The Obama WhiteHouse - Civility, OpenDemocracy and Web2.0

Anchor for this item  posted Sunday, November 09, 2008 at 2:20 PM MST

With Obama's massively successful campaign I've watched Web2.0 do what it does best: drive money.

Now ... now what?
Since the mid-70s I've been surveying the field as I tried to enable civil society with the best IT.
And, as some of you know, the mid-70s was a pretty harsh time ..
East Timor, apartheid coming to a head in South Africa ... harsh.
This hard on the heels of the war in Vietnam ... Cambodia and all that.
And, more personally for me, Chile.
As an airborne-ready SigInt operator I served by interdicting the Evil Empires' attempts to over-throw democratic regimes.
My group interdicted as they tried ... ... but then my group did. I mean we over-threw the democratically elected government in Chile.
Of course cracker trash-talkers will say Allende was a flaming-red Commie ... ... just like they said that Obama was a socialist with ties to terrorist friends.
Crackers don't change much over time.
Does anything? Sure: the tactics for manufacturing concensus and the tecniques for driving money.

Will Obama's oh-so capable team transform the field of governance with something like what I call "participatory deliberation"?
I have reason for hoping so ... lots of reasons ... age old reasons, too, since we're talking about the emancipation project itself.
But is there reason for optimism? I dunno ... it's up to us.
"Yes, we can!" is only operative if we get off our butts.
Crackers and red-necks are going to push Obama's principles towards the ditch.
We can stop that if we try ... if.

But I'm no cynic: given the tools, we'll do the work.
But tools don't grow on trees.
Technology doesn't sprout up out of the ground.
So those who control the money control the agenda ... as usual.
And ain't it a coincidence that Obama takes on a nation that's on the brink ... some coincidence!

p.s. the Obama page on my wiki


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