Peasants of the 21st C

Picture this, we are the peasants of the 21st century slaving away beneath the watchful eyes of our internet lords. Who are these mysterious internet lords? For starters, there’s the government, the most powerful in all the lands. The government combined with those who produce paradigms such as Youtube are in allegiance with us peasants to generate content. This relationship is otherwise known as feudalism.

In our Australian society we are able to walk freely and talk freely. Online, this notion of feudalism or ‘ifeudal’ as a notion is where this freedom is limited via the lords. This means the intellectual property that is rightfully ours is owned by the ‘lords’ due to their control over content in the networked information economy. One recent example is the implementation of data retention and the end to Australian’s digital privacy.

“Intelligence and law enforcement agencies will have immediate, warrantless and accumulating access to all telephone and internet metadata required by law, with a $2 million penalty for telcos and ISPs that don’t comply.”

YES, this really is the type of thing that happens in our digital society. This specific example is due to government restraints on issues such as geo-political tension, jihadi recruitment and the war on terror. However, it is effecting EVERYONE. All us nodes contributing to the network paradigm are strictly being watched by the government. Surely they can’t see much, right? Well this is EXACTLY what they CAN see:

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We aren’t all suspected terrorists, so is this type of control excessive for the entire community to be under watch? It was heightened from the 9th to the 15th centuries and is still practiced today, feudalism. Similar to the feudalism in the middle ages we too are the peasants working the land that can’t leave without the permission of the lord. EVEN WHEN the peasant is normally free.

References:

Dempster, Quentin. ‘Data Retention And The End Of Australians’ Digital Privacy’.The Sydney Morning Herald. N.p., 2015. Web. 9 Sept. 2015.

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2 thoughts on “Peasants of the 21st C

  1. I love how you have chosen to refer to the government as “the overlords” lol very classy. But certainly relevant to the situation everyone is now in when it comes to “privacy” or lack there of these days when it comes to our online behaviours. I always second guess myself now when choosing to type something out on my own facebook page, or even in a search engine. Worst is the fact that you might think you are searching something innocently for a uni project but it might be a red flag for those tracking your content. I mean, it isn’t just the government that is watching us. Never forget that when you are on any social platform your boss/company could be keeping a close eye on you as well just look at these 13 people who lost their jobs for tweeting the wrong thingshttp://www.businessinsider.com.au/fired-over-a-tweet-2015-5

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  2. I love the way you’ve compared modern day consumer society to peasants in the 21st century. It’s an accurate analogy with Internet lords, such as Mark Zuckerberg, where we are merely small people in a huge project, of which we usually have no idea about – for example the mood study conducted by Facebook in 2012. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/06/everything-we-know-about-facebooks-secret-mood-manipulation-experiment/373648/
    I was surprised by how much the Government can actually see, as specified by your post. I can understand why they would want to monitor us so closely in regards to safety, such as the jihadi recruitment you stated, but when you consider how much privacy they invade, is it an overstatement to say we basically have no privacy anymore?

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