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April 30, 2006

Peer to peer

In April, 2004 the Kerry campaign's CTO invited a group of professionals with expertise in online community development to create a plan for building grassroots support. The campaign ignored the plan, choosing to remain focused on a more traditional, top-down campaign strategy. I was a member of that group, along with Jock Gill. A couple of weeks ago Jock posted at Greater Democracy about the need for a more peer-to-peer organizing principle:

All of this is a round about way of getting around to the point that we must understand how the dominant organizing principle our national communications infrastructure shapes and determines our politics. If we want a truly democratic politics, based on the notions of equality with justice and fairness for all, based upon truly symmetrical relationships, we will have to have a communications paradigm that supports that goal.

Currently we do not. The dominant organizing principal in American communications is one that is fundamentally asymmetrical “Master/Slave” in nature with limited ability for the average citizen to participate and dependent upon rigid control of the distribution process. Why else would the current beneficiaries of this organizing principal demand draconian Digital Rights Management, with Infinite Copyright, and go to such great extremes to vilify and demonize peer-to-peer approaches? Indeed, the current communications paradigm, as enforced by the FCC and thus the US government is, at its heart, anti-democratic in both principle and fact. In truth, our current communications concentrates power in the hands of a few, supports a politics of oligarchy, and rule by the wealthy 1%. One clear result is today’s dominant politics of money, with humanity working for Mammon. It requires that we be sheeple.
A lively exchange follows, in the comments section, featuring Joe Trippi, Jock, Valdis Krebs, Zack Exley, Sanford Dickert, Rayne Today,and yours truly.

Posted by Jon Lebkowsky at 2:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack