MoveOn.org -- Online Democracy In Action
Philosophically, in our age of Enlightenment values and the rise of science and technology, it seems sometimes that we lose our humanity, and that we don't notice or even contemplate the reality of death from a Cruise Missile shot from hundreds of miles away. Or the suffering of a city unhinged by war and lack of leadership or authority. Or disastrously inadequate water and medical facilities for a people we have liberated. Or even the suffering and injustice that happens here at home, along with the lack of feeling of vestment by the common American in political affairs. A feeling as if we're not connected, not able to make a difference, not realistically able to work together to affect change and forge a more responsive democracy. In other words, to use a metaphor of the Internet, to overcome a perceived scarcity of political bandwidth, a scarcity which seems to make active participation too expensive to accomplish.
And so as we doggedly pursue freedom and technological and utopian consumerism, and escape into entertainment and television, it seems we become ever more isolated from the world that nurtures us, and the cultures that surround us, even as we force this world and its cultures to become ever more interlinked and intertwined through global flows of information, money, commerce and knowledge. Faced with all of this, what is a grassroots, hands-on movement to do? To still matter?
MoveOn.org has an answer. In their efforts to mobilize people, and to form electronic advocacy groups based upon items of concern to both reasonable defense of freedom and democracy and compassionate action to alleviate unnecessary suffering of the unfortunate, they help raise the level of participation possible in society to near heroic levels.
Whether it's fighting corporate offshore draft dodgers, encouraging letters to the editor in support of an enlightened, collective approach to the realization of a future democratic Iraq, or creating a vigilant Media Corps to urge greater and more responsible reporting and involvement by our media, these are but examples of why this organization deserves much praise for its outstanding work and grassroots innovation using the Internet.
Noone knows exactly where the future is going, but as Americans we treasure freedom, and as human beings we treasure compassion. We share this with all other peoples, and as the world goes global, we need to make sure this is exactly what we are communicating. Moveon.org has the right idea, and global advocacy as a phenomenon is on the bubble and about to explode. Join in, and take charge of your freedom, country and world.
Also, along these lines, Lisa English ruminates on another organization involved in grass roots democratic action - Reclaim Democracy. Corporations are not people, do not have an innate love of freedom, and do not feel compassion for their fellows. Think about this for a moment, and then go over and read about reclaiming democracy.