"PERHAPS the sentiments
contained in the following pages are not yet sufficiently
fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit
of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial
appearance of being right, and raises at first a
formidable outcry in defense of custom. But tumult soon
subsides. Time makes more converts than reason."
Thomas Paine, Common Sense ......
AN ABUSE or misuse of power
generally calls into question the right of anyone to hold
power. The allegation alone provides just cause for an
if we find the allegations are valid, we can reject
private efforts to usurp rights naturally vested in the
public domain. We can take power away from the power
The good people of our world are
grievously injured by an absence of genuine democracy
governing any new mode of cultural communication
influencing our communities. Regarding the Internet, we
have a natural right to inquire into the governance of
the interactive mass medium massaging our mentalities.
Now an investigation is demanded by controversy over
proposals for managing Internet expansion. Will autocracy
or democracy rule? How does this effect us
Many circumstances have and will
arise that appear local and yet are universal.
Interactive media networks already are producing a
measurable impact upon our world, sending out ripples
like a stone tossed into a pond, or, sending out cultural
tidal waves like a boulder dropped into a bathtub. The
Internet affects us all.
Calling the question of Internet
governance now concerns everyone to whom nature or
nature's God has given the power of feeling alive, and
the common global sense to see the depths our
interactivity here on network earth. The cause of a
democratic Internet is the cause of humankind.
In discussing this matter, for
democracy's sake, may we wisely avoid anything personal
among ourselves, for compliments and censure provide
diversions. We might play personality politics, pretend
being right matters more than being real, but we're all
in training, so why be distracted from the historic
issues surfaced by recent events? Questions of power
remain unanswered. What will be the nature of network
governance in our interactive world? Shall our Internet
be governed by a private committee, or shall open
democracy govern global communication?
What say you?