The Second Superpower Rears its Beautiful Head
April 3, 2003 4:11 AM   Subscribe

The Second Superpower Rears its Beautiful Head. "With its mind enhanced by Internet connective tissue, and international law as a venue to work with others for progressive action, the Second Superpower is starting to demonstrate its potential." Starry-eyed Wired-era cyber-bull? Or are bloggers and texters (plus peace activists) the vanguard of the revolution? Douglas Ruskhoff concurs.
posted by theplayethic (12 comments total)

Hardly objective and is trying to portray this "second superpower" in a more positive light than the first. Sounds more like an attempt by people who like to protest to make this apparent movement more powerful than it may be, even if it is, in reality, pretty powerful.

if you ask me, anyway.
posted by angry modem at 6:16 AM on April 3, 2003

Hopeful and powerful. I've been waiting to say something like this for quite awhile - since the original Manila People Power demonstrations, in fact - but I've never felt the time has been quite right.

Glad someone else did it, though.

(And thanks, stav.)
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:14 AM on April 3, 2003

We may be beautiful, but we need weapons.
posted by jamespake at 7:33 AM on April 3, 2003

The Moore story is in the vein of the techno-utopian political discourse of the early and mid-1990s, which tells stories about how the Internet is going to democratize the world.

I have always likes and supported the vision, but the lesson of history is that technology is always used to re-enforce existing power structures within a society. Revolutions of various kinds can and do take place, certainly, but they are rare. Changes to politics, culture, and society, which we are pretty sure are ongoing, are often difficult to measure, and determining the cause of these changes usually more so.
posted by tranquileye at 7:37 AM on April 3, 2003

The fact is that the only institution in the world today that is more powerful than the American government, is American civil society. American citizens have a huge responsibility riding on their shoulders.
(Arundhati Roy)
posted by sudama at 8:04 AM on April 3, 2003

I thought this author of the linked article was merely self-important ("thousands of people who think like me organize on the web, so we must therefor represent all 6.3 billion people on the planet) until I got to this part:

" By contrast, it is the strength of the second superpower that it could mobilize hundreds of small groups of activists to shut down city centers across the United States on that same first day of the war."

SO, using coercive actions against civilians targets is OK, as long as the right people do it for the right reasons?

History shows that the worst totalitarians have dressed their crimes up in just such rhetoric.

"Instead, it is a new form of international player, constituted by the “will of the people” in a global social movement." - you know, praise of street fighters and arguments based on the 'will of the people' sound awfully, awfully familiar ...

This is just old fashioned fascism with e-mail.
posted by Jos Bleau at 8:14 AM on April 3, 2003

But how can you distinguisgh between a true global desire and a bunch of squeeky wheels?
posted by HTuttle at 8:59 AM on April 3, 2003

Is there one?
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:26 PM on April 3, 2003

Hmm. Squeeky [sic] wheels go round in circles, making a nasty, grating sound, whereas TrueGlobalDesire™ is obviously about freedom©, democracy™®©, and the non-trivial pursuit™ of®™.
posted by cbrody at 5:58 PM on April 3, 2003

An interesting and very negative meta-response at the Register.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:13 AM on April 4, 2003

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