[The following post is by TDV Chief-Editor, Jeff Berwick]
Eleutherophobia is the fear of being free.
Some people, apparently, still have a fear of being free (they fear not having violent owners). It's a fear I've never understood... but whenever you mention to them how much better a free market would be than the statist crapitalism we have today they like to say, "Show me one example of a truly free market that works!"
OK... the internet!
While governments do try to stifle it whenever they can they still, really, have no control over the internet in any meaningful way. It is almost completely anarchic.
When was the last time you saw someone come into a restaurant looking stressed and irritated saying, "Goddamit, I HATE the internet!"
Perhaps one or two... Bill Cosby probably isn't a fan.
But almost everybody else loves the internet. That's because, since it is a free market, the amount of innovations are incredible.
Even simple things like Skype are a great example. I may be dating myself here but when I was younger a phone call from Kanada to the USSA was a few dollars per minute! Now, however, worldwide videocalling is totally free! That's the market at work.
Putting your videos on the internet used to be next to impossible but now with things like Youtube it is easy... and free!
Internet and computer related technologies show the same progress. Again, dating myself, I remember when a 5 gigabyte hard drive was the size of a small cupboard and cost $5,000 or more.
Today, a 128 gigabyte memory card is about the size of a fingernail and costs about $20.
Further, thanks to the internet, you can get free cloud storage of multiple-gigabytes from places like Google Drive or Dropbox for... you guessed it, free.
Even with things like Facebook, it is a tremendous tool for keeping up to date with friends and family all around the world with the greatest of ease... free!
But now the free market internet has begun to get even better!
There is a new social networking site called Tsu. It is almost identical to Facebook with one big difference. Tsu shares a portion of its advertising revenue with the people who are actually sharing and creating the content.
In other words, you get paid to use a useful site! This is what free markets engender! Constantly declining prices and constantly increasing service!
I joined Tsu a few weeks ago and only have a few hundred friends on it (compared to my 5,000 friends on my personal FB page, and thousands more in followers... plus pages such as The Dollar Vigilante Facebook page that has nearly 60,000 followers).
Yet, on Tsu, I have already apparently earned $2 and it seems to be going up now at about $0.30/day.
Doing the math on if I had the same amount of followers on Tsu as on Facebook it appears that I'd be earning around $80 per day just for using their site!
While $80 per day isn't something that would change my life you can just imagine how excited many people would be if just by using a social networking site (which they want to use anyway) they could earn $10, $20, $30 or much more per day. I know my 8 and 10 year old kids would lose their minds thinking about how to grow that amount just by having more friends and creating or sharing more good content!
Heck, many adults would love to earn an extra $30 per day... that pays most people's rent!
That is the power of the free market when allowed to function... imagine just using a site like Tsu to keep in touch with friends and family and having your rent paid in return!
I am no expert on Tsu and don't know if my numbers really work out nor how they distribute income but if it is anywhere near the ballpark of my estimations it makes a lot of sense to move from CIA and NSA backed Facebook to a nearly identical site like Tsu and actually get paid to have the government track the day-to-day details of your life.
You need an invitation to join Tsu, I believe, and so you can do so by going to this page and adding me as a friend if you wish.
Now if we can just create freer markets outside of the internet imagine the bountiful and beautiful world we could have!
THE INTERNET WILL REMAIN FREE
The internet will remain free and will become an even stronger tool than it already is today. This despite all the attempts government makes to hinder it. China recently tried to get attendees at a world internet conference to sign onto a worldwide governance of the internet. Here is an excerpt from the document:
“Participants in the Conference acknowledge that the Internet is increasingly becoming a leading force of innovation-driven development and is powering economic and social progress. The Internet has turned the world into a global village and made the international community a highly interdependent community of common destiny. While enjoying rapid development, the Internet has posed new challenges to national sovereignty, security and development interests, which requires the international community to meet urgently and seriously expand consensus and strengthen cooperation.
We call on the international community to work together to build an international Internet governance system of multilateralism, democracy and transparency and a cyberspace of peace, security, openness and cooperation.”
The internet is posing a challenge to national sovereignty? Good!
This would be funnier if governments all over the globe were not censoring the world wide web. Ultimately though this does not worry me too much because I know the free market will only develop even better ways than the current internet to bring freedom to communication. This is something we write about in the TDV Newsletter.
It's all quite wonderful... you receive a ton of value from the internet and now can even get paid to use it. No wonder governments are worried about it... they are hoping no one realizes that it is because it is a free market unbridled by government intervention that it is so wonderful. If people begin to realize that then maybe they'll want free markets outside of the internet.
That must be why they consider it a "new challenge to national sovereignty"!