One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
- 5G Wireless Makes Net Neutrality Even Dumber Policy - September 16, 2019
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- Localities Shouldn’t Be Dictating (Inter-)National Policy - July 17, 2019
Their idee de guerre? Progressivism.
Progressivism is a general political philosophy based on the Idea of Progress that asserts the advances in science, technology, economic development, and social organization, can improve the human condition.
I guess they chose those because “Great Leap Forward” was already taken – by China’s murderer-of-sixty-million Communist dictator Mao Tse-tung.
But with all of this focus of Progress and Forward – the Left is awfully anti-progress. And anti-science, anti-technology and anti-economic development.
And remarkably impervious to facts. It is not as if we haven’t yet seen how their approach turns out. We spent most of the 20th Century trying the Progressive model – and it was a titanic failure. How’s the Soviet Union doing? That German Wall?
Mao’s China tried Progressivism for a disastrous half century – and are slowly ceding to Reality. An unyielding Communist nation doesn’t become the world’s manufacturer.
Yet our domestic Progressives rigidly insist on plowing Backward. As we yet again saw after the D.C. Circuit Court threw out President Barack Obama’s illegal imposition of Network Neutrality.
Net Neutrality is Progressivism for the Internet – it guarantees everyone equal amounts of nothing. The Left made up Net Neutrality in 2003 – and has spent the last decade screeching that without it the Internet was perpetually on the verge of collapse.
All the while it has rapidly developed into a free speech-free market Xanadu. No human endeavor in history has grown bigger or faster than the World Wide Web. It is perhaps the single greatest example of what happens when you keep the Progressives and their government out.
Keeping the government out of the Web is exactly what Congress did the last time they addressed tech policy – with the1996 Telecommunications Act. Note that Net Neutrality was invented seven years after the Act – meaning Congress couldn’t possibly have called for the government to impose it.
Congress in the Act did say that the Net was so nascent and so new – it should be left alone. As always, amazing things happen when the government leaves things alone.
Progressives watched this unfettered growth – and grew increasingly freaked. They tried to come up with any story that would engender any support for an Internet regulatory hook – so that they could then being reeling it in. Thus Net Neutrality – about which an avowed Marxist proponent said:
“At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies. We are not at that point yet. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”
How very Hugo Chavez of them. Shockingly, Net Neutrality never caught on with the American people. Before the 2010 election, 95 Democrat candidates signed a Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) pledge in support of Net Neutrality – all 95 lost.
So immediately after that very anti-Net Neutrality election, President Obama’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unilaterally imposed it. Verizon Communications sued – eventually leading to last week’s ruling.
The Progressive response? Go back in time to 1934 (and even before) – and illegally impose landline telephone regulations on the Web. The government regulates the daylights out of landlines – so Progressives want the government to jam the Web in there too. Which would allegedly allow them to reimpose Net Neutrality – and tax the Net, and….
This move is called Reclassification.
“The time for excuses and delays to the FCC doing its job and completing the (re)classification proceeding before it has now ended and I, for one, look forward to an end to both the heat and the open question of the FCC’s authority.”
Gigi Sohn was the President of the Media Marxist outfit Public Knowledge when she wrote this – in August 2010. Where is she now? Working for Obama-appointee FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Where the Reclassification rule-making process is still open for imposition.
Instead of going back to the Great Depression and imposing those fabulous policies,…:
Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich) and Greg Walden (R-Ore.) say it’s time to bring the 1996 law, which governs the nation’s communications networks, into the 21st century.
So the Republicans are proposing progress – and the Progressives want to go Backward seven decades.
We can write a new, updated, forward-looking, free market law – or Michael J. Fox our way back to the Depression and crush the Internet with a huge, antiquated, completely inapplicable regulatory superstructure.
I know which one I choose. Forward!
[Originally published on Human Events]