The worldwide advances in technological interconnectivity have had the side-effect of making human beings more disconnected from each other. Social networks have become anti-social and social media is causing social disease.
There is a growing resistance to these conditions characterized by mass exodus, either to other networks or off of these networks entirely. This period - roughly a decade of decline - has also seen an emergence of alternative developments that arose largely in protest to the conditions imposed by the (technological and financial) monopoly-capitalists that own the world's major information networks. These developments are allowing for a limited amount of social re-integration and can be described as an international cultural movement. This rebellion is justified, its core motivation is social necessity: people can no longer bear to participate in the dominant internet culture.
Whether this is an accidental or intentional reaction is a matter of consciousness. At the most fundamental level of protest there is a knowledge or experience that something is wrong but it remains unclear how, why, or what is wrong. As the problems become better understood, the course of action taken to resolve these problems become more effective. It is through the process of investigation that these problems become better understood, whether it is through dialogue with others facing the same problems or through the struggle to change the conditions by experimental work. It is both creative and intensive as necessary components to what can be expressed as a mass movement.
At the moment it remains largely a spontaneous movement due to very limited resources of organization and leadership, but this is subject to change. When netizens consciously recognize the necessity of a new democratic internet, the world wide web will have its revolution - one that is between nations and across borders, and one that will eventually expand outside of cyberspace.
This mass movement has produced revolutionary ideas that act as a guide for leadership. The idea which encapsulates the fundamental contradiction is the recognition that the future of the internet is decided by a handful of people whose interests are diametrically opposed to the interests of the masses of internet users. There is also the recognition that the situation is becoming worse, not better, and that significant action against these conditions has yet to be undertaken. There are growing desires to:
- grow the movement in numbers and expand its scope,
- help netizens with their issues and educate them on larger issues,
- protect the movement from co-optation by bad actors and opportunists,
- precisely analyze what is good and bad in both old and new technology,
- secure and develop new software and hardware infrastructure,
- weaponize existing infrastructure,
- create alternative political and economic systems,
- challenge the culture of self-commodification and art-commodification,
- promote a pro-social culture that abandons anti-social behavior,
- and build power to stop illegal or detrimental monopoly-capitalist activity.
The leaders of this mass movement take initiative in realizing these actions usually through conversation or social and technological experiments. Working-class intellectuals and artists with significant computer experience, especially class-conscious women and people whose genders and sexual orientations are oppressed, are the vanguard of this movement.
The first step of leadership is to recognize that this phenomenon is real, that it is one expression of the masses of people making history. This can only be realized through the conscious and active participation in the process itself by integrating within the mass movement, within their communities, and conducting social investigation. The immediate goal is to participate in organizing within these internet communities, or create the organization if it does not yet exist. Once the communities are sufficiently organized it will become possible to develop intercommunal organizations which work in the interests of all internet community organizations that choose to participate in the mass-democratic process.
In the far future these intercommunal organizations will necessarily have to link up with the broader revolutionary movement if its more ambitious goals are to be achieved. It is important to note that as a working-class movement the strength does not come from resources or capital but it does come from voluntary mass participation in the movement.
It is also important to note that organizational and democratic methods will be discovered in a long, nonlinear journey of failures and successes. Such an experiment has never been undertaken before, but there are general revolutionary-democratic principles that can be learned from previous historical experiments and applied to serve as a guide for contemporary creativity. Even if such an experiment does not bear substantial fruit, it will serve as an important experience that will carry into future endeavors whether online or offline.
Good luck to everyone working towards a better future.