An important question for libertarians is how much of a force for freedom exists in the internet. Well I saw something today that makes me very optimistic about the answer to that puzzlement. It touched on my belief that it is difficult if not impossible for a totalitarian dictatorship to co-exist with the people’s ability to openly ridicule it. Therefore authors such as Jonathan Swift, journalists like H.L. Mencken, and television stars in the mold of Jon Stewart provide a necessary and effective check on extreme governmental abuse. What the internet has done is to speed up the process of ridicule as well as increase the potential for ridicule by giving opportunity to tens of millions of people to participate. They can now not only engage but also build on one another’s work.
I offer an example of what I am talking about with links to two short videos. It is important to watch them in order (link one and link two). The first film is the latest internet sensation and its creator is currently enjoying a great deal of media attention. The second clip is a brilliant piece of political satire and I found both of them to be very funny.