The Plot Against America

Alexander Vindman/Substack

The Plot Against AmericaThere is a coming alliance between billionaires, tech giants, and MAGA-ideologues. (photo: Getty)

09 june 24 (

ALSO SEE: Alexander Vindman | Why It Matters (Substack)

The Coming Alliance Between Billionaires, Tech Giants, and MAGA-Ideologues

May 31st, 2024 should be viewed as a pivotal date for the Biden administration. The largest story of the day was undoubtedly Donald Trump’s 34 felony convictions in connection to his wider effort to steal the 2016 election. This has presented a major challenge to Trump’s presidential campaign and in an ideal society should be enough to disqualify him from running. Additionally, on Friday, May 31st it was confirmed that the White House gave Ukrainian forces approval to strike military targets within the Russian Federation using weapons supplied by the United States. This news comes after weeks of increased Russian military activity directed at the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv and should allow Kyiv to push Russian supply lines further back.

However, a story that flew under the radar for much of the American public is Ken Silverstein’s recent piece in The New Republic covering “Off Leash” – a WhatsApp group created and managed by Blackwater founder Erik Prince. Roughly 400 individuals in government, tech, and the wider network of right-wing thinkers and pundits plot against the “Biden Regime,” “globalists,” and liberal democracy as a whole. Participants reportedly include Tucker Carlson, Congressman Mark Green, and a Romanian mercenary named Horatiu Potra who is active in the civil conflict within the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Silverstein’s reporting confirms what many of us have felt for some time: there are networks of MAGA-aligned figures looking to use the upper echelons of tech, finance, and government to deliver a specific vision for American society. According to Silverstein, participants in Off Leash view the ideal American society to be one where the “plebs” (average Americans like you and me) are allowed to vote for whatever they please, yet only the policies approved by the elites are enacted (needless to say, the participants of Off Leash consider themselves to be the elites).

This vision of a controlled un-democracy resembles the “neo-monarchist” vision for society espoused by Curtis Yarvin and the wider neo-reactionary movement. Since the early 2000s, Yarvin has cultivated an audience of aggrieved programmers, founders, and CEOs within Silicon Valley, all of which view democracy to be an obstacle to human progress (and their own personal success) and consider the best society to be one that is managed like a startup. In theory, this would mean doing away with voting, dissolving most functions of the government, and having all authority entrusted to a single executive figure. In practice, Yarvin’s neo-monarchist worldview would mean making voting arbitrarily difficult for most Americans, removing all regulations and restrictions on industry and finance, and eliminating the few remaining vestiges of social welfare. Essentially, Yarvin and the neo-reactionary movement are looking to launder unpopular right-wing ideology by painting democracy as an obstacle and appealing to society’s managerial class.

While Yarvin spent most of his professional life relegated to the fringes of polite society, he has emerged as a figure in a growing cohort of rightwing voices in American politics. In 2021 he appeared on Tucker Carlson and has been described as an ideological influence for Blake Masters and JD Vance. Yarvin’s growing political presence mirrors a broader trend in American politics: the growing rightward bend of Silicon Valley. Few things embody this trend more than Twitter. Since Elon Musk’s purchase, Twitter has become worse in every possible way. The drastic reduction in company staff following the purchase (particularly the Trust and Safety team) has led to all managerial decisions being made by Musk. Once used as a platform for breaking news and on-the-ground citizen journalism, Twitter has since become a haven for misinformation, hate speech, and spam. Elon’s bizarre and juvenile mismanagement of the platform is regularly punctuated by his vocal support for right-wing culture war positions.

Ultra-rich right-wing radicals like Musk believe they will not be affected by the erosion of democracy and liberalism in the United States. They live their lives untethered to the realities of America, with the ability to use their resources to relocate anywhere and weather any storm (or so they think). With their personal security guaranteed, they begin to view our government as merely a vessel to preserve vast wealth. They are wrong. American democracy is what allowed for their prosperity in the first place, and property rights mean very little in authoritarian regimes. It must be ego that blinds them to the threats to their own interests.

At the center of all this is the prospect of a second Trump presidency. Trump offers tax breaks for the wealthy, culture war and grievances for MAGA-Americans, and the trial run for Silicon Valley’s vision of a managerial un-democracy. Now more than ever, we must defend American democracy and save the country from a second Trump presidency.


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