Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders is sounding the alarms about FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s decision to repeal Obama era “Net Neutrality” rules.
Sanders, an Independent Senator from Vermont and former presidential candidate on the Democratic Party ticket, delivered an impassioned plea on video.
“This is a disastrous decision,” Sanders said. “It will impact every American. It will give huge advantages to big corporations over small businesses, big media companies over smaller media outlets. We have to do everything we can to defeat this thing in the courts and defeat it legislatively.”
Net Neutrality is a complex issue and it is difficult for many sensible Americans to come to a strong consensus about it. Essentially, the Obama administration rule stipulates that digital traffic cannot be weighted or prioritized by Internet cable companies; this has ramifications for streaming services like Netflix and Youtube. Net Neutrality essentially states that “all data must be treated equally.”
It seems legitimate in theory… until you realized that the government is largely responsible for creating and protecting regional cable internet providers in the first place. As a Wired article rightly put it:
While popular arguments focus on supposed “monopolists” such as big cable companies, it’s government that’s really to blame. Companies can make life harder for their competitors, but strangling the competition takes government.
Broadband policy discussions usually revolve around the U.S. government’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC), yet it’s really our local governments and public utilities that impose the most significant barriers to entry.
In other words: More government control is not the answer. A more open market where individual consumers are empowered is the answer. This will maintain freedom of speech, even if that means many people will have to pay monetarily for their preferred services. It seems like a good trade-off, assuming that public libraries and schools get the local funding they need to provide needed educational tools.
This all boils down to the elephant in the room: If socialist Bernie Sanders desperately wants Net Neutrality, it’s for no other reason than he wants government control over corporations. But if it’s another thing we know about socialists, it’s that they never saw any form of government control over economy and society that they didn’t like.
Akin to the Orwellian book Animal Farm, today’s socialist may very well say that “all data are equal.” But he may be saying tomorrow that “some data are more equal than others.”
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