Friday, January 20, 2012

MIGHT We Agree After All???

Online activists triumphant as Congress buries anti-piracy bills - The Hill's Hillicon Valley

Lots of folks in congress supported this bill on both the right and the left -- both MN Senators, and Marco Rubio were sponsors.

People on BOTH the left and the right on FB were adamant in opposition.

Here is my view on WHY:
1). The internet is very precious to both the left and the right, AND the idea of "government control of speech" is a huge fear of both sides.

2). What one had to do to support the bill was to trust government AND to some degree corporations to do the right thing. The left doesn't trust the corporations and the right doesn't trust the government -- so we agree on stopping it, just for somewhat different reasons.

3). On both the right and the left, the high regard for free speech on the internet changed the "calculus". The normal corporate supporters realized that the natural caution of corporations would likely make them overly restrictive if there was a CHANCE they would come under legal jeopardy if copyright material was found on their sites. The normal government supporters thought of government bureaucracy, paranoia and incompetence and their scale fell down hard on the side of "keep your hands off my internet".

So where might we go from here?
1). Realize what happened!!! People that we normally argue vehemently with were in complete agreement --- maybe not for precisely the same reasons, but it is MUCH easier to "see the other side" from a position of agreement rather than opposition.

2). Think about this in different areas. It we think that corporations (especially big ones) are likely to be overly cautious when faced with laws in THIS CASE, why do many think so differently in other cases??? Are the characteristics that we worried about from the government ALSO valid in healthcare? Spending money prudently? Making decisions on wealth allocation?

3). Perhaps we actually AGREE on "smaller" for BOTH government and corporations??? It is actually true that both go together -- big corporations work to influence government, and the bigger the government, the bigger the corporations that are best suited to influence and "partner" ("collude"?) with it.

EVERY human institution -- Government, corporations, sports teams, glee clubs, etc. is "flawed, fallible, self perpetuating ...." It IS NOT "one or the other" ... that best approach in nature and in human affairs is checks and balances.

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