Net Neutrality Is Marxist?

Ryan Simpkins plug at
Mon Apr 12 15:39:20 MDT 2010

On Mon, April 12, 2010 13:28, Lonnie Olson wrote:
> I do not agree that Net Neutrality is Marxist or socialist.  It is
> simply all about protecting Capitalism, Free Enterprise, and
> Competition in the best American way.  Very similar to Gov't
> restrictions on monopolies, SEC oversight, etc.
> Yes, current abuses of Net Neutrality in America are few, but they are
> very damaging.  Also, they are just a sign of what is to come.  The
> threats of expanding these abuses have already been coming.
> In our current state of broadband in the US, competition is scarce.
> In most places only 1 or 2 providers are available.  And given that
> DSL's extremely slow evolution is going to make it even more
> irrelevant.  It is important to protect our options legally since
> there is no free market options to do so.

I really liked this point of view Lonnie. The reality is that most analogies
we can think of to explain the challenge of Internet regulation/protection
ultimately fail. I've been debating back and forth in my mind - is my ISP more
like the telephone company, or the power company? Maybe my ISP is like both,
or neither. Should the market self-regulate, or should our government step in
because the people need protection?

I believe one of the challenges here is coming up with a belief surrounding
what we want the Internet to be. Is it a right to have Internet service in
your home? No, but neither is telephone service, running water, sewer, garbage
services, or electricity. You could argue that while these things aren't
rights, they are certainly desirable for as many citizens to participate in as
possible. Is it desirable for as many of our fellow citizens as possible to
participate on the Internet? I would argue it is.

The free exchange of ideas, access to government & private services, and
commerce via the Internet are all very beneficial things for us to have access
to. It helps make our country stronger. It allows us to have important
discussions like the one we are having now. When was the last time you got
together with your neighbors and discussed politics? Here, on this list, via
the Internet, is the finest example of free speech and active citizenship
you're likely to see. Linux is the reason we are here, but what we do has
impact beyond our little group.

Do I trust either a corporation or the government to protect this technical
landscape? No, I trust neither of them. In my experience the government isn't
always capable of working for me, and corporations can't seem to help cheating
in the marketplace to my detriment. This is why, in my opinion, the very
struggle for control is exactly what needs to happen.

I sincerely hope this discussion never dies.


P.S. Glenn Beck - I love you. You're so cute when you get wound up about the
NWO Marxist takeover by the Illuminati flying around in black helicopters. You
are truly a special, special person. Only your deep insight can possibly
protect us from the take over of America by Islamic extremists, and illegal
aliens, and liberals (*shudder*). My neighbors who listen to every word you
say as though it came from heaven could not have put their trust in a better,
more well informed individual than yourself. I especially like your Third
Reich analogies, but I must ask - why do you know so much about Nazi Germany
and nationalist propaganda? *deep, long, uncomfortable man hug*

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