A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

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A rather troubling post entered my field of awareness earlier today and I thought a brief commentary was necessary. You can determine for yourselves whether it’s an attempt at increasing the fear and anxiety of the public at large or if it’s something worthy of concern. Apparently the expression of criticism on the internet is becoming justifiable grounds for police and FBI intrusion into one’s life and I would prefer to err on the side of caution where this issue is concerned. However, there is no need to re-invent the wheel as John Perry Barlow previously expressed an eloquent message that we would be wise to take to heart. Mr. Barlow is a founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and published his declaration online in 1996.

“Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.

Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your borders. Do not think that you can build it, as though it were a public construction project. You cannot. It is an act of nature and it grows itself through our collective actions.

You have not engaged in our great and gathering conversation, nor did you create the wealth of our marketplaces. You do not know our culture, our ethics, or the unwritten codes that already provide our society more order than could be obtained by any of your impositions.

You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use this claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. Many of these problems don’t exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social Contract . This governance will arise according to the conditions of our world, not yours. Our world is different.

Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.

We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.

We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.

Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are all based on matter, and there is no matter here.

Our identities have no bodies, so, unlike you, we cannot obtain order by physical coercion. We believe that from ethics, enlightened self-interest, and the commonweal, our governance will emerge . Our identities may be distributed across many of your jurisdictions. The only law that all our constituent cultures would generally recognize is the Golden Rule. We hope we will be able to build our particular solutions on that basis. But we cannot accept the solutions you are attempting to impose.

In the United States, you have today created a law, the Telecommunications Reform Act, which repudiates your own Constitution and insults the dreams of Jefferson, Washington, Mill, Madison, DeToqueville, and Brandeis. These dreams must now be born anew in us.

You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world where you will always be immigrants. Because you fear them, you entrust your bureaucracies with the parental responsibilities you are too cowardly to confront yourselves. In our world, all the sentiments and expressions of humanity, from the debasing to the angelic, are parts of a seamless whole, the global conversation of bits. We cannot separate the air that chokes from the air upon which wings beat.

In China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy and the United States, you are trying to ward off the virus of liberty by erecting guard posts at the frontiers of Cyberspace. These may keep out the contagion for a small time, but they will not work in a world that will soon be blanketed in bit-bearing media.

Your increasingly obsolete information industries would perpetuate themselves by proposing laws, in America and elsewhere, that claim to own speech itself throughout the world. These laws would declare ideas to be another industrial product, no more noble than pig iron. In our world, whatever the human mind may create can be reproduced and distributed infinitely at no cost. The global conveyance of thought no longer requires your factories to accomplish.

These increasingly hostile and colonial measures place us in the same position as those previous lovers of freedom and self-determination who had to reject the authorities of distant, uninformed powers. We must declare our virtual selves immune to your sovereignty, even as we continue to consent to your rule over our bodies. We will spread ourselves across the Planet so that no one can arrest our thoughts.

We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.”

Enter the specter of the PROFIT MOTIVE (add ominous music here).

to be cont’d…

One love,

HJ

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About H3nry J3kyll
Vincit omnia veritas (using an obscure Latin heraldry motto makes one seem kinda learned and distinguished).

14 Responses to A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

  1. skywanderer says:

    Henry,
    Many thanks for this immensely informative and inspiring post.
    As to the troubling message you referred to, here are some comforting thoughts, hoping they might help. (I added below as a comment on the blog the video is posted.)

    All governments like that of the US who in fact work for the global alliance (that we may refer to as the World Government) are using the same tactics: deceit, scapegoating and intimidation.

    In my country when several years ago a neoliberal pro-world government regime was in power I saw countless staged cases like this. The government sometimes even offers HUGE FUNDS for bribing some poor fellows to act as shopwindow-scapegoats, sometimes they ask them to carry out staged attacks against them, to lead violent demonstrations dressed as extreme right-wing terrorists, etc. The repertoire of the world government’s deceit-techniques is virtually endless.

