This original article by Toilers’ Struggle’s author is being republished as part of the reorganization process.
In the wake of the introduction of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) and their international equivalents, internet censorship has become the most popular of recent discourses. Everywhere, millions have voiced their indignation and frustration towards the introduction of these bills that have recently been rammed down people’s throats all in the name of profit for the capitalist 1%.
Popular phraseology on the part of the bosses and their political representatives explained the new acts as measures taken to ensure the well-being of those “just like us” who have to make a living. Producers, directors and media moguls, all of them have a so-called right to reap the benefits of established “intellectual-property” law and the protection of profit derived therefrom.
Yet despite the cynical manipulations of the truth advanced by the 1%, there are much larger issues at stake here. SOPA and PIPA are manifestations of efforts to suppress our democratic rights to enjoy the fruits of human culture and to protect ultimately the sacrosanct “right” of the rich and powerful to the appropriate of the wealth generated by, and stolen from, others. The capitalists seek, through acts like SOPA and PIPA, to secure greater and more extensive power to censor freedom of information and speech on the internet, prevent us from enjoying popular culture – that is, unless one can afford it – thus without first reaping more profit, and reassure the security of their property as unquestionably insoluble.
It comes as no surprise that in an age of austerity, cuts, and vast social struggles, the next step in steeped-up media and state repression became the legalization and enforcement of internet censorship, but that doesn’t make the matter any less important. Witnessing our rights attacked in cyberspace should only make it clearer to us as the 99% that we need to step up our struggle to defend our right to free media access and against the bosses attempts to make us pay the costs of capitalist instability and crisis.
It’s up to the working masses, the beleaguered unemployed, the youth, the trade unionists, the 99%, to organize, stand together, and denounce the capitalists and their social-political system that engenders ever-frequent encroachments on our democratic rights and standards of living in the name of profit. We need to formulate and make clear our demands – posing them directly to the capitalists and Obama’s government – and struggle militantly around them in the workplaces, in the schools, and on the streets to assert our voices and achieve our aims.
This means concretely taking account of our many grievances, discussing and debating a program of action, of a strategy and tactics, and forming a new, revolutionary anti-capitalist party that will settle for no political or economic compromises in the fight for our rights and commit to class struggle against the 1% with the intention of bringing down its government through revolution and installing in its place a genuine workers’ democracy based on mass democratic organs and armed bodies of the laboring majority.
The 1% will continue to attempt to censor (especially information that is highly critical of its policies and actions) media they cannot control directly nor profit therefrom, but there’s no censoring a mass social movement battling back against such attacks that is armed with a revolutionary theory and a solid, dynamic, revolutionary program for a complete renovation of society.
The battle against internet censorship cannot be confined to a single-issue campaign; it represents much more than just what we can and cannot do over said medium. We must make clear how democratic demands for the right to media and culture and against government censorship of the Internet relates directly to the class struggle against the owners of those very means of social production and culture – incorporating this struggle into something much broader, one that pegs capitalism as the root cause of the attacks on democratic rights, struggling against the one to abolish permanently the other.
Against media censorship!
Down with SOPA, PIPA, and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)!
For the unmitigated democratic right to free media and culture on demand!
For a revolutionary party to fight for and defend such rights!
March 6, 2012