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April 06, 2009


Anthony Mitchell

We tend to overstate coercive aspects of state control, versus the ability of elites to build consensus for radical state actions. Invade Iraq for WMDs, anyone?

In traditional forms of slavery, slaves do not have to believe in the legitimacy of the system that oppresses them. In modern society, acceptance of legitimacy can be a pre-requisite to receiving state benefits, as could be explored in this upcoming book.

In poor countries, elites and oligarchies often need to act at verse to public approval, but as an IMF economist points out in the May 2009 Atlantic Magazine, in the U.S., the concentration of wealth and profits in the financial sector (leading to the current credit and banking crisis) was done through mass public consensus, not coercion. See:

The Quiet Coup

One ranking of cybertarianism could be the means and effects of building consensus for radical state actions—as this book could examine.

A systematic comparison of old and new totalitarian systems is presented in:
Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America by Bertram Gross

The challenge of cybertarianism is how to build and maintain the means for mass consensus without appearing to employ coercion.

Webster Hang Yin

Thank you for sharing your new book and giving insight into internet censorship in China.

It's just like what you've said. Until I delved into this issue, I'd never felt the overwhelming existence of this type of censorship online. This does not mean I don't notice such censorship; it's just that many people don't touch upon such 'sensitive' issues in their everyday life, and that we tend to apply self-censorship back in China. (or are we just too intimidated by the fallout of such action?)

I came across a new case today. Censorship is not only a 'covert', scientific, technological conception anymore, it is 'in action'(or has it been always in action?). Following is the link to a sina.com report. http://news.sina.com.cn/pl/2009-04-09/072417573974.shtml
This may help explain, to some extent, why many Chinese don't want to get involved in 'sensitive' issues and apply self-censorship. People try to stay away from 'trouble' anyway.

But if internet is to become a 'public sphere' in real sense, huge amount of work needs to be done. more and more people notice this, and we can see it in the articles by critics and some of the comments.

Thank you again for your insightful posts. Expecting more. :-)

Kevin Donovan

Really looking forward to the book.

Have you read 'Nonzero' by Robert Wright? It argues that the inevitable destiny of human society is more pluralistic, free and cooperative. IT, in his view, is one of the main drivers of this. It will provide a good opposing view on cybertarianism.


I'll definitely read that book! Keep us posted on how it progresses.

The Internet can also be used *actively* to pressure people, create smear campaigns and try to impinge on people's freedom of speech - it's not just about censoring or blocking access to popular sites, although that might ultimately lead to self-censoring.

I think it's too simplistic to view the Internet as only an instrument toward progress (I'm sure you realize that, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to point it out). People who want to cling to power will use all the techniques at their disposal and they will become savvy enough to use the Internet too (blogs in particular), if they aren't already.


"The Internet can also be used *actively* to pressure people, create smear campaigns and try to impinge on people's freedom of speech."

Yes!!! That is how The Big Lie Society operates. They are mostly in America but also Europe and Australia.

The Big Lie Society is the Internet's Taliban. Part of their clique is the
Routing Mafia. They control all aspects
of the Internet, and live off of the tax
systems they have put in place on address
space and domain names.

The U.S. Government can call for comments
assuming people can speak in a free country. That is NOT the case. The Big Lie Society has numerous methods to silence people. They stop at nothing. The U.S.
Government wonders why very few people
comment. The Big Lie Society dominates all
of the discussions.

It Seeks Overall Control


I read in the May 30th issue of the Economist (Banyan column entitled "The Party Goes On") about a book that might be of interest to you as you write your book proposal. You might have heard about it already - it's called "Marketing Dictatorship" by Anne-Marie Brady.

As an aside, I looked the book up on Amazon.com and I hope yours isn't as expensive. A $75 retail price ($60 on Amazon) certainly doesn't help to reach large audiences. I guess it might be geared toward university libraries and academics.

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Consent of the Networked
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