Newmedia on Thu, 22 Jun 2000 05:40:09 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Re: <.nettime> The role of government in the development of the Internet

Declan, Ronda:

C'mon now . . . you're killin' me . . .

What amazes me is that anyone could think that the "government" and the 
"market" are really separate at all . . . in any instrumental way when it 
comes to "strategic" technologies . . . like the Internet.  

All of this endless thrashing of "Taste Better" vs. "Less Filling" on nettime 
is getting truly hilarious.

It was November 1998 when it became the official posture of the United States 
"government" that the FOUR "battlegrounds" were AIR, GROUND, SEA and 
CYBERSPACE  . . . and this was after a 30+ year "Revolution in Military 
Affairs" which has totally recast what was described in 1959 by Eisenhower as 
the "Military Industrial Complex" . . . just at the moment that Daniel Bell 
was introducing the term "Post-Industrial" at the Salzburg Seminar in 
Austria, informing the informed that the "industrial" was no longer driving 
things.  Military or otherwise.

Doesn't anyone read their Toffler? Or, their Boulding?  "War and Anti-War." 

It's long been the "Military Information Complex" and the intimate 
association between "government" and the "market" (when it comes to 
"strategic" technologies, like the Internet) is the principle reason for the 
existence of the "Dulles Corridor" . . . not that incredible engineering 
school at Georgetown.  (And, why was General Al "I'm in Control Here" Haig on 
the board of AOL for all those years . . . anyway?)

Who do you think brought the suit against Microsoft?  The "market"?  The DoJ? 
 The FCC?  Or, the Pentagon?

Those technologies which are essential to the "national interest" are ALWAYS 
under the control of the "government" . . . whose job it is to safeguard the 
"national interest."  Today, that means the Internet.  (Pay attention to Dave 
Farber when he speaks about "security matters" . . . or, if you prefer, stay 
confused . . .)

When DoJ Anti-Trust head Joel Klein admonished the Supreme Court (as quoted 
on page A1 of today's NYTimes) that the Microsoft case was directly a concern 
of the "national interest," he wasn't speaking about market-share in the 
browser "market," fer crissakes.  When Janet Reno used the term "revolution" 
FIVE times in her speech launching the Microsoft suit, she wasn't speaking 
about a song by the Beatles, fer double-crissakes.

The "government" IS the "market" -- as prime-customer, as standard-setter, as 
"classified-briefer," as revolving-door employer, as research-granter and as 
HAMMER-when-you-ignore-them -- in all cases of technologies which are 
considered "strategic" and in the "national interest."  

Like super-computers.  Or, lasers.  Or, space.  Or, energy.  Or, the Internet.

Face it . . . or it will one day be in your face . . . just ask Bill Gates . 
. .


Mark Stahlman

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