An avalanche might be coming - but unless we see it in time and ride it right, we might break the neck of the political movement!
Obviously something is happening to the movements working for social and political change - some of them have found over-lapping or even similar objectives and have joined forces enough to scare the s--t out of the Puppet Masters (1).
Some snippets from the press:
In yet another shocking prelude towards becoming a Total Police State, Russian Intelligence Analysts are reporting today that the American war effort's leaders have issued orders to the United States Military Northern Command authorizing the jailing, and military tribunals, for any American citizen critical of the 'war
Antiwar Groups Rallies around U.S:
Anti-war protests were held around the country on Saturday to call for the end of the U.S. war and occupation in Iraq. United For Peace and Justice estimated 500,000 participants took part in the demonstration in Washington. The police gave no official estimate. Thousands also protested in other cities. Speakers around the U.S.A included senators, presidential candidates, Iraq Veterans, active duty soldiers..... Another anti-war march is scheduled in Washington on March 17 to mark the 4th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.
But is it a beginning or the beginning of the end of this more joint movement?Reaching Critical Mass It is not about the number of famous actors or activists showing up and speaking out, and it is not even about the number of people showing up per se. What is significant is the heterogeneity of them and of the media sources covering it. That, in combination with the "How Many" and "Who", is what better tells if a movement has achieved or is close to achieving "critical mass" - a point at which it almost becomes like a snowball rolling downhill, self-perpetuating and, at large, unstoppable.
The Bush administration - the Puppet Masters behind and within it - may have shot themselves in the foot when they included so many groups of people in those that had to pay a price for their decisions. That made it easy for the activists for political change in Washington DC and elsewhere to make a huge amount of people identify with their anger and support them in their efforts: veterans, active-duty soldiers of all ranks, human rights activists, constitutionalists, members of the decreasing middle-class, the down-prioritized victims of Katrina, people in general fed up with being misrepresented, people seeing a connection between their insecure social security and the increased monetary security of a few recycled corporate- political players- it is now their pain, their loss and their struggle too.That also made a large part of the societal foundation the USA Inc. gets its' financial and human capital from echo the chants of "No more" and "Hell no, we won't go!". It will be hard to mount the backs and drain the pockets of people who both know the game and feel it is more beneficial to stop playing along than continue to be played.
The more groups represented in a movement, the more spread over the media-spectra of technology and different audiences, taken together with the numbers of people in some way and in public risking something personally to be part of it, is what will ultimately matter the most when it comes to the ability for a movement to gather popular support; defeat individuals fears of personal losses and reprisal;and make political, media and financial actors to either back them or at least cease trying to block them. If profit is what makes some powerful, then if it seems more profitable to support a movement than to obstruct or ignore it - then enough political and financial actors will. So far the band-wagon to jump on has not been that of political change - the powers driving for change have been too fragmented in their efforts and actions, too silent (and/or silenced) and have come off as representing too little of the power-base that the population represents. Yes, the people are still - as a whole and if only in unfair competition with money and net-workings in an unfair "game" - a power base due to the need for their human and monetary capital that makes the Puppet Masters powerful and capable(2). Remember that change is always less powerful than inertia, status quo is always easier to maintain than radical differences. That is a disadvantage all societal activists, as well as all those who make promises on New Years Eve, have to take into account. That makes all efforts to achieve any sort of change uphill ones, and if there are societal powers fighting you - even more so. How to create a Snow Ball Although the movement will become more or less self-perpetuating once it reaches a certain point, there are certain actions and achievements that will help it get there as well as get it off to a good start and a goal-oriented journey. It helps to know what it is that makes it self-perpetuating in the first place. Although it can be divided into sub-divisions, the main reason a movement can become an unstoppable force, is that it is perceived as being too risky and costly to try to stop or ignore. And the main reason it also becomes a snow ball, not just rolling put also picking up strength, is because it is perceived as being too profitable or beneficial to NOT support. It is much like in the stock market - if enough actors, or powerful enough actors, start investing into a certain company then others feel they would be silly not to do the same or at least to bet on an opponent since the aggregated support makes the success of the specific stock more likely. The shifting of balance from ignoring and obstructing to attentiveness and support is also true for participants and potential participants as well. Due to the perceived personal risks involved in making a stand against present powers and the status quo that allows them to reign, it will take courage to join an outspoken movement for political and social change to that effect. But, when enough people have dared to speak out and many many more are less vocal but not less devoted supporters, the benefits of following one's heart and being amongst like-minded people becomes out weigh the risks.
Can this be used to an advantage? Yes, most certainly. It can be made more costly to obstruct and more attractive to support a movement if the participants use their achieved level of cooperation and hit directly the financial and political actors supporting that which they themselves fight. In this case - by naming the Puppet Masters and identifying their channels of income and power, political activist movements can - according to their supporters' and participants' varying degrees of ability - declare a boycott or some other action of depriving the Puppet Masters of their power. Especially financial actors are influenced by the power of the purse and the need for good-will among their consumer base to maintain competitiveness. The movement for more local and regional production of goods and less monopolization of markets by such trans-national and insensitive corporations as Wal Mart, Starbucks etc. can here be an important ally in the struggle for making financial power more in line with the values and moral commitments espoused by a movement. Political actors can be pressured by making it absolutely clear that they are well known to their constituencies, and even if they escape accountability on the national and international level there will still be people in their region of residence who knows their phone numbers and office address as well as the promises they made and broke. Many political actors are not in any way less ethical or different in their values when it comes to human rights and democracy, but find themselves trapped in structures not allowing them to stray too far from the party line or the corporate contributors agenda. Others need to be reminded that in the end they are only humans with a revocable contract to represent a collective of other humans with a voice, will and ways to make both known. The power of information and the ability both to put issues on the agenda as well as highlight them, can be claimed by working towards and with the media. The use of well-spoken and publicly known individuals who can present a coherent and honest view of the struggle, making contacts with independent media outlets and supporting their existence are only three important tasks to manage the media to counteract the various overt and covert methods of information management and manipulation that political and financial opponents have at their disposal. These measures have potency both as a strategic reminders as well as realized operations.
Can it be stopped? The greatest risk is loss of belief in ones ability and power, and loss of focus on what is the objective and what is and is not allowed in order to obtain it. The first can result in fragmentation as people fall out and loose courage - themselves starting and becoming part of a snow ball effect of the reversed kind. There will be those in power who won't or can't shift sides and support the force for change, and they might become ever more forceful in their attempts to stop that which is eroding their power-base and changing the rules of the game of which they were the masters. They will use whatever means they deemed worth the risk to try to create disbelievers and sell-outs dividing up and then conquer the movement. The latter can make even the most forceful journey downhill, miss its target and instead cause havoc that will discourage future attempts. One example is the communist revolution in Russia. No matter what one might think of the original goals of Marx, the majority of the mobilized impoverished masses of the working class Russians was certainly not fighting for that which they got. Their human resources - their lives and their values, hopes and dreams - as well as their livelihood were hi-jacked as the struggle was taken over by well-spoken and industrious forces mostly from within the movement itself. The loss of focus and the loss of moral standards can turn any struggle - no matter how righteous in intent - to a replica of what it attempts to fight.
Footnotes: (1) Puppet Masters - people who intentionally uses power of some sort to control international and national politics and markets by to various degrees steering and limiting the politics, information, and finance of nations through means eroding democratic fundamentals. For better description as to who and what they are, see http://www.global-elite.org/index.php/Main_Page http://www.newswithviews.com/Wood/patrick6.htm http://www.augustreview.com/ (2) We are the tax payers, the consumers, the workers and the voters