Re: cr> The Political Economy of the Internet: a new essay by Strangelov


Sender: •••@••.••• (Marilyn Davis)

> Sender: John Whiting <•••@••.•••>

> Cyberspace, however, is only a means of communication through which
> such forces can operate. In itself, it has no direct power for good
> or evil, unless one is convinced that, like Scientology, it exerts
> some sort of hypnotic influence. It cannot levy taxes; it cannot

Yes it has some sort of hypnotic influence!

And yes we can levy taxes.  It is *reasonable* for us to collect sales
tax on purchases made in this medium.  (Right now in California, there
is no state sales tax on purchases made by computer.)  Our tax can be
collected for us by the store-front software package (Netscape's
IStore, for example).  If necessary, we can enforce the tax by keeping
a database of which companies do and do not pay their internet tax.
If they don't pay, we boycott them.

> raise an army; it cannot prosecute in its own courts; it cannot hire

Let's hope an army never makes sense for us.  Let's further hope that
armies cease to make sense for the other states.

But yes, we *can* prosecute in our own courts, online.  I look forward
to seeing flameproof areas on the net.  We can enforce this by holding
online court.  (eVote can be used for this.)  I could bring charges
against a flamer and if there is measurable agreement among peers that
a particular post is on fire, we banish the author from the flameproof
parts of cyberspace for a month or so.

> and fire. In fact, it has none of the trappings of a global force

Sure we can hire and fire.  And we will when we have money.  We
prepare by developing the tools and skills necessary to deliberate
toward democratic decisions.

> which have been manifested by, say, the Vatican or the Communist
> International.

We've got it all.  We have the potential for more power than any
organization has ever had, more than the combined powers of all the
world's governments.  With some time and effort, we'll control the
world, not the other way around.  Don't spend your money on spaceships
yet :)
Marilyn                               *
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