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Civilization's Malcontents: Contemporary Civilization of America: The Challenge to Democracy by Technopoly & Technique


Defining Technology And Civilization

Technical Civilization and its discontents: Agreeing To Violently DisagreeAnomie, Nihilism, and Anarchism

Technical Civilization and its discontents: Agreeing To Violently DisagreeAnomie, Nihilism, and Anarchism

Younger Obama doing community work amongst African American folks

Younger Obama doing community work amongst African American folks

Obama and the War in Afghanistan: Thinking Issues Thoroughly

Obama and the War in Afghanistan: Thinking Issues Thoroughly

President Obama, Commander in Chief, shaking troops hand and Talking to the Troops

President Obama, Commander in Chief, shaking troops hand and Talking to the Troops

Obama talking with Doctors regarding Hospitals, Doctors and the pending Health-Care Bill

Obama talking with Doctors regarding Hospitals, Doctors and the pending Health-Care Bill

Opposition to Obama's Health in the Late Summer of 2009
Opposition to Obama's Health in the Late Summer of 2009

Opposition to Obama's Health in the Late Summer of 2009

Supporters of Obama's New Health Care Proposal

Supporters of Obama's New Health Care Proposal

Artist's impression of what Obama Campaign will mean for Doctors, Insurance Companies and the Police.

Artist's impression of what Obama Campaign will mean for Doctors, Insurance Companies and the Police.

Pro Obama Supporters

Pro Obama Supporters

Obama's Supporters during the 2008 Presidential elections in America

Obama's Supporters during the 2008 Presidential elections in America

Hope for a Civilization with no Malcontents

Hope for a Civilization with no Malcontents

The ideas that prevail in the USA are akin to those of the French Revolution, except there is not Guillotine but Graffiti and other modes of expression about the discontents of the general American people

The ideas that prevail in the USA are akin to those of the French Revolution, except there is not Guillotine but Graffiti and other modes of expression about the discontents of the general American people

Sir Winston Churchill observed: "We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us. This s an exquisite picture of American cities and American civilization

Sir Winston Churchill observed: "We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us. This s an exquisite picture of American cities and American civilization

Times Square and it Neon lights extravaganza epitomizing the civilization of Contemporary American development and advancement

Times Square and it Neon lights extravaganza epitomizing the civilization of Contemporary American development and advancement

The contradiction that plagues the Civilization of Contemporary American Civilization - War and Civilization

The contradiction that plagues the Civilization of Contemporary American Civilization - War and Civilization

The forgotten people, The Red Men, in contemporary American development and civilization. The picture of Invocation by the Sioux taken in 1907

The forgotten people, The Red Men, in contemporary American development and civilization. The picture of Invocation by the Sioux taken in 1907

Some thoughts and Ruminations

Ours is not a new nor the first civilization to come into being. Our civilization is still young compared the past civilizations. Civilization is, according to the Random House Dictionary "... an advanced state of human society in which a high level of Culture, Science, Industry, and Government has been reached…"

From The Beachhead: Techne And Democratic Viewpoint

It is easy for us to give meaning and definition to what we want to understand without any ambiguities and 'grey' areas. We attempt to make simple and clear all the phenomenon that perplexes us. Clarity helps us deal with life in a much more concrete manner. We know for a fact there was the Egyptian, Atlantis? Mesopotamian, Aztec, Mayan, Chinese Dynasties. Monomotapa, Zimbabwean and other different civilization throughout the millennium, all of which flourished successfully until their demise.

Their inhabitants were mostly responsible for the Empire's and their final end and destruction. When they were building their civilizations, the primary focus was on unity as a nation and in unified action. In most cases, the leadership brought down their civilizations through decadence, incompetence, corruption, fraud, unaccountable, abusive, self aggrandizing, lewd behavior, and other untold actions, behaviors, and shenanigans.

With the state having been obscenely depleted of every meagre resources, through wars, monstrous magnanimous lavish spending and waste, the polity disgruntled, downgraded, oppressed and rendered poverty stricken, contributed to, and inadvertently weakening the state and the cohesion of the civilization.

In the end its enemies triumphantly run rampant, overrun and quicken the final destruction of the Empire. The above scenario, repeated over and over during the past millenniums, in its many and diverse and varied combinations, facilitated for the crumbling of some of the mightiest civilizations on record.

"...High level culture, science, industry, and government..." reminds us what it takes to be a civilized 'part' of the human race; highly skilled, technical and powerful civilization. To be where we are did not start with al the 'glitz' and 'blitz' of latter-day affluence, but from the frontier with it's wooden cabins and the whole bit.

The Constitution, the laws and American due to the genius and ingenuity of the American populace have propelled the present civilization to the present heights. As a budding, young and powerful civilization, we ought to be cognizant of historical lessons and admonishing. It is paying attention to how high is our culture, and if our science is advanced and is quickly evolving and how efficient and well-developed; is our government propelling our civilization ahead, further, and beyond.

And that depends whether our Empire has grown to from our learning the lessons of our history that we are no more an Adolescent Empire but a State maturing as it goes though the rigors of growth. Adults admonish children whenever they stray, as we mature, we shall have to find new ways of relating to one another, and admonishing and tolerating one another.

Citizen American

The citizenry in most of these civilization becomes the lame-duck of the state, the army, the businessmen, the ramparts and rascals of our society. Jobs were created after the Depression, homes built, infrastructure built anew and that was the change that we desired. There was a lot of invention and investment both domestically and internationally. We had several Wars going on, Korea and then Vietnam; there was great civil unrest which led to the passage of Civil Rights Acts. Presidents were elected, re-elected and assassinated.

There were anti-war protests; There was the Baby-boomer generation with their Woodstock; there was also some form of sexual revolution; We went to the Moon; then came the gas shortage, the crash of the stock market; anti-communist wars and sponsorship; the removal of heads of states, the impeachment of one president; scandal of another; the actor-President; the hawk president followed, we have had the last eight years of the present 'Best' sitting US president.

The present President is the first African American President. Up to that point, our civilization was in a state of evolution and catharsis; all these gyrations and terrible highs and lows have landed us in a very compromised state that we need to really look at it for what it is. The changes that took place to pull us up from the doldrums of a depression, need to be followed-up with replenishing the changes we made, finding and utilizing new ones. We need to work in united action to remodel the Empire. As we have demonstrated in the recent election, we made our presence known through the use and application of technological gadgets and their capacity to connect all of the people.

The silence of the lambs makes me recall the German people during WWII, who acquiesced with their government and said either they knew or did not know about the atrocities they committed in Germany and elsewhere around the world. All civilizations, long living and short-lived, war has been their Achilles heel. War sucks out national wealth morals and morale. Through the eons it has brought great economies down, and great civilizations and splendid societies to their knees.

As pointed out above, history is abound with many examples of those civilization, to whom war was part of their effort at building their civilizations, also, went broke and gotten run down by these war efforts. In all these unnecessary war expeditions, the citizens of these powerful Empires acquiesced and partook in them. They never voiced their displeasure publicly, by there was a lot of discontent, grumbling and occasional revolt or rioting. There was routine bloody suppression followed by brutal show of force. In the end, though, these Civilizations imploded and disintegrated.

The citizen had long been swept aside and all they could do was to silently watch the demise and end of their civilization. Not one made a bleating sound. I had a sense that participation in our government entailed paying attention to what our government does, which we know a lot of about Washington, and writing letters and e-mails, texting, twittering and so forth,which we do so much, will enable us to change any recalcitrant regime when voting time comes around.

We are still practicing this option and begun practicing it when the elections came around this time. We are not addressing the growing discontent enough and this creates even more tensions. Right now the citizenry is worrying as the shrill of revolt is beginning to reach pitch level as splurged on our TV screens and from the howls on the net. Is silence another way to voice displeasure or are acquiescing?

The sitting President has been allowing events to unfold without interrupting. It is somehow instructional how he always responds to the rallies, abuse, threats and the like we witnessed during the summer, with some saying that he is a 'good speechmaker,' reactions. Maybe people are not lambs, but are watching a new President deal with the issues of governing for change, and wondering at the same time what next and where to? The year is about ended, and things are not looking as dire as they did earlier on when the new administration took over.

The "Troubles"

In the years leading to 2008, we have seen some of the most troubling aspects of this economic debacle. The infrastructure needs some serious rebuilding; schools are failing and failing; the health care costs are soaring and health systems is in shambles; the economy has been tanking and has slowly bottomed; the banking system is in bankruptcy because of underhanded business deals and transactions along with poor investments, greed and waste, we are now hurting.

Housing has millions of mortgage defaults and abandoned housing; jobs have been lost at an extremely alarming rate; millions homeless; poverty has become a norm; millions are losing their healthcare; companies and shops are closing; some jobs have been shipped overseas; some want a smaller government; others say big government must take care of its citizens; others are howling that government stay out of health care(meanwhile receiving government sponsored Care), others say that universal coverage and health care for all Americans; the automobile industry is in shambles; many people are receiving unemployment checks whilst other are surviving on food-stamps.

We are seeing the emergence of 'birthers,' "deathers," questionable "Tea Parties" and rowdy "Town Halls" gatherings; we are hearing vitriolic and vicious racist rhetoric and with gun-toting gun rights advocates displaying their hardware and flaunting intimidation. Others trumpeting the fact that they would like to see Obama fail, others holding a sign that has "death to Obama" scrawled in small letters. We have a very agitated and gregarious motley crew ranting and raving all over the bloggerspheres, TV, other internet, radio, in small groups and organizations and some newspapers.

There's a lot of malcontent, dissatisfaction, disaffection, anger, uncertainty, distrust,that there is nothing that is happening which is appealing to our better sides. The television, one way or another has been inflaming passion of all concerned. The internet has been crushed by the vast rush of logging and we thus we are experiencing and seeing a local, global community morphing as a thoroughly technologized society which is disaffected along with their leaders, businessmen, clergy, government, etc., decrying the abuses of the State. While they are all opining about how to put together splinters debris of destruction we're experiencing in this implosion.

This is the gritting and gnawing of teeth within the milieu in this contemporary civilization. The Great Debate rages on… Some are saying the economy is looking up, and we are beginning to see the Dow consistently up for some months, some jobs have been save and a thousands or more have been created are being created. Others complain that nothing was happening and the Stimulus package was twenty-thousand not working,some are reporting that they are seeing some progress. Polls show that the majority of Americans are in favor of the President's health care proposal or outline.

There are those that say Obama's Heath Care proposal is a nightmare and must be scrapped and started all over again; reports are coming in that about close to twenty-thousand people lose their health care today. The Insurance companies are working hard to derail the health care change proposed by utilizing different strategies of agitation and disruption; this adds to the confusion and indecision that people are already experiencing.

The Congress has been debating the new Health Bill and the trend has been towards passing a Bill that creates a lot of disagreements. The $800 billion or so bill has the liberal progressive wing crying foul and that it is not robust enough. Some on the Right Conservatives side believe its a waste, and the higher ups in the Republican part feel that their sponsors(The Insurance companies) would loose, so would they too.

The new Health Bill proposed comes with the hard-fought-for option called the Public Option. Some feel and claim that it's not robust enough and they wan t so see included in it the single payer system. Some decry the fact some lawmakers in the government do not want poor people receiving the same Health care they now have, and some say Obama's campaign promise made it clear that's the type of Health care overhaul he would like to see: ordinary Americans receiving the same health care as to the members of Congress.

President Obama is also presiding a seething opposition in reducing the production of new fighter planes and a presidential helicopter. He has also opted toward reducing nuclear weapons and production of military projects and armaments embedded within the budget for Defense. Then there is the issue of the on-going Bush's Iraq war from where he has announced American withdrawal.

He is also facing an unstable Pakistan where elections were voided as being unfair. Now he has to del with a country who leaders are now at logger-heads about the run-off election due to one party threatening to pull out and a dissatisfied electorate. Afghanistan is exploding with skirmishes, bombing, attacks on military garrison in selected stations throughout the bordering towns of Pakistan and Afghanistan. President Obama has to make a decision as to what's America next move?

Send in more troops, or wait for the outcome of the run off results to deal with a legitimately elected leader. Meanwhile, pressure is mounting that he should make a quick decision about protecting the troops that are under attack in Afghanistan. Those who sympathize with Obama say they like the fact that Obama is not 'rushing to judgement' about the issue of sending troops now or after some issues discussed above pan out.


Muted deafening silence is enveloped by cascading cacophony of a loosely organized humdrum of and disparate protestations. When Obama was making his rounds as a candidate for the President of the US, multitudes thronged to his rallies and many fainted and were enthralled to no end. Record crowds left us in awe and wonderment to this unfolding historic occasion, because that lost hope had been choking the very air we were breathing, that is, in the past administration.

Obama collected money from the masses using the Internet and other new technologies being unfurled at a rapid pace to the consumers. The connection of the electorate to each other facilitated for better organization and information distribution at lightning speed giving advantage to the masses to be one step ahead of the media and the politicians. The citizenry in this young and budding civilization were abuzz with excitement and anticipation of the coming new era.

They had witnessed mismanagement, carelessness, sloppiness, corruption, incompetence, slothfulness, unaccountability, domestic spying and draconian laws tightening, torture of enemies, deportation of illegal aliens and a myriad issues with the past regime, and they wanted change. The Media, cable dish, Internet and other media outlets were at peak production. They still are regurgitating and spinning the issues based on their intake of cash and ratings. The Public is gobbling and gulping it all without let-up, and in turn resetting and spinning it to their specifications

. The polls are the gut that puts some perspective on the amorphous data sphere we imbibe, and the Internet has afforded the users access to different polls from different outlets and organization. The rambling and nattering that is on the ether and the Web has been so large, that it seems like people thought that we had reached the zenith of things hoped for. Change in our time as we're were the ones it was waiting for, seemed attainable and reachable, if not possible.

It seems like we have reached the highest pitch of a crescendo, and now are in a free fall and cast our lot with what we believe and see can be different and is possible, or as others have observed, that, once you have the government in all things, nothing happens and the government does no care and cannot be in the business of running free enterprise. I still like to see the synthesis of these matters and what its effects and affects could be or might be on the national conscience.

For the past eight months, there has been a lull in enthusiasm and a lot of agitation of those who were watching the long lines of voters historically electing Obama to be the President of the USA. This lull and silence is very loud and deafening. Maybe the multitudes who were changing America know and are giving our President time(some say its now 8 months later), or they are nursing doubts and fear that this is Washington redux.

The polls do show that the numbers are still relatively high for the President in popularity, but the nay sayers are shouting loudest that he his irrelevant and no longer holds a sway amongst his followers. Well, who's to say, because the silence coming from those who voted for him is disconcerting. But that does not seem likely that the response is not there, or maybe they(those who would like to see Obama succeed) do not see what all the fuss is about.

The opposing view makes it clear that they cannot make sense as to why everything is rushed into Law, that they want to know where is all this money coming from; some say we are leaving a huge debt to our children with the Stimulus money. The polls show that people want Universal health care coverage for all the Americans, then there are those who are asking how and who is going to pay for it?

Obama in his latest speech to congress addressed this issue, someone in the Congress House called him a liar, but went on to profusely apologized. In some quarters, people are asking the opposition what are their plans and it seems like they are still lagging in ideas The silence is occasionally punctuated by statistics which show that the American majority want universal coverage and are in agreement with the President he still holds a high rating in terms of favorability.

With these turbulent times bobbing in the horizon, it is very important that the debate be as passionate from those who do not like the president as it should be from those who like the president. One of the things that Obama has done was to raise America's favorability overseas.

The very in-depth coverage given to his opponents on the media, and the participation they display, should be matched by his supporters, with the same if not more intensity that has been shown heretofore. The negativity that has be thrown his way should be balanced by the positive responses highlighting his progressive deeds both domestically and internationally. This will allay the fears of our fellow earthlings elsewhere, and manage to give the US a better face.

Although there is some coverage given to those who favor Obama in some networks. But silence is not an option, and will not help with managing our civilization in all fronts and formats. The people who voted Obama into power were malcontent with various issues in regard to how America was being run in the past administration. But sitting on the sidelines to see what will happen next has never helped change nor solve the dire problems we are seeing and feeling as part of the teetering civilization.

We cannot sit idly and watch the world and time goes by. As Americans, that is not in our gene pool nor our social genetic wiring, we cannot sit silently and let others in our midst steer the ship and we riding along as passengers. We are all captains of our ships and we need some response to the push back from those who do not want change and progress, as Obama said, 'for the character of our country,' and that, 'we need to replace acrimony with civility'.

As a civilization, we are only as great and good in so far as we are able to take care of the weakest of our group. In the past eleven months, we have seen a lot of discontent emanating from the opposition to the President's party, policies and rule.

It is also worth noting that at the start of Obama's administration, we have sen and heard how the opposition wants him to fail in all his endeavors to fix the economy, to close Gitmo, to help American Main Street get up on its feet, to help the failing banks from going under, unfreeze loans so as to prop-up the crumbling housing debacle, prevent the bankruptcy of the automobile industry, redevelop the crumbling nation's infrastructure, improve on the failing schools and pay teachers more.

It is amazing that a thriving civilization reacting in the way we have seen the Republicans have. What happened and taken place during the past eight years of Bush, there was no uproar when the economy was being mismanaged and the international image of the United States was at its lowest ebb; or, when we went to war against Iraq and ignored Pakistan and Afghanistan, tortured detainees and contravened the International law on how we conducted the war, and the rising national debt incurred by the outgoing Bush regime. There seems to be some double standards in doling-out judgment on Obama than we saw during the Bush embarrassing rule.

It is also important to pay attention to the opposition against the present sitting president when we see the opposition to his policies being attacked at any given or invented excuse. Obama has been accused of pandering to the "lesser" leaders of the world in trying to make it possible that American credibility much more better.

There were demonstrators, called the Tea Party disgruntled polity made up of mostly Republicans who lost in the 2008 presidential elections. Whenever and whatever Obama does, it's either, according to his detractors, he is doing things too fast, and when he took his time to make the decision about sending troops to Afghanistan, as being too slow and is inexperienced as a leader. It seems that whatever he does or does not do, he is attacked assiduously and at times, viciously, given the 12 months he has been president.

Now, more recently, when Obama received the Nobel Peace price, he has been vehemently attacked by, mostly Americans, that he does not deserve it. His trips to the Muslim world to promote his diplomatic policy of an 'unclenched' fist he has been presented and seen as a weakling, a president who bows to foreign leaders, and who apologizes too much to the world for American indiscretions and bully tactics in their foreign policy to the world. As a matter of fact, the polls indicate that Obama is highly respected and liked more overseas that in the country he is leading.

Some aver that he needs to be more aggressive; others say that his policies suck; in some quarters he is viewed as not black enough and not even addressing issues of race fully; there is also an outcry from the out-of-office Bush official relentlessly attacking anything from foreign policy, to handling of Gitmo, to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as being incompetent and not suited for the job. At the same time, the opposition has conveniently forgotten how deep the hole Bush dug for the country, and that Obama is left having to spend the first year of his rule, clearing the mess and incompetency that was left by Bush and his crew.

Yet, the economy has stopped sliding, some new jobs have been created, although not enough. From where we were when he took power, much has been achieved, and the Health Bill, in whatever form it is now as of the writing of this hub, has now come to a point of being passed, and he is about to move the Gitmo prisoners to Illinois, whose inhabitants are happy for the jobs it is going to create; this is all happening in the face of the wish that he fails.

It is so strange that the year started with a plan to sabotage anything he was going to do, propose or implement, whether good or bad, to make sure that he does not succeed. In the year he took power, it is interesting to note that those who oppose him want to see him fail, and some say he ought to be impeached, when in the last few weeks and days he has been working on a Job summit to create more jobs. Some states who did not want the stimulus money form Obama, eventually took it and are now thriving on it.

It is like whatever he does and succeeds, it is not good enough, and what he will still be doing is not good enough because he does not know how to lead. Success of Obama in any area is failure and just not enough; failure in what is still to be done by the president is not good enough because he is not fulfilling. It is also interesting to note the glee at his falling polls amongst the TV talking heads.

All this is happening amidst the mess he inherited form Bush, and in his trying to do al the big promises he made during his run for the presidency. Some Have asked the question whether on the Web or TV as to whether all these attacks are due to the fact that Obama is Black or something-the jury is still out with the answer for that.

The Sane Society and Civilization

"Every civilization of a settled population," Petrie observed. "tends to incessant decay from maximum condition; and this decay continues until it is too weak to initiate anything, when a fresh race comes in and utilizes the old stock to graft on, both in blood and culture. As soon as the mixture is well started, it rapidly grows on old soil and produces a new wave of civilization.There is no generation without a mixture of blood, parthenogenesis is unknown in the birth of nations."

To build a basic civilization, you've got to have enough resources food and the ability to pay craftsman and technicians to sustain oneself. When you've got enough and some left over, you build an intellectual civilization that explains and preserves the original civilization.

For example, the Nile civilization contributed organized societies, social order, the concept of coming together, the concept of the village uniting with other villages creating the cities, the concept of cities uniting with other cities creating a state, and of other areas(cities) uniting with other areas creating a concept that would later be called diplomacy.

Furthermore, the Nile Valley civilization contributed to the idea of getting together, one to the other, creating a concept of human relationships and survival. They created the world's first massive agriculture, and developed a technical class and laboring class which could be taken care of.

People down his valley gravitated toward the end of the river and brought technical skills, goods and services. Therefore, they made the river the world's first cultural highway. Civilization for the good of human makes people participate and be vocal in the changes brought about by the civilizing spirit of their milieu from time immemorial to present day modern civilizations.

The French revolution resulted in an upsurge of the spirit of nationalism that led to the Napoleonic Wars, and ultimately turned Europe into an armed camp. World War I in 1914 was a turning point; for the Europeans had formed a habit of murdering, robbing, and oppressing the downtrodden colonials of Africa, Asia, and the Americas; but now they turned on each other. Europeans slew each other by the millions and then drafted the so-called inferior races to help them murder their own blood brothers.

This carnage brought on the Russian Revolution, which established communism as a force to be reckoned with. A world-wide economic depression prepared the ground for the second World War. The so-called democracies of Europe of Europe and America decided to pit the Nazism of Hitler against the Communism of Stalin. Hitler refused to cooperate, so the so-called free world had to destroy Hitler and, at the same time, they were forced to aid and abet Stalinism.

World War I brought on a Communist Revolution; World War II not only helped to consolidate this totalitarianism, but established it on a solid foundation in China. The Europeans are trying to hang on to what is left of their days of greatness, but the age of European dominance in the world is on the decline and there is no sign that this trend will ever be reversed.

If we regard ourselves as an advanced civilization, we need to act like one. For instance,how beguiling is it to listen to some of our elected officials tell us what we want, even though they are negated by some serious polling institutions that point out that what we want is not what these elected officials say we want.

There is too much acrimony that come out our collective historical experiences as Americans. The media present a lopsided view as to our concerns and needs in relation to health, jobs, housing, education and so forth. A lot of these politicians tell us that what we want is what they have designed and put together in some smoke filled rooms. The media regurgitates what the politicians think we want. We now, as the citizens of this country seem to be acquiescing, that is, silently taking it all in and being in cahoots with those who want to derail our democracy.

What the people of the US did in the 2008 elections, is that they have shown that we are not the silent lambs we are made out to be. The present status quo, the Republicans, tell us that we, the majority, who voted the present government and party into power, do not want this present rule, that we do not want the health care that we want for everyone.

They bravely stand in front of microphones and blurt out our vision, hope and view for this country, which is from the minority losers in the last elections. In the same breath they conveniently forget that the whole American society wants change, and they are still backing the government, to this moment, about the change they wish for and have been waiting for.

We will be judged by history as to whether our civilization did manage to care of its poor, weak, and destitute; or whether we let the rich people decide and run this country and government for us. But is seems like, at the very end, we, as the People of the US, always have the last word, and we get what we want, by hook or crook. We are not necessarily the silent lambs acquiescing with our detractors, we are a people, who even through times that are hard and harsh, we still dig down deep into our consciences and do the right thing.

Models of modernization are incomplete without the dynamics of leadership. Regardless of political philosophy, the process of change revolves about the charisma of leaders to a greater degree than is generally admitted. The complexities of modern government force them to diversify functions which increase bureaucracy, but it also gives more people an opportunity to become exposed to decision-making processes.

The more liberal forms of government embrace more extensive areas of citizen involvement, but this does not imply that the degree of change is greater, or that it is more receptive to progressive influences. Dynamic leadership consists in the ability to incorporate as many capable people as possible into positions of influence, without prejudice to the several arms of government. There are still a lot of people displeased with Obama and his modernization programs, but it seems like as time goes on, the changes he has implemented will be for the good of this civilization and democracy.

Erich Fromm writes: "Democracy cannot work in an alienated society, and that the way our democracy is organized contributes to the general process of alienation. If democracy means that the individual expresses his conviction, and asserts his will, the premise is that he has a will."

The facts, however, are that the modern, alienated individual has opinions and prejudices but no convictions, has likes and dislikes, are manipulated in the same way as his taste is, by powerful propaganda machines — which might not be effective were he not already conditioned to such influences by advertising and by his whole of alienated way. The average voter is poorly informed too. While he reads his newspaper regularly, the whole world is so alienated fro him that nothing makes real sense or carries real meaning.

He reads of billions of dollars being spent,of millions of people being killed; figures, abstractions, which are in no way interpreted in a concrete, meaningful picture of the world. The science fiction he reads is little different from the science news. Everything is unreal, unlimited, impersonal. Facts are so may lists of memory items, like puzzles in a game, not elements on which his life and that of his children depends.

It is indeed a sign of resilience and basic sanity of the average human being, that in spite of these conditions, political choices today are not entirely irrational, but that to some extent a sober judgment finds expression in the process of voting. Voting is an important part of democracy for the American people, and have worked assiduously had to impress it on other people the world over...

Fromm has this to say about civilization and this is closely related to what the discourse is all about within this Hub: "

The task of impressing on people the guiding ideals and norms of our civilization is, first of all, that of education. But how woefully inadequate is our educational system for this task.

"Its aim is primarily to give the individual the knowledge he needs in order to function in an industrialized civilization, and to form his character into the mold which is needed: ambitious and competitive, yet co-operative within certain limits; respectful of authority, yet "desirably independent," as some report cards have it; friendly, yet not deeply attached to anybody or anything. ..

"A sane society must provide possibilities for adult education, much as it provides today for the schooling of children. This principle finds expression today in increasing number of adult-education courses, but all these private arrangements encompass only a small segment of the population, and the principle needs to be applied to the population as a whole."

Once a civilization is well developed, it means it has a sane streak about itself and for its people. Occasionally there are those issue which when these arise, make for some advanced social engineering for the good of all society. Fromm again informs us in this manner:

"No sane society can be built upon the mixture of purely intellectual knowledge and almost complete absence of shared artistic experience, college plus football, crime stories plus Fourth of July celebration, with Mothers' and Fathers' day and Christmas thrown in for good measure.

In considering how we can build a sane society, we must recognize that the need for the creation of collective art and ritual on a nonclerical basis is at least as important as literacy and higher education. The transformation of an atomistic into a communitarian society depends o creating again the opportunity for people to sing together, walk together, dance together, admire together, and not, to use Riesman's succinct expression, as a member of a 'lonely crowd'.

Fromm concludes thus: "Man today is confronted with he most fundamental choice; not that between capitalism or Communism, but that between robotism, or Humanistic Communitarian Socialism. Most facts seem to indicate that he is choosing robotism, and that means, in the long run, insanity or destruction. But all these facts are not strong enough to destroy faith in man's reason, good will and sanity.

"As long as we can think of other alternatives, we are not lost; as long as we can consult together and plan together, we can hope. But, indeed, the shadows are lengthening; the voices of insanity are becoming louder. We are in reach of achieving a state of humanity which corresponds to the vision of our great teachers; yet we are in danger of destruction of all civilization, or of robotization. A small 'tribe' was told thousands of years ago: "I put before you life and death, blessing and curse — and you chose life." This is our choice too."

Erich Fromm's words are prophetic, and they are as contemporary and fresh as when he wrote that the American society is facing many of the issues he is talking about above. There is some present-day insanity that has ben gripping the country now for more than a decade, and it is when the American people, who when they vote in 2012, they will be able to hit the "reset" button of real life and redirect the ship in which we are all captains and passengers by virtue of our democratic values and practices.

Therein, too, lies the hope to resuscitate the presently fledgling democracy. As Jesse Jackson had said, and as I say, for us to see the re-emergence of a twenty-first century America, we will need to "Keep Hope Alive."

The State of Black America

In 1967, Stokely Carmichael wrote the following:

"...We are now talking about why, where and in what manner Black people in America must get themselves together. This talk is about Black people taking care of business-the business of and for Black people. The stakes are really very simple: if we fail to do this, we face continued subjugation to a White society that has no intention of giving up willingly or easily its position of priority and authority.

"If we succeed, we will exercise control over our lives, politically, economically and psychically. We will also contribute to the development of a viable larger society; in terms of ultimate social benefit, there is nothing unilateral about the movement to free black people. ...Anything less than clarity, honesty and forcefulness perpetuates the centuries of sliding over, dressing up, and soothing down their true feelings, hopes and demands of an oppressed Black people."

Mild demands and hypocritical smiles mislead White America into thinking that all is fine and peaceful. They mislead White America into thinking that the path and pace chosen to deal with racial problems are acceptable to masses of Black Americans. ...Thus we have no intention of engaging in meaningless language so common to discussions of race in America:

"Granted, things were and are bad, but we are making progress"; "Granted, your demands are legitimate, but we cannot move hastily. Stable societies are best built slowly; Be careful that you do not anger or alienate your White allies, remember, after all, you are only ten percent of the population: We reject this language and these views, whether expressed by Black or White; we leave them to others to mouth, because we do not feel that this rhetoric is either relevant or useful."

Stokely(Kwame Ture) further states: "Rather, we would suggest a more meaningful language, that of Frederick Douglass, a Black American who understood the nature of protest in this society : "Those who profess to favor freedom yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.

...Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people any people will quietly submit to and you have out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blow, or both.

The limits of tyrant are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." Black Power means that Black people see themselves as part of a new force, sometimes called the Third World".there is only one place for Black Americans in these struggles, and that is on the side of the Third World.

Frantz Fanon in The Wretched of the Earth, puts forth clearly the reasons for this and the relationship of the concept called Black Power to the concept of a new force in the world:

"Let us not decide to imitate Europe; let us try to create the whole man, whom Europe has been incapable of bringing to triumphant birth. Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe. It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster, in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe have grown to appalling dimensions.

"...The Third World today faces Europe like a colossal mass whose aim should be to try to resolve the problems to which Europe has not been able to find the answers ... Ig is a question of the Third World starting a new history of Man, a history which will have regard to the sometimes prodigious theses which Europe has put forward, but which will also not forget Europe's crimes of which the most horrible was committed in the heart of man, and consisted of the pathological tearing apart of his functions and the crumbling away of his unity.

"No, there is no question of a return to nature. It is simply a very concrete question of no dragging men towards mutilation, of not imposing upon the brain rhythms which very quickly obliterate it and wreck it. The pretext of catching up must not be used to push man around, to tear him away from himself or from his privacy, to break and kill him. No, we do not want to catch up with anyone. What we want to do is go forward all the time, night and day, in the company of Man, in the company of all men...."

These issues discussed above by Stockely who cited various revolutionaries, will now be looked at from the perspective of the 1990s. Although I delved a little bit into Stockley, we will now look at how the situation of African Americans evolved to be like in the 1990s. In this instance, we will use an article written by Playthell Benjamin titled the state of Black America wherein he writes:

Almost a century ago, when Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois was writing The Philadelphia Negro, a pioneering work in American urban sociology, he recognized the need for an ongoing research program to investigate the true condition of Black people in American society. Du Bois's dream lay dormant until 1922, when it was briefly revived by Charles Johnson, the distinguished author of the outstanding study "The Negro in Chicago," who became national director of research and investigations for the Urban League and the first editor of its Journal, Opportunity.

The dream again lapsed into dormancy until the first Urban League-sponsored State of Black America report was issued in 1976 This report, employing a team of mostly Black scholars, provides a penetrating look at the conditions of Black American that is indispensable for those seeking an intelligent discussion of African American life. Supported by a variety of statistical charts and graphs, the arguments advanced these in these reports are well documented, and the policy of recommendations cannot be easily dismissed by public officials committed to the realization of a peaceful and just society.

In 1991, John Jacob, CEO of the National Urban League(NUL) observed: "For Blacks in America, the year started with anticipation that the freedom surge sweeping across the world wold come home to its origins, here in the United States(Just as the Arab Spring revolution in the Middle East, has now come back to the United States is the form of "Occupy Wall Street" and all else is doing). As the NUL celebrated its 80th anniversary, the hopes of African Americans was stymied by greed and waste was ending and a new decade of progress toward racial parity would begin.

Those hopes were dashed on the rocks of fiscal austerity, continued national indifference to african American aspirations, the veto of the Civil Rights Act of 1990, and the crisis in the Persian Gulf. Except for the end of the Persian Gulf conflict and the passage of the watered-down version of the civil rights bill which President Bush signed in order to distance himself from the politics of David Duke(the politics of the KKK group-my addition), and mend fences with White women's groups-all the problems that caused Jacob's concern remain with us.

In a 1992 report by many principal researchers, several themes emerged. Some of them are: Black America is in a deepening crisis; the federal government is indifferent, if not hostile; we must mobilize all of our resources to force the government to take positive action to address the crisis." Apparently, as of writing this Hub at this point, African Americans are the poorest, highest number of unemployed people, living in squalid conditions and totally ignored and are facing a renewed racist tide engendered by the Depression and Recession that is currently affecting America."

The Constant Consistency Of Black Oppression

Benjamin aptly adds:

"The participants in the State of Black America in 1992 covered a wide range of issues critical to understanding the true position of Black folks in contemporary American society. They observed, like Lincoln did that, "A society half slave and half free cannot long endure," it is also true that a modern society of affluent suburbs and decaying cities cannot long endure.

Sylvester Murray and Robert Bullard addressed this question with erudition and candor in their essay, 'Clear and Present Danger: The decay of America's Physical infrastructure.'

" Dr. Bullard, the author of Dumping in Dixie a major work documenting the siting of toxic waste dumps in Black communities, says, "When I was analyzing the data on the choices for toxic waste sites, the one consistent variable was race. You find some of these hazardous waste dumps in poor White communities, but rarely among affluent Whites. Among African Americans, however, class is not as important.

"This is a matter of race, not class. This is a critical issue for lack Americans, because African American children of families earning less that $6,000 represent 60 percent of lead poisoning cases, and African Americans in the nation's largest cities are threatened by toxic waste time bombs. The situation has grown so critical that Black inner-city communities are increasingly becoming "urban sacrifice zones" and the objects of "environmental extortion/" where Black people are coerced or seduced into exchanging safety jobs . This policy is detrimental to the entire economy because it tends to "stifle any future revitalization and development strategies."

To this , sylvester Murray ads the following:

"Our society's well-being is at risk because the infrastructure of our central cities is in decay. This includes roads, bridges, public transit, water supply, waste and water treatment, public housing, schools, pubic buildings, solid waste disposal, and public parks.

"The Black population in our central cities is increasing and unemployment among the black Population is increasing. Dr. Lenneal J. Henderson corroborates Murray's view: "Investment, generally has not kept up with the growth of the Gross National Product. For example, total public spending on physical infrastructure was 3.6 percent of the GNP in 1960. It was 2.6 percent in 1985, and 1.9 percent in 1990.

"The monies being invested in public projects are driven by large-scale corporate and business interests at institutional level and suburban interests at the household level. Demographically, this increasingly places African Americans and other non-White central cities at severe economic disadvantage."

