09/16/2017 (Sat) 11:10:53
Amazon and other huge megacorporations like Walmart basically push the mom & pop shops out of business everywhere they go. So no, their model is not libertarian, because that model implies that everyone can run their own business without the huge barriers that these megacorps work hard to impose via lobbying and other stuff like massive patent collections. Maybe in the 1800's you could make a case that it was possible to have a libertarian society in the USA, but now the odds are entirely in favor with those who have consolidated the majority of money & power.
Anyway, you can see the results of all this clearly. In the past century, all local cultures have been completely eradicated. The USA is now just a big collection of identical strip malls. Basically the depiction in Snow Crash isn't far off the mark.
In the tech world, the parallel situation is domination of Intel/Microsoft and other giants. Whereas in the 70's and 80's (the computer 1800's, aka wild west so to speak) there was a much larger variety of hacker/hobbyist cultures and interesting possibilities. And more to the point: there was a whole lot of competition! Which meant that if you didn't like the way Apple of IBM ran things, you could just buy computers from Commodore, Atari, Tandy, or others instead. This has all been lost and replaced with dumbed-down consumer appliances that the operator doesn't trully have control over (DRM, Intel ME, and such).
Regarding the computer situation, I think the only solution at this point is to ditch the modern web entirely, since that's the main hurdle preventing use of simpler and/or different computers and OS. And fwiw, I don't consider Linux/Unix to be different enough to be interesting, even though I run OpenBSD (because it's like the least-worst practical choice I have atm). Quite frankly, given the choice I'd gladly go back to 1991 and use a 1-meg Amiga 500...