After watching a short animation introducing the social organisation ‘Coalition of the willing’ I feel that I should be fulfilled and enlightened for society. That collectively, we must now show our appreciation to technology that has brought us to this heightened state of democratic expression. There has been no other time that has given us such freedom to connect, inform, and share thoughts, emotions, and ideas as the present time. Or has there?
As a skeptic I am a bit more critical about new things, and feel that each generation in the past has defined their generation as being unique to the others. The Silent Generation between the 20s and 30s, the famous Baby Boomers, Generation X and the Millennials or Gen Y. Each generation felt that they faced their own set of struggles, problems and resistance.
More recently the contemporary society has tackled a new set of political freedoms via micro-politics. Never before have technologies created network to bring empowerment to local communities. Think of GetUp, and Avaaz as two examples of micro-politics. They start small but they think large, and behold this is not a new idea either.
I just read about Leni Riefenstahl’s work. The essence of the article was that Riefenstahl’s moving image creating a captivating and emotive pieces of work (or campaigns). Now this is being adapted in interactive technologies to create mobility and to allow people to voice their own opinions, share ideas and lobby policies. Just think of Peer2peer sharing, which is happening online, where people can easily post information of their new designs and developments in farming, irrigation, or water ecosystems.
Although this phenomenon is happening, what is more challenging for a skeptic is whether we are entering a community which truly is participatory or simply more individualistic; Are we neglecting the political power structures that build society when undertaking this research into micro-politics? Or alternatively, am I being too paranoid. I’m more of a skeptic and although technology and networks create this dynamic form of social organization, I see the catch in it. Where is the funding coming from?
Knife Party and Rayner, Tim and Robson, Simon (2010) Coalition of the Willing http://coalitionofthewilling.org.uk/
Manning, Erin (2009) ‘From Biopolitics to the Biogram, or How Leni Riefenstahl Moves through Fascism’ in Relationscapes, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Anon. (2010) ‘Elinor Ostrom’, p2p foundation, link http://p2pfoundation.net/Elinor_Ostrom