Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Demonizing The Blogopshere

It's fascinating to me, this suddenly intense effort by some to demonize the left side of the blogosphere. If you believe them -- if you've never actually spent any time reading blogs, or if you've never read a web site like Daily Kos -- then you'd think that people like me are dangerously far left. Why, you'd think I was downright subversive! You might, in fact, believe that there is some ring leader... some organizing, unifying force that is determined to shove (shove, I say!) the far left down America's throat. Against America's will, of course.

Except for the fact that the blogosphere is perhaps the only pure ideological entity in politics today. It's organic, sprung up from a groundswell of previously untapped human participation. It's also free form... there is no 'leader'. If Kos died tomorrow (and believe me, infamous bloggers get sick and die with cruel regularity) the people would shift to other forums without missing a beat.

The blogopshere is extremely effective in its ability to spread ideas and drive discussion from the bottom up, across the country, almost instantaneously. Although there are some popular right wing blogs, it's definitely a realm for the left -- the regular talk radio/Fox News tv crowd doesn't appear too interested in logging on. And it's growing, daily, hourly, by reader and by writer.

The blogosphere is a dangerous place if the idea of people powered politics scares you or if a shift in the power paradigm means you stand to lose whatever power position you've managed to carve out for yourself. The idea of normal, tax paying, folksy people actually paying attention to politics is not what our current political institution desires. They count on us all wandering around like ignorant sheep, popping our heads up every 4 years to cast a vote based on whether we support abortion or not.

So whether it's the DLC or the GOP or some pundit bloviating on your tv, participatory politics scares the fuck out of the establishment and don't for a minute believe there's anything more to the demonization of the blogosphere than that.

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