Reconstitution through Repeace
To the Founding Fathers,
We come with no easy blueprint for tomorrow's constitution. We mistrust those who think they already have the answers when we are still trying to formulate the questions. But the time has come for us to imagine completely novel alternatives, to discuss, dissent, debate, and design from the ground up the democratic architecture of tomorrow.
Not in a spirit of anger or dogmatism, not in a sudden impulsive spasm, but through the widest consultation and peaceful public participation, we need to join together to reconstitute America.
Alvin and Heidi Toffler - from the book 'Creating a New Civilization"'
There have been many groups which have grown out of the availability of the Internet and the flow of information which ensued. Some lean towards existing parties, others are bipartisan, and some have their base in the belief of an entirely new design. But the important thing is these people have seen the shift taking place, and through communication are attempting to make the inevitable much better, easier, and more participatory. I believe we can gain usable knowledge from any and perhaps all of these groups. Perhaps there is a need for new terminology? Instead of "politics", maybe we could call it "citizenology" or something of the sort? The word citizenship, according to Wikipedia, often also implies working towards the betterment of community through participation, volunteer work, and efforts to improve life for all citizens. So I suppose citizenology would be the study of how people, through participation, can work to improve life for all people. People deal with their differences by creating alliances, discussing, negotiating, and engaging people on issues which involve the self-interest of like-minded people. We need less stratification due to vertically structured parties, and more accordance through horizontal citizen engagement.
Of special interest to the designers of our future is the emergence of Electronic Democracy, and the possibility of a new participatory based Internet Democracy, which could open new positions of speech, empowering previously excluded groups and enabling new aspects of social life to become part of the political process. Actually, through on-line participation, is it too "far out" to believe this form of democracy could/will create a new meaning to the term "politics"? The political and social scientists are drawn to the implications of the Internet in relation to the opportunities it offers society. They continually attempt to identify whether this new technology will promote democracy and if so, how will our political landscape change? The problem is, technology along with the peoples willingness to explore and expand, is moving the issues so fast, by the time these experts put together a theory, the advancements of the people driven technology has deemed their work archaic.
Many believe however that the Internet with all it's positive influence in building more democratic communities, still remains susceptible to totalitarian governments and their control by monitoring the people's thoughts, ideas, and activities. This definitely is worthy of discussion and there are ways of circumventing these controls electronically, but the best way to fight this type of undemocratic control is through cooperative community efforts to bring this totalitarianism into the public light and fight to maintain an open and uncensored flow of communication. It's still about cooperation and groups/communities of support. Repeace can create that community which demands accountability through democratic practices.
The Internet has brought about a transparency which shows how our political system has failed it's citizens. We can now witness a small group in our nation's capitals who are attempting to overthrow the will of the people while ignoring the majority. The technology which we are immersed in shows us our political processes are nothing more than a narrow tool of the elite. Propaganda and info-spin keep us constantly bombarded with tripe whose sole purpose is an attempt to save an unaccountable dying structure rather than adapt to the shift of the 21st Century and build a new democracy. One that actually is more democratic and participatory in nature.
There's no doubt the changes will be seismic in nature as we evolve into this uncharted world. The acceleration, which in no small part, is due to the introduction of the personal computer, will continue on an escalated scale. Unlike the shifts of the past, this one will happen within decades rather than generations and we will feel the world shift under our feet. The individuals and institutions who have a vested interest in the dying age will do everything in their power to resist the change. But despite all that these powerful few try, our political and economical systems must change as will the functions of our educational systems, labor, corporations, and the definition of capital.
There are millions of ideas concerning what the Digital Revolution will bring, from one end of the spectrum to the other, but the important thing to remember is that we actually are in the middle of the shift and the world as we know it is changing. This change is due to the amount of available information and our ability to share that information. What the world will evolve into is no doubt questionable and our future isn't set in stone, but it's how you and I use this available technology and information, and how we share it which will help build our world the way we know it should be. Yes, there are millions of people who refuse to see the old systems are decaying, but there are millions more who do share the idea that the people of the earth do have common goals and a connectivity that reaches far beyond the political and economical boundaries which have been thrust upon human beings to enforce the agendas of a select few.