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Friday, July 9, 2010

Keep the Internet Corporate-Free Says Anti-Business Free Press
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I just have to chuckle at this sophomore opinion piece recently penned by the Free Press. Its main memes: Corporations are evil. Do not trust corporations, because they are evil. And, oh by the way, corporations want to control you and the FCC, because...they are evil.

Good golly, we get it.

Here're some choice lines ripped from their diatribe, and my comments in bolds:

"The Internet is the greatest communications network ever created because it allows us to speak for ourselves without first asking permission from corporate gatekeepers."
Yes, the Internet is. Thanks to corporations and all "gatekeepers" who brought it to us.
"Julius Genachowski, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has been holding closed-door meetings with Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and Google that could pave the way for a corporate takeover of the Internet."
I have seen the lobbyists' wild plans - they intend on boxing up the entire Internet and moving it to Peoria, where no one in their right mind would care to live, or bother it.
"The big phone and cable companies want to kill net neutrality so they can control and manipulate the content you can access on the Internet."
I was out at target practice the other day with a couple corporate lobbyists. They are surprisingly nimble with their AK's, spraying round-upon-round on targets emblazoned with Net Neutrality. Then I drank their Kool-Aid, whereupon I was "Clockwork Oranged" into watching 10 hours of Ben Scott testimony, further amplifying their soporific manipulations. Good times, man. Good times.
"The [FCC] is under immense pressure from the lobbyists to take control of the Internet away from Internet users and turn it over to corporations."
Corporations see consumer consumption of their products as meaningless, hurtful to their bottom line and, well, passé. Thankfully, they have invented a "post-profit" world that does not depend on Internet users anymore. Corporations have always just wanted the Internet for themselves, anyway - people just get in the way of all that fun.
"What the American people want is someone to stand up and fight for them against corporate corruption--whether from BP, AIG or Comcast. It needs to protect the Internet from a corporate takeover."
Hmm...seems a couple of these are out of place. The BP oil spill happened because government didn't, and still isn't, doing its job. AIG happened because government got in the way with an open spigot monetary policy, and Fannie and Freddie, which promoted a reckless "ownership society." And Comcast...well, as Free Press admits, it brings us the wildly successful Internet, with ever-growing features and functionality, in an atmosphere not marked by government rules or regulations. Heck, I'll take the latter. If "corporate takeover" means the "consumer is king," that seems far better than "policymaker is king" - we know where that leads.

I've seen this Free Press press release before. Many times. What tiring, old riffs (they could have spiced things up a bit by kicking George Bush some - that always stirs up the troops). The article might just as well have been written by Free Press' founder, Robert McChesney - the unflagging Marxist.

They probably have a shared drive on site where they can poach from such classic McChesney lines as:

"We are at a critical juncture in the history of communication. The world economic crisis is accentuating that critical juncture because it impacts all of society. The capitalist economy dominated by corporations has failed. The entire world is struggling to come up with something that is sustainable and humane and allows for human happiness and democracy."
"What we want to have in the U.S. and in every society is an Internet that is not private property, but a public utility."
"But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control."
The protection and promotion of private property through, among other tools, capitalism, has done more to lift the wealth and welfare of people than any other system known to man. Much to Free Press' and McChesney's chagrin - socialism failed; they have it exactly wrong.


Now, about that Free Press shared drive. I hope some capitalist can sell them on a better model - one which has the U.S. Constitution on it instead of that Little Red Book.

posted by Mike Wendy @ 8:52 AM | Broadband , Capitalism , Communications , Innovation , Internet , Net Neutrality , Regulation , The FCC

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I'm agree with that: The big phone and cable companies want to kill net neutrality so they can control and manipulate the content you can access on the Internet.

I'm realy tired of these ISPs who always want to earn more and more money...

But they don't know yet that they are killing himselt... net neutrality is the Internet.

So please STOP it!

Posted by: Start-vpn at July 9, 2010 3:56 PM

I tend to agree with both sides. (easy I know...)

We need a more nuanced speech. It's not all black and white. Still, I do believe that internet should remain a free and open space but it unfortunately isn't. The illusion of simplicity of it pushes people to put more of themselves into it and of course corporations see their interest in having access to all this.

Everyone has an interest. Long ago I decided to stay away from social networks, although I use them for business purposes of course. Once you understand how it works, you can use the internet more wisely I guess.

But where I disagree with you is the way you tend to stigmatize a bit the "marxist" speech. I mean, I understand what you see behind it but I can understand the utopia expressed by Free Press of a tool (internet) that could be, at last, something that belongs in an almost exclusive way to the People and that can give it some power and independence. It's a lovely dream.

Corporations are not all evil! And yes, some of them definitely help with the creation of many things, plateforms, tools we enjoy using.

Just my 2 cents. :)

Your post is interesting. Reactions are always interesting to me.

Posted by: Louise from Cool Affiliate Marketing Guide at July 24, 2010 6:18 PM

Well, saying that corporations are evil when you are probably writing your rant in a PC built by an evil corporation and using the very internet they provide to get the word out about what you think is a bit of a paradox.

The only thing I would see as "wrong" would be the monopolization of everything by one corporation, but as long as there are many and there is competition I think our freedom will remain intact, always threatened but intact.

The good thing is that there are laws that protect us against monopolies, so it is likely that we will be OK and able to keep enjoying the benefits of having great corporations doing great things toward the development of new technology and our very way of life.

Posted by: Al @ Finance Articles at August 3, 2010 8:53 PM

Both sides go to the extreme in the class war between the rich and poor. The last thirty years has sent us back down the primrose path to plutocracy and feudalism, not just in America but globally. When you have corporations merging and gobbling everything, including the government, and an unelected Supreme Court deciding that a corporation is a "person," you have a recipe for financial extraction by the corporate person from the natural person, which is, by any definition, some form of "fascism." No, corporations are not, of themselves, "evil." But they don't have a conscience like a human being, they can't die, they can't go to jail, and they tend to be small dictatorships. If they get as big as, say, Wall Mart, you have a new country or kingdom. We presently have systemic failure in our government because the founders failed to heed Jefferson's cry for an amendment to limit monopolism and now the money-sucking monster has taken our jobs, our homes, and our savings, as well as our middle class. We've been robbed. And our lawmakers are assisted in lawmaking by 60,000 corporate lobbyists making as much as $600K/year to make sure the laws benefit the monopolists. And can Obama or Dems do anything to stop the pillage when they are part of the same system? Instead, they craft a "reform" bill with so many loopholes inserted by lobbyists that it accomplishes exactly the opposite of reform, and the underpaid regulators in Washington will continue to either pass their time watching porn or go get a job working for Goldman. I'll tell you what's "tired" in this country: the political rhetoric and ideological sloganism. Meanwhile, democracy, which has only been tried in 400 of the last 6,000 years, is once again sacrificed to the cannibalizing aristocrats who like to demonize anyone who questions them as "commies." Beck has tried to turn Jefferson into a fundamentalist when he should be labeling him a commie, because Jefferson, like the original Tea Party, was opposed sternly to monopolism. And Beck always says its liberals who want to "take away our free speech," when, in truth, it is the monopolistic money-hoarders who will take that away from us, while they insist that the "corporate person" has it.

Posted by: Alan at August 6, 2010 6:26 AM

I love the internet. It gives anyone the opportunity and the rights of free speech and free enterprise. I've heard all this stuff before and I'm really fed up with the way things are going. We need to take our county back and get back to the Constitution.

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