These reviews -- albeit both from Revolutionary sources -- make me want to go see the film:
None of the social networks in this film are attractive, and because of that, the whole movie paints a claustrophobically awful portrait of the self-created techno elite versus the old money white Protestant patriarchy
It is clear through the film that Zuckerberg created Facebook out of class resentment (a middle class Jew within the old wealth Protestant elite of Harvard) and that the social network that is the focus of the film is not the actual internet platform of Facebook. Rather, it is the whole socioeconomic network of the American class system, especially in terms of educational privilege and ranking and how those terms relate directly to economic status.
Zuckerberg is obsessed with ranking because he knows that class and ethnicity in America, especially within the elite old money patriarchy of the Ivy League (which largely represents the exclusionary economic foundation of America), will never allow him a place in its ranks. So Zuckerberg hacks his way into the very class that denies him access, and he creates his own “privileged domain” over which he presides like the victor assassin who took ownership of the kingdom.
The raving socialists are on the lookout for Social Darwinism, and miss the Wolfeian caste/status implications, but hit on an interesting point:
Fincher’s film gets its point across: Zuckerberg is smarter and more disciplined than the rest of us, and that is why he is the world’s youngest billionaire.
Eduardo is presented in a such a fashion that the betrayal seems almost justified; the portrayal reinforces the point that the brighter, successful elements naturally rise to the top.
The influx of billions in venture capital gave rise to various forms of “market populism” substituting a number of red herrings for the great social issues: e.g., the upstarts with computer skills vs. the wealthy stuffed-shirts, the young vs. the old, the hip vs. the boring, and so forth
Sounds like Moby-Dick
or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
. Nemo the "avenger" rails against the oppression of the little people, and in one memorable scene, defends an impoverished fisherman from a shark that is naturally born strong and vicious. Nemo is not necessarily a genius but is very talented with technology, and driven with manic intensity. He takes treasure from shipwrecks and uses it to fund revolutions worldwide on behalf of the "oppressed" against the naturally born stronger. In the end, he becomes paralyzed by rage and cannot react to natural disaster, hiding instead behind his technology, and we never hear what happens to him (but the logical Conseil, id-driven Ned Land, and obedient nerd Aronnax escape).
Ahab (probably the biggest influence on Nemo) chases endlessly a symbol of control and power over nature (a symbol for life itself, mortality and the frustration of having a god-like intellect in a mouse-like body/perspective; contrast this to Queequeeg, who is at home in his skin because he is a simple creature). He is competing for the wealth of whale oil harvest at first, but then it becomes a quest: prove himself master over life. At his end, we see that his fanaticism causes him to ignore the obvious, and be taken down by a relatively simple and predictable series of events.
Zuckerberg chases wealth but still cannot be WASP hierarchy because in part, They think differently from Zuckerberg and those of his origin, by two factors: one, middle class/enhanced shopowners; two, Semitic/Eurasian versus Western European. He wants to be what he cannot be, but since he cannot join, he will conquer it and if not buy his way in, at least give it a giant FUCK YOU by being made insanely wealthy.
In America, class and race aren’t supposed to mix. If you’re brown, you’re automatically deemed “worthy of sympathy and pity” or at least marked as “other” and not being part of the old money club. But the movie quietly undoes that skewed perception. It is the fact that Eduardo is also a part of an established old money patriarchy (the Brazilian kind) that he can fund Zuckerberg’s venture, that he gets into an exclusive Final Club, and that he endorses the “old school” means of supporting the Facebook venture rather than diving into the new economy represented by Sean Parker.
And to cap it off, the grim reality that Facebook wasn't so exceptional; it's that others are just so incompetent it rose:
Mark Zuckerberg—a relatively privileged young man—came to Harvard University from one of the East Coast’s most prestigious prep schools with significant computer skills. At Harvard he gained notoriety by hacking into the university’s computer system, and then enlisted a number of friends in an effort to create a social networking site modeled on several preexisting sites (Friendster, My Space, etc.), with a few improvements and the elite branding that comes with origins in an Ivy League school.
And in all of it, the postmodern theme of the tail wagging the dog -- our ability to symbolically present reality creating a false or partial reality, Nietzsche's "knowing" and Baudrillard's "simulacra," which leads us to become oblivious to actual reality.
We learned in Zodiac that Fincher is fastidious about recreating information delivery systems. In Zodiac it was typewriters, newspapers, postal mail, telefaxes, and pay phones. In The Social Network, it’s laptops, cellphones and computer monitors.
And through it all no one mentioning the obvious: if you make the proles equal, their tastes will dominate, and you will promote peasants to kings with a moral need for revenge. How satisfyingly oblivious.