The Pilgrims Would Oppose Net Neutrality?

from the i-mean,-once-they-stopped-worrying-about-surviving dept

There are extremely good reasons to worry about any net neutrality legislation, as we’ve seen that once the telcos got involved, what came out was really a telco wishlist, rather than anything to actually preserve the key end-to-end principles of the internet. However, that doesn’t mean that the principle of “net neutrality” is bad. It’s not. There are very good reasons why the internet has been, and should remain, “neutral.”

And yet, in the fight against the legislation, it’s really amazing how many ridiculous, ignorant arguments are made. For example, a bunch of folks have been sending over the news of some religious talk radio host decrying net neutrality, because it was “wicked stuff” that the Pilgrims wouldn’t have wanted.

It is a principle of free market. That’s a Biblical principle, that’s a historical principle. We have all these quotes from Ben Franklin and Jefferson and Washington and others on free market and how important that is to maintain. That is part of the reason we have prosperity. This is what the Pilgrims brought in, the Puritans brought in, this is free market mentality. Net Neutrality sounds really good, but it is socialism on the Internet.

That’s wrong on so many levels, you kind of have to marvel at just how wrong it is. A neutral network is not “socialism.” For the most part, it’s what we have today. And, seriously, getting rid of neutrality is the opposite of a free market. It would be about the telcos taking all of those government granted subsidies they’ve received over the years, and using them to put up tollbooths on parts of the web. That’s not about the free market at all. It’s regulatory capture in the extreme. But, you know… the pilgrims. They sure would have hated net neutrality.

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Comments on “The Pilgrims Would Oppose Net Neutrality?”

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Chris Rhodes (profile) says:


I’m completely opposed to net neutrality regulations, but calling net neutrality socialism is just stupid. Socialism has become the go-to bogeyman for the right, used whenever and wherever you need to quickly demonize something without providing any rational argument (much like saying the name “Koch” gets lefties frothing at the mouth uncontrollably).

It’s just sloppy debate tactics. Oppose net neutrality because it’s a government band-aid over a government-created problem. When our corporate-owned politicians give increased powers to unelected faceless bureaucrats in clueless, backwards government organizations to try and evade the fact that governments across the country have stifled competition in the sector, the end result is not likely to be in the best interest of consumers anywhere.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Gah

How exactly did the government create bandwidth throttling for selected sites, networks, and technologies?
I’ve always been leery of this entire fight. Yes, the companies own their networks and can therefore do what they want with them. On the other hand, many of the lines that they use are publicly owned. I tend to fall slightly on the side of regulation, because of this and because too many ISP’s are the only provider in their area. If we had competition in the sector…

Oh, yeah. Didn’t Jesus and his disciples pool their money communally, as in communist? And didn’t he chase the money-changers out of the temple?

Chris Rhodes (profile) says:

Re: Re: Gah

How exactly did the government create bandwidth throttling for selected sites, networks, and technologies?

The conversation that never ends:

NN Supporter: “ComCast is throttling BitTorrent! The government has to do something!”
Me: “If Comcast is throttling a protocol you want to use, why stay with them and not simply go to another provider who would be happy to have your business?”
NN Supporter:“I can’t! ComCast is the only ISP in my area!”
Me: “You know, I’ve never heard anyone say I kind word about ComCast. Odd that no other companies are stepping up to fill the void.”
NN Supporter:“Not really, because the government cut deals with ComCast to keep out other . . . oh.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Gah

The Jesus part is the worst part.

Jesus wasn’t anti-tax. Give to caesar what is caesar’s.

Jesus was for taking care of the guy who hasn’t had many breaks. What you have done unto the least of these, you have done unto me.

Somewhere along the way, Christianity got hijacked by right wingers. These things sort themselves out over history, but right now, “American Christianity” is very often just a political viewpoint tied together with a bible and a cross.

The church is supposed to be the body of Christ, and the body of Christ is big enough to allow a few sociallist and communists in.

