11A030 People Power by Jim Davies, 1/30/2011    

Yesterday under A Bright Future I alluded to the fact that a quiet revolution in already under way, by which the entire US population will be re-educated in a surprisingly short time, to grasp that government is just a malevolent myth; it's being done as graduates of a freedom school bring to it one friend a year, and help them to graduate and do the same. Equipped with that understanding, no graduate will work for an organization he then recognizes as intrinsically evil. As the population of such refuseniks doubles every year, the number available for government to employ will shrink to zero; at that point, it will cease to exist because it consists of nothing except the grunts who work for it.

With that in mind, it's fascinating to notice what happened in Egypt last week. As demonstrations in Cairo gathered steam, demanding the present régime step down, its police became ever more savage in its repression - no surprise there - but also, the government closed the Internet, or most of it. This eloquently demonstrates what a powerful tool the Net has become, in the struggle between oppressor and oppressed, and how greatly governments fear it. Closing it is a costly business, for the Net is used for all commerce as well as a way for rebels to communicate and organize - yet Mubarek shut it off. He must be really scared of free speech. But this tells us what government will do, when they have their backs to the wall; and in Egypt, as I understand it, the threat is not to abolish government altogether, but just to replace the current one with another, more favored by vox pop. Obama already has his finger on a "kill switch" to close down such parts of the Net as may be inconvenient to him here, and just think how vigorously his successor will pull the plug when his whole institution faces extinction.

Happily, such closure will be to no avail. Reason: although our freedom school was launched on the Internet, it no longer depends on it. Conveyance of the content - the interactive lessons - is made from one member to the next off-line, in the form of a CD or whatever low-cost storage device replaces it in the future. In my Transition to Liberty I tried to imagine a way government might confiscate all such CDs, but couldn't. The task would be simply too massive, at a time when student numbers were increasing exponentially and government confiscators were quitting their jobs at a corresponding rate. The school is already wholly decentralized and therefore incapable of being closed down.

The government's goose is already cooked.

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