African Americans were being pummeled from all sides and This is told byDr. Henderson who stated that: "Millions of antipoverty program dollars found their way into corporate coffers in the 1960s. , and this affected the declining urban economy and causing the rise in Black poverty rates. Dr. Samuel Myers Jr. and William A. Darity Jr. further explored the impoverishment of Black America in their essay, "Racial Earning inequality Into the 21 Century." Starting from statistically demonstrable premise that, 'earnings inequality among Black and White family heads has widened in recent years,' and this observation gives rise the question:

"In the face of arguably reduced discrimination, increased educational attainment, and the like, how can we explain the persistence of the gap between Black and White family earnings?" Myers and Darity investigated such factors as the relationship between welfare policies and the proliferation of female-headed households, the reduction of the labor force participation, and the "growth of poor Black families." The flight of young Black professionals to suburbia and how the "marginalization of Black Males" by unemployment and incarceration-one often leading to the other-contributes to family disintegration are also explored."

The effects and affects of such social dysfunction are further made starkly clear by these authors when they state:

"Educational attainment yields uneven returns based on location; that, anti-discrimination efforts, especially during the 1980s, ceased to be effective in raising Black incomes and reducing Black-White earnings inequality; and that, the age of composition shifts in the black community and are yielding more and more young female-headed families whose members are disproportionately represented among the lowest earners.

Even more frightening, Dr, Myers observations about the underground drug-based economy, according to him, "The drug trade is classic example of how Blacks have turned to alternative income opportunities when legitimate opportunities were unavailable," and Myers goes on to say, "I won't go so far as to say the entire drug problem is caused by the lack of opportunity; I'm just saying you can't solve the drug problem in the absence of other economic opportunities; the use of drugs-as opposed to drug sales-is a sign of "distress in the Black community."

"And this helps create the demand, without which selling drugs would be unprofitable. In other words, there is a symbiotic relationship between the psychological distress of the Black community and small-time dealers who haunt the street corners; one feeds off the other. And while we often hear the argument that Whites comprise the largest share of the drug market, there is a lower prevalence in the Black community for every drug except heroin. But there is a higher addiction rate among Blacks for every drug."

Playthell informs us further thus: "It is clear that the absence of some dramatic changes in the political economy of the United States, the problems growing of the prolonged depression[and present-day recession, I might add] in the American cities-drugs, crime, homelessness, joblessness, etc.-will persist."

Dr. David, Playthell cites him saying that, "Even though we are at the peak of the longest recovery in the last five decades, the degree of racial inequality is higher as we began the 1990s than at any other time in the last 20 years[the situation is even far worse in the 21 century-2011-[my addition]. Moreover, recent evidence suggest that we are about to enter another period of economic slow-down. If this downturn has an impact similar to the last few recessions, African Americans will bear a disproportionate share of the hardships."

This has in fact come to bear, meaning that the recession has hit in the last 5 years leading to 2011, and African American are bearing the hardships wrought and brought about by the economic decline in the United States, and racism is on the rise is one were to witness the rhetoric and vitriol spewed by the Tea Bagger, and the House of representatives, run by the Tea Baggers and the traditional Republican party who are bent on making the super rich even more richer, and take away social programs and other public programs and cutting the taxes for the millionaires and billionaires at the same time.

What these scholars were predicting has come to pass and is the reality today for the majority of African Americans.

Playthell further adds that, "The data gathered by Dr. Swinton for the 1992 report confirms that Black continue to have a very unequal economic position in this country, "The disadvantaged economic status of the African American population is a permanent feature of the American population.

"Moreover, the two main major efforts at economic intervention by the US government on behalf of African Americans-have both been repudiated by a torrent of rancorous rhetoric from a succession of right-wing Republicans administration[Bush's, for one, and the Tea Bagger, another and the whole bit-[my addition]. And the concessions won from White America by the Black struggle are now being swallowed up by the competing claims from other "minority" groups and White women-the principal beneficiaries of affirmative action [policies.

"This situation is addressed by Dr. Julianne Malveaux of MIT in her essay, "The Parity Imperative as follows: "Demographic and population trends make it difficult for African Americans to claim the sole benefit of set-aside and other affirmative action programs. Indeed, White women, gays and lesbians, and others who claim 'disadvantage' or 'discrimination' have had heir claims recognized by legislation at either the national or local level."

Playthell continues: "With the federal government in full retreat from the commitments of the Civil Rights Era and the fortunes of Black America in dramatic decline, how reliable are the traditional avenues of advancement, education and electoral politics [as we are witnessing the 'block the vote' attempts for the oncoming elections which needs voters to produce and ID government issued card, which will ultimately hurt the African American turn-out, thus, maybe, defeating Obama in the process-my addition].

With the federal government in full retreat from the commitments of the Civil Rights Era and the fortunes of Black America in dramatic decline, how reliable are the traditional avenues of advancement, education and electoral politics? These questions are examined by educational theorist Dr. Shirley McBay in her essay "The Condition of African American Education Challenges" wherein where in she elaborates:

"We know what works and that America has the resources and expertise to implement these successful strategies. What is at question is the national commitment and will to do what must be done to ensure quality education for all?" Playthell afterwards comments: "This is more than a rhetorical question, because all over the country school funding is being cut in the neighborhoods that most need educational services.

"In New York City, for instance, more than $100 million is projected to be cut from an already inadequate school budget. The cuts that have already been made have left the nation's largest school system too poor to inoculate children against a potentially deadly tuberculosis epidemic. In a school system confronted with a health crisis of this magnitude, issues of basic safety can overshadow questions of pedagogy."

We Learn from Playthell's article that: "Like others who have studied the problem of inequity in school funding. Dr. McBay locates the trouble in the taxing formula. Speaking of the horrible conditions of some urban schools polluted playground soils, bathrooms with no toilet paper, etc.-she says of government officials, They don't care. It's unbelievable they way we treat children in this country. Their explanation is that in the districts where they are spending more money-these funds are generated from the tax base there. For instance, these communities will have business that don't exist in poor Black communities."

Dr. McBay's observation is precisely why longtime education advocate Jonathan Kozol-who sits on the board of the Quality Education for Minorities Network, a policy institute headed by Dr. McBay-passionately opposes the present formulas for school funding in his new book, Savage Inequalities[ See my Hub "The Miseducation of Africans: Savage inequalities in Four Part Harmony…]"

While a variety of educational snake-oil salesmen tell us that the answer to failing public schools lies in privatizing education. Dr. McBay, advocates measures to upgrade public education. And she places the responsibility for this task where it properly belongs-squarely on the shoulders of government: "I think there are many things the federal government can do if it decides that saving the public schools is in the national interest. For instance, they can establish an ROTC-type program to recruit talented people into teaching."

Playthell continues to inform us that: "It is certain thatAmerica 2000[and onwards-my addition], the program now being pushed by the Bush Administration, will not solve the educational problems o the poor children. Taken as a whole, The State of Black America 1992 is a comprehensive document that integrates the different factors that contribute to a full understanding of the problems and prospects of African Americans.

"The papers discussed here are complemented by others that consider questions ranging from the position of Blacks in science, the tole of the private sector in solving public problems, and strategies to revive the cities. Robert B. Hill's "Urban Redevelopment: Developing Effective Targeting Strategies, " Sandra T. Gray's "Public-Private Partnership" Promise, Problems and Prospects for the General Welfare," and Walter E. Massey's "Science, Technology and Human resources" Preparing for the 21 Century" are splendid cases in point.

"The league, however, is not interested simply in defining the problems that Black America faces, but in providing solutions. The principal effort in this regard is its "Marshal Plan for America," a blueprint for addressing many issues that threaten the health and stability of the United States" (Benjamin)

We also learn from Benjamin that: "Under the leadership of Dr. Billy J. Tildwell, director of research for the National Urban League and principal author of the 'Marshall Plan,' the document analyzes America's declining ability to compete with the world's leading industrial powers and details the disinvestment in the public sector that is largely responsible for this decline.

The plan's investment recommendations are divided into two categories: human resources and physical infrastructure(What Obama has been trying to get across to the American people, but is being stymied by the Tea Baggers and the Conservative Republicans-my addition). The human resources section calls for massive investments in educational programs targeted to the disadvantaged. These programs would include preschool, elementary and secondary education.

They would also include a variety of job-training efforts, a revived and expanded job corps among them. The major goals of the physical infrastructure section are the construction of a "world-class transportation system" to rebuild and upgrade, "water supply and treatment facilities as well as to relieve the crisis in solid waste," and "the development and application of advanced telecommunications technology."

"The arguments in favor of the nation undertaking this year.$500 billion effort are couched in conspicuously nonracial language, preferring instead to stress the "national interest." (which, again, to date, Obama has been trying to implement through legislature but is blocked by the Republicans and the Tea Bagger since coming to power, and as we are now going into the 2012 election period, which the Republicans have vowed to sabotage and deny Obama's second term-not because he is bad, but because he is Black/Mixed African-my addition)

Playthell concludes with the citation of Frederick Douglass who spoke these words: "History no more holds august claim than where there is no struggle there is no progress. Men who profess to stand for freedom yet deprecate agitation would have corn without plowing the fields. Rain without thunder and lightning.... The ocean without the awful roar of her many waters. Power concedes nothing without demand. It never has and it never will. Men may not get all that they pay for in life, but they shall sure as hell pay for all they get!"

I used the articles/writings from Playthell Benjamin and Stokley Carmichael to make the point that, as we speak, today, the condition of African people in America has worsened, and there is no end in sight. What Playthell was writing about in 1992, he might as well as revamp the article, change the dates, and add the issues brought about by the coming of Obama into the Presidency, the Tea Baggers, and the "Just Say No" to anything Obama wants to improve Republicans and the disdain and dislike they have for him-along with the disrespect they have been showing to him.

The repression has been consistent and deepening. In the process, in some ways, American standards are behind those of the emerging economies around the world, and with Obama in the Presidential spotlight, are showing the 'napping' racism they still have for people of African descent. Contemporary American civilization has not yet completely gone over the 'hump' racism and the notion of a superior and civilized nation to move on to other stages of human development and evolution.

Technical Civilization and its Discontents

Anomie,nihilism, and Anarchism

One of the great and decisive trends in civilization today is the escalating role of technology in our lives. This began with the industrial revolution, continued with the telecommunications revolution, and continues today with computers and the Internet. The social changes that have followed these revolutions have been dramatic and heart-wrenching. So that the industrial revolution is an ongoing process, transforming or world as we peak, also because, so that some effort is required to keeps it has become a little passé to speak of the industrial revolution,so that some effort is required to keep our minds fixed upon the most basic and fundamental strategic trends shaping the world, and not to be distracted by fads, fashions, and passing fancies…

Society is driven and developed not according to an ideal or social consensus, but entirely by emergent strategic trends that are sufficiently robust to shape the lives of individuals and nation-states alike. The emergence of high technology, mentioned above, is amongst these trends. In absence of any explicit social direction, the strategic trend develops according to its own internal logic.

Thus, we see spikes of uneven development in society and industry as particular trends emerge and are rapidly developed simply because that is the only vision about which individuals can organize themselves at the moment. Whenever something comes along, everybody wants to jump onto the bandwagon. So they want to make money, some want to get famous, some want to socialize, some want to perfect the nascent idea — the motivations are legion, but the result is the same: everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon.

If one were to take time and familiarize oneself with the history of civilization, one will find that social vision and ideal has often trumped pragmatic concern. A high level of technology was available in the ancient world , and there was hemispherical civilization in Egypt and Greece and the whole of the Mediterranean basin that systematically exploited this technology, but according to contemporary parlance, this remains a historical development and it never happened.

Despite the technical capacity of classical antiquity, technology was a sideshow for them In places like Rome, the main events were attending a chariot race or socializing int Baths. For contemporary man living in a technological society, technology remains and is the 'main event' — technology, and economic development, and improving living standards, and a myriad other expressions of a consumer-driven society whose efforts are what Rousseau called "the will of all."

The technological civilization that we are creating by default — and is giving us higher standards of living, but it is not living us a higher civilization. These were epochs of civilizations very much driven by social visions rather than by technological expedients. We have a civilization, on the contrary, driven by technological expedients.

A civilization based on technological expedients, however impressive its achievements and accomplishments, cannot on this basis alone, survive. It must, in the fullness of time, arrive at some points when that is fully peculiarly human is valued above the benefits of bandwagon development, or that civilization will give way to something very different from does value which is peculiarly human, because this is ultimately the only thing to contribute to history.

In the meantime, and in the absence of ideals and social vision, we agree to disagree — often violently. The sociological analysis of anomie, the emergence of social attitudes like nihilism, and the emergence of social movements like anarchism are nearly pure expressions of 'willing of nothing' in the absence of substantive ideals and in view of the alternative not to 'will anything' at all.

The Challenge of the Era of Technological Abundance

Without local democracy, there can be no culture of democratic practice; without security and time, there can be only a weak citizenry; without decentralization, it is difficult to mobilize democratic practice and accountability; and without major and far-reaching new forms of wealth holding, there can never be adequate support for the conditions and policies needed to build a more egalitarian and free democratic culture.

The United States is the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. By the end of the twenty-first century it will have the technological capacity to increase the income of all its citizens many times over or to radically reduce work-time and thereby allow a new flowering of democracy, liberty, and personal and community creativity. The new century could be — should be — one of innovation, hope and excitement.

Few Americans approach the century this way. The future is clouded by problems by problems rather than opportunities; it appears as an era of great political difficulty and danger. At the most obvious level is he threat posed by terrorism and war — and the many challenges to liberty that very zealous approaches to both have produced. At another level are the growing social, economic racial and other difficulties catalogued in the Hub. Critically, confidence that the great traditional values at the very heart of the American experience can be sustained has been declining rapidly.

A society committed to enhancing equality, liberty, and democracy that is unable to achieve such values in practice — indeed, that is moving in precisely the opposite direction — is committed to a morally incoherent politics. If such a politics continues through time, ever greater cynicism must develop; and with it, an ever deepening sense that American society has lost its moral compass, that government policies are merely the result of power plays and brokering between interested parties that do not and cannot claim any deeper democratic or moral legitimacy.

This can be seen in the 'cliff hangers' as they are perpetuated by the Republican which with its recalcitrant and negative form of governing. The fits, stop and starts of the Deficit Reduction, along with the over the tawdry "Fiscal Cliff" fiasco and now the near catastrophic, the constantly pushing of the Obama presidency, has an accumulative effect of raising much discontent. By this I mean, the GOP, is ridiculously avoiding governing because of "Racist" mind set of the members of this decrepit Party. Morality is an ancient casualty of this struggle, and it manifests itself in the refusal to work with Obama in a bi-partisan manner.

A political-economic system can continue to violate the values it affirms for a very long time without major consequences. It is unlikely, however, to be able to do so forever. The question is: can a meaningful, morally coherent, and ultimately positive politics be constructed in the emerging era of technological abundance? Can a new direction be set that acknowledges the systematic nature of our problems and openly posits a concrete alternative and a process that might move in a new direction? Can the system be changed?

The way I see, the system cannot be changed at all because it is set in its way and is set up to operate by devouring itself. Racism has not helped America in many ways, and the lingering reality of its being a 'go-to solution in dealing with race matters,' has now begun to set this country backwards and it now play second or third-fiddle to the Emerging economies like China and India.

By this I mean that these emerging economies, as they are sometimes referred to, are building their infrastructure, revamping heir armed services, beefing up tier economies, applying and innovating on the new and emerging/merging technologies; exploiting the natural resources of the so-called Third World countries. For now, the American opposition and ruling elite GOP is enamored and caught up with denying American advancement, if Obama promises to take care of it(whatever) and even if those ideas were the ones that were proposed and worked on by the GOP. So, Racism is a prohibiting factor towards American modernization and 21 century development.

It is important to stand back from the current moment to consider underlying issues of principle that will frame the politics of the coming era — to and through times of war and terrorism ... and beyond. Leaving aside the question of near-or long-term political-economic feasibility, four fundamental contentions are suggested by the evolving, political-economic developments we have reviewed:

  • First, that there is no way to achieve movement toward greater equality without developing new institutions that hold wealth on behalf of a small and large publics.
  • Second, that there is no way to rebuild Democracy with a big "D" in the system as a whole without nurturing the conditions of democracy with a small "d" in everyday life — including the economic institutions that allow and sustain greater stability of local community life.
  • Third, that there is no way to achieve democracy in a continental-scale system with a population moving toward 400 million people — and possibly a billion or beyond — without radical decentralization, ultimately in all probability to some form of regional units.
  • Fourth, that there is no way to achieve individual liberty in the modern era without individual economic security and greater amounts of free time — and that neither of these, in turn, is possible without a change in the ownership of wealth and the income flows it permits.

These four contentions stand on their own. Indeed, at this point in American history, the ball is in the court of those who hold that equality, liberty, and meaningful democracy can be achieved without meeting the challenges suggested by the four basic points. Further related questions are whether there is any other way to achieve gender equality, ecological sustainability, and the sustained reality of meaningful community.

There is a move towards recognizing Gay rights, the most recent passage of the Violence Against Women Act; Obama's move towards more equitable pay for both men and women in the Work Place. Although, on the other hand there is a forceful push back by the GOP to all the Obama initiatives that tend to have a negative impact on American economy and American's International image-being perceived as a country that cannot deal with its internal problems because, the world knows this one too, of Obama ethnic heritage and physical looks as that of An Africa, with a White mother.

The Pluralist Commonwealth model holds, beyond this, that democratic control of large economic enterprise — a central problem confronting all political-economic systems — can never be achieved without transforming and making public the ownership of large-scale wealth and without developing a new culture — and further, that this can only be done by building on the four key elements.

But with a concerted effort by those who oppose Obama, there is more of a likelihood that if the GOP had its way, public ownership of large scale wealth is a pipe-dream, and tie only interest is to give more tax breaks to the 1% billionaires of this country, and the rest of the 99% should be tossed into the rubbish bin of non-existentialism.

Without local democracy, there can be no culture of democratic practice; without security and time, there can be only a weak citizenry; without decentralization, it is difficult to mobilize democratic practice and accountability; and without major and far-reaching new forms of wealth holding, there can never be adequate support for the conditions and policies needed to build a more egalitarian and free democratic culture.

At the present rate and the real-reality of Americans, this society is not egalitarian and it does not fit their know ways and culture of American exceptionalism. In this case, then, to be exceptional, you'll have to be a billionaire, and the rest are non-people with non-issues.

Finally, the model is based on the judgment that greater equality, greater individual economic security, greater amounts of free time, and — upon this basis — the reconstitution of a culture of common responsibility are ultimately required if we are ever to reorient our community and national priorities in general.

But at present Americans working two or more jobs must to try and break even, if not pay their mortgages or feed their children and even pay for their children's schooling. Obama has tried to equal the playing by passing the health care act which the GOP so vociferously opposed

The central argument of this book is that the first decades of the twenty-first century are likely to open the way to a serious debate about these and other systemic questions — and further, that real-world conditions during the coming period are likely to offer opportunities for establishing substantial foundations for a possible longer-term systemic transformation thereafter.

The prospects for near-term change are obviously not great — especially when such change is conceived in traditional terms. Indeed, although there may be an occasional progressive electoral win, there is every reason to believe that the underlying trends will continue their decaying downward course. In many ways times are likely to get worse before they get better.

On the other hand, fundamental to the analysis presented in the preceding pages is the observation that for precisely such reasons, there is likely to be an intensified process of much deeper probing, much more serious political analysis, and much more fundamental institutional exploration and development. We have also noted that there are important signs of change in the traditional "laboratories" of democratic process.

States from Alaska to California, and from Alabama to Ohio, have moved forward to create — and systematically build political support for — many new political-economic experiments and strategies. Federal fiscal and other decisions are now producing pain and reassessment at every level.

Traditionally, a distinction has been made between reform, on the one hand, and revolution, on the other. The former implies nonviolent improvement in the outcomes of a given system — with no fundamental change in its basic institutional structure. It cleans up around the edges of the existing system, as it were — sometimes slowly, sometimes in major political outbursts. The latter commonly implies abrupt and often violent change — above all, of the fundamental institutional structures of the system.

The kind of change that appears in the various trajectories of emerging US development involves an unusual combination of strategic approaches. Like reform, in the main it involves step-by-step nonviolent change. But like revolution, its process is oriented to the development of different institutional structures to replace traditional corporate forms over time. It might appropriately be called "evolutionary reconstruction," but the present modal looks like "devolutionary deconstruction" of the American dream and opportunities.

A politics based on evolutionary reconstructive principles does not abandon reform when it can achieve important gains. On the other hand, such a politics explicitly seeks to understand — and to foster — the longer-term foundational requirements of the values it affirms. It is not satisfied with, or misled by, occasional electoral gains that do little to alter the direction of long-term trends.

It is a politics of historical perspective and commitment to the long haul. We now see at this present time, less politics of historical perspectives, but more of revamping of Jim Crowism, and a Supreme Court Judge activists who toss red meat to the racist when reviewing the Voting rights now more recently. the Democrats won the presidential elections, the country is ruled and held hostage by republicans who lost the elections, and this is happening because Obama is African-looking President in the White house, and the strategy form January 200, immediately after his Inauguration, was to make him fail.

The strategy in 2013, Obama's second term and he has had to over come the Fiscal Cliff and now the Dead On Arrival so-called "Sequestration". The White media is in cahoots with the White House-held GOP run Committee who are all pandering to the billionaires(white) and their rabid and racist Tea Baggers who are the custodians of racism; that is now the way of government operations, governing-making sure that they are al opposing anything that Obama proposes

Few predicted either the upheavals of the 1960s or the conservative revolution that followed. Major eruptions and political realignments are the rule, not the exception in US history. Large numbers of working Americans; blacks and Hispanics who will become a majority as the century develops; senior citizens (and those who shortly will become seniors); women who seek practical ways to achieve thoroughgoing gender equality; liberals and conservatives alike who value family and community; environmentalists who cannot secure protections either for endangered goals or sustainable growth along current lines of development — all are finding it increasingly difficult to realize their objectives through traditional means.

A fundamental question is what may happen as various groups, each beginning with more narrowly defined interests, come to the realization that what they value most cannot be achieved without a new approach. If, as appears increasingly likely, such awareness begins to intersect with the knowledge and experience gained through the development of new strategies and ideas, new possibilities are likely to become available to politics in the coming era.

Beneath the surface level of politics-as-usual, it is by no means clear that the public is or will remain quiescent forever — especially if social and economic pain continues, if political elites continue to overreach, and if new directions begin to be clearly defined. It is becoming apparent that what is called government overreaching is simply self-imposed ineptness and dysfunction so long it will make Obama look bad and unable to govern, even though their strategies have failed-the GOP keep on insisting on a dysfunctional government even if it is obvious to all and sundry that this is what they are doing, they go on ahead and do it anyway.

The term "conjuncture" designates a coming together at one moment in time of diverse trends to create new, unforeseen, and often dramatic opportunities for change. A major electoral shift or political realignment is easily conceivable — and with it the truly interesting question of the first decades of the century: whether foundations for something much more far-reaching might be established for the period beyond.

For the most recent election of 2012, this shift has been apparent and there for all to see that the Hispanics, are the now so-called emerging majority, the other ethnic minorities linked together in rejecting the GOP's presidential candidate soundly and formed an unexpected coalition with women's groups, youth and students, the elderly, Gay activist and many other such differentiated groups but coming together and in the process seeing and realizing their strength and power possibilities which was an unintended consequence of the racist view of the GOP and their billionaire candidate, Romenye. But the people saw through all that and their monied backers and handed the GOP and hand defeat at the polls. The Made Obama their send term president

The legitimacy of the present economic arrangements and entitlements is also likely to be called into question by large-order developments that intersect with — and strengthen — ongoing efforts to achieve change.

In the late 1990s economist William Baumol pointed out that per capita GDP in the United States had increased ninefold since 1870 - and that almost 90 percent of this growth was due to innovations developed over the previous 130-year period. Even pre-1870 innovations such as the steam engine and the railroad, he observed, "Still add to today's GDP."

Nobel laureate Robert Solow has similarly pointed out that current economic growth must overwhelmingly be attributed to "residual" factors that, broadly speaking, involve the huge contributions of inherited technological knowledge. Again, research by economist Edward Denison has shown that advances in knowledge are "the biggest and most basic reason for the persistent long-term growth of output per unit of input."

The moral — and hence, ultimately, political — implications of this growing understanding are beginning to be recognized. Above all, as historian Joel Mokyr observes, the vital knowledge we receive from the past comes to us through no effort of our own as a "free lunch." The implicit question is inherently explosive: if so, who should rightly benefit, and in what proportions, from this extraordinary inheritance — this free gift that produces so much of our common abundance? This is the conundrum and problem, it is not how much should be proportioned of this free gift, but how much should the billionaires get of as much as possible of the 'free lunch' from the national coffers. This is the express goal of the GOP lunatics, and on top of that, they want to see everything reversed to pre 19 century level.

Seth Schulman, the author of Owning the Future, has made the obvious connection. The elites who hold most of the rights to modern technologies "are legally sanctioned, but the legitimacy of their claims often remains dubious because of the debt they owe to innovations that have been made possible only by years or decades of collective advances."

Like in the case of the gun, where the proponents of the 2nd Amendment posits their objectives to protect the business of the manufactures, to who they are so indebted and squirming in their deep pockets through the gun-lobby thugs. That they , the gun manufacturers managed to refine their gun technologies. But in this case, instead of it being a collective advancement for its own good, it is more money for the gun manufacturers who cannot afford to lose their intake of capital profits for human good

The current technological contributions that produce such huge rewards for the fortunate few, in short, are a mere pebble placed atop a Gibraltar of received science and technology that makes the modern additions possible — and that was often paid for by the public, and that can be traced back through many generations, indeed, centuries. Current elites, William Gates Sr. urges, disproportionately reap the harvest of what is inherently a collective investment. Gates proposes their estates be taxed accordingly.

The late Herbert Simon, another Nobel laureate, defined the central issue this way: "[A]ny causal analysis explaining why American GDP is about $25,000 per capita [1998] would show that at least two-thirds is due to the happy accident that the income recipient was born in the US" Simon termed the vast gift of the past a sort of "patrimony" received simply by the chance of birth — and like Gates, urged that this should be subject to large-order taxation.

But in this case, the GOP insists on giving more tax breaks to these same millionaires who want to be taxed, ignoring them as if they have said nothing and continue defending them as if they, the billionaires, want that kind of money.

We have noted growing anger at the extreme wealth of some amid the great poverty of others — and, too, at the corrupt practices of many leading corporate executives. We have seen that elite ownership has very little to do with the demands of efficiency and productivity, and that a variety of institutional forms can manage wealth effectively — indeed, often more effectively than traditional forms.

The new understandings that the computer, satellite communication, and the Internet increasingly underscore are the moral wild cards of the era of technological abundance. Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz urges in general that, "Just as the importance of land in production changed dramatically as the economy moved from agriculture to industry, so too does the movement to a knowledge economy necessitate a rethinking of economic fundamentals."

As recognition that the sources of modern abundance are deeply rooted in the legacy we all commonly receive from the past continues to develop, it is likely to bring with it a powerful critique of all justifications of current wealth ownership patterns and a powerful rationale for new, broader allocations and institutional strategies.

Little has been said in the preceding pages about global issues and international relations. The reason is not only that this book is devoted primarily to US developments. It is that it is extremely difficult to imagine a fundamental shift in America's stance toward the rest of the world absent a transformation of our own ways at home.

The argument of Alexis de Tocqueville and John Stuart Mill - that ultimately democracy in a nation depends upon the development of democracy in its communities — is echoed in the judgment that America is unlikely to play a different role in the world until it is a different America - until it finds ways once again to realize values of equality, liberty, democracy, and, one day, perhaps even of community in our own land.

Efforts to alter the excesses of America's international stance and to persuade the United States to respond more humanely to global problems are both essential and laudable. If we Americans truly hope to help others around the world, however, we have much hard work to do, first and foremost, here at home.

Large-order institutional restructuring, we tend to forget, is exceedingly common in the long sweep of world history. The difficulty lies in pulling ourselves out of the present moment to consider our own possibilities in broader historical perspective.

We have begun a new century. The coming decades will establish the terms of reference for further, future change. It is not possible to know whether a new direction based on the developing ideas, models, practical experiments, and new alliance explorations can lay the foundations for the next political-economic system.

Or whether, over time, a new basis can thereby be established for a politics capable of unleashing the moral energies that can flow from a renewed commitment to achieving equality, liberty, and democracy.

It is possible, however, for one person — each person — to help refine our understanding and our strategies and to help establish the practical and political elements needed in the first stage of any realistic forward-moving developmental process. Each step is valuable on its own terms, no matter what.

Long before the civil rights movement, there were many years of hard, quiet, dangerous work by those who came before. Long before the feminist explosion there were those who labored to establish new principles in earlier decades.

It is within the possibilities of our own time in history that — working together and openly charting an explicit new course — this generation can establish the necessary foundations for an extraordinary future and for the release of new energies. It may even be that far-reaching change will come much earlier and much faster than many now imagine.

Today, Everything Happens Now

According to Rushkoff:

"The end of the twentieth century certainly gives us enough momentum, pull, and tension, may be too much. Back in the quaint midcentury year of 1965, ... was also the year of the first spacewalk, the invention of 'hypertext,' and the first human respirator. These events and inventions, and others, were promising so much change, so fast, that Alvin Toffler was motivated to write his seminal essay "The Future As A Way Of Life," on which he coined the term "Future Shock":

"We can anticipate volcanic dislocations, twists, reversals, not merely in our social structure, but also in our hierarchy of values and in the way individuals perceive reality. Such massive changes, coming with increasing velocity, will disorient, bewilder, and crush many people. ... Even the most educated people today operate on the assumption that society is relatively static. At best they attempt to plan by making simple straight-line projects of present-day trends. The result is unreadiness to meet the future when it arrives. In short, "Future Shock."

"Toffler believed things were changing so fast that we wold soon lose the ability to adapt. New drugs would make us live longer; new medical techniques would allow us to alter our bodies and genetic makeup; new technologies could make work obsolete and communications instantaneous. Like immigrants to a new country experiencing "Culture Shock," we would soon be in a state of "Future Shock," waking up in a world changing so rapidly as to be unrecognizable. Our disorientation would have less to do with any particular change than the rate of change itself.

"So, Toffler recommended we all become futurists. He wanted kids to be taught more science fiction in school, as well as for the them to take special courses in "how to predict." The lack of predictive skills would for Toffler amount to "a form of functional illiteracy in the contemporary world."

News And Information In The Nowness Of "Real/Reel" Time

Rushkoff informs us that:

"Until recently, television news tended to reinforce traditional narrative values. Like the newsreels once shown in movie theaters, broadcast news compiled and contextualized footage from the field. By the early 1960s, the tree main networks-CBS, NBC, and ABC-each had its own fifteen to thirty-minute news program every weekday evening, anchored by reassuring middle-aged man. These broadcasts enjoyed such authority that Walter Concrite could end his broadcast, non ironically, by saying, "And that's the way it is." The daily news cycle gave everyone, from editors to politicians, the opportunity to spin and contextualize news into stories. This is what journalism schools taught" how to shape otherwise meaningless news into narratives.

"Morning newspapers would have even more time to digest, format, and editorialize on the news of the preceding day, so that the public wouldn't simply be confronted with the globe's many catastrophes. We would be told what was being done about them or how they ended up, and those in charge were located and given a chance to reassure us. News editors also chose when to hold back a story altogether, for fear that is unresolved nature might worry us too greatly. Foreign dictators were not granted US airtime, for example, and scandals about politicians were held indefinitely or forever.

"Just as the New York Times promised us news that was 'fit to print,' television news shows sought to promote the interests, welfare, and contentment of America by creating a coherent narrative through which we could understand, and hopefully, dismiss the news before going to bed. Thank you and good night.

None of this was necessarily intended to be devious. The widespread belief among both the political and media industries was that the public was not sophisticated enough to grasp the real issues of the day. "The real environment is altogether too big, too complex, and too fleeting for direct acquaintance."(Lippman)

Incapable of grasping news directly, the public was to be informed about issues only after a benevolent elite had crafted all this information and its implications into simple and palatable stories. In this view, the people are incapable of participating as informed members of a "Democracy," and their votes should not be left up to their discretion.

Instead, Public Relations specialists would be hired to get people to vote in their own best interests. So, for example, after winning the Presidency on a peace platform, Woodrow Wilson subsequently decided to go to war. He hired Lippman and his student, Edward Bernays, to manufacture public consent for American participation in World War I.

"Our news networks and Internet Feeds[today] compound the sense of crisis by amplifying only the most sensational and negative events, which garner the highest ratings and click-throughs, generating still more of the same. Yes, the news has always been dominated by darkness and disaster; newspapers with a dead body on the cover sell better than those announcing a successful flower show. But now the feedback over viewer ratings is instantaneous, and its relationship to ad revenues is paramount, as once-independent news channels like CNN become mere subsidiaries of NYSE conglomerates such as Time Warner.

"The indirect value that a quality news program may have to the reputation of an entire television franchise ceases to have meaning-or at least enough meaning to compensate for poor ratings in the short term. "Blatant Shock" is the only surefire strategy for gaining viewers on the "Now." In addition, the 24/7 news cycle creates the sense of a constant stream of crises that are inescapable, no matter where we go."

The Manifestation of The "Now" Mediological Ecology and Information Era

Technological "Here And Now"

If we are beginning to see a picture as to how democracy is side-swapped and discombobulated by the nature of Technopoly and its techniques, we get a better picture below from Rushkoff who captures, tabulates and deconstructs the ways and means of the new technologies their effects on its users and the Democracy of a people, in a much more concrete and concise manner. We are further instructed on this matter by Rushkoff in the following manner:

"... In the real world, aquifers are disappearing and first line antibiotics are becoming ineffective against rapidly mutating bacteria. In the relativistic haze of participatory media,it's all just a matter of opinion. This is a Democracy, after all. As even the jaded, former Public Relations giant Richard Edelman now admits, "In this era of exploding media technologies there is not truth except the truth you create for yourself."

"The Internet welcomes everyone into the conversation. An op-ed in the New York times may as well be a column on the Huffington Post, which may as well matter s much as everyone else's, resulting in a population who believes its uninformed opinions are s valid as those of experts who have actually studied a particular problem. College students often ask me why anyone should pay for professional journalism when there are plenty of people out there, like themselves, willing to write Blogs for free?

One answer is that governments and corporations are investing millions of dollars into their professional communications campaigns. We deserve at least a few professionals working full-time to evaluate all this messaging and doing so with some level of expertise in ascertaining the truth.

"Young people are not alone in their skepticism about the value of professional journalism. A 2010 Gallup Poll showed Americans at an under 25 percent confidence in newspapers and television news-a record low. Pew Research shows faith in traditional news spiking downward as Internet use spikes upward, and that full 42 percent believe that news organizations hurt democracy. This is twice the percentage who believed that in the mid-1980s, before the proliferation of the Net.

We even learn much more from Rushkoff that:

"As cultural philosopher Jurgen Habermas offered during his acceptance speech of humanitarian award in 2006,

"The price we pay for the growth in egalitarianism offered by the Internet is the decentralized access to unedited stories. In this medium, contributions by intellectuals lose their power to create a focus. To be sure, the rise of citizen journalism brings us information that the mainstream media lacks either the budget for or fortitude to cover. Initial reports of damage during Hurricane Katrina came from Bloggers and amateur videographers.

"However, these reports also inflated the body counts and spread rumors about rape and violence in the Super dome that were lated revealed not to have occurred. footage and reporting from the Arab Spring and Syrian Revolution-where news agencies were limited or banned-were almost entirely depended on amateur journalists. but news-gathering during a bloody rebellion against a violently censorious regime is an outlier example and hardly the basis for judging the efficacy of amateur journalism in classifying issues or explaining policy.

