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Fighting the ‘Imperial’ Internet

We should ask for a national referendum on this.

 By Bill Moyers and Scott Fogdall, TomPaine.com. Posted October 18, 2006.

Corporate media are looking to use the “free market” to add the internet to their empire. But we can’t let them dominate the ‘net and undermine our democracy.

It was said that all roads led to Rome. However exaggerated, the image is imprinted in our imagination, reminding us of the relentless ingenuity of the ancient Romans and their will to control an empire. For centuries Roman highways linked far-flung provinces with a centralized web of power. The might of the imperial legions was for naught without the means to transport them. The flow of trade — the bloodstream of the empire’s wealth — also depended on the integrity of the roadways. And because Roman citizens could pass everywhere, more or less unfettered on their travels, ideas and cultural elements circulated with the same fluidity as commerce. Like the Romans, we Americans have used our technology to build a sprawling infrastructure of ports, railroads and interstates which serves the strength of our economy and the mobility of our society. Yet as significant as these have been, they pale beside the potential of the Internet. Almost overnight, it has made sending and receiving information easier than ever. It has opened a vast new marketplace of ideas, and it is transforming commerce and culture. It may also revitalize democracy. “Wait a minute!” you say. “You can’t compare the Internet to the Roman empire. There’s no electronic Caesar, no center, controlling how the World Wide Web is used.” Right you are — so far. The Internet is revolutionary because it is the most democratic of media. All you need to join the revolution is a computer and a connection. We don’t just watch; we participate, collaborate and create. Unlike television, radio and cable, whose hirelings create content aimed at us for their own reasons, with the Internet every citizen is potentially a producer. The conversation of democracy belongs to us.

Read the rest here

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October 18, 2006 - Posted by | Current News, Uncategorized

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