We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Insurgent Anarchism; An Idea Whose Time Has Come – Part 1 of 3

Click here to access article by Nozomi Hayase from Associated Whistleblowing Press.
In this series,  Nozomi Hayase develops deep and incredibly up-to-date reflections on an entirely contemporary political phenomenon. Social movements – both on-line and off-line – are synthesized, compared and analyzed in a very elaborated fashion. Occupy, cypherpunks, peer-to-peer and whistle-blowing are elements of this the first part of Hayase’s masterpiece on Anarchism.
By posting this Part 1, I am doing something I've never done before: posting an article I haven't read (yet ). However, I did read the lengthy Part 2 of this series of 3, and was quite impressed.

I can't say that I agree with every point that the author has made in Part 2, and she has made many. However, she makes the best case, I have seen, in celebration of the benefits of the new internet based media to change the world. For her, it seems to be the final flowering of the essence of anarchism. As such it is not a critical examination of the influence of this new technology on world events now or in the future--especially the latter. In any case, she provides an abundance of thought-provoking arguments and evidence to build her case.

Here are two samples from Part 2:
  • Anonymity offers freedom from being formed by other’s outer perception which often oppresses one’s existence. Whether it is a defiant protester with a Guy Fawkes mask on the street or an alias activist online, anonymity frees one from restrictions that are associated with social identity and pressures to conform. It is an act of dissension, an insurrection in the best sense of the word. One can engage in actions that are usually suppressed or discouraged in the belief that they do not fit social norms and may disrupt the existing social structure.
  • What is emerging now is innovative citizen diplomacy, alternative currencies and peer-to-peer journalism. These horizontal structures and ideas are breaking down traditional vertical structures and shaking up dependent identities embedded within them. A torrent of civic imagination is swirling through the disintegrating corporate political structures. Beneath the turbulent system error of outer calamity, a current of shared creativity is silently rebooting civilization.   
Here are links to Part 2 and Part 3.