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Will Technology Help Inspire Revolution?
|Will Technology Help Inspire Revolution?|
Do you remember as I do the early days of the Iranian Revolution. Young and old Iranians were passing each other bootlegged cassette tapes of the speeches of the Ayatollah Khomeni. He was exiled in France prior to the Revolution and it was (seemingly) his inspiration that swept the country to revolt against the Shah. If I recall correctly, persons in possession of these tapes were immediately imprisoned without trial on grounds of sedition.
Imagine how inspirational content would spread today. Cassette tapes would likely be replaced by CD-ROM- More reliable and can be played thousands of times without damage (didn't you hate it when the cassette tape would unravel and bend). Or, would all the "messages" be sent by e-mail or be downloaded from websites many miles away (safely placed within civilized democratic borders). Interesting thought. Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle and Intel don't advertise how the Internet can cause a "political revolution"
although there many advertisements tout a commercial or social revolution to which they are proud to be contributing members.
When a tyrannical leader wants to crack down or offer a bounty on the head of some opponent, it will now be necessary to have an IT department. The leader's secret police will require computer specialists in addition to experts in torture. Young persons embracing the excitement of revolution will not have to worry about meeting in public to exchange the latest "message". Instead, they will be able to acquire all the information right at home. The easier it is to get the "message" and the less you have to
share/exchange that message with others in a clandestine and dangerous way raises the question as to whether that message will carry the same degree of emotional enthusiasm or excitement as compared to the message cautiously guarded from mouth to mouth or delivered, in the case of a cassette, from hand to hand.
In my view, the technological revolution has made it easier to spread a message of political revolution, however, the process has nullified an essential element of all political revolution, the social or collective effort. Technology has rendered revolution a solo sport. Without the need to spread the message in person and from person to person, revolution is without its ammunition-social interaction.
Not that I expect a revolution any time soon.
Charles von Ryan for FUTURECents.com