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Ideology and Policy A paper concerning Democracy, the History of Economics and Anarchy. April 2000 The internet is a new and developing technology that embodies an
absence of centralized control but an infinite economy. It is a global virtual public space that provides a forum for trade, debate and a place to question authority. It creates an arena, allowing for direct participation in public decision making processes, as well as access to almost every jurisdiction in the world. The policies that regulate the internet will help to build and shape this new medium. The application depends rely on of as basic law to new on fact policy about situations and technological legislative our social
innovations regulation democracy.
considerations, the nature of
initiatives and socially desirable pragmatic results. The policy aspects of assumptions organization such as the role of the state, the promotion of capitalism and
The internet is a sophisticated technology of ideas and it will be tailored to fit the ideological mould from which it originates. Its regulation will reflect what ideas we prefer and what limits we require that mould the shape of an emerging media while conditioning our contact and communication with each other. There are many competing ideologies pressuring the internet to conform to specific standards of regulated interaction. The internet poses a challenge to traditional modern regulatory assumptions, a challenge that sometimes is put forward under the rubric of anarchism. Internet regulation law will be responsible to legislate a balance between competing ideologies and reflect the extent to which these ideas are blended, supported or denied. The final shape of the internet will reflect either a response to open debate over various ideological conflicts in democratic international forums, or will be the result of global conformity to a unified standard brought forward under the pressure of economics. The seeming impossibility
of regulating a multi-jurisdictional international space forces us to reexamine our many basic beliefs, such as if we should regulate at all, what should we be regulating and to what extent? Throughout this paper, the interplay between technology, ideology and policy shall be used as criteria to examine the possible solutions proposed and the merit of of the internet history regulation. of two Primarily achieved through an and examination competing ideologies, economics
anarchism. The hope is that by understanding more about these competing ideologies and proposed regulation solutions for the internet, a more sound comprehension of the shape the internet will eventually form and the impact that shape will have on us as users will become apparent. This paper will discus topic such as the role of the state and and
sovereignty, media studies. This analysis shall be done in the context of providing insight for comments on the legal issues of privacy, criminal and tort law, copyright and trademark law, domain names issues, e-commerce, the use of cryptography, and the apportionment of internet service provider liability.
Originally constructed to promote a military agenda, the very form of the internet seems to suggest a recipe for the growth of decentralization, direct democracy or anarchy. Yet at the same time it offers the possibility for a more efficient, centralized, effective commercial space. Unlike most other forms of communication, the Internet has no fixed physical location, central control and level point network of or permanent is intelligence. widely and Instead, all stored each information equivalent management distributed, control. All allowing work
remote entity to be in charge of its own area. Each such entity has an authority, priority together according to a common set of technical rules and standards. The Internet is becoming an increasingly prevalent medium for personal communication and an essential means of commerce. As this virtual space increases in size so do the unfortunate by-products of fraud and crime. Ever more business deals (ranging from simple purchases of goods to complicated
contracts) are done on the net, but it also provides a new medium in which to defame or infringe copyright.
Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, The Extensions of Man. 1964.
Marshall McLuhan was a media analyst as well as an English professor at the University of Toronto. He built on and extended the ideas of preceding works by Harold Innis. (Innis, The Bias of Communication, 1951.) McLuhan's media analysis demonstrates the importance of the role and impact of media on our social and economic organizations. "We become what we behold, we shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us." This general idea relates as much to the development of Papyrus as it does to the printing press and the internet. For McLuhan, the common striving of mankind is a search for innovative solutions to ease the labour of our bodies and transcend space and time. Stone is hard to move but lasts a long time. Cars move faster and serve to replace or extend the reach of our feet but only last a few decades. Typography developed as a landmark media extension of our oral culture, and electricity (the medium of the internet) resembles an extension of mind and impulse itself. Electronic media transcend the barriers of space and time into the realm of the simultaneous virtually defeating the limitations imposed on us by space and time. The internet is potentially permanent and mobile. A culture dominated by typography tends to be rational, sequential, linear, authoritarian, while a culture dominated by electricity is similar to a pre-literate society and resembles the oral tradition, non-sequential, mythological, simultaneous, and non-authoritarian. "It is the medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action." According to McLuhan, the history of social organization is controlled by media and driven by technological inventions. Every new technological development in the uses of media result in a new organizational state structure. This idea suggests that accompanying the technological development of, for example, papyrus, Rome was able to extend its reach and form an empire relying on the power of the medium of paper used to organize, count and record inventory, stock and population census. The greater flexibility of papyrus over other organization mediums, such as
bead counting or stone carving, created the ability to form and govern a larger political organization then had ever been possible before. Similarly, McLuhan posits that the development of the printing press created the ability to form the modern nation state, with accompanying letterhead and propaganda, as well as creating ideas focused on limiting the power of the nation state, such as the libertarian ideas of "individualism," and "sovereignty." want Today, to public the sector government of and private sector corporations harness benefits increased organizational
efficacy gained from the power of using the internet. "It is the the business fate of of of mass media to sell nature so products." of mass This quote itself and
prophesises from the
attracts commercial activity and it seems inevitable that it will suffer deluge advertizing motivates many influential important market decisions in our communities. But whether this medium will be used in a "hot" active aggressive way, or a "cool," passive manner, remains unascertained. Businesses are flooding online, scrambling to use the advertizing potential of the net and create web pages that expose "surfers" to their sponsors. Plenty of activity on the net is motivated only by the profit motive. In the context of understanding media, if McLuhan is correct in
asserting that we become what we behold, an increased pressure is placed on questions of internet regulation as we decide or do not decide, how to regulate and structure this medium.
