Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Internet and the Future for Liberty

Gary North has written an excellent article describing the revolution that has taken place in the last month.  The internet has enabled people to communicate as never before and it is what allowed the people of Tunisia to topple their government.  This has encouraged others to attempt the same, most notably right now in Egypt, but also in Yemen, Jordan and others.  All of the Arab states may be on the brink of revolution.

There is a competition going on in the world.  It is government vs. technology.  The real fight is between government and the people at large, but it is technology that is allowing people to fight back.  Technology has meant more information and communication than ever before.  It is information that cannot be controlled by governments.  This is the biggest enemy to government.

Governments can only exist when they have some kind of consent from the populace.  As this consent is withdrawn, governments weaken and will eventually fall.  Revolution does not require violence.  It requires education and changing the hearts and minds of people.  When enough people realize that the government is not only not helping them, but is actually hurting them far more, then the government cannot stand for long.

As Gary North indicates in this and other writings, technology cannot be stopped.  The increases in speed and new technology is like nothing we've seen before.  If you buy a computer today, it is faster than almost anything that existed just a few years ago.  The technology gets better and cheaper and it is at an exponential rate.

It is actually very difficult to understand the times that we are in.  I cannot fathom it.  We really don't know what our world will look like in 20 years.  Government is the only thing that can stop technology from continuing its dramatic increases (except for maybe a giant meteor or some other unknown).  But technology is what is allowing people to communicate and organize and thus de-legitemize government.  It is a race of big government and technology and technology is winning hands down.

I am pessimistic for the short-term prospects of the American economy.  All of the fiat money and government bureaucracy is bad for business.  It will have to correct at some point.  But the long-term outlook is actually quite good.  We cannot begin to understand just how much we will have in a couple of decades.  The internet revolution has been unbelievable in less than 20 years.  I remember I got my first email account in 1993.  There was no YouTube, Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, and millions of others.  In fact, most of these didn't event exist 10 years ago.

If you are ever feeling down about the prospects for liberty, just think of the electronics that exist today.  We are in a digital revolution, but most people fail to acknowledge the significance or that we are even in one.

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