Some Christians may need to remember that the Bible tells us over and over about redistributing wealth to take care of those who don’t have anything.

The rich young ruler walks away sad because he can’t give up his wealth to the poor. This should be a terrifying passage for any American Christian with an above average income. Instead, we spend our time saying that if we had a free-market, those poor people could pull themselves up, just like Jesus really wanted.

Chris Rhodes (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Gah

Don’t forget the old testament Year of Jubilee, where everything was supposed to reset ever 7 years. I don’t even think the ancient Israelites practiced that one.

The rich young ruler walks away sad because he can’t give up his wealth to the poor. This should be a terrifying passage for any American Christian with an above average income.

Eh, is wasn’t specifically about being rich; it was about a person’s unwillingness to put God ahead of everything else. Jesus could just as easily have asked the guy to give up his stash of pot or his propensity to frequent brothels, so long as that was what remained in the way of his devotion. Jesus just happened to guess that this particular guy’s true hangup was his wealth.

el_segfaulto (profile) says:

Re: Gah

I have to ask, why exactly do you oppose net neutrality? Turning ISPs from content providers to dump pipes seems like something anybody should be able to get behind. If we don’t see some sort of regulation soon we may come to the point were we have to pay an extra $5 per month for youtube, $5 for Skype, $1 for Facebook, and $10 for Netflix. This would be akin to a utility company charging you more for watering your lawn than for taking a shower (per gallon). I’m generally opposed to government regulation, but trusting the ISPs/megacorps to do what’s best for the consumer is even more naive.

Liquid (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Gah

No it’s not the governments letting mega corps the ability to screw the end consumer by creating mini-monopolies. It’s that Mega Corps. are paying off the government to look the other way. If they weren’t getting money from big business you know they wouldn’t let that happen. Would be just like back in the 90’s when they broke up M$. You know if bill gave some money to them that they wouldn’t have gripped about M$ have 100% of the market share.

Just my 2 cents on that.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

No surprise

ridiculous, ignorant arguments
religious talk radio host
That’s wrong on so many levels

Those things always go together.

I’m amused about the Jefferson reference coming from the host, though. Jefferson was unquestionably an atheist, and because of that there’s been a movement among the religious nutjobs to remove and de-emphasize him in school textbooks.

TDR says:

Re: No surprise

Citation needed, please. Atheists have always tried to appropriate different historical figures as sharing beliefs that they never actually had, just so their ideology can be shown to supposedly have more support than it actually does. Not one of them, to my knowledge, has ever admitted that the First Amendment’s restriction on the establishment of religion also includes the religion of no religion, aka atheism. An atheist without a theist is, in actuality, just an “a”. Sad that you have to define your worldview by what you are not, rather than what you are.

TDR says:

Re: Re: Re: No surprise

Actually, no matter what you call yourselves, you’re still defining yourselves by what you are not, not what you are. And “freethinker,” for instance, is not really appropriate because if one truly was a freethinker, one wouldn’t arbitrarily eliminate certain viewpoints as having any truth just because they make one uncomfortable.

NotMyRealName (profile) says:

Re: Re: No surprise

“The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.” Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

“Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.” 1787 letter to his nephew

“But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State.” in a letter to S. Kercheval, 1810

Perhaps not athiest – but very certainly anti-christian

known coward says:

The pilgrims would have been against net neutrality

The point, while silly and completely irrelevant, is correct.

The pilgrims would have hated net neutrality. The pilgrims would have hated the net in general. The pilgrims were not about freedom. The only thing they wanted was not to be hassled for practicing religion their way. They were not about giving you the freedom to practice religion your way. (see roger Williams or the salem witch trials).

The interwebs would be a large den of iniquity to them (something they would have been right about), but while I personally like a good den of iniquity, cotton mather and his ilk did not. It was either the pilgrims way, or ?she is a witch burn her burn her. . . ?

The free market mentality was those pesky libertines ?the dutch? who were down the Hudson river, and were an affront to all that is good and decent in the new world.

