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Rise of Autocracy Everywhere

Posted in Europe, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 8:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hungary recently declared itself a non-republic, having done the opposite after escaping Soviet clutches [1, 2]


Summary: Erosion of democratic principles around the world can be seen in the impunity various institutions and corporations nowadays enjoy (there’s almost nobody left to represent or effectively uphold public interest)

THE advent of strongmen as “strong” (oppressive) leaders isn’t unprecedented. From my understanding of history when people sense there’s nothing left to lose and when they reject “traditional” leaders (whom rightly and wrongly they blame for their misfortune) they go for the “crazy” alternative. It’s a bit of a gamble; if the less “traditional” leaders screw things up even more badly than before, then “OK, tough luck…”

There’s no “reset” button; by their very definition and nature the strongmen don’t quite respect fair elections (or honour the results, which they already attempted to manipulate anyway by muzzling critics, reducing turnout selectively and so on). Examples include a lot more than Donald Trump; Hungary, Turkey and Brazil are coming to grips with their own strongmen, joining the ranks of China and Russia.

“Examples include a lot more than Donald Trump; Hungary, Turkey and Brazil are coming to grips with their own strongmen, joining the ranks of China and Russia.”Dictatorships aren’t a “feature”; strongmen aren’t benevolent, either. They like to pretend to be defenders in the face of chaos and disruption (“law and order”), even if they themselves are the chaos and disruption. Exposing corruption becomes a crime (or becomes too risky to even attempt). Ask insiders from the European Patent Office (EPO) how likely they are to speak to their supervisor/line manager about unlawful guidelines from Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos. If they refuse to grant software patents in Europe, citing the law (e.g. EPC and courts/caselaw), guess what will happen…

“Instead of the general population being scared of these strongmen it should be the strongmen constantly terrified of law enforcement that actually serves the public, not brutalises the public.”The media’s inability or unwillingness to engage and to expose abuses means that strongmen blend in more easily. They don’t need to worry about negative publicity or even accountability. In the case of Microsoft, it seems rather clear that they’re defrauding their shareholders and have done so for a very long time. They even get to bribe people and get away with it. They know or feel like they’re simply above the law. They act accordingly.

A Microsoft whistleblower told us about his SEC complaint: “I had very low expectations going into that. If the SEC were competent, then they wouldn’t need someone like me pointing this stuff out to them and would be regulating the hell out of Microsoft and the like. Hell, 99% of the reason that I feel compelled to even write anything about Microsoft at all is because I maintain a firm belief that regulation exists purely in the realm of theatrics in this country.”

In technology and in the world/realm of patents we’re seeing the rise of strongmen, just like in general politics. Society will be worse off for it. We need to fight back. We need to get accountability back. Instead of the general population being scared of these strongmen it should be the strongmen constantly terrified of law enforcement that actually serves the public, not brutalises the public.

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