One of the co-founders of the Occupy Wall Street movement has called for Barack Obama to resign as president and for Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt to be appointed as “CEO of America”.
Justine Tunney, a 29-year-old software engineer and self-declared “Champagne Tranarchist”, claims to be one of the founding members of the anti-capitalist movement, and recently took control of the official @OccupyWallSt twitter account with its nearly 200,000 followers.
Tunney, who works for Google, posted a petition on 19 March calling for the US government to “transfer all federal administrative authority to the tech industry,” with three additional demands:
1. Retire all government employees with full pensions.
2. Transfer administrative authority to the tech industry.
3. Appoint Eric Schmidt CEO of America.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Tunney said she’d been inspired to make the petition because she worked for Google and was familiar with Schmidt’s ability to run “a successful organisation”.
“He was responsible for building Google, which is a benevolent corporation that's making the world a better place," she told the paper. “If he can do it for Google, maybe he can do it for government. What we need to see is a regime change.
“I’m fully cognizant of the fact that politicians don't care what we think, but I think we can raise awareness of radical solutions, the possibility of a regime change and peaceful transfer of power to good corporations that can bring us in to the future."
Commentators on the internet seem unsure how seriously to take Tunney’s demands or indeed, her claim that Google is a “post-capitalist” corporation because it “gives away everything for free”.
Nor is her position helped by her self-promotional presence on Twitter (she recently re-tweeted fan fiction about her petition which included the lines “America has been under the power of Google for the last twenty years. Everything was really good.”) and her apologist stance towards the mass surveillance enabled by tech companies.
Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that her belief in benevolent tech-capitalism is particularly radical either. Venture capitalists have recently put forward plans for California to be split into six states with one – named Silicon Valley – to be devoted to the world’s most successful technology firms, including Google.
And with tech entepreneurs such as Balaji Srinivasan calling for an "opt-in society, outside the US, run by technology" and Peter Thiel (co-founder of PayPal) proposing off-shore cities to escape from government regulation, Tunney's own fantasy of a tech-run USA looks positively sober by comparison.