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[liberationtech] Peter Theil On Arab spring

Doug Schuler douglas at publicsphereproject.org
Mon Jul 23 15:00:33 PDT 2012


I'd add strategic capacity, planning, dedication, imagination, hope, agency, etc. of the protagonists of the struggles. This is the "civic intelligence" that is often lost (imo) when social struggles are described without giving due credit to the people who are struggling towards the change.  (This often happens when words such  as opportunity, technology, resource mobilization, etc. are used to depict activism.) It can suggest false determinism and misleading trivialization.

I like the way that Seamus Heaney puts it (The Cure at Troy): "History says, Don't hope on this side of the grave. But then, once in a lifetime the longed for tidal wave of justice can rise up, and hope and history rhyme."

-- Doug


On Jul 22, 2012, at 11:48 PM, Shava Nerad wrote:

> On Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 1:02 AM, Prashant Singh <pacificleo at gmail.com> wrote:
> is he being too simplistic ? was there more to the revolution than just Food Price ? Would like to know your thoughts . you can see the whole debat online at http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/07/17/transcript-schmidt-thiel/
> 
> Really, to give a simplistic response, three words:
> 
> Motive
> Means
> Opportunity
> 
> Food price is a motive. 
> The internet tools were a means.
> The desperation produced was made into an opportunity by those who wanted to wedge activism out of a passive public for a very long time.
> 
> As I said, simplistic.  But it's not too much of a stretch to think of a revolution as a crime -- certainly the status quo looks at it that way.  And it would be criminal to look at such things with any less complexity, ad reductio, so to speak. ;)
> 
> But really, people who want to say, "Not this, only that" regarding historic, human, social events have almost always checked their brains at the door -- or worse, have assumed that the audience have checked theirs, and so an agenda can be pushed.  Danger, either way.
> 
> yrs,
> -- 
> 
> Shava Nerad
> shava23 at gmail.com
> 
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Douglas Schuler
douglas at publicsphereproject.org

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