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Illustration courtesy of the author, CC images from Wikimedia

If They Were Russians, We’d Call Them Oligarchs

In the West, they’re called billionaires and we just love them

According to Wikipedia, an oligarch is “a business magnate who controls sufficient resources to influence national politics.”

Instead of quoting the rest of this short but enlightening article, I’ll just share a screenshot.

See if you can spot anything suspicious.

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Screenshot by the author.

It would seem that oligarchy is an Eastern European concept that exists only in two post-USSR states: Russia and Ukraine. We dodged a bullet there!

We sure as hellfire have no monopolistic business tycoons with political influence who try to push their various services aggressively onto the consumer here in the West.

No, my good Sir, we don’t.

Sure, one company controls 87% of all online searches and 37% of the online advertising market but their motto is “Don’t be evil.” We can trust them.

Alright, they regularly and secretly tweak their algorithm to favour larger companies and to discard search results they don’t like, but that’s no big deal. Just like they changed the design of the ads so that we confuse them with regular links, that’s only to improve the UI. No evil to see, move along, please.

When the CEO of a company that has over 2.7 billion users around the world decides that far-right, conspiracy-theory websites are trusted sources and then meets the president, whose chief strategist was the editor of one of those far-right websites, for an unannounced dinner at the White House after having testified in front of Congress, there’s nothing shady here.

Rich people meet and talk to the president and other high ranking civil servants all the time.

There’s no way these meetings are intended to influence policy decisions, they’re courtesy calls between respectable men.

Monopolists are known for inflating prices as soon as they control a sufficient share of the supply. That’s not something any Western company has ever done!

True commie oligarchs would try to rob their companies and their countries by not caring about their employees’ work conditions and compensations and by lacking any form of respect for their clients.

It’s a blessing that oligarchs only exist in communist countries, and we should be grateful to have so many rich and well-intentioned philanthropists.

Thank goodness we’re protected by unbridled, unregulated capitalism!

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I write about politics, business, society and culture on Medium. For startup/business content, check my newsletter: fundraisedd.substack.com

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