Ideology and the Shape of the Internet
The internet as a technology demonstrates characteristics of
democracy, capitalism, and anarchy. It allows for absolute control by groups or individuals of specific preferences, but independently people can make choices as to what type of technology or use of technology they support; a full broad spectrum is created of various diverse solutions or creations, this spectrum can be represented by Internet Service Providers. The internet represents decentralized decision making power. Anyone anywhere can create a virtual public space where they can make all the
newsgroups, or web pages. This freedom is accessible only within the market system, so long as the user can pay for the resource. The decentralized aspect of control is chaotic and anarchic. It is a collection of multiple individual spheres of sovereignty that effectively prevents single party control within what will hopefully become a large democratic arena of debate, and a large global market. At the same time, the internet technology is built for and under the pressure of economic incentives and controls, conforming within a free market capitalist system which promotes the centralized conforming tendencies of economy and efficiency.
Legitimacy and Public Decision Making Policy
We generally accept the notion the that the persons of within a
authority for activities within that border. The "consent of the governed" implies that those subject to a set of laws must have a role in their formulation. Similarly, allocation of responsibility among levels of government
proceeds on the assumption that, for many legal problems, physical proximity between the responsible authority and those most directly affected by the law will improve the quality of decision making, and that it is easier to determine another. In general, comity reflects the view that those who care more deeply about and better understand the disputed activity should be able to determine the outcome. the will of those individuals in physical proximity to one
Democracy and Constitutionalism
Democracy in Canada is closely associated with ideas of
constitutionalism. In the Quebec Succession Reference of 1998, the Supreme Court of Canada tells us that the Constitution "embraces unwritten, as well as written rules." The constitution of Canada includes the global system of
rules and principles which govern the exercise of constitutional authority in the whole and in every part of the Canadian state. Legality and legitimacy are linked, in our constitutional history and the basic division of powers in ss.91, 92 of the Constitution Act 1867, is the primary textual expression of law, of respect federalism for principles. The evolution the of Canada's of constitutional arrangements are characterized by the adherence to the rule democratic institutions, accommodation minorities, insistence that governments adhere to constitutional conduct and a desire for continuity and stability. Underlying constitutional principles may in certain circumstances give rise to substantive legal obligations having full legal force. Keeping in mind that federalism was arrived at as a compromise between the federal and provincial governments, so that the provinces may retain independence and autonomy under the Crown, a central government was formed representative of all provinces and entrusted with authority only in affairs in which they all had a common interest. The concept of democracy requires that the provincial legislature and federal Parliament are elected by popular franchise through representative and responsible government, and that everyone has the right to vote. However, democratic institutions rest primarily on a legal foundation under the rule of law. It would be a grave mistake to equate legitimacy with majority rule, to the exclusion of other constitutional values, such as accommodation of minorities. Democracy requires a commitment to discussion. The principle is of constitutionalism requires on that all government the action comply with the Constitution, the rule of law, and the law. Constitutional government necessarily predicated the idea that political representatives of the people of a province have the capacity and the power to commit the province to be bound into the future by the constitutional rules being adopted. In this manner the Constitution acts as a safeguard for fundamental democratic human will rights of and to individual succeed freedoms. goes only An so expression far as to of the Quebec confer
legitimacy on the Quebec government to initiate a Constitutional amendment process in order to secede by constitutional means. The conception of Canada that the Supreme Court holds out to us is based on four constitutional principles underlying the constitution of democracy of and Canada - federalism, democracy, constitutionalism and the rule of law, and respect for minorities. It is an ideological blending
Parliamentarianism. Unspoken or unrecognized in the Quebec Reference is the strong link between parliamentary democracy and capitalism. Canada is best described in the ideological terms as a form of Democratic Capitalism. Our constitution represents a marriage between democracy and the unwritten rules of capitalism. These ideas define our nation state core values.
Democracy, Equality, and The Rule of Law
"We are all equal under the law." This famous phrase, formulated by Dicey, relates to equality of legal rights only. However, enforcement of those rights is dependent on the resources and the ability to pursue effective remedy. Canada promises legal equality, but does not support any kind of actual equality, equality of resources. Although in Canada, unwritten economic policy favours resource
equalization payments to the poorer provinces, our democratic capitalism goes only so far as to establish voting rights, constitutionalism and the rule of law, and legal equality. This is probably because equality of resources is in direct contradistinction with ideas of capitalism, which is premised on inequality of resources. Capitalism suggest that only through the threat of deprivation can we motivate a general population into production and feed them with the wage system. Divisions of labour and resources are essential to the competitive model that allocates resources. Democratic capitalism is itself almost an oxymoron, positing material inequality among legal equals. Capitalism is at best a blended aristocracy and meritocracy, even within a constitutional framework. Democracy devoid of constitutional ideology expresses itself best in ideas involving direct democracy (participation), liberty, and equality. The internet has the potential to demand more public participation. A democratic space that invites discussion and hearings which allow groups to participate in decision making processes, such as selecting content standards for ISP's, and choice of secure e-commerce space.