Deconstructing Journalism And Democracy by Technopoly and Its Techniques

If anything, such as heroism under fire, combined with the general public's access to Blogging Technology ad professional-looking website templates, gives us a false sense that we are capable of researching and writing professional-quality journalism about anything. In fact most of us are simply making comments about the columns written by other bloggers, who are commenting on still others. Just because we all have access, We learn from Lisa Irvin that:

Challenges/Strategies For Democratic Participation

The problem of apathetic political participation can be conceptualized as both a cause and an effect of many of the critiques of democratic politics. Democratic practice is commonly understood as an adversarial process characterized by competition, conflict, and power struggles among elected representatives. The form of representative democracy is often connected to a notion of citizen political participation that primarily includes voting in elections. In its present form, however, representative democracy often leads to decisions "for the many being made by a few" that inadvertently (or not) under-represent minority (race, class, gender, etc.) interests.

In response to some of the obvious flaws and tensions inherent in the present US democratic system, public dissatisfaction and discontent blatantly emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s when people began to feel that existing democratic forms were not serving the interests and expressed opinions of the public. It was during this time that localized strategies for community control, neighborhood government, worker control, and decentralized socialism were devised in response to the growing disillusion with the present system. Even President Nixon joined rhetorically in these efforts in his 1971 State of the Union address stating, "Let us give the people a bigger voice in deciding for themselves those questions that so greatly affect their lives."

Convictions of more direct democratic forms of decision making have clearly influenced the frequency and increase of usage of terms such as "voice," "participation," and "consensus" in relation to political decisions in academic, political, and "New Left" collectives.[1] Such changes resulted in the emergence of forums, meetings, or hearings where the public was encouraged to voice their concerns, positions, and opinions. Despite these efforts, evidence suggests these participatory forms have not resulted in the transformation of democracy, but have however, introduced a new set of problems.

Political theorists argue that democratic participation involves two mutually recursive components: the political structure or culture that can enable or constrain participation and the individual who possesses the ability and responsibility to ensure their political voice is included in political arenas. While these two dimensions of public participation are theoretically impossible to speak of as separate phenomenon, any project that attempts to encourage public political participation should consider both aspects in its design and implementation.

Class Differences:

Empirical evidence suggests that representative democracy often leads to decisions that reflect middle class, rather than lower class interests, a finding that is often attributed to the fact that there is greater middle class political participation than lower class participation.[1] While it has been extensively documented that socially and economically disadvantaged groups have lower political participation rates than middle or upper class groups,[3] there are a plethora of theories that attempt to explain why. Most, however, agree "economic disadvantage impedes equal participation in the making of culture, in public spheres, and in everyday life."

Research in the field of social psychology has specifically investigated the relationship between socio-economic status and efficacy, finding a strong positive correlation between such status and perceived efficacy to contribute to the betterment of societal conditions. Sunstein and Fishkin assert that many under-resourced populations hold the belief that the world is essentially just in order to avoid the cognitive dissonance that would result if they were to realize otherwise, in spite of the fact that, for them, there is no direct relationship between effort and economic success.

Such a process can distort the interests of the under-resourced and create what Marx and others have referred to "false consciousness". Such a consciousness can have the effect of normalizing inequities and reducing the possibility that conflicts of interests will arise from the awareness of unequal or unfair distribution of resources, opportunities, representation, and participation in political decisions. Mansbridge, calling on work from Hochschild and Bourdieu, nicely summarizes this phenomenon,

Not only are dominated people powerless, but they also lack the power to name their own powerlessness; this lack is itself a kind a powerlessness in that people learn how make the heavy burden of powerlessness feel natural and freely born.

This perspective helps explain lack of democratic participation by under-resourced groups and individuals as an adaptive rationalization that normalizes their existence in ways that reduce their motivation, knowledge, and desire to participate in public, political discourse. (This phenomenon is discussed in much more detail in the essays on oppression.)


Others, however, attribute lack of participation in political life to apathetic citizenry. In his overview of the shortcomings of representative processes in liberal democracies, De Greiff argues liberal democracies have led to apathetic citizenry fostered by some sense of trust in elected representation and a belief in our present system's egalitarian rhetoric.

Eliasoph's long-term ethnography of a few slices of American culture illustrates how political apathy is produced in everyday life over the course of conversations, interactions, and in the "backstage" of life. Her findings suggest that a social norm exists that impedes political discourse in ways that censor such discussion in non-political and political spaces.

Perhaps such norms get internalized in a manner that de-legitimizes political opinions to such a degree that individuals censor themselves even in situations where political discussion is encouraged, believing they, as lower class citizens, are not authorized to have such discussions.

Additionally, Huspeck and Kendell studied the political vocabulary of a "nonpolitical" community consisting of mostly male, unskilled workers. Since their talk reflected the belief that their political ‘others' were power trippers and smooth talkers, they purposely talked in oppositional ways which justified their superior moral identity. This study suggests that commonplace assumptions and attitudes about the current political sphere often inhibit such groups or individuals from participating in such "morally reproachable" projects, clearly not realizing that their resistance and lack of participation contributes to their oppression.


In contrast to the individuals who choose not to participate because of their attitudes or perceived efficacy towards current politics, there, are others who have tried to participate, but have become disillusioned in their efforts. Despite the increasing quantities of public discourse, studies show that satisfaction with public discussion is low, indicating that many citizens feel as if these public opportunities are essentially a waste of time, claiming that there is not enough listening and response to concerns.

Thus, lack of public participation could partially be attributed, not to apathy or preconceived attitudes, but rather to individual frustration with ineffective public discussion structures and processes that do not encourage dialogic communication and leave citizens with the impression (and possible reality) that they are not being heard.

Clearly, the problem of political participation cannot be traced to one or even a few variables. However, an adequate understanding of the difficulty cannot be attained by considering individual variables alone. While factors such as individual's perceived collective efficacy, adaptive responses, attitudes, identities, and frustration demonstrate one dimension of lack of political participation, they do not account for constraints located in the political structures themselves that reflect the role that the system plays in creating the conditions of individual constraints, inhibiting opportunities, or equitable chances for all interests to be integrated in public discourse.

Structural Constraints to Democratic Participation

Structural constraints consist of any structure that may inhibit access to public discourse opportunities or may systematically distort communication in ways that privilege certain interests, voices, and meanings over others. Such structures or systems result in marginalizing minority or alternative perspectives in ways that prevent equal representation. The distortion of fair and equal representation processes through the communicative event itself is explained by Deetz (1992):

Communication difficulties arise from communication practices that preclude value debate and conflict, that substitute images and imaginary relations for self-presentation and truth claims, that arbitrarily limit access to communication channels and forums, and that then lead to decisions based on arbitrary authority relations.

Such communication problems have been attributed to the communication structures that function as a part of the political and economic system and preempt negation, discussion, and decision making about political issues, often in ways that benefit those who already possess most of the resources.

Similarly, Forester argues that the following questions should be investigated in order to identify politically debilitating discourses that are indicative of systematically distorted communication:

  1. Are particular groups, specifically the ones defined along racial, economic, or sexual lines excluded systematically from decisions that affect their lives?
  2. Is the political or moral illusion that science and technology can solve the problem, through professionals and experts, perpetuated?
  3. Is political argument, participation, and mobilization regarding a broad range of policy options and alternatives systematically restricted because they would pose inconveniences to the existing patterns of ownership, wealth, and power?

Asserting that the political-economic system is often to blame for inequities in resources, opportunities for participation, and non-representative policy making structures, Forrester is also arguing for changes in communicative structures that would serve as a corrective for structural enablers of inequity, in hopes that chances for more holistic, fair, and deliberative decisions would be increased.

Additionally, Yankelovich's analogy of the "glass ceiling"[13] and Schattscheider's "mobilization of bias" have also been used to describe some of the structural constraints of public participation. Referring to ways in which experts and professional politicians often control political agendas and policies, Yankelovich states that, "Beneath the surface of formal arrangements to ensure citizen participation, the political reality is that an intangible something separates the general public from the thin layer of elites—officials, experts, and leaders who hold the real power and make the important decisions."

This argument is consistent with Habermas's claim that one of the ways that communication is systematically distorted is through the reliance on expert and technological knowledge that preempts other epistemologies and often excludes the input of everyday people from political processes.

Concurrently, Schattschneider claims that the political agenda is designed in such a way that selectively mobilizes participation among different groups and interests by determining agenda items that favor advantaged, rather than disadvantaged group interests.[14] Thus, the political system's ability to control the topics is another example of systematically distorted communication that maintains the status quo of the "have nots" and often improving the status quo of the "haves".

We further learn about the effects of Technology on the future operations and the future of man, which is according to Rushkoff, the present(presentism). That is, everything we do now, was forecast in the past as Future Shock, but it is the present-here-and-now and this is driven and affected, also effected by technology-everything we do and life for today.

What happened to the future? Rushkoff says you can trace its death to the same roots as the financial crisis. "Futurism--the yearning toward an end--is a symptom of the industrial age that we’re leaving behind," he says. "It’s happening because the industrial age economy is finally running out of steam. … Industrial age currency has an accelerating clock built into it and we’ve reached the limits of our ability if not to grow, then to accelerate our growth."


Think about what this has meant for the global economy. Rushkoff notes that we’ve often taken abstract economic concepts and elevated them above production of physical goods. "The main forms of innovation from American companies that we’ve seen over the last 10 or 20 years have been financial innovation, which is more about creating a new kind of derivative that can compress time but that doesn’t actually make anything."

Global warming, terrorism, child starvation: these are chronic problems that we can’t address through victory.

Whole economies are fueled by these abstractions, which means the economy doesn’t need to keep expanding physically. It’s moved past the metaphor of progress that has fueled our idea of the future. "The industrial age was about going forward; was about growth; was about building for the future; was about investing in something that was going to be bigger later," he says.

"That has ended up getting replaced by a much more steady state economy, one that’s biased more toward transaction and the velocity of money rather than expansion and the storage of money. The cultural bias and economic bias metaphor is shifting from hard drive to RAM, from potential energy to kinetic energy."


Visualizing a better future seems nothing but admirable, but Rushkoff argues that by assigning a linear paradigm to these issues, we’re limiting ourselves in the possibilities of solutions. "If we stop looking at politics like a book, with a beginning, middle, and end, and we start looking at it more like the Internet, with an ongoing approach to behavior--that’s what’s going to solve 21 century problems," he says. "Twentieth century problems could be won, they had bad guys that could be beaten."

"You could go to the moon and stick a flag in the ground. But 21 century problems don’t have clear end points. Global warming, terrorism, child starvation: these are chronic problems that we can’t address through victory, but rather through developing sustainable, real time models or behaviors. These are not things you win, they’re things you learn to deal with and abate."

If we stop doing things for something else but start doing them for now, some fundamental things change.

And if you accept that there is no end to these issues, but a constant "now" in which they can be managed in a sustainable way, the future starts to look "less like a story and more like a video game," a collection of people all making decisions in real time--with no final climax in sight: "If we stop believing in a future, if we stop doing things for something else but start doing them for now, some fundamental things change.

Retirement becomes less about how much money you can squirrel away now and much more a matter of participating and contributing to your own community now so that they want to take care of you. … We’re going to move into a world where your retirement will be more secure if you’ve made lots of friends with young people rather than collected lots of dollars.


What happened to the future? It’s become lost in our changing concept of time, what Rushkoff calls the difference between the Greek terms chronos and kairos, time and timing. Digital devices have changed the way we think about time from segments of the day to discrete moments. When you look at an analog clock, you can see the time that will come after and the time that came before.

But a digital clock presents each time as one instance; 3:23 exists by itself. "Presentism is the acknowledgement that human beings exist in a unique temporal landscape in which not all moments are the same. We’ve been taking digital technology and pushing it into service of the old, but working in an increasingly digital environment means forcing our digital operating systems to conform to human time, rather than the other way around."

This isn’t just philosophical. Changing our idea of the passage of time could have enormous effects on the workplace, our understanding of the human body, and how people relate to each other. "We’ve been living in chronos for the past thousand or so years," says Rushkoff. "Time was what’s on the clock. And now that our digital devices can take that for us. We can move into kairos."

Working in an increasingly digital environment means forcing our digital operating systems to conform to human time.

Once we acknowledge that 3:23 is just a time on a digital device, it will start to become clear that we need to focus more on the kairos, the timing. A certain time may not be the best time to ask an employee to start a new project, even if it’s the middle of the work day.

"I think it’s going to take us another decade or so for us to acknowledge the way that our neurotransmitters change over time, that there is a very distinct and measurable lunar cycle that corresponds to increases and decreases in particular neurotransmitters," says Rushkoff. "As we come to understand that this is a serotonin week or this is a dopamine week, we’ll become a lot better at surfing the moods of our families and coworkers and markets."

Some people may decry the idea that time has ceased to exist, saying it’s another symptom of an Internet age where we are always connected--to each other, to our workplaces--and no one can rest. But we don’t need to live that way.

"We feel compelled to answer every ping and vibration that comes at us, or we feel like we are falling behind somehow. As if all those things are in the present and we’re trying to catch up with them. But we’re in the present, and those things are trying to catch up with us. We’ve got the cause and effect kind of reversed."

That, says Rushkoff, is what Presentism is, a way to harness the changes wrought by technology to make our lives easier by transforming a constant searching for the future into a focus on the present: "It’s a reaction against our misuse of digital technology as a way of exacerbating the ills of the industrial age, rather than using it to welcome in an entirely new approach to time, money, work, and living. Futurism has ended, and now we actually get to be in that future."

So that as we conform the present-day future(Presentism) we are designing and forcing the digital world to conform to our present human time and rhythm. As Rushkoff sates above, "We've got the 'cause' and 'effect' kind of reversed."

We are informed by Eric Cohen that:

"The problem of technology — how to spread its fruits, limit its excesses, and save ourselves from its destructive side — ranks high among the great challenges of our time. The problem is so vast, so complicated, so many-faced — from stem cells to fuel cells to weapons of mass destruction — that it is often difficult to keep a level head about it, and often hard for even the most judicious scientists, statesmen, and citizens to know how to think and what to do.

"As with so much else in our national life, the events of September 11 brought the problem of technology into focus. We realized the devastation that modern technology could cause us, especially if terrorists someday use high-tech weapons, not planes, to attack our cities. But we also recognized the superiority of our technological civilization to backward-looking fundamentalism, and took renewed pride in America’s basic decency and great success.

We realized how blind our comfortable Silicon Valley society had become to the presence of real danger and real evil, and to the fact that many people around the world deeply resent us for what we are and envy us for what we have. But we also came to recognize that only advanced technologies — like vaccines, missile defenses, and high-tech surveillance — could defend us against technological attack, and aid us in combating our most dangerous enemies with great precision and minimal casualties.

"Taken together, we seem to be living in a strange moment — with the twin expectations of endless improvements and looming disaster, of perfected health and colossal death. How do we sort all this out? How do we live well and wisely amid the dreams, nightmares, and daily challenges of technological society? And how will the problems of technology transform our public life in the years ahead?

"The aim of this journal is to help all of us to think a little more clearly about the burdens and blessings of modern technology — both in our national politics and our everyday life; to help us avoid the extremes of euphoria and despair that new technologies too often arouse; and to help us judge when mobilizing our technological prowess is sensible or necessary, and when the preservation of things that count requires limiting the kinds of technological power that would lessen, cheapen, or ultimately destroy us. It will consider the larger questions of technology, human nature, and modern democracy, and the practical questions of governing science.

We begin with three caveats:

"The problem of technology is not exactly new. Restless innovation has been central to the American way of life from the beginning; the “rage for the new” is a deep-rooted part of the American character; and the resulting technological achievements have been both indisputable and impressive. At the same time, the disruptions of progress have always caused many to lament the arrival of the “machine in the garden” or the microscope in the womb.

On both the left and the right, many have worried that we might become too confident in our power over nature, too narrow in our aspiration for “improvement,” and increasingly blind to the goodness of things not entirely of our own making. Moreover, the fear that our way of life might be destroyed in an instant, from afar, with little warning, is at least as old as the first atomic explosion, and was sustained for many decades amid the “mutually assured destruction” of the Cold War. When it comes to the dilemmas of technology, we are not exactly innocent, even if we are just emerging from a decade of adolescent optimism.

"The problem of technology cannot be separated from the character of human life as a whole.Technological problems — from broken machines to bad computer code to medications with side effects — can often be fixed with technological solutions. But the problem of technology — our mixed and complicated technological condition — is here to stay. Living well with this condition often requires developing new and better technologies, and we should all be thankful that America produces and nourishes many brilliant and inventive minds.

But the practical gifts of the technologist and the empirical knowledge of modern science provide little help in discerning when to mobilize, when to pause, when to retreat, and when to tolerate particular technological ends or means. This requires, instead, some idea of what the good life and the good society look like, some idea of the distinct virtues and limitations of one’s own society, and some sense of the permanent limitations of human beings in all places and all times. Indeed, it is not the belief in Progress that should bind us most forcefully to the technological project.

But the permanence of human imperfection, folly, and evil, which often makes developing new technologies a moral imperative.

"Finally, the problem of technology is not the only problem worth thinking about, and better technology is not the only remedy worth seeking for the ills of human life. Indeed, one of the great shortcomings of modern society is that seeking remedies (or “technological therapy”) becomes our overriding aim, crowding out the search for wisdom, love, excellence, and holiness that is central to living a full human life.

It is one of the great paradoxes of being human that the kinds of vulnerability, danger, and suffering that technology aims to overcome often awaken our greatest souls to their greatest achievements. Many of the darkest uses of technology — for coercion and slaughter — often spur the kinds of witness, or insight, or excellence, or courage that even the most ingenious civilization still sees as somehow higher than ingenuity.

This does not mean, of course, that we should go hunting after misery or disaster, which will never stop hunting us. It is only to suggest that long and healthy lives are not the only ends worth pursuing, and ingenuity not the only virtue worth honoring — great as both health and ingenuity surely are.

While this journal will direct its attention to technologies of information, exploration, warfare, industry, and entertainment, among many others, we will pay special attention to the complicated questions that surround biomedical science and biotechnology. Modern science and technology have always been distinctly concerned with biological life — how it works, how it fails, and how it might be improved.

Perhaps more than any other area of emerging technology, advances in biotechnology will shape the character of human life in the years ahead. This includes both the possibility and expectation of better health and longer life, but also the fear of destruction and dehumanization, of agents that kill or powers that corrupt.

Biologists are, at different times, the most utopian and most realistic of modern technologists: sometimes behaving as if the problems of life and death, body and psyche, might be overcome by their ingenuity, yet also developing vaccines and bio-defenses that are necessary precisely because of the perennial existence of human evil and mortal danger.

More profoundly, the new biology has altered the way human beings perceive the most significant elements of being human: birth, as a result of new powers of control over human procreation;childhood, as a result of new medications to “improve” or control the behavior of the young;happiness, as a result of new medications to alter moods and anesthetize demons; human identity and responsibility, as new maps of the mind and the genome redefine the individual in terms of biological machinery; and human finitude and death, as gratitude for the blessings of modern medicine deforms into a false expectation of endless life.

In recent years, the field of bioethics has been — with a handful of remarkable exceptions — largely adrift. It has too often disregarded the moral and religious views that shape the outlook of many citizens — giving them neither full voice nor adequate respect. And it has too often abandoned the deeper questions of human dignity and human nature to focus narrowly on maximizing personal choice (“autonomy”) and distributing medical resources more equally (“social justice”).

These are both important concerns, but they are not the only concerns, and they do not finally help us understand how biotechnology will change how we live, what we value, and who we are. One of the major purposes of this journal will be to refine and enlarge the vision of bioethics, and to connect the central concerns of bioethics to the larger questions of technology, progress, human nature, and the American character. In doing so, we will try to make the case for self-government and public deliberation in areas of science that are both controversial and complicated — precisely because they affect the whole of human society, not just their scientific practitioners.

This brings us, rightfully, to the subject of politics. Two general observations about the relationship between modern science and liberal democracy seem especially pertinent. First is the fact that the fathers of modern science envisioned their project, at least partly, as a remedy for the problems of politics. They were not blind to human passions, human evil, or man’s lack of innocence — which is to say, the very things that make politics both necessary and messy.

But they sought to moderate men’s passions by making men more comfortable, and to set aside those eternal questions that could never peacefully be answered in favor of a new science that provided reliable and useful knowledge. On the whole, their project has been a great success. Modern man is healthier, happier, and more peaceful than most of his ancestors. But the new science has not done away with the need or the virtue of political life, or the responsibility of finding right order or tolerable compromises among the human passions that even a triumphant technology could not fully extinguish.

Second is the fact that liberal democracy could not flourish without modern science and technology. At the heart of liberal freedom is the belief in a “better life,” and central to achieving a better life is getting or making better technology. One wonders: Is it even possible to think about freedom or democracy today without technology — or a free nation that is not also an advancing nation?

Yet, it remains an open question whether science and technology, seen as ends in themselves, need liberal democracy at all; or whether science and technology might flourish, at least for a time, in otherwise tyrannical and oppressive regimes. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union are worth pondering in this regard, as is modern China.

Liberal freedom clearly needs modern science, but modern science may not always need liberal freedom, and may on occasion find liberalism’s special concern for human dignity and individual rights a distraction from the grand aims of the scientific enterprise. We should therefore remember that the ends of science and the ends of liberty are not always the same, and that when they conflict it may be necessary to act to defend liberal principles, rightly understood.

The politics of technology in America is as complicated as the state of technology itself, and as contested as the dueling images of man and nature that lie not far beneath the surface of all political debates. We are all technologists. We all believe in progress - But not all in the same way.

Modern liberalism and conservatism (or the Democratic and Republican parties) offer limited guidance for understanding the new politics of technology — both where it stands and where it is heading. Conservatives attack the FDA for slowing down medical research, while seeking new limitations on biotechnologies that manipulate nascent human life or potentially affect human nature.

Liberals are repulsed by our hubristic exploitation of the environment, but celebrate biotechnical interventions in human life that involve far deeper manipulations of what is natural and sacred. Conservatives sow doubt about the feasibility of embryonic stem cell research, while championing with unabashed confidence grand technological projects like missile defense.

Liberals claim a special commitment to protect vulnerable human subjects from research, and yet champion experimental techniques for making babies that put at risk the most vulnerable and voiceless subjects of all: children-to-be. Meanwhile, on an issue like buying and selling human organs to increase supply, the right and the left both split down the middle: conservative devotion to the market battles with conservative reverence for life, liberal devotion to improving medicine battles with liberal concerns about the commodification of the body.

Among both liberals and conservatives, there are those that see modern life as inauthentic, profane, and corrosive of the good. But when it comes to protecting us against the things they fear most — destroying nascent human life for research, exploiting the environment for its resources — most liberals and conservatives turn to other, better, more ethical technologies as the solution, whether hydrogen cars or adult stem cells.

Both see America’s achievement as inextricable from its technological progress, if occasionally worrying that too much government is slowing us down (conservatives), or that the lack of government activism is depriving poor countries or poor citizens of the benefits of our technological success (liberals).

Taken as a whole, our mission and our moment is inseparable from facing up to our technological condition: savoring it, defending it, and improving it, but also coping with it, transcending it, and reining it in. There is nothing especially laudable in romanticizing lost worlds, or pretending that societies without running water or modern medicine are more “authentic” than our own, or believing that disarming ourselves will make the perils of technological power disappear.

On the flip side, it is misguided to believe that lost worlds have nothing to teach us, or that our world is necessarily the finest human achievement yet on the scene, or that even politically necessary and morally justified uses of technological power (drilling, drugging, dissecting, destroying) are wholly innocent. For they usually are not.

Our problem — the problem that will determine whether America has reason to believe in the future, and whether the future we believe in is worthy of our devotion — is how we cope with the promise and perils of technology: What kinds of weapons do we build and when do we use them? In what ways do we use our growing knowledge of the human genome?

When, if ever, do we intervene in the workings of the human brain to alter mind, mood, or memory? Will new genetic and information technologies endanger privacy, liberty, and modesty, and to what extent is high-tech surveillance a necessary cost of facing today’s new threats to liberal society? How will watching warfare live on television change both the way we fight and our perception of war? How will watching video replays of life’s great moments and worst horrors change our self-understanding, our memory, and our attitudes toward the future?

How will new information technologies transform the way people encounter one another, form communities, and elect leaders? Will advanced societies pursue great technological projects — like going to Mars — that offer little obvious medical or national security benefits? Or will the NASA budget continue to decline while the NIH and Homeland Security budgets soar? How will new powers of control over human procreation on the one hand and new life-extending medicines on the other alter the relationship between the generations? How will advances in biotechnology and artificial intelligence change our relationship with animals and machines, and thus our perception of what is uniquely human?

Answering these questions will require clear thinking about scientific prospects, which means avoiding wild speculation divorced from scientific reality, but also describing scientific possibilities in a way that citizens and statesmen can judge and understand. It will require political leaders with a deeper understanding of science, and scientists who accept that superior expertise about how technologies work does not guarantee superior judgment about how they should be used, regulated, or governed.

In general, we will need to grapple with our dependence on modernity, the failings of modernity, and the superiority of modernity to past and present alternatives. We will need to make the case for technological society in parts of the world that often resent it, while facing up to the decadence (great and small) of technological society here at home. This is, perhaps, the political and philosophic challenge of our time, and it is one that falls, in exceptional ways, in American hands.

A Look At the Government Shutdown that Is Presently Gripping the US in 2013

President Obama on Innovation and Sustainable Growth

Technology: US Tech Grid Upgrade

"We have to do everything we can to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit, wherever we find it. We should be helping American companies compete and sell their products all over the world. We should be making it easier and faster to turn new ideas into new jobs and new businesses. And we should knock down any barriers that stand in the way. Because if we’re going to create jobs now and in the future, we're going to have to out-build and out-educate and out-innovate every other country on Earth." (PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SEPTEMBER 16, 2011)

According to White House Blog, President Obama recognizes that technology is an essential ingredient of economic growth and job creation. Ensuring America has 21 Century Digital Infrastructure-such as high-speed broadband Internet access, fourth-generation ($G) Wireless networks, new health care information technology and a modernized electrical grid-is critical to our long term prosperity and competitiveness.

"The President is committed to ensuring America has a thriving and growing Internet economy. The Internet has become a global platform for communication, commerce and individual expression, and now promises to support breakthroughs in important national priorities such as health care, education and energy. Additionally, The Internet and information technology can be applied to make government more effective, transparent and accessible to all Americans."

Examples of This Projected Progress

  • Cybersecurity and Internet Policy
  • A modernized Patent System
  • Bringing Technology from "Lab to Market"
  • 21st Century Digital Infrastructure
  • Creating an Open and Accountable Government
  • Learning Technologies
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Robotics
  • Federal Chief Information Officers
  • Open Data Initiatives
  • Presidential Innovation Fellows
  • First US Chief Technology Officer

Obama's government aims to help modernize a federal government relying too heavily on 20 century technology, so as to better leverage the power of technology and data to help address a wide range of national challenges. These initiatives employ an agile, "Lean startup"-style approach to affecting change in government and embrace the idea of collaboration with innovators across the public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors to deliver the best possible results for the American people."

Obama realizes the challenge of Democracy by Technology and he has come up with these suggestion summed-up and bulleted above. In due course I will break them down, but for now, as far as this Hub is concerned, it is worth noting the adjustment that President Obama is proposing because he long realized that In any contemporary civilization, change must occur because, in his time of ruling America, Technology is taking over and it is being embraced by many countries. so that, he understand that America will have to upgrade and retool its 20th Century analog technology and morph into the 21st century Digital Age.

Obama also knows that there are a lot of discontent people in the greater USA. That is why education is part of his upgrade proposals because he also knows that if you retool as he has suggested above, you will need to reeducate the worker enabling them to transform and cross-over into the 20 Century, too. So the Hub acknowledges the recognition that Obama brings forth in his video clip above that and citation above that. "... If we are going to create jobs now and in the future, we're going to have to outbuild and out-educate and out-innovate every other country on Earth."

Obama show a very keen and intelligent foresight and insight to the fact that America, up to the point where he was as its President, was lagging behind too many countries, and the proposal he issued above, is in tandem with what the Hb is all about: the fact that the contemporary Civilization of America is faced with and has to deal with the Challenges to its democracies by technologies-and Obama, in 2011, was already talking about upgrading, retooling, re-educating and developing America to be much ore better than its competitors, who are now struggling ahead-that, for America to catch up and be better, it will have to out do them in all aspect.

Thus, although this is a timely proposal, it will depend whether the Republican will shed of their negative view of Obama, and begin to look seriously at improving, developing and advancing America of the 21 century.

Financial Terrorism Exposed!! - John Perkins (Confessions of an Economic Hitman)

Contenporaray American Democracy And Civilization Exposed

Even though Obama is trying to "Change" and give the American people a change they can believe in, it is not necessarily easy for him for he has to rule over an Empire that is only interest in Money(Capital). Democracy then takes on a different meaning and reality when one listens to John Perkings, he connects the dots and simplifies the complex operation of running the planet for the ordinary man in the street to understand the reality of democracy, corporate support and mainstream technopological matrix, above.

The Age Of Technopoly

Postman has emerged in recent years as one of America's most eloquent and outspoken critics of technology and in this book "Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business [1985]." Here Postman contends that, "The uncontrolled growth of technology destroys the vital sources of our humanity. It creates a culture without moral foundation," and reorders our fundamental assumptions about the world at large. New technologies alter our understanding of what is real, Which is another way of saying that embedded in every tool is an ideological bias, a predisposition to construct the world as one thing rather than another.

"A 'Technopoly' [a word Postman capitalizes throughout the book] is a society that believes that, "The primary, if not the only, goal of human labor and thought is efficiency, that technical calculation is in all respects superior to human judgment ... and that the affairs of citizens are best guided and conducted by experts."

The United States now ranks as "the only culture to have become a Technopoly," he says. It does not come about by design, he says, rather it is the end-product of a system of beliefs predicated on science as a source of moral authority.

"One of the most ominous consequences of Technopoly, according to Postman, is the explosion of context-free information. "The milieu in which Technopoly flourishes is one in which the tie between information and human purpose has been severed, i.e., information appears indiscriminately, directed at no one in particular, in enormous volume and at high speeds, and disconnected from theory, meaning, or purpose." The "information glut" leads to the breakdown of a coherent cultural narrative, he argues, for without a meaningful context, information is not only useless, but potentially dangerous. He cites the old saying that, to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and therefore, "To a man with a computer, everything looks like data.

"Postman describes the rise of new 'control systems' to manage information, such as statistics, opinion polls, SAT and IQ tests, etc. These are predicated on the fallacy that information can be scientifically measured and stored, he says. The result is that we believe our IQ "score IS our intelligence ... that the results of opinion polls ARE what people believe ... as if our beliefs can be encapsulated in such sentences as 'I approve' and 'I disapprove.'"

What we often fail to recognize is that using statistics in polling changes the very nature of public opinion, he argues. That an opinion is conceived of as a measurable thing falsifies the process by which people, in fact, do their pinioning; and how people do their pinioning goes to the heart of the meaning of a democratic society.

"Since traditional information filters no longer work, Postman explains, we turn increasingly to experts, bureaucrats, and social scientists who, abetted by computers, control the flood of data. Experts are one thing when a technical solution is called for (space rocketry or the construction of a sewer system, for instance), but since even human relations have become "technicalized" there are now experts in social, psychological, and moral affairs. The result is that we look for technical solutions to human problems. But it is a Faustian bargain, Postman says, one we can little afford to make." (Scott London)

“New technologies alter the structure of our interests: the things we think about. They alter the character of our symbols: the things we think with. And they alter the nature of community: the arena in which thoughts develop.”

Neil Postman

“A machine is as distinctly and brilliantly and expressively human as a violin sonata or a theorem by Euclid.”

Gregory Vlastos

“The world has changed far more in the last hundred years than in any previous century. The reason has not been new political or economic doctrines but the vast developments in technology made possible by advances in basic science."

Stephen Hawking

Technology In Perspective

It is important to note that Newtonian science and technology developed in a philosophical era of mind-matter dualism, where humanity, spiritually and psychologically, was seen as separate and distinct from the physical world. Mind was seen as animated, intelligent, personalized, and filled with emotion and meaning. Matter was viewed as cold and dead and pushed about by the forces and laws of nature. Of course, we would feel alienated and afraid of mechanisms and machines constructed out of this type of physical world. Envisioning machines as “soulless things," we would try to control them, dominate them, and never let them get the upper hand. But is this, in fact, the nature of physical reality as revealed in contemporary science? Is a philosophy of dualism still tenable in science? And further, is the image of the machine as an arrangement of mechanical parts pushed and pulled by physical forces a viable image of modern technologies?

One particular concern regarding future technology is our apprehension over robots, computers, and other intelligent machines. The contemporary scientist and cosmologist Frank Tipler notes that people in the West are especially distrustful of robots, unlike the Japanese who see all matter as animated and are accordingly not so deprecating of them. (Tippler, 1994) In his view, we believe, as dualists, that the robot is nothing but a soulless, complicated hunk of metal. He goes so far as to state that we are supremacists, indeed racists, for looking down on robots. As I describe later, many people regard computers in a similar light. In both cases our sense of superiority, and equally our sense of fear, is at least to some degree based on a dualistic view of humanity and physical technology. Machines are viewed as alien beings.

Yet it is precisely when we consider computers, robots, and other types of information technologies, which in fundamental ways are clearly different from Newtonian machines, that our fears and concerns become strongest and even most realistic. In popular science fiction movies such as Terminator and Matrix it is a powerful, technological intelligence that attempts to control, if not extinguish us. Should we not realistically fear a superior non-human intelligence, even if such a mind possesses consciousness, creativity, and feeling?

Such popular media images though pale in comparison to the technological intelligences in Vernor Vinge’s A Fire Upon the Deep and Dan Simmons’ Hyperion. In Hyperion, humanity has turned over the management and operations of future society and civilization, which now stretches across numerous worlds, to a collective of clandestine and mysterious artificial intelligences, that among themselves are in an ongoing debate over whether humanity should be allowed to continue to exist.

In A Fire Upon the Deep, all hell breaks loose, when a group of humans activates an artificial intelligence — aptly called the Perversion - that proceeds to spread across the Milky Way, like a computer virus, swallowing up whole stellar systems at the speed of light. The technological capacity, through invasive nets of nanotechnological units, to invade and explore the inner workings of the human mind is a possibility considered in Greg Bear’s Queen of Angels. For many of us, such a technological possibility would clearly send shivers up our spine. (Vernor Vinge, 1992)

All in all, the biggest threats to human independence and human dominance will probably come from our most advanced forms of technology, including biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology. The contemporary scientist Freeman Dyson identifies biotechnology and artificial intelligence as possessing the most cause for concern (Dyson, 1999), whereas Bill Joy, in his recent popular article “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us” is particularly concerned with nanotechnology and biologically engineered life forms.

Both forms of technology have the capacity to reproduce perhaps uncontrollably. (Bill Joy, 2000) Yet, it is also these same technologies that promise the greatest benefit to humanity in the years ahead, and what one person may see as a threat, for example, that our machines will surpass us, another person may see in a positive light. (Kurzweil, 1999)

Our attitude toward machines, though, involves more than just fear and apprehension. People have a love affair with technology as well, and we, in fact, do personalize many of our gadgets and appliances. Consider the automobile. We are mesmerized and enthralled with the wonders of technological devices. We cater to their every need, talk to them, give them names, and polish them with loving caresses.

As Barlow notes, in his article “It’s a Poor Workman Who Blames His Tools," technology is often viewed in a negative light due to the fact that various businesses get rich over the marketing and selling of it, seemingly without regard to the actual benefits to people. (John Perry Barlow, 1995) Yet Barlow points out that consumers show an unending desire for newer and prettier machines, and continue to buy them.

Csikszentmihalyi says that technology has evolved to a great extent due to the enjoyment of it — the new experiences and challenges that it offers. (Csikszentmihayli) In the modern world, our technologies are our toys. Naisbitt argues in his recent book, High Tech – High Touch, that Americans in particular live in a “Technologically Intoxicated Zone”. Naisbit, (2001) We love to play with, make love with, and show off our technological toys. There is a practical side to our machines, but technology may take more time to service, than the time saved in having the various devices.

