Illicit Goods and Services on the Dark Web: A Debate

Most readers are aware that the dark web is a collection of websites that are inaccessible to search engines and accessible only by using browsers like Tor in union with dark web links. Although the dark web is frequently linked to criminal activity, it also offers a platform for anonymous buying and selling of goods and services.

In this article, we want to do a thought experiment.

Referencing the ideas of Wittgenstein, Camus, and Žižek, we will examine the role that illegal goods and services offered on the dark web affect society. Our interlocutors are two (fictional) characters whose study of the aforementioned philosophers brings them to differing views of dark web markets.

In a fictitious situation, Dr. Macron and Martin, a doctoral student in the philosophy department at the Sorbonne, are having a passionate conversation about the influence of the dark web market on society. According to Dr. Macron, the dark web market is a double-edged sword that provides access to goods and services that may not be available through regular channels while also permitting illegal activities.

Martin, on the other side, feels that the dark web economy is a constructive force in society, giving people more freedom and access to goods and services.

Dr. Macron contends, drawing on Wittgenstein’s ideas, that the concept of freedom is never absolute, but always relevant to the situation in which it is exercised. The ability to purchase and sell products and services anonymously is overshadowed by the negative implications, such as assisting organized crime and facilitating unlawful actions, in the case of the dark web market.

Martin, influenced by Camus, contends that the dark web market reflects the human longing for freedom and the rejection of arbitrary official prohibitions. He claims that the dark web allows people to express their freedom and access goods and services that would otherwise be unavailable through legitimate methods.

Dr. Macron responds by drawing on Žižek’s theories, suggesting that the dark web market is a symptom of a larger social issue in which individuals feel compelled to engage in unlawful acts in order to express their independence. He argues that rather than focusing on the dark web market, society should address the underlying reasons of the problem, such as inequality and state-imposed constraints on human freedom.

To summarize, the unlawful products and services available on the dark web and their influence on society is a complex matter with arguments from both sides. While the dark web market allows access to goods and services that may not be available through legal means, it also facilitates and encourages illegal behavior and organized crime. The conversation between Dr. Macron and Martin emphasizes the contrasting perspectives on the influence of the dark web market on society and the importance of considering the issue’s larger social ramifications.



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