"Freedom is not merely the opportunity to do as one pleases; neither is it merely the opportunity to choose between set alternatives. Freedom is, first of all, the chance to formulate the available choices, to argue over them -- and then, the opportunity to choose." ~ C. Wright Mills
The New Frontier
All of you reading this are in the vanguard - the first wave of troops in the world's next major battle arena. You are on the internet. You are one of the "early adopters," adopting new technologies and new ideas ahead of the majority. Your thinking is being changed and your world view is being radically altered. You may not know this - but it is happening all the same. In the "old" world, politics rules. The politics of envy. The politics of power for power's sake. The politics of right and left; Republican and Democrat; Conservative and Labour. The politics of the old world. The world of dinosaurs. But the internet represents a "new" world. A self-organising world without government - a world that poses a real threat to the old world. In this new world, people do as they please. They organise themselves (without being told what to do); they police themselves - to maintain the order required for things to work; they read what they like; they form opinions outside those proscribed by the mainstream media; they say what they like; they trade; they exchange goods, services and ideas - without bureaucratic interference. They live a life outside of imposed, involuntary government. This is a radical concept, and hardly anyone realises it. The internet is a tool for sure, but it is much more than that. It is a completely new way of doing things. A new way of organising things and a new way of dealing with each other - without the dead hand of the state. That's why the conventional media is obsessed with linking the internet (in the old world's public mind) to such things as pornography, violence, bomb making, death cults, drug trafficking and money laundering. They want to discredit it. They want to portray the internet as something dangerous - rather than liberating. To them, the internet represents anarchy. And that is true, for anarchy means "no government." It doesn't necessarily mean lawlessness - although that is how it is always defined. Anarchy is anathema to the status quo. That's why you always hear about anarchists "throwing bombs" and causing mayhem. But the media dare not talk about how well anarchy works on the net - how much gets done without the force of compulsory government behind it. This anarchy on the internet is a major threat to the old world. Just think back a few years - to before the Berlin Wall came down. Back then, in the days of the Cold War, information was something that governments had tight control over. Most countries had nationalised media services (like TV and even newspapers). The totalitarian ones (the Soviet Union, China, etc.), had sealed borders as far as information and news was concerned. The internet has abolished such controls. Information is in free flow - and the powers-that-be don't like it. Yes, the Chinese government is bending over backwards to control the flow of information. But even they know they cannot abolish the internet - but hope to control the content instead. They will fail. They are already failing. There are multitudes of ways to bypass the clumsy censorship attempts of the Chinese Communist Party. Even learning English achieves this! Sure, some of the information on the net is maybe worse than useless - thereby putting more responsibility on the reader to assess its truth or falsehood. But this is a good thing, not a bad thing. People should bear that responsibility, for if they do not, who will? What is happening on the internet has never happened before. We are seeing the birth of a completely new world-view, a new culture. We are seeing the true globalisation of the planet - not according to "one-world-government" views, or the "New World Order," but according to the self-interested actions of millions of independent human beings - all going about their business, and creating a revolution while they are at it. This is what's so remarkable. It is not a PLAN. It is not a conspiracy. It's chaos in practice. If Adam Smith, the great Scots economist and moral philosopher, was alive today he'd recognise the internet as the optimum example of his much quoted "invisible hand." In his book The Wealth of Nations, Smith claimed that within the system of capitalism, an individual acting for his own good tends also to promote the good of his community. In other words, when people are given free reign to further their own interests and ambitions, there is the unintended consequence of this also benefiting everybody else. The truth of this claim is proven each time you take a look at the real world. Take Bill Gates, for example. In his pursuit of his own dream and passion, he revolutionised personal computing on a grand scale. He delivered new tools to the masses in such a way that for a couple of hundred dollars, people were able to vastly improve their productivity. Take Steve Jobs of Apple fame. Not only did Apple's original Macintosh operating system become the inspiration for Windows, but Jobs has made a "second coming" with the huge success of the iPod. This little box is delivering previously unheard of musical benefits to millions of people worldwide. One man's dream can turn to everyone's advantage. That's the invisible hand. And the internet is now the prime driver and showcase for the validity of this theory. In previous essays I have said how the money system and education are the two areas of public life that need to be wrenched from state control - as they represent power levers that allow for all sorts of abuses and manipulations. Prior to the internet, it was almost impossible to conceive of any realistic challenge to government monopolies in these two areas. But with the net, both education and the money system itself could be radically overhauled. Of course, this hasn't happened yet, but there are clues and signs of the potential for this. Just take the ongoing growth in e-currency systems. Now, while e-gold is still limited in its use because of the need to convert to fiat money, imagine how rapidly it would grow if more and more people decided to treat gold as money - and if shops and merchants accepted it. Same goes for education. With the capacity and capability of the net growing year by year, and with the new faster download technologies gaining broader acceptance, it's easy to see how "distance learning" could be taken to a whole new level. Just imagine signing on for some educational course or other, to be delivered by internet - using live and recorded lectures and lessons. There really is no limit to what could be achieved using this medium. But the really interesting thing is how this possibility opens up the whole education market to the FREE market in so many innovative ways. And more importantly, it allows new ways of education to gain traction, and to compete head-on with the old, tired state systems that abound. Another major battle arena will be in the area of privacy - the right to keep your personal and financial affairs private. For the first time in history, technology is making it possible for the ordinary person to outwit the government, to use the latest technology to enhance his own life - on his own terms. It appears that George Orwell (1984) may have been wrong, when he envisaged a future world where technology gave governments the absolute power they craved - and allowed them to completely enslave the masses. Instead, it appears technology is providing the necessary tools of liberation. But the powers-that-be will not give up their position easily. There will be a real battle. They do not want you to be free. They do not want you to keep your affairs private. They do not want you to get to a point of view where you see THEIR function as not only unnecessary, but downright dangerous. The "old" world is right now up to its old tricks, with "wars and the rumours of wars" - the oldest tactic of diversion ever known. We have the war in Iraq. We have the threatened war with Iran. We even have rumblings of future conflict with China. And, of course, we have that most ridiculous war of all, the war against "terrorism." This has to be the biggest hoax of the 21st Century, a war against an idea, a tactic. A war against nobody in particular. A perfect war with no possible end. And what's really interesting is that the opposition to such wars is coming from the internet world. The free world. The mainstream media have become irrelevant - with their ongoing state-encouraged propaganda and mindless outpourings of car accident data, trivia and sensationalism. Just ask yourself, do you really expect to learn what's really happening by turning on your TV, or buying the daily paper? Of course not. That's not where the real information action is. It's on the net. Whether you realise it or not - YOU are part of this drama. You are caught up in history's writing. Get smart. Be part of the solution. Move now to protect yourself and prepare yourself morally, intellectually and practically. We live in perhaps the most exciting period in human history. It's the end of an age - the death throes of the nation-state. But it's the beginning of something much better - the shift to a new way of social organisation. A way which will encompass a recognition of the rights and power of each individual. You see, contrary to popular wisdom, it's individual people who matter, not those trussed up, pompous idiots who call themselves our leaders. Welcome to the emerging world of the self-governing, autonomous human being - the Sovereign Individual.