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Sunday
Nov202011

The revolution will be televised, after all...

The actions at UC Berkeley and now at UC Davis these past days have been eye-opening. Around the country we are seeing civil disobedience being used effectively again.

Image by Pj Seleska.I've long thought that for real social change the following would be necessary:

1. The left would need to claim higher moral ground.

2. Good street theater would need to occur.

3. The above two points both de facto assume the need for civil disobedience.

4. An insistence upon the honest use of language would need to be successfully re-asserted.

I never had much hope of the above actually happening — but it's happening now. For one thing, I thought the eroded nature of public discourse — given corporate media control — was unlikely to be turned back. I assumed the left would need to keep groveling for crumbs of media attention. I listened with a certain agnosticism to reports of the role social media has played in places like Tahrir Square recently. ("Yes," I thought, "cell phones must be something like handy walkie-talkies in the streets now.")

But now that I see social media in effect near at hand in places like Berkeley and Davis, I'm changing my tune — even if only in this important arena of political action. The "people's mike" and "mike checks" are more than poignant metaphors. Cell phone cameras create "citizen journalists" everywhere.

The revolution will be televised, after all.

 

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