October 5, 2011

So.. the world needs a new order?

It is becoming clearer that the Arab Spring is not an isolated event nor is it exclusive to that part of the world. Europe, the US and Japan are catching up, and God knows who else will join. There are many similarities in the movement across the world: it's leaderless, it has little or no plan and it is driven by a younger more exposed generation.

Over the past weeks I have wrecked my brain, trying to figure out what this movement was about. It's obvious that this is a revolt against the existing order; a revolt against governments, media and the corporate world. It is a revolt against the distribution, not of wealth as such but of weight. Against, a person's ability to make choices. Whereas corruption is a key driver in this movement, it seems to me that it is more about the amount of control that those corrupt institutions have over our day to day lives, than it is about the sums that they have skimmed.

I also realized that this movement was not possible 20 years ago. The boom in information technology and the mass migration to cyber communication platforms (as opposed to the physical world) made it possible to exchange information, in less time, at a fraction of the cost and to a much wider audience. Two decades ago, one had to be willing to make an effort to be able to access information, today information comes pouring through every small piece of electronics (and they are many).

So, whereas the control from the media, governments and the "big money" that we are revolting against today are the same that existed in the past, it is our ability to understand them that has changed. Governments and corporations have maintained their control through manipulating and rationing the information that we had access to (the media). With the revolution in technology, all of a sudden, the whole act is unveiled.

When I reached those conclusions, I started thinking that there was something fundamentally wrong with the existing system. Obviously, democracy as we know it isn't functioning properly. I started thinking that a complete revamp of the structure was the only way out of this mess. People have to govern themselves!! But what was an alternative system? How can a country of tens of millions of people be able to function being governed by each and every individual? I read a bit about anarchism but found no viable, applicable solutions. There is a very good reason why human beings decided to live in communities and why there are benefits in expanding those communities and creating / managing common resources.  A representation system remains the only viable structure in my mind.

So, what is wrong with the existing form of representation? Why are the elected representatives of the people not so "representative"? At this stage, I reached the usual conclusion, the marriage of money and power. The people that are being pushed as potential representatives to the people usually have the money and / or the power. They control the media and for that matter, all other communication channels.  It is this control over the sources of information that not only makes them able to get to power, but it is also what makes them able to maintain that power. This manipulation of the average voter perception, gave them the security they needed. They knew that they controlled their own controllers.

So, again, what is wrong with the existing form of representation? NOTHING !! There is nothing wrong with the existing form of representation. We, the people, are the ones to blame. The new order that we are looking for is not a change in structure, it is a change in how much we are willing to be part of the decision making. We accepted the fairy tales that were being spoon-fed to us as facts. We cared little to dig behind them and we did not believe in our roles as individuals in changing our realities. We did not rise from the start, because we were too lazy to get our facts straight and have always made our choices based on what was presented to us. What we were conditioned to think are our only alternatives.

We do not need a new great invention or a revolutionary system of governance. All we need is to be more involved, to look for the facts and make choices. And that's becoming easy. The days of the traditional media control are fading away. With the current information technology, it is truly the people who are governing, simply because they are the ones in control of information. The exchange of ideas is becoming so easy, that we do not need to be part of the government to bring those ideas to the community and implement them. Governments will move from being the "thinkers" to becoming the "implementers". Civil monitoring will now be from the comfort of our own homes and politicians can no longer use their money and their media to control the people.

Sit back and relax! The new order has just begun..


  1. I disagree that we don't need a new representative system. There is a reason why people are apathetic about being informed citizens - it's because we don't have any actual power aside from electing representatives from a limited pool of people who will inevitably be caught up in the corrupted system.

  2. the reason why it is a limited pool is because we have not gone out of our way to find alternatives. Our apathy is a result of our ignorance and our being manipulated by the media. Those days are coming to an end. The costs of promotion for a new candidate will greatly decrease with our existing communication tools. The next big question is: who is going to control the internet?

  3. Completely ignores the nature of power of government and money, and the inhumane life that most of us live, including yuppie with nine-to-five jobs.

    The problem is systemic, not cultural. Soon an economic and environmental crisis may change your mind.

    1. As a matter of fact it does look at the power of government and how it is losing that sort of control. Attempts to regulate the internet and the flow of information are failing and are futile. The power of information technology is bigger than any government.

      The problem in my opinion remains cultural. Because in established democracies (like the US) people have the freedom to make choices but they are misguided to make the wrong choices. With access to data it is becoming more and more difficult for governments to control the flow of information.