I never thought that your nettime posts were weird or worse-- which is why I always read them and sometimes reply, like now. The picture you draw from the NYT and your own posts of the last two decades is unassailable and it is a political crisis. The issue is to find out who the sides are and how we can do our best for our side, the rest of us, people in general.
The concentration of capital and market share is most obvious in the US fintech firms ad that has to be recognized. But the larger question concerns the global corporate takeover: the top 150 global corporations are mostly financial, led by three Chinese banks. Of the top 100 non-financial corporations over half are European. The world's nationalist strong men are currently challenging neoliberal globalization, but they too are market fundamentalists with a more local agenda and perhaps different corporate support. Protectionism and the free market were always joined at the hip; the conflicts involved are becoming more explicit now that the global money circuit is unfettered and lawless.
Clearly the changing nature of the American Empire deserves closer scrutiny that it usually gets from the left. For decades critics of our persuasion and especially European and Latin American intellectuals have tended to downplay its strengths and coercive potential. Trump, by attacking Europe and making unsavory friends elsewhere, is making that power more overt. Europeans can't reproduce or defend themselves and treat the migrants who work for their pensions with contempt, while disparaging the US as an inferior civilization. The Empire rests on militarism, mercantilism, the world currency, intellectual property and the internet economy. American intellectuals tend to be insular and parochial, so that their take on the Empire's potential is obsessively domestic -- not Trump's or Bolton's however.
The struggle we all face is global, not just some US mega-corporations, even if the American Empire is a big part of it. For some decades, usually behind closed doors, the corporations have been designing a world society in which they would be the only effective citizens. They disparage the old political model of nation-states (corrupt), national laws (no reach) and citizenship (lazy and irresponsible), evoking a weird version of Kantian moral law instead. The two planks of their existence -- limited liability for debt conferred by Elizabeth I and elision of the difference between real and artificial persons in economic law (Santa Clara County vs Southern Pacific Railroad 1886) must occupy centre-ground in any mobilization against them. Corporations ability to claim the human rights of individual citizens not only guarantees them permanent legal immunity, but by collapsing the distinction between persons, ideas and things, political responsibility and action become unthinkable.
The world's population in 2100 is forecast to be 42% Asian (60% now) and 40% African (15% now). Half of Africa's population in under 20 years old. Compare that with the rest-- all the Americas, Europe, Russia and Oceania 18% in total and ageing fast. Trump is onto that one too, as is Macron. "The West" has the means of blowing the world up in some farewell armageddon. Short of that, progressive political\ movements and the young men who will die for them will come from where the people are (clue: not nettime readers). The basic question is what forms of political association could take on the corporations. As for ideology, we could start with the organization of debt and insist that we are human and Apple is not.