    But even if this guy is singled out for real and used as a real scapegoat, he is being used only for intimidating the masses.
    In either case, what we can conclude from this message:
    1) if it is real, then as he said, we should not give in to a totalitarian regime and should continue the good fight
    2) if it isn’t real (just a hoax), then we should not give in to an intimidating message by an aspiring totalitarian regime and should continue the good fight.

    In either case we should actually intensify our resistance and do NOT rest until we extend it into a world-wide mass-basis.

    • Henry Jekyll says:

      Thank you Skywanderer. The experience and insight of people that understand the modus operandi of the rogues among us is invaluable. I think your assessment and conclusion is absolutely correct.

      Btw amigo, do u have linked accounts with tumblr, blogger etc?

      Several days ago I stopped by and realized that a lot of your previous work should definitely be re-blogged versus laying dormant in the WordPress archive. You’ve created a treasure trove of info that can help the confused among us sort out their thoughts and gain an accurate picture of the push towards totalitarianism. Well just an idea, I know how demanding one blog can be.

      • skywanderer says:

        Thank you from the bottom of my heart, my dear friend.

        Your continuing support and generous appreciation of my work – that you always express with loving care and eloquence – gives me so much inspiration.

        I will follow your kind suggestion and will repost some of my former writings, hoping they may indeed can reveal some more of the globally suppressed yet vital information.

        The only other space I am linked to is Twitter – there I am present quite often.
        I recently Tweeted your fascinating post – and I did so with many other articles from your blog, as well as from several others I follow. Our blogger-community is what I find the biggest treasure of all. :-)

      • jtremain says:

        Thank you Dr. for liking my AnonYmusic on PuppetMasters’ Slave Market. I would like to add you to my postings, not real savvy with all the settings on wordpress yet, I have no comments on my pages either, yet I get notification by email that someone liked my post. In regards to this post , I defer all to those that know more than I. The exception is that I am convinced that the New World Order, is the same Old World Order of the the Royalty of Europe , the centuries old Financial Dynasties that have re- colonized America with usury and made us the indentured feudal mercenary army of the Global Mafia. I see that corrollary between the Protocols of the learned elders of zion as the blueprint for the NWO’s Universal war profiteering , and the rethuglicans and the despocrats as two faces of the same coin of entrenched political corruption that constitutes a one party system of corporate control of domestic and foreign policy. The survellance police state and the privitized for profit prison system, add the drone market and you have a Orwellian dystopic reality and a Hunger Games future. We are Anonymous . Off with the bloody puppet masters heads !

        • Henry Jekyll says:

          You will find no argument from me on that summary of the case my good man. I thought your music was novel and interesting btw.

          Imo that’s how we combat the puppet masters and remove the vice like grip of control and manipulation. We are not atomized units of production merely suitable for drone labor and stimulated by mindless, un-original formulaic drivel. released by the propaganda arm of the “learned elders” a/k/a/ the entertainment industry.
          There’s more to humanity than the dollar menu and chasing shiny rocks dug out of the ground.

  2. Hope you do not get “the visit” for writing it. I love this declaration – it is so Aquarian in the sense of expressing ultimate freedom.

    • Henry Jekyll says:

      Lol @ “the visit”
      Que sera sera – some things are just too powerful to keep bottled up. It does seem to scream out, “We shall leap into the future unrestrained by the limitations of the past.”
      Thanks for stopping by Monika.

  3. An interesting post, Henry. You always get my mind to thinking–thank you for that!

  4. Your obscure Latin heraldry motto works for me, Henry. As far as I;m concerned, you are learned and distinguished..
    Thanks for your great blog!
    And thanks for visiting mine.

    • Henry Jekyll says:

      Thank you for the generous compliment Claire. As far as visiting your blog, I certainly do enjoy your writing and will continue to read what you choose to share.

      Now that the heraldry motto is settled, next on the list is an estate paid for by my forefathers with slave labor, and a fellowship at the Heritage Foundation. Pretty soon, I can run for public office, further decimate the network of social services, and send men and women off to die to bolster Halliburton’s balance sheet. (Just couldn’t resist) :)

  5. Truth conquers all.

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