Autonomy and Self-Rule
Marshall McLuhan claimed the printing press was the birth of the
nation state and individualism. With the advent of typographic reproduction, leaflets were printed containing the original treaties of the rationalist movement which began in the mid 1700's, in the days of Voltaire and culminated in the works of Rousseau and John Locke a century later. In the liberal theories of people like John Stuart Mill and Locke, theories were formed around ideas of "individualism," "sovereignty," and "autonomy;" concepts which developed in classical economic terms in ideological opposition to excessive state control. "Self-rule" was preferred as an efficient allocation of market resources as opposed to excessive state authority. Ideologically, this presumed economic autonomy was in direct conflict with ideas of democracy. It denied material equality, the cornerstone of "sovereign equals" and "autonomous" participation, while depriving economic actors of "free will," by foisting on them economic pressures. Democratic ideas are founded on consensus building, participation and equality, not market pressure.
Computers and Economics
Perhaps the calculator was the advent of the first electronic commerce space. The ability to electronically record and compute transactions is a watershed in technology. The analysis of credit transactions that occur within virtual space will be a powerful economic tool to represent the choice of each individual and exert direct control over the market. The internet is the calculator writ large. That portion of commercial transaction which take place in virtual space will create new powers for people as well as have the potential to provide efficient delivery of goods and services. This customer centred conformity of virtual space has the potential to reflect a substantial proportion of individual or group spending preference, recorded in a statistical mathematical manner, and could be used to pressure market decisions and predict consumer habits.
Economists from the 19th Century would argue that we should allow the growth of e-commerce to occur strictly in the private sector. Economic theory trends suggest otherwise. A brief history of economic thought will be useful. The following information is from A History of Economic Thought by William Barber, 1967.
Beginning with the ideas of Adam Smith (An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 1750) and ending approximately with John Stuart Mill (1850's) the framework was laid out for classical economics. The analysis of wealth or economic growth began by focusing on
determinations of economic value based on the agrarian model. The three categories that created wealth were land, capital, and labour. These relate to value derived from the use of rents, profits, and labour.
The first ripple encounter by classical economics came from sources such as Karl Marx, around the 1850's. He focused on the disparity of equality between the various classes and proposed reorganization of the traditional economic model that divided people into landowners, capitalists, or labourers. Marx advocated the overthrow of the bourgeois capitalist by the proletariat labourer, and the confiscation of land under the centralized control of a Communist government. He also predicted that capitalism and the wage system would end in revolution because the mass of people, the labourer, would not allow the ownership of resources to be managed by the few, the rich, once capitalism ran its course creating a gulf of disparity between the rich and the poor.
Neo-classical allocates economics began around the turn of the century and
provided more analysis on the processes through which the market system economic resources. The application of supply and demand curves,
micro-economics and price theory help calm many of the disquieting aspects Marx created around classical economics. It accomplished this by ignoring the class division and working from the assumption of the existence of the "autonomous" rational wealth maximizer as subject for study. Alfred Marshall was a professor at Cambridge in the late 1890's. He created the notions of supply and demand being able to fix a fair price for the exchange of commodities in an industrialized society. These mathematical equilibrium curves assume that people act as rational agents pursuing economic ends. Another assumption required was formulated in Say's Law, which says that all income must be spent. Hoarding was seen as irrational, and the cause of a poor economic climate. The interaction of rational economic consumers and producers would create an equilibrium and fair price so long as premised on rational economic action seeking to maximize wealth. In this environment, market objects gravitate toward optimum value and use, wasting nothing. for Government waste, intervention inefficiency was and seen to bear of a heavy responsibility resources. The exchange neo-classical diverted in the the preoccupation attention from of with efficiency groups in production and society, and from while misallocation economic
focusing on the myth of the rational person as a conforming economic agent. Although Marshall himself warned against using this fiction as justification or explanation of other the than reality of economics, wealth, many which were based since on have considerations maximizing theorists
claimed that these models are like a mathematical formula that actually govern market situations and decisions. These ideas are strongly represented in America at the turn of this century, promoting free market laizze-faire principles based on individual initiative, and reward.
General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, 1932 Keynes represents the next change in economic theory and his ideas were created between the two world wars. His economics theory claimed that Laizze faire capitalism was inadequate to the increased problems of industrialized societies and that government initiative, hereforto seen as
implementation of anti-trust competition law. For Keynes, it is prudent to hoard as a hedge against risks of capital loss, in opposition deficit to Say's Law. Keynes also advocated times to deliberate artificially government spending during conservative
increase the demand for consumption. The idea is that by spending money on infrastructure, public works, or boondoggling, money spent will trickle down the line and benefit everyone by increasing consumer spending. These ideas are responsible for our current level of debt to G.N.P. ratio. A large part of Keynes contribution to economics was the determination of the G.N.P.
