I wrote this in reply to a very well written piece by a guy called Chris Hedges. It is spot on in it's analysis of America's "democracy" as 'inverted totalitarianism' but I felt it needed a bit of optimism to say the least.
"It isn't sustainable though. In order for it to be sustainable the web would have to be uninvented.
The full essay I wrote on why this is can be found at on my website.
In summary: Power structures remain intact only so long as it retains a monopoly on memetic production of culture. We are memeplexs (dawkins/dennett/blackmore), a combination of genes and memes. Control the memes and you control peoples concept of reality, identity and self. Lose control, and comparative memes are allowed in that can challenge and counter the rationale of those in power.
Religion, the state and now capitalism have all enjoyed historical periods of memetic monopoly, a chance to saturate culture with their memes not just in their own time but, through memetic artifacts (language, art etc), into the future as well. The religious memeplex lost ground to the state through the enlightenment. Modernism allowed the state to take its place, turning devoutly religious populations into religious, devoutly patriotic populations. Now that capitalism has completed its silent coup de te, populations are (less) religious, patriotic, devout defenders of capitalism, all displaying exactly the same characteristics of being adept at ignoring the evidence put before them.
The internet changes things. I can now diversify my memetic influences, coming to know the once unknown on a global level. And so are others, on the other side of the world. There are now people in every country of the world that would regard themselves as more memetically similar to each other than with the rulers of their respective countries.
Elites, both politicians and business the world over, share more memes with each other than with the common man they claim to represent. Democratisation of memetic production with a global reach augers the mother of all revolutions.
Capitalism is sowing the seeds of it's own destruction. Can you see them stopping in their quest to extend the internet to all corners of the globe? As more unknowns become knowns, the arguments of the ruling elite will sound ever more irrational. The state is by definition nationalistic; the new generation will be beyond that. The old generation was that way because they had nothing to compare it too. They had only the word of the state.
When there are no unknowns left, what will the politicians use to Induce fear? I predict that they will kill two birds with one stone. It will be those who exhibit a global morality, not just a nationalistic one. Rally the sheep to attack the first, and last, real threat to the status-quo.