Is Google Becoming a Bond Villain?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Recently I noted here that Amazon.com  (AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos has entered the "Bond villain" stage of his career, a point where he's larger than life, and where every pronouncement he makes, no matter how strange (Let's have drones deliver packages!) is seen as brilliant insight.

Well, if Bezos is Willard Whyte, Google (GOOG) suddenly looks like Blofeld.

Men and women of a certain age will remember Blofeld well. The rest of you will find him in IMDb or Wikipedia.

Blofeld was the "super villain" in nine different Bond films, and was played by a succession of actors, most memorably by Donald Pleasence, his head shaved, stroking a white cat in You Only Live Twice.

How did a company whose unofficial motto was "Don't be evil" suddenly appear to be the personification of evil? Mainly it's a product of its own success.

Google's profits have let it indulge its leaders' whims in everything from wearable computers to life extension to self-driving cars, robots and barges mysteriously floating in the bay. Its wealth has elevated real estate prices in San Francisco to infinity.

All of which led to a false confrontation yesterday in San Francisco, where a union organizer named Max Alper, pretending to be a Google employee, shouted, "This is a city for the right people who can afford it. You can't afford it? You can leave. I'm sorry, get a better job."

The San Francisco Bay Guardian posted a video of the diatribe, which went viral before it learned Alper's true identity. What's troubling is that so many people believed the original conception. They believed that Alper was part of Google, and that Google believes the nonsense he was spouting.

What Alper was portraying is known in political philosophy as the Problem of the Loyal Henchman. Why, after the villain has fled, does his private militia still try to kill the hero? Is it loyalty to Blofeldism, whatever that is?

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