bring us back to You: further dialogue

Here are some additional, more cohesive thoughts to what was hastily written below (inspired by an indirect prompting by Sarah Baggs):

Don’t worry, I’m not thinking America is on the verge of some anarchical tirade. The Guy Fawkes comment – though I still believe the masks to be a message not fully cohesive with the protesters’ demands – was meant to be more of an intro and segue to my latter thoughts. However, the sudden, intermittent, and selective use of the mask also provides clear evidence of a group of people who seek collective action, but are still learning how to do so effectively.

And this makes sense. I mean, mass amateurization in all facets of life has been made real through the Internet and social media; the problem is, we are all still learning how to harness this newfound ability. I read this book for school nearly a year ago titled Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky. A line that continues to stick with me reads, “Social tools don’t create collective action – they merely remove the obstacles to it.” Back during the Great Depression, when our economy had tanked just as much as it has now, never would OWS have existed. Except now that we have the means of creating collective social action, it’s become a predominant force in protesting the great disparity of wealth.

Finally, and in light of the quote above, this is where my warning comes in: OWS, an idea I believe stems from the Egyptian revolution, is in a period of shifting from social phenomenon to status quo. In other words, it’s an idea that is excitingly new and fresh to society, but becoming a regular form of action that will change the way humanity functions as a whole. This is good; I fully approve and encourage the idea. Except what must be recognized are the hiccups and inadequacies that trudge along with this changing pattern. OWS is tackling a HUGE issue within America – an issue that must be addressed. What’s difficult to watch, though, is that it’s utilizing a system still under construction to express its voice.

Sadly, I’m not sure what other route can be taken nowadays. We’ve realized this new potential with social activism, but the system’s not going to improve unless we participate within it. I just wish something as important as OWS could operate with a more developed tool to express itself. So, in reevaluating my own thoughts, my warning isn’t out of dismay; rather, it’s to encourage further thought towards the effectiveness of a group acting on a necessary endeavor.

That said, sorry for the cynical tone of my last post. I’m just a little unsettled about the slow crumbling of American government and economics. Amongst other things. Sigh…

And so we go.


~ by Chris Kyle on October 20, 2011.

One Response to “bring us back to You: further dialogue”

  1. Love the thoughts brother. Always. You have good reason to be unsettled. It’s hard to express frustration about national politics without cynicism because it’s super sad to watch the land of the “free” be shackled to poverty, corruption, and an ever-widening gap between rich and poor. Don’t be too hard on yourself 🙂

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