Economic Theory and E-Commerce
What is clear from the preceding is that the commercial nature of any transaction renders it justicible at common law. Transactions, facilitated by law, birthed by public and democratic The institutions, that are open to gave regulation by policy, or statute, just as much as open to review, by the courts and individuals directly. institutions originally legitimacy to exchange in the form of legal transactions should then proceed to regulate and ensure access, predictability, reliability while developing the overall growth of the service. In the 1990's economic trends have borne out that hoarding money
against future hard times is a good idea. Many governments resorted to using Keynes as a justification for increased spending. However, just as it is prudent for individual economic actors to collect capital as a buffer against recession, so to would it be prudent for our government to do the same. Only after a period of saving should deficit spending be contemplated as sustainable for short duration. Borrowing money to stimulate the economy eventually drags down future prospects because of large debt accumulation. This national public debt gets transferred to the provincial bodies as an attempt to create a national balanced budget. The provinces cut back and increase the debt load of municipalities, and municipalities transfer that debt load onto individuals
in the form of taxes and service fees. Individuals with large debt loads are not as willing or able to act in society as rational economic actors as they become merely slave-like, a labour pool, and the profit of their labour is never used except as debt and interest reduction. For example, the cutbacks in education in the early nineties created a large squeeze on the pocket books of university costs, students. In socialist leaning countries, actors. these Now educational institutions were used to serve the population at relatively low subsidized promoting rational democratic economic students graduate with a 40-70 thousand dollar debt to repay. In this way, Keynesian economics has supported increasing economic pressures on the mass of people rather than create an economic benefit. If the government ever does pay down its debt, the best thing it could do with the proceeds would be to reform not just tax law, but also debt law to alleviate this mass burden on the individual actors in our economy. One of the premises of economic manipulation is the relationship
between the total volume of capital in the market place and inflation. The relationship may be somewhat murky, yet in general, the amount of hard currency printed impacts on inflation rates. One recent development in our economic system is the creation of
private capital lending institutions. Although Ottawa controls the amount of hard currency printed, they have deregulated and lost effective control of the credit industry so as to gain leverage in the American market. It would be daunting to try and assess how much credit is used as an alternative to and expansion of our hard currency market. The great depression began when stock brokers attempted to call in outstanding accounts and found not enough real money to cover credit lent, this is a generalized account of the panic that created the great economic crash of the 1930's. With the advent of the internet and e-commerce, the extension of credit will be infinitely multiplied. In other words, credit systems and e-currency can increase the amount of available capital in the market, global or local, creating the potential that there will not be enough real money to pay it all back, creating the psychological factors is which that net bring economic in a market crash, forces The or the correction. increases Another alternative to match pressure
government to print more money to pay outstanding debt, yet this behaviour inflation the gain currency. internet facilitates a centralized global market, but economies thrive on growth and
expansion. I do not think it bold to suggest that Marx's predictions about the collapse of the market system are unfounded, they may just not have waited long enough for fruition
Anarchy and the Nation State
Nietzche said that a desire for Anarchy is rooted in ressentment. It is a reaction against something. Typically, that something has been the nation state. The Rationalists posited that the equitable just state would arise from the use of reason, and centralized authority. Rousseau and John Locke, their ideas continuations of the earlier philosophers from the likes of Hobbes and Macheavelli, charted out the means and ways of western libertarian abstract states that today are our inheritance. Torts, contract, property, legislation, education all have imprints of Locke's scientific rationalisms, a unique 19th century romantic illumination, if not illusion. Radical political reformers began advocating systems of anarchy as a
reaction to these rationalist constructions. Currently, in common parlance, the word anarchy is synonymous with lawlessness, an environment for the strong to beat the weak, it is only used as a term of disparagement. But this was not always the case. At one time it was a serious political ideology. Today it survives in various forms throughout the world, such as in a Quebec Public Interest Research Group as Concordia. A brief sample of their mission statement may prove to be a good example, "Most anarchists work toward a non-coercive, non-authoritarian society organized from the group up: one based on mutualism, self-management, direct democracy and free association. They envision a world where men and women are free and equal and have power over our own lives, bodies and sexuality; a planet where we cherish and live in balance with the earth and value diversity of cultures, races and sexuality; a place where we work and live together co-operatively." One of the common themes of anarchism is the need for a revolution. To an anarchist this revolution should take place at a personal level. It is a
personal change learning Concordia,
that creates from the
the conditions Quebec Public
revolution. Again, Research Group
"How we learn… Everyone has a wealth of skills and knowledge to share; we are all both teachers and learners. We become free and creative thinkers when we have the opportunity to critically discuss what we learn. Social interaction and co-operation are important to our education. Self-confidence is built as we are respected for what we know. Learners are empowered when we are encouraged to articulate our own concerns and become involved in our communities."
Anarchy is a history of pragmatic political ideas involving concepts of federalism and de-centralized power. It is a body of literature loosely ensnared under the term of Anarchism, including many divergent and contradictory points of view. It is similar in this way to the common law, in its ad hoc, piece meal application of principles and fact. Warnings against participating within a national state organization resound back to Greek antiquity. The ideas are very old, but its political history began in the middle of the 19th Century.
Pierre Proudhon is credited with being the "Father of Anarchism." His libertarian ideas involved advocating a form of sovereignty association in the guise of and a decentralized federalism. of Anarchism was presented for the as a of pragmatic solution to commerce and trade. Anarchism was to be founded on concrete practical solutions organized society mass people, a conscious attempt to avoid abstractions and self-created power ideologies. It was proposed that a tariff free environment would allow for
individual effort and needs to efficaciously guide the flow of material goods from union owned manufacturing centres to the people. The minimal impairment of the individual by the government was key to a cost effective environment, as least class intrusive difference. as He possible, coined the while eradicating "Property the is govern/governed refrain,
theft," and was most concerned with minimizing the role of authority in society to the maximum.
However, Proudhon did not advocate an absolute or extreme position but rather warned against utopianism, and absolutism as a kind of thought which fails to distinguish between concrete reality and abstract products of the mind. In The Federal Principle, 1852, Proudon sought to find a realistic pragmatic balance in political life between,
"Authority and Liberty, two principles which underlie all forms of organized society, on the one hand contrary to each other, in a perpetual state of conflict, and on the other can neither eliminate each other nor be resolved, some kind of compromise between the two is necessary. Whatever the system favoured, whether it be monarchical, democratic, communist or anarchist, its length of life will depend to the extent to which it has taken the contrary principle into account."
decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of the state. He labelled himself a practical reformer and saw the life of society as perpetual reformation, reform of which should go on unceasingly. The role of the federation was to reserve power for the citizen rather than the state based on free of association small-scale concepts. property. Proudhon He was in favour corporate of private of ownership opposed the ideal
individual ownership over large industries because workers would lose their rights and ownership. Property was essential to building a strong democracy through co-operative associations, like labour unions, but only as to empower the mass of people not to benefit the authority of the bourgeoisie. The ideas of Proudhon can be seen to have influenced the first anarchist revolution which occurred at the Paris Commune in 1871. Although anarchist thought after date was also used as an absolutist doctrine representing the demand "for every human being the right and means to do whatever pleases him." Proudhon's contribution to history is still reflected in politics represented by mutualism and federalist movements of today.
The Free Paris Commune of 1871
Anarchy first appeared in the modern western tradition in the middle of the 19th Century in France, the birthplace of democracy. It was an extreme leftist, pragmatic working class reaction to the construction and
establishment of the nation state, its accompanying distributive systems, and the slow pace of democratic reform. The Free Paris Commune of 1871 was the result of spontaneous civil disobedience and was established at the end of the Franco-Prussian war of 1871 in Paris, as a viable political solution to the current political agenda and as an alternative to paying war damages. It was a progressive democratic working class model of local political organization. The Commune took the form of decentralized federalism; demanding local union autonomy in a larger free trade zone, accompanied by the abolition of the state. Simply, the current day state was seen as an illegitimate usurpation of authority from the people by the rich propertied class, an authority that should be limited to the maximum extent possible. Seized of self-proclaimed sovereign power, the inhabitants of Paris began some modest reforms. The abolition of outstanding debt of rents charged during wartime, hold on all other debt. Educational reform such as divesting the clergy from the role of teaching and educational improvements such as the neglected education of women, founding a woman-only committee to provide guidance and direction. Elementary education for all people of both sexes. As well as labour reform and union ownership of empty factories not in use. A large part of the population became actively involved in public affairs. The upper aristocratic class composing the nation state had left many local workers and women disenfranchised from accessing political reform. Similar anarchic ideas influenced or independently emerged in many other populations such as in the states of China, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and Russia. The Commune began plans to eliminate the state in preference of a network of local negotiated agreements. The nation state implies power from the centre outward, imposition, the anarchists wanted actual people in communities to constitute their own
authoritative jurisdiction, or popular sovereignty, with elected delegates responsible and in touch with their community, with the ability to enter and exit federal arrangements. The anarchist hoped to improve living conditions and achieve the
emancipation of the labour force, and integration or disintegration of the wealthy extravagant urban upper-class, by calling for the abolition of the de facto national state. France, the birthplace of democracy reacted toward the Paris Commune by executing 30,000 anarchists. The defeat left the movement bitter. Anarchists, perhaps attracting extreme people, then began to advocate extreme acts, random bombings of state institutions became the means by which to begin the anarchist Mickael revolution. This revolution next resurfaces in Russia at the turn of this century. Leo Tolstoy wrote a treaties on Christian Anarchism and Bakunin, a contemporary and acquaintance of Lenin and Trotsky advocated anarchism and revolution as the only viable means of overthrowing the rich propertied capitalists who endorsed and composed the state and the state interest.
The Russian Revolution
Anarchism had its greatest influence in Russia with numerous groups involved in the revolutionary movement both before and during 1917. Revolution today seems extreme in any context but at that time
revolution was a response as pragmatic as it was rooted in the experience of the Paris Commune as the only way to overthrow those who were then guarding wealth and power. It was the survivors of the Paris Commune massacre who first strongly advocated random acts of violence toward state institutions as an anarchist policy, in order to spark the revolution. This was the idea that urged an anarchist to take a shot at Prince Leopold on the streets of Sarijavo and begin the first World War.
The Economics of Kropotkin. The Conquest of Bread.
Economics should be approached from the standpoint of consumption--of human needs. The needs of mankind should govern production, and the means of satisfying them with the least possible waste of human energy. According to Kropotkin, personal property should be abolished, the wage system, cash and credit discarded, and to the extent possible, all goods and services should be provided free of charge to all. Goods available in abundance should be available envisions without a limit; those in short supply to should be rationed. He and decentralized communist economics oversee production
distribution of necessities, in all their variety, not on the basis of position or productivity, but need, in a free and anarchist society. Many commentators dismiss anarchism as utopian, formless, primitive, or otherwise incompatible back with at the every realities stage of of a complex society. should Anarchists answer that history society
dismantle those forms of authority and oppression that have survived from an era when they might have been justified in terms of the need for security or survival or economic development, but that now contribute to -- rather than alleviate -- material and cultural deficit. The Republic of Socialism will be the government of industry
administered on behalf of the whole community, providing economic freedom for all, a true democracy.
Bakunin offered a critique of capitalism, and a in which authority and
(Marx) which was said to be one sided in its concentration on economic factors while grossly underestimating the dangers of social authority. Mark was centralist. Bakunin opposed centralism with federalism. Bakunin believed that representative democracy, or parliamentary
democracy, had found a way of gaining legitimacy through the illusion that some how the voters were in charge of running the system. The reality, he posits, is that the capitalist class is in permanent control. So long as the
great mass of the population has to sell its labour power in order to survive, there can not be democratic government. So long as people are economically exploited by capitalism and there are gross inequalities of wealth, there can not be real democracy. Economic facts are much stronger than political rights. No one can govern for the people in their interests. Only personal and direct control over our own lives will ensure that justice and freedom will prevail. To abdicate direct control is to deny freedom. To grant political sovereignty to others, whether under the mantle of democracy, republicanism, the people's state, or whatever, is to give others control and therefore domination over our lives. Work, the contribution of one's labour for the creation of wealth, forms the basis of political rights in the Bakunin's proposed anarchist society. rights. Those Others, who who live by exploiting violate others do not deserve political and by steal, voluntary agreements within
society, inflict bodily harm etc. can expect to be punished by the laws which have been created by that society. The condemned criminal, on the other hand, can escape punishment by society by removing him/herself from society and the benefits it confers. Society can also expel the criminal if it so wishes. Basically though, Bakunin sets great store on the power of enlightened public opinion to minimize anti-social activity. Why does it seem almost like Bakunin is describing various solutions to chat room liability here?
Anarchosyndicalists sought, even under capitalism, to create "free
associations of free producers" that would engage in militant struggle and prepare to take over the organization of production on a democratic basis. These associations would serve as "a practical school of anarchism." If private ownership of the means of production is, merely a form of "theft" and "the exploitation of the weak by the strong," control of production by a state bureaucracy, according to Bakunin, "no matter how benevolent its intentions, does not create the conditions under which labour, manual and intellectual, can become the highest want in life. Both, then, must be overcome."
Leo Tolstoy, The Slavery of Out Times, 1900.
Leo Tolstoy advocated a form of state organization around the ideas of a Christian Anarchism. He demanded the abolition of taxes, land ownership, and property, as a rejection of the wage system identified as a form of slavery, in order to free the bulk of human life from the laws maintaining serfdom and capitalism.
The Revolution Continues
After successfully fighting for the Russian revolution, the anarchists were expelled or executed by order of the newly formed and highly centralized communist state. The survivors and ideas next resurface in Spain in the 1930's and have prolific advocates as notable feminist Emma Goldman. It was the anarchists who first began the fight against fascism on the soil of Spain where they were defeated by the Italian backed Spanish Fascist Army of which Hitler was such a great admirer. There are still independent sovereignty associations in Spain today. Anarchism, although defeated in every revolution, again re-emerges in the form of a psuedo-hip counter culture revolution in Americans during the 1960's, with writers such as Martin Buber, and Noam Chomsky. However, by this time, the anarchist campaign to destroy the state by bombing random state targets and killing innocent victims, as espoused since the Free Paris Commune, created discussion a big black stain use the that deformed lexicon of any serious political Public Western listed attempting to anarchists today.
sentiment similar to the vehemence of our democratic public toward the likes of Timothy McVie demonstrates how easily terrorism attracts hate. liberal democracies and eastern communist states alike black
anarchist political ideas, and advocates, while smearing anarchist concepts beyond recognition. By the 1920's anarchy was mostly discredited and devoid of its political sensibilities and used as it is today, as a term of disparagement. A term representing the tyranny of the strong over the weak, which is exactly what the inferior militant anarchists claimed they were opposing by calling for the destruction of the nation state. It seems that anarchism was so feared by nationalist, and effectively repressed by public
opinion, that the nationalists were able to erase and malign the very word connected with even the concept of a stateless society.
Today paradoxically, federalism is a very popular form of political organization. In Canada, for example, some provinces would like to see more decentralized federalism or other forms of sovereignty association. Free trade zones and the elimination of borders are some of the goals of modern investment treaties. The MAI global trend demonstrates an unconscious use of anarchist although concepts states. thought it of It is as to applied benefit are to that used finance other than as a that and the international state the arena, the law abstract for creation,
corporation, sovereignty not a
International relations makers
anarchist ideas like free trade and sovereignty ideas, it is as if the pragmatic solutions offered fit well with reality, with what works well, and so anarchism cannot be ignored, no matter how vilified because it is founded in pragmatism. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations. Anarchism, the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. As to their economical conceptions, the anarchists, in common with all socialists, of who they constitute the left wing, maintain that the now prevailing system of private ownership in land, and our capitalist production for the sake of profits, represent a monopoly which runs against
both the principles of justice and the dictates of utility. They are the main obstacle which prevents the successes of modern techniques from being brought into the service of all, so as to produce general well-being. True progress lies in the direction of decentralization, both territorial and functional, in the development of the spirit of local and personal initiative, and of free federation of autonomous sovereign groups. Political organization should be the expressions of individual and group opinions, not directing centres which control people. Balanced rights of self-determination should be instituted, with the freedom to associate or not with larger political bodies. Anarchy is based upon the free federation of participants in order to maximize individual and collective well-being. The only end for which society is warranted in infringing the liberty of action of any individual is self protection. Power should be exercised to prevent the individual from doing harm to others, but that is the only part of his conduct for which he should be answerable to society. In every other way we should have freedom. Democratic ideology sustains the rule of law, strives for equality, and hopes to ensure that each individual is protected from the abuse of another, it is used to justify authority to protect legal and human rights. It gives people equal rights under the law. Anarchy on the other hand, gives people the power to decide. Democracy limits that power at the point it interferes with the power of others to decide. It seems to me of all the ideologies that blend best together, Democratic Anarchism seems to best match the qualities and ideological concerns of the internet.
It is no mistake that libertarian anarchists are attracted to the decentralized net. A place where authority has taken a back seat to individual choice, where coercive jurisdiction devices are circumvented by technology. The internet presents another opportunity for anarchy to raise itself from up off the dust where it has landed laid low since the beginning of this century. Legislative limits on the use of cryptography place limits on the authority granted to individual members in the community by the nation
limitations or autonomy of people? France and Sweden have their own language Windows systems. These
operating systems have been built without any cryptography capabilities, to reflect local laws, so if software is developed that requires cryptography, these users are unable to use it unless they copy and install an English Windows version including the cryptography technology. Businesses that use windows to encrypt legal secure documents will be unable to do business within the independent jurisdictions that have not conformed to a single global standard operating system, or in this case an incompatibility drawn between technology of different languages.
