March 17, 2003 00:21 | Culture / WebBlogging / WebTech

Finally the "R" word...

Joi Ito finally said it; the R word: Revolution.

In his case he speaks of Japan and it's political/economic systems, but I've been itching to hear it lobbed about here in North America, and more specifically, in the U.S. Helloooo wildly corrupted borderline fascist state!!!

But this is not why I am writing this tonight.

Ito-san says:

Most people still have jobs and are generally happy. Most people believe that they cannot cause change. And in fact, there is no easy mechanism for the people to cause change.
Several people have suggested that a revolution won't happen until we have a true economic meltdown -- maybe in a few years.
I talked about how blogs could encourage activism and they described that the way the students got "activated" was similar. We decided that the environment which caused the student uprisings does not exist today and the establishment and its ability thwart such an attempt is much stronger.
So, we decided that we focus not on politics or revolution for the moment, but on "truth." We will focus on having meetings and creating tools to help people in pursuit of "the truth."

Bravo! However, while I am sure the point was raised already, I must add this:
The roots of Revolution are always grounded in a combination of general dissatisfaction with the status quo and the pursuit and dissemination "truth" by a core group of active change agents.

Actual change however requires a critical mass of popular support: a mob. Smart mob or not, a mob is a mob and mob mentality is very hard to control. In the worst case scenarios (which historically are what ends up happening most of the time when critical mass is achieved), heads roll and blood is spilt.

Hmmm.. time to revisit Ghandi. Apply what he has taught us to the present day possibilities of mass communication. Theoretically, a critical mass of calm populi who are in agreement for what needs to be changed *should* engender change. The trick in this case is that the existing democratic process must be eschewed completely... This is where all the talk of emergent democracy and direct democracy comes into play. The technology and tools are not *quite* there yet I don't think, but by all means we MUST continue talking about it and preparing for it.

Count me in.

Quick additional thought: Revolution is preceded by Renaissance. As so eloquently stated by Dee Hock in his email to Ito-san a few days back (thank you so much for sharing that!!!) :

Culture brings us together, usually at a very small scale through mutual belief, trust and common interest. It educes, not compels, behavior. Culture codified is law. It is as inevitable as the day the night that as scale increases, law increases. Law enforced is government. Government does not, in the main, educe behavior, but compels it.

The culture must begin the process.

So yes, please let us continue working on the Technological Renaissance we need before we can proceed.

"Three Pistols"
Bring on a brand new renaissance
Cause I think I'm ready
I've been shaking all night long
But my hands are steady.
- The Tragically Hip


Hey B,

I reckon we should start a tourism company aimed at Americans.

We could bus em' up here and show them "wassup" with their country.

They would be able to enjoy unrestricted cable access to news from around the world (for an extra fee we could include non-western news sources!)

We could let them use the internet without fear of being monitored. This might cause a bit of shock at first. After all they are not used to having freedom of speech, privacy and freewill all at the same time ...

We could give them food whose ingredients do not list the periodic table

We might even be really nice and let them have some beer. Only some though, mind you ... we don't want them getting all rowdy.

Anyway ... just a few thoughts. We could call it Canadaland ... it would be a sure winner ... at least until the Americans buy it :(

I think it is folly and naive to think that only America's population is being manipulated by their media. I am inclined to think that they are one of the worst examples in the first world, but the rest of us are not completely spared. Our own countries are, after all, not immune to the capitalist machine ;)

:) I second Steph on that. Every medias are manipulated in a way or the other. Some of them will present more alternatives, more explanations, but all of them gives a point of view.

The problem is more when medias do not address a topic or an important news. Right now, the strategy is to flood the medias with one information more than multiple little sources.

The point I'm a bit worried with Emergent democracy is that it's very american centric or western world centric. One of the thing to notice on the mailing list and I didn't time to ask yet: How many people are not from US on this list? How many people are not native english?