This love affair and fascination with technology, though, can simply reinforce our fears. Our machines may not conquer us through superior intelligence or strength; they may conquer us through their beauty, design, and sensory pleasures. Csikszentmihalyi argues that artifacts can become parasites on us, thriving in the environment of humanity. The emotional power technology possesses can become very addictive. (Csikszentmihayli, 1993) We come back to the earlier question over whether technology serves us or we serve it?

The debate on the value of technology has a long history. It continues with even greater intensity today. Some recent extensive critiques include Neil Postman’s Technopoly, John Naisbitt’s High Tech – High Touch, and Freeman Dyson’s The Sun, the Genome, and the Internet. On the other side of the fence, two lengthy positive reviews of the promises of technology are Michio Kaku’s Visions and Michael Zey’s The Future Factor.

Looking at the main ideas developed in these books can help us get a more balanced and complete picture of the technology debate. There are also some recent discussions that specifically focus on the potential benefits of information technology, computers, and robots, notably Ray Kurzweil’s The Age of Spiritual Machines and Hans Moravec’s Robot. These books are examined in depth in the next chapter on information technology.

Postman argues that Americans have come to believe that technology is their savior in both war and peace. “Technophiles” (supporters of technology) tend to see only what technology can do, and not see what technology undoes. For Postman, all technologies have both a positive and negative side. They give us something new, but they also take something away. Further, according to Postman, the benefits of technology tend not to be equally distributed, with the techno-elite gaining increasing power over those unable to afford or learn the new technologies. Yet the main problem

With technology is that if it becomes the central guiding force in a society, which according to Postman has happened in modern America, it creates a “technopoly” — a society ruled by the ideology and values of its technology, undercutting all other cultural values. Within a technopoly, technology is seen as satisfying all our needs and providing both authority and direction in our way of life. For Postman, in our modern technopoly, technology has been deified.

Although technologies can be seen as simply means to ends, as being just tools that can be used for either good or negative ends, Postman believes that technologies bring with them values, ideologies, and symbolic meaning. The structure or make-up of a technology determines, or at the very least strongly influences its function. In point of fact, a technology or machine is built with a function in mind, and the tool’s function strongly inclines the tool user to look at the world in a certain way.

For a person with a hammer, everything is a nail. For a person with a computer, everything is data. Technologies provide a conceptual framework for understanding the world. Although a technology may be initially developed to solve a problem, according to Postman, the technology also ends up serving a symbolic function. It becomes a metaphor on the meaning of life — witness the power of the automobile, the computer, and the television to define the meaning and nature of modern life.

Further, Postman believes that the modern development of the technological and industrial world brought with it a new set of values. These values included objectivity, standardization, efficiency, and the importance of technique and measurement. Although we may naively believe that tools, machines, and technologies are simply means to ends, these various instruments do in fact shape our goals and our values. For Postman they bring with them an ideology and create a mindset. Our technologies have reshaped the social order of our modern world.

Postman further points out that the effects of technologies are not localized. Technologies cannot be contained to a limited sphere — they change everything they are connected to. The automobile did not just change transportation. The computer did not just change data management. There are numerous unintended consequences to the introduction of a new technology that ripple out through a society. (Edward Tenner)

Our technologies are part of a vast techno-ecosystem in which different technologies compete against each other. Different companies and institutions support different technologies. Technologies are marketed and advertised for their value. We are sold on the values that these technologies offer us; advertisement attempts to convince us of the worth of its products.

We live in a world permeated with the effects of our technologies and their supposed associated values and benefits. Postman contends that our modern technologies have redefined art, religion, the family, culture, and even our sense of history.

Postman believes that the rise of modern technopoly began in the Scientific Revolution. Science separated itself from the moral and spiritual dimensions of human society, claiming that its goal was simply factual knowledge. Science was presumably value-free. The Scientific Revolution supported a dualism of fact and value.

Yet, beginning with Francis Bacon and later with the Enlightenment philosophers, science and scientific technologies were seen as the instruments of progress — as the mechanism to improve, according to Bacon, the “happiness of mankind”. With the emergence of the philosophy of secular progress, science and technology quickly came

To challenge the authority of the church and traditional ways of life and value systems. As Elizabeth Sahtouris states, technology and the invention and use of machines became the guiding force of humanity. (Sahtouris, 2000)

The modern world, in great part created through the pervasive spread and ascension of science and technology, steadily eroded those spiritual and traditional values that science, supposedly, was not challenging. According to Postman, because science questioned religious truth, it also discredited religious moral authority.

Yet science and technology also brought with them a new set of values and goals, often at odds with religious and traditional values. These values and goals derive from the very principles by which science and technology are organized and practiced.

The industrial world was a world organized and ruled by the clock and punctuality; factories emerged that relied on efficiency, measurement, and analysis, and progress became increasingly measured in terms of production and the accumulation of material wealth.

The outmoded belief that technologies are value free is a direct outgrowth of the dualist philosophy of early scientists and technocrats, but this philosophy is a mistake, since science and technology did challenge and undercut the values and ways of life of the pre-modern era. Science and technology are not value free. They are not simply means but also ends in themselves. They helped to define a new set of values, a new set of goals, and a new way of life. This is one of Postman’s main points.

Postman is particularly concerned that technopoly on one hand undercuts all fundamental world-views while providing no overall new pattern of meaning and direction to take their place. He states that technopoly eliminates all “higher philosophical ideas and ideals” that do not fit into its reality.

For Postman, technopoly gives no moral guidance. “Scientism” — the elevation of science to a supreme authority — undercuts the values of subjectivity and creativity in favor of precision and objectivity. And because both science and technology emphasize the value of technique, they undercut the value of thinking. In the final analysis modernized humans end up serving technology because in a technopoly it is technology that defines the goals and values of life.

John Naisbitt’s critique of modern technology in High Tech – High Touch reinforces many of the ideas of Postman. As noted above, Naisbitt believes that Americans have become intoxicated with technology. We live in a “Technologically Intoxicated Zone," saturated with a multitudinous array of techno-promises. In agreement with Postman, Naisbitt argues that technology is not neutral — it is not simply a set of tools for achieving predefined ends. It has consequences and influences our way of life.

Technology has become an integral part of culture. (Postman’s argument is a bit stronger. For him, we have surrendered culture to technology.) Naisbitt believes that, “Technology is the currency of our lives”; the two biggest markets are consumer technologies and ways to escape from consumer technologies. Although the promise of technology was to save time and labor, it ends up consuming time and labor.

I would note that this reverse effect of technology on time indicates that technology is not simply a means to an end but has become an end in itself. Time itself has changed. Where once human life was structured by nature’s rhythms, now it is structured by high tech time, with a sense of urgency, precision, and obsessive order. We have become increasingly concerned with productivity and efficiency — again echoing a point in Postman – and seem to have developed a mass case of Attention Deficit Disorder.(Gleick, 1999)

Naisbitt lists six basic symptoms associated with our high tech world:

• First, we have come to favor the quick fix. We live in a Band-Aid culture. There is a gadget or a product to quickly alleviate any problem. (Howard Didbury)

Further, we have become impulse and stimulus driven with no time for reflection.

• Second, we have come to both fear and worship technology. We swing between antagonism and inspiration. Naisbitt accuses Nicholas Negroponte (who is discussed in the next chapter) of deifying technology. (Nicholas Negroponte) Postman, to recall, accuses American society in general of deifying technology. Yet we also fear that we are becoming slaves to our machines, both weak and dependent upon them.

• Third, because technology simulates and creates surrogates of reality, the distinction between the real and the fake has blurred. There are screens everywhere, and though the screen invariably presents a technologically created scene, scenario, or visualization, the world on the screen has become what is most real for many of us. (Michael Heim)

• Fourth, we have accepted violence as normal. Video and computer games and the media are filled with simulated violence. Naisbitt describes “The Military-Nintendo Complex," in which the military and toy industries have cross-fertilized each other, sharing ideas and technologies, over the last few decades. Inspired by battle simulations developed in the military, electronic and video games are “hardwiring” young people for shooting at humans. In this case, in particular, technology is not neutral — it teaches.

• Fifth, we love technology as a toy. According to Naisbitt, new technologies begin as luxuries and become necessities, eventually evolving into toys. Witness both the automobile and the computer. Adult technological toys have become ubiquitous in our culture.

• Finally, we live our lives distant and distracted. Technologies create both physical and emotional distance between us — a point that Postman also raises — and we become even distanced from ourselves and our own concerns and values. Interestingly, although technology has been blamed for the loss of community, Naisbitt notes that our communities are beginning to be wired.

"He describes the high tech community being developed in Celebration, Florida by Walt Disney – one of a hundred similar communities emerging across the nation — that is infused with communication and information technologies. The question for Naisbitt is whether such high tech communities will bring us closer to each other, or alienate us further from both our neighbors and ourselves."

According to Naisbitt, our technological intoxication is squeezing the spirit out of us. We have more, but feel more impoverished. Increasingly we search for meaning in our lives. Hence, Naisbitt, like Postman, believes that the overall effect of technology is de-humanizing. In sympathy with Postman, he thinks that we have lost our sense of meaning, value, and direction to our technological gadgets. Naisbitt thinks that our sense of “High Touch” must inform and guide our technology.

One reaction against the high tech world that Naisbitt discusses is the “Voluntary Simplicity” movement.Duane Elgin Yet it seems both unrealistic and undesirable that we should abandon technology for a simpler way of life, and as James Gleick points out

In his book Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything, the voluntary simplicity movement itself has generated its own accelerative complexity with competing lists and books galore of how to simplify your life along a myriad set of life’s dimensions. (Gleick) At the very least, Naisbitt believes that we need to enter into a global dialogue on the benefits and dangers of technology, and that religious and spiritual ideas, having been undermined by the philosophy of secular progress, science, and technology, need to re-enter the discussion of our goals and values for the future. But as Reverend Donald Shriver, quoted in Naisbitt, points out “The power of scientific curiosity, technological ambition, and economic profit are together a very formidable power.”

The relationship of technology and ethics is an important issue for Freeman Dyson. In his book Imagined Worlds, Dyson considers the positive and negative consequences of technology. He argues that science and technology become evil when they provide toys for the rich, and good when it provides necessities for the poor. Science and technology can exacerbate the differences between the rich and the poor, creating an educated and techno elite. Further, if technology becomes driven by ideology and politics, it gets into trouble, creating disaster and excessiveness, a point he repeats in a later book, The Sun, the Genome, and the Internet. (Dyson, 1999)

In this later book, Dyson adds that both high tech medicine and high tech communication, though promising various benefits, have had negative effects on people, generating depersonalization and often involving high financial costs. The Internet, though promising enhanced economic access and opportunities for all, still generally serves only the rich and competitive today.

Yet in The Sun, the Genome, and the Internet, Dyson does present a well-developed argument regarding how technology can contribute to social justice and the betterment of humanity. The crux of Dyson’s argument rests on distinguishing between ethics driven by technology versus technology driven by ethics. As we saw in the discussions above on Postman and Naisbitt, it is clear that technology brings with it values and goals. Technology is not value free. In Dyson’s mind, when ethics are driven by technology, negative effects on humanity often follow. Instead, he argues that our ethics must drive our technology. We must identify humanistic goals that will benefit all people, and then create technologies that will address these goals.

If the separation of technology and values is one form of dualistic mistake, the separation of technology and humanity is another dualistic mistake. Technology is not simply a tool of humankind. Not only does technology bring with it new values, it also alters our very nature. As Dyson correctly notes humanity and technology co-evolve in symbiosis.

The effects of technology upon humanity can be either negative or positive. It should be clear from the above critical reviews of Postman, Naisbitt, and Dyson, that technology can be seen as having negative effects on human nature. In turning to some recent reviews of the present benefits and future promises of technology, one theme will be how technology can improve the very nature of humanity.

Michio Kaku and Michael Zey are two writers who strongly support the value of technology and its potential benefits for the future. For both Kaku and Zey, advances in technology should benefit humanity financially and vastly enhance our collective wealth.(Kaku, 1997; Zey sees a time of superabundance resulting from technological advancement — a hypothesis he also defended in his earlier book Seizing the Future. (Michael Zey)

Additionally, they both agree that the future of technology promises increased mastery of nature, a promise also made by the original founders of Enlightenment philosophy and secular progress. Zey, citing Kaku, argues that we are moving from a time of passive bystanders to one of active choreographers of nature. He also believes that through technological achievements and increased “dominionization” of nature, we enhance our self-esteem and sense of self-efficacy.

There is considerable debate as to whether increasing financial and material wealth constitutes an adequate definition of progress. But it does seem clear that technological innovation and development, which has exponentially grown in the 20th Century, are directly connected to both increasing wealth and increasing abundance of resources, luxuries, and fundamental sustenance items.Moore & Simon, 2000) Moore and Simon propose that the three most important factors, all technological factors, which have generated immense material progress in the 20th Century, are electrical power, drugs and vaccines, and the microchip. The material benefits of advancing technology though are not equitably distributed throughout the world, but this inequality is directly connected to which areas have advanced technologically and which have not. (Ian Pearson)

Yet even if technology, wealth, and material abundance are directly connected, does it follow that the human condition in general is improved through technological advancement? As David Myers points out there is no positive correlation between human happiness and material abundance once basic sustenance needs have been satisfied. Of course, the promise is to bring the benefits of advanced technology to those people around the world who as yet do not live at even a fundamental sustenance level. Sadly, as critics such as Dyson point out, the benefits of contemporary technology have tended to concentrate in the rich and in the populations of modernized countries.

Another argument that advancing technology will benefit humanity pertains to the future possibilities of biotechnology. Kaku identifies three fundamental areas of scientific advancement in the 20 Century: quantum theory and the study of the atom, computer science and artificial intelligence, and theoretical biology and biotechnology. (Kaku, 1997)

Our increasing scientific understanding of life and biological processes has already greatly benefited humanity with monumental advances in medicine, health, and agriculture. (Moore & Simon, 2000) But as Kaku and Zey point out, the 21 Century should see the growing application of genetics to improving the physical health and vitality of humans and eventually, even our mental health and general psychological abilities as well.

Through the genetic modification of our DNA structure at conception or at some later stage of life, we should be able to progressively improve our minds and bodies and hopefully the quality of life. What biotechnology brings into the picture is that we are no longer attempting to improve only our external environment. We are also applying technology to ourselves with the intent to improve ourselves.

(On a related note, although computers initially developed as a way to deal with problems we faced in our environment, the promise here as well is that we will eventually apply computer technology to our own biological and psychological make-up, again for the purpose of self-improvement.)(Kaku, 1997)

Whether we are applying technology to our environment or to ourselves, we should consider the related questions regarding what values and goals the technology is intended to serve, and what might be the possible consequences of introducing the new technology. As Ohler suggests, we need criteria for assessing technology, identifying possible negative and positive effects on the environment, social relations, work, the self, education, and the human body. (Jason Ohler)

Ohler’s list brings home the point made by Postman that technologies affect all aspects of human life and are not localized in their impact, e.g., the automobile does not just affect transportation and the computer does not just affect record keeping and computational issues.

Although Postman and Dyson bring up the point that values and ethics can be driven and influenced by technology, we should attempt to guide our technological developments and innovations through our values and consider whether a new technology might undercut some value we think is important.

Following Naisbitt and Dyson, among others, it appears that new technologies often prosper and grow to serve the profit motive of businesses and the entertainment needs of those who can afford to buy the newest gadgets. Are these the kinds of values that should be guiding our technological evolution? Joseph Pelton points out that initially industry and technology developed in the modern world to serve short-term gains of material growth and financial wealth without a necessary balance of long-term survival and concern for the environment. (Joseph Pelton)

Not to paint a one-sided picture, many technologies are developed that promise to help the common person and really address fundamental humanitarian concerns. As Moore and Simon point out, that there have been many basic benefits accrued through the incredible technological achievements of the last century, and the benefits of new technologies are spreading throughout the world. (Moore & Simon, 2000)

All things considered, I think that Michael Dertouzos, in his book What Will Be: How the New World of Information will Change our Lives, is correct in arguing that technology is not just a tool to achieve some purpose, but that technologies create new purposes.(Michael Dertouzos) The position that purposes create technologies is too linear — causality runs in both directions.

Values and technologies evolve in interaction — a reciprocal evolution of ideals and machines. Since for Dertouzos, technology is unstoppable, we must continually consider how a new technology fits into present human reality and how it contributes, for better or worse, to the ongoing further creation of human reality.

According to Dertouzos, a view he shares with some of the top thinkers and contemporary scientific minds, such as E.O. Wilson and Murray Gell-Mann, the real challenge in the future is to unite the humanities and its considerations of value and ethics with technology and science.(Gell-Mann, 1994; Wilson, 1998)

Based upon the above critical reviews of the effects of technology upon humanity, one thing is clear; we cannot separate technology from ourselves. It impacts our lives, our society, our values, and who we are. Technology is not simply a tool to serve us. The tool molds the tool user. The dualism of mind and machine is mistaken.

We should see our relationship with our machines as a reciprocity — each molding and influencing the other. As Dyson states, technology and humanity will co-evolve in the future52 In fact, this process of reciprocal co-evolution has been going on throughout human history.

Although machines are often seen as contributing to the dehumanization of human life, machines and various artifacts and instruments have been an absolutely essential feature of human life throughout recorded history. Many anthropologists and historians believe that it was the development of tools that drove the recent accelerated evolution of human intelligence and the human brain.

We are naked without our artifacts and machines. We are unequivocally interdependent with them. Human civilization would vanish without technology. It is, in fact, almost a contradiction in terms to say that machines dehumanize.

Consequently, although there has been and continue to be counter-reactions to technology, it seems to be nonsensical to suggest that we could create a future without it. Ray Kurzweil, for one, thinks that technology is inevitable because evolution favors intelligence and the manipulation of nature.(Kurzweil, 1999)

Humanity throughout history has attempted to improve the conditions of life and such efforts involve both the manipulation of the environment, as well as ways to enhance human capacities and skills. These efforts invariably involve new technologies. With the accelerative development of technology, there will undoubtedly be future negative reactions to its growth. For example, Pearson foresees an anti-technological backlash to the increasing electronic intrusion into the monitoring of our lives (Ian Pearson)

Yet, as Robert Wright points out, throughout human history and the evolution of human cultures, it is the more technologically advanced cultures that have won the day and continued to progress. Technological advantage and advancement seems to be selected for in evolution. (Wright, 2000)

Further, with the burgeoning areas of biotechnology and information technology promising the potential to technologically manipulate and alter our very bodies and minds, new opportunities for technological advancement are opening up. Yet as Anderson notes many people don’t want to have this increased freedom and responsibility. But we do have the freedom and the responsibility, and they are, if anything, growing as science advances in its understanding of nature and humanity. (Anderson)

Although the intimate connection between humanity and technology has been apparent throughout human history, there has recently been a significant jump forward in the degree to which humanity and technology are intertwined and interdependent. According to Walter Truett Anderson, although we have always lived in symbiosis with our inventions and tools, as extensions of our bodies and minds, we are now evolving into a new type of living form, an “augmented animal," where technology and biology are integrating into singular and interconnected technologically enhanced bodies.

(Walter Anderson) Beginning slowly, with the emergence of eye spectacles, hearing aids, artificial limbs and more recently artificial organs, more and more of our body parts are being replaced and redesigned with technology. (Chris Gray)

Equally so, there are numerous detachable technologies that we use to enhance our motor, sensory, and communication capacities, and via these devices we are increasing “wiring together” and extending our collective reach into the environment. (Gregory Stock) The various augmentations are parts of our culture and are shared and refined among us, in a constant state of evolution.

With the Copernican and Darwinian Revolutions, over the past centuries the philosophical dualisms of heaven and earth and mind and nature have broken down. According to Anderson, and echoing Postman and Dyson, another dualism in our thinking is breaking down; we are in the process of learning that we are not separate from our tools. (Walter Anderson)

Making a similar point to that of Kevin Kelly’s argument that the distinction between the “born” and the “made” is blurring,Kevin Kelly Anderson states that the boundary between the “given” and the “made” is shifting.

Although some level of technology has existed in humanity for thousands of years, the emergence of science triggered an accelerated growth of technology during the Industrial Era. Scientific ideas and principles permeated into every aspect of technology, from agriculture, irrigation and transportation to manufacturing, construction and energy production.

Within the 20 Century, theoretical science played an even bigger role in technological development. According to Daniel Bell, inventions in the past often occurred without any understanding or inspiration from theoretical science. With the systematic organization and application of ideas from science in our contemporary world, technology is increasingly driven by scientific theory.(Daniel Bell)

As noted above, Kaku sees modern advances in three fundamental theoretical areas of science, specifically quantum physics, computer science, and biology, as informing and guiding technology into the 20th Century.(Kaku, 1997)

The changes occurring in science are going to transform our machines in the decades ahead. We are going to see a whole new wave of machines that are highly flexible, intelligent and self-regulating; they will be the antithesis of the dumb, inert mechanism that needs to be plugged in, pushed, steered, and turned in order to move. The machines of the future will learn, self-organize, reproduce, and evolve. These new technologies, further, will be personalized to the individual interests and needs of the person.(Steven Millet) Our new machines will transcend the Newtonian image — they will be more in tune with our psychological attributes and needs.

Ted Cruz's Shutdown and his determination to defund Obamacare- and he is in the deep pockets of the 1% billionaires in the U.S.

Ted Cruz's Shutdown and his determination to defund Obamacare- and he is in the deep pockets of the 1% billionaires in the U.S.

In Today's American Democracy, The Majority is voiceless, and the Minority Rules

FreedomWorks has signed on to the following Memo to the Movement by the Conservative Action Project:

Current Event:

The current continuing resolution (CR) funding the government expires on March 27, setting up an opportunity for Congress and President Obama to honor the bi-partisan sequester savings already agreed upon. It also presents an opportunity to achieve even more savings by defunding and stopping the implementation of Obamacare, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently reported will force 7 million Americans out of their existing health insurance.


  • Conservatives cannot support a CR that is above the sequester level of $974 billion annually. While many conservatives would prefer reprogramming defense cuts to other areas of discretionary spending (dollar for dollar cuts in the same year), the current sequester savings are better than none at all.
  • Conservatives should not approve a CR unless it defunds Obamacare. This includes Obamacare’s unworkable exchanges, unsustainable Medicaid expansion, and attack on life and religious liberty.

A mere “date-change CR” is unacceptable. Although the Obama administration and others will argue the CR is not the appropriate legislative vehicle to defund Obamacare, it is easily done through a series of appropriation riders. Because the CR represents one of the best vehicles possible to delay the implementation of Obamacare, it must not be used to bargain on the upcoming sequester.

Issue in Brief:
On October 1, 2013, open enrollment begins for the federally backed health care exchanges. On January 1, 2014, new money from Washington will begin flowing to states and individuals, all but ensuring that these new entitlements will become a permanent fixture of life in America. The window of opportunity to stop the implementation of these massive new subsidies is closing.
Although many of Obamacare's provisions are now the law of the land, many of the law's most damaging and irreversible provisions do not take effect until 2014.

Once implemented, the new spending contained within Obamacare, primarily the Medicaid expansion and exchange subsidies, will cost taxpayers more than $1.6 trillion over the next decade, according to the latest CBO estimates. Given the history of federal entitlement programs and the back-loaded nature of Obamacare spending, some estimate the full implementation cost could reach $2.6 trillion over ten years. It will increase the federal government's health spending by 15 percent.

The issue is far from settled in the states, which are tasked with either implementing the wide-ranging mandates and invasive requirements put forth by Obamacare, or deferring such choices to the bureaucrats in Washington.

The fractured opinion amongst the states is one reason the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has continually pushed back the deadline for states to make a decision on the exchanges and Medicaid expansion.

The invasive elements of Obamacare are not set in stone; in fact, elements of the law are already under assault from Republicans and Democrats alike. The CLASS Act was repealed and there is bipartisan support for eliminating the devastating Medical Device Tax.

Blueprint to Defunding Obamacare

Obamacare’s funding mechanisms are as complicated as the law itself, but they can be stopped through the appropriation process, which includes the upcoming continuing resolution.

  • Federally Backed Exchanges. An appropriations rider must eliminate the refundable tax credits for premiums and the cost sharing subsidies that are essentially used to support insurance purchased in the Obamacare exchanges, which starts January 1, 2014.
  • Medicaid Expansion. An appropriations rider must eliminate the enhance match funding for the Medicaid expansion, which takes effect January 1, 2014.
  • Permanent Appropriations. Obamacare contains items called “permanent appropriations” which guarantee funding for the Community Health Center Fund (CHCF) and Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF). An appropriations rider turns off funds for these so-called permanent appropriations, which are already in effect.
  • Implementation. An appropriations rider must block the implementation of Obamacare, covering salaries, rulemaking, enforcement, etc.
  • Life and Religious Liberty. Obamacare is an unprecedented attack on life and religious liberty. An appropriations rider must repeal the HHS mandate that attacks the religious values and principles of countless Americans.
  • Miscellaneous Programs. An appropriations rider must block all funding for newly authorized discretionary programs contained in Obamacare and return reauthorized programs back to their pre-Obamacare levels.


Edwin Meese III
Former Attorney General
President Ronald Reagan

Chris Chocola
Club for Growth

Jenny Beth Martin
Tea Party Patriots

Penny Nance
Concerned Women for America

The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell
Constitutional Congress, Inc.

William Wilson
Americans for Limited Government

Duane Parde
National Taxpayers Union

Susan Carleson
American Civil Rights Union

Andrea Lafferty
Traditional Values Coalition

Alfred S. Regnery
The Paul Revere Project

Lewis Uhler
National Tax Limitation Committee

Brent Bozell

Matt Kibbe

Marjorie Dannenfelser
Susan B. Anthony List

David Williams
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

The Honorable David McIntosh
Former U.S. Representative

David Bozell
Executive Director

Colin Hanna
Let Freedom Ring

Stuart Epperson
Council for National Policy

Heather Higgins
Independent Women's Forum

Cindy Chafian
The Mommy Lobby

Gary Bauer
American Values

Mike Needham
Heritage Action for America

David Bossie
Citizens United

Mathew D. Staver
Liberty Counsel Action

James Martin
60 Plus Association

Erick Erickson

T. Kenneth Cribb
Former Domestic Advisor
President Ronald Reagan

Becky Norton Dunlop
Former White House Advisor
President Ronald Reagan

Grace-Marie Turner
The Galen Institutue

Myron Ebell
Freedom Action

Craig Shirley
Reagan Campaign Biographer

Rev. Lou Sheldon
Traditional Values Coalition

Richard Rahn
Inst. for Global Economic Growth

Lee Beaman
Nashville, TN

Bob Reccord
Executive Director
Council for National Policy

Angelo M. Codevilla
Professor Emeritus
Boston University

Tom Donelson
America's PAC

Brian Baker
Ending Spending

Kay R. Daly
Coalition for a Fair Judiciary

Don Devine
Senior Scholar
The Fund for American Studies

Gary Aldrich
Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty

Ralph Benko
Center for Civic Virtue

Andresen Blom
Senior Strategist
Center for Civic Virtue

Joe Gregory
Gregory Management Co.

Rebecca Hagelin

Steve Delvecchio wrote in response to the article above:

"The Tea Party has a plan for YOU!!! Austerity!!! Cut Federal Spending!!! You don’t want any money. You don’t need any help. Cut the deficit; Cut the debt; Cut Social Security; Cut Medicare; Cut Medicaid; Cut unemployment compensation; Cut bank regulation; Cut stock market regulation; Cut commodity market regulation; Cut food safety regulation; Cut drug safety regulation; Cut the Environmental Protection Agency; Cut FEMA assistance; Cut welfare; Cut food stamps; Cut low income energy assistance; Cut child support; Cut Head Start.

Cut NASA; Cut road building and repair; Cut bridge repair; Cut FAA safety inspections; Cut air controllers; Cut antitrust regulations; Cut FDIC depositor insurance; Cut immigration and naturalization services; Cut the Census Bureau; Cut federal prison funding; Cut all federal courts; Cut copyright and patent administration; Cut the Corps of Engineers; Cut customs and border protection; Cut the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; Cut child nutrition programs; Cut aids to education; Cut the Endangered Species Program; Cut the FBI.

Cut the CIA; Cut the NSA; Cut the Government Printing Office; Cut all federal museums; Cut the Smithsonian Institution; Cut the Job Corps; Cut the Justice Department; Cut the Military Academy; Cut the Naval Academy; Cut the Air Force Academy; Cut the Coast Guard Academy; Cut the Bureau of Labor Statistics; Cut the Library of Congress; Cut the Mint; Cut nuclear energy research and development; Cut the National Weather Service; Cut the National Transportation Safety Board; Cut the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Cut the Peace Corps; Cut the Science Office of the Energy Department; Cut the Secret Service; Cut the State Department; Cut the Strategic Command; Cut the Treasury Department; Cut the Capitol Police; Cut the Veterans Affairs Department; Cut The Weights and Measures Division; Cut the US AbilityOne Commission; Cut flu shots; Cut The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Cut Congress; Cut the Supreme Court; Cut the White House; Cut the bankruptcy courts.

Cut the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition; Cut The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Cut The Economics and Statistics Administration; Cut The Bureau of Economic Analysis; Cut the Defense Technical Information Center; Cut The Department of Agriculture; Cut The Department of Commerce.

Cut The Department of Homeland Security; Cut the Department of the Interior; Cut the Drug Enforcement Administration; Cut the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy; Cut the Department of Energy; Cut the Federal Maritime Commission. We don’t need money; we don’t need help. We are self sufficient. Let’s be like Greece.

What we are witnessing here is a nation held hostage by a motley crew of Senators who are beholden to Billionaires (Koch brothers for one, and many of their ilk). All the services listed above by Steve have already been affected, and below all this are the millions of poor Americans, they are also known as the 99%'s, who have no services coming for them and at the present moment the American polity is still stunned-a week into the government shut down.

All the cuts are done because these leaders(those who oppose anything Obama does-The Tea Baggers' GOP), are doing so because they do not want the Affordable Care Act to be implemented, which started to kick-in on October 1, 2013. The government Website crashed because of the volume of people who logged in to try and be registered. The Tea baggers feel like if this would go on, Obama's legacy would be heralded as one of the great acts, which they have dubbed as "Obamacare". The people, though they still do not really understand it fully, are impressed with it, and want it to be implemented, and had have a negative view of the government being shut down. This is also going to affect America's Credit Globally, negatively, which will lead to the US defaulting.

The Freedom Works article is pointing out a very interesting instance as to the pre-planning of these actions, which had been worked on since Obama took the office of the Presidency. The whole thing is to undermine whatever Obama is doing, and also, to make Obama look ill-suited to be the Commander in. Many pundits see it as pure dislike and hatred for Obama, who is of mixed descent-father Kenya, and his mother, American white woman. The mother or his grandparents who helped raise him, are barely mentioned, but his Kenyan father is the one who is attacked and often made to look like an anomaly. He's been called a Hitler, Socialist and nasty pictures of Him were paraded to appease their Base(Tea Baggers).

So that, in the final analysis, we begin to see a manipulated minority, in Congress, shutting down the government. This is not boding well for the poor people, and an update will be made throughout the shut down in this Hub

Democracy-Technology- An Unequal Pair

Can Democracy Be totally Depended on Technological Techniques be Viable and Efficient?

Can Democracy Be totally Depended on Technological Techniques be Viable and Efficient?

Looking at Technology and Democracy - How Each Affects/Effects The Other - Anew

There are many challenges that are brought about by the Internet and the emerging technologies and techniques. This is an ongoing subject because in the last two decades, much has changed drastically and radically. The new technological societies that were spawned by these technological techniques and the Internet, are emerging as a new species in terms of communications and relating to the world and the people in it.

Just because we are immersed and embedded in the world of technology and technique does not mean that we should not interrogate it and its environments. some of us are still enthralled by the design and capabilities of these gizmos that we have not yet really taken time to begin to look at these new technological gadgets and their transforming us into a different being than in the past, means we are now living in the future, and we need to make sure we understand clearly and be familiar with it in a manner of knowing and learning to recognize the affects and effects of it-negative or positive.

Today we have or live in democracies that are dependent on technology ad its techniques, and these are manifest in various ways and used in a myriad ways, too. What was Democracy of, let's say, the sixties and seventies, is vastly different in its perception and conception in those enclaves as it is now in the Age of the Internet and its technological gizmos and techniques?

There's a lot of interconnectedness and many and various ways of merging and submerging within and within these technical instruments and means. The way we fondle, handle, talk into or look at whatever these gizmos presents, has altered our being, prior to their existence, and we now see a different mode of behavior and beingness mushrooming all over the geographical terrain and within the media environments.

What I am saying is that the future being now, means we have to get on with learning and understanding more about it in many ways that are presented to us by those who are working on analysis of the effects and affects of technology in the burgeoning democracies and the emerging/merging technologies and their techniques, that is, that does this portend and mean? Well, I have selected an article the European Forum For New Ideas(EFNI), and this is what they had to say about it:

How Do The New Technologies Affect Democracy And Society?

"Digital technologies are tools that can be used for many purposes. Although technology creates great possibilities, its current use reveals our level of civilization, says Professor Benjamin R. Barber, President of the Interdependence Movement.

"He also believes that a civic use of the new technologies still lies ahead of us. At present, the Internet is dominated by commerce and pornography, demanding rapid clicks rather than thought. He stressed that citizens’ concentration on banal and insignificant matters could be a blow to democracy in the age of the Internet.

"Democracy is a process and will never be perfect, he said. The present use of the new technologies contradicts the idea of democracy. Democracy is not just voting. It is an enhanced and expanded discussion. The new technologies are not being sufficiently used in this regard.

"He also referred to the role of technologies in smaller communities. We constantly use the net, while in our homes half the family is not with us because they are on the Internet with someone else. This disrupts the proximity of the family. He stressed that the multi-tasking demanded by a simultaneous presence on the Internet and in reality disturbs cognitive processes, which is very dangerous.

"Edwin Bendyk, columnist, said that the authority of the traditional media is fading. The traditional media must answer anew why they are needed. He declared that in the sea of information the media should present a good offer, with news tested and produced by specialists. He also pointed out that we in Poland want technologies to replace social shortages such as joint initiatives, but that is a mistake. The Internet will not allow the creation of social capital and mutual trust. Today, we use the Internet mainly for destructive actions, which reveals the weakness of the civic society in Poland.

"In Bendyk’s opinion, the particular problem of initiatives in the Internet is that they are temporary, and so far no way has been found to create appropriate institutions for them and thus assure them of permanence. Nevertheless, he said, there is a positive association between the engagement of people to act in the Internet and their interest in the real world. How we use the Internet depends on the values we take from home, and that is the key to solving the current dilemmas regarding the use of new technologies in the future.

"Prof. William H. Dutton of the University of Oxford noted that the Internet is a fifth authority. An individual active on the Internet creates his own information and becomes independent of institutions. He has unlimited possibilities of communication, and fortunately this results in greater pluralism. Thanks to this, business has also had to become more responsible. The net does not replace supervisory institutions, but supports social control over business.

"The professor notes that the Internet opens us to relations with people other than those who create our natural environment — people close to us and with similar views and values.

"Natalia Hatalska, blogger, observed that the Internet does not reflect the reality because the news we receive is filtered by the giant corporations. She quoted surveys showing that we have lesser contact with people in reality when we use modern technologies. At the same time, young social groups growing up in the age of the Internet manifest a longing for the analogue world in which we satisfy our emotional needs.

"Speaking about the future, she said that the Internet is developing and it is difficult to say which direction this development will take."

Understanding Social Media


Understanding The Media - The Media is the Message ~ McLuhan

When McLuhan spoke of the extension of man, he really knew what he was saying. These new technologies extend us in a myriad ways. This is what McLuhan envisioned, as we read the following analysis as written by David Bobbitt of Wesleyan College:

"The core of McLuhan’s theory, and the key idea to start with in explaining him, is his definition of media as extensions of ourselves. McLuhan writes: “It is the persistent theme of this book that all technologies are extensions of our physical and nervous systems to increase power and speed” and, “Any extension, whether of skin, hand, or foot, affects the whole psychic and social complex. Some of the principle extensions, together with some of their psychic and social consequences, are studied in this book."

From the premise that media, or technologies (McLuhan’s approach makes “media” and “technology” more or less synonymous terms), are extensions of some physical, social, psychological, or intellectual function of humans, flows all of McLuhan’s subsequent ideas. Thus, the wheel extends our feet, the phone extends our voice, television extends our eyes and ears, the computer extends our brain, and electronic media, in general, extend our central nervous system.

In McLuhan’s theory language too is a medium or technology (although one that does not require any physical object outside of ourselves) because it is an extension, or outering, of our inner thoughts, ideas, and feelings—that is, an extension of inner consciousness. McLuhan sees the enormous implications of the development of language for humans when he writes:

“It is the extension of man in speech that enables the intellect to detach itself from the vastly wider reality. Without language . . . human intelligence would have remained totally involved in the objects of its attention." Thus, spoken language is the key development in the evolution of human consciousness and culture and the medium from which subsequent technological extensions have evolved."

But recent extensions via electronic technology elevate the process of technological extension to a new level of significance: “Whereas all previous technology [save speech, itself] had, in effect, extended some part of our bodies, electricity may be said to have outered the central nervous system itself, including the brain."

Thus, pre-electric extensions are explosions of physical scale outward, while electronic technology is an inward implosion toward shared consciousness, a change that has significant implications. McLuhan states: “Our new electric technology that extends our senses and nerves in a global embrace has large implications for the future of language." This electronic extension of consciousness is one about which McLuhan himself seems conflicted, as when he writes:

"Rapidly, we approach the final phase of the extension of man—the technological simulation of consciousness, when the creative process of knowing will be collectively and corporately extended to the whole of human society, much as we have already extended our senses and nerves by the various media. Whether the extension of consciousness, so long sought by advertisers for specific products, will be 'a good thing' is a question that admits of a wide solution."

Thus, it is incorrect to categorize McLuhan as either a technophile or a technophobe, as his critics often try to do. McLuhan is more interested in exploring the implications of our technological extensions than in classifying them as inherently “good” or “bad.”

At times McLuhan speaks of a movement toward a global consciousness in positive terms, as when he writes: “might not our current translation of our entire lives into the spiritual form of information seem to make of the entire globe, and of the human family, a single consciousness?” But at other times, he expresses reservations about this development: “With the arrival of electric technology, man extended, or set outside himself, a live model of the central nervous system itself. To the degree that this is so, it is a development that suggests a desperate and suicidal autoamputation . . .” Thus, one of McLuhan’s key concerns in Understanding Media is to examine and make us aware of the implications of the evolution toward the extension of collective human consciousness facilitated by electronic media.

In order for us to begin to come to grips and uUnderstand the new media and gadgets as partly discussed above, we shall have to read more of McLuhan's view of Media Ecology.

Hot and Cold Media

Probably no part of McLuhan’s theory is more confusing and confounding to his critics than his discussion of hot versus cool media in chapter 2 of Understanding Media. But, we can understand this part of McLuhan’s theory if we impose some linear order on it. I teach this by providing the students my own binary chart that lays out the characteristics of each this way, with McLuhan defining “high definition” as the state of being well filled with data:

Hot Medium

  • extends single sense in high definition
  • low in audience participation
  • engenders specialization/fragmentation
  • detribalizes
  • excludes
  • uniform, mechanical
  • extends space
  • horizontally repetitive

Cool Medium

  • low definition (less data)
  • high in audience participation
  • engenders holistic patterns
  • tribalizes
  • includes
  • organic
  • collapses space
  • creates vertical associations

McLuhan provides examples of hot versus cool media as follows:

Hot Medium

  • photograph
  • radio
  • phonetic alphabet
  • print
  • lecture
  • film
  • books

Cool Medium

  • cartoon
  • telephone
  • ideographic/pictographic writing
  • speech (orality)
  • seminar, discussion
  • television
  • comics

However, we misunderstand these concepts if we try to impose too much linear order and structure on McLuhan’s definitions and examples. We have to see hot and cool media not in terms of static definitions but as dynamic concepts that are designed to get at the experience and effects of how we use media. As Paul Grosswiler points out, McLuhan’s method was dialectical, process-oriented, and open-ended, not mechanistic. Keeping that in mind, I argue there are three ideas that are essential to understanding McLuhan’s concept of hot versus cool media.

First, McLuhan was not concerned with providing consistent, linear meanings of the terms “hot” versus “cool” media. For him, it was the effect the medium had that he was trying to get at. McLuhan indicates this in chapter 2 of Understanding Media where he writes:

"The new electric structuring and configuring of life more and more encounters the old lineal and fragmentary procedures and tools of analysis from the mechanical age. More and more we turn from the content of messages to study total effect . . . . Concern with effect rather than meaning is a basic change of our electric time, for effect involves the total situation, and not a singe level of information movement."

Thus, McLuhan saw his ideas as intuitive probes designed to get at the experience or effect of using a particular medium, or media in general, rather than as attempts to provide scholarly definitions or understandings of media. Later in Understanding Media he makes a similar point when he writes:

"Everybody experiences far more than he understands. Yet it is experience, rather than understanding, that influences behavior, especially in collective matters of media and technology, where the individual is almost inevitably unaware of their effects upon him."

So we misconstrue McLuhan’s “hot” versus “cool” distinction when we try to force these terms into static definitions. Rather we should understand them as terms for getting at effects of media.

Second, since hot versus cool media are not definitions, but attempts to capture the experience or effect of a medium, whether a medium is hot or cool can depend on the society into which it is introduced and the stage of technological or social development of that society. For example, McLuhan writes:

"Nevertheless, it makes all the difference whether a hot medium is used in a hot or cool culture. The hot radio medium used in cool or non literate cultures has a violent effect, quite unlike its effect, say in England or America, where radio is felt as entertainment. A cool or low literacy culture cannot accept hot media like movies or radio as entertainment."

Elsewhere in the chapter on hot and cold media, McLuhan again provides a warning not to take the meanings of the terms “hot” and “cool” media too literally, but to consider the context and situation. He argues that the less developed countries of the world may be in a better position than the industrialized West to cope with the arrival of electric technology:

"However, backward countries that have experienced little permeation with our own mechanical and specialist culture are much better able to confront and to understand electric technology. Not only have backward and nonindustrial cultures no specialist habits to overcome in their encounter with electromagnetism, but they have still much of their traditional oral culture that has the total, unified “field” character of our new electromagnetism."

Therefore, a medium’s “hotness” or “coolness” is not just a function of the nature of the medium itself but also the nature of the society into which the medium is introduced.

Third, whether a medium is hot or cool can also depend on how it is used in a particular society, and that can change over time. Media interact with one another, so the introduction of a new medium can change the way older media are used. As McLuhan points out, “No medium has its meaning or existence alone, but only in constant interplay with other media”; and “media as extensions of our senses institute new ratios, not only among our private senses, but among themselves, when they interact among themselves."

Radio changed the form of the news story as much as it altered the film image. . . In addition, television changed the way we use radio, which McLuhan notes when he writes: “One of the many effects of television on radio has been to shift radio from an entertainment medium into a kind of nervous information system”. So a medium’s impact on a society is not linear and static, but multi-dimensional and dynamic as that medium interacts with other media and as the society changes how it uses the medium.

Furthermore, McLuhan argues that media can “heat up” over time (which I will discuss in more detail in the next section), but, for now, consider television. Writing in the 1960s McLuhan described television as a cool medium, but one could argue that television has “heated up” since then as it has become more high definition and more ubiquitous. We do not use television today in the same way we used it in the 1950s and 1960s, when families frequently sat around the television watching one show at a time. Now we have multiple televisions and other types of screens (such as personal computers, laptops, cell phones, tablet computers) of multiple sizes in multiple locations (including on our person) that are available continuously to provide a stream of images, text, and other information that we often attend to in a fragmentary and desultory manner. Therefore the experience and effect of using electronic screen technology has heated up over time.

Thus we can see that for McLuhan the hot versus cool media distinction describes effects, not definitions. In addition, those effects can vary depending on the society’s stage of technological development, and those effects can change over time as that society changes and as that society changes how it uses that medium.

The Reversal of the Overheated Medium

One of McLuhan’s more intriguing ideas, and one that shows how dynamic and dialectical his theories are, is his concept of the reversal of the overheated medium, or break boundaries, discussed in chapter 3 of Understanding Media where he writes: “The present chapter is concerned with showing that in any medium or structure there is what Kenneth Boulding calls a ‘break boundary at which the system suddenly changes into another or passes some point of no return in its dynamic process”.

The principle that at some point during their development, processes and methods go too far and reverse into their opposite, McLuhan finds to be “an ancient doctrine” (34). He cites the example from classical Greek drama of the concept of hubris, when a character’s overweening pride leads to his own fall, as well as the ancient Chinese Taoist text the Tao Te Ching, which refers to the same concept of excess leading to its opposite.

McLuhan notes the way roads and highways designed to provide freedom of movement have reversed into traffic congestion and urban sprawl and the irony that mobile, nomadic tribal societies were socially static while contemporary, sedentary, specialist societies are socially dynamic and progressive.

McLuhan considers one of the most common causes of break boundaries in any system to be cross-fertilization or hybridization, which is when two (or more) mediums or processes come together, an event which releases “great new force and energy”. He explores this force more fully in chapter 5 of Understanding Media on “Hybrid Energy.”

These explosive hybridizations occur when a society is moving from one dominant medium to another, as in the transition from orality to literacy that unleashed modernism in the Western world and in the transition from literacy to electronic media that is today transforming our world.

In McLuhan’s view, oral societies create people of complex emotions and feelings, while the power of literacy is in teaching people how to suppress their emotions in the interests of efficiency and practicality. Electronic media create the “global village," transforming us into people who are complex, depth-structured and emotionally aware of our interdependence with all of human society.

Yet these transitions, or hybridizations, can be “a moment of truth and revelation” by providing a release of freedom and energy by snapping us out of the usual sensory numbness and narcosis our media forms induce in us.

Antidotes to the Narcotic Effects of Media

The chance to snap out of our numbness, provided by processes of break boundaries or hybridization, is one of several possible antidotes to the narcotic effects of media. McLuhan wrote Understanding Media, in part, as a warning about the effects of media that we are ignoring. One of McLuhan’s antidotes is awareness; by being aware of the effects our media have on us we can be in a better position to counteract them. But that is only the first step. Awareness itself is not enough. McLuhan writes in chapter 31 on television:

"It is the theme of this book that not even the most lucid understanding of the peculiar force of a medium can head off the ordinary 'closure' of the senses that causes us to conform to the pattern of experience presented . . . . To resist TV, therefore one must acquire the antidote of related media like print."

So one antidote to the numbing effect of a particular medium is to use another medium that has a counter-effect: “When the technology of a time is powerfully thrusting in one direction, wisdom may well call for a countervailing thrust”. So turn off the TV (or the computer or the cell phone) after some time and read a book or take a walk in the woods. After enough reading, have a conversation with another human being. McLuhan thus is arguing that a “cure” for the effects of a dominant medium or pattern of the time can be a countervailing force in the opposite direction of the dominating force.

Another antidote to technological narcosis is for people to assume the attitude of the artist. McLuhan writes:

The effects of technology do not occur at the level of opinion or concepts, but alter sense ratios or patterns of perception steadily and without any resistance. The serious artist is the only person able to encounter technology with impunity, just because he is an expert aware of the changes in sense perception.

He further claims that the “artist picks up the message of cultural and technological challenge decades before it's transforming impact occurs, and so 'the artist is indispensable in the shaping and analysis and understanding of the life of forms, and structures, created by electric technology'.

"But by 'artist' McLuhan does not mean just the person who formally engages in some artistic endeavor as a profession but the person of 'integral awareness,' a point he makes clear when he says: “The artist is the man, in any field, scientific or humanistic, who grasps the implications of his actions and of new knowledge in his own time. He is the man of integral awareness”.

Thus, the artistic perspective serves as an antidote to media narcosis because it allows us to see the big picture and the interrelationship among things, as well as to anticipate technological changes, and their social and cultural implications, before they happen.

McLuhan’s frequent use of terms such as “integral awareness," “organic interrelation," “organic whole," and “organic unity” points to another antidote: use of myth to help us explain and understand our reality. For example, speaking approvingly of William Blake’s response to the effects of mechanical technology, McLuhan writes: “Blake’s counterstrategy for his age was to meet mechanism with organic myth" …

"For myth is the instant vision of a complex process that ordinarily extends over a long period. Myth is contraction or implosion of any process . . .” [emphasis in original]. Later in the book, McLuhan argues that the “mythic or iconic mode of awareness” substitutes a “multi-faceted” perspective for a single, fixed point of view. Thus, myth, like the artistic temperament, serves as an antidote to media narcosis because it allows us to see many things at once by collapsing complex processes into understandable, simplified forms.

McLuhanesque view of Social media

Marshall McLuhan is probably best known for postulating that “the medium is the message,” but his lesser known “hot” and “cool” media concept may prove even more prescient with the impending engagement economy that will be adopted by marketers

Marshall McLuhan is probably best known for postulating that “the medium is the message,” but his lesser known “hot” and “cool” media concept may prove even more prescient with the impending engagement economy that will be adopted by marketers

Digital Democracy - The effects and Affects of Technology on Democracy

Some of these effects and affects that McLuhan just spoke about above, are being identified by latter-day media experts, because, the tentacles of extension of man by technology is now a world-wide phenomenon, and in many countries the use and interaction of people and technological techniques is being monitored, so that, below we learn more about the effects and affects of digital technologies on the democracy as it's being practiced in the world today. We pick up this discourse as posted by the European Forum For New Ideas(EFNI) below:

"Digital technologies are tools that can be used for many purposes. Although technology creates great possibilities, its current use reveals our level of civilization, says Professor Benjamin R. Barber, President of the Interdependence Movement.

"He also believes that a civic use of the new technologies still lies ahead of us. At present, the Internet is dominated by commerce and pornography, demanding rapid clicks rather than thought. He stressed that citizens’ concentration on banal and insignificant matters could be a blow to democracy in the age of the Internet.

"Democracy is a process and will never be perfect, he said. The present use of the new technologies contradicts the idea of democracy. Democracy is not just voting. It is an enhanced and expanded discussion. The new technologies are not being sufficiently used in this regard.

"He also referred to the role of technologies in smaller communities. We constantly use the net, while in our homes half the family is not with us because they are on the Internet with someone else. This disrupts the proximity of the family. He stressed that the multi-tasking demanded by a simultaneous presence on the Internet and in reality disturbs cognitive processes, which is very dangerous.

"Edwin Bendyk, columnist, said that the authority of the traditional media is fading. The traditional media must answer anew why they are needed. He declared that in the sea of information the media should present a good offer, with news tested and produced by specialists. He also pointed out that we in Poland want technologies to replace social shortages such as joint initiatives, but that is a mistake. The Internet will not allow the creation of social capital and mutual trust. Today, we use the Internet mainly for destructive actions, which reveals the weakness of the civic society in Poland.

"In Bendyk’s opinion, the particular problem of initiatives in the Internet is that they are temporary, and so far no way has been found to create appropriate institutions for them and thus assure them of permanence. Nevertheless, he said, there is a positive association between the engagement of people to act in the Internet and their interest in the real world. How we use the Internet depends on the values we take from home, and that is the key to solving the current dilemmas regarding the use of new technologies in the future.

"Prof. William H. Dutton of the University of Oxford noted that the Internet is a fifth authority. An individual active on the Internet creates his own information and becomes independent of institutions. He has unlimited possibilities of communication, and fortunately this results in greater pluralism. Thanks to this, business has also had to become more responsible. The net does not replace supervisory institutions, but supports social control over business.

"The professor notes that the Internet opens us to relations with people other than those who create our natural environment — people close to us and with similar views and values.

"Natalia Hatalska, blogger, observed that the Internet does not reflect the reality because the news we receive is filtered by the giant corporations. She quoted surveys showing that we have lesser contact with people in reality when we use modern technologies. At the same time, young social groups growing up in the age of the Internet manifest a longing for the analogue world in which we satisfy our emotional needs.

"Speaking about the future, she said that the Internet is developing and it is difficult to say which direction this development will take."

Rearview Mirror Mindset - McLuhan

“New media do not replace each other, they complicate each other.” A new medium often enhances the subtler proprieties of old ones which one has so far neglected because of a standardized use. McLuhan called this paradox “the rear-view mirror effect.

“New media do not replace each other, they complicate each other.” A new medium often enhances the subtler proprieties of old ones which one has so far neglected because of a standardized use. McLuhan called this paradox “the rear-view mirror effect.

Technological Technique - Humans' Humanity

As I have pointed out before citing McLuhan above, that our contact, interaction and use of new and modern gadgets and their technologies has affected us, and I think McLuhan pointed to it best when he showed how people moved from orality to writing and reading, to radio, then television and nowadays on the Internet. This is important to understand if we are going to understand not only the media, but the gadgets which facilitate for data, information and media images and audio, and how these affect and effect us.

It is this change and evolution we need to be cognizant of because we are digging into this new technologies and their techniques, and at the same time we do not have a ways and means of countering its tight grip, control, conditioning and making us defer and depended on them without pause. This is one of the thrusts of this Hub, to raise the awareness and give some alternative theories as to what it is the contemporary technological techniques in this contemporary social existence could be understood as, and how best to deal with them from a point of knowledge and awareness of these news way of communicating and socializing-on the Web.

These news of contemporary socialization were foretold by McLuhan who saw the book's future as inclusive. On that occasion he set the book against the new electric ground formed by radio and television, and suggested that in the new age, children and students would learn more and more through apprenticeship and less and less through study. He was right. Today we know that that the new cultural and technological context preserves literacy and the book but encourages them both to respond to their new electric ground; they are two literate figures which must adjust to a clear sensorial and environmental change.

The old medium, as I have briefly referred to above, stays around but it is reshaped according to the new potentialities embedded by the new media. McLuhan understood that the "written page had to become the interface through which the new electric simultaneity would reveal itself"(McLuhan), at a time when hypertexts were but a speculative possibility among a limited group of researchers.

The paradox underpinning the elaboration of the mosaic style of writing is how to open the old medium — writing — to new media in order to preserve the thought processes of the old medium itself. But it is, in turn, part of another paradox which is implicit in the very form of the electric media. The new 'acoustic' perception must, in fact, be expressed through a form which is inevitably (and here is the paradox) 'visually' rendered and shaped.

The new electric age comes after the literate age, and could even be interpreted as the ultimate product; by necessity, it must take the literate age as its content. Individuals cannot cancel centuries of literacy — even if they think they can — because the orality induced by the new electric media is , in fact, itself a 'literate' secondary orality. Instead of asking the old question, "can Dick and Jane Read? we now ask: "are they media literate."(McLuhan)

McLuhan Continues: "As Ong reminded us, secondary orality is a sort of 'impure' and 'hybrid' orality since in it, both writing and printing stay as fundamental components of the new technological language. It is, in fact, a "parole," a word or spoken language determined by acoustic and tactile means. Secondary orality is so called because by its very nature or "physiology" it is both spoken-as-written and/or written-as-spoken and is the related interplay of speech and text,that is, the perceptive dynamics which take place between media and its users on the computer screen; or when text messaging; or when activating applications through image and touch on iPhones."

The acoustic aspect, as implied by McLuhan, means the remodeling of the environment by turning it from a visual bias to an oral bias while, at the same time, using older media as fundamental components of the ongoing communicative process: old media integrate into new media and are re-elaborated into new formal combinations and hybrids. "New Media Do Not Replace Each Other, They Complicate Each Other." This means that a new media enhances the more subtler properties of the old media, and because of its standardized usage, it has been forgotten, and this is what McLuhan refers to as "The Rear-View Mirror Effect".

Now, imagine the kind of change digital access will bring to analogue content, causing a convergence that will mediate the total mediascape into the content of thought. That no longer is the world of secondary orality, as per Ong. New digital media retrieve both the alphabet and the printed word, and include them in the newly convergent "post-secondary orality"; this is our new evolving ground.

Through digital media, we are shifting from secondary orality to post-secondary orality. What is now being done in digital hypertexts, McLuhan had already started doing on the printed page. His discontinuous mosaic from of writing showed the inherent potentialities to the old linear medium of print. Released and freed from a too-rigid structure imposed by the mechanics of print culture, words can retrieve ancient heuristic properties linked to ancient societal constructs and systems of knowledge. Today, we are but on the brink of these new heuristic potentialities emphasized and retrieved by new forms of media which seem to enhance participation in the process more than privacy and detachment (albeit in vicarious ways).

McLuhan was not around when the World Wide Web exploded onto the world, but had read Norbert Weiner's book and understood it as an object would be preserved in the electrified command and control of the computer age; in fact, he cross-read and applied various semantics. He grasped what the new form would do to cybernetics and communication studies and reconfigured its effect and how it will launch the new electrical tribal circle.

Adopting and adapting strategies already examined by modernists/media ecologists, explorers, he turned his printed pages into interfaces detecting and revealing the new electric simultaneity. The mosaic style of writing encourages deep participation; both words and gaps, both knowledge and ignorance, play a role in the process. Not only are we asked to investigate bold associations, but we must also let the interval through which they juxtapose, resound and resonate through what we know and don't know…"

Marshall Mcluhan Full lecture: The medium is the message - 1977 pa

Marshall Mcluhan Full lecture: The medium is the message - 1977 part 2 v 3

Marshall Mcluhan Full lecture: The medium is the message - 1977 part 3 v 3



The Present Future - The Here And Now

Above, I made a statement that we need to begin somewhere to understand and know better the technologies that are mushrooming in our midst. McLuhan foresaw the functioning, effects and affects of the present future gizmos and their techniques, and gave us a blueprint as to how to begin to understand the media and that the media and mediums are the message. This is important to understand and know so that one can navigate the diverse media environment with much better understanding and know-how.

Our presently enhanced participation in on the Web, could be made much simper if we pay attention to history and evolution of the media that we so immersed in. In a way, knowing the progression and spread of contemporary media, it will be better to know and understand the media that gave birth to the way we use technologies, so as to better function within and without these new technologies and gadgets and their embedded techniques.

McLuhan,in the postscript, "The Galaxy Reconfigured or the Plight of Mass man in an Individual society," suggests that we are beginning to understand the Gutenberg era only because "we have moved into another phase from which we can contemplate the contours of the preceding situation with ease end clarity ... As we experience the new electronic or organic age with ever stronger indications of its main outlines, the preceding mechanical age become more intelligible."

As we apply and experience the new electronic age, it behooves us to learn as much as possible about it, and with an eye as to how it is effecting and affecting our democracies.

Cyber conflict and psychological IR perspectives

 As cyber attacks and cyber terrorism become more prevalent, overreaction and conflict escalation must be avoided. But these things are harder to prevent through computers.

As cyber attacks and cyber terrorism become more prevalent, overreaction and conflict escalation must be avoided. But these things are harder to prevent through computers.

An African Perspective: Is Cyber Democracy Possible?

We are informed by Clayton Peel that:

"Wole Soyinka was addressing a conference on the issue of the ‘brain drain’ from African countries. He remarked on how many of the speakers before him had lamented the flight of millions of Africans to the West and how apparently desperate were these speakers, who included African heads of state, to reverse the trend so that the bright young minds and their skills could be retained on the continent. ‘Lucky drainees!’ Soyinka enthused, with a whiff of sarcasm. While they went abroad exploring new frontiers, ‘the brains of their stay-at-home colleagues will be found as grisly sediments on the riverbed of the Nile. Or in the stomach linings of African crocodiles and vultures’ (Olaniyan, 2003).

You will understand then why, at a conference of writers in exile held in Vienna in December 1987, the award-winning Somali writer, Nuruddin Farah, spoke ‘In Praise of Exile.’ He was not disparaging his home country: he was seeking to challenge the perspectives of its leaders. Basically agreeing with Soyinka's opposition of lucky exiles to dead stay-at-homes, Farah said he himself could not have been a writer in Somalia, only a prisoner. Not for him the common idea that the distance of exile kills artistic creativity: ‘For me,’ he wrote, ‘distance distills; ideas become clearer and better worth pursuing’.

Removed from Zimbabwe, many of us have now become, in positive terms, more critical analysts of the situation in our homeland; in negative terms, soppy armchair critics. But the fact is that, we have the liberty of doing so! This armchair critic, for I am one, has become pre-occupied with the segmentation of Zimbabwean transnational website communities.

Racially charged politics, a high rate of HIV-AIDS infection, the complexity of gender relations derived from a country context that mostly is culturally conservative, and settlement in Britain by Zimbabweans and the various sensitivities that surround it, in both countries, are some of the issues that are raised in these website discourses. But difference is an opportunity to negotiate identities and is not inimical to the historical particularities that have shaped a definitive and distinctive ethnic presence in the demographics of Zimbabwe and in its diaspora.

For Diaspora and Communication studies, Zimbabwean electronic fora — the ‘new media’ — and their associations in Britain represent an important interface — a ‘social embedding’ (Aarsaether and Baerenholdt, 2001:49) of Diaspora communities in the homeland agenda that has created of the websites ‘specific communal refuges’ based on networks of family and friends and ethnic associations.

In a generation of émigrés witnessing their homeland’s political and economic ruin but possessed of enhanced media technologies, the facility to not just track, but respond to events has led to the emergence first of social networks, and later the source of Internet activism that irked Robert Mugabe (2003) who said it represented ‘the same platforms and technologies through which virulent propaganda and misinformation are peddled to de legitimize our just struggles against vestigial colonialism, indeed to weaken national cohesion and efforts at forging a broad Third World front against what patently is a dangerous imperial world order led by warrior states and kingdoms’.

Compatriots wanting to assuage anxieties and nostalgia created and contributed to a web of electronic activism that contributed meaningfully — and varyingly — to Zimbabwean communities as the discourses and their associations grew vivid, provocative, and productive. Creatively using new technologies to define themselves, the Zimbabwean Diasporic websites raise social and anthropological media properties bound to attract scholarly attention.

Secondly, the fora are a microcosm of Zimbabwean diversity which deconstructs the authoritarian nationalism that has been a signature of Mugabe’s 28-year rule. This study characterizes the Diaspora websites’ ‘production of difference within common, shared and connected spaces’ (Gupta and Ferguson, 1997:45).

It fills a research void acknowledged by Mwangola (2007) regarding smaller Diaspora communities ‘considered by both their host countries and the African world to be insignificant because of their small numbers and lack of political and/or economic capital’.

Diverse Zimbabwean identities and their expressions which convey not only data and meaning, but community building through communication, form a transnational public sphere of website communities and associations representing a vibrancy absent from the ‘intolerant’ and ‘dull…intellectual ghetto’ Zimbabwe had become (Nyamfukudza 2005:21, 23) .

Thirdly, there is a general lack of authoritative source material of a qualitative nature on which UK agencies can rely for assessment of Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans, in the UK and at home. Over a two-year period I have provided assessments for law firms pursuing asylum cases and was given access to not just the claims, but the material on which government agencies drew to make their determinations.

The source material nearly always lacked comprehensive detail. In particular, the expectation that all hardship in Zimbabwe must have had a party political dispensation to be worthy of an asylum claim betrayed an insensitivity to other tensions existing in that strangled environment, which UK-based agencies in particular seemed to be uninterested in. My research has the potential to expand the value and the knowledge base of interested parties.

It makes diversity a factor of social research with its emphasis on ‘undigested minorities’ (Nyamnjoh 2006:94; Nyamfukudza, 2005:18). Despite the significance of ethnic and cultural difference to Zimbabwe’s distant and recent history, this has not been a priority area in the research there has been into Zimbabwean transnationalism.

The odd scholarly observation in this direction has remarked on the ‘fragmentation’ (Pasura, 2006a), although to view the diverse representations of a country’s multi-ethnic make-up solely in that light is to potentially omit positive aspects which the diverse populations and their plural expressions might bring to the discourse, something the electronic media may have enhanced.

Conceptualizing this multi-polar engagement, I use Appadurai (1996), Werbner (1997a), Wise (2006), Moyo (2007) and Habermas’ descriptions of the public sphere as the ‘epistemic dimension’ (2006:411) to the procedures of democratic discourse. The research hopes to demonstrate not only the extension of democratic space, but also the production and reaffirmation of marginalized cultures in the electronic fora. Zaffiro (2002), Raftopolous (2004), Ranger (2005; 2002) and Nyamfukudza (2005), among others, have tracked the Mugabe government’s attempts to forge a corporate Zimbabwean identity and history that either excluded or assimilated minorities, or distorted their historical roles and the entitlements of their Zimbabwean citizenship.

The social and economic upheaval which ensued, notwithstanding political arguments in mitigation, were accompanied by a re-ordering of Zimbabwean historiography that replaced even-handed analysis with unbalanced and at times rabidly racist literature (Nyamfukudza, 2005; Ranger, 2005; Raftopolous, 2004). By contrast, the transnational websites may inform an alternative narrative that acknowledges Zimbabwe’s demographics in deconstructing history and re-defining the nation.

As it expands its functions and its properties become progressively more accessible to households and other non-institutional users in Britain (OfCom, 2004), Internet communication is being appropriated by various echelons of the society to serve diverse interests: to ‘encompass the cultural forms of marginal constituencies’ (Ebo, 1998:x) as well as ‘emphasize hierarchical political associations’ (1998:2); to ‘encourage broad participation and emphasize merit over status’ (1998:3) as well as create private media spaces for individual, group and culture aggregations (Burnett and Marshall, 2003:67-68).

There is a sense of virtual spaces being freed up to ventilate the previously unventilated: the minorities and the marginalized, their aspirations, their political and social will all being articulated in the relative freedom of a media-savvy Western liberal democracy.

In Ebo’s words, internet technology allows groups ‘traditionally dislocated from mainstream social linkages …to develop communal bonding’ (1998:4) through virtual and real-life associations that ‘fulfill the same traditional essence of associations and bonding, and invariably promote social relationships that are orchestrated by inherent inegalitarian tendencies in society’ (1998:5).

He concludes that the stratification in the online associations will continue, for ‘as long as communities on the Internet allow participants to engage freely in the creation of social realities, economic and social classifications rooted in race, class and gender…will invariably influence relationships in virtual communities’ (ibid., p6). Ebo refers to this property of online engagement as the ‘cyberghetto perspective’ (ibid., p5), betraying a fear of negation and inequality being extended to cyberspace. But the facilitation of self-propelled diverse interest groups which use Internet communication to gain leverage in a world of inequalities is the rather more positive intuition behind this research.


To foreground a plurality of ethnic, political and professional continuities to introduce a study that addresses the democratic deficit and counter-authoritarian discourses that co-exist in an extended public sphere which this thesis seeks to describe. It has introduced plurality as a key element in website production and usage and the real-life associations that are formed based on shared affinities to the respective websites.

Cyber Attacks In South Africa


Cyber-attacks: Computer Says No

According to the Economist:

Denial of service attacks over the internet are growing easier and more powerful. Their perpetrators are more cunning, too…

"TICK tock tick tock," tweeted Anonymous Africa, a group of computer hackers, on June 14. Minutes later a website of the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s ruling party, went offline: another victim of the oldest and crudest form of cyber-assault, a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. Arbor Networks, an American security firm, counts 2,800 each day. Unlike some forms of internet mischief DDoS attacks generally are not clever or complex. They consist of floods of nuisance traffic, which slows or crashes the victims’ websites, leaving them offline, unable to send e-mail, process orders, make bank transactions or (for governments) run the country.

Teenage pranksters in the 1990s used DDoS attacks to boot enemies from internet chat rooms. Youthful mischief still accounts for many. Matthew Prince of CloudFlare, a networking firm, says attacks spike in the summer holidays. Politics and religion often fuel them too. The ANC’s attackers cited its support for Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. Arab hackers who clobbered American banks between September and May wanted “The Innocence of Muslims," a controversial video, removed from the web. Iranian military hackers may have helped—though the attacks also resembled those carried out in 2010 against PayPal, Visa and MasterCard, which had stopped processing donations to WikiLeaks, a whistle-blowing group.

In this section
Computer says no
Denying the deniers
Faces of the future
Related topics
African National Congress
United Kingdom
Criminal Hacking
Now DDoS is maturing. Extortion is thriving: pay up, or your site stays offline. Rival businesses may use them during peak sales periods or while bidding for big contracts. They are useful as part of other crimes, distracting attention, for example, during the theft in 2011 of more than 100 m customer records from Sony, a media and electronics giant. Mt Gox, the largest exchange for Bitcoin, a digital currency, said market manipulators used DDoS attacks to drive down prices in April. In last year’s Russian election, attacks hit news sites and election observers. In 2012 a South Korean politician’s aide was jailed for an attack aimed at stopping opposition voters from finding the right polling stations.

An underground economy makes ordering such attacks easy. Gwapo is one of several firms that openly advertises DDoS services on YouTube. It charges $5 an hour to disable small sites and up to $100 for big ones. Payment is in Bitcoin or by other anonymous means. A plethora of tiny firms claims to help test defenses, but they rarely check who runs the sites they target.

For the technologically adept, DDoS software is available free. The Low Orbit Ion Cannon is named after a weapon in “Command and Conquer," a video game. Other tools let sympathizers join in by using their internet browsers. The attacks are growing more powerful (see chart). In March CloudFlare helped Spamhaus, a spam-fighting charity, against nuisance traffic which flooded in at an unprecedented 300 gigabits per second, almost 200 times faster than an average assault.

As well as roping in collaborators, most attackers use botnets: vast networks of virus-infected computers that obey secret commands from a faraway “bot-herder”. These are getting beefier. A typical botnet in the past comprised infected single computers, mostly in emerging countries. Now the bot-herders have learned to commandeer huge corporate or public-sector computers in America. These have more processing power and better internet connections. Whereas big attacks once used tens of thousands of zombie computers, this year’s assaults on American banks employed only about 2,500.

Attackers are also getting better at exploiting flaws in the internet’s design. Deep in its architecture are computers known as domain name system (DNS) servers. These help direct genuine traffic around the network. But they can be tricked into firing data at their victims. Many thousands of DNS servers helped batter Spamhaus; geeks think concerted attackers could rope in 20 m.

Better-targeted attacks need less muscle to do more damage. Instead of congesting the connections between the victim and the internet, hackers increasingly target internal weaknesses on the targeted website. They identify functions that use a lot of processing power—such as search boxes or login scripts—then pummel them until the whole site freezes. These now make up about a quarter of all large attacks. They are fiddlier to arrange, but hard to counter, says Dan Holden of Arbor Networks.

The technical means of blocking DDoS attacks are growing. The legal screws are tightening too. Such attacks have been illegal in Britain since 2006, and for longer in America (where some culprits face up to 15 years in jail). In May a judge in London handed down jail terms of 24 to 32 months to three members of Lulzsec, a short-lived gang which crashed the site of Britain’s Serious Organized Crime Agency in 2011. A month earlier police investigating the Spamhaus attack arrested Sven Kamphuis, a Dutchman who praised the assault on Russian television. Supposedly in hiding, he failed to conceal his real-world whereabouts. A battered orange van, laden with satellite equipment, drew attention to his flat near Barcelona; so did his name on the letter box.

Hapless cyber-vandals are easier to nab than sophisticated cyber-criminals. But some free-speech activists think automatic criminalization of DDoS attacks is unfair. They liken the tactic to civil protests such as sit-ins. Hackers think “technology actions” should be protected like free speech, explains Vanessa Barnett, a lawyer.

Jay Leiderman, a Californian lawyer, thinks sentences are “hysterically unjust”. He defended Christopher Doyon, a hacker better known as Commander X, who fled to Canada last year while awaiting trial for an 18-minute attack on the Santa Cruz County website, in protest at rules that outlaw sleeping in parks. Mr Leiderman wants American laws to tolerate “limited and constrained” DDoS campaigns.

Foreign precedents may help. In 2006 a German court overturned the conviction of a campaigner who attacked the site of the airline Lufthansa because it let its planes be used to deport asylum-seekers. But in January an American petition demanding the decriminalization of DDoS failed to force an official response. Recent efforts to rewrite America’s aged computer-crime law are bogged down. “I worry we’ve taught bored teenagers that with ten lines of code they can scare the internet and make the front page of the New York Times,” says Mr Prince. As denial of service becomes a destructive, sophisticated and lucrative criminal industry, pranksters can expect less tolerance, not more.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the attack on Spamhaus reached 300 gigabytes per second. It should have said 300 gigabits. Sorry.

The Internet As A Political Tool..


Politics And The Internet...

This article was composed and written in the Blog, "Beyond Borders," and they state:

Political Parties as Open Platforms...

I’ve been noticing for some time that it is getting more and more difficult to choose a party that best represents my interests. The world is getting evermore complex which means that solutions have to be more complex as well.

A few decades ago we experienced deep societal rifts, for example in the late 1960s. It was pretty easy to differentiate between left-wing and right-wing voters. Those who were in favor of a libertarian model of a society and those who preferred a rather authoritarian kind of society. These clear differences seem to have bottomed out (I would like to point out that this blogpost focuses on Germany, in other parts of the world it may be different. Please comment if it’s totally different in your country).

You won’t find suitable answers to complex and often global problems by adjusting solutions to a certain ideology. For each and every challenge you have to find an appropriate answer that is in accordance with the respective challenge instead of serving any ideology.

What if today’s political parties are not able to cope with modern societies’ challenges? It’s simply impossible for conservative parties to find purely conservative solutions to each and every problem that arises. The same applies to liberal and other parties out of the political spectrum as well.

The solution can only be to open up parties. Listen to the people, their concerns and their proposals. Political parties could act as platforms that are keen on generating innovative ideas and that are thankful for getting feedback. I am surely not in favor of dissolving political parties. I think they are an important institution to organize people (some might say that the Internet is nowadays the tool to organize these people). But, I am convinced that they should be far more responsive. We are witnessing that citizens want to gather around a common purpose and not a one-size-fits all ideology. This trend will likely get stronger. If political parties want to survive in modern societies they have to find an answer to these challenges.

Threefold Democratization via the Internet

„How the Internet Changes Our Reality“ was the motto for a BarCamp that was hosted by FutureChallenges.org, the Humbold Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft and the Club of Rome. As you might imagine, this title left much room for a variety of sessions (Here you can see a list with notes from the different sessions, some in German and some in English.)

I would like to speak specifically about the session „Internet and Democracy“. The session touched on many topics, but all were related to democratization in the political sphere. This is a limited view which neglects changes in the economic and societal spheres.

Politics and Democratization

This is the most obvious aspect of the Internet’s democratizational impact. I will spare you the details of the revolutions in Northern Africa and the role of modern ICTs. We have read so much about it that it even runs risk of becoming a cliché. Even before these uprisings took place, digital revolutions had been successful.

The Orange revolution in Ukraine 2004 for example “may have been the first in history to be organized largely online," says Michael McFaul. After the presidential elections, state media proclaimed that Leonid Kuchma’s handpicked successor had won whereas several websites did intense reporting on fraudulent elections. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people in Kiev and other Ukrainian cities spent many freezing nights in tent cities. SMS and the Internet played an important part in mobilizing people.

But there are other examples as well. In Iran and Burma, large-scale uprisings might not have been successful in terms of regime overthrows. But activists flooded cyberspace with photos, videos and blogposts covering the demonstrations. The whole world was thus able to get a peek into the events. This may have saved lives. Which regime wants to kill its citizens when the world is watching? (Some months ago I wrote a blogpost on “Digital Revolutions: Beyond Tunisia and Egypt” in which I sketched short and long term democratizational effects of the use of the Internet.)

Economy and Democratization

Democracy means „rule of the people“. In the economic sphere we could however translate it by „rule of the consumers.“ A prime example of what can happen when companies do not listen to their customers is presented by Jeff Jarvis and his Dell story. Jarvis, a popular pundit on media in America, published some blogposts expressing his anger at the computer manufacturer. The company was soon confronted with a storm of criticism on the Internet. It severely affected Dell’s reputation. As a result Dell tried to more actively attend to its critics and made considerable efforts to better-involve its customers.

Another example these days is the social media storm that Adidas and other sponsors of the European Soccer Championships 2012 in the Ukraine and Poland are facing. In the Ukraine, stray dogs get killed in order to „clean up“ the streets for the tournament. As a result, the social media channels of Adidas and other sponsors have been flooded with furious comments. It remains to be seen how the companies will react, but remaining silent is certainly not the right approach.

Nowadays, companies have to listen to their customers and their needs. If they do not act responsively, they will lose the contest for market share.

I have to admit that this is a one-sided perspective on the economy. The economic sphere is not only about the relationship between businesses and customers, but also about business and politics. And here we see that companies (like big banks) have too much influence on politicians. This is a concern that is expressed by the worldwide Occupy movement which also relies heavily on the Internet to build and mobilize support.

Society and Democratization

Knowledge is Power. Before the printing press was invented, only a few chosen ones had access to books. They were pretty rare because they were handwritten. The dissemination of books contributed to an explosive spread of literacy.

Martin Luther’s campaign against the Catholic church could not have been successful without the printing press. This machine enabled the wide dissemination of Luther’s ideas and the erosion of the Vatican’s privilege of interpretation.

What we’re witnessing today with the use of the Internet is that information is accessible to nearly everyone with Internet access (see the digital divide). There is wikipedia, there are free (online) universities and so forth. Knowledge is everywhere. It is not limited anymore to a small group of people.

Authority is often the result of an advance in knowledge. But what happens when this advantage in knowledge erodes? I think that there is justified reason to believe that many of our societies’ authorities will erode as well. In this sense, modern societies experience a democratization as well.

ANC Is Post Apartheid's Handlers: Censoring The Internet


The New ANC Government And Internet Censorship

Well, in response to the democratization of the Internet, I find it seriously perplexing that we have just gone over Apartheid censorship of everything, video, audio and literary. The coming of the ANC into power, promised a Rainbow government with all freedoms of the press, speech and freedom from Apartheid, we hoped. Well, here's an article written by Yazeed Kamaldien:

Censorship! Internet Freedom In South Africa Under Attack..

Citizens need to become more vigilant about businesses that censor Internet freedom in South Africa and not focus only on government restrictions. By Yazeed Kamaldien.

Professor Jane Duncan, Highway Africa journalism conference chairperson for media and information society, has warned at a journalism conference this week that privately owned Internet Service Providers (ISPs) play a role too in censoring the Internet.

Duncan is former head of the Freedom of Expression Institute in South Africa and is currently based at the school of journalism and media studies at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.

“We need to take private censorship as seriously as government censorship. We need to do much harder thinking about regulations (ISPs) for internet usage,” said Duncan.

She said that ISPs were tasked to regulate the Internet where governments were unable to enforce control via technological tools.

“There is a growing problem of censorship on Internet content worldwide. Governments restrict the Internet in the way that they have restricted traditional media. Some don’t have the technical capacity to regulate. Then they impose liability on ISPs for material that runs through their pipes. This is problematic because they (ISPs) should be neutral,” said Duncan.

“ISPs self-regulate through their own policies. The user cannot make a representation before content is taken down. There is no right of appeal after the content has been taken down. The ISP is not held liable for wrongful take-down of content. They take down and ask questions later.”

Duncan warned that private censorship in most cases remains more dangerous than government regulation.

“Private censorship can be worse than government policy because they don’t come with public [participation] processes,” she said.

Duncan said that ISP terms for removing content from the Internet were also “too broad regarding their restrictions of speech”. One ISP said that it would prohibit websites from publishing content that was “embarrassing," said Duncan.

She was not alone in her warning about the Internet’s declining freedom and tightening regulation on Monday, the second day of the sixteenth annual Highway Africa journalism conference, in Grahamstown.

Dibussi Tande, an award-winning blogger from Cameroon, joined Duncan for a conference panel on Internet freedom. He said that his government has criminalized online content “if it is a threat to public order”. The penalty was six months to two years in jail or a hefty fine.

“These vague terms are used as for repression and censorship… A lot of African countries have laws about repression, instead of helping to develop the Internet as a tool for development,” said Dibussi.

“There are those who say that the Internet should be free because it promotes development. You have others that say the Internet must be controlled because of state security.”

“If there should be any restrictions on the Internet, there should be necessary and legitimate reasons. If we look at the variety of laws that exist in Africa, they don’t meet this standard. The laws are vague.”

Participants at the conference also discussed the safety of journalists online and off-line and the increased criminalization of bloggers.

It also seemed, to some, that media professionals had not yet fully accepted the Internet as part of their territory that needed to be safeguarded alongside traditional print, radio and TV media.

Most media professionals still viewed the Internet as a tool and failed to defend it as a media outlet linked to their professional interests, such as securing human rights and freedom of expression.

Duncan urged journalists in particular to ensure that Internet rights were protected as telecommunications companies and governments were imposing regulations, at times jointly, that suited them and not the Internet user.

“Journalists must own and take seriously the Internet. It is a little known fact that the Internet is the least free of all the media in South Africa. The film and publications board is part of the home affairs department and it was given jurisdiction of the Internet,” she said.

“To give a government agency jurisdiction of the internet is problematic. Internet freedom in South Africa is in trouble.”

She added: “We are very good as a country to cry when there is state censorship of the media. We are not doing enough about private censorship of the media. We are not getting into what’s happening with the notice and take-down of content on the Internet.”

Alexey Sidorenko, the Russian author of the book ‘New Media Tools for Digital Activists’, meanwhile reflected on the lack of Internet freedom in his country. Russia is currently the second-largest Internet user population in Europe after Germany. But the country’s government has introduced laws to criminalize online publishing.

“The argument for controlling Internet speech was child protection. The government introduced Internet black lists. A website has to be removed within 24 hours if it’s on this list. If not removed, then the ISPs are obliged to block content,” said Sidorenko.

The Russian government has established an authority that monitors the Internet and contacts website publishers and ISPs about ‘problematic’ content.

Harassment and hacking was also used to curb dissidents, said Sidorenko.

“Russia has been marked as an enemy of the Internet by Reporters Without Borders,” he said.

Sidorenko said that countries like Russia and Iran, where political opposition is stifled, have proposed to create “isolated hermetic net islands that would have its own search engines and websites”.

“This is one of the threats that we are facing. It will lead to the erosion of the Internet’s integrity and global interconnectedness… Authoritarian governments that build their political agenda and don’t want to change can choose Internet isolation.”

Sidorenko said that the Internet could become fragmented the same way that newspapers, TV and radio stations already are.

He said that Internet freedom activists were considering means to lobby against businesses that sold online surveillance software and technology that empowers authorities to monitor citizens. In this way, companies have played a role in stifling the freedom of expression in repressive societies that need it most.

“There is a big debate about introducing sanctions against these companies but that contradicts with the idea of freedom. I don’t buy the idea that you can forbid something. It can backfire because then activists won’t be able to buy regular technology. And as soon as you introduce sanctions, there is another new technology on the market,” he said.

The three-day Highway Africa conference ends on Tuesday and has gathered media leaders and practitioners as well as media development specialists.

How Can They Or Will The Govrnment In South Africa Censor The Web?


Stop the Film and Publications Board’s attempt to censor the Internet!..

A further look into the Internet "lockdown" by the South African Government today was posted by the Media Freedom as follows:

The Right2Know Campaign calls on the public to reject the Film and Publications Board’s (FPB) proposals to censor the internet in South Africa. The FPB wants broadly defined powers to police everything published on the Internet – including blogs, personal websites and Facebook pages.

The Right2Know Campaign demands that the Film and Publications Board to scrap the Draft Online Regulation Policy document gazetted on Wednesday 4 March 2015. The FPB must desist from any attempt to exercise pre-publication censorship of Internet content.

The document, in its vague language and open-ended statements, would leave authorities with far too much room to infringe on the public’s right to freely receive and impart information as enshrined in chapter two of the Constitution.

The document states that: “Any person who intends to distribute any film, game, or certain publication in the Republic of South Africa shall first comply with section 18(1) of the [1996 Films and Publications] Act by applying, in the prescribed manner, for registration as film or game and publications distributor.” It is clear from this statement that the new regulations apply to an absurdly broad range of content that is not limited to that which is published online.

It also suggests that the target of this regulation is not just major distributors but also individuals. In terms of the wording of the document, everything published on the Internet – including blogs, personal websites and Facebook pages — could be subjected to classification from the FPB.

According to the document, anyone wishing to publish or distribute content will have to first apply for a digital publisher’s online distribution agreement with the FPB, which will require a subscription fee. Once paid, the publisher would have to submit the content to the FPB for classification prior to publishing. This effectively is a specific form of pre-publication censorship, which is not acceptable.

Moreover, the time spent on the pre-classification of content would undermine one of the most valuable traits of the internet — its immediacy. There is also a very real threat that in the future, organizations lacking in resources and unable to afford costly subscription fees, such as community-oriented news outlets and civil society groups, will be severely hampered by the unnecessarily bureaucratic regulations envisioned by the FPB. These online media outlets provide a valuable contribution to the diversity of the South African media landscape. The FPB draft regulations will dis-enable this diversity.

Worryingly, the regulations would allow the FPB to “dispatch classifiers to the distributors’ premises for the purposes of classifying digital content.” Distributors would have to “ensure that the work of classifiers takes place unhindered and without interference.” The vague wording of the regulations would allow for ‘classifiers’ to visit, for example, the homes of citizen journalists and ordinary internet users. Such sweeping powers reek of apartheid-era censorship, whose advocates similarly relied on the guise of moralizing arguments.

In this case, the FPB argues that the new measures are a necessary response to protect children from harmful or disturbing material. While there is clearly a need to protect children from those who produce or distribute child pornography, the law already provides for that by criminalizing those who do so. The response to the threat of child pornography cannot be at odds with the rights guaranteed by the constitution. There are various less stifling measures to protect children from harm.

The FPB’s plan to police the internet is totally impracticable. New content is posted online via various platforms every second, which the FPB cannot practically prevent. It is likely that the majority of online users will not apply to the FPB for pre-classification of content, nor pay the subscription fee prior to publication, but under these regulations online users stand to be criminalized for doing something as simple as posting content online.

This is at odds with Section 16 (1b) in the Bill of Rights. It also reveals a massive ignorance on the part of the FPB on how the internet actually works. And contrary to the arguments of the FPB, these regulations cannot practically prevent the distribution of content that is harmful to children.

Although it is not possible to practically classify all online content prior to publication, the vague language of the draft regulations, however, could be used selectively to target specific users and online media outlets who have published content even when it is not harmful to children (i.e., ANY content), thus amounting to post-publication censorship. The censoring power FPB is a hangover from apartheid and it has no place in a digital converged future.

It is also apparent that the FPB is overstepping its legal boundaries. The Films and Publications Act of 1996 only gives the FPB the ability to issue guidelines, not to legislate. Additionally the Act gives the FPB jurisdiction over films and games, but not over all published content. The FPB has failed to adequately consult with relevant stakeholders before drafting the document.

Only industry stakeholders were invited to participate behind closed doors, while civil society was excluded from the process despite the fact that the regulations could have profound consequences for ordinary members of the public. The Right2Know Campaign condemns this latest attempt to broaden the power of authorities to censor and restrict publishable content — the sort of action characteristic of an increasingly overbearing, paranoid and insecure state.

You Either know something, Or You Don't...


ANC's Post Apartheid Media Censorship Shenanigans..

The ANC controls the media, and the Media is exposing the ANC, whose shenanigans in governance invite such criticisms. Their staffing of the government with the buddies, comrades, using nepotism, cronyism and favoritism is but breaking news for the media hawks.

The people they have inserted, in ASABC, State and local government are not qualified not competent enough to do a proper job, so the ANC is trying to compensate for that by censoring the Internet and passing a draconian Media law. The more they are recalcitrant in trying to pas these laws and censor the Internet, the more they are being exposed, and the less and less they approve nor like those attacks.

Because the ANC has appointed incompetent and ignoramuses in their administering their Section 16 of their Bill Of Rights. And when it comes to the part of the Freedom of Expression, The Constitution summarily states:

  • Freedom of expression: All people (including the press) can say whatever they want.

Now, the reader can read the following post and keep in mind the sentence above. David Smith wrote the following article:

ANC's secrecy bill seen as assault on South African press freedom

An undercover investigation of appalling prison conditions by the pioneering Drum magazine journalist Henry Nxumalo that rocked the apartheid government. Exposure of the murder in police detention of black consciousness leader Steve Biko. Revelations of a corrupt multibillion-pound arms deal that marked the new democracy's fall from grace.

These are among the stories that have distinguished South African journalism over more than a century. Irreverent, subversive, vibrant and open, it has taken on the powerful whatever their color or stripe. But now, campaigners say, the country's media is facing its biggest threat since the end of white minority rule in 1994.

In coming months, the protection of state information bill is likely to be passed by MPs and signed into law by President Jacob Zuma. Known as the "secrecy bill," it has been described as a draconian measure that will allow the governing African National Congress (ANC) to cover up corruption and send whistleblowers and journalists to jail for up to 25 years.

While many accept the need to update the existing state information law — which dates back 30 years — opposition MPs, civil society groups, trade unions, academics, journalists, writers, archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu and friends of Nelson Mandela have lined up to condemn the bill.

Members of the public have weighed in during consultation meetings and international organizations such as Human Rights Watch have sounded the alarm.

When the bill was voted through by the national assembly last year, newspaper editors, wearing black, staged a walkout. In a joint statement they described it as "the first piece of legislation since the end of apartheid that dismantles an aspect of our democracy."

Opposition MP Lindiwe Mazibuko told parliament: "Today is a dark day for our young democracy. If passed, this bill will unstitch the very fabric of our constitution. It will criminalize the freedoms that so many of our people fought for. What will you, the members on that side of the house, tell your grandchildren one day?"

Some believe that the secrecy bill forms part of a wider assault on the freedom of the press in South Africa.

Simultaneously, the ANC has been pushing for self-regulation to be replaced by a media appeals tribunal that could give a state body power to impose sanctions.

Two years ago, investigative reporter Mzilikazi wa Afrika, who wrote about a suspect land deal that threatened the career of the chief of police, was arrested, bundled into a police vehicle and accused of fraud. Charges were soon dropped and more than a year later the police chief was forced out.

Last week the ANC organized a boycott of the City Press newspaper, forcing it to remove a picture of a controversial painting of Zuma from its website.

South Africa holds free elections every five years and Zuma is its fourth president. The media runs hard-hitting investigations, angry polemics and satirical images lampooning the elite, notably the cartoonist Zapiro's mockery of Zuma. But some fear the republic's reputation as a beacon of democracy and free speech in Africa is under threat as never before.

Under the secrecy bill, a person found to have communicated classified information which the person "knows or ought reasonably to have known would directly or indirectly benefit" a foreign state or a non-state actor, or prejudice national security, will be deemed guilty of espionage or hostile activity. Such offenses are punishable by jail terms ranging from three to 25 years.

This could potentially apply to people like Andrew Feinstein, a former ANC MP who resigned after the party sought his collusion in covering up an international arms deal costing an estimated 70bn Rands (£5.35bn) of taxpayers' money. Official investigations continue into allegations that bribes worth more than 2bn Rands were paid to individuals and the party itself.

"If the secrecy bill had been in place I think we wouldn't have heard about the arms deal, the biggest corruption scandal of the democratic era in this country, in which the ANC decided to spend $10bn on weapons that we've never needed and barely used," Feinstein said. "It would have been impossible to write about it because it was a matter of national security.

"The fact there was blatantly corrupt, criminal activity taking place under the veil of national security secrecy means that the secrecy bill would have simply swept that under the carpet. People like myself and the myriad incredibly courageous journalists and other activists and writers who've campaigned around it would have had to be silent or face jail sentences."

Feinstein, who now lives in London, added: "I look back on my own work and I think — if I understand the bill in its current form — that if I had published my first book, After the Party, and this legislation had been in place, I would have been liable for a jail term for using confidential state documents.

"I took the decision that I would use them because I believed it was in the national interest. The lack of a meaningful public interest defense in this legislation is extremely terrifying."

In fact, some journalists say, the bill is much better than it was. A public campaign has forced numerous revisions during the long parliamentary process.

Every word and clause is still being fiercely contested, in particular the insertion of a robust public interest defense clause. Yet as things stand, it is argued, the changes do not go far enough and the law remains hugely dangerous.

Murray Hunter, a co-ordinator of the civil society Right2Know campaign, said: "The secrecy bill allows certain officials to classify certain information as secret, ostensibly to protect 'national security'.

"Nothing out of order with that, per se — the problem with this bill is that it goes too far in how many people get that power, what kind of information they can make secret, who can be punished for exposing that information, and what sort of punishment they can expect."

Intentionally accessing classified information could result in a 10-year prison sentence. Disclosing classified information is punishable by a fine or a maximum jail term of five years, unless the disclosure revealed evidence of a crime or was protected under the Protected Disclosures Act or Companies Acts.

Failing to report the possession of or to return a classified document would also result in a fine or a maximum five-year prison sentence. This means that merely possessing state secrets would be a crime, even when those secrets are already in the public domain. Further, the disclosure and retention of classified information that relates to the intelligence agencies would be punishable by imprisonment of up to 15 years.

It would still take a leap to go from these proposals to a reality in which journalists are dragged from their homes in the dead of night and thrown into prison. But activists warn that the bill could instill fear and result in self-censorship. And while staff journalists may be able to turn to their employers and legal teams for support, civil servants and would-be whistleblowers may feel the deterrent effect most of all.

Nadine Gordimer, a South African winner of the Nobel prize for literature, wrote in the New York Review of Books [http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/may/24/south-Africa-new-threat-freedom]

That the "bill has been and continues to be seen as an obvious means of concealing the corruption that has become a way of South African life for many, from high-placed members of the government down to menial officials."

The impact on freedom of the press could be profound, warned Nic Dawes, editor of the Mail & Guardian newspaper: "I think it will quite gravely limit certain very important areas of our work. It criminalizes the publication without prior authorization of classified material.

"That classification power centers on the intelligence and security agencies which obviously have immense resources, immense power and are deeply involved in South African politics. There are very important stories to tell — not just in the national security domain but in the political domain — that will fall under the ambit of this legislation."

He added: "Worse still, the legislation creates an opt-in possibility for any organ of state, literally from your local library through to your nuclear research facility. We are very concerned that will allow departments that are working on projects that are crucial to the quality of life of South Africans to bring under a veil of secrecy all of their work. So perhaps in a poor community a new water system has been installed and someone feels it is possible to justify on national security grounds that all details in relation to that contract are classified.

"There are rising concerns about corruption and cronyism in South Africa and it will make it increasingly difficult not just for journalists but also for community activists, lawyers and others to access the kind of information that they need to expose that kind of wrongdoing. The penalties are also very stringent and I think it will have quiet a serious chilling effect on a whole array of practices that journalists regard as pretty fundamental to their work."

But the ANC remains adamant: all states must have secrets and this legislation is long overdue. Although there appears little risk to South Africa's borders, the government warns of a threat to security.

Siyabonga Cele, the state security minister, has argued: "The foreign spies continue to steal our sensitive information in order to advantage their nations at the expense of advancement of South Africa and her people. The ANC government may never allow such undermining of our national security to continue. We have, through sections 36 to 38 of the bill, made espionage a serious offense that will be a deterrent to both foreign spies and their collaborators.

"However, you won't find foreign spies openly marching in the streets of Cape Town complaining that we are removing their easy access to our sensitive information, but they will fund their local proxies to defend their illegality.

"We currently have no remedy to rising threat posed by information peddling. This is where fabricated information is introduced to the organs of the state with the ultimate aim of gaining a financial reward or causing disunity in government. It often comes in the form of exaggerated yet unsubstantiated threats or conspiracies."

Cele has insisted: "This new bill is not about regulating the media. There is no single mention of the media in this bill. Neither is this bill about covering up corruption … we remain resolute and steadfast against corruption and fraud. Section 49 of the bill prohibits and criminalizes improper classification with imprisonment of up to five years."

South Africa's national council of provinces has until 30 June to amend and report on the bill. A parliament vote is then expected before Zuma gives it the rubber stamp. A challenge before the judges of the constitutional court then appears likely. The fight for freedom continues.

What Secrets When Everythig Is Hidden In Plain Sight


Local Reaction In South Africa

Allister Sparks

Veteran journalist and former editor of the Rand Daily Mail

"It's reasonable for a government to have a mechanism whereby it can protect genuine state secrets. We accept there will be a bill and are content with that. However, we are concerned about the way in which the bill has been framed and fear it could be open to abuse. As with so many things involving the ANC, the issue is being fought over by factions.

"The party is a coalition of forces which were initially brought together to fight apartheid but who now have different outlooks. I believe there are cabinet members who want the press to be curtailed. There are people involved in corruption and it is they who are supporting this bill, which would allow the intimidation of journalists. Many people in government are vulnerable to charges of corruption, including the president.

"We won't know what the bill means in reality until it has been written into law. We then will have empowered people to declare all manner of things secrets of the state. The question is: Who will those people be and how wide-ranging will be their powers? If the president decided that certain aspects of the arms deal should be a state secret then newspapers would be banned from mentioning his involvement in it. Once that has been allowed to happen there would be many questioning the strength of our democracy."

Nadine Gordimer

Nobel prizewinning South African writer and political activist

"It is quite obvious why this bill has come about — the government is making no attempt to hide the truth that its intention is to aid the cover-up of corruption.

"Sadly when we fought apartheid we didn't have time to consider what came next. All everyone could think of was liberation from the apartheid regime.

"We seemed to think that everything would be OK once we were free from the distortions of apartheid. But in my view the oppression of the past has led to many of the current problems.

"Corruption in our country extends from the very top of government to the man in the street who pays a police office to overlook a traffic fine.

"This bill is being brought in under the guise of an attempt to protect public safety but it will achieve exactly the opposite by repressing freedom of expression. We are concerned because we don't know the reach of the bill.

"There is a realistic prospect that satirical plays or performances could face prosecution if they are deemed to be alluding to corruption.

"If I invite friends around for dinner and we discuss the president's involvement in the arms deal could I be hauled off to prison? Our great cartoonists, our reporters and our artists all face uncertainty and the risk of jail.

"I wrote during the apartheid regime and I fought against the apartheid regime. Three of my books were banned. What we are doing now is going back to apartheid censorship under a new guise."

"I believe there are senior figures within the cabinet who object to this bill in its current form. But there are also some people who quite deliberately want the press to be curtailed. There are many individuals in this country who are involved in corruption and they would welcome the opportunity to make it more difficult to expose.

"It is those who are arguing in support of this bill, which would provide the government with a new ability to intimidate or threaten journalists. Many people in government are vulnerable to charges of corruption, including the president.

"The most worrying aspect of all is that we won't know what the bill means in reality until it has been written into law. We then will have empowered people to declare all manner of things secrets of the state. The question is who will those people be and how wide-ranging will be their powers?

"If the president decided that certain aspects of the arms deal should be a state secret then newspapers would be banned from mentioning his involvement in it. Once that has been allowed to happen there would be many questioning the strength of our democracy."

George Bizos

Leading South African lawyer who defended Nelson Mandela and his co-accused at the Rivonia Trial in 1963-64

"I have been active as a lawyer in South Africa since 1954 and I have fought apartheid with many others. Many in the ANC government have also fought apartheid and I believe the vast majority would not have done so in order to live under a similar regime. There are around 80 members of the national executive and I personally know 60 of them and they are fine.

"But there is a small group of people who are sufficiently angry about the press coverage of corruption and are pushing this bill forward. Freedom of expression is a fundamental part of our bill of rights. What is concerning is the scale of the punishments as described in the bill, which are chilling in the effect they would have. We would need a brave group of men and women to consider publishing something that could mean they were imprisoned for a lengthy time."

A Secreted Illegal Bill

South Africa’s political party, the ANC, claims the bill will strengthen national security and is not aimed at muzzling the press. But for some the Bill is part of a wider assault by the ANC on press freedom. “The rhetoric of the ANC government has g

South Africa’s political party, the ANC, claims the bill will strengthen national security and is not aimed at muzzling the press. But for some the Bill is part of a wider assault by the ANC on press freedom. “The rhetoric of the ANC government has g

South Africa's 'Secrecy Bill' attracts International Condemnation

David Smith writes:

South Africa has received widespread international condemnation of its "secrecy bill" during a UN review of the country's human rights record.

The United States, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland all expressed concerns that the proposed laws could threaten media freedom.

The intervention — the biggest collective stand yet taken by foreign governments on the issue — was welcomed by activists who oppose the bill, which could make journalists and whistleblowers vulnerable to prison sentences of up to 25 years.

South Africa's human rights record was scrutinized by a working group of the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) in Geneva recently. A draft report of the meeting shows that Spain "asked about measures adopted to ensure that the future protection of state information does not curtail freedom of the press and right to information on possible inappropriate action by public officials".

Sweden "noted that the protection of state information bill might lead to restrictions on media freedom".

Germany called on South Africa to "safeguard the freedom of the press, through the abrogation of the protection of information bill".

The United States urged: "Engage civil society, activists, NGOs and media to seek common ground on the protection of state information bill."

Canada recommended that South Africa "ensure that the protection of state information bill and other statutory measures do not violate the right to freedom of expression or unduly impede access to public domain information". Norway said the country should make sure the bill "fully complies with international human rights law".

Czech Republic asked South Africa to "reconsider the protection of state information bill to ensure its conformity with ICCPR [international covenant on civil and political Rights], in particular by removing excessive penalties for publication of classified information and the inclusion of a public interest defense".

Poland urged South Africa to "continue amending and improving the project of the protection of state information bill as this law, in the form proposed to the parliament earlier this year, has the potential to undermine the right to access to information and freedom of expression under the pretext of national security and national interest".

Switzerland recommended: "Amend the draft bill on the protection of state information so that freedom of press is not curtailed in a disproportionate manner."

Portugal said: "Consider suspending the enactment of the protection of state information bill, approved last November."

In response, South Africa's delegation insisted the bill was not aimed at the media. "The primary purpose is not to regulate or interfere in any way with the media or access to information, but seeks to amend current statutes not consistent with our constitution," it said. "Government has been very open and has engaged with the media and with civil society. The draft bill is currently before parliament."

Editors, lawyers, writers and leading public figures such as archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu have previously spoken out against the bill. Some warn that it could lead to similar crackdowns in other African states.

South Africa's main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, said views expressed at the UN would boost efforts to amend the legislation. Alf Lees MP said: "We welcome any influence brought to bear that will result in the bill being amended to make it more acceptable and constitutional."

Noting South Africa's remarks that bill is not intended to curb the media, Lees commented:

Whether or not it is the purpose of the bill is debatable. The fact remains that the bill in its current form still poses a significant threat to human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in the constitution.

"The concerns raised in the UNHRC discussions provide greater impetus to the [parliamentary] committee to make further changes to the bill to ensure that it is brought in line with the constitution."

Debate on the bill has stalled again this week. A hearing of the ad hoc committee in the national council of provinces scheduled for Wednesday was postponed indefinitely. The state security department has rejected ANC proposals to water down the bill.

Poignant Placard - Regarding the Ruling ANC and The Serecy Bill


Retro Apartheid: The ANC's Self Immolation

There's so much corruption taking place in South Africa and within the government(specifically), that the Secrecy Bill is nothing else but an attempt to cover all the mess that the ANC and its lackeys are trying to hide. Obfuscation Bill is what this should be called. Truth being told to powers no more going to be allowed in south Africa. So. the, how far removed are we from Apartheid. The way the ANC is contemplating on the sentences and curbing reporting, using State security as a lame excuse, is the more so that they reveal that they are not prepared to deal with their corruption, presently, but aim to even extend and expand corruption to meet their crooked means and ways.

If one were to re-read the Sechaba publications and the ANC New Briefings when they were in exile, one is left dumbfounded and perplexed by the Secrecy Bill. The ANC has found that ruling requires that they suppress the truth about their shenanigans, which are true, in many cases, since their cadres and members display their arrogance and abuse of power in the faces of their subjects. Even if their subjects may not get these corruptive ways of the ANC, they see all that for themselves, and this is what the Apartheid Censors refused to acknowledge, and the ANC is following suit.

The ANC is hurrying up in trying to hide their crooked deeds, and in so doing, they are reviving and revamping the Apartheid modus operandi… But this is not the Apartheid goons doing so, but the ANC cabals and spooks. They are so arrogant, and very stubborn, that they cite their very laws, but aim to adjust and change them to suit their corruption and dirty-tricks. Many people are being harassed and intimidated, amy journalist are being forced to self-censure… So, how different is the ANC from the Apartheid regime. There is no difference, except that the ANC wants to change the prevailing laws in order to carry out their corruption and fleecing the public coffers with no let up.

If the American civilization has inbuilt within it lying techniques of obfuscation, the South Africa one, of which it is a copy of, has no techniques of its own, and the lies are there for all to see. The country is imploding, and we have a people who are playing games with the lives of the poor, whom they consider to be a nuisance and irrelevant. Well, it so happens that this is what happened with the Apartheid, who ignored and dissed the people's concern and pleas, and went on ahead trying to implement Apartheid philosophy and laws.

The very draconian laws, the very recalcitrant attitude and putting down people, incarcerating millions and even murdering them, is what the ANC thinks it can do and get away with. Well, as the protests and strikes grow throughout the country, as the African elite in service of Imperial and Capitalist monied forces, their position of power has eroded and is has now become untenable. At present, they thing they have a clear grasp since they are at the helm, and they are inebriated by power, that they see themselves as the ones who will 'rule until Jesus comes'. This is what they told the people when the elections were in progress in 2014.

They find it important to hide, in plain sight, what they are doing wrong in their governance of the country. Just like during Apartheid, the hue and cry/protest from local leaders and intellectuals, the international outcry, the ANC has chosen to ignore the growing protestations, and they keep on citing the laws that they are contravening, to suit their greed and looting of the public coffer. Restricting the Freedom of the Media and Speech, is nothing else but retro-Apartheid's modus operandi.

As the world is trying to caution the ANC, they are blinded by the dwindling riches that they are engaged in, and prefer to fleece and dumb-down, and intimidate/kill any opposition to their quisling ways, and that is going to come to a head, very soon. Heads will roll, as this has already happened in cases like Liberia, where Doe and his buddies paraded such actors in the street and ran them out of the country. The ANC does not really think that this will happened. Well, time and history will remind them otherwise.And this is what the response of the ANC has been:

"The primary purpose is not to regulate or interfere in any way with the media or access to information, but seeks to amend current statutes not consistent with our constitution," it said. "Government has been very open and has engaged with the media and with civil society. The draft bill is currently before parliament."

Today there are more protests, strikes, incarceration of the press and the opposition, and things are getting even worse. As the people in south Africa say, money and power is what is important here in south Africa. And the ANC is the head of this distorted outlook, and they are flaunting it for all to see and revel at them having a good time, since, they say, it we are now free, and it is everyone for themselves. Meanwhile, they warn against any reportage of their malfeasance as endangering the State. Well, it seems that the security of the country of south Africa has already been comprised by the ANC itself, thus far.

This is what the widow of Donald Wood has had to say about the proposed ANC Secret [Press Media] Bill:

New South African Press law 'more harmful than apartheid-era censorship'

The new protection of state information law is more harmful to South African press freedom than apartheid-era censorship, according to the widow of the legendary anti-apartheid journalist and editor, Donald Woods.

Woods was stripped of his editorship of the Daily Dispatch newspaper and banned from public speaking because of his investigation into the death of black activist Steve Biko in 1977. He fled South Africa after threats to his life and family, settling in London, where he died in 2001. He is best remembered as the author of Biko biography, which became the basis for the film Cry Freedom.

Despite her husband's experiences, Wendy Woods believes the vagueness of the legislation passed by the African National Congress government makes it potentially more restrictive.

"I would say it's more insidious that what my husband had to deal with," Woods told the Guardian. "There were many laws in his time restricting journalists, but they knew what they were. This bill allows any government official to deem any information a state secret. It's worse than the apartheid era because it's so unspecific. You don't know what it is you are up against."

"The penalties sound dreadful: 25 years in prison, which is horrendous," she added. "The prospect of 25 years in jail would scare anyone, I would have thought."

Speaking in an interview at home on the outskirts of London, Woods said she was heartened by what she called "a huge groundswell of opposition" to the new law by former colleagues in the anti-apartheid movement. Her husband would also have been "outrageous and vociferous" in resisting it, she said.

" [It will] disempower journalists because they won't have a working knowledge of what they can or cannot say, which is more or less what they had during the apartheid era. Donald said through experience and instinct he grew to know … what he could or couldn't say," Woods recalled.

For example, he would reserve his most outspoken editorials skewering the apartheid system for Friday, in the knowledge that most government ministers had farms they would go to at the weekend. They would have two days to cool down before returning to their offices and deciding on a response. Under Woods editorship no Daily Dispatch journalists were jailed for what they wrote.

The new law, Wendy Woods said, is by comparison "too all-encompassing". She said South African journalists old enough to remember apartheid "will feel its back to the old days". But she added: "They are ready to fight, because they remember what it felt like."

And thus far, the fight is on and ongoing. The ANC is still holding their ground about tis issue, and keep on trying to justify it as themselves taking care of the security of the state… well, Apartheid redux, and this will surely be the Achilles heel of the ANC, among many other pressing matters they face as regarding the 20+ year old South African realities.

George Orwell


ANC's Double Speak And Non-Thinking Pompous Self Righteousness

The Topic above is summed up neatly in the following article by Charles Simkins who writes:

Constitutional Democracy and Revolutionary Talk

One can support a constitutional democracy on the grounds that it is a better form of government than any other. One can be a revolutionary, dissatisfied with the existing political order and wanting to overthrow it in favor of an envisaged better alternative. But to claim to be a constitutional democrat and a revolutionary at the same time — now that is odd. Yet, we see it constantly in contemporary South Africa. What explains the phenomenon?

Three hypotheses suggest themselves.

1. People are really constitutional democrats and sham revolutionaries. For instance, the Labour Party in the UK put the famous Clause IV in their constitution in 1918:

To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.

This clause remained for decades, while Labour party policies pursued no such aim, and was removed only in 1995. Our own National Party, well into apartheid, organized from time to time to organize a ‘stryddag' (struggle day) for its supporters. Revolutionary talk can work well on the hustings. The psychodynamics are the same as in big tent American evangelism. The crowd is worked up, enemies are denounced, the symbols are displayed and everyone goes home feeling better, The Rapture, Nationalization, Die eeu van onreg (The century of injustice). The national democratic revolution (phase two). Different parts of the same street.

2. People are really revolutionaries and sham constitutional democrats. Austrian Nazis had as their constant aim the union of Austria and Germany, which eventually happened in April 1938. In the lead up period, the slogan was ‘Always think of it, never speak of it'. Austrian Nazis were Hitler's fifth column but maintained a public posture of loyalty to Austrian democracy, until it collapsed. From time to time (not always), the communist parties of old had a policy of ‘entryism'. While keeping their political identity secret, cadres would enter non-communist organizations and seek to manipulate them for communist goals.

Another example: Latin American politicians of the nineteenth century often regarded their democratic constitutions as something ‘for the English to look at' rather than the basis for their own political conduct. Or again, consider the criminality which has penetrated to the heart of the Italian State, subverting the publicly stated political positions of both left and right.

While both these groups of people exist in contemporary South Africa, deeper consideration leads to a third hypothesis:

3. Doublethink. George Orwell was the originator of this concept and defined it as follows:

To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancel out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, and to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy.

For Orwell, this was not just science fiction to support his novel ‘1984'. He had seen it all around him in the 1930s (the ‘low dishonest decade') and the 1940s. It is a frame of mind that is induced by an autocracy which seeks to penetrate and control a whole society: the surveillance and mobilizing state. Old fashioned autocracies required public conformity, but left private space. The terrifying thing about ‘1984' is that the realm of the private has ceased to exist altogether.

The mark of doublethink is not just pervasive deceit. It is also disabling self-deceit. As Orwell knew, the defenses against it are plain speaking, plain writing, and accurate observation.

To know and not to know. South Africa is full of convoluted disquisitions about race and class written with a nervous eye to political correctness. Hermeneutical suspicion is directed at anything resembling a fact, or worse, a statistic. ‘There is nothing outside context,' said Derrida, and attempts to supply it, have become increasingly fantastic. The social scientists who studied poverty in the 1920s and 1930s were wiser. They simply got into their Model T Fords and went to have a look. The world is all that is the case.

To know and not to know. Blade Nzimande told the Youth Communist League in December 2014 that:

One of the principal challenges facing our movement at the moment is that of defeating what the SACP has correctly characterized as an anti-majoritarian, liberal offensive, whose objective is regime change to dislodge the liberation movement from power. What we see happening in parliament to-day is an attack on majority rule and all its institutions...The agenda is simply that where the ANC is the majority, the opposition must rule through the courts, the public protector etc, and that when all this fails, the opposition must resort to hooliganism... A big component of this anti-majoritarian offensive against our movement are sections of the media, including pockets inside the public broadcaster.

As though majority rule were the only component of democracy, as though the majority party could not change without ‘regime change,' as though democracies do not require free speech, freedom of the press, the maintenance of rights, an independent legal system, respect for all citizens, and the testing of ideas in open debate.

The South African state's surveillance and mobilizing capacity is limited and it cannot prevent a growing perception of Monty Python absurdity in current politics. For the CEO of ESKOM to say: "There is no crisis at Eskom. I think the way Eskom gets reported on creates the perception of a crisis" is absurd. To say that SA's energy problems are a product of apartheid and the government is not to blame for the current blackouts, is absurd.

To dress up pre-modern patrimonialism as avant-garde cadre deployment is absurd. The failure to see and confront effectively the seriousness of current South African economic circumstances will turn out to be tragic. What is really revolutionary now is breaking the spell, seeing things plainly and acting accordingly.

Speaking Straight


ANC is lost in a fog of doublethink and doublespeak

William Saunderson-Meyer has this to say about the ANC:

The great Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz wrote that it took a particularly skilled intelligence to scent out the truth through the fog.

This is where politicians differ. While soldiers want to slice through the fog to expose the bones of truth, politicians instinctively want to embrace it, to cloak inconvenient truths.

Politicians are drawn to the fog because it’s a convenient cover to venality, duplicity and straightforward stupidity. Fog deployment is one of those basic skills that politicians of all stripes have to show they have mastered before graduating from the Hogwarts School of Political Witchcraft and Semantic Wizardry, as is also the ability to speak out of both sides of one’s mouth at the same time.

Unfortunately for South Africa, the African National Congress tripartite alliance appears to have cornered the market in Hogwarts’ summa cum laude graduates. These stellar individuals far outnumber the ANC wannabes, those who claim imaginary qualification from Harvard, London School of Economics and QwaQwa Secondary.

Charles Simkins, touches on the doublespeak/doublethink that is characteristic of our politics. He notes the oddity of having ANC politicians claiming to be constitutional democrats and revolutionaries at the same time.

Simkins considers various explanations for the phenomenon — basically that they are the one and sham to be the other — then plumps for Orwellian kind doublethink. In his novel 1984, George Orwell defined the concept simply: “To hold simultaneously two opinions which cancel out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them.”

Simkins recounts as a particularly egregious example, a recent tirade by Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande against the media as the spearhead of an “anti-majoritarian, liberal offensive, whose objective is regime change to dislodge the liberation movement from power… The agenda is simply that where the ANC is the majority, the opposition must rule through the courts, the public protector , etc.”

I am skeptical as to whether this is the Orwellian doublethink that Simkins claims. My impression is that Nzimande actually believes all the tired Stalinist claptrap that he spouts and if indeed he is a practitioner of doublethink — in that he simultaneously has some redeeming democratic beliefs — these extend no further than his right to have the taxpaying peons buy him the most expensive BMW that is on the market.

It is, however, doublethink that has dumped Eskom in a marvelous pickle. It is important to the ANC government that Eskom’s inability to assure a continuous supply of power is addressed, not only for the sake of economic growth but in order to appease voter fury. However, the punctilious enforcement of the government’s own Employment Equity Act makes this difficult, if not impossible.

Totally in tune with this doublethink, Matona – he of “there is no Eskom crisis” fame — wades in with some doublespeak of his own. There will be no retrenchments is the assurance, for it will all be done by “natural attrition”.

It is such race purging by “natural attrition” that lies behind the high vacancy rates in many government departments. Eager to meet the only performance criterion that seems to exist in the civil service, managers will rather leave a highly skilled job vacant, than fill it with “over-represented” minority applicants who do, through the accident of history, happen to have those requisite skills.

It’s classic doublethink to bemoan, as this week did Public Service parliamentary portfolio committee chair Peace Mabe, that some critical jobs were taking three years to fill, causing “a major impediment to service delivery," while she simultaneously ordered managers to ensure that the 40.4% of women at senior public service rank were “without delay” upped to their demographic entitlement of 57.6%.

While the contempt for voters that is implicit in doublespeak is galling, it’s the doublethink we should be most concerned about. It’s a self-inflicted, debilitating intellectual fuzziness that can be at least as dangerous as Von Clausewitz’s fog of war.

The Nation's State Under Zuma...


Power Mongers... ANC

We learn from Ravi Mackkenjee that:

"The State of the Nation address has demonstrated a few startling realizations to many of us. What was for a long time a subtle, nuanced, means of eliciting control over media and any opposition to government was flung out into the open during the address.

The ANC seems to battle with what Constitutionalism really is.

The reality is that the ANC is running scared. The once powerful cabal that controlled everything for the past 20 years is being faced with an erosion in its support and a definite lack of trust in its actions. There is no respect for the rule of law and the Constitution. The paranoid fear of the media — as clearly actioned by the signal jamming device shows that we are ultimately heading for a showdown. The Government of South Africa vs The People. A sense of entitlement follows every ANC bigwig. There is a complacent glow and belief that the ANC knows best.

"This is not the reality. The State of the Nation address, was a self congratulatory piece that showed how far removed the governing party is from the people that pay their salaries. There was no critical analysis of the actual state of our country. Rather a tepid discussion on our power woes and the need for an economic boost. We as South Africans are faced with load shedding, crumbling infrastructure, a failing healthcare system, an education system that has failed and a corrupt government fixated on control and power at all costs."

We have A government which looks askance to the plight of its polity and Majority voters.

African Who? Which African Is African? African...

Being African Today Is Beig Contested by Non-Africans..

Being African Today Is Beig Contested by Non-Africans..

Cultural imperialsm - Part Deux

After having spoken at length spoken about the ANC and their decrepit rule over South Africa, I harken back to the American Civilization, and how it affects and influences such satellites countries, to it, like South Africa, to behave in a manner and way that is serving the interests of the US. The cultural accoutrement and other related elements of this civilization, are planted in, and exist in these countries, manned by American subjects, within those countries.

The ANC is trying, today, to hedge their bets with hChina, for we must remember, before the ANC came into Power in South Africa, they were labelled as a terrorist organization by the US and the South African regime. The ANC was not allowed to have many of their people in America, they only had a tiny office in the UN as an Observer mission, and some members occupied one apartment in New, and the rest of its members were living in apartments they rented themselves, and could not organize except with the help of local Harlem activists groups and people.

Everything about the communications and media systems of South Africa, all are managed and controlled by American Public Relations Officers. I have already mentioned Clear Channel in this regard, and there are even more of these types of companies running the South African Television, Music, Education, Society, Fashion, Trade, and you name it that are in the purview and control of the Americans. So, the ANC, is simply a very poor copy of American extended rule, and they, the ANC rulers, are playing the part very poorly and disastrously.

Many ANC cadres have been sent to many institutions in the US, and many come bak behaving in an exaggerated manner as if they are now America. Others cannot even speak their local languages anymore. Their garb is Americanese; they carry over American Holidays like "Thanks giving," and many other American cultural artifacts and mannerisms, they dismiss, very harshly, any semblance of their own culture, and are enamored by being edumacated in the US. This is the American civilization in play and action. Many of our brothers and sisters, edumacated or ignorant, they all are sucked in into and imbibe this cultural, or otherwise cesspool and morass that is American Cultural Imperialism-with reckless abandon-discarding their own culture, completely, in the process.

It would be instructive to read what Senator Cabot Lodge said in deliberation about the Philippines, which, today, applied and has/still is applied to South African Africans:

If the arguments which have been offered against our taking the Philippine Islands because we have not the consent of the inhabitants be just, then our whole past record of expansion is a crime [sic]. I do not think that we violated in that record the principles of the Declaration of Independence. On the contrary, I think we spread them over regions where they were unknown... "

The Senator continued,

"The next argument of the opponents of the Republican policy is that we are denying self-government to the Filipinos. Our reply to that is that to give independent self-government at once, as we understand it, to a people who have no just conception of it and no fitness for it, is to dower them with a curse instead of a blessing. To do this would be entirely to arrest their progress instead of advancing them on the road to the liberty and free government which we wish them to achieve and enjoy. This contention rests of course on the proposition that the Filipinos are not today in the least fitted for self-government, as we understand it.

"All our vast growth and expansion have been due to the spirit of our race, and have been guided by the instinct of the American people, which in all great crises have proven wiser than any reasoning. This mighty movement westward, building up a nation and conquering a continent as it swept along, has not been the work of chance or accident which brought us to the Pacific and which has now carried us across the great ocean even to the shores of Asia, to the very edge of the cradle of the Aryans, whence our far distant ancestors started on the march which has since girdled the world.

So, The ANC is trying to ape American context and sense of Democracy, today, but they are trying to Stalinize it, and in the process sloppily apply Maoism into the mix of the confusion they are existing in. But as for being Black(African) conscious, that will never happen for that is in essence seen as going back into the past, which they deem to be irrelevant. What we, the armies of the poor are seeing and witnessing is Shamocracy Of A Type, in south Africa. The ANC has had to date, 20+ years to rule South Africa… They have, in effect, made the lives and existence of the poor Africans more worse off than we were under Apartheid. They are amateurs, and they are very good at malgovernance.

Wilson tries to explain and clarify and put into context the points made above"

"The only way that we can be in the condition we are in, as a people, is to believe lies. Our mentality has been reversed and our behavior made backwards because we take the li for the ruth, and the truth for a lie. A small minority in the world can only rule by making backwards the mentality of the large majority. It makes mentally backward the large majority by reversing the truth, creating lies and getting the majority to believe the lies that it creates.

"European historiography lies in may ways, It even lies when ostensibly telling the truth. An effective propagandist doesn't want to tell too many big lies, to many obvious lies; he wants to tell the truth in a sort of way that gets him where he wants to go.

"We have to recognize that European history-writing is an institution the way any other discipline is an institution. And the function of institutions in any oppressive society is to maintain the status quo. I don't care what institution we may talk about; whether we talk about the family institution, the criminal justice institution, the economic institution, the religious institutions, the health establishment, the educational institutions; they all have thing in common in a Eurocentric oppressive system — to maintain the status quo and to maintain African people in Oppression.

"We must keep this in mind. It is not so much what they say or don't say they represent. It is not so much what they say or don't say they represent. It is how they function that is of importance. The European writing of history in tandem with everything ls European, and its purpose is ultimately the same: to maintain European power and domination.

"Historiography may function as 'propaganda' — propaganda being an effort to persuade people to a point of view on an issue. History can be used to intimidate. ... They talk about the great discoveries they've made and we say to ourselves, "Hey, we'd better hang in with these people because if we lose them, we're going back to the Dark Ages."

"We think this way because they've destroyed our confidence, our capacity to think for ourselves and to believe that we are capable of creating a world as great or greater than the Eurocentric one that presently exist. In this way, European historiography functions to maintain a social system, to "psychologic" and create a personality orientation in its reader and hearers.

"Even if we forget every fact and detail of inflated Eurocentric history, its intimidatory impression stays with us even when the content is lost. That's the point of it, to leave the impression, because that impression will become a dynamic source of behavioral orientation toward the world."

This is what I have been saying above about e ANC, they are the lackeys of Western Imperialism, its interests and cultures and so forth. We are ruled by people who have readily accepted imperialistic rule and domination, and they are getting better at being quislings, cut-throats, turncoats, scoundrels and very arrogant about their newly acquired behavior. The ANC has facilitated for the decolonization and imperially dominated South African Africans, again.

Big Data And Democracy


Information And Communication Technologies...

Professor Schwieg writes:

There are both challenges and opportunities that information and communication technologies offer democracies. Information Technology (IT), also known as Information and Communication Technology (ICT), is concerned with the use of technology in managing and processing information, especially in large organizations.

ICT deals with the use of electronic computers and computer software to convert, store, protect, process, transmit and retrieve information. New computing and communications technologies are starting to make an impact on the democratic processes and participation in Australia and around the world. The past 20 years have seen the acceleration of the use of computers and other communications technologies. There have been significant impacts on the economic and social life of Australians and there have been considerable implications for political participation and democracy.

Types of technology

The obvious technologies that are having, and will continue to have, an impact on democracies include personal computers, the internet, the World Wide Web, electronic mail (email), telephone systems, mobile phones, pagers and fax machines. Computer technology is also being used more and more in political and government institutions and organizations. The computer's ability to store large amounts of information, and then to quickly retrieve this information makes it particularly useful. The information that is stored in computer databases is causing concern about the privacy of individuals.

Debate over use of ICT in democracies

There is much public debate over the use and impact of ICTs in democracies. There are arguments that these tools increase access to information at low cost, but the technologies reflect the people and politics that create them which may create bias.

Any new technology can affect a democracy and the way it functions. Information and communication technologies can support, undermine, or restructure the work of policy makers such as party officials, members of parliament and other bureaucrats. Television, for example, changed the way parliament operated and greatly increased the influence of the media in politics.

Information and communication technologies have the potential to change the way people vote, how politicians campaign, the information kept on voters, access to information by voters and the production and distribution of knowledge.

Challenges that ICT presents

The impacts of information and communications tools on democratic cultures can be both positive and negative. The challenges that ICT presents to democracies are many.

From the perspective of political equality, new ICTs offer the opportunity for more people to become involved in politics. Information is power, and the internet can act as a democratizing and equalizing force as it provides individuals with easy access to a vast array of alternative information sources. The internet offers a forum for those who might previously have been unable or unwilling to engage in debate on issues of concern to them. The challenge is to make sure that everyone has equal access to the new technologies and is able to use them efficiently.

Online information

Information and communication technologies increase the amount of information available. One challenge is to determine the reliability of the information found online. Citizens may concentrate on one area of information and overlook other issues or points of view. There may be a lack of local content as the international media has significant advantages over local media. There will also be different levels of access to the new technologies as people with lower economic means, with disabilities, and the aged may not be able to fully use the new technology.

Privacy and rights of individuals

A challenge that people in a democracy face with regard to ICTs is the issue of losing their privacy. While overall the internet has been seen as allowing more freedom of speech, it should be remembered that the technology is not entirely democratic. Cyberspace opens up new possibilities for surveillance and monitoring of individuals' behavior. Internet Service Providers (ISPs), hackers and other external entities can keep track of people's web habits and private correspondence.

Citizen identification

One major problem which needs to be overcome is that of citizen identification. If secure elections, voting and other secure citizen-to-government transactions are going to happen online, citizens must have some form of identification that preserves their privacy and protects against identity theft, information overload and vandalism.

Websites and discussion boards

The new ICTs provide the possibility for citizens to see more clearly the workings of the government and for governments to engage in more extensive forms of consultation with citizens. The challenges here are to design websites and forums to meet community needs in terms of easily accessible information and the storage of digital records. Current websites rarely provide detailed information about how an organization works and there are now often greater barriers to accessing online information.

The internet does not always provide reliable information. Particularly in emotional debates, the views expressed may lead to negative reactions. Abusive verbal exchanges online have become a well-known problem for discussion forums and internet chat rooms. Some political parties for example, have had to shut down their discussion boards due to fears of legal action and negative media coverage.

Technology and Non-Privacy..


Technological Conundrum

Privacy in the present day viral stream is a misnomer. Many way of communications have been part of the growth of the Web. But privacy is a farce because the data being stored is easily being monitored and the habits or viewing habits of the user are closely monitored. So that, it makes sense to see privacy in the modern era as something that is merely semantics but does not comport to reality.

Democratizing information is depended on those who dictate what it is that suits their democracy. Online information is just that, the information that is readily and is accessible online only. This is also depended on the burgeoning and merging/converging technologies and their techniques.

But these technologies and their techniques, as observed above, dictate these democracies and it is changes that are a facade of democracy from the way they are set-up. Somehow this information, about those who participate in this democracy is being utilized and manipulated by those who wish to reach certain ends.

Information technologies and its data provide for diverse and different access to different data, whilst ignoring or not highlighting other types of information. This obviously creates a bias in information dissemination and gathering, but it is an advantage to those who are in charge of and control such information.

This differentiate access and dissemination of information to those of the poor bracket in society and life. This inbuilt bias is a carry-over from the analog ways of communication and interaction of the past era. All the disadvantaged groups from many pockets of social strata, are in the end affected and not taken into consideration by the Web and its postings and uses.

For all its grandiose acclaim, the Web is still fraught and filled with many inconsistencies and insecurities, and these are growing in number and affects. There are still many loopholes and challenges that have to be put together to create freedom of speech, access and information on the Web o benefit those that are still being incapacitated and have their privacies not well protected by the usage and the emerging and merging technologies and their techniques.

Civilizaition As A Technological Phenomenon


Aphorisms By Jacques Ellul

I thought at this juncture I should just post the musing and potpourri of aphorisms by Jacques Ellul below:

A Potpourri Of the Musings And Aphorisms By Jacques Ellul...

“Modern technology has become a total phenomenon for civilization, the defining force of a new social order in which efficiency is no longer an option but a necessity imposed on all human activity.”

“The individual who is the servant of technique must be completely unconscious of himself.”

“Science brings to the light of day everything man had believed sacred. Technique takes possession of it and enslaves it.”

“True technique will know how to maintain the illusion of liberty, choice, and individuality; but these will have been carefully calculated so that they will be integrated into the mathematical reality merely as appearances!”

“No technique is possible when men are free.... Technique requires predictability and, no less, exactness of prediction. It is necessary, then, that technique prevail over the human being.”

“Our civilization is first and foremost a civilization of means; in the reality of modern life, the means, it would seem, are more important than the ends.”

“The goal of modern propaganda is no longer to transform opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief.”

“There are different forms of anarchy and different currents in it. I must, first say very simply what anarchy I have in view. By anarchy I mean first an absolute rejection of violence.”

“For the word is dialectical in itself and at the same time is integrated into the whole of existence. By this I mean that the word is intended to be lived.”

“In sum, thought and reflection have been rendered thoroughly pointless by the circumstances in which modern men and women live and act.”

“It is the emergence of mass media which makes possible the use of propaganda techniques on a societal scale.”

“Mass media provides the essential link between the individual and the demands of the technological society.”

“Modern technology has become a total phenomenon for civilization, the defining force of a new social order in which efficiency is no longer an option but a necessity imposed on all human activity.”

“The intellectual who wants to do her work properly must today go back to the starting point: the woman whom she knows, and first of all to herself. It is at that level, and at no other, that she ought to begin to think about the world situation.”

“The orchestration of press, radio and television to create a continuous, lasting and total environment renders the influence of propaganda virtually unnoticed precisely because it creates a constant environment.”

“What seems to be one of the disasters of our time is that we all appear to agree that the nation-state is the norm. … Whether the state be Marxist or capitalist, it makes no difference. The dominant ideology is that of sovereignty.”

“Journalistic content is a technical complex expressly intended to adapt man to the machine.”

“Again I want to emphasize that the study of propaganda must be conducted within the context of a technological society. Propaganda is called upon to solve problems created by technology, to play on maladjustments, and to integrate the individual into a technological world.”

“The most favorable moment to seize a man and influence him is when he is alone in the mass. It is at this point that propaganda can be most effective.”

“Modern technology has become a total phenomenon for civilization, the defining force of a new social order in which efficiency is no longer an option but a necessity imposed on all human activity.”

“Hate, hunger, and pride make better levers of propaganda than do love or impartiality.”

“...Because of the myth of progress, it is much easier to sell a man an electric razor than a straight-edged one.”

“This is where each individual must decide for himself. The essential thing is the decision to challenge the modern state, which without this small group of protesters will be checked by neither brake, value, nor reason.”

Technological Democracy or Democrazy?


Technology: Good or Bad?

The Environment Site states:

"It is a common attitude in the environmental movement that technology is something to be avoided. I have read posts and articles by multiple people that advocate the throwing away of technology, but the truth remains that we are tool making creatures. We have close animal relatives who use tools to this day and they still manage to live in harmony with nature while using appropriate technology. Primates use sticks and rocks, birds use sticks and otters use rocks. When we observe this in nature we can conclude that using tools and technology is neither good nor bad. It is the use to which they are put along, with the way they are implemented, that makes their impact good or bad. However some people think we should just to get rid of it all.

Unless we want to return to the trees it is impossible to remove all technology. The fire we use for heat, the shoes we wear on our feet, and the clothes that cover our bodies are all examples of technology. The use of tools is a part of our existence as human beings. They have been a piece of our lives ever since our ancestors started their first intentional fire. Technology flows through our history like the golden threads of a beautiful tapestry. We have let the tapestry get dirty and now it needs cleaning up.

The dirt on our tapestry is the result of technologies use by humans. When we were a young species we didn’t know how to clean up the messes we were leaving behind. We didn’t understand that pouring stuff in the water would kill us later. We didn’t understand that planting the same crop in the same place each year affected the quality. We certainly didn’t know that burning wood was putting pollution into the air. However we have learned better. But, in the course of learning, we let people take control who didn’t care. They used the methods and products for their own selfish needs and didn’t care about the effect on other people.

It is this lack of caring that lies at the core of our environmental problems. So many of our problems from war to racism to abuse to crime find fertile ground here. It is fed by the economic system which encourages the amassing of personal profit at the expense of others. In order to prevent further environmental degradation we need to change this. Only when we have truly modified our mentality and approach to life can lasting changes be made. Any changes we make in the meantime will certainly suffer from that short-sighted approach to life. Technology will always be a part of us but we have to approach it in a rational and compassionate way.

We learn from Michael S. Malone that:

Technology in all of its forms -- social networks, smart phones, the Web, instant messaging, online gaming -- is a net loss for today's young people, at least according to one group of Silicon Valley eighth-graders.

"It's bad for us, but it sure is fun," said Eric Bautista, 13, one of the students in Sister Jolene Schmitz's junior high school class at Resurrection School in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Admittedly, this informal survey offers, at best, only anecdotal evidence. Still, it is pretty shocking that a group of young teenagers, all of them technologically very astute and living in the very heart of Silicon Valley, would come to such a conclusion.

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These kids, born about the time the Internet became widely adopted, live within blocks of where the Intel microprocessor, the Apple computer and the Atari video game all were invented. They spend their days (and nights) surfing the Web, playing online games and instant messaging. Most have cell phones in their backpacks. And many have at least one parent who works in the electronics industry.

Yet, when asked to weigh the benefits of having high technology in their lives versus the costs -- intellectually, emotionally, socially -- of that technology, the class voted 31-3 negative … a ratio so extreme that it argues against an aberration and toward a larger question about the overall impact of technology on the lives of our young people.

"We try to find the happy medium," said Stephanie Abreu, 13, "But we don't know where it is."

This isn't to say that the eighth-graders, all of them heading off to top-tier Silicon Valley high schools, don't love their tech toys and tools. On the contrary, when asked to list all of the positives about tech, they weren't short of answers: access to information with unprecedented scope, the ability to socialize with large groups over vast distances, 24/7 multi-media communication, and perhaps best of all, whole new worlds of entertainment.

Moreover, this brave new digital world has always been part of their lives and, perhaps a bit jaded by it all, they find the idea of a world without computers and cell phones surprisingly appealing: In a class vote, one-third of the students said they would prefer to have lived in the long-ago, pre-tech world of the late 1950s.

When asked what they find wrong with living in our modern, wired, Web world, the students had no shortage of answers, most of which fell into a half-dozen categories. I'll let the students largely speak for themselves -- voices describing the dark side of the tech revolution with a sincerity few of us adults have ever heard before:

Time-waster: "Technology is the key to procrastination," said Kenny Kobetsky, 14. Eighty percent of the class said they had missed sleep because of playing on the Internet, 50 percent said they had forgotten to do homework for the same reason. "The Internet is just so tantalizing," said Nick Gregov, 14. "I actually think McDonalds is healthier than my computer," added Blake Billiet, 13. Though the students did admit that the Web and cell phone can save time that used to be burned up driving to the store or library, few felt that these gains exceeded the many hours wasted on text or Web surfing.

David Bollier writes," Even with the proliferation of the Internet's many networking functions, today's centrally distributed "mass media" -- the gatekeeper-controlled systems of broadcasting, cable and satellite TV -- are likely to remain in place for years to come." He wrote this in 1996 before the world came into the new millennium and it remains true to date.

Kim Thompson et al., informs us:

As access to the Internet continues to expand, potential voters will have available an enormous variety of resources to help them connect with the political process.

Many people now turn to social networking to discuss political issues as well. Hanselmann (2001, p. 4) states, "In terms of political information, the Internet promises the availability of more information for the average citizen and more individualized information content that is dictated by the recipient — to a greater extent than is possible with most other forms of media. Providing citizens with information on politics, policy and government, it is argued, will empower them to play a more active role in civic life."

Further evidence suggests the internet is becoming the main source of news media for anyone who can get connected. An example of this would be America Online. "America Online, Inc., [AOL], the nation's largest online company, had 1 million subscribers in 1994, 5 million in 1996, 10 million in 1997, 18 million in 1999-and more than 22 million subscribers today. More people now get their news from AOL than from the top five daily newspapers combined" (Western 2001).

With all of the access to social networks there is more discussion between friends and family online via blogs, emails, and forums to read and review before one goes to vote. The Pew Internet and American Life Projects reported"

"Just over one-third of Americans [36%] are involved in a civic or political group, and more than half of these [56%] use digital tools to communicate with other group members. Indeed, 5% of group members communicate with their fellow members using digital technologies only.

"At the forefront is email-fully 57% of wired civic group members use email to communicate with fellow group members. This makes email nearly as popular as face-to-face meetings and telephone conversations for intra-group communication" (Smith, et al…)

"Further research by Pew Research Center for the People & the Press revealed '23% of American adults fit into a news-audience category they call ‘Integrators.' They get the news from both traditional sources and the internet, and they comprise a more engaged, sophisticated and demographically sought-after audience segment than those who mostly rely on traditional news sources...

"Traditionalists' make up 46% of the population. This is an older, less educated, and less affluent news segment that is particularly tuned into the TV news. One salient feature of Traditionalists' behavior: Unlike the news Integrators, or those who mostly get news from the web, most Traditionalists say that seeing pictures and video, rather than reading or hearing the facts, gives them the best understanding of events" (Lee).

"The information available online related to government, politics, and democracy is astounding. As a new national election cycle begins; looking at voters' motivation becomes the forefront of thought among politicians. The NASPA Journal of College and Character on the topic of, The Internet and College Students' Motivation to Vote stated the following"

"The results illustrate that not only politicians, but educators should be cognizant of this civic engagement process.

"Schools and teachers of all levels are on the front lines of the battle to create a more informed, more involved citizenry; higher education has a strong influence on motivation to vote. Though speculation abounds regarding the information age, new access to information via technology simply does not have the impact that many, especially in the media would like to imagine. In reality, it is the educator that has the largest role in predicting college students' motivation to vote."

A study by the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society (SIQSS) concluded in their article titled "The Impact of Internet Use on Sociability: Time-Diary Findings" that if people are on the internet then they are not spending time on another social activity. "Time can be reallocated-from time spent with friends, family or on social activities to time spent on the Internet-but not expanded; it is indeed like a hydraulic system, where increases in activity in one area reduce time available for other activities,"(Nie and Hillygus 2002, p. 9).

If individuals are spending more time on the internet in general, it is expected that their sources change from television or printed media to online newspapers, emails, blogs, or political websites.

So that, we learn from Thompson et al.,that:

The first is that the use of the internet and communication networks is directly impacting the democratic process by influencing participation in political processes such as voting.

The second is the use of the internet and communication networks is allowing for a better informed voting population.

The third is the use of the internet and communication networks is surpassing traditional print and broadcast media outlets as the primary information source during the election process directly impacting the decisions of voters.

Subsequent studies do tend to follow suit that the Internet is positively impacting political activity amongst the population, but specifically tend to increase political activity in those groups that are already active. Namely the well educated and financially secure. The latest study from the Pew Internet Group conducted in August 2008 found that, "Just as in offline civic life, the well-to-do and well-educated are more likely than those less well off to participate in online political activities such as emailing a government official, signing an online petition or making a political contribution." (Pew 2008)

Over the past few years, a noted shift occurred from traditional communication networks and technologies to more advanced technology mythologies. Along with this, there has been a significant shift in the thought process of potential voters in evaluating political candidates, as well as, supporting or not political legislation. A central issue that has been moved to the forefront has been the ability of how individuals send and receive information.

According to the web article, Direct Democracy and the Internet, written by Dick Morris, the impact the internet on developing a better informed voter is a reality. The author stated the following, "The Internet will accelerate both the greater flow of information and the increased reliance on public opinion in legislative decision making."

News websites cover political information and public affairs far more extensively than even the most thorough of newspapers and certainly in vastly greater depth than any television news programming. Indeed, if one were to compare, on a typical day, the number of stories covered in the pages of The New York Times-arguably the most inclusive of newspapers-with the public affairs stories reported online, the Internet user has access to a far wider range of information.

There have been several attempts from a political informative point of view, to develop a novel and enhanced communication methodology processes to assist democratic government with the utilization of advanced digital technology processes. The most promising of these have emerged from the internet and communication networks arena. These latest communication processes relative agendas and evaluations are currently being researched to determine the value derived from this communication process.

Most of the early attempts to evaluate such processes have naturally focused almost exclusively on the comparison of tradition versus advanced communication technology effectiveness. However, theory suggests that enhanced internet and communication networks have sustained important public information benefits. The web article in Imaging the Internet stated the following:

'The News media, politics and governance promise to change the most thanks to the all-publishing, all-connecting nature of Internet communications.

"The most obvious effects on news media are the rise of weblogs supplanting the public's attentions to traditional news media, and the slow death of newspapers ... We can expect the nature of socio-political interaction to change as well, potentially changing the way prospective voters make up their minds — or even how frequently and consistently they vote on any given race or cause."

Lotte E. Scharfman coined the phrase "Democracy is not a spectator sport." The words insist that action be taken in order for democracy to progress. In 2009, there are more publicly funded training programs to integrate unemployed and impoverished people past the digital divide. With all of the availability to the average citizen, it is reasonable to believe that internet and communication networks have become an integral part of the democratic processes. Furthermore the limitless information potential allows for the public to access mass media and communications networks to discuss, protest, and advocate all forms of democratic government and rule.

Does the Internet play a vital role and to what extent does it continue to factor into political activity and voting? The variety of reporting, facts, and findings provides information that the internet and mass communication networks are inconclusive as the necessary survey could not be performed to confirm or falsify our hypotheses. While it would appear that the internet is beginning to mold the way people communicate about politics and policy, further studies need to be conducted to validate the claims that it is increasing political activity amongst those that do not currently participate. In today's world the basic manner in which information is shared and communicated has been significantly changed based on the advancement of technology.

All Hands On Deck On The Computer And Web


What If We Put Computers In All Peoples Hands? - Steve Jobs

"These latest communication processes relative agendas and evaluations are currently being researched to determine the value derived from this communication process. The web article in Imaging the Internet stated the following,

"The News media, politics and governance promise to change the most thanks to the all-publishing, all-connecting nature of Internet communications. With all of the availability to the average citizen, it is reasonable to believe that internet and communication networks have become an integral part of the democratic processes. Furthermore the limitless information potential allows for the public to access mass media and communications networks to discuss, protest, and advocate all forms of democratic government and rule."

I have selected the part above to try and enhance a view I have about the new media of communication that we have today. It is a fact that the Internet has affected and effected news dissemination, gathering and propagation. This means that a lot of things have changed. This does not exclude the fact that we are going to have to do a comparison and contrast between analogue media and digitally splurging media coverage, disbursement and intended affects and effects. One should note that the way we understand and use media today, is vastly different from the past was of human communications.

We are here talking more or less about the past two decades-the change in the news media's dissemination, propagation and gathering of news is enhanced by the burgeoning merging and constantly emerging technological techniques and their embedded gizmos. We have a news stream, that reaches all and sundry who can afford to annex it, which is quite different rom the times when people were living in a one-way non participatory news reading, gathering, dissemination and propagation.

People today can make their own news, disseminate it, propagate it and gather and read what they want because of the broadened ability to do so. It was nonexistent in the past twenty years. Tw plus or more decades later, people are not only listening to, reading and receiving news from reporters, radio TV newspapers and videos. People are producing, making, dictating, designing, have a plethora of choices as to what news means and is to them. This is news and quite a serious change.

The media landscape has changed narratively/content-wise-also, the environment of human communications and usage and application, has seen the dawn of the real Technological society. The past society was that of passive consumers, but not users and produces of the media as is the case today. In these days of Technological and communication revolution, the ability to control(somewhat) the content and propagation/dissemination of news is now being determined and streamed by anyone who wants to do so.

Also, that means we now have a new environment whereby, ordinary people, are now part of and makers of the news and content of the media. The proliferation of this reality, of their environment whereby the man-in-the street can use Google, read and write blogs, design and dictate what content to read or write-the many outlets that accessible and enable them to find it easier to use the type of communication I have listed above, really informs us that we are indeed living in the shadow of the Internet.

The Internet determines for, and enables all and sundry to go lockstep within this new media experience and intoxicating effects. The dependency provided for and enabled by the new gizmos and the access to the Web, in many way buttresses the fact that the internet does has some form of power over us. It has even displace our cognitive abilities, and it has taken over most of our informed mental faculties and functions. Everything is to be Googled-that was no so ten decades ago-today, many people believe that what life is_Google and the web to interconnect and interact with people Globally.

TV was the at the front of grabbing the attention of the world. But is was still a crude way of human communication which seems so outmoded now in the technological age. Steve Jobs put it best when he mused:

What if we put a computer in everyone's hands. This is exactly and precisely what has happened and has happened, and two decades plus later, it is taken as a present future normal. It is no longer, ow, computers in the hands of the many, but that many people, with the more sophisticated mobile phone, are hooked-online with ease.

These new gizmos enable people to control and dictate what their lives are going to be about or should be. The embedded cameras and video/audio mechanisms, have affected the way we used to live and communicate, to everything now being photographed and video-taped. How we comport ourselves in the pubic and the privacy, is like communication on steroids. The web has taken over, assisted by the new gizmos, which have disabled our cognition and increased out dependency on the Web and the new merging and emerging gizmos.

Even if there's going to be a lot of research still to be done on the way and role played by the Web in affecting and effecting us, we already see and know some of these effects and affects. Texting; chatting, posting, 'Friending and Unfriending', spam, 'like', saving, cutting and pasting, ring-tones,vibrating gizmos; gizmos on silence; face-to-face interpersonal technological communication; voice typing; language translation; google, twitter, Hulu, Instagram; Facebook, and the jargon, vocabulary and verbiage is ever increasing and new gizmos and techniques excallerate and enable the new words to keep apace with the morphing and ever changing techne and technological societies and its users.

This is the change that was not present about 20+ decades ago. Today, the Web is the go-to means of communication to reaching out and touching the world and meeting people in very remote areas on earth-in an instant. This means, that the change I am talking, spurred as it is, by the Web, portend for some goodness to come out of this new environment; also, there are many bad sides to the booming and burgeoning technical gadgets and their being enabled by the Internet to be humanly adaptable, and ordinary-people-friendly and easily accessible and readily enabling.

'Ipso Facto' - So Does Technology


The New Present Future Is Changing And Affecting/Effecting Us More Than We Are letting On

New technologies have changed our way of life and behavior over the past two decades or so since the advent of the computers and the Web. There has been a large paradigm shift in the way we are as a people: how we communicate, talk with each other; network across the globe instantly; acquiring the newly emerging and merging burgeoning technologies and their ever changing and morphing gizmos. We have see a whole slew of society changing and becoming transformed in ways never heretofore imagined just three decades ago. This change is immense and all-encompassing and total.

This is a lot to chew on grasp as simply as that, though it be true to some extent what I have just postulated upon, it is nonetheless that there are really tangible and substantial changes that have occurred in different societies as a result of these new technologies, the web and computers. Now, these computers are hand held in the form of mobile phones which too have had an adverse impact on society and people's live and realities, that, it is worth pointing out, as I have done above, change has happened to human beings as a result of these new toys and enabling Web that are now in constant use more than they have ever been before at any time in our existence.

Technology is not only challenging democracy, but the very existence on Man. By this I mean, in its transforming prowesses, technological technique and its attendant gizmos are the force that is changing and transforming us. Access to the means of communicating over vast spaces on earth and diverse geographical and cultural backgrounds, has brought about an endearing and new friendship on a human communication level like at no other time in man's existence on earth.

Instantaneity and immediacy has replaced long term process like telegrams, letter writing, phone, radio and many other means of analogical communication that we had up to the emergence of these new technologies and their gizmos had going for us. The Media Ecology has changed and so it has changed and affected many in ways that we see today as being common, talking on the phone; gazing into the phone, in the street, train, cars; being enthralled by the enabling Web to constantly be Online, playing games, texting, video conferring, applying Apps in the various function and processing and dictating and determining what and how we do communication with each other and many more ways than I am really tabulating here.

The upshot here is that not only is technology and its embedded techniques changing and transforming Democracy, but it has affected and effect the very cognition and essence of man more than three decades to date. Our dependency on these gizmos and their enabling techniques and stream, facilitated by the Web, is still unfathomable to date since we are still evolving and morphing to the dictates of change and transformation being engendered by these new technologies and their enabling gizmos, that many of us and our children imagine that's the world has always been...

When one begins to understand the Media in the McLuhan sense and adages, it becomes less hazardous to postulate on the present media systems as I have tried to thus far, their pernicious effects on Man, today… is what I am really concerned with. There are many other good benefits of the new and emerging media, but some of us are still gullible to its glitz and blitz, hat we are not even able to use our cognitions to critic the burgeoning mediums and media and its enabling Internet.

I am a Media Ecologist and am really interest in the environment created by these emerging and merging media octopuses that are spread-out like out own nervous system, globally, and what these environments are, and what are we getting on or not getting from being immersed in them. This is a tall order, and I cannot claim to cover all the ground needed to be dealt with in such a topic or field. But, Media Ecologists view helps me to constantly keep the tabs on these emerging and merging technologies, their Viral stream and gizmos, as to, what extent these have and are still changing and affecting our very existence, profoundly and without let-up… Constantly.

We have to accept the fact that present-day communications creates our present new realities, for according to Watzlawick:At first glance this may seem the most peculiar statement, for surely 'reality' is what it is, and communication is merely a way of expressing or explaining it..Our everyday, traditional ideas of reality are delusions which wee spend substantial parts of our daily lives shoring up, even at the considerable risk of trying to force facts to fit our definition of reality instead of vice versa.

"And the most dangerous delusion of all is that there is only one reality. What there are, in fact, are many different versions of 'reality,' some of which are contradictory, but all of which are the result of communication and not reflections of eternal, objective truths."

Media ecology, upon inspecting the anagogic mechanistic times: The [African] Drum, the Spoken Word, the Written word, Clothing, housing, Money, Mechanical clocks, Print Media/communication, Comics, the Printed Word, Bikes, cars, pales etc, Photography, the Press, Ads, Games, Telegraph, the typewriter, the Telephone, Phonograph.LPs-Vinyl, Tapes, movies, Radio, Television Automation and lastly the Web/Computers[today]. All these were very important in the analogic era, and now, we have transcended and morphed into the New technologies and their emerging and merging gizmos, enabled by technique and the Internet.

Today it is a different story, and this is the change I am talking about above in the part of this Hub. The old technologies, some have been swallowed up by the new technologies and their gizmos with embedded and enabling We, are the bane of our reality. We have so become dependent, it is as if, overnight, society just transformed and morphed into this technological society that is barely three decades in its functioning and manifestations, today...

We are informed by McLuhan in the following manner:

"After three thousand yeas of explosion, by means of fragmented and mechanical technologies, the Western world is imploding. During the mechanical ages, we had extended our bodies in space. Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned. Rapidly, we approach the final phase of the extensions of man-the technological simulation of consciousness, when the creative process of knowing will be collectively and corporately extend to the whole of human society, much as we have already extended our senses and our nerves by the various media... Any extension, whether of skin, hand, or foot, affects the whole psychic and social complex."

Meaning, the mechanical technological gadgets and automation of the analogical era, have extended our senses in various ways. We come into the 'Technological Society,' a la Ellul, have already experienced and living the analogical extensions, which spawned through their collective existence and function, the new technological society we are immersed in today. Therefore, the 'change and affects/effects' I have talked briefly about above, are psychic and socially complex by their very nature and manifestation.

James Reston Wrote:

"In the mechanical age now receding, many actions could be taken without too much concern. Slow movement insured that the reactions were delayed for considerable periods of time. Today this action and the reaction occur almost at the same time. We actually live mythically and integrally, as it were, but we continue to think in the old, fragmented space and time patterns of the pre-electric era and age."

So that, as we talk about change, we are actually lagging behind in a significant way. Our thinking is analogical in a digital era we are still trying to configure-but the mid-set is that of a rearview setting and reality. We are still using analogic sensibilities to contemporary digital splurging data sphere and sophisticated technique. This does not comport well, and informs us that we are going to have to seriously study and understand our new media and all what comes with its new ways of human communications and interactions-globally and instantaneously instant.

Reston continues to add thus:

The aspiration of our time for wholeness, empathy and depth of awareness is a natural adjunct of electric technology. The age of mechanical industry that preceded us, found vehement assertion of private outlook the natural mode of expression. Every culture and every age has its favorite model of perception and knowledge that is inclined to prescribe for everybody and everything.

"The mark of our time is its revulsion against imposed patterns We are suddenly eager to have things and people declare their beings totally. There is a deep faith to found in this new attitude-a faith that concerns the ultimate harmony of all being. Such is the faith in which we can begin to understand the Media and its effects and affects on us."

"Ours is to explore the contours of our own extended being in our technologies, seeking the principle of intelligibility in each of them. One can say of the Media as theobald has said of economic depressions:

"There is one additional factor that has helped to control depressions, and that is a better understanding of their development."

Reston concludes:

"Examination of the origin and development of individual extension of man should be preceded by a look at some general aspects of the media, or the extensions of man, beginning with the never-explained numbness that each extension brings about in the individual and society."

This is profoundly pithy, and this is what this Hub is attempting to do... A very intricate and complex undertaking which will be furthered in this Hub as it extends the e written and printed material data, and bringing the awareness necessary to inform Man about the new and emerging technologies and their gizmos with embedded and merging a, converging and submerging techniques and flow within the Viral Soup(Web)

Birds Of A Fascist Feather Flop Together

Drumpf(Trump) Equals The Third Recih(Hitler)

Drumpf(Trump) Equals The Third Recih(Hitler)

Trumps saluting his followers whom he made to pledge to vote for him, with what looks like a Hitlerian Salute..

Trumps saluting his followers whom he made to pledge to vote for him, with what looks like a Hitlerian Salute..

Trump's Followers raising their hands pledging to vote for Trump.. Looked like a German salute of the Third Reich..

Trump's Followers raising their hands pledging to vote for Trump.. Looked like a German salute of the Third Reich..

The Fuehrer(Hitler) Holding His Nazi Salute

The Fuehrer(Hitler) Holding His Nazi Salute

Germans in the early thirties saluting Hitler...

Germans in the early thirties saluting Hitler...

Trump And The Application Of Twitter Towards Being A US President

"Donald Trump: "I will Make America Great Again!" Adolf Hitler: "Deutschland Ubber Alles![Germany Is Above All!]...

The Trump Saga and so-called Movement is the rise of White Supremacy in America today. No matter how one may choose to spin, Trump has arrrested the fatigued Americans, and now they have a delusions of grandeur that they have arrived as Americans: Gonna Be Great Again".

So far as I am onto this article, Trump has won 11 states, thus far, with a mass vote coming, mainly, from some White people who were no more voting, and those of other races who regard themselves as Republicans, and those swept along by the current waves We need to be more than vigilant here in South Africa and rise of Trumpism.

I am talking about Trump because this directly affects us here in Mzantsi. The state of Democracy in the United States is on shaky fascist moorings-becasue of Trump.

It would be instructive for the people of Mzantsi to pay attention to the Trump Reich, and remember whence we emerge from here in Mzantsi, and where were today-still, where we might be headed with Trump at the Helm.

My observations are also that whilst Trump's bellicose retorts hold the people's attention, he is eyeing the whole public loot/riches that is the the US government. This is just my postulations, for I do not see it any other reason for his meteoric rise, mostly amongst White people who had stopped voting .

But the other dicey thing is how the so-called but rising minority, the Hispanic population, the Africans in America collectives, and other non-European people, have been isolated by Trump, and this is going to come back ahd haunt his campaign.

Below is a re visceral response to Trumpism:

Louis C.K. is the latest public figure to criticize Donald Trump, calling him an “insane bigot” and comparing him to Adolf Hitler.

In a Saturday morning email blast announcing the sixth episode of his web series “Horace and Pete,” C.K. included a lengthy postscript urging readers not to vote for Trump.

“Please stop it with voting for Trump,” C.K. writes. “It was funny for a little while. But the guy is Hitler. And by that I mean that we are being Germany in the ’30s. Do you think they saw the sh-t coming? Hitler was just some hilarious and refreshing dude with a weird comb over who would say anything at all.” Check out Trump's hairdo.

Later in the email, C.K. implores his conservative readers to vote for a different GOP candidate.

George Clooney Calls Donald Trump ‘a Xenophobic Fascist’

“We shouldn’t have to vote for someone because they’re not a shocking cur — [that] billionaire liar,” C.K. writes. “We should choose based on what direction the country should go… If you are a true conservative. Don’t vote for Trump. He is not one of you. He is one of him. Everything you have heard him say that you liked, if you look hard enough you will see that he one day ck said the exact opposite. He is playing you.”

C.K. added, “Trump is not your best. He’s the worst of all of us. He’s a symptom to a problem that is very real. But don’t vote for your own cancer. You’re better than that.”

See the full postscript below:

P.S. Please stop it with voting for Trump. It was funny for a little while. But the guy is Hitler. And by that I mean that we are being Germany in the 30s. Do you think they saw the shit coming? Hitler was just some hilarious and refreshing dude with a weird comb over who would say anything at all.

And I’m not advocating for Hillary or Bernie. I like them both but frankly I wish the next president was a conservative only because we had Obama for eight years and we need balance. And not because I particularly enjoy the conservative agenda. I just think the government should reflect the people. And we are about 40 percent conservative and 40 percent liberal.

When I was growing up and when I was a younger man, liberals and conservatives were friends with differences. They weren’t enemies. And it always made sense that everyone gets a president they like for a while and then hates the president for a while. But it only works if the conservatives put up a good candidate. A good smart conservative to face the liberal candidate so they can have a good argument and the country can decide which way to go this time.

Trump is not that. He’s an insane bigot. He is dangerous.

He already said he would expand libel laws to sue anyone who “writes a negative hit piece” about him. He says “I would open up the libel laws so we can sue them and win lots of money. Not like now. These guys are totally protected.” He said that. He has promised to decimate the first amendment.

(If you think he’s going to keep the second amendment intact you’re delusional.) And he said that Paul Ryan, speaker of the house will “pay” for criticizing him. So I’m saying this now because if he gets in there we won’t be able to criticize him anymore.

Please pick someone else. Like John Kasich. I mean that guy seems okay. I don’t like any of them myself but if you’re that kind of voter please go for a guy like that. It feels like between him and either democrat we’d have a decent choice. It feels like a healthier choice. We shouldn’t have to vote for someone because they’re not a shocking crude andbellicose billionaire liar.

We should choose based on what direction the country should go.

I get that all these people sound like bullshit soft criminal opportunists. The whole game feels rigged and it’s not going anywhere but down some more. I feel that way sometimes.

And that voting for Trump is a way of saying “fuck it. Fuck them all”. I really get it. It’s a version of national Suicide. Or it’s like a big hit off of a crack pipe. Somehow we can’t help it. Or we know that if we vote for Trump our phones will be a reliable source of dopamine for the next four years. I mean I can’t wait to read about Trump every day. It’s a rush. But you have to know this is not healthy.

If you are a true conservative. Don’t vote for Trump. He is not one of you. He is one of him. Everything you have heard him say that you liked, if you look hard enough you will see that he one day said the exact opposite. He is playing you.

In fact, if you do vote for Trump, at least look at him very carefully first. You owe that to the rest of us. Know and understand who he is. Spend one hour on google and just read it all. I don’t mean listen to me or listen to liberals who put him down. Listen to your own people. Listen to John Mccain. Go look at what he just said about Trump.

“At a time when our world has never been more complex or more in danger… I want Republican voters to pay close attention to what our party’s most respected and knowledgeable leaders and national security experts are saying about Mr. Trump, and to think long and hard about who they want to be our next Commander-in-Chief and leader of the free world.”

When Trump was told what he said, Trump said “Oh, he did? Well, that’s not nice,” he told CBS News’ chief White House correspondent Major Garrett. “He has to be very careful.”
When pressed on why, Trump tacked on: “He’ll find out.”

(I cut and pasted that from CBS news)

Do you really want a guy to be president who threatens John McCain? Because John McCain cautiously and intelligently asked for people to be thoughtful before voting for him? He didn’t even insult Trump. He just asked you to take a good look. And Trump told him to look out.

Remember that Trump entered this race by saying that McCain is not a war hero. A guy who was shot down, body broken and kept in a POW camp for years. Trump said “I prefer the guys who don’t get caught.” Why did he say that? Not because he meant it or because it was important to say.

He said it because he’s a bully and every bully knows that when you enter a new school yard, you go to the toughest most respected guy on the yard and you punch him in the nose. If you are still standing after, you’re the new boss. If Trump is president, he’s not going to change. He’s not going to do anything for you. He’s going to do everything for himself and leave you in the dust.

So please listen to fellow conservatives. But more importantly, listen to Trump. Listen to all of it. Everything he says. If you liked when he said that “torture works” then go look at where he took it back the next day. He’s a fucking liar.

A vote for Trump is so clearly a gut-vote, and again I get it. But add a little brain to it and look the guy up. Because if you vote for him because of how you feel right now, the minute he’s president, you’re going to regret it. You’re going to regret it even more when he gives the job to his son. Because American democracy is broken enough that a guy like that could really fuck things up. That’s how Hitler got there. He was voted into power by a fatigued nation and when he got inside, he did all his Hitler things and no one could stop him.

Again, I’m not saying vote democrat or vote for anyone else. If Hilary ends up president it should be because she faced the best person you have and you and I both chose her or him or whoever. Trump is not your best. He’s the worst of all of us. He’s a symptom to a problem that is very real. But don’t vote for your own cancer. You’re better than that.

That’s just my view. At least right now. I know I’m not qualified or particularly educated and I’m not right instead of you. I’m an idiot and I’m sure a bunch of you are very annoyed by this. Fucking celebrity with an opinion. I swear this isn’t really a political opinion.

You don’t want to know my political opinions. (And I know that I’m only bringing myself trouble with this shit.) Trump has nothing to do with politics or ideology. He has to do with himself. And really I don’t mean to insult anyone. Except Trump. I mean to insult him very much. And really I’m not saying he’s evil or a monster. In fact I don’t think Hitler was.

The problem with saying that guys like that are monsters is that we don’t see them coming when they turn out to be human, which they all are. Everyone is. Trump is a messed up guy with a hole in his heart that he tries to fill with money and attention. He can never ever have enough of either and he’ll never stop trying. He’s sick.

Which makes him really really interesting. And he pulls you towards him which somehow feels good or fascinatingly bad. He’s not a monster. He’s a sad man. But all this makes him horribly dangerous if he becomes president. Give him another TV show. Let him pay to put his name on buildings. But please stop voting for him. And please watch Horace and Pete."

It is important at this juncture to put a perspective and clear structure of this Political Technique.

According to Ellul:

"Politics in turn becomes an arena for contention amog rival techniques. The technician sees the nation quite differently from the political man: to the technician, the nation is nothing more than another sphere in which to apply the instruments he has developed. To him, the state is not an expression of the 'will' of the people more a divine creation, nor a creature of class conflict.

"It is an enterprise providing services that must be made to function efficiently. He judges states in terms of their capcity to utilize techniques effectively, not in terms of their relative justice.

"Political doctrine revolves around what is useful rather than what is good. Purposes drop out of sight and efficiency becomes the central concern.

"As the political form best suited to the massive and unrpincipled use of technique, dictatorship gains power. And this in turn narrows the range of choice for the democracies: either they too use some version of the effective technique - centralized control and propaganda - or they will fall behind.

"Not Understanding what the rule of technique is doing to him and to his world. modern man is beset by anxiety and a feeling of insecurity. He tries to adapt to changes he cannot comprehend.

"The conflict of propaganda takes the palce of the debate of ideas. Technique smothers the ideas that put its rule in question, and filters out for public discussion only those ideas that in substantial accord with the values created by a technical civilization. Social criticism is negated because there is only slight access to the technical means required to reach a large numbers of people."

According to Ellul: "life is not happy in a civilization dominated by technique. When the outward show of happiness is bought at the price of total acquiescence.

The Technological society requires men to be content with what they are required to like; for those who are not content, it provides distractions - escape into absorption with technically dominated media of popular culture and communications."

Trump's tweets are now the news feed. Whatever he says, gets more attention than any other Presidential candidates. The Cable media and other outlets which depend on their income from Adverts, are swallowing this schpil hook and sink, and no hold-barred attitudes and determination. Well, the reason is simply ratings-which translate into mega-profits."

Hitler promised a fatigued Germny from the World War I that he would make them great again. He did. Built the Army-we witnessed the Blitzkrieg and so forth... He made the German economy functional and he spoke of the Aryan Super-Race.

White supremacist are make Robo-calls on behalf of Trump, and Skin-head's violence is on the rise, and many of Trump followers are White people, and many protesting minorities are being thrown out and beaten by some of his minions at his rallies-akin to the Brown/Black Shirts thugs of Hitler.

"Take them out of here".. Trump will be heard speaking onto the Mike - Which his muscle-men manhandle and throw out would be protesters, and at times roughing them up bit. This has been recorded, one can check out some of the scenes on YouTube.

Rather than being simply pedantic about the era of Trump, it would be more instructive to have a sense of the following historical facts.

The unique nature of National socialism(Nazism) propaganda lay in its combination of traits common to tother nations' war efforts with a demonology and an idealism that made sense only in the context of historical experiences and culrual traditions shared by the German people. .. Domestic propaganda was effective in mobilizing the nation even when Germany was on the verge of defeat.

German wartime propaganda aimed at enemy populations was largely ineffective.Goebbels'mind and experience could only speak to Germans, and in commanding tones and exhortations of Nazi ideology. Since this tone was real and not affected, it could not be dropped when addressing alien peoples for whom it had no attraction.

German conservatives and diplomats of the old order sensed this failure, but they could little about it, for the propaganda apparatus belonged to the National Socialist, not to technicians or cosmopolitans.

Even when Goebbels finally began to speak of "Europe" he was speaking as a German to Germans. Self-interested fascist collaborators and a few duped idealists outside the Reich believed in this idea, but it had to fail.

To National Socialists, "Europe" meant the organization of a vast territory under German control. Even this propagandistic concession to a deteriorating military situation had little appeal witj
within the Reich.

The battle cries of victory or death, triumph or Bolshevism, germans or Jews, total triumph or total defeat, sacrifice unto death or the end of the German nation, were far more effective in mobilizing German nation until early 1945.

This was the war Hitler won through Goebbels, the man he chose as his successor. The Nazis appealed to the highest German values and perverted them. They used the lowest instincts of an 'unhappy nation', and built successful campaign based upon "idealism" and hatred....

Sounds familiar? Trump's rally was postponed today on the 11th in Chicago when the protesters were too numerous to be jostled and punched around by Trumps minions-and it is reported that 30 people have been arrested. As I trae the history and similarities between Trumps rise and that of Hitler, it is because he acts like Hitler and Mussolini.

I have touched above at how Trumps cajoles, and exhorts his herd to throw out protesters, to the extent he spoke into the kinks to the crowd how he would like to punch that person himself-yesterday, on the 10th he made mention that in the 'old days' those protesters would have been beat up badly. This is what has been going on in Trump's rallies, and it is showing throughout the social media, and this is why this article is important.

It is important to South Africa because America runs our lives, and what happens there, affects us. We are still living in the state of Apartheid hangover, and are now inebbriated by our gendarme motley crew of African vulture capitalists. As Jose Marti noted, it is worse to be ruled over and oppressed by ones own kind." This has some deadly and serius ramification for us who have hardly emerged from such people like Trump here in our country.

In the case of Trump, we see the rise of a Nzaism that has tolled the United States from its formations and foundations. "Our country has to toughen up poeple", If you get arrested I will take you out and pay for yor legal fees. He is dubbing protesters as 'troublamakesrs hurting America-Big mouth' Get them out and go home to mommy, go home and get a job..

These are not good people- terrible people these people-- I heard this was going to happen, and they wanted me to cancel the rally.. are said no.. These are not the people-- These are the people who are destroying our country.. Get them out.. C'mob, let's go' Drumpf(Trump) exhorting and directing his supporters, today on the 1th of Mach, and in contemporary America.

If no one is watchg this spectale of Trump.. You are being left behind by what is going to Happen to Mzatsi come 2017. Simply put, Trump's speeches are vile, violent and riling up many of his hardcore. The media chortles that the followers of Trump shows how angry the Americans are, and hatred and bigoted racism is high on the list.

The we begin to see signs displayed by Trumps followers proclaiming "The Silent Majoriy". Are they the majority of the American populace as we speak? Yes, there are Skin Heads, KKK and other such White Power groups. But there are those many other non-European races, that put together, along with many progressive Whites, tend to outnumber these Trump "Silent Majority."

Trumps followers are supposedly electrified by his 'careless' talk and they are even exposed to Trump's product brands in forms of champagne, meat and other goodies , and this is is a business venture by Trump into having his hand at the wealth of America-This time, as the President of the United States.. But today Trump ran scared because the university student took over his rally, and he cancelled his rally.

Now of late, on the 12th of March, Trump is now very angry. His last rally for the Day was about 30 minutes sparring and hurling "Get Them Out Of Here", calling the protesters 'sympathizers of Isis' - saying that he stopped the rally yesterday in Chicago because he was afraid of murder.. In fact what is happening now in this opposition against Trump is becoming wider and more violent.

Today some of the protesters were gassed in their eyes ahd had to use milk to clear their eyes. Trump's rallies are more like the Nazi Rallies-they are more like them, than not, in these early stages, and getting worse, by day.

Trump named and identified enemies as Mexicans, Muslim(Islam), African Americans who, according to Trump, are worthless bums, who should go their mommy and get a job, he would holler and exhort his loyal and fervent followers(Majority Whites).

The greatest success of the Gobbels propaganda appratus was reflected in the continuation of the struggle by the German people into 1945, until practically every Gau was in Soviet or Westrn Allied hands. Even in 1945, German propagandists argued that the racialist and heroic ethos of Nazism was succumbing to a demented Jewish-Bolshevick - plutocratic coalition.

Nazi believers saw this defeat not as a historical judgement, but as proof of their own righteousness, for their goodness had conjured up this 'anti-world' of absolute evil, which was proof of the exixtence of good.

This inversion of values represented a total repudiation of the bourgeois liberal world. The fatal attraction of this value reorientation for many Germans was the great discovery of Hitler and Goebbels, who could not have come to power nor maintained their control without it.

We need to pay close attention to the rise of Trump, for we have had the Nazi experience of a type, in our lives-here in Mzantsi. A good book to read is one By Sipo Mzimela(Now late) called "Apartheid: South African Naziism". We here in Mzantsi been living with Nazism, and it still lingers to date. I will be writing an article to show how this country is not our country and is run by Foreigners, outsiders, and the former Nazi Rulers of Mzantsi.

To be sure, man's inhumanity to man is not a modern phenomenon. ... The pages of history are so full of cases of injustice-murder, torture, wars, exterminations-that one is forced to conclude that, of all living creatures, human beings are the most cruel. to say that human beings sometimes "act like animals" is incorrect. The reverse is true.

The Nazis did not invent tyranny, nor were they the last tyrants. What they did was introduce a degree of racial tyranny hitherto unknown to mankind. The tyranny was meticulously planned and executed with almost flawless precision.

At the end of the second World War, the Germans claimed that did not know what the Nazis had been doing to the Jews. If one were to look at what Trump ies doing, were he to come to power, in retrospect, the Americans are going to be saying that did know, believe or think that Trump was the rebirth of Hitler. All the signs are there.. The speeches he makes, the mugging for the cameras as Did Benito Mussolini.... Are some o the many signs that he apes his two heroes to the hilt.

All the enemies he idetnified as 'un-American', the beating up of protesters, him egging his followers that if they punch someone he would pay for their legal fees. He just did that for a 78 year old man who sucker-punched an African protester in one of his most recent rallies. The signs are there for all to see, by the Drumpf(Trump).. But many are enjoying this evil spectacle, not all the American people, though are enthralled by Trump, and as a fatigued nations, Americans, many of them, not all, are enamored by Trump, as a nation.

It is not uncommon to find well-meaning people, during and post Apartheid,, equating the struggle against 'Apartheid' in South Africa with the Civil Rights Movement, especially in the Southern States of the United States.

Forothers, Apartheid is jusFor otouth hers, Apartheid' was and is just a policy of racial sseparation that will and has disappeared with time.. For others, there is now change taking place in South Africa, and, rather than keep pointing a finger at the regime in South Africa, and that it is better to have supported and still support it and encourage it in its supposed-praiseworthy efforts.

To others, 'Apartheid' is dead(alive) and still going strong, today, and if as they say it is dead, no one is willing to say when the funeral will take place As we know,'Apartheid had been introduced in 1948, and up to that time, Whites have had 458 years of contact with the indigenous Africans who saw Apartheid and German Nazism as the same thing, through people like Verwoerd, had gotten hold of the Apartheid Rule Immediately following the Second World War.

Accroding to Wayne Besen:

During my daily talk radio show in Chicago, a Donald Trump supporter called to ask me if it was fair to compare The Donald to Adolf Hitler. I replied that it depended on which Hitler he was referring to. It was wrong, I said, to compare Trump to 1933-45 Hitler. Trump has not hunted down, rounded up, and slaughtered millions of people.

However, it is fair to compare Trump to 1920’s Hitler in Munich. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica: “The SA (brown shirts) was founded in Munich by Hitler in 1921 out of various roughneck elements that had attached themselves to the fledgling Nazi movement. It drew its early membership largely from the Freikorps (Free Corps), armed freebooter groups, made up largely of ex-soldiers, that battled leftists in the streets in the early days of the Weimar Republic. Outfitted in brown uniforms after the fashion of Mussolini’s Fascist Blackshirts in Italy, the SA men protected Party meetings, marched in Nazi rallies, and physically assaulted political opponents…. During the early days of the Nazi regime, the SA carried out unchecked street violence against Jews and Nazi opponents.”

This certainly does seem to describe the inchoate outlines of Trump’s increasingly thuggish campaign. The narcissist is calling on his no-nothing Neanderthals to inflict terror against those who have the gall to speak out against his disjointed, capricious ideas masquerading as a platform.

The hate violence began in late August in Boston after two hoodlums beat up a Hispanic homeless guy. According to CNN, “Donald Trump was right,” the two men said as they beat the man with a metal pipe and then urinated on him. “All these illegals need to be deported.”

Since this alarming incident, the hooliganism has only intensified. At a rally in North Carolina a black protester was sucker punched by Trump follower John McGraw, who later said, “Yes, he deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.”

A man at a Donald Trump rally in Cleveland this week made a Nazi salute to protesters and yelled, “Go to Auschwitz. Go to f….ng Auschwitz.” At a Chicago Trump rally that was cancelled on Friday, Birgitt Peterson of Yorkville, IL was caught on camera with her right arm raised skyward in a Nazi salute. This ignominious behavior is not surprising, considering former KKK Grand Dragon David Duke gave Trump his stamp of approval, followed by the imprimatur of Nation of Islam bigot Louis Farrakhan.

Trump defender Ann Coulter tried to justify the attacks in a pathetic Tweet: “I would like to see a little more violence from the innocent Trump supporters set upon by violent leftist hoodlums.”

In Chicago, two Northwestern University freshmen were accused of spray-painting racist and homophobic messages along with the name of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump inside a nondenominational chapel on the university’s campus. The lowlifes spray-painted an expletive and a slur against African-Americans with a swastika on the chapel hallway. They also spray-painted a disparaging word for gay people on a wall, along with lines spray-painted over photos of Muslim students.

The apparatchiks who defend Trump’s menacing behavior have one problem. These vicious scenes aren’t playing out at other political rallies. This violent vaudeville only occurs in the glow of Trump’s radioactive campaign rhetoric. The heinous words spewed by the candidate are more befitting a prisoner than a president.

The Democrats reacted to the ugly onslaught:

“It is clear that Donald Trump is running a very cynical campaign pitting groups of Americans against one another. He is trafficking in hate and fear,” Hillary Clinton said during an event at Ohio State University hosted by CNN and TV One. “He actually incites violence in the way he urges his audience on, talking about punching people, offering to pay legal bills.”

Clinton charged that Trump was guilty of a case of “political arson” by throwing fuel on political divisions in the country. “He has been incredibly bigoted towards so many groups. You don’t make America great by tearing down everything that made America great.”

“I hesitate to say this because I really don’t like to disparage public officials, but Donald Trump is a pathological liar,” Bernie Sanders said. “I would hope Mr. Trump tones it down big time and tells his supporters that violence is not acceptable in the American political process.”

Comparisons to Hitler’s early Munich days are legitimate. Trump is running a fascist campaign that targets opponents for violence. If you disagree, the chances are your shirt is brown.

This Super Tuesday, although Trump won some states, he is beginning to slow down, and that does not mean he has or will change his message. We here in Mzantsi we should really pay attention to what's happening with this Drumpf(Trump) Fiasco and Fascism.

Drumpf did not really win as he had hope nor gthered enough delegaes to call this presidential a clean-sweep.. For now, he has been stalled, and the saga continues, all the way to November 2016. Keep Tuned to this Timeline

We Should Never Forget This past, Which Is Still With Us Today...

Be Wary Mzantsi Of This Tawdry And Awry Fascism...

1. Drumpf(Trump) Equals The Third Recih(Hitler)

2. Trumps saluting his followers whom he made to pledge to vote for hin, with what looks like a Hitlerian Salute..

3. Trump's Followers raising their hands pledging to vote for Trump.. Looked like a German salute of the Third Reich..

4.The Fuehrer(Hitler) Holding His Nazi Salute

5. Germans in the early thirties saluting Hitler...

6. Benito Mussolini - Trump Mugs For the Media Like Him

Drumpf(Trump) A Copy-Cat Of Hitler(The Fuehrer) Check Out The Hairdo...