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Friday, June 25, 2010

Net Neutrality

I do not know what net neutrality is. Well I do know a little bit about it, not much, but enough to already come to a conclusion. It is another failed policy.

Whenever the government wants to do something, in general it will always make people scared that what they are doing needs to be done. This is all what social hysteria is about, this is what the war on terrorism and the war on drugs is about. The people are made to be frightened they are made to believe that if the government will not do anything there is going to be a colossal problem. That is how it works. First the fear then the policy.

Net neutrality is no exception. First the people need to be frightened that without net neutrality there are going to be serious problems with the internet. The fear that supporters of net neutrality spread is that if internet providers can choose which kind of content they send then they can limit or eliminate the content that people enjoy. For example, if we enjoy watching Fred on YouTube our access to Fred can be cut off from us by our providers, so we need the government to step in and prevent this from happening.

But such an argument is ridiculous. The material that is on the radios, or TV, or the internet reflects the demand of the people. If providers cut off or limit access to what the people want then they will lose that money to their competitors. This objection just makes no sense. If someone actually believes that this is a problem that we really need net neutrality then consider the following "problem". We need the government to have control over food stores in cities because perhaps there will be too few food stores or too many food stores. This is a ridiculous argument in favor of government regulation because the people, through the market, determine how many food stores need to be open in a city. This is all spontaneous order and should not be centrally planned. The except same situation occurs with internet content, so there is nothing to fear.

Net neutrality is just an excuse for the government to step into imposing regulations on the internet. The government hates it when there is something that goes on without their control. They need an excuse to have some control over the internet. They need a first step. That is net neutrality. They will preach how it will never be about control but in the future, if this gets passed, they will have an excuse to impose more regulations. This is the history of government regulations. They need a first step. Once they have a step then it is easier for them to impose regulations. I will not be surprised if in twenty years from now people will be required to have licenses before they can create their own sites. I will also not be surprised if in many many years from now porn will be censored from free internet access, just like it is censored from free TV today.

The internet has strived so well in absence of regulations. We had a free market of material on the internet. And we have no problems with the internet. It keeps on getting better and new ideas are continually developing. The internet is fine the way it is. Net neutrality cannot make anything better, the internet is fine, it can only make things worse, and it will, perhaps not immediately, but ultimately when the regulations start coming.

If the government wants to do anything here that would benefit us all it would be to abolish the FCC. We do not need an FCC. Let the market decide what material is shown on the radios and on TV programs. This means there should be free porn channels on TV if some companies want to broadcast that. Many people would be into free porn on TV, especially if there are different channels for different kinds of porn. These companies would be able to generate money with all of the ads on these porn channels. And do not worry the anti-porn people would have their own channels too. As long as there is a significant number of people who want to see family friendly material there will always be such content available. Just look at movies. How many movies are made with more family friendly material? A lot. Because companies reflect the demand of the people. But the TV should be left alone to market forces, likewise with the radios. Nothing bad will come from this and there is nothing to fear. If parents do not want their kids seeing free porn channels that is too bad, it is up to the parents to manage this not the government. The parents cannot take away the viewership of other people just because they do not like something. They have a TV and they can choose to limit it the way they think it is applicable or not have a TV at all, but they cannot legislate this demand on other people, that is non-sense.

The dumbest argument for support of net neutrality is that it will protect free speech. That is like going to war to have peace. Or having sex for virginity. It makes no sense. I explained what free speech is here, which basically means to say that speech is free from government control. The internet symbolizes free speech, well, first is symbolizes porn, but after porn, it symbolizes a marketplace of free speech. The internet should be left alone, TV should be left alone, and radio should be left alone, hopefully the FCC will be abolished, but I doubt this would happen. What will most likely happen is that the people will be scared by the social hysteria and net neutrality will be passed, what will happen then, after many years, regulations will be passed on the content which can be passed on the internet. I made this prediction not because I am some prophet but simply by looking at the past history and noticing how the same pattern follows. Net neutrality should be avoided entirely.

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