It has been suggested by an academic colleague that we post our political views online. Could be a good way of making sure we never get that job we are after, but never mind. Let’s not be silenced by that kind of intimidation… After all, the silences we participate in can be damning.
Anyway, having been through 1960s radicalism / revolutionism, a few years ago I wryly came to the conclusion that contrary to orthodox left opinion, the revolution actually did happen, but most of the lefties were looking the other way at the time. The revolution of our era is the one you are looking at now – the digital revolution, the networked society. It is mind-blowing, and at the same time it isn’t all good. It is a stupendous collaborative achievement, but it is so far from doing everything and righting every wrong.
My brain hurts (mostly) when I have to listen to conventional politics. It reminds me of when my mother used to participate in market research. She’d be given two packets of laundry powder, one yellow and one blue. She had to use them both, and answer a questionnaire about the differences between them. But she wasn’t dumb. She knew they were both the same, and they were testing the color of the packaging. Nonetheless she kept it up for free stuff. But I get sick of “Brand A” and “Brand B”, same-shit-different-bucket, especially when it’s not just washing powder – and people’s lives and our entire habitat is at stake.
But I can’t fix it all by myself, in fact there is very little any of us can do. So then I start thinking that if each of us does our little bit it might be good. For this reason I have decided that while I will no doubt support some political issues and causes as they come up (e.g. I’m attending a memorial vigil for the SIEVX in late October), my civic engagement is going to be mainly with the politics of the internet. I’m well placed to do that, as I am working toward a Master of Internet Studies.
Most people aren’t aware of internet politics, so I have a lot of work to do (along with all the others who are doing this) in a limited time frame, because the structures being developed now will have a decisive impact. Our collaborative tasks incude educating the public, and all decision-makers, about the social and economic importance of a neutral internet; curbing the excesses of digital copyright so that creativity can flourish; and maintaining the networked public sphere free from undue political or corporate pressures. Of course, there’s an endless list really. Just like everywhere else, it is about ownership and control, and the social implications of that.
So there, good people, are my political views. If you expected something along the right-left dichotomy, go to politicalcompass and see why I don’t think like that. Who will I vote for in this year’s election? Wishing the Liberals would listen to Malcolm Fraser but they hate him; wishing the local Labor guy wasn’t a speedbump; wishing the local Greens hadn’t expelled some people I trust; keeping an eye out for a Climate Change Coalition candidate… sigh.