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How Techno-Libertarians Fell in Love with Big Government

In recent years, Silicon Valley’s titans, many of whom previously advocated "exiting" the United States, have been queuing to attach themselves, remora-like, to the federal government. Their supposedly principled opposition to the state vanishes as soon as the state becomes a major client.

CAMBRIDGE – The multimillionaire tech investor Balaji Srinivasan made his name as an anti-government crusader in 2013, when he gave a talk about Silicon Valley’s “ultimate exit” from the United States – what he called the “Microsoft of nations.” Perhaps most memorably, Srinivasan described America’s “Paper Belt” – Washington with laws and regulation, Boston with higher education, Los Angeles with entertainment, and New York City with ads and publishing – as the modern-day Rust Belt.