Gage Skidmore



Net Neutrality: Corporate Censorship Is State Censorship

Organized protests are taking place against the Trump administration’s goal of dismantling net neutrality, which will enable the powerful plutocrats who rule the United States to severely limit the ability of Americans to share anti-establishment ideas and information online. The United States of America is not a democracy, nor a democratic republic, nor a representative democracy, nor a constitutional republic, nor any combination of the above. America is effectively a corporatist oligarchy, according to a Cambridge University-published study conducted by Princeton University Prof Martin Gilens and Northwestern University Prof Benjamin.

Since the Supreme Court has slowly made it legal for the billionaire class to fully control the US government by legalizing corporate lobbying and campaign funding in a way that undeniably amounts to legalized bribery (see 1976’s Buckley v. Valeo, 1978’s First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, and 2010’s Citizens United v. FEC), America is now ruled by the wealthy and the people who serve them as surely as a monarchy is ruled by a king or queen.

Ending net neutrality in the name of letting the Magical Free Market Economics Fairy sort things out in an unregulated system, as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has been advocating, only makes sense if you live in a fictional America that isn’t ruled by a small group of plutocrats. Since no American lives in a country wherein ordinary citizens can influence their government in any meaningful way, this cannot possibly be the case.

The US is a nation whose entire government is ultimately answerable only to the owners of enormous multinational corporations and banks, which means that deregulating the ability of those plutocrats to control internet communications is the exact same thing as allowing state censorship. It’s easy to get lost in the smaller battles and partisan politics, but when you zoom out and look at the big picture US politics can accurately be described as the slow, suffocating process of robbing the American people of power and giving it to the plutocrats while preserving the illusion of democracy. This new bid to dismantle net neutrality is just one more of the many, many steps that have been taken over many generations to allow this to happen.

Net neutrality is an obstacle for US oligarchs in that it hamstrings their ability to manipulate web traffic away from information which challenges their rule. By dismantling an independent internet, the ever-growing media conglomerates who provide internet services will be able to choke off smaller independent sites by slowing them down with an unaffordable fee for faster service, which will put fewer eyes on dissenting online media. That may be all they need to do to strangle the media revolution, which for the first time in history caused America’s unelected power establishment to completely lose control of the narrative on both ends of the political spectrum in 2016.

The internet has been causing many problems for the ruling class, who up until very recently were able to use the consolidated legacy media they own to manipulate and control the way Americans think and vote. Last year, saw a populist candidate named Bernie Sanders nearly secure the Democratic party nomination while openly using the word “oligarchy” on national television and speaking out against the billionaire class. Then the official preferred candidate failed to win the general election. This all happened because the American people were able to use the alternative media, social media and WikiLeaks to form their own narratives about what was happening in their country.

Now, the oligarchs were never afraid of either Sanders nor Trump; subsequent events have shown that the US power establishment has been able to push those two individuals around pretty effectively. What they feared, and continue to fear, is the way the people broke out of their corporate media brain boxes and started fighting to take power away from the oligarchs and give it back to themselves. If they lose the ability to manufacture the consent of the governed using their media propaganda machine, they will be unable to govern, and people will use their insurmountable numbers to overthrow them by whatever means.

I feel very confident telling all of my readers that no matter where you are on the political spectrum, the dismantling of net neutrality is bad for you. Go to YouTube and watch some video footage of Ajit Pai right now. Ignore his words and just watch his face, listen to his tone of voice. That is not a sincere person. You can feel it in your guts. Trust that feeling. This former Verizon lawyer isn’t trying to dismantle net neutrality because he wants to help you; this former Verizon lawyer is trying to dismantle net neutrality because he wants to hurt you. He wants to take away your power and give it to the ruling class he serves.

Net neutrality was one of the very few victories the American people were able to secure for themselves prior to last year, and they need to fight for it. It will be a challenge, because the ruling elites want the internet as loyal to pro-establishment narratives as they can possibly make it, but it’s worth fighting for. Don’t let these creeps take this away from you.