My son the Bodhisattva told me some time ago that he expected to see governments become irrelevant...not to be seized, not to be overthrown, not to be burned to the ground but to simply fade way.
It was difficult at first for me to see how that could or would happen, but now I think I get it. It has a lot to do with the Internet and web culture oddly enough. These days you can shoot a protester with a rubber bullet in Oakland and they know about it in Tahrir Square, Bangladesh, Tahiti and Siberia almost instantaneously. So go ahead and shoot some more protesters you assholes. When you attack us you make us stronger. Just ask Tony Baloney.
Anonymous Outs NYPD Officer Who Pepper-Sprayed Occupy Wall Street Protesters
The loosely organized hacker collective Anonymous has identified NYPD Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna as the man seen pepper-spraying two women unprovoked at the Occupy Wall Street protest over the weekend, but they're not just leaving it at that. The Internet vigilantes, using photographic evidence of Bologna on the scene and a close-up of his badge, wasted no time in putting together a file on the officer, including a possible phone number, addresses, and the names of his family members, warning ominously, "Before you commit atrocities against innocent people, think twice. WE ARE WATCHING!!! Expect Us!"
I can remember engaging in passionate discussions back in the late 70s and early 80s about the democratizing potential of personal computers and networks (there were these cool new things called acoustic couplers). And this is way before the Internet as we have known it was obvious to virtually anyone. ARPANET (which would eventually become the Internet) was a thing but almost no one outside of the military or academia knew anything about it. Our wildest visionaries could not dream of what was coming.
But then came message boards, IRC and the World Wide Web and suddenly large numbers of anonymous people from all over the world were engaging freely in conversation about anything and everything. And as the Web and access to it grew and proliferated so did the conversation. And from this mass meeting of the minds there emerged a nascent culture which has continued to evolve and mature, and exert its influence.
As strange as it seems many of the most powerful aspects of Web culture grew out of a simple message board started in 2003 by a fifteen year old kid called 'moot' to discuss Japanese anime and manga. Talk about unintended consequences. His site 4chan soon became notorious, and among other things spawned Anonymous.
4chan is an English-language imageboard website. Launched on October 1, 2003, its boards were originally used for the posting of pictures and discussion of manga and anime. Users generally post anonymously and the site has been linked to Internet subcultures and activism, most notably Project Chanology.
4chan users have been responsible for the formation or popularization of Internet memes such as lolcats, Rickrolling, "Chocolate Rain", Pedobear, and many others. The site's "Random" board is by far its most popular and notorious feature. Known as "b", there are very minimal rules on posted content. Gawker once jokingly claimed that "reading b will melt your brain".
The site's Anonymous community and culture have often provoked media attention. For media planners, this enterprise is "further proof that creativity is everywhere and new media is less accessible" to advertisement agencies. Journalists looked at how an Internet destination was hijacked for a prank, so that images of Rick Astley appeared instead of the page that was searched for; the coordination of attacks against other websites and Internet users; and covered the reaction to threats of violence that have been posted on the site. The Guardian once summarized the 4chan community as "lunatic, juvenile... brilliant, ridiculous and alarming."
Since everyone has an equal voice on the Internet, Web culture is aggressively egalitarian and democratic. And when people are all truly equal and democratic they don't need leaders. Everyone is a leader. Consensus rules. That makes the network itself hard to attack. Take out one node and the network routes around it.
The tents may come down. They may throw us out of our parks. But they can't take down the Internet without cutting their own throats, tied as it is to almost everything they care about: commerce, security and etcetera. But the people own the Internet and we're not going away.
The Internet is still in an embryonic phase. We will continue to discover new aspects of the power of unrestricted global communication and collaboration. And we will continue to discover new features of the emerging culture that is not only made possible but also made manifest by the Internet. We will learn how to harness the power of the hive mind for the betterment of humanity. It's happening now.
Who would ever have thought that an Internet app like Twitter could become a devastatingly effective tool for revolutionaries? Who could have foreseen that the great earthly powers could be shaken by a website called WikiLeaks? Who could have imagined that there would one day be electronic vigilantes like Anonymous? (Don't fuck with those guys. You'll have pizza coming out your ears.) Who could have anticipated that an irrepressible worldwide movement could hatch (virtually) overnight?
The old guard has made itself irrelevant by virtue of its corruption and dereliction of duty.
It's bound to be messy and we may flounder a bit here and there but paradigms are shifting and a new world is coming. That you can believe.
“This movement is so beyond, 'Hey let's get this candidate elected.' Those days are over... we've all participated... What did we get? Where are we? We're in the worst shape we have been in this country that I have seen in my lifetime."
We are Anonymous, We are legion, We never forgive, We never forget, Expect us.