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There's nothing that can be done about it now. Big telecommunication corporations have this round won. The FCC, led by free-market fanatic Ajit Pai, will give them the head of Obama-era net neutrality on a bloody platter on December 14. The ruling will make the concentration and monopolization of profits in cyberspace easier, a development that should not surprise anyone. Much of the history of capitalism is composed of two connected movements. One has been the increased replacement of labor (variable capital) with machines (fixed capital) to save costs and increase productivity. From this process arises the contradiction of falling effective demand.

The other is the growth of monopolies within and across sectors. One of the contradictions of this process is that it precisely undermines one of the sacred rules of market ideology: perfect competition. And so one of the things to follow the death of net neutrality will be the kind of product innovations that tend to be generated by smaller enterprises and threaten corporate or established profits with the real danger of creative destruction. As the socialization of health insurance actually encourages small-scale entrepreneurship in the market, government regulation of the net actually encourages competition among businesses. Deregulation will not end socialism (government intervention and management), but it will concentrate the benefits of the net in a few hands.

The FCC is so determined to give big telecommunications corporations everything they desire that, in a preemptive move, it's even blocking the opening for states to self-impose net neutrality rules. The GOP's praise and worship of state rights apparently does not extend to the web.

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Cities might find solutions to this bad ruling by offering their citizens alternatives, such as municipal broadband. (Though Jenny Durkan ran on a Trump-proofing Seattle platform, I very much doubt she will support anything as socialistic and anti-business as municipal broadband.)


But the rural areas that voted whole-hog for the pussy grabber who put Pai in power will certainly be soundly thrashed by the deregulation of the net (and because many rural people are too thick to look into these moderately complicated matters too deeply, expect them to blame the liberals for the rising costs of their internet service).

There is one other solution, however, which is not being given enough (if any) consideration: people in the city and suburbs (which are turning blue these days) should stop or reduce shopping online and return to the real world of brick-and-mortar businesses. Protest the cold murder of net neutrality by spending your hard-earned cash on Black Friday, instead of Cyber Monday. Reverse the decade-long encroachment of all forms of e-commerce on your consumption fund (household stock, necessities, comforts, and processing instruments). Such a reversal in consumer habits is not at all impossible, or even that painful. The best solution of all, of course, is to simply socialize corporate profits. That would end many of our economic and environmental problems quick.

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