Extraordinary times make strange bedfellows
By guy on February 29, 2008
My old friend Rory Sutherland’s column in the UK edition of the Spectator this week made for startling reading. Only the fact that I was in bed prevented some serious bruising.
It seems Rory, who only married his delightful wife because Mrs. Thatcher was already taken, has become a socialist. In his fortnightly column on technology he argued, quite rightly, that the power of the community is now more powerful than the corporation and, among other things, that hyperlinks destroy hierarchy. He concluded his piece by encouraging wikiers (sic) of the world to unite.
If that’s not communist talk I don’t know what is.
Marx always argued that socialism would come not to agrarian cultures first but to developed and industrialized nations because it was the only possible answer to the eventual crisis in capitalism. You can’t really blame Marx for the fact that so many nut jobs decided to inflict a totalitarian version of his theories on peasant societies before he could be proven right.
The defining tenet of socialism, that the means of production, distribution and exchange should be owned by the community as a whole, is probably the best description of the internet one can write.
Who owns the internet? We all do. Who holds the power? We all do. No hierarchy. No class. No borders.
Not Thatcher or Reagan or even Adam Smith seem so prescient as old Karl. Perhaps the only person it wouldn’t come as a shock to was Lincoln. After all, he talked about a government of the people by the people for the people in 1863. A mere 15 years after Karl published the Communist Manifesto.
It is clear to anyone with a conscience that untrammeled capitalism invariably breeds greed and corruption. It’s equally evident to anyone with a brain that putting a few fanatics in charge generally leads to misery and poverty.
The internet is the synthesis of a corrupt capitalist system and a dictatorship of the proletariat. It makes capitalists honest and destroys oligarchy.
Thesis. Antithesis. Synthesis. Pure Marxist dialectic.
Welcome, Comrade Rory.
Posted by guy –