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.
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Venezuela is an official Socialist Utopia disaster area. (It would be nice if Team Bernie Sanders and his Democrat cohorts were paying attention – but who are we kidding.)
The United States State Department issued a travel warning back on September 18 (which still appears to be in place). The news, meanwhile, is chock full of horror stories for the people of Venezuela – the victims of full government’s inexorable conclusion.
With Socialism, you end up with just about nothing of everything – except government. There’s always plenty of that.
If you think $170 hamburgers are expensive in Government Xanadu – imagine how expensive “free speech” is. A government run amok – that has ruined its nation – can not allow its people to discuss said damage. So you get:
Venezuela: Research Confirms Censorship of News Platforms, Currency Websites: “A recent study conducted by the Institute for Press and Society (IPYS) in Venezuela has confirmed that at least 43 different websites are being blocked in the country, shedding new light on the filtering practices of the Venezuelan government. The research focused on documenting incidents surrounding web access and net neutrality, zeroing in on the treatment of national networks during the 2015 elections.”
Wait – what? There’s that U.S. buzz phrase – Net Neutrality. We here have been incessantly told that Net Neutrality has nothing to do with content control and government censorship. Venezuela’s government would seem to disagree:
“In 90% of cases, the websites in the study were being blocked consistently across all five of Venezuela’s largest ISPs. All appeared to constitute some violation of the notoriously broad Law on Social Responsibility on Radio, Television and Electronic Media, suggesting that the websites were blocked in compliance with an administrative measureunder the aforementioned law. More specifically, the Institute inferred that the websites are considered to promote disobedience of the law, disavow authorities, or ‘foster unrest’ within society.
Sounds pretty Tea Party-Conservative to me. Here, Net Neutrality will end up being the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – for the Internet.
But we knew all of this before the Barack Obama Administration power grabbed the Web – because one of Net Neutrality’s biggest proponents said so. Behold college professor and avowed Marxist (please pardon the redundancy) Robert McChesney:
“Any serious effort to reform the media system would have to necessarily be part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system itself.”
“There is no real answer (to the U.S. economic crisis) but to remove brick by brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles.”
“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 him. Speaking of, Professor McChesney was a big fan of what Chavez was doing – and Venezuela continues to do.
“Venezuela is a constitutional republic. Chavez has won landslide victories that would be the envy of almost any elected leader in the world, in internationally monitored elections.”
“Aggressive unqualified political dissent is alive and well in the Venezuelan mainstream media, in a manner few other democratic nations have ever known, including our own.”
Ummm…not so much. In fact, Professor McChesney loved Venezuela’s first forays intoshutting down dissenting media:
“If (critical of Hugo Chavez Venezuelan station) RCTV were broadcasting in the United States, its license would have been revoked years ago. In fact its owners would likely have been tried for criminal offenses, including treason.”
Not yet here, Professor McChesney. But our Net Neutrality is new – give it time.
Venezuela’s head start is not one to emulate. But that’s exactly what we’re doing.