Privacy and Individualism
It thought could to be argued that privacy is an aspect in this of individualism. it is an
Individualism was created beside the printing press and western libertarian limit excessive state authority, manner abstraction. Privacy goes one step further. Privacy can be defined as the ability to be left alone on demand, but it requires resources, the wealth and luxury to own a place to be left alone within. Certain aspects of privacy are very attractive. It provides the space for reflection and soulsearching, inlooking, that helps develop individualism. Other aspects are more sinister, as privacy can be used as a vehicle for crime. Absolute privacy is an illusion created from the abstract illusion of individualism. However, "expectations of privacy" are not illusory. This relative concept is guaranteed by the Charter, for example, in rights to be free from reasonable search and seizure. Pre 18th Century traditional small human communities have never
included individual privacy rights as a dominate issue. The individual was always a part of a group and rarely alone. In our western society the opposite can be said to be true, the western individual has personal rights and not just group rights. Living in modern urban societies there a many people living alone. The rule of law itself is formulated in this western tradition with the implicit acceptance of individualism through Dicey's famous reformulation such as "Equal treatment under the law." The concept of
the individual perhaps rests within the traditional power structures of western monarchy, with the King as the first individual. With the advent of the printing press and Guttenberg's mass production of typography, many more voices sprang to life as individuals created what today can be called the cult of personality. In this context, historically, the emphasis on individualism was an important counter point to group or national conformity pressures. It seems to me that acceptance of individualism leads to privacy concepts which are absent in historical group dominated social structures. Many libertarians want absolute privacy on demand. However, the human experience itself suggests that privacy is almost a new phenomena in our social settings. It certainly doesn’t seem to be rooted in any sort of natural law or necessity, although it is implicit in the rule of law as a recognition of individual rights and obligations. Concepts of privacy in today's society are limited by expectation concepts, and so issues of privacy in law are more often than not resolved with the reasonable expectation of privacy test. I would suggest that this solution is a feasible working model from which to judge these issues as they arise in context. Internet privacy is a product of an ISP agreement. Consumer activity can be totally tracked and recorded, nothing is potentially private from your ISP provider. The only expectation of privacy on-line would have to come from an agreement with the ISP to not investigate or log your visits.
ISP Liability issues
Various forms of harassment, liable, fraud, and other "informational" torts and crimes may be committed on the Internet. Copyright infringement abounds on the Internet. When legal problems arise on-line, who should bear the cost of liability? Should liability lie purely with the individual or entity whose action, or failure to act, was directly related to the event -the so-called "bad actor?" Should it lie with individuals, organizations, or institutions that contributed to the injury or simply provided the "bad actor" access to the Internet?
anonymous, mobile and/or judgement proof. It is the ISP that while perhaps merely a conduit, has the deepest pockets from which to achieve judgement. ISP Liability creates a distinction between being in control of the material, or a publisher, and being the technological means that made the publication possible, merely a conduit. If the provider had control over the offensive or infringing material they can be held liable as the publisher of the material. If however, they do not have control over the content, and are merely providing the forum for someone else to publish infringing material, the ISP is not likely to be held accountable, or at least held to a lower liability standard, and is merely a conduit of the information.
Anarchy in a Digital Age
The internet takes regulation in many traditional spheres back to square one, and forces us to ask, should we regulate at all? If one cannot enforce actions against individual violators for copyright infringement or liable, should we spend any money legislating against it in the first place? Music and movies can be copied and redistributed for free over the internet, any piece of digital information can be electronically reproduced and easily distributed, this is anarchy. One could download any book, any program, any information for free from the net. In a multi-jurisdictional global space, how much can domestic law control information flow? This question is probably answered by counting how much money will be lost by intellectual property owners and their ability to effectively lobby. The state will have to balance the unlimited free exchange of information on the one hand, against the economic incentive, gain or loss, of the rights holder on the other. Information being exchanged for free, from one not-for-profit private individual to another, undermines the economy, the very wage incentive system which keeps industry rolling, it remains on the periphery of permissible legal behaviour. Some regulation espouse to that the economy or the internet Should the should free be free of of
information be limited by regulation as well? Should there be copyright laws on information, if information can be so easily copied? Should people have
economic ownership rights in intellectual property? Who will enforce these rights against judgement-proof abusers? Traditionally, to support economic theories, we protect anything that can be sold, or that provides profit, including names or a symbol. In an electric world of simultaneous users, regulating can become very burdensome, yet just because something is difficult does not mean the task should not be undertaken. Another area of law built up only to protect the economic well being of businesses is trade-mark law.
