Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blogs and Political Reform

One might require a Ford Foundation grant to convincingly address the following question: What effect is the blogosphere (and alternate media in general) having on the prospects for genuine, organized political reform? Unfortunately, as I have no such resources at my disposal, I must try to come to some sort of conclusion based on nothing more than my own humble observations.

Empirically, after being immersed in the world of blogs of various kinds for some number of years now, my present view is that, at least where political action is concerned, the blogosphere may be doing, at best, only a small amount in assisting the winds of change. Simply, if not necessarily simplistically, put, despite the wide array of excellent blogs covering numerous areas vital to public life, my sense is that the many impassioned, well wrought, and sometimes even brilliant electronic scribbling that can be found on the blogosphere is not demonstrating the capacity to act as much of propulsive force for genuine, organized, political change.

Perhaps I shouldn't expect the blogosphere to have anything like the potential I would like it to have, and, yet, I am still disappointed in what I sense is, for the most part, a collective waste of energy coming from that part of the blogoshpere that seems to desire having a very different set of values in place informing our politics. Then, of course, perhaps my premise is wrong, and some nascent, ready to turn the established order on its head movement- though not the Teaparty- is, as I write, coalescing as a result of a few inspired blogs. Unfortunately, instead, my sense is that much of the energy that might be dedicated to the sort of action I have in mind is instead being spent dissecting, analyzing, and sometimes just plain fulminating against the established political order.

These are all laudable pursuits, even fulminating can, at least to some modest degree, be defended as useful, but, at the same time, I feel that, for good reasons, the forum that blogs provide overwhelmingly tend to dissipate the energies of their collective readership.

In the meantime, the established order, at least where the economy is concerned, seems to be in a well evolved state of epic upheaval, and if that perception is indeed accurate, history tells us that ineluctably the political sphere will soon experience its own brand of foundational tumult.

And while I'm quite prepared to give some unspecified sum of credit to the blogosphere for helping to assist change in the hearts and minds of some number of the populace, it seems to me that whatever effect the blogosphere is having as an agent of change, amounts to, at best, an engine for ad hoc responses to the dismal political status quo.


Sandor said...

This post echoes my thoughts and I'm sure the thoughts of many other dissident blog writers/readers. There may be times when the energy feels dissipated and the exercise seems to be counter-productive venting. However, valuable information is being conveyed, learning is taking place, and minds are changing.

Remember that systems evolution is intricate and seemingly chaotic, replete with unanticipated consequences. It is difficult to create alternatives to the existing systems mostly due to inertia and problems of scale. The prevailing dogma of exploitation and exponential growth is collapsing, it's just not clear how a globally coordinated locally communitarian conservationist ecological movement will takes its place.

Anger has its place as a reaction. As long as we don't hold on to it, we can use it as a catalyst for creative strategies to change the discourse, both publicly and privately.

Edwardo said...

I agree, Sandor, that valuable information is being conveyed. And I also concur that complex systems- and ours is far more complex, and, yet, more delicate, than that of our Colonial forbears-feature the headwinds of inertia and "problems of scale" working against those who would seek to change them. Finally, we also agree that, as you so very eloquently stated,

"The prevailing dogma of exploitation and exponential growth is collapsing, it's just not clear how a globally coordinated locally communitarian conservationist ecological movement will takes its place."

I would only add that, at least to me it is not by any means clear that a communitarian conservationist ecological movement will, in fact, take hold.

Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

DED said...

Unfortunately, I have to agree with Edwardo regarding "it is not by any means clear that a communitarian conservationist ecological movement will, in fact, take hold." The overwhelming majority still maintain that we can have all the unfettered consumptive economic growth we want. Listening to the rabble running for Congress, and in my state government, it would seem that our would be "leaders" have no intention of dissuading us from that delusion. Whether we will be able to steer ourselves away from the oncoming wall is yet to be determined. I don't wish to sound pessimistic but I haven't been given a reason to believe otherwise.

Johnny D. said...

You're right all the way round, Edwardo. Here's the thing. I don't know what to do about it. I won't take up arms against my own country. It may come to that, but better men than I will have to lead.

On a completely different, yet related note, my-oh-my but weren't you correct regarding my silver holdings. Holy Mackerel!

Edwardo said...

Johnny wrote:

"I won't take up arms against my own country."

I have a few questions for you, Johnny.

1.)Who is advocating that you do?

2.)Who or what constitutes your country?

As I'm sure you know, the authors of The Constitution were very aware that one's worst enemies may be, in fact, domestic rather than foreign.

If one is prepared to incorporate that idea into one's thinking then "taking up arms against one's country" becomes a far less torturous proposition.

I think it can be argued that we have a number of readily identifiable enemies of The Constitution operating at the highest levels of officialdom. It would be far more preferable to remove them via legal means rather than having to resort to extra-legal measures, but, in time, that may not prove possible.

Regarding silver's blast higher today: There is more of that in store for precious metals.

Johnny D. said...

Forgive me, sir, if you think that I was implying you were advocating arms. Not at all. It's just that I've heard that kicked about of late in various blogs and vids on youtube.

I'm a U.S. citizen, so when I use "my country," I mean it in the classic sense.

Edwardo said...

I didn't think you were claiming that I was suggesting that citizens should take up arms against domestic enemies, Johnny. I think the drumbeat on that one, as per the unspecified blogs and videos you mentioned, is of the low volume sort, but constant.

Anonymous said...

Why do you hate democrats so much? Let's a find a balance first, and then start blaming each other. And don't say war is the answer.
Message to moderator - I'm not spamming, or promoting anything, I'm just testing the features of this forum.
I blog about pretty important issues, but my blog has recently been suspended, any ideas why?
How do people blog on other people's blogs? Can I guest post on your site, I have lots of interesting articles.

Never trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn't die.

Anonymous said...

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jenessa said...

Blogs are very important to politics decisions on public opinion is known very fast. If a decision in politics is bad enough you could see blogs popping up within minutes of the press release.