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Good Read: Silicon Valley and ‘the New Feudalism’

| November 27, 2013 | 0 Comments
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Stanford's liberal arts-dominated Main Quad has been overshadowed by the campus's Science and Engineering Quad. Weekly Standard writer Charlotte Allen argues the change is part of a deep and disturbing shift in the life of Silicon Valley. (Lisa Aliferis/KQED)

Stanford’s liberal arts-dominated Main Quad has been overshadowed by the campus’s Science and Engineering Quad. Weekly Standard writer Charlotte Allen argues the change is part of a deep and disturbing shift in the life of Silicon Valley. (rolfkleef/Flickr)

The conservative Weekly Standard takes a look at life in Silicon Valley and feels distinctly uncomfortable about the sharp and deepening inequalities it sees:

” … What is coming is the “new feudalism,” a phrase coined by Chapman University urban studies professor Joel Kotkin, a prolific media presence whose New Geography website is an outlet for the trend’s most vocal critics. “It’s a weird Upstairs, Downstairs world in which there’s the gentry, and the role for everybody else is to be their servants,” Kotkin said in a telephone interview. “The agenda of the gentry is to force the working class to live in apartments for the rest of their lives and be serfs. But there’s a weird cognitive dissonance. Everyone who says people ought to be living in apartments actually lives in gigantic houses or has multiple houses.”

Here’s the essay:


Atherton, Calif. “If you live here, you’ve made it,” David Berkey said to me as I rode shotgun in his car two months ago through the Silicon Valley’s wealth belt. The massive house toward which he was pointing belongs to Sergey Brin, cofounder of Google.

Read more at: m.weeklystandard.com

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About the Author ()

Dan Brekke has worked in media ever since Nixon's first term, when newspapers were still using hot type. He had moved on to online news by the time Bill Clinton met Monica Lewinsky. He's been at KQED since 2007, is an enthusiastic practitioner of radio and online journalism and will talk to you about absolutely anything. Reach Dan Brekke at dbrekke@kqed.org.