Yet in und...

Yet in understanding contemporary debates over the future of the Net, it is important to remember the contradictory nature of historical precedents glibly invoked by the Californian Ideology. Back in the early nineteenth century, the spread of the new industrial technologies freed no slaves. On the contrary, the invention of the cotton gin and mechanical spinning machines actually reinforced the archaic and brutal institutions of slavery in the Old South. Nowadays, the libertarian rhetoric of individual empowerment through new information technologies is similarly used to hide the reality of the growing polarization between the largely white virtual class and the mainly black underclass. If interpreted with a European sense of irony, Jeffersonian democracy can be an appropriate metaphor for the dystopian present found in the inner cities of the United States.

Hypermedia Freedom by Richard Barbrook