The myth of the libertarian Internet.

Imagine a world in which airplane technology was advancing rapidly but digital communications technology was stagnating. I think libertarians would have a ready explaination. Aviation, though hardly unregulated, is supervised by the government for basic safety of operations and then firms and inventors are allowed to roam freely. The Internet, by contrast, is a cesspool of government intervention. Rather than founded on the independent spirit of the Wright Brothers, the Internet is literally the bastard offspring of a government civil defense program and European physics research consortium. The Internet consists of a bunch of wires that need to be run underground, generally under city streets, ensuring that construction can only happen with the cooperation of local political officials. The cable and telephone companies who provide access are regulated by both state and federal governments, often with inconsistent and overlapping schemes.

Yglesias exposes the libertarian tactic of pointing to success and chanting capitalism and pointing to failure and chanting Da-Gubment! with little concern about details.