The roots of the Internet can be found in the move from large mainframes to smaller and locally connected machines (Unices or VAXen) Unix. Obviously there was a need to connect to remote machines in a convenient way and not only with manually managed uucp networks.
Eventually in the mid 90ies decentralization was achieved and directly visible due to Gopher and the Web. With the move of the big search engines to a general service providers, things started to revert to the former centralization.
The Internet still looks like a collection of many computers but in reality most system do not anymore work without access to, say, apis.google.com. Unfortunately desktops environments moved in the same direction.
Do we really want to rely on other peoples machines?