Tuesday 24 December 2002

My Digital Strategy to Fill in the Memory Hole

I've been saying it for years, the Internet has changed the playing field and those stupid megalomaniacs don't even really realise it yet! The know something has changed as do we all, but this kind of change is so fundamental to how society operates that no-one can know what shape it will take until it manifests.


by Gary North

Every modern political regime's eschatological vision requires legitimacy in order to be sustained in the hearts and minds of the voters, who are officially identified as the sole agents of legitimacy. Without legitimacy, the regime will fall.

Here is the supreme problem for most modern political regimes and all empires, always: the degree of lying necessary to sustain the public's faith in the ability of a regime to deliver on its eschatological promises is far greater than the public is prepared to accept. If the lies are uncovered and then believed, not only is the regime's ability to deliver the future called into question, the legitimacy of the regime's eschatological vision may be called into question. Political survival therefore depends on the ability of the regime to keep the de-legitimizing truth from the public.

Into our world of flawed political eschatologies, systematic lies, and misplaced legitimacy has come the Internet – ironically, a physical infrastructure put in place by the United States Defense Department. The Internet got away from its inventors because of Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the address system that made possible the World Wide Web. Then came the Web browser, developed by a group of students at the University of Minnesota. Then came Netscape and Internet Explorer. "And the rest is history!" This, from the politicians' point of view, is the essence of the problem: history.

An international digital revolution – no other word suffices – is today verifying Hayek's theory of the spontaneous order. It is also undermining the efforts of various not-so-spontaneous orders. One by one, the Internet is castrating the bodyguard of lies.

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