Saturday, June 2, 2012
Eben Moglen: Why Freedom of Thought Requires Free Media and Why Free Media Require Free Software
I urge you all to listen to this amazing, truly visionary, presentation by Eben Moglen, one of the most knowledgeable and savvy defenders of freedom of our times. To be honest, I find his arguments very disturbing, because he brilliantly shows that our society and our technology are truly headed in the wrong way, and because I find it very believe that this can be stopped. But maybe it can? At hte very least, the more people will truly understand his arguments, the longer we can resist.
Just like George Orwell showed in his book "1984" how thought is dependent on words, so does Moglen show that modern thought is dependent on media, which itself is dependent on the technology which runs and, really, defines it.
The biggest problem underlying the current lack of freedom on the Internet is that it was really primarily shaped by capitalism and its single, all-consuming "value" or goal: greed.
Originally, of course, the Internet was a designed military product, then as a scientific one, but nowadays the Internet is seen by those who control most, though not all, of it, as a money making machine.
To make things worse, New World Order Fascists like "Evil Joe" Lieberman are acutely aware that he and his likes will not succeed in their long-held dream of lobotomizing us all as long as we can simply ignore their massive corporate propaganda machine and simply use what remains, for the time being, the only truly free mass media on the planet. This state of affairs is, of course, absolutely unacceptable to them.
So what is gradually being formed is an unholy alliance of, on one side, greedy capitalist money-makers and, on the other, what the Russian philosopher Ivan Illiin called the "world's backstage" (мировая закулиса). Many, if not most, of the time - these are really the same people, of course.
They corrupted our political system, turned our republics and democracies into plutocracies, they own our so-called "elected representatives", and they own our government, our courts and our executive. All the biggest corporations also belong to them. Our only blessing is that the Internet - being originally designed to withstand a nuclear war - was built in a very redundant and, more importantly, extremely decentralized way: a peer-to-peer architecture, something capitalists hate. And soon enough, they began replacing it with a far more dangerous model, a client-server architecture. At the same time, the Establishment also found the weak-link of the Internet: its main "access point": the Internet Service Provider (ISP). How so? Simple: once a person has access to the Internet, it is still practically impossible to limit his/her access to any other part of the Net. But now the "One Percenters" have figured out is that there is one point of entry were no anonymity exists and which is controlled by the capitalist corporate world: the so-called "last mile" where the user connect to the rest of the network.
Visionary hackers and lawyers, including Eben Moglen, of course, are already working on a counter-measure called the "Freedom Box" which aims at nothing less than to make the ISP and even telephone providers technologically obsolete.
But even if the Freedom Box is a success, and I believe that it will be, the very structure of the Internet as it is today puts our freedoms at risk, and this is what this presentation of Eben Moglen is all about.
I urge you all to watch it.
PS: I am also posting another presentation by Moglen entitled "Freedom in the Cloud" which explains the "Freedom Box" issue.