At a crossroads in history, the Internet changes everything

Have you ever wondered why it’s so easy to look back in time and see the major turning points in history? I suppose the reason lies with the complexities of day-to-day life that so many crucial things go by us without notice. Does it have to be that way? No. Let me throw a few points out for pondering to get the ball rolling:

The Industrial Age pressured our society into becoming individualistic. This was necessary to keep members of the available workforce separated as much as possible so that workers couldn’t organize and the fear of losing a job to an immigrant could be reinforced. Yes, the system thrives on a racist, discriminating society.

Church on Sunday was about the only chance that laborers could get together socially, with the church responsible for moral and ethical leadership that, often, echoed the wants of the local industry more so than Biblical teachings.

Individualism was reinforced more and more as the consumer market had to be “stimulated” in order for capitalism to continue to grow. At first, it was a matter of breaking up the cohabitation of extended families. As each family unit – father, mother, children – set up house, the more need there was for houses, appliances, furniture, etc. The demands of the job and now the distance between extended family members made it difficult to maintain social ties and family influence disintegrated.

Once consumer demand slowed again, the next thing to “stimulate” was the increase in divorce. Now, mommy and daddy both had to set up house and also purchase twice for each child so that the children were never without, no matter who’s house they were staying at on the weekend.

The media, primarily one-to-many mass communication, led everyone by the nose to conform to the demands of consumerism. The news, tasked with keeping a watchful eye on government as a checks-and-balance system, had to compete with the entertainment factor of TV. The big money behind both the news and TV was - and still is - the same Big Business that has driven everything else. In order for the media to cater to the likes of society, it has to sell the ideas to Big Business in a way that convinces those deep pockets that even more jingle will be added to their stash. And, since governments were set up to protect business interests, the news industry’s hands are tied since they are also owned by Big Business. Everything is set up for business, lock, stock and barrel.

Along comes the Internet and entertainment and news are transitioning away from the one-to-many delivery. As more of the population taps into the Internet, social influence is changing. Now, if an idea is to take off, it has to “go viral.” TV is struggling to hang onto its diminishing toe-hold with ‘reality’ shows and building in those ideas that have gone viral online. The news is also online, but only to deliver.

It’s all changed. Big Business is losing its grip on its ability to control society. It can’t figure out how to use this socially controlled medium to make money. It can’t figure out the formula of “going viral.” In desperation, Big Business is now fighting tooth and nail to rid the Internet of neutrality. The news is flopping the most since it’s whole purpose is based on being the watchdog. Since Big Business is losing might, the last thing it needs is the news nagging away at its heels.

Do you see where I’m going here?

For the first time, we have the chance to take control of our own lives.

For the first time, we have the opportunity to look within ourselves and define our own moral and ethical stance.

For the first time, we have the power to create a society that is focused on us as people instead of us as consumers.

We are at a critical crossroads here, folks. We can continue to follow along like good little sheep, working our asses off to make the rich richer, or we can break away to create a society that is good for everyone instead of just a chosen few.

It’s time to make the choice.
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