I am about to finish another semester of school. Of course, school has given me many things to think about. One of the things I am thinking about is why I started working on The Digital Guerrilla Project.
A couple of years ago I noticed how technology can help regular people coordinate and control popular actions. People were using cell phones, email, Twitter, and Facebook to organize large scale protests, or to coordinate resistance against governments and powerful institutions. On the flip side governments and powerful institutions also used these technologies to coordinate their supporters.
I knew it was important, though I had trouble explaining why it was important. Then I came across the ideas of information asymmetries, asymmetrical power relationships, adverse selection and structural violence. I knew they played a part in what I was attempting to study. Again, I was having trouble explaining why.
What does any of this have to do with activism? This is a question I have been asking myself now for a couple of years now. I have been stuck because I did not have the answer.
Then I thought about a conversation I once had with my father. My father was a union steward for many years. One of the phrases he used when he filed a grievance was “dignity and justice.” Dignity and justice. Everybody in the world deserves to be treated with dignity and justice.
Technology allows people who fight for change, activists, to coordinate their efforts to fight information asymmetries, adverse selection and structural violence in their fight for dignity and justice. All the injustice, inequality, hatred in the world are a result of people with wealth and power forgetting that the rest of us who are not wealthy or powerful deserve to be treated with dignity and justice. Adverse selection and structural violence are but symptoms of this disease.
Dignity and justice for all people is why the Digital Guerrilla Project was created. I did not know this when I started writing. I am sure there will be more changes in the future. But for now I can tie together asymmetrical power relationships, digital activism, adverse selection, structural violence together with dignity and justice. This makes me happy. There are many worse things in the world to spend your time thinking about.