Excuse me sir but that word “Liberty,” I don’t think it means … what you think it means.
Some good comments:
If net neutrality is lost the internet will turn into a handful of walled gardens, controlled by Telcos similar to cable TV. Its already hard enough for startups and businesses to thrive and a variety of voices to be heard, without phone companies having the power to decide what content is given more bandwidth and what is not. Since Rand Paul endorsed Romney’s candidacy, the Paul’s seem to have taken a shift towards the corporatist agenda. They can’t genuinely believe that the large corporations of America represent the free market principles they claim to believe in.
The reality is that via their lobbying the large corporations of America do everything they can to avoid free markets and to gain as much power over the markets they operate in, as possible. So to say now that massive corporations represent the principles of the founding fathers, which are best expressed by allowing telcos to control access to bandwidth is an either utterly ridiculous or extremely naive on their part.
To come out as say what they have, plays right into the hands of those who want to destroy the power of the internet. Net neutrality is the one thing that is causing governments to have to watch what they say and do these days. What chance will all the activists who use the net to fight for rights and freedom have of being seen or heard if Net neutrality is lost. The Pauls claim to be for freedom and liberty, but their policy on Net neutrality would destroy the very means of maintaining economic and political freedom that the internet has become.
Any principle taken to far can lead to absurdity. Including the principles of free market economics. Checks and balances are always needed and it is the role of government to establish them. Net neutrality enables the balancing of interests and internet resources, that makes the genuine application of free market principles (as opposed to corporatism) possible in the age of the internet. Remove Net neutrality and you kill both free marketing capitalism and the possibility for open and informed democracy. Net neutrality should not just be a law. It should be added as an amendment to the U.S constitution as it is such a fundamental enabling factor, in the pursuit of life liberty and happiness in this information-communication age.
The Pauls claim that Net neutrality law means too much government is control of the Net. But the truth it is the existence of Net neutrality that gives people more power to control government and corporations. Large corporations fear that this growing internet mediated people power, will soon restrict their freedom to exploit the masses and monopolize markets. Which is why so many corporations want to remove net neutrality. It seems the Pauls are now playing a facilitating role in delivering the internet into the hands of corporations, under the cover of the libertarian principles they espouse. If end of net neutrality would be the beginning of the end of liberty.
I completely agree with Paul Henry – unregulated freedom as the Pauls want society to be has a huge bias towards those who already have the gold and gives way too much power to corporations who are not elected and have no checks and balances from the people (other than to shop elsewhere in some markets – but not all – I only have the option of 1 ISP since they are the only company that services my area, for example, because the other companies are true to their pocketbook – their primary goal is to make money for the lucky few who are upper management or investors and it is not cost effective to service us, so my choice is one company or no internet). But, even when we had a choice, free markets without regulation create abuse of employees, abuse of civil liberties, and the horrid “trickle down” scenario that leaves the scraps for the bottom. What the Pauls propose is not free capitalism as it is in pure definition or as it would have been 200 years ago, but in a society with such a huge division of wealth such as ours, and with a system where the wealthy make the rules, such as ours – it is dangerous hyper-capitalism that will only lead to more poor and suffering overall and even heavier fat cats. IMO of course.
— Mindi Upchurch · University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
For all their talk about “freedom,” libertarians have always treated it less as a fundamental right than as a plaything to be used primarily by the wealthy and powerful. The rest of us, well, it’s not that they don’t want us to have any at all, exactly–they just want us to wait our turn, until after the big boys have eaten, and maybe if we’re lucky there will be some scraps left over on the table for us.
To the Paul dynasty, it’s entirely natural that “freedom” would be something that is to be enjoyed by AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon first and foremost. Meanwhile, the rest of us can enjoy the glorious “freedom” of visiting those websites that happen to have signed exclusive deals with whichever monopolistic bandwidth provider happens to serve our area. That ought to be enough “freedom” for anyone, right?
— Paul Henry
Oligopolies are more dangerous than goverments. If oligopolies are unchecked they can end up as today; owning and operating the governments AND the media AND energy distribution AND telecommunications AND Health Care AND the Judiciary AND the Universities AND the schools AND the land, AND the Military
–Robert J. Berger, Chief Technology Officer at Runa Inc