I wrote this during the fight against SOPA. However, like many other posts, I did not get around to publishing it. I recently came across Google’s take action campaign that is against the plot by governments to sign new treaties this December that will regulate the Internet more.
Mind you, I did not say should be but ‘has to be’ from the view of the political class. I certainly do not want the Internet censored or more regulated.
A few thousand years ago, when the first structures of society where being put in place, the deal struck to prevent a physical society with anarchy was to centralize ‘power’ with the state (largest independent political unit) and then have representatives of the people run the state.
Fast forward a few centuries, a couple of wars, commerce, etc and the state became bigger, much bigger. Nations were born. The centralized power became greater. The chance to represent the Nation became smaller and the stakes became higher.
A bigger state meant a massive population which would be harder to control therefore it became necessary to control what they knew and how they could operate. Books, TV, Telephone, Radio, International travel etc came along and tried to scuttle the status quo. But the political class was smart enough to take advantage of it early and used it as a tool to control on a larger scale.
Then the Internet ‘happened’.
It was ignored, then ridiculed and before anyone could say “facebook”, societies of 1 Billion (the third largest in the world, certainly the most diverse) got formed. Information began moving overground (Twitter) and underground (BBM,WhatsApp). Internet companies started knowing more about citizens that the nations who gave them their passports. Transactions and currencies that could not be monitored started springing up.
It is ‘obvious’ this new power and control is too dangerous/important to be left to ‘ordinary’ people. The political class have to take it back.
So they’ve come first by passing the laws that will enable them covertly take back power. Countries like North Korea, Iran, China are being straightforward about it. America is trying to be smarter, they’re waving the copyright flag, child porn flag, the terrorism flag, then they will raise the victory flag.
Shall we let them win?
I know my post might sound incongruous. you may do yourself a favour and read The Fundamentals of Political Philosophy then watch The century of Self
Random prediction: In the next decade, the political structure of society will start changing fundamentally. Corporations will own the state and the national ‘borders’ will become more digital, dynamic and I dare say, collapse. Currency will become much more deregulated
This Internet thing has really fucked things up.
Please forgive typos…