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Although I take no pleasure in pointing this out, what is apparently happening on E2 is a symptom of this very problem. Excessive permissiveness coupled with a lack of strong direction and moral compass combine to produce a sort of frenzied destructive idiocy. Even E2, a place which I (as a lurker) have been planning to enter for some time due to its (relative to the Internet) support of free and open dialogue, has succumbed.

Probably the first hint was the 'banning' of Noding about noding nodes, and the general oppressiveness of the authorities on the site. However, others have covered that. the recent (today?) barrage of juvenile postings, which some claim are the work of hackers who have breached e2's systems, are a strong reminder. Most likely these attacks are being perpetrated by users who have at least at one point been considered 'E2 users' - there is a great deal of tacit knowledge being displayed, from recent memes to older chestnuts. Even if those responsible simply read E2 to find good themes to parody, that makes them 'E2 users.'

Why do we care?

Because this is so much like American culture nowadays. The end of the Cold War has brought with it a sense of complete complacency about external threats. Even more serious, it has brought with it complacency about particular internal threats - notably those involving infiltration and sabotage. Sure, everyone's worried about school violence or IP violations or biowarfare - but is anyone looking for the long-term, patient cultural saboteur? No.

The Communist is no longer an enemy.

However, foundational institutions of the U.S. and its society are under attack, and no-one seems to care. Who is doing this? Why? The answers are simple, if you care to look. Just because a nation-state that was bent on your destruction vanishes doesn't mean the people who made up that nation-state have. Be on your guard. Free and open cultures are well and good, but when that freedom and openness can be abused to undertake attacks against those cultures, then perhaps things have gone a bit too far.

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