Moon I mean, you said yourself that one doesn’t have to be a dyed-in-the-wool leftist to critique late capitalism; it merely helps. Mr. Burns from The Simpsons is a critique of capitalism, but who would argue that even Simpsons in its heyday was a specifically leftist show? (I feel like leftists in general have a tendency to assume all critique/subversion of power structures inevitably favors them, in ways that can end up enabling the right - but that’s another discussion)
Corollary to this: I don’t have nearly the breadth of familiarity with the genre in literature that you do, but I do wonder if defining cyberpunk specifically by its relationship to late capitalism might be simultaneously too broad and too narrow. All of postmodernism is a response of some kind to late capitalism - and while cyberpunk has been argued to be the definitive postmodern genre, it’s hardly the only one. (Maybe your essay has a more detailed response to this, that I’ll discover once I read it more closely.)
On the other hand, is cyberpunk specifically a response to late capitalism, or is it more a response to postindustrialism? I’ve seen a lot of cyberpunk-adjacent leftists (e.g. Mark Fisher) level generalized critiques at capitalism that are just as true of non-capitalist postindustrial societies, e.g. the explosion of mindless stat-hoarding bureaucracy in everyday life, widespread social alienation, endemic mental health crises, etc. etc. High technology in the Western world is defined by its relationship to private/corporate capital, but that relationship isn’t precisely a given. Metal Gear Solid 2 is actually (imo) a pretty good example of a work whose themes and style are unmistakably cyberpunk, but where postindustrial tech and its social, psychological, political fallout are first and foremost associated with the specter of totalitarian state control rather than corporate oligarchy a la Gibson/Blade Runner/etc. (Incidentally, the themes in Kojima’s games used to be more squarely anarchist while Death Stranding felt like a pivot to the neo/lib center.) There’s a reason the genre has a perverse appeal to right-libertarians who see its transhumanist technology as an emancipatory promise, and it’s not just a case of them being unable to comprehend subtext.
Anyway, maybe it’s because he wasn’t a part of my teen years but Gibson becoming a lame boomer dad who lost all skepticism after the shock of seeing Trump elected just feels so… typical? And almost naïve? That it’s more amusing to me than offensive. Doesn’t necessarily devalue his older work, any more than the present iteration of The Simpsons devalues the good seasons.