Think of the children.

Frost (profile) says:

As for free markets...

… there have never been any free market, and there never can be. It would implode instantaneously without there being a regulatory body like the Government to ride herd on the worst atrocities that the banks and businesses would commit in the total absence of regulation.

A regulated market isn’t a free market, it’s just another atrocious way to distribute resources that leads to today’s society – 1 billion people starving, one child dying every five seconds, wars for conquest everywhere (America is in three of them at the moment)…

Net Neutrality was the rules of the road for decades on the Internet before it became a fad expression, and it has been largely contributing to the Internet becoming what it is. Once you remove it, you inevitably get companies trying to maximize their profit instead of maximizing the utility of the Internet.

David Tacheny (profile) says:

The Bible - Free Markets

The Bible? REALLY? Hmm the early church lived in communes and really where quite socialistic. I am not saying that Socialism is mandatory for Christians specifically government run socialism is always a bad idea from my perspective. But self governed kibbutz ( like communities are very biblical. As Christians we need to share our resources more with each other.

And that is even making the lame assumption that NN doesn’t support a free market … Wow, this guy is sooooooo wrong on sooooo many things …. Jesus needs new PR!!!!!!

Bleh says:

Everyone else has pretty much said everything there is to say about how ridiculous such an argument is, but I still have to say it:

Fuck the pilgrims. Fuck the puritans. They’re old and dead and gone.

They did what they wanted when they were alive. Now it’s our turn.

And when I’m dead, if anyone cites what I would have wanted to argue for anything as stupid as this, you can say, “fuck you,” to my corpse too.

AntiDerp says:

Right of Way.

Companies that depend on neutrality; right of way (spectrum too) really shouldn’t be attempting to play semantics, along with those who parrot their propaganda.

It’s really quite simple. No net neutrality = no right way. Why this core issue is constantly ignored baffles me?

Government; “Citizen you are required by law to grant effectively free access your property, also you also agree to not interfere with spectrum we sell. Without these sacrifices for the public good there would be anarchy.”

Telecoms with captured Gov stooges nodding their heads along side them are trying to spin that they should be able to discriminate access to resources that exist based off what was claimed to be necessary neutrality.

I can’t tell AT&T that if they don’t pay me for access to my property I will backhoe their heavily subsidized lines, that’s not legal. Why then should they enjoy the use of my property(and spectrum for that matter) and not be require to observe level of neutrality.

“Free Market” in this discussion ignores that right of way and spectrum interference laws exist. Where’s my “free market”, I would like to by a van and some radio equipment and sell my non-interference services and those who complain can just “free market” themselves an stronger signal, right?

TDR says:

Just to refute the claim made here, Jefferson was undoubtedly a Christian, as he himself said on more than one occasion:

?God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God? That they are not to violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.? ?- ?Yes, we did produce a near perfect Republic. But will they keep it, or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the surest way to destruction.? ?- Thomas Jefferson

?So irresistible are these evidences of an intelligent and powerful Agent that, of the infinite numbers of men who have exited thro? all the time, they have believed, in the proportion of a million at least to Unit, in the hypothesis of an eternal pre-existence of a creator, rather than in that of a self-existent Universe.? ?- Thomas Jefferson

?I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with His providence and our riper years with His wisdom and power, and to whose goodness I ask you to join in supplications with me that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures that whatsoever they do shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.? ? Thomas Jefferson

?To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others.? ? Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh, ?Writings of Jefferson,? Vol. X, p.380, letter to Benjamin Rush on April 21, 1803.

The Devil's Coachman (profile) says:

Who listens to these drivel spewing "preachers"? Oh, that's right! Assholes!

Once I clicked the link to the report of the actual douchebag who uttered these imbecilities, I realized immediately that no sense or meaning would ever be made of his vacuous bleatings. What a punk-ass lamer he is, and the slack-jawed morons who fund his idiocy are in the same boat with him. They’re all six or ten chromosomes short of being capable of thinking. Feh!

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