Tuesday, 11 August 2009
The death of Poweromics - A simple 'Coup de Text'?
The internet, cellphones and text messaging are changing balance of 'power' and the way political mobilizations are conducted around the world. From Manila to Riyadh and Kathmandu protests once publicized on coffeehouse bulletin boards are now organized entirely through text-messaging networks that can reach vast numbers of people in a matter of minutes.
The technology is also changing the organization and dynamics of protests, allowing leaders to control, virtually minute-by-minute, the movements of demonstrators, like 'military generals' in the field. Using texts that communicate orders instantly, organizers can instantaneously call for rallies against 'wrongs' and steer the actions of law-abiding protesters.
The Philippines, widely called the text-messaging center of the world, has led the way. When President Joseph Estrada was forced from office in 2001, he bitterly complained that the popular uprising against him was a "coup de text." Every major Philippine political party and nonprofit group has a database of its supporters' cellphone numbers and many now use computers to automatically generate mass text mailings to those phones with news about issues or rallies or upcoming votes.
Politicians in 'authority' clearly understand this (e.g. Gordon Brown mentioned it in a speech earlier this year) and in their fight to maintain 'power' (so they can continue to 'profit' from 'power') they will actively trying to stop it! For instance in 2006 Nepal's King Gyanendra ordered authorities to cut cellphone services after protesters against his absolute rule used text messages to help assemble street protests by tens of thousands of democracy advocates. This type of strategy will also be a very clear (albeit 'hidden') part of any G8/20 plan for whenever 'world leaders' meet (e.g. at the last G20 meeting in London for instance).
As mentioned in previous posts, communication technology (e.g. internet, mobile technology) is enabling a new era of democracy - which is a real problem for those currently in 'authority' and 'power' who don't want 'real democracy' to occur. IMHO one of the biggest scams/cons of all time is suggesting that the UK/US are a 'beacon' of democracy - when this couldn't be further from the truth. For instance take a look at my previous post about '21st century democracy' here).
Gordon Brown not only understands the change communications is about to make, he talks about it, and about a new world order that will result too (e.g. for tackling climate change, oppression, poverty, the financial crisis), based on a new set of values (responsibility, fairness) ... ! So is this particular 'leader' actually starting to get the message and looking to introduce moral values & ethics into politics, to really 'right the wrongs' and to deal with 'injustice' too ...?
Unfortunately all the real evidence from the UK suggests not ... in fact it suggests quite the opposite*. IMHO this 'showmanship' talk says far more about what he would ideally like to be remembered for (nb instead of completely destroying the UK's economy!) and associated with (e.g. in a similar way to Al Gore's - take a look at the following post too). Worse still, it arguably highlights the hypocrisy of a person who has actually been i) completely neglecting the needs of all the people in the UK he was 'responsible' for 'representing', ii) continuing to 'manipulate' democracy to make sure we don't get proper democracy, and iii) quietly supporting and introducing a myriad of new laws (under the banner of 'terrorism') to bring forward a 'police state', to 'reduce civil liberties' (particularly related to the use of internet, email and communications technology) and to restrict people's basic democracy (i.e. 'freedom of speech' and the 'right to protest').
In addition he has failed to address one of the arguably most widespread and 'fundamental' of 'injustices' - the application of Poweromics**. For instance rather than demonstrating values such as 'trust, honor, responsibility & respect', all we have seen is deceit, lies, broken promises, cover-ups, corruption and spin ...
... in fact in virtually every decision & action taken he has not only completely failed to address Poweromics - he's actually made it much worse (e.g. command & control, unelected ministers, centralised targets, party whips, quangos, spin doctors, growth in bureaucracy, growth in inspection, reduction in civil liberties, reduction in democracy, support for banking, lack of support for enterprise, financial crisis, bailout of banks, broken EU referendum promises, MP's pay/expenses fiasco, government/consumer debt, unemployment, stealth taxes, destruction of pensions, destruction of our nation's future, destruction of our children's future ... etc etc).
In fact whilst openly promoting the benefits of a new era based on social values ('powered' by 21st century communications) to everyone else around the world, in the UK he has been quietly doing a huge amount to 'stifle' it ... as well as to prevent a 'new era' of '21st century democracy' from being born ... by restricting 'civil liberties' and reducing 'freedom of speech' ... (mostly under the 'banner' of tackling 'terrorism', when in fact most of it has little/nothing to do with 'terrorism' at all, but has been introduced to restrict ordinary 'law-abiding' people's ability to be heard and to have their say, in a peaceful/collective way) ... to make sure Poweromics** lives on ...!
And are such 'strategies' likely to work for any length of time ... not really ... as history says change will happen sooner rather than later, and it will do so in many different ways ... for instance, if communications (like cellphones) are cut for any length of time, businesses cannot operate, nations stop working effectively (e.g. remember all the chaos at UK petrol stations when just a few people decided to protest - see below), and any confidence in that nation's economy/democracy will reduce further ... which most 'leaders' and nations cannot 'afford' to do (and certainly not in the UK) ... so their 'authority' and 'power' is much more fragile than they would like people to think ... and as the Phillipines past President Joseph Estrada found out to his cost.
When more of the nation, and particularly the 'work-force of the nation', decide to stop what they are doing (i.e. stop adding 'value'!) and collectively head to Westminster (and/or wherever 'leaders' reside) to protest at what's going on (e.g. poweromics, restriction of democracy, civil liberties, communication links being cut ...) change will start to happen, as they cannot lawfully, or practicably, stop peaceful protests, and if they started to detain lots of people (and perhaps millions of people), it would only make the situation much worse! The irony is many countries are already looking at the UK with pity, and ordinary hard-working people need to realise this and start to do something about it ... US citizens will, French citizens will, and eventually UK citizens will ...
... as Edmund Burke said, 'For evil to flourish, all it need is for good men to do nothing' ...
and the 'battle of the future' is a 'battle of values', a 'battle' that 'transcends nations' ... it was predicted many years ago but it's just beginning now. The outcome of the 'battle' will benefit society and communities all around the world (as long as we don't allow 'leaders' to create 'battles between nations' instead), and it will stop those who use (and misuse) 'power' in order to 'profit from it' (and at the 'expense of all others') ... as well as 'helping' all those in genuine need/difficulty ... whilst also 'rewarding' those who add 'real value' to others, their communities, their economies/nations and to the environment in which we all live ...
* As Prime Minister (PM) of the UK he has been more than happy taking massive amounts of others people's money (including our future generation's money) and spending all of it, systematically wasting between 40-80% of it ... and without ever having been elected to the position of PM by the people too.
** Poweromics = People using position and power for their own personal gain, based on poor moral values, self interest and greed.