It was the circumstance by which one could self-deliberate (rather than be deliberated by another). This circumstance was not equitable, enlightening, or fulfilling. Simply: the door was opened and one was left to his own devices to navigate what he found on the other side. Win, lose: mostly (if not all) on you.
It is the circumstance in which equity (of thought, of economy, of selves) is the prime concern (never mind the nascent politburo in the corner), overriding any and all other concerns. In particular: the idiosyncratic interest must always give way to the communitarian interest. A wireless node in every home (and, soon, in every head).
Piss-poor echo of what it was; betrayal of what it could have been.