It is important to understand that capitalism rarely works in the public interest. Profit motive is the driving force. Any public good that stems from it is purely accidental.
The corporate media that was long ago used as a weapon against the people is still used to promulgate the lies and distortions that have torn this nation asunder and set the world ablaze with war and discord. The shameless promotion of the war in Iraq and the brutal occupation of the Palestinian people by the Israeli military are poignant examples. The commercial media is used against us like a weapon to promote the most barbaric human behavior and they are allowed to call it liberation, democracy, and Christianity. Invading and occupying armies are called liberators, while those defending their homes are labeled insurgents and terrorists.
Beyond their use to promote war, both at home and abroad, the public air waves are also used to endorse consumption on a grand scale that is detrimental to the health of the planet, so that a few get rich by exploiting the many.
Enter the Internet, one of the last bastions for democracy and the free and open exchange of ideas. The Internet provides a place where people around the world can gather, share ideas, enjoy a laugh, and seek truth. It is not perfect but it is a resource that is pregnant with possibilities. It is one of the last places where one can readily read dissenting points of view that are no longer possible in the mainstream of corporate reportage and synthesized news. Thank goodness we can still gather at web sites like this and create a vision for a just and peaceful future, as an alternative to war that will not end in our lifetimes.
If the worlds largest telecommunications companies have their way that will change. Currently, the complex series of ones and zeroes that move at high speed through millions of miles of cables and airwaves are treated equallya byte is a byte is a byte, whether yours, mine or Bill Gates. The concept of net neutrality stems from this principle. Telecommunications giants such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast want to change that by creating a two-tiered superhighwaya technological toll road, if you will. Users who pay additional fees, primarily corporate clients promoting capitalism, would have unfettered access to the fast lanes. The rest of us would, rather than being treated as equals, become second class citizens stuck in the slowest lanes with the poorest service. In the worst case scenario service could be denied altogether.
In the familiar parlance of corporate speak the telecommunications companies and their puppets in Congress, for example, Alaska senator Ted Stevens, a republican, want us to believe that net neutrality amounts to burdensome regulation that stifles innovation and reduces corporate profits. The supporters of the telecommunications bill making its way through Congress are shameless promoters of predatory capitalism and they should be impeached.
If net neutrality is defeated the result will be a familiar one that characterizes all capitalist societies divided by class. Once again, it will be those with money who get preferential treatment. It will be much like our American coin operated congress in which capital is equated to free speech. Those with money will have access, those without will not.
It is dangerous to get between a Grizzly Bear and her cubs; but it is far more dangerous to get between a capitalist and his dollar. Men like Ted Stevens, who so typify Congress these days, are a slave to his corporate pay masters. He does not serve the interest of the people or the commonwealth any more than do AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. Senator Stevens abysmal voting record speaks for itself. It is all about socializing cost and privatizing wealthpredatory capitalism.
More information on net neutrality can be found at www.savetheinternet.com or www.itsournet.org.