How did our political system grow into what we have today? Author Francis Fukuyama on political order and the inevitability of conflict.
Tagged with “democracy” (6)
At the start of the twenty-first century we were promised that the internet would liberate the world. We could come together as never before, and from Iran’s ‘twitter revolution’ to Facebook ‘activism’, technological innovation would spread democracy to oppressed peoples everywhere. We couldn’t have been more wrong. Morozov destroys this myth, arguing that ‘internet freedom’ is an illusion, and that technology has failed to help protect people’s rights. Not only that – in many cases the internet is actually helping authoritarian regimes. From China to Russia to Iran, oppressive governments are using cyberspace to stifle dissent: planting clandestine propaganda, employing sophisticated digital censorship and using online surveillance. We are all being manipulated in more subtle ways too – becoming pacified by the net, instead of truly engaging. This event marks the publication of Evgeny Morozov’s new book The Net Delusion: How Not to Liberate The World.
The author of many books, including The Embarrassment of Riches and National Book Critics Circle Award winner Rough Crossings, Simon Schama is a Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University. A cultural essayist for the New Yorker, he has written and presented more than 30 documentaries for the BBC and PBS, including A History of Britain and The Power of Art, winner of an International Emmy Award. Using the 2008 presidential campaign as a launching point, Schama’s The American Future (also a BBC documentary) explores America’s identity through its military might, religious fervor, complicated relationship with immigration, and staggering abundance.
Organizing in the Obama Era The Perils and Promise of Civic Mobilization
The Obama campaign vividly demonstrated the power of mass civic participation. But many organizers still struggle with questions of efficacy and legitimacy. Panelists addressed the following questions:
* Can we mobilize large groups of people while also fostering a sense of engagement by individual participants? * How can an organization’s members hold their leaders accountable? * What distinct challenges arise when working with communities that face social, economic, or political marginalization? * How can we apply lessons from electoral campaigns, which are date-specific and focused on candidates, to community- and issue-based organizing?
Veteran organizers Zack Exley, Ai-jen Poo and Zephyr Teachout discussed these and other questions as they drew lessons from past mobilizations—including the Dean and Kerry campaigns, Domestic Workers United, MoveOn.org and others—and offered ideas for building grassroots power today.
Bill Vandenberg, director of the Open Society Institute Democracy and Power Fund, introduced the panel.
The Open Society Fellowship program presented a discussion with fellow Evgeny Morozov on citizen journalism in emergency situations. The conversation focused on coverage of the recent crises in South Ossetia, Mumbai, and Kenya.
For background on this topic, please see Morozov’s recent article on the shortcomings of citizen journalism in the South Ossetian crisis: "Citizen War-Reporter? The Caucasus Test" (Open Democracy.net).
Thomas L Friedman takes a fresh and provocative look at two of our biggest challenges – the global environmental crisis and America’s surprising loss of focus and national purpose since 9/11 – and shows how they’re linked. He argues that we need American commitment and leadership in a green revolution, a revolution that will be the biggest innovation project in history, one that will inspire us to summon all the intelligence, creativity, boldness and concern for the common good that are our greatest human resources.
(Oct 14, 2008 at London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE))