In 2001 we were propagandized into shutting down our own democracy. The people of Egypt turned their Internet back on, and are turning democracy back on. Left to their own devices, they will never again allow an unelected aristocrat ruin their sense of community, create a police state, and lead them to war, like they did with Mubarak and we did with George W Bush.
They will instead create the first iDemocracy. We can, too.
Those neighborhood community organizations that are ruling Egypt at the grassroots right now - those people sweeping the streets, directing traffic, setting up communications, and defending each other - those used to be called Soviets. Decentralized, sustainable government was the central thesis of - wait for it - Karl Marx. It's still the goal of legitimate peaceful socialists.
|u unplug us, we unplug u|
It works, and it'll work even better in cyberspace.If Egyptians are allowed to share the success of decentralized democracy as they live it day by day - if they are allowed to observe the possibilities of Internet-based democratic socialism, it will be an amazing sight and mark the rebirth of the Movement. The leaderless, instinctive, sacred Movement for peace and human rights. The movement that was declared dead by the Chicago School, PNAC and the Washington Consensus in the 1990s. The movement that stopped the Vietnam War and forced the US to pass Civil Rights laws. The movement that hopefully is letting Jean Baptiste Aristide return to Haiti, opening up US relations with Cuba, and insisting on an end to the wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Movement that rejects democracy imposed by bombing from above, and embraces democracy that grows like fig trees out of the soil, from below. Naturally.
The Movement that wants to MoveOn.
The Anonymous Movement. The WikiMovement.
The Movement that moves at the speed of light, pushing electrons over the worldwide web, radiating love through the sky in 4G. Wireless meaning no wires: no wires and no puppets. No Lords. No Masters. "Imagine there's no countries / It isn't hard to do / Nothing to kill or die for / And no religion too / Imagine all the people /Living life in peace . . ."
iDemocracy: Imagine if everything the government does - managing security, facilitating trade, enforcing law and order, providing housing, education, food, communications, healthcare and energy - all of this was online. Imagine people directly voting for preferred allocation of resources, reasonable foreign policy, and watching an honest legal system in action. A million users online ensuring that the fruits of labor go to laborers and their families.
What if there was a really good SPAM filter that monitored the system for corruption, bribes and payoffs. What if we could cut the middlemen - lobbyists, PACs, political parties - out of government the way iTunes eliminated record companies and music stores? The way Google killed the phone book. The way computers have put entire libraries in our pockets.
|the riddle of the sphinx|
What if we are there with the Egyptians, redefining what self-rule can be in the 21st century. iDemocracy means we share what we have, we own everything, and we work for each other. We clean our own streets, we direct our own traffic, we collect rocks to protect ourselves from thugs. We own all the banks. We own all the energy companies. We grow food for each other and distribute it at cost online. We make sure everybody has a job and a decent life. We educate each other's children online. We build our own hospital system and clinics. We train each other online. We own the communications system and our networks cannot be shut down. They are peer-to-peer with no kill switch.
A government that flows like water, adapting to new challenges, accepting ideas from everywhere, simultaneously weak and all-powerful. Government of the people, for the people, and by the people. The dream of true patriots.