Friday, December 14, 2007

The New Model for Revolution

As the Republican race comes down the home stretch before the first vote is cast in Iowa, the outcome is anything but certain. More clear than what the eventual voter totals will be is that the campaign of Ron Paul has built an underground infrastructure of funding, organizing and promoting that may very well mark a significant paradigm shift not only in political campaigns but in the organization of dissent against the United States government and governments around the world. For a moment lets take the backhanded compliment that Ron Paul’s campaign often receives, pundits will essentially say that he has a small but extremely vocal group that is highly motivated and well funded. Fair enough, lets take that criticism and see how and why the Ron Paul supporters have been able to bring together just that, a vocal, motivated, passionate and well funded group that spans not only the United States but to some extent the globe (there are meetup groups in Berlin, Paris, London, Tokyo, Sydney, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Cape Town…the list goes on and on).

It is the age of isolation in this country. People sit most nights alone or with a few others in front of their computers or television screens and wake up the next day to ride alone in their cars on the way to work where they sit isolated in their cubicle or work amongst people that only feel comfortable talking small talk as their freedoms evaporate around them. Then on the weekends Americans drive off to their divided places of worship or cheer for their hometown team against their neighbor’s team. Our country is divided and we are lost, so lost and isolated that it is hard to know where to start in order to turn this thing around. Thank God Ron Paul has come along, spent his life infiltrating the system and now has presented a means for organization, a shorthand for the revolution, the Ron Paul campaign.

Even Ron Paul himself thought he was alone and was hesitant to begin the campaign. Now it is becoming increasingly clear that the only people that are truly against Ron Paul are those that are desperately trying to hold onto their power, and unfortunately trying to control the minds and decisions of those that still believe that they are alone and that the thoughts that they think and the dreams that they dream are crazy…so they dismiss them. People in the United States are told repeatedly that only reasonable portions of their dreams are possible, and unfortunately sometimes the paranoid and desperate individuals that are in power in this United States government succeed in convincing millions of citizens that their situation in this world is hopeless, they should just be happy that they have not yet been murdered by terrorists.

Those who are part of this campaign in its early stages are seeing the inner workings of how mass movements gather momentum and rise up against the powerful few. Despite not being acknowledged as legitimate in the old mass media paradigm, networks of people have found each other through the internet and word of mouth and they have used these tools to organize locally and to gather together in geographical places of influence (New Hampshire/Iowa). The internet is to this freedom movement what the network of churches and universities was to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s. The movement has also used the Internet to accomplish goals that have surprised the people enslaved to the old paradigm, unable and unwilling to adapt because, and only because, it is where their power is rooted.

It is very important to understand that this freedom movement has no leader, only representatives, and it is because of this structure that major victories can spring up from any corner of the movement (i.e. Trevor Lyman).

The movement is far from reaching its full capacity, but even in its infancy it has accomplished and inspired the gathering of $4.3million in a single day, a blimp flying up the eastern seaboard going from an idea to reality in weeks, and a general takeover of English language social networks and media outlets on the World Wide Web. This message has gathered hundreds and often times thousands of people at hundreds of different locations throughout the United States. Citizens are not coming together to watch celebrities speak, they gather to assure each other that they are not alone in their fight, a fight whose victory promises to be difficult but achievable because the message is so universal.

When this movement reaches its full potential, the country will change. I can foresee demonstrations of millions organized and funded in a week’s time (this is not to mention that we could possibly see a shifting of the protest paradigm as well, moving away from the mass demonstration towards nationwide local demonstrations in solidarity with each other). The demonstrations and protests will be taking place for a variety of reasons: to beat back the latest insane legislation or simply to demand peace, life, freedom and liberty. It will not matter if the old media paradigm shows up to cover the mass demonstrations. The reason the old media’s presence will not matter is because this movement will be operating their own cameras and the images will broadcast around the world within hours. Then the establishment will begin to realize that this revolution is not within their reach to smash or even make pretty, and then my friends…the true battle will begin.

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