Kiss Your Internet Good-bye.
By Servando González
Copyright © 2003 by Servando González
In a short, but forceful article,
Peter Sparacino pointed out that constitutional tools are no longer
valid in our losing battle against a government out of control,
rapidly becoming a totalitarian dictatorship. According to Sparacino,
neither the ballot box, nor the jury box can be used to stop its
advances -- not even the cartridge box. The only thing left to
fight back, he states, is freedom of the press.
But, as media critic A.J. Liebling rightly expressed, freedom
of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one. Though in
theory the opportunity to own his own printing press was open
to every American citizen, in practice just a few, and lately
only the very rich and powerful, were able to own one.
Granted, the media monopoly was never total, and many small presses
proliferated, but the big ones, later joined by the network TV
channels, just played the game, giving the false image of independent
thinking. But suddenly, less than ten years ago, a technological
breakthrough changed the rules of the game in a radical way, bringing
about what media guru Marshal McLuhan envisioned more than thirty
years ago: the global village. This revolutionary new medium is
The Internet is a totally new type of communication medium that
has changed our lives. It allows for easy, fast, and cheap exchange
of ideas in an optimum way. Thanks to the Internet, owning your
own press is as cheap as $20 a month. Almost anybody can afford
As soon as the people realized the power of the tool they had
in their hands, many began using the Internet not only to gather
the information they wanted, but also to become themselves providers
of information. Sites offering the most surprising, contradictory,
interesting, and useful information mushroomed, soon to be followed
by many offering not-so-useful, in-your-face, sometimes disgusting
or plainly gross content. But, even with its nasty aspects, the
Internet radically changed the way most of us get the daily news.
Initially, the powerful media giants, both in printed and TV form,
ignored the Internet as a curiosity or a passing fad. But sites
like the Drudge Report, NewsMax, or WorldNetDaily,
just to mention a few of the most successful, soon began attracting
more and more readers, while newspapers like the New York Times,
the Washington Post or the Los Angeles Times began
losing theirs. Soon after, the big TV networks experimented their
own dramatic loss of viewers.
Faced with the strong, unexpected competition, the media giants
joined the Internet bandwagon, but they were in for a big surprise.
Contrary to the traditional printed media and TV, where money
plays a cardinal role -- only the very rich can afford to hire
the qualified personnel and promote and market the product --
the Internet seems to be a pure product of the human intellect.
As the extraordinary success of the Drudge Report indicates,
most people don't visit a site because it has a fancy design or
is professionally made, but because it is a place where they can
find provoking, non-mainstream ideas that make them think; exactly
the type of thinking they were not able to find in the orchestrated,
self-censored mainstream media. Consequently, a site made by a
housewife right from her kitchen in Hot Springs, Arkansas, or
by an almost unknown journalist from his home office in Oregon
or Florida, can compete on equal footing with the New York
Times. This is exactly how extraordinarily successful sites
like the Drudge Report and WorldNetDaily were born.
Like the Colt .44 in the Old West, the Internet became the great
But the people who control the media monopoly were not going to
see their power challenged without a fight. After their initial
skepticism and scorn, and their failed attempts to extend their
media monopoly to the Internet, they began a subtle process of
infiltration. For example, I was surprised when, in June, 2001,
the notorious Alexander Haig Jr. joined NewsMax's advisory
board. It is probably only a coincidence, but lately NewsMax
has become a sort of mouthpiece for the Republican Party and an
uncritical provider of the Bush administration's propaganda. Its
most recent no-brainer is a "boycott France" campaign.
I stopped visiting the site several weeks ago. On the other hand,
if only half of what I found in this article
is true, perhaps NewsMax's problems have deeper roots than I thought.
There is a saying in Latin America: "A los periodistas
se les paga o se les pega." ("Journalists: you buy
them or you hit them.") I don't think it is much different
here. I expect that after some unsuccessful attempts to derail
some of the most succesful sites, just to bring an example, the
media powers will try to buy them. But, even though I don't think
it would be easy for them to do it, and they may resort to strong
arm tactics, the bottom line is that, because of its inherent
characteristics -- the Internet is an off-shoot of the Arpanet,
a military communications decentralized nodular network designed
to survive a full scale nuclear attack on the U.S. -- the Internet
is uncontrollable. It is a Hydra of innumerable heads.
They can keep buying and coercing people and eventually may get
control over the most successful Internet sites, but other people
will come forward, and their sites will rapidly become extremely
successful. The attempts of the media monopolists to control the
Internet the way they managed to get control of the printed press,
the TV channels, and, most recently, am radio, will never be successful.
Currently, they are extremely concerned about such a powerful
tool in the hands of the American people. The Internet has become
a growing obstacle to their plans.
Therefore, what will they do? Very simple: They will destroy it.
The only solution to solve the Internet's growing challenge to
the media monopoly is to shut it down and throw the key away.
How it will happen? One of these days, out of the blue, the Internet
will be used for launching a devastating terrorist attack on the
United States. Somehow, this cyberattack will cost the lives of
scores of American citizens. In order to avoid more damage, the
government, putting to good use the recently approved anti-terrorist
laws, will shut the Internet down and ban the use of the Internet
as we know it.
But most government agencies rely heavily on the Internet. How
can they function without it? No problem. The replacement already
exists; it is called Internet 2, reportedly a consortium being
led by more than 200 universities working in partnership with
industry and government to develop and deploy advanced network
applications and technologies, accelerating the creation of tomorrow's
Internet. But, contrary to the deceptive techno-babbling rhetoric,
Internet 2 is nothing more than a controlled Internet, similar
to the one currently in place in totalitarian countries like China
Internet 2 will be fully controlled by the state. In order to
access it, or to have e-mail access, you must be a member of,
or be affiliated to, any of the government-authorized organizations
and have a sort of security clearance. Internet 2 will be out
of the reach of the general public, and every person trying to
have unauthorized access to Internet 2 will be charged with terrorist
activities, and severely penalized
The unavoidable fact is that the Internet is incompatible with
a totalitarian system of government. Therefore, either we are
a bunch of delusionary paranoids, and what we see happening in
this country is only a figment of our feverished imagination,
and, consequently, the Internet will not be banned, or we are
right, and it will disappear. Actually, the disappearance of the
current free Internet will serve as a litmus test that will accurately
mark our final loss of freedom.
The banning of the Internet, the cancellation of the Second Amendment
rights, and the closing of our borders -- not to stop illegals
from entering the country, but to stop Americans from fleeing
it -- in exactly that order, will be important steps in the implementation
of this evil plan.
In the meantime, hope for the best, and enjoy the Internet while
Servando González is a Cuban-born American writer.
Among his most recent books are The Secret Fidel Castro: Deconstructing
the Symbol and The Nuclear Deception: Nikita Khrushchev
and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Currently he is working on Fidel
Castro Supermole, the second volume of a trilogy he is writing