Leaked Internal Documents Prove Amazon Is a Threat to Free Speech
Break them up or nationalize them now
Amazon is trolling democracy.
They devour their competition and many of their own suppliers, evade taxes, destroy democracy, and now that they have a veritable monopoly on digital retail and web services, they’re not even pretending like they care about freedom and democracy.
Case in point: Amazon’s new employee chat app.
Its stated goal is to reduce employee attrition — because Amazon is a miserable place to work — by supposedly “fostering happiness among workers”… while also increasing non-compensated productivity, of course.
First of all — why would anyone think that a chat app created by a multinational corporation would be anything short of a way to illegally surveilled their own employees?
The app is embarrassingly juvenile. Leaked documents suggest Amazon is trying to “gamify” their wretched warehouses, making their exploited workforce accumulate digital stars by further enriching the bald rocket cowboy.
Rather than paying them 100% of the value they create, the $1.5 trillion predator corporation would rather spy on its workers while treating them like video game-addicted teenagers.
But worst all, the app actively censors words that are deemed problematic to the dictators who run Amazon. According to a leaked internal document:
“With free text, we risk people writing Shout-Outs that generate negative sentiments… We want to lean towards being restrictive on the content that can be posted…”
In other words, they expressly want their employees to be not free.
If a wage-slave at the world’s largest e-tailer types any of the following words to another employee, the word will be blocked and flagged up to their corporate masters:
This is concerning
This is dumb
This is chillingly Orwellian.
(Do we even need to mention that back in 2009, Amazon “accidentally” deleted the dystopian novel 1984 from everyone’s Kindles?)
But honestly, how is this not a violation of freedom of speech? It’s a bald-faced attempt to limit their workforce’s ability to assemble freely or organize.
Imagine a company saying they “care” about diversity while banning the word diversity.
Imagine a corporation claiming to be “ethical” while blocking the word ethics.
But it really shouldn’t surprise us.
This is the same company that killed six of its own employees to save a dollar.
Nothing should surprise us when it comes to multinational predator monopolies.
After all, corporations are just weapons for abusing humans.
For-profit corporations are anti-human
People are innocent until proven guilty.
But corporations aren’t people, no matter what the corporate-captured Supreme Court says.
Corporations are just legal fictions; anti-human institutions that live forever, have more rights than people, and exist solely to extract wealth from employees, suppliers, consumers, and taxpayers.
Because Amazon’s sole fiduciary legal reason for existing is to take wealth from society and deliver private profits to elite shareholders at the expense of democracy, they are de facto guilty until they can prove themselves innocent.
No company should be able to turn a cent of profit until they fulfill humanity’s fiduciary obligation:
To do no harm.
And that starts with allowing the contributor class to say whatever they want to say about the hellhole workplaces in which economic necessity forces them to work.
What we can do about Amazon
Sure, we can call our corrupt corporate-sponsored politicians and beg at their feet to put forward legislation to break up or nationalize Amazon, but it’s just not going to happen.
Amazon runs the CIA’s servers, after all.
And who knows how many millionaire members of Congress have made a mint on Amazon stock during all these years of refusing to break them up.
Realistically, there are only a few things we can meaningfully do to crush evil corporations like Amazon:
If you own Amazon stock, sell it right now. Refuse to profit from anti-free speech monopolists.
Stop buying on Amazon
We have to rip the teeth out of these wolves, and that means defunding them of the income they weaponize to harm the commons. We simply have to stop shopping at Amazon. (Full disclosure: I love Amazon. As it was said of Rockefeller’s Standard Oil monopoly, “it is legitimately great — and illegitimately great.” Truth be told, I’ve managed to wean myself off nearly every other multinational corporation on the planet, but Amazon is the final great battle. One of my dear friends, Shane, hasn’t purchased a single item on Amazon in over a year, and I’m letting him coach me on how to fully give it up this year.)
In this commodified global game in which we find ourselves, the only way out is to invest and buy our way toward the world we want to see.
Otherwise, start scrubbing the word “unity” from your vocabulary.