely because it is so effective at cowing the other side and the costs of the targeting are so cheap.
Stopping this violence is very important, but I fear ultimately futile if we no longer have standards.
So let me be clear about mine. What FreeStartr.com stands for is the culture that undergirds the U.S. Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights. That culture might be elusive to the Stripe co-founders, Patrick and John Collison, who were born in Ireland so permit me to America-splain.
The First Amendment isn’t just for the loon on the street corner; it must ultimately apply to the tech companies. The Second Amendment isn’t for muskets; it must apply to AR-15s. The Fourth Amendment isn’t just for papers but for electronic surveillance.
And yes, the Sixth Amendment is useless if you don’t have the means of paying for your defense, whether through patronage, piggy banks, or your own fundraising. We Americans believe that everyone is entitled to his day in court. Our history is replete with the good winning out in court against all the odds.
Spending your money as you want is as American as barbecue on Independence Day. You have the right to do whatever you want with your consumerism or generosity. We are a generous people. It is this insight on which I built Freestartr with Stripe as a partner. I hid Stripe’s involvement with our site because Stripe asked me to and together we have raised millions for legal defenses for the marginalized. I kept quiet our business relationship because I know Stripe is colonized by far left liberals.
Stripe, by barring FreeStartr.com, is denying all of the people who have raised money and all of the people who might raise money their day in court. It’s un-American. Even the Nazis got lawyers at Nuremberg. And some of those lawyers were even Jews. But not in Silicon Valley.
Stripe’s action is likely illegal. Banks aren’t allowed to just bar customers, especially after President Trump abolished Operation Chokepoint. Patrick Collison, Stripe’s CEO, opposes Operation Chokepoint.
Stripe seems to be deliberately shutting down businesses whose politics it doesn’t like. Political orientation is a protected category in California. There have been cases brought against businesses that refuse to serve conservatives or liberals. Why not Stripe?
If Stripe’s move isn’t illegal, it is certainly fraudulent.
John Collison, the co-founder of Stripe, personally assured me once on the phone and once in the home of a Silicon Valley venture capitalist that Stripe would allow FreeStartr to operate so long as we comply with the law.
“The tech industry has to be a place where anyone of any background can thrive,” Patrick Collison, his brother, once claimed to Bloomberg on May 31st.
Not if you are a white male conservative.
The brothers Collison are frauds and liars.
Worse yet, they seem to be attracting other frauds and perhaps criminals.
Stripe, PayPal, and Square are working with the Southern Poverty Law Center, a discredited linked to at least one terrorist organization.
The way the Southern Poverty Law Center works is that they declare everyone whose politics they don’t like to be Nazis or racists.
The demand for Nazis or racists vastly exceeds their supply, so some people are caught up in the crossfire, sometimes literally in the case of the shooter who fired upon members of Congress and their staff playing baseball.
Until this group is investigated for the criminal fraud it has perpetrated on donors it will continue to harm others.
~ Charles C. Johnson, CEO FreeStartr