The Elitist Regulation Fetish
by Matt Stoller, Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 06:20:10 PM EST
Garance at the American Prospect makes a common point on regulation and the internet. I'm going to work on it because it's a great example of groupthink within the press corps.
Ultimately, organizations like DailyKos will probably have to make similar legal distinctions, and make some back-end divisions between the publishing enterprise, which ought to be as free as any other media or education institution to engage in opinionated commentary and publish unregulated comment sections, and the political action and fundraising enterprise. Creating an entity -- call it DailyKos Media, Inc. -- to oversee the publishing wing and a Kossak PAC or Voter Fund to engage in electoral activity wouldn't be that hard, and the relationship between the two could easily be built into the site architecture. (RedState.org was founded as a 527 and that hasn't hurt their growth or advocacy at all as far as I can tell.)
The thing is, Garance never explains why Daily Kos will have to do anything she says it will have to do. Why? What is the point? Is it to increase freedom? Reduce corruption? Help puppies? What is the point of regulating blogs?
I laid out our conceptual overlay, that internet politics lowers the barriers to entry and thereby reduces corruption. Regulating the internet reraises those barriers and increases corruption. But what, aside from a weird distrust of people who can't be fired that write on the internets, is behind this 'must' statement? Nothing, as far as I can tell. There's no rationale behind it except the rationale of a bureaucrat who just says 'because it's always been done that way.'