I once wanted to work for what we call today Mainstream Media until I realized that the people we see on television, read in newspapers or magazines aren’t even a real journalist, they are more like Hollywood actors or actresses just playing a role that they are directed to play. Who is directing them you might ask? Well, the illusion of choice in our media today is no different from the illusion of choice we have in everyday commerce. As Americans, we are led to believe we have a choice when it comes to what we eat, what we see on T.V., what music or radio we listen to and what we read. How is this so when 85% of the radio you hear is from the same playlist? Why are soaps, cookies, candy bars, oatmeals, sodas, fast foods and everything else in between brought to you by 10 companies? If we are a nation without state-run media then why is 90% of our media brought to us by 6 companies? News Corp, General Electric, Disney, Time Warner, Viacom, and CBS are the 6 companies that currently control our media. In 2010 it was reported by The Frugal Dad that just 232 media executives control the media diet for 277 million Americans that’s one media exec for every 850,000 subscribers or one media executive controlling the media diet for the entire city of San Fransico.
We also have the illusion of choice when it comes to our democracy, how can we be a free and open society when two political parties have ruled the United States for its entire existence? Are we really a free nation when we are told that voting third party or independent is un-American? How many American citizens’s know their tax dollars were used to bomb 11 sovereign nations just last year? Acceptance without opposition only leaves an innocent soul complicit, we are not in control of our government, in fact, the contrary has been our reality for centuries. We are subservient subsidiaries and our collective lack of will to oppose the powers-that-be are the very strings of the puppeteers that happen to control us. The invasion of our privacy both online and offline is not our government’s fault, it’s our own fault. As citizens of this Constitutional Republic, we have a right to know who, what, why and where our private data is being stored, places like 63 Madison Avenue in Manhattan, where the majority of data on Americans is stored. Edward Snowden isn’t a traitor he’s a patriot, certainly more patriotic than someone like James Clapper. World governments aren’t going to stop collecting our personal data via our Internet traffic or invading our personal life via CCTV cameras on our streets we as a global society need anonymity both online and in our personal lives in order to maintain our own sovereignty. The American Revolution was in part because American’s were sick of British officers invading their homes and subjecting them to illegal search and seizures, how is invasive data mining of our private information any different?
We have a right to an actual free and open press that opposes governments instead of getting their talking points from them. We have a right to demand that our elected officials serve their constituents and not the lobbyist who force feed them into immoral obscenities instead of living beings capable of moral judgment. We have a right to be civilly disobedient and this is our imperative, in order to not be mere subservient subsidiaries accustom to daily violations of our rights. We have to stand up against the lawmakers who craft Draconian laws like the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act that stifles innovation and the security of the Internet, this is a law that was written to protect the Web but all it has done is crucify geeks as if a crusade against those the government would deem who-are-smarter-than-us was secretly launched in 1986. The Internet has always been a sanctuary of dissent for the freedom of thought and expression and for combating the illusion of choice in all aspects whether that be in commerce or politics or civil rights, the Internet has proven to be a valuable tool in crafting dissent that’s evident with news outlets like Democracy Now and The Intercept in media and crypto-currencies are another example of dissent created on the Internet and as citizens of the Internet it is our moral obligation to protect this last known sanctuary of dissent and not let the FCC kill Net Neutrality.
We have to combat invasive data mining and storing by embracing encryption and anonymity as of now we are just ducks on a pond waiting to be cataloged liked cattle. Our rights aren’t going to invoke themselves we have to stand our ground and not cower to the badges of local police or alphabet agencies. For years we have stood as witnesses to the deterioration and visible erosion of our Constitution with little or no backlash, it’s as if we as citizens have forgotten the power that we have. We are the supply to their demand, the civilians of their civility, we fight their wars, buy their products, vote for them, protect their streets and show our unwavering devotion via our robust patriotism. What does our government do for us? Some would say they protect us, but they don’t because it is everyday citizens that work for the government to protect us even if all moral integrity has seeped from them they are still just like you or I. A citizenry is less likely to oppose mass surveillance if it is other citizens doing the surveilling. When we think of mass surveillance the government is viewed as this mass entity rather than individuals making individual decisions. Edward Snowden was subjected I’m sure, to this challenge of moral integrity when he became aware of the mass surveillance program to which he chose to inform his fellow citizens of the constitutional infractions he was witness to, I suggest we do the same. Instead of routinely baring witness to constitutional stampeding let’s put politics aside and stand for a government that actually serves the People. Let’s come together as one body in opposition to these aforementioned injustices and forge a new path forward, a path of which is paved by awareness, encryption and the collaboration of our collective will. Up until now, we have lacked the proper platform for both collaboration and awareness, but earlier this year I was invited to join a promising project called the Pursuance Project which was crafted from the brilliant mind of Barrett Brown, this platform offers solutions to many problems activists, researchers, journalist, and the like face. It’s hard to build a movement on platforms like Twitter or Facebook when they are surveillance tools for the very government you are trying to oppose. Same can be said for our media we can’t get our news from the very global corporations we are combating. Pursuance offers a secure ecosystem of opposition to institutionalized injustice. It is no secret to those that know me personally that I believe Pursuance Project will make a huge impact in our world in the very near future.
The text on Pursuances website describes what pursuance will look like, “Visualize a vast three-dimensional space in which each participant is represented by a floating sphere. Any of them may create or join a pursuance – a process-based civic entity consisting of a series of agreed-upon relationships. If a participant chooses to create a pursuance, it will appear as a box connected to the participant’s sphere by a line. This box represents the source code or DNA of the pursuance; access to the box, which is initially held solely by the originating participant (“primary”), represents control over how the pursuance will grow. Later, the primary may decide to allow others a degree of control over the project’s fundamentals; this arrangement is represented by their own spheres being linked directly to the cube as well. In nearly all cases, the primary will also delegate powers as the pursuance grows. All of this occurs in two mediums – the user dashboard and a visualized space in which the pursuance universe is represented by an array of spheres, cubes, and interconnecting lines.
I implore anyone who reads this to go to pursuanceproject.org and research this project for yourself if it excites you as it did me then I hope you will consider joining Pursuance and becoming part of a system of true process democracy. Our current system of perpetually feigning justice and constitutional ravishing shouldn’t be a normality just as standing up to these institutionalized injustices shouldn’t be an abnormality. When is the last time we as citizens put our political banter aside, stood up for something and created actual change? How long will we watch this cycle repeat itself? Are you going to allow these injustices? Accept our realm of mania as the norm? I’m asking for us not to be subservient materialistic subsidiaries aloft in our monetary system ignoring our deteriorating surroundings as long as we have the latest iPhone. It’s time to acknowledge the faults of our government and stand together as one against big corporations and big government because like I.F Stone once said: “All governments lie”.
By Joziah – @Dapeaple