The so-called Progress & Freedom Foundation is a Bell tool. (They’re also a Microsoft tool.) They are, in fact, a tool to anyone with the money to employ them.
They are funded by corporate donors, and the Bells have long been among the biggest lobbies in Washington. So it’s not a surprise that they are what they are. What I can’t stand is their pretense that they are something else, like impartial, like academic.
Yet this is how they masquerade. Exhibit A today is a supposed “debate” among academics on “net neutrality issues,” titled “Net Neutrality or Net Neutering” (Notice that the book on all this is already out — this is going to be an honest debate the way WWE is an honest athletic contest.)
Net neutering is not, in fact, on offer. Net neutering is, in fact, a buzzword the Bells’ lobbyists have created to confuse the issue. The idea is that if you oppose the Bells’ agenda of a non-regulated, taxpayer-subsidized, bit-limited, and Bell-controlled Internet you’re somehow “regulating” and “neutering,” when in fact you’re enabling the free market to work.
But don’t let the facts get in the way of an argument. And this is the problem, in a nutshell. Washington listens to these jerks as though they speak for academe, when in fact they do not. They’re like the oil company Astroturfers who try to set up “debates” on whether man is responsible for global warming, or Religious Fanatics who try to set up “debates” on whether evolution is real.
The terms of the “debate” are deliberately phony, and aimed at getting the result of the sponsor, not at enlightenment.
The biggest problem in Washington today – the root cause – is that
academic and real-world expertise have been replaced in our time by
“think tank” expertise such as that of the P&FF. Which means truth
is essentially for sale, to the highest bidder.
Yet truth does not lie with the highest bidder.
This is the disease that infects both parties, that infects the media
and everyone else in Washington DC, the disease it will take a new
political Thesis (and the political revolution it represents) to root
Truth lies with what works, not with who pays. It lies with change, and
victory will go to the society that is most flexible, not the one who
allows those currently on top to stay there.
The word for that is feudalism. Which is where Washington is currently headed, with all deliberate speed.