Democracy and capitalism are flawed.
There…I said it. It took me a long time to accept that these theories were great for the forefathers of North America…but there are severe gaping holes that were created as technology and people have evolved since Columbus “re-discovered” the Americas.
Being taught in school that Columbus discovered the Americas and having that tune changed when it was finally accepted (not realized…it had always been realized, just ignored) that the Vikings had long since been to Newfoundland and Canada’s east long before Columbus.
Today, Wikipedia is protesting by blacking out its English version. Why?
The US government is looking at two potential bills. SOPA (which ironically means “shut up” in Greek) and PIPA. Good play on Wikipedia’s part that neither of those pages are part of today’s black out.
In essence, these two bills will create a witch hunt for the 21st Century in the United States. Under these programs, any website accused of copyright infringement would be shut down and investigated later…ipso facto, if you do not like the content on a site, claim copyright infringement and it will be gone until they can prove otherwise. Guilty until proven innocent.
Think about whom this hurts in the US. Silicone Valley, more than anyone else, which is one of the strong holds of American Liberalism. Suddenly, theists have a way to control the interwebs and “protect our children” from ideas they would rather keep them from hearing. Free speech would be dead on the internet. The US could become the worlds newest Christian state as the Tea Party right wingers shut down everything that they deem un-holy. Then, as the extremist Christians take control in the US, imagine where that military would start to push in order to bring Christianity…not democracy…to other parts of the world. Call it a hunch, but Canada, as one of the most atheist nations on Earth, would be on the hit list.
Those of us not in the US, let us not kid ourselves in that the US controls much of our web content. The internet, as we know it, would be devastated and social networking sites would be gone quickly.
I suspect the problem is that this is a baby and bath water scenario…if a website such as Facebook gets shut down because of “aiding copyright infringement”, everything good that site offers gets shut down with it.
Thus, I go back to my original sentence…democracy and capitalism are flawed. So is the concept of “intellectual property”. The problem here, now going above and beyond the scope of SOPA and PIPA is simple.
Capitalism is, easily, the best economic system…were there no corruption. There is corruption. Doubtful anyone would deny this. Capitalism, in theory, is the best, but when there are back door deals to stop competition along the way it has lost its footing.
Intellectual property is wonderful in theory…”it was my idea and you cannot plagerize it.”…but this is one of those holes that the aforementioned forefathers never would have thought of. Does anyone truly believe that Ben Franklin or Sir John A McDonald were thinking of protecting Beyonce’s millions? The constitutions of both Canada and the US were put in to protect the little guy from being under the thumb of the oppressor…not to protect the rich from missing a royalty cheque. Yes, that is my opinion, and I am certain Beyonce, Prince and Bryan Adams would beg to differ. We have lost sight of what is important on such grounds. On the idea of “intellectual property”, the only way I see around this would be for the artist/writer/whatever to get a one time payment when something appears. This would take the pimping book publishers, film distributors and record companies out of the current way of working things and, quite likely, drive these ridiculous entertainment salaries way down. Not to suggest this is even a good idea, or that it would work but, again, first thing that came to mind.
Then there is democracy…a voice for every potential voter to control where the country is going and bring about free debate. Again, without corruption, this seems like a good idea. One thought occurs, however, that makes me wonder, and I’m stealing this phrase, so SOPA and PIPA might shut my blog over this: Too many cooks… Take a comparison of how two Central American countries are doing and think about this…Cuba and Haiti. Cuba, under communism, is far from perfect but doing rather well when compared to Haiti’s attempts to hold democratic elections. Scary thought, but perhaps benevolent dictatorship is the way to go. The biggest problem is finding someone that the power does not corrupt absolutely.
Suffice to say, I have no real answers…just a lot of questions. Also, I truly believe that for my American atheist friends, your homeland is about to become a lot scarier.
I know I have gone a bit off the reservation this morning with this…but thanks for reading.