A world to win
A world to win
The possibility of building a better more just world is far away.
We have no alternatives to offer to the hegemonic neo-liberalisam.
Over the last 20 years we have a decay of left thinking and action.
From the 20th century hierarchical “stop the war”
To the 21st century anarchy of “climate camp”
The open internet which gave birth to the World Wide Web has fallen into the dotcom silos and locked in app echo systems of Apple and Failbook.
Our political institutions have been captured by corporations (Monbiot)
The left is little but shadow puppets playing on a cardboard stage, while Climate Change in hand with rampant neo liberal inequality are burning all that we ones held dear.
A world to win?
The are many of overlapping tributary’s to the wide river of sustainability and justice, the river is there for us to see.
The open internet is still their for a while longer and we have the tools to use it, just not the wile and co-operation to move anywhere.
Our “democraticish” political institutions are still in place (though leaning with decay)
Climate change is going to wash around the world, initially we in the rich west will be less affected than the rest of the world, this gives us a privileged place to affect the outcome of this wave of disruption and devastation. We will have power to challenge the outcome.
Moving to decentralised renewable power is inevitable (no matter what the neo-liberal fools do) this will mediate the eco-transformation climatechange brings.
Wordpress, friend or foe for activism?
In tech the successful part of the corporate internet is building peer-to-peer(ish) web projects. This is after the wholesale failure of the top-down hierarchical internet that went bankrupt in the dotcom boom. facebook and twitter, 4square and instagram, youtube etc are all built on horizontal(ish) peer production. Activism is still in the sterile and narrow dotcom boom of vertical knowledge production and distribution. The perfect tool widely used for this is the wordpress blogging platform. It's a tool for a single voice, for the top to speak to the foot solderers. Beyond its commenting system the is no peer production in a wordpress setup.
The hierarchical corporations are doing peer to peer production, the horizontal activists are doing top-down hierarchical. If the wholesale failure of activism wasn’t important I would laugh at them. Here is an advert from frackoff:
"This spring, Frack Off are sponsoring Wordpress training for a dozen new local anti-fracking groups across the country and are looking for Wordpress trainers who will work for train fare, money for a pasty or two and of course the good feeling of doing something worthwhile for a really good cause. Frack Off need at least three or four tech activists who know their way round Wordpress to deliver the training in various parts of the country.
At the risk of overselling the project, this will be a great opportunity for someone to do a spot of travelling and meet some of the local campaigners and grassroots activists who are giving hell to the frackers and working to get this destructive practice stopped before it gets started in the UK."
This represents a failure in every way imaginable, a failure of ideology, a failure of strategic thinking, a failure of leadership. And a failure of social change. Tech activism is currently not going anywhere.
There is nothing inherently wrong with wordpress. It's a fine tool for nice looking top-down single voice web portals. Where the wrongness lies is in the activist media use of it as the "tool" to build an internet site for activist campaigning. It is the wrong tool for this.
Activist peer to peer tools would be wikis http://en.wikipedia.org
Sites that have activity feeds such as http://visionon.tv
Aggregating sites http://globalviews.visionon.tv
Ps. I use the (ish) for corporate peer to peer production as it is ONLY the face of P2P. Underneath it is a solid controlling hierarchy just like it always was.
The memory hole in activism
The is a churning of the wheel in activism, it is part of the explanation of why campaigns tend to tern in cercals, the social change we push is often bogged down by these muddy memory’s. The churning of the ground is mistaken for real movement, then activist get bored and move on to the next campaign. Its rare that the cart of activism moves any real distance.
Of course what is needed is for someone to innovate, get straw or wood under the wheels, leaver the cart out of the hole, organise a rope team to pull together, this gets the cart further along the road to where people really would like to go. Its a spark that dose it, but sparks that fall on muddy ground are soon snuffed out.
The memory hole keeps us all in the mud, it dampens the sparks that make things happen, its a churning that moves the mud in a facsimile of progress – and many people mistake the churning of mud for the moving of the cart. The failure of inspiration leads many to drop out of the activist path. The cart abandoned mired in the mud for the next group of idealistic and eager but forgetful crew to push and pull.
So the morel of this muddy and forget full fable? Please add your thoughts in the comments.
The activist problem of failbook
Almost all of Activism is organized on one corporate network and its run by this man
"Mark Zuckerberg’s new political group, which bills itself as a bipartisan entity dedicated to passing immigration reform, has spent considerable resources on ads advocating a host of anti-environmental causes — including driling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and constructing the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline."
its the magnitude of the failure of the alternatives that is at issue - for many people the web is facebook - this is now true for almost all activist online organising. The man who controls facebook is an elitist tosspot right winger and controls all this activist organising. What other tools do we have?
Couple of points: FB is a trap, that has been sponge to close the open internet - to take us back to the days of mediated media and communication. The reach is not huge (just do a search to find out how your messages are already filtered) its actually very small for any message that does not further facebook's advertising/money making plans. Yes, it has revolutionised activism and it has enclosed it and pushed aside all alternatives... inclose and privatises then exploit... its an old story. Facebook like all dotcoms is likely to fail, but it has shifted the web towards closer and the next round of corporate social networking will consolidate this shift. With the open web (and digitization project) we have a once in a century opportunity to reshape our society, we are fucking this up big time
Who do we trust?
Those we see as trustworthy are Liars, cheats and swindlers. The bankers and bureaucrats at the moment. I think we have always had this backwards view of the world, is it a failure of the education system or a failure of our collective imagination - the needing to belong.
The 20th century has been the century of advertising driven consumerism. The 19th that of the racial mission of empire before that we had the certainty of religious dogma. In each we trusted and were constrained and betrayed.
We have a backwards view of the world today, though today we have potential way out of this (historic?) limitation or perhaps its hard-wired?
Lets test this and see:
The internet is a revolution in per-per connections in everything that can be digitised.
* we can make and distribute powerful, truth, filled media, we have the tools in our pockits and the open internet is still in place to carry this.
* we can build universal access to education, again the old gatekeepers are still currently not blocking this.
* we can make our own political institutions up from the grassroots – this will be harder.
With these we have the possibility of shining light and action on the Liars, cheats and swindlers – and by doing that we have a possibility to know who to trust and if we know that we can make this world of ours a more humane place.