Internet

Commentary by Pete du Pont

Host intro: The stereotypical denizen of the Internet is a young computer geek, mindlessly surfing for hours through countless websites. Pete du Pont of the National Center for Policy Analysis says he's with them -- although for different reasons.

Some worry about the Internet for silly reasons (we'll turn into screen potatoes) and understandable but exaggerated ones (spreading cyberporn).

I'm wild about the Internet, because it's a market for ideas.

Could Communism have taken root and survived for seventy years if even ten percent of Russians had been on the Internet? No way. Just as the fax machine drove the democracy revolution of Tienenmen square, the Internet will make government oppression -- physical or economic -- even more difficult to enforce in the future.

Or take a domestic example: the battle to replace the failing U.S. retirement system will be fought on the Internet. Those penalized by the current system are the Internet generation, and when the truth about Social Security pops up on their own computer screens, they'll demand reform.

Finally, the Internet will Americanize the world. This is an politically incorrect, americo-centric opinion to have, of course, but the ideals of personal liberty, individual responsibility and freedom from government intrusion -- which are antithetical to many governments in the world -- are just what their citizens need.

And when those ideas start to spread on the Internet, no government can stop them.

Those are my ideas. And at the NCPA, we know ideas -- and the Internet -- can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you tomorrow.

Host intro: Tomorrow, Pete du Pont examines the charge of racial injustice in the judicial system.