Friday, August 7, 2009

Sorry Big Brother, Technology Favors Freedom

Some politicians have had more success than others putting new information and communication technology to work for themselves. Ron Paul has used the internet very effectively to get out his message. Obama far out-manuevered his opponents on the net as well. Until recently, it was a matter of being the first to know what was available and how to use it. All that is about to change.

The internet, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and other mass collaboration/communication networks are no longer a mystery to any one group of activists. In fact, the ability to communicate in real time with like minded people across the country and across the globe has made activists out of people who never felt like they had any control over the social-political landscape. This is bad news for collectivists and statists.

The new reality is that interest groups no longer need be a formal organization or even come with a long term commitment. Like minded individuals can band together for a rally this afternoon, and be on opposite sides of a different barricade later the same evening.

This type of "free radical" association favors those who tend to frown on central control in general. For people who truly value the preservation of individuality, free association and free markets, this mode of operating is right in their wheelhouse. It's actually a real life demonstration of the principals they espouse.

The White House is frantically trying to put the genie back in the bottle in response to the ad hoc association of people opposed to the health care overhaul. They've put out a call for people to report "fishy" information put out in emails, blog posts, even casual conversation. If they think that's going to stifle open communication, they couldn't be more wrong. I imagine the inbox at "" contains more angry and sarcastic emails than "fishiness" reports.

Monitoring and manipulating groups of neatly organized citizens is far easier than trying to corral 300,000,000 "free radicals". Some are panicked by the emerging social trends enabled by mass communication technology. They would refer to it as chaos. I believe the founders would refer to it as beautiful.

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