Almost every time One Pissed Off Liberal posts a diary, a small army of commenters rush in to challenge it. And almost always that challenge revolves around the lack of a reasonable strategy to affect the change that he is calling for. The argument really comes down to the idea that talk is cheap - you can decry the injustices of the world all you want, but unless you have a 5 point plan to address them, you should really just shut up.
The flaw of this argument, however, is that it fails to understand the true power of Daily Kos, and the internet revolution in general. It fails to understand that until people are aware of the problem, they cannot be organized, or motivated to take action to solve it.
Understanding the source and nature of our real power is essential to maximizing it.
The most powerful force in our modern world is not government, politicians, the military industrial complex or even Wall Street directly. It is the big, agenda setting media - and mostly the television networks. Their ability to control information, shape the parameters of acceptable discourse, and spread lies and misinformation trumps all other forms of political power - including protests, political campaigns, and any other action you can think of.
This is what we're up against. This is what Democratic leaders who want to do the right thing are up against. A zeitgeist of pundits on the payroll, PR firms, news publishers and tv producers, radio talk show hosts, and others who all serve to shape the American consciousness into accepting the status quo and believing that real change is both impossible and dangerous.
How many times have you turned on your TV and thought, 'what world are they in? Don't they know what's really going on?'
Of course they do. It is their job to keep the rest of us from knowing it though. The self appointed role of the agenda setting media is to maintain a stable and docile society. To keep us happy consumers and protect the corporate economy. Providing the public with disturbing news of the state of the world is not on their agenda. The people might revolt.
And this is the good side of the big media. The truly nasty side is the spread of lies and misinformation to serve the perpetual war machine, feed on people's fears to make them compliant and powerless, prop up evil regimes like very popular guy you want to have a beer with Mr. Bush, and serve the goal of corporate empire.
From "news" to entertainment programming, the big media is nothing but one big infomercial. And their selling the corporate takeover of our country - indeed the world. And the feckless public, unaware of how they're being manipulated by the cleverest of means, is buying it. Sort of.
Out of all the actions we can take, none is more important and more effective than what OPOL and the rest of us are doing right here - challenging the zeitgeist, informing the people, and raising awareness. OPOL is particularly effective at this task because he takes it to the next level and goes beyond informing. He inspires.
The internet as a means of spreading political knowledge is the best weapon we have against the very real corporate takeover of our country - and other countries as OPOL pointed out. Those who mock and condemn OPOL and others as all talk and no action are forgetting an incredibly important point - all action must first begin with an idea.
The Vietnam protests were the response to information. Information that was spread by the big media who, at that time, had turned on the war.
The big media has somewhat turned on the war now, it seems - or at least Bush's bungling of it. But the Bush admin and the Pentagon are highly effective at keeping them in line. They went into this war with hindsight of how a few brave journalist ended the war in Vietnam. And so they took steps, like embedding journalists for example, to prevent a repeat.
But the broader issues of the general fascist like elements affecting our world are largely unknown to the masses. We here are on the front lines of the information war. We mine data from disparate sources and connect the dots and dig up the truth. Most however, are still getting their information from the fascist-like media. We have a lot of work to do.
People have always been able to organize and protests etc. The whole "let's take over the party from the grass roots" is not new either.
What is new, and gives us hope, is this ability to spread information and knowledge. This is our real power. And that's why the big media people have been trying to discredit us from the start.
I'm all for taking action. But, quite frankly, we ain't there yet. The public, and the necessary consensus we need for real change, is lagging behind, still drinking MSM cool aid.
Before people can begin taking meaningful action, they must first be informed about why action needs to be taken. And let's face it, they aren't. They watch Desperate Housewives and Britney TV and are mesmerized by flashing colors on their screen and have no fucking idea that they are conquered.
If even half of the American public were as informed as we are here, we would be living in a different country. And that, my friends, is the real power of Daily Kos.
So next time OPOL or others post an awareness raising diary, and the predictable critics pop in to ask, "what are you going to do about it?", ask them how many people they informed today? How many people got a little closer to understanding the truth about their world as a result of you?
Most historians believe the printing press was one of the greatest developments in human history for a reason. It facilitated the spread of knowledge and gave people the power to understand and change their world.
This is our new printing press. And using it is very much taking action.
And to all you super organizers, leaders of meetups, and even you OPOL with you protest drives, please keeps something in mind. People don't need to be pushed to organize and take action nearly as much when they are informed enough to be outraged.
That's what we're doing here. Write it and they will come.
Update [2007-10-7 19:42:32 by TocqueDeville]: To be absolutely clear: This diary merely seeks to challenge the argument that blogging is not a valid form of political action. It is a challenge, or rebuttal to an argument. Not to the individuals who may make that argument. Peace.