As Phoenix Ark have renamed the Internet – The Cyberverse, so something should be said about the newly named Anti-Social Networking, after some interest in the blog about London Burning and Boris Johnson. About the co-ordinated use of closed Blackberry Mobile Networks too, in rioting. The truth of human freedom is that we seem to demand many vicious ‘freedoms’ nowadays, and you cannot control the swirling democratic forces of communication, that clearly have both good and bad sides. Good sides when used to fight real injustice and tyranny, bad when used for criminality, violence and attempting to attack real ‘social’ networking – namely some kind of decent and really connected society.
There are many things to be said about thugs, and frustrated young men too, or women, but many about the seeming breakdown of any kind of real Social Contract too. It affects those people who would never think of rioting, as its spreads a rot into difficult corners of society too. There really is a breakdown of power and opportunity at many levels, as lenders turn the screw, and people who look at the bewildering game of Banks and Markets, as Capital always moves upwards in the nature of the machine, increasingly cuts them off from opportunity, chance and hope.
But it seems we are all rather dazed and confused nowadays, and perhaps the discussion should return to what ‘freedom‘ really means too, what values and responsibilities we really should share, and how ‘rights‘ are ridiculous without duties too. But how can that start at a grass roots level, the level of family and community, if we mistrust what is happening at a supra-economic level? Who knows the answer, because there are many powerful arguments on both sides, both for cuts, and the kind of Social plans of enlightened reinvestment that were deployed during the 1920’s Depression in America. In terms of Anti-Social Networks World Markets seem so interconnected now, they are enormously volatile and thus playable too by those ‘in the know’, and who knows who is leading what? But on any front, swept up as we all are by it, where is the real vision and real leadership?