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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cooperation: The Power of Internet Democracy

If politics are to be compared to a bird, then it has two wings with tips, a body, a tail and a head. The left and right wing analogies are obvious with the extremes being the tips, unable to provide lift on their own. The head is simply the front and gets places first, providing and ingesting nourishment. The tail is vital to flight but we know what it has to deal with on the digestion front. It gets everywhere last, but without it, the bird can't steer. And should the head get too big, the bird can't fly. That brings us to the body, where the life resides and power for the extremities is produced. It joins the extremities, balancing them all to produce flight and thus obtain nourishment.

Liberals favour and promote progressive cooperation while Conservatives promote individualistic competition. By definition conservatives are supposed to be cautious while liberals try to enact change, the one slowing the other to a reasonable pace for the majority in the middle.

Unfortunately tyrants of all stripes try to create and control bottlenecks of all kinds for the benefit of the controllers, thus creating elite. Progressives try and remove bottlenecks to the benefit of as many of their fellows as possible. Control is handed to the people. This is democracy.

Bottlenecks occur where access to resources, including knowledge, government, currency, and freedom, is limited by supply or access. They create small concentrations of resources with vast deserts beyond. Those controlling the bottleneck are de facto oligarchies interested in preserving position and privilege. They exploit bottlenecks until the bottle bursts, as happened financially across the globe, or something removes the bottleneck, like revolutions of society or technology.

The crash of the standard publishing and music industries is a perfect example of a revolution removing the bottleneck. Suddenly everyone can share, the artist actually able to distribute without the control of a standard publisher. The artist can interact directly with a massive audience, the relation no longer controlled and limited by gatekeepers. No longer does the opinion of a single executive, editor, or summer student determine what reaches the public. No longer does it limit the market. A truly free market has formed, free of the parasitic gatekeepers, for the most part. Now the art can put his work out to the world. Now the quality, not the availability, is what matters.

The internet is democratizing the world at a rate so alarming to tyrants and bottleneckers, that they are desperately trying to control it, and thus us.

But now the common people can get information and participate across vast distances. The greatest tool of democracy has been invented. It ranks up there with the creation of democracy in Greece, the first constitutions, and universal suffrage.

If tyranny has its way, the only things that you will be able to get on the internet will be porn and propaganda, and really what is the difference between the two?