Controls over digital encryption are also shattered by the movement in this period, through a careful decade-long campaign against, among other adverse parties, the most powerful “intelligence community” in the world. Those controls, which the organs of state security favor with an intensity comparable only to their overall lust for power, are completely disabling the development of electronic commerce, which the movement points out will be worth trillions of dollars within decades if the controls are ended. The movement is completely isolated; respectable opinion says it is not only irresponsible but criminal to advocate for the movement’s goals; the movement’s diplomats are publicly accused of facilitating terrorism by sub-Cabinet officers of US government. The movement, its lawyers and diplomats, prevail completely.

Industry, finance and government immediately abandon their resistance and spread the movement’s free form of digital encryption technology around the world. E-commerce comes to be worth tens and then hundreds of billions of dollars a year immediately, and the global financial system becomes irrevocably dependent on free technology, thus preventing the evolution of state-sponsored, corrupted closed technologies. (Except in the monopoly’s software, which is riddled with US Government espionage corruption, thus helping to destroy the monopoly’s reputation and embedding the movement’s technology more firmly.) No financial player will ever again be willing to depend operationally on technology it can’t see completely inside.

Depoliticized ideology (“open source,” “open standards”) having been developed to ensure that business feels no unnecessary friction in spreading the technologies of freedom, by the end of the twentieth century the multinational information technology mainstream is investing billions of dollars annually in the task. Capitalism begins to pay the movement’s volunteers premium wages to make the technology that destroys ownership in favor of sharing, and immensely powerful firms compete actively against one another to distribute it as widely as possible.


The movement’s technical infrastructure is a mature, integrated, commensal organism within the bowels of global capitalism. It is self-sustaining, ineradicable, and it is exactly on schedule. The movement accordingly gives more attention to following up the legal and diplomatic consequences of the victory. It begins to draw heavily upon its credit with capitalism for relevant resources.

The movement becomes not only legally far-sighted, but legally formidable. It makes an example of Columbia University, by destroying a bad patent the university considers so valuable it wastes millions of dollars trying to defend it. The university writes off $120 million in expected patent revenue, and has to reconfigure its real estate development financing; biotechnology research throughout the US is freed of illegal taxation.

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