Trade Marks and Domain Name Issues
The sine qua non of Trade Marks and Trade Names is distinctiveness which can be expressed in symbol or language. TM's and TN's must be used in association with wares or services and be so associated with the wares or services that notice of the association between the mark or name is given at the time of transfer of property, service or product. Permitted TM's and TN's are limited only by precedent of distinctiveness. In Canada, to register a TM or TN requires that the word or symbol be, 1. Not primarily a name or surname. 2. Not clearly descriptive or deceptively misdescriptive of the character/quality/or place of origin. 3. Not the name of the generic wares or services in any language. 4. Not be confusing with an existing registered trademark or a prohibited mark protected for public authority, such as the Post Office or Canadian Olympic Assc. The Trade-Marks Act grants the right of exclusive use to the holder of the trademark as against the world, or as far as the jurisdiction, domestic and international, will extend to provide a remedy for direct, or deemed infringements of the same or similar marks. The Trade-Marks Act also protects against any depreciation of goodwill toward a product or service resulting from mark infringement. Beyond the Trade-Marks Act, historically, the common law tort of "passing off" has been used to protect a distinguishing mark. "Passing off" provides a remedy against using a TM or TN in association with wares or services that is false or misleading to the public. For example, making false statements to discredit a competitor, or
directing attention to wares in such a way as to cause confusion, or simply passing off, the quick switch, a misrepresentation of the identity of the seller. What is clear from the case law is that TM's and TN's will only be protected against someone using the mark in association with wares or services, as well they must be using the alleged infringing mark as a TM or TN in the normal course of trade. In ideological jargon the law protects a symbol or word to promote capitalism, but only against other capitalists, those endeavouring to promote the rational expansion of wealth and engaged in trade to do so. What seems unclear to me is the application of these principles to domain name issues. Obviously the domain name forum is an international platform and the Canadian Trade-Marks law may not represent the only ideas in trade mark protection, however Canadian law would set precedent that a distinction can be drawn between two classes of people, those using marks in the normal course of trade and those who are not. In this context analyzing domain name conflicts would suggest that trade marks can be enforced within Canadian jurisdictions against competing businesses but not against not-inbusiness private individuals not using the mark in association with wares or services. level is However, whether this distinction Name exists at the international a mandatory debatable. Current Domain Contracts include
arbitration clause that only gives conditional use of an IP address.
Democracy and Domain Names
The debate in the global arena becomes a forum for diversified debate by almost anyone. When so many people traditionally denied a voice are able to communicate with the aid of new technology, basic assumptions tend to be re-evaluated. In the context of trade marks law and related domain name issues, regular people can begin to question whether anyone should have a monopoly over a word in the form of an IP address? It must be asked if our law should be promoting corporate ownership over language typography as related to the internet at all. There is a distinction to be drawn between language used in an organic and oral form and the products made from language with the use of innovative
technology such as typography, the printing press, and the internet. If we are equal, as democracy suggests, no single sovereign can claim better entitlement over property rights, ownership of language, or the specific use of words. In this framework, who can presume to create a single source which will grant undisputed exclusive rights over the use of words in the form of IP addresses or online trade marks, for the benefit of commercial players? The internet as a forum for the expression of the mind presents
boundless IP addresses limited only by creative language choice, however its expression is restricted within a sphere of core "common" words. Policies requiring forced arbitration of disputed domain names, and legislation supporting corporate trade marks in the regulation of IP addresses, question the ownership of printed language, or even oral language, as represented in a soundbyte. Will words be subject to ownership if used for commercially reasonable economic means and ends? Is it fair for business to own the lexicon of typography, in association with wares or services, or the distinguishing guise of an IP address, at all, or at the expense of a private not-in-business individual? Domain name distinctiveness may create an infinite medium of expression, however in typography many words are common and belong to a frequently used core vocabulary. Will each of these common words be one day owned and exclusively protected in the domain name or trade mark realm limited only by oppositions and exceptions such as in the Trade-Marks Act or WIPO guidelines? If that becomes the case, lawyers will never run out of business in Trade-Mark litigation. They will become participants in ownership and property disputes within the medium of language, potentially fighting for the protection or use of each and every word in any language.
The democratic internet forum, poses who many questions make to regulators. What In a directwhose
benefit will eventually be best protected? Comparing different ideological ideals can serve to demonstrate general answers to some complex questions. If regulation carries the burden to be the guide of technology, and technology which once invented then impacts on the shape of our social institutions and structures, what will those policies embody?
This counter relation general
history are I and
political and economic ideologies, capitalism and anarchy, as two extreme points to interests who other the benefits internet service features. provider liability and think ideological historical
representations bring out the opposite of what might seem obvious. Anarchism ideology begins by establishing rules to monitor and govern our distribution economy in the hopes of creating material equality and autonomy. Free-market capitalistism suggests that rules governing economic corporate entities should be minimal, if any at all, at the same time technology is creating a more conforming single global market, the rules of which they want "laizze faire." This centralist private representation with power in control to of large international profit-oriented organizations working benefit
shareholders, excludes democratic and anarchist ideological world view. A blending and compromise between two extremes is often the better view. ANARCHY Ever reviled, accursed, ne'er understood, Thou art the grisly terror of our age. "Wreck of all order," cry the multitude, "Art thou, and war and murder's endless rage." O, let them cry. To them that ne'er have striven The truth that lies behind a word to find, To them the word's right meaning was not given. They shall continue blind among the blind. But thou, O word, so clear, so strong, so pure, Thou sayest all which I for goal have taken. I give thee to the future! Thine secure When each at least unto himself shall waken. Comes it in sunshine? In the tempest's thrill? I cannot tell -- but it the earth shall see! I am an Anarchist! Wherefore I will Not rule, and also ruled I will not be! John Henry Mackay.
Barber, William, 1967. A History of Economic Thought. Chomsky, Noam 1970. Notes on Anarchism. Innis, Harold. 1951. The Bias of Communication. McLuhan, Marshall, 1964. Understanding Media. Quebec Succession Reference, 1998. http://flag.blackened.net/liberty/
A link to various condensed articles on Anarchism.
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