Dan Hazen of AlterNet has given us a good slap in our liberal and progressive faces. He laments by reviewing the sad fact that even if we of the light side of the darkness of politics have viable solutions to the social, cultural and planetary struggles we face, we’re doing a pretty shitty job of being inventive enough to make those alternatives come to life.
You can see his words in the expansive article Apocalypse Now: Seriously, It’s Time for a Major Rethink About Liberal and Progressive Politics.
From my perspective, though, I think he does a disservice to the entire domain of collaborative EMPOWERMENT (or e-power) in this digital age. It is a mindset where we take the areas we have influence over and make sure that they support and engage others who have the capacity for change. I agree completely with Hazen’s premise that we seem to willing to let money and the few rich with good hearts to lead the direction of a future where change can be empowered by aggressive activism.
For one thing, Hazen does a disservice to the power that Big Data will over. When we get to see and understand what millions if not hundreds of millions of people do with the technologies being handed to them, the masters of these areas who are growing increasingly conservative will see the error of their ways. The question is whether we are willing to write new scripts and stories with these advances before others takeaway their potential. (RadicalNOT, this blog, is about just this!)
There are other ways too that we can take back the money the uber rich and the ultra greedy have stolen. There are ways, for example, to build stronger collective voices into such seemingly innocuous systems as those that the fast food sector use to take our money, feed us poorly, and make us fat. If we learn to use the tools and ideas we have we don’t have to sit around and wait for the Apocalypse — we can reach out an connect and interact to change the direction of its coming.
The question is whether we have the ability to stand up and face our own advances. Hazen sounds doubtful. I’m more confident then ever than an in-their-face attitude will fine new friends and allies if we start envisioning a different future.
Either way, read Hazen’s piece.