A RhetNet SnapShot Reply:
Declaration of Independence


Janice R. Walker
07 July 1996

I am not as optimistic about the present or the future of Cyberspace as a free and democratic space as is Barlow. We, the homesteaders here in Cyberspace, are at the mercy of the code, at the mercy of the hardware and software, at the mercy of the sys admins and wizards. Economic factors around the world affect our ability to access information; race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and all of the other factors that often interefere with f2f communication also interfere with cyber-communication.

Yet when Barlow says, "Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed," there is a lump in my throat. Cyberspace is a land of possibilities, a chance for a new world order, a world that recognizes that this is one planet, one universe--not a conglomerate of separate countries ruled by despotic governments, but a conglomeration of one humanity. Some of these cyberspace citizens are "good," some "evil," by whatever definition may fit those words. But we are a separate nation whose boundaries cannot be defined by traditional geographic and cultural lines.

Our nation is defined by our own limitations and our own possibilities. And no one real-life nation, no government limited by its own geographic and cultural and communicative boundaries can dictate to us, can pass laws that will regulate us, without our consent. We have immigrated here by choice, and we will fight for our freedom in cyberspace, not with physical weapons, but with information, communication, and resistance to any attempt to impose restrictions and censorship on our right to exist.


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