In the Internet age, many users have failed to decode and decipher the grammar and mathematics of the world wide web.
There could be many reasons. One of the common reasons, which is frequently cited is “the internet is chaotic and incomprehensible”.
Let’s not track the history of the internet, lest we bring up Al Gore’s spurious claims, but rather let’s explore the structural function of it.
The ever-expanding and changing lattice work of billions and billions of inputs and outputs from millions and millions of users all over the planet boils down to one thing:
The internet is anarchism
Because the order – which it follows – is spontaneous.
The world wide web is not a function of the imposed order system. The whole spiritual feature of the internet is very much in sync with the autopoiesis (self-control).
Former CEO of Google Eric Schmidt noted, “The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.”
I would say that the best way to understand the order of internet is to comparatively understand the philosophy of anarchism, which is highly practical. The philosophy of anarchism primarily denotes rejection of the state and compulsory government. It denies the validity of enforced man-made laws and is characterized by a general distrust of external authority.
Just like internet.
On the internet, everybody owns themselves. Everyone is free to make their own rules for their own computers and servers.
Each place decides its own rules. For instance, on Twitter, the rules of Facebook do not apply.
And some restrictions are not implemented until the government steps in. Instagram doesn’t ban adult porn until the government (moral police) compels it to do so.
However, there already market checks. If facebook allows porn, it will lose its so-called popularity. Cultured people will look for the “cleaner” and “moral” social networks; Facebook will lose to the competition, consequently.
But, does that mean people can’t find porn on the internet? No!
They can, and they just need to Google it, sign up on Tinder to hook up with the sapiosexualists, or find what they are seeking on thousands of different websites. There literally are “different strokes for different folks.”
The next point is…property rights.
What would be the “property” on the Internet? As far as my limited knowledge is concerned, I guess it would be the servers and computers. Everything that you own that is connected to the Internet, basically.
For instance, Quora.com is the property of the site creators until they sell it. People on Quora have to follow the rules set by the owners. They are free to go to other sites or even create their own, if they are dissatisfied by the service. Overall, the structure of subscription is voluntary. No one is forcing anyone in the whole context, right?
Therefore, everybody is responsible and also accountable for their own security and privacy. You must secure your server and terminals yourself, exactly the way you guard your bathroom (or your wallet if a politician is nearby).
Government helps very little in this regard because they’re wholly orwellian and nothing else. But, do we need the government protecting us? I would say a big NO. We don’t need the government (legal gang of mafia) protecting us from the “evil gang of hackers”. In many instances, they are the hackers themselves.
Fortunately for us and the rest of the internet, there are scores of private firms and individuals developing products and services to provide solutions to the problems consumers encounter today and in the future.
There are market solutions to help you, like anti-virus software, identify security features, VPN and encryption. Or, you could learn and use Linux.
Internet users like you and me largely follow the NAP (non-aggression principle) even in discussions. Also, it is easy to ignore and block people or ultracrepidarians that you dislike or disagree with. There have been cases of cyber-bullying but they are minimal, compared to the tax collectors (who bully us every month for the potholes or big bureaucracy). By and large, you and me follow the NAP because internet users like us believe in tranquil discussion, peaceful interaction and nonviolent discourses. These traits are the features of anarchism. Therefore, you’re an anarchist too, even if you don’t realize it.
The major chunk of development in the internet field was done when the government was least interested in controlling and regulating it. So, one could say that internet development was a consequence of the free market.
As for the free market on the internet, you are responsible for your own money and how you spend it. The popularity of Bitcoin is also increasing, with more alternative currencies on the way. Yes there are government regulations here and there, but you can circumvent them with a little know-how. In many ways new technology makes it easier than ever to be an agorist!
You can also see various free societies forming in various places. It is now easier than ever to find like-minded people from around the world who you may have more in common with than the neighbors down the street voting for increased taxes or regulations to further their misguided, utopian dreams.
In these places people are not forced to be present. They are also not forced to participate. Other places on the Internet are not very different. The owners of the servers make the rules and compete with other service providers. Users are free to roam or click their selfies!
If this appeals to you, please join us in the Actual Anarchy Group on Facebook. Share your ideas and engage in conversation with people who share the same respect for self-ownership, property and peace.
About the author
Prof. Jaimine Vaishnav is an anarcho-capitalist based in Mumbai, India. His hobbies are about defending the liberties of all his dissents without charging any fee.