"Technocracy Meets Populism: The Dominant Technological Imaginary of Silicon Valley." Communication, Culture & Critique, 2020. 

What are the politics of digital technologies? Are digital media connected to the recent popularity of populist formations throughout the world? In this paper I argue that we should approach these issues by examining how discourses can shape technology and how different political actors envision technology in a political way. In particular, I offer the notion of technological imaginary to account for the ways in which collective actors construct discourses about the political role of technology. I then identify a dominant technological imaginary, which arises from Silicon Valley. This imaginary is built on a blend of technocratic ambitions and populist justifications, which I illustrate through an analysis of a document released by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg in 2017. I then suggest that to assess the success of populist forces in appropriating digital technologies, we first need to examine how populist discourses have been deployed to legitimate digital technologies.