Theft, or post-capitalism?
About twenty years ago one of my college housemates, Jerry, had an idea.
“What if you could send music over the internet?”
This was the age of 2400 baud modems that made crazy high pitched noised while they tried to connect to the internet. My 20 megabyte external hard drive for my MacPlus computer had set my parents back about five hundred bucks. High quality digital audio files were about the same size as they are now (about ten megabytes per minute of audio). In other words, I couldn’t even fit a single digital audio track on my expensive hard drive — I worked exclusively in MIDI.
So I forgive myself for my lack of vision at the time. I thought Jerry’s idea was ridiculous, and I let him know. Digital audio files were way too big, bandwidth was way too narrow. It would never happen.
Jerry persisted. What if a music file could be compressed? What if bandwidth increased? He pointed out that it would change everything about the way music was distributed, maybe even the way it was made.
Posted in Alternative Economics, Culture Rant, Music, Utopian Speculations
Tagged 3D printing, civic wealth, end of capitalism, energy co-op, fascism, free distribution, free software, means of production, open source, open source ecology, open source economy, P2P, peer to peer, scarcity, SOPA, Star Trek replicator
" Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy." -- Benito Mussolini
Historically, prolonged extreme concentrations of wealth and outrageous income inequality tend to play out in two ways:
1) Violent Leftist/popular revolutions, such as the French Revolution, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and the Russian Revolution.
2) The rise of a Fascist state, as the elites use “fear of the other” to gain support for policies that suppress freedom and democracy, and increase coercive control of the impoverished masses. Fascism never rises without support of the elites.
In the United States, with its strong pro-capitalist institutions and values, we’re more at risk for fascism than we are for violent Leftist revolution. There are strong currents of popular fascism in the racist, xenophobic blatherings of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. More and more our lawmakers are controlled by corporate interests. Disturbing incidents where police and military are used against U.S. citizens are on the rise.