Posted by The Happy Tutor
Taxpayers are just full of anxiety. Citizens seek to participate in a constructive manner. Taxpayers seek always to reduce public life to a balance sheet. Citizens seek ways of broadening and deepening public life. Taxpayers, by definition, live in a private world, and they don't much like government penetrating that world. The word "taxes" symbolizes that penetration. Citizens seek life in the polis. Citizens live in a world of values, which, when agreed upon, determine how we will live.
Taxpayers have consumption and production freedom. Citizens are free in that they are self-governed. Taxpayers defend private spaces, like Robinson Crusoe behind his Palisade. Citizens build public goods. "Getting government off the taxpayer's back" is often code for letting corporations run free. "Give me liberty of give me death" was about more than a choice consumer goods. A good life in a crabbed and selfish society ruled by market forces is impossible. The saddest waste byproduct of consumer society is its people.
It is interesting to see David Weinberger's own thinking evolve from the market focused Cluetrain, to the more politically and morally focused World of Ends, to this citation. Given his influence, I really hope he weaves political and moral philosophy into his coming works. We need a defense not of the internet commons and net citizenship only, but also of the very concept of a commons, and a ringing justification of active citizenship in town, state, country, and globe. We have to see the internet and the market as things enclosed within a shared political system, founded on a shared moral and political beliefs -- a social contract, a constitution. Until we see the larger container clearly, we will have little control over the lives we lead within it, whether on the net or off. For those political interests exclusively concerned with money, particularly their own, will strip the commons, enrich themselves, and put us to work within command and control hierarchies, supported by brand name and political propaganda, to the extent they can.
If we were to create an "outline," and snap it back to the main folder, politics (or democracy or the polis) would contain the internet and the market as subsets, me-thinks. To pretend otherwise, to treat the market as a self-organizing mysterium tremendum above politics, something to worship rather than keep within boudns, is itself a loaded political propaganda strategy stemming from specific propaganda centers funded by specific wealthy donors. You could look it up.
Market Freedom without Political Liberty is Wealth Bondage.