The Internet is Now in Its Third Stage
By Staff News & Analysis - August 25, 2009

WND provides what I believe to be the broadest forum of political commentary anywhere – not just on the Internet, but anywhere. To be a columnist on WND does not suggest agreement with my views or the corporate opinions of WND. If it did, I'd be the only columnist, because I'm the only one I agree with 100 percent of the time. I tell you that because every day, without fail, readers write to me demanding that one or more of our columnists be fired for some opinion he or she offered. Lately, most of the demands have been for the head of Ann Coulter. Coulter committed what many see as the unpardonable sin of attacking "birthers" – those "nuts" and "fruitloops" like me who actually want to see Barack Obama release his birth certificate and other documents he is so clearly hiding from the American public – documents crucial to knowing who our president really is and whether he is constitutionally eligible to hold office.

The attacks from friends, which I consider Ann to be, always hurt much more than attacks from adversaries. My skin is thick. It has to be in this business. Coulter's comments were scathing, and she painted with a broad brush. I was grateful she didn't make it personal in her comments on TV and in her WND column – the place where more people read Coulter than anywhere else. Nevertheless, I noted that her statements on this subject were much less informed than is her usual standard. But the real hurt came when some WND readers began forwarding me Coulter's personal responses to their questions. They included what I consider to be scathing personal indictments of me and the company I direct. -WorldNetDaily (Joseph Farah)

Dominant Social Theme: WND forgives as graciously as it can …

Free-Market Analysis: We can't resist using the birther controversy and Joe Farah's bruised feelings to make what we consider a big point, one of the biggest points ever made on the Internet in our humble opinion. (All right, we're not always humble, but we try to be.)

Anyway … The Internet itself has now graduated to its third phase and is even verging on its fourth. How do we know? Start with the article excerpted above. Here, you have two fine conservative minds, Farah's and Coulter's, engaged in a rip-roaring battle over whether or not Barack Obama is enough of an American citizen to be president.

Fortunately, we don't need to comment on the birther controversy to make our point. In fact, if we did, we might be accused of veering close to a conspiratorial path that would bring us reproving emails. So … in this analysis we will not comment on the validity of the various conspiracy theories floating around out there. But here is our point …


Only nobody, it seems, has noticed.

In the first phase of the Internet, in the 1980s and into the 1990s, the Internet was arranging itself technologically and sorting through what it could be and would become.

In the second phase, during the later 1990s, the Internet began producing a plethora of opinion that debunked the common (mostly socialist) wisdom (dominant social themes) of the day.

In the third phase (now), the Internet has graduated to CREATING memes. They are all around us now, in our opinion … BIRTHERS, DEATHERS, TRUTHERS, etc.

See … the very phrases that are being generated by the mainstream establishment to discredit various intellectual trends on the ‘Net are actually turning into new dominant social themes. They are commented on regularly, decried in mainstream journalism, discussed in university classes, debunked on TV, etc. They are indeed dominant social themes. But most importantly — for the first time in at least a century – these themes are arising spontaneously.

Sounds a bit weird? We think we are attuned to this development like proverbial canaries because the mission of the Daily Bell is to identify the monetary elite's dominant social themes, show how they are presented and promoted by the mainstream media, and then explain how these promotions (when linked to regulation, prestigious think tanks, individuals, etc.) manifest themselves day to day, week to week, year to year.

What is the point of these dominant social themes? Let us remind you again, dear reader: The point is to ensure that the monetary elite builds wealth and maintains control. Thus, there are many dominant social themes circulating at any one time. Over population, peak oil, the efficacy of vaccines, the war on terror, the validity of democracy, the need for wise men to run things (especially central banks), etc …

The global warming meme is currently one of our favorites. An outgrowth or elaboration or a more basic dominant social theme – environmentalism (humans are destroying the planet) this meme has morphed from mild concern to shrieking necessity. And as with all good dominant social themes, the monetary elite has ensured that regulatory authority has kept pace with the increased decibel level.

Yes, the global warming theme has all the characteristics of a dominant social theme. It is controversial, has a shaky scientific base (the world has been cooling now for up to a decade), has increasingly Draconian regulation lined up behind it and has a fairly high barrier to entry so that only the biggest corporate players will be truly able to reap the vast rewards of the nascent carbon-trading market.

Of course there is one more thing: Those who support it do so with an almost religious fervor. From our point of view, dominant social themes provide people with the spiritual satisfaction that church provided years ago. (Those who specialize in planting such memes know this, to be sure.)

Anyway … The new memes have the same profile as those produced by the monetary elite. But they are not produced by them. Yes, the monetary elite, if this perspective is seen as true, has truly lost control of the conversation now. It is not alone in creating, producing and planting memes anymore. We wrote months ago that we thought the monetary elite had lost control of its most important dominant social theme – central banking. But now it may have lost control of the conversation entirely.

Of course, we have written previously (many times) of the parallels between the Gutenberg press and the Internet. But having written excitedly about this notion in the early 2000s, we have felt a kind of responsibility to return to it regularly. This indeed led us to proclaim several years ago that Ron Paul (R-Tex) was the Luther of our modern era and that his libertarian proclamations challenging the status quo were transmitted via electrons in political debates rather than nailed to a church door.

But nonetheless, Ron Paul's statements have resonated. The status quo has been partially upended. And now there are a slew of new memes circulating, none of them directly tied to Ron Paul and none of them directly the doing of the monetary elite. Truthers, birthers, deathers – each nomenclature was supposed to mock its supporters. But the controversy over 9/11 remains. Birthers? Those who don't believe Obama has produced a proper birth certificate were supposed to have gone away by now. And the idea of American death panels being proposed by Obama was beyond the pale according to the mainstream media.

You know, we would tend to believe that those in the ancient religious establishment scoffed at Quakers, Shakers, Methodists, etc. in their day. But those sects endured. They constituted the memes of the day. We have our own. What's the next step? Action. We do not necessarily speak of violence. Nor do we anticipate it. But the fourth phase of the Internet will follow quickly on the third.

Humans are naming creatures, and having created names for spontaneous dominant social themes, those who espouse such concepts will feel impelled to act on their favorites. Dear reader, it is an exciting time to be alive! People rarely (not in many, many generations) get to step back and examine the misinformation that they are taught to believe. We feel as an individual might have felt during the Gutenberg epoch when the wreckage of common assumptions lay strewn about the earth like broken crockery.

After Thoughts

Just as the monetary elite aligns regulation and markets with its dominant social themes to create wealth and social control, so we anticipate that those who stand behind onrushing spontaneous memes will do much the same. Of course we are only at the very beginning of all this – and perhaps we are wrong and overly fanciful in our analysis. But we don't think so. Heck, in the not-so-distant future university students at free-market universities could study dominant social themes to gain credit for degrees. Anyway, we await one of the most powerful spontaneous memes of all – the re-creation of a private gold and silver monetary standard.

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