Monday, September 27, 2010

Why The Ruling Class Needs To Kill Net Neutrality

The Internet is remaking our world in too many ways to keep track of. Facebook and other social networking sites are reshaping the way we interact with each other. E-mail and all the various forms of instant messaging have laid a major hurt on the U.S. Postal Service. Sites like Craigslist have made conventional classified advertising all but obsolete, delivering a crushing financial blow to the newspaper industry.

But when it comes to political campaigning, the Internet is in its infancy. Television is still king. For how long is anybody's guess, but as of today candidates for most offices need to be on TV. If they're not, they have no chance. Internet electioneering is growing and changing by the day, and its potential is vast, but it's not what decides elections in the here and now.

One can easily imagine a day in the not-too-distant future when that will change. Both of my parents passed away without ever having so much as turned on a computer. They never owned a cell phone, either. Once their generation is gone and is replaced and then some by ultra-tech savvy children of our computer-geek children, it is easy to imagine a time when most if not all election campaign messages will be beamed directly to whatever hand-held personal electronic devices come to be in vogue. It is not hard at all to imagine the Internet doing to the television industry what it already has done to newspapers.

If the Internet remains free and open, it has the capacity to revolutionize politics. It could put an end to the transactions that both define and doom present-day democracy. Everyone knows the drill. Politicians have the power to set government policy, but need to be on TV to win elections and that air time costs a fortune. Those who can afford to put the politicians on TV need those politicians to clear the way for them to become richer still. The wealthy donors do their part, the politicians do theirs, and the fee for service is passed along to the TV stations as compensation for getting the politicians into our living rooms morning, noon and night.

Which brings me to why the ruling class in our country is so bound and determined to colonize the Internet. I wrote last week about how the instruments of social control and political manipulation have evolved over our nation's history. It started with slavery and disenfranchisement. That gave way to institutionalized voter suppression and segregation. When those policies largely fell by the wayside, they were replaced by a third stage of ownership that can be summed up as the creation of an exclusive political marketplace where participation is prohibitively expensive for all but an elite few.

The architects of this third stage can see into the future. They can see how the Internet will one day take the place of television as the dominant medium of political communication. And they can see how a truly free and open Internet (or "net neutrality," in the unfortunate vernacular of Webheads) could create an inclusive political marketplace where participation is downright inexpensive. That's why it's so important to them that the information superhighway be transformed from a freeway into a tollroad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you - or anybody - really believes this, it is unwise to be 'broadcasting' it on an Internet blog.

That the Internet will play a huge role in the selection of future politicians is true. In 2012, the influence of the Internet will be noticed. In 2016 it will surpass the influence of television.

Many 20-somethings rarely watch TV. The Internet 'generation' has either been too young or too uninterested in voting so far. Having access to information which cannot be easily manipulated without a rational contrasting viewpoint has created an entire era of people who are not going to be so gullible as to take everything fed by the MSM at face value. MSM is the 'old media' for a reason and within a decade or so it will find itself irrelevant.

The idea behind your 'toll road' analogy is ignorant of the fact that it already costs money, although it is obviously much less expensive than a political ad. Putting limitations on information and subjecting it to special taxes is violating constitutional rights. It also doesn't stop anybody from using external international servers which are not subject to our laws.

The idea that the ruling class and the money holders are special and should tell everybody what to do is ridiculous. Even though it's true we are enslaved to the elite even in the 21st century. If that scares you people it should. We're about to enter an age of enlightenment within the next century where you influence is eliminated once and for all. No more propaganda or lies to drive the masses. No more smearing people who tell the truth when the truth is supported by fact just a click away rendering you into irrelevancy.

Social networks even have a lifespan, not even they will be able to be manipulated. Myspace and Friendster are dead. Facebook, the king, for the first time ever is experiencing a decline. A subtle one, but it is on the same path as Myspace.

You can't buy control of everything and suck the life out of it anymore without us knowing it. The idea of taxing information is just another way of monetizing something without really working for it just like your buddies on Wall Street do every day. The suit and 'professionalism' is lipstick on a pig and it's time to take you pigs out to slaughter.