Understand, the post I wrote was mainly about the FCC proposed rules changes (you know, the ones we already fought and won against three years ago). I just mentioned the Net Neutrality issue again because it’s so crucial and I need to remind people about it every chance I can get. These issues are all linked very closely – big corporations wanting to make as much money as possible and damn the public good.
But here’s what our little shill had to say on my little blog, even calling me by name (so I know they must have a person on the other end, instead of a software spamming program):
1. Hands Off the Internet Says:
I have to respectfully disagree with your position, Lynne. The ones out to change the internet at the moment are in fact the ones behind the Save the Internet campaign. Theyâre currently supporting legislation to take regulation of the internet out of the hands of the free market, and put it in the hands of Washington.
Do we really want that? Do we really want to bog down yet another emerging industry in the bureaucracy and red tape that infects everything Washington touches? Do we even trust Washington to regulate such an industry effectively?
The advantages of a free market are clearâcompetition rules, and the consumers vote with their pocketbooks. If you donât like the way one company is operating, you can simply pick up and leave for another that operates more to your liking. This is how our economy is supposed to work, and how it currently is working. The legislation in Congress now is seeking to change that.
Check out my coalitionâs flash video on our website: http://dontregulate.org/
He makes it sound like he’s just like us, a concerned citizen with a grassroots organization and what seem like sound arguments (I especially love the invocation of the red-herring but popular decoy of “choice and free market”). He “respectfully” disagrees. No anger, just false “logic.” (Never mind that no local reader will be fooled by an argument that you can “simply pick up and leave for another that operates more to your liking” – seeing as our local choice in my small but populated city is limited to Comcast for cable-level speed, Verizon for medium-level DSL speed, and companies that Verizon is forced by regulation to allow to use their bandwidth, such as Earthlink.)
This is the new face of the corporate campaign to trick voters, folks. The corporations are getting smarter as the marketing firms that they hire figure out what it is that makes the grassroots, and blogs, so powerful. I wanted to write this piece so as to make everyone aware, because not only are we fighting these bills, we are now fighting ever more sophisticated tactics which are disguised as popular movements, and we must be vigilant. There’s no way that this person who commented on my blog is a regular reader, nor is he a true believer volunteer. He’s paid, plain and simple. He only accomplishes one thing, however: he diverts some of our attention to the new tactic instead of the issue, by having to ferret him out every single time. But since the whole point of citizen internet participation is that we have infinite attention and brain power, we will win in the end.
[Cross posted everywhere I can possibly put it, including BOPnews.com, Bluemassgroup.com, my own LeftinLowell.com, MyLeftWing.com, Political Cortex, DailyKos.com (please recommend on any of these sites that you have a username)…]
We all know that the “free market” is a myth, but one that certain players — i.e., mega corporations — have a vested interest in perpetuating. No surprise that they’ll do everything in their power to preserve their position of privilege. Astroturfing is just part of the strategy.
Interesting commentary on the “conservative nanny state” here by Dean Baker, of the Center for Economic Policy Research.