About two weeks ago I wrote a post entitled "Anonymity" where the importance of being anonymous was discussed and what good can be achieved by a user not being know (of course I did also mention the bad parts as well). At the end of it [the post] I said I would write about the importance of the internet but I never got around to it...until now! So let's dive right in...
In our modern age where most everything we hear on TV is spewed out of the mouths of corporate fiends who don’t care about bringing us the truth, they only care about lining their pockets with money and people thinking for themselves is frowned upon and the masses are largely uneducated, we can be told anything and we will lap it up like a cat laps up warm milk (mmmm cheesy simile). The internet is a place for the open exchange of ideas that are not, cannot and will not be discussed and TV and without a free, uncensored internet, unpopular ideas cannot flourish.
Unpopular ideas are tremendously important because they give rise to great social and scientific change. For example the ideas of natural rights and human liberties were unpopular among the kings of England (ie the Magna Carta) but if those ideas were not shared, we would not have the “western” virtues we have today keeping in mind that our constitution is based of the ideas of the enlightenment. (Of course there was no internet nor was there TV at the time of the enlightenment but there were equivalents. The kings and their servants were the mainstream media doing what was only in their best interest and not caring about giving people new ways of living, and the philosophers were the internet. They brought new thought provoking ideas to the public whilst being scoffed at and/or despised by the upper classes.)
So if we look at our own culture, our own modern society we see roughly the same things we saw during the time of the enlightenment and the French Revolution. We see the big businesses sponsoring the media and only publishing what they know will help them sell a product or will keep a war going (the repeated us of the word ‘terror’ and ‘terrorist’ which I shall write about at a later date). We see the ignorant masses soaking up the garbage that is fed to them while they sit mindlessly on the family couch. And then we see the internet. In most modern countries there are minimal to no blocks on websites, information is free and unpopular ideas are passed around and expanded upon. They are changed and added to. They evolve. And this perpetual evolution of ideas is the foundation for our free society that without it would be plummeted back into the dark ages.
If the internet is censored then unpopular ideas can be silenced by one lunatic with his panties in a bunch sitting in a coffee room at H&M or Target taping his finger on a mouse. If it ever comes to that we cease to be a free society. We will be plummeted into the ages where the only ideas that were shared were ideas sponsored by the companies or the churches or the defense contractors. They will tell us what we want to hear and what they know will make us buy their product, contribute to the “poor” (I put ‘poor’ in quotation marks seeing as when you donate money to a church most of it goes to making the church bigger and better or it goes straight into the pockets of the preachers) or perpetuate wars that will cost the government billions of dollars to buy the weapons for.
Of course there are other mediums in which knowledge can be spread ie. Books, but the people of America, more specifically the youth, are reading less and watching more TV/going on the internet. So if the internet is censored, every outlet that the people of America use to get their information is clogged by the cancer that is big business and control of information. We must never let it come to that. In the coming days where net neutrality is being compromised remember that when you give a business power over knowledge they will abuse and we will be the victims. They will never limit their own power; we must limit it for them. They must be afraid of us. The internet must remain free.