The state soon after presented – as it did with 19 century land-grants to the railroads – the internet to the market, whose privatization would generate the tax revenue that the state could never create on its own.
It is unclear why Mc Chesney believes that the state needed to be “corrupted” – Congress “is under the thumb of big money” – in order to make this self-serving decision.
And while Mc Chesney cogently discusses capital’s zero-sum game with labor, this understanding does not adequately inform his proposal of a government voucher system as a means to subsidize journalism.
The internet has never existed apart from state exigencies; and though these exigencies can be varied and fluid, it takes a liberal leap of faith to assume that the well-being of its subjects is one of them.
By contrast, Alexander Galloway’s Protocol, focusing on the military origins of the internet, shows that, as Eugene Thacker writes in the introduction, “control has existed from the beginning.” Rejecting the ubiquitous metaphor of the internet as a “network,” Galloway shows how the internet’s governing protocols (Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol) distribute information horizontally among different computers while, at the same time, the internet’s Domain Name System governs internet addresses through vertically regulating this horizontal information.
Advertising on the internet also initially presented an obstacle to both websites in need of funding and advertisers seeking ways to sell to users.
Whereas three television networks were originally able to exert relative leverage on advertisers with few other options, the internet’s profusion of websites has decisively shifted the advantage to the advertisers, forcing a surfeit of revenue-hungry sites to compete with one another over relatively scarce funding.
fees, or personal data in this case) are effectively extorted via the isolation and inconvenience (some jobs require Facebook membership) of exclusion.
Seeking “‘enhanced surplus extraction effect’ – that is, the increased ability to fleece those walled within…
While the original aim of copyright protection was to encourage production through ensuring incentives, present-day media corporations, Mc Chesney continues, benefit from what are in effect “government monopoly protection licenses” in perpetuity, halting production, competition, and creativity while generating artificially high prices for consumers.
Nothing since 1920 has been added to the public domain, as media companies, rather than the artists they claim to protect, are guaranteed “rent” via copyright-cum-monopoly protections decades beyond the life of the artist.
The benefits of connectivity are inseparable from a new dependency and vulnerability created by state and corporate power’s capacity to disconnect whomever it chooses.