Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Who Exactly is Talkin' 'Bout a Revolution?

Zack Exley, organizer of the RootsCamp and founder of the New Organizing Institute, has started a conversation on "really big picture politics" by way of a google group. Not questions like "how are we going to help our candidate win?" but "what kind of society do we want to create?" and "how do we create it?" Ya know, the big stuff.

I think this is great. Even the most idealistic of us often spend too much time focusing on the short term - on this crisis, that campaign. There are many directions Zack's conversation could go and it'll be interesting to see what ideas are proposed.

The thing I am most interested in now is who's at the table. Who will participate in this conversation? Ideally, not only smart and innovative people with some practical experience of what they're talking about.

And here I come to the issue of demographics. The RootsCamp participants, myself included, were overwhelmingly middle class and white, which means that our ideas about social change and revolution have more to do with empathy than personal experience.


We want an end to war, though we have never seen one. We want an end to poverty, though we have never been poor. We want an end to corruption, though we have never had to pay a bribe to a government official. We want to end global warming though we all have air conditioning. We want an end to racism though we are rarely judged negatively based on the color of our skin.

How hard will we fight for revolutionary change if the basis for our struggle is not personal experience but empathy? There are probably those who will disagree, but I think an "empathizer" will never fight for a cause as hard as the personal actually affected could if they were given the capacity to act.

My passion is social change tech in the developing world. The reason I am passionate about this field is that I see technologies like e-mail, text messaging, blogs, and browers as ways to empower the powerless by giving them an inexpensive mass means of communication, organization, information, and message dissemination (sorry for the rhyming). I think that empowering the powerless should be a central goal in any revolution. Don't be a leader. Teach your followers how to lead themselves.

Photo: David Boyle

categories: internet activism_, the "developing world"

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Ummm, if you read Exley's premise carefully, you see it's Marxism couched in terms intended to sound fuzzy bunny, but it is nothing more than a scam to impose a system that is as cruel and parasitical as any of the examples of Marxism has ever been. A system with a narrow elite overseeing the enslavement of the most powerless. Nothing more. Don't be deceived. Back in '93 Exley was speaking about taking down the democratic party, this is his plan to do so.
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