We Need to Challenge Our Feudal Internet
We have not used the net to promote the kind of peer-to-peer economy that challenged feudalism in the 1100s and 1200s.
We have not used the net to promote the kind of peer-to-peer economy that challenged feudalism in the 1100s and 1200s. People had been living for a thousand years as surfs under the lords and they finally developed local currencies and crafts and traveling merchants and they started to develop an economy. And for a century people were getting wealthy and having fun and working less and getting healthy and women were getting tall and men were getting tall.
The problem was, the aristocracy was getting poor because they had always depended on having everybody else just working for them. So as the middle class, the hated bourgeois, arose, the aristocracy, the lords, had to figure out a way to crush them down. So they came up with massively centralized processes like centralized currency and centralized banking and chartered monopolies. They made it illegal to do peer-to-peer exchange, to do peer-to-peer business. They had wars, they killed people, there was blood. They made printing presses, but said "No, your town is not allowed to have a printing press -- only the court can have one." So they enforced by the sword centralized control and monopoly top-down control over processes.
Now we have a net where we have the possibility for peer-to-peer exchange or peer-to-peer value exchange for decentralized business to begin. And we are, once again, repressing that in pretty much every way we know how. And that’s for a lot of reasons. But as America in particular becomes more and more robbed of its ability to retain value, as America comes to realize that it has outsourced everything, not just its work, but its investment and its borrowing and its savings, the people here will start to think, "Wow, we’ve got to somehow liberate ourselves from these transnational corporations that don’t respect our ability to create value and to retain value and to live fruitfully."
So it’s going to be interesting, but once we do that, that’s when we’ll realize, "Oh, the Internet could be used for this..." The internet could be used to trade, it could be used to innovate, it could be used to connect us with other people. It’s not just about promoting seven or eight huge corporations.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
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A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
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When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.
- When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
- When this phenomenon happens in the pharmaceutical world, companies quickly apply for broad protection of their patents, which can last up to 20 years, and fence off research areas for others. The result of this? They stay at the top of the ladder, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
- Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation the same as product invention. Companies should still receive an incentive for coming up with new products, he says, but not 20 years if the product is the result of "tweaking" an existing one.
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