Monday, February 14, 2005

Non-Governmental Politics

Politics that isn't about government? Isn't that outside the dictionary definition of "politics"? Well, no. When I asked Google for a definition (define:politics), this was the top result: Definitions of politics on the Web - social relations involving authority or power ( I'm not giving up on writing letters to my Congresscritters just because Republicans have all three branches of the federal government in their hands at the minute. However, other forms of political action must be engaged in, or the forces of repression, hate and fear will more firmly establish their death grip over not just goverment, but every other form of power over us that they can grab.

Just read two articles that lead to this thought process. In Alternet MediaCulture: America Offline and Online, Zephyr Teachout discusses ways that the progressive movement can use the Internet to build community OFFline. What a concept -- people meeting together, seeing one another, discussing issues and agreeing on local projects. I hope that this article is widely read. She says, "if we start to think of the internet as an organizing tool first – a database of places as well as ideas, a database of calendars as well as pictures, we can also build a completely new social structure. It won't look like the voluntary associations of the 1950s, but it might get us past the isolation of the aughts."

On the Center for Digital Democracy, Jeff Chester and Gary O. Larson's article How to Prepare for the Era of the Speedy Internet discusses making sure that the broadband of the future is not co-opted by the corporations. We have, as a society, insured that television and radio served the public interest, no matter how flawed that effort has been. How are we insuring that in the new high-speed Internet? Read this article, and get involved:

Anybody have any other great resources for non-governmental political action?

Interesting site mentioned in one of my favorite weekly NPR shows, On The Media - Center for Public Integrity:

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - Martin Luther King, Jr

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