Organizational Power And Politics Essay

Organizational Power And Politics Essay-90
The same technologies that were meant to level the political playing field have brought troll farms and Russian bots to corrupt our elections.The same platforms of self-expression that we thought would let us empathize with one another and build a more harmonious society have been co-opted by figures such as Milo Yiannopoulos and, for that matter, Donald Trump, to turn white supremacy into a topic of dinner-­table conversation.They believed that it would do what earlier media could not: it would allow people to speak for themselves, directly to one another, around the world.

The same technologies that were meant to level the political playing field have brought troll farms and Russian bots to corrupt our elections.The same platforms of self-expression that we thought would let us empathize with one another and build a more harmonious society have been co-opted by figures such as Milo Yiannopoulos and, for that matter, Donald Trump, to turn white supremacy into a topic of dinner-­table conversation.They believed that it would do what earlier media could not: it would allow people to speak for themselves, directly to one another, around the world.

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Thousands of American fascists banded together in groups with names like the Silver Legion of America and the Crusader White Shirts.

The Amerikadeutscher Volksbund, a 25,000-member pro-Nazi organization commonly known as the Bund, ran a summer camp on Long Island called Camp Siegfried, where young men marched in Nazi-style uniforms as their friends and families cheered.

When he drove through adoring crowds, standing in his Volks­wagen convertible, giving the Nazi salute, the newsreel cameras were there. Toward the end of the decade, President Roosevelt began searching for ways to urge Americans to take a unified stand against fascism.

In 1933, the With coordinated newspaper headlines overpowering him, with radio voices beseeching him, with news reels and feature pictures arousing him, and with politicians and professors philosophizing for him, the individual German has been unable to salvage his identity and has been engulfed in a brown wave. Given the rise of right-wing fervor in the United States at the time, he had reason to worry.

Roosevelt’s cabinet sought advice from a group of intellectuals calling themselves the Committee for National Morale.

The Committee had been founded in the summer of 1940 by a historian of Persian art named Arthur Upham Pope, who brought together a number of America’s leading thinkers, including the anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, psychologists Gordon Allport and Kurt Lewin, and journalists Edmond Taylor and Ladislas Farago.And the same networked methods of organizing that so many thought would bring down malevolent states have not only failed to do so—think of the Arab Spring—but have instead empowered autocrats to more closely monitor protest and dissent.If we’re going to resist the rise of despotism, we need to understand how this happened and why we didn’t see it coming.It is animated by a deep faith that when engineering replaces politics, the alienation of mass society and the threat of totalitarianism will melt away.As Trump fumes on Twitter, and Facebook posts are linked to genocide in Myanmar, we are beginning to see just how misplaced that faith has been.“I believe,” he said, “that more than armies, more than diplomacy, more than the best intentions of democratic nations, the communications revolution will be the greatest force for the advancement of human freedom the world has ever seen.” At the time, most everyone thought Reagan was right.The twentieth century had been dominated by media that delivered the same material to millions of people at the same time—radio and newspapers, movies and television.We especially need to grapple with the fact that today’s right wing has taken advantage of a decades-long effort to decentralize our media.That effort began at the start of the Second World War, came down to us through the counterculture of the 1960s, and flourishes today in the high-tech hothouse of Silicon Valley.On February 20, 1939, the Bund brought more than 22,000 Americans to New York’s Madison Square Garden to welcome fascism to American shores.When they gathered, a huge banner hung over their heads: media to do it would transform Americans into just the kind of authoritarians they were trying to defeat.

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