Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Us Now!

Most of us continue to be socially fractured between certain ideological issues. We are bombarded every minute of every waking hour by the mainstream media and it's fracturing tactics. While we continue down these manufactured paths, there is a quickly growing movement of people who have risen above these ideological barriers and are actively building a collaborative world. This movement is growing exponentially and it's supporters are moving beyond our black and white, left or right world, changing the story, and building a world based on trust and a new reputation capital. Self-organizing online networked structures are now threatening to change the fabric of government forever. When we look at these collaborative projects, we quickly see they are based on transparency, self-selection, and open participation.

We tend to superficially gaze upon the river and never give much thought to the immense active system which lies below the surface. Being superficial, there is no way we can determine the integrity or health of that system. These growing collaborative approaches to social governing are spreading, and these organizations represent the lives within the system — what lies below the surface. The people choosing to participate in self-governance are rewriting the stories and they are not encumbered by social or political borders. They are moving beyond the deadly corporatized/institutionalized models of society and building a world which will be structured of, by, and for the people.

This flim shows us examples of the collaborative efforts of a fan owned soccer club, couch surfers, and even a bank where everyone is the manager. We have been bombarded with the WikiLeaks issues in 2010. I admit I have been guilty of being a participant in that bombarding. What is important is — the issue is not about Assange or WikiLeaks; those are only the surface of the river. What we do not hear about is the hundreds of thousands of people over the entire world like you and I who lie below the surface and make up the actual system. The time in our history when information was effectively locked away for only a certain chosen few is over. It's Over! So we can continue to choose to sit on the bank and ooh and ahh over the stillness or choppiness of the water's surface, or we can choose to be a living part of that river and become one of it's caretakers.

— As our bureaucratic structures argue and debate over their ideologies and dogma, it is more common to see the people doing a much better job of building a future built upon transparency, accountability, and sustainability.

Us Now from Banyak Films on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

WikiLeaks Documentary — Freedom Fighter or High-tech Terrorist: You Decide

Is it art? Revolution? Banksy or Bang For The Buck? You Decide:

Many thanks to WPB/NYC for bringing this to my attention! Outstanding!

Hedges' Empire of Illusion

There is nothing I can say that will add to Chris Hedges' profound understanding of our current situation as an empire in decline. Hedges' unveiling of this corporate regime in his book, "Empire of Illusion", should be required reading in all institutions of learning. But we know that will not happen as long as corporate America is supporting an educational system built around the job market rather than critical thinking. So as autonomous individuals, it is our responsibility to seek out the truth for ourselves.

"It is time for all of us to step out of the mainstream — to give up on the democratic party which has betrayed us, and in particular betrayed the working class — and fight for what is left of our anemic democracy." — Chris Hedges

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Multinational Corporations and Global Consciousness

I was watching the video with Mike Prysner delivering his Winter Soldier speech back in 2008. It reminded me of the enormity of the people's enemy, the enemy of our planet — the globalized corporate rule. Prysner had this to say:
The ruling class - the billionaires who profit from human suffering, who care only about expanding their wealth and controlling the world economy - understand that their power lies only in their ability to convince us that war, oppression, and exploitation is in our interest. They understand that their wealth is dependent on their ability to convince the working class to die to control the market of another country.

Just for a reminder of what the people are up against in a fight for a more egalitarian world. Given the growth rate and power of multinational corprations, egalitarianism would appear to be a lofty goal. Of the 100 largest economies on our planet, 51 are corporations and 49 are countries. I would also submit that a majority of the political/economical ties of those 49 countries are friendly and even complicit in the planet's corporatization.

Formidable enemy I would say! I suppose it would make sense if we knew as much about corporations as possible. Anup Shah quotes from Stephen P. Robbins book in his article The Rise of Corporations:
Technically speaking, a corporation is what [Stephen P. Robbins] describes as a “social invention of the state” (Robbins: p.98). That is, a state grants a corporate charter, permitting private financial resources being used for public purposes.

Shah also refers to Linclon's 1864 letter to Colonel William Elkins voicing his concerns about the power being placed within corporations.
I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. ... corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.

Corporations only know expansion and consumption, and in their wake is death and destruction. Globalized corporations have very few strict bounds or borders. The only way I see to fight such a foe is by globalized citizenry. Just as the corporations have gone multinational, so must the people. I see the next R-evolution as one of global consciousness that seamlessly crosses between man made borders. The future R-evolutionaries will be people whose hearts and minds work in unison rather than in opposition. People who will understand the value of trust and integrity, and who will sow those seeds of solidarity on a global scale.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

How Do We Survive The Leak

As I watched the Personal Democracy flash conference yesterday, my concerns about the real issues involved with Wikileaks were affirmed. If possible take the time to watch the entire conference. Considering the information provided by this great panel of speakers, the 3.5 hours is a good investment or time trade. I am afraid most people do not realize the importance of this moment. This appears to be one of those moments in history when a big shift takes place, one that affects the entire world.

pdfleaks on livestream.com. Broadcast Live Free

Lines are being drawn very quickly and it is imperative the people make some difficult but necessary decisions concerning the future of the web. Who controls the web? Who controls all our information? And who really has jurisdiction over the world web? Where/how do the people fit in on the decision making?

I listened to Zeyner Tufekci make her presentation at the symposium, and so much of what she had to say about this mirrored what I have heard so many others say. Zeyner is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She researches social impacts of technology, web theory, inequality, and social media. Here is a quote from her blog, Technosociology:

Many commentators have noted that the confidential U.S. embassy cables published by Wikileaks contain nothing that would surprise an “informed observer.” I agree and have said so as much myself. However, I think this actually is the real scandal exposed by Wikileaks: there is a fairly large circle of “insiders,” which include much of punditry and journalists, who have a fairly accurate picture of most issues, who nonetheless cooperate with, and in fact, make possible, the efforts of modern states to portray themselves as making decisions dictated by pure motives and high-minded principles rather than by power and interests. In my view, the potential impact of Wikileaks and similar efforts is not necessarily about leaking well-guarded secrets, which these were not; rather, it is about changing the audience for a particular discourse from insiders to outsiders. Rather than expose unknowns, I think it is more accurate to say that Wikileaks has collapsed the distinction between the “front” and “back stages” of the modern state, and exposed the gap between the day-to-day reality of modern statecraft and its civic front.

I also listened to Jeff Jarvis talk about us being at a huge change in society and how now even more than ever, we need a Bill of Rights in Cyberspace. Jeff firmly states that ..."the press must gather around to defend Wikileaks. Wikileaks is the press. If we do anything less, we risk a terrible precedence being set." The Cyberspace Bill of Rights Jeff has laid out is as follows:

I. We have the right to connect.
II. We have the right to speak freely.
III. We have the right to assemble and act.
IV. Information should be public by default, secret by necessity.
V. What is public is a public good.
VI. All bits are created equal.
VII. The internet shall be operated openly.

Jeff also noted on his blog prior to speaking at the symposium:

We are passing from a world organized around power-to-power transactions to one based on peer-to-peer engagement. I’ll argue that we in the press, especially, must defend Wikileaks’ right to free speech as it speaks truth to power. I’ll say that we must make transparency government’s default; we are far from that and risk moving away from that target rather than toward it.

All of the speakers made some wonderfully enlightening points and I urge each of you to watch the sysmposium...invest the time. I probably seem like the proverbial "Chicken Little", but I truly believe this is one of those hinge moments in human progress where we need everyone actively engaged in writing the story of our future. As Zeynep says in her presentation, "The democracy you save could be your own."
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.