This post is meant to encourage civilian political participation in the West.
Our involvement is not supposed to be restricted to the ballot box but is designed to be an ongoing activity.
This is why the role of the press is so crucial since it is their job to keep power players accountable. They should not function like a propaganda outlet or as their own special interest group. Their interest is meant to be the people, and the health of their nation, with investigative journalism as their number one tool to uncover wrongdoings and abuse.
Thanks to the internet and the popularisation of gadgets it has turned every individual into a potential investigative journalist. Even though there are negative side-effects to our tech-culture the upside is that it will hopefully become increasingly hard to cover up human rights abuses and wrongdoings around the world.
Hopefully the emergence of tech will mean more transparency, liberty, opportunity and fairness rather than lies, imprisonment, destitution and exploitation.
In this post I’ll include two emails I’ve written: one that was ignored and one that was not.
I’ll also include a little introduction to activism since this is the tool utilised if representatives ignore the very people that they are meant to represent.
- In 2018 I sent an email to the local Parish council which is the lowest level of government in the UK. I did this after reading about MicroPlastics from an environmental organisation in the USA. This issue is truly global, so I reasoned that it would make sense to raise my concern over here in Europe. I received an instant lengthy response from the Parish council who encouraged me to contact the Cotswold District Council, in addition to our local representative in Parliament and the local Water provider. This is what I sent: Dear Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown.
I’ve been reading about the latest news regarding Microplastics finding their ways into the planet’s tap water. There are also plenty of petitions being passed around about this issue.
I was naturally wondering what is being done to investigate and improve any problems we might have with our local drinking water?
Sincerely yours; Berit Hagen.
http://www.cotswoldjournal.co.uk/news/national/14700238.Plastic_microbeads_in_hygiene_products_should_face_outright_ban_by_2017__say_MPs/ I did not receive a response but this was what I had expected. This plays into the popular depiction of the “elite“ not bothering about what the people have to say for themselves. I’m convinced that “arrogance“ and/or “silence“ adds fuel to the fire when it comes to conspiracy theories because why on earth wouldn’t politicians be concerned with the quality of their own drinking water?
- In order to force power-players to the negotiating table or to tackle important social issues there are those who have developed techniques in order to make their presence so manifest that they cannot be ignored. Likewise the establishment might respond to activism by using state-force in an attempt to force obedience and silence upon their population. This can in many ways be interpreted as the breakdown of democracy and the rise of totalitarianism. You’ll be forced to compliance. Organisation within the civilian population in order to obtain political goals is commonly referred to as activism or community organising. It hinges on alliance building within the civilian population and to get journalists within the establishment media onboard. One aim of political activism is to get a powerful photo-op such as the picture taken of the father of a child killed in a high-school shooting extending his hand to Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh. Even though Kavanaugh probably had no idea who this man was, he turned around and looked at him while the father was seemingly trying to shake his hand. This resulted in a “powerful” viral image used to portray Kavanaugh as an uncaring, demonic human being regardless of the actual circumstances or what Kavanaugh was actually thinking in the moment. Other examples of text-book activism can be observed during social media campaigns where a specific post from a company is targeted by what appears to be “consumers“ and “the people.“ In truth this is in most cases a coordinated effort where organisations send out mass emails to individuals who are already politically active online. “The mob“ then target said post or whatever individual creating the illusion that “the people“ are furious. Since it appears that power-players either have no clue or interest in political activism they cave-in fearing the loss of potential consumers. You can read more about political activism here: “How To Resist – Turn Protest To Power” by Matthew Bolton.
- In an ideal situation it will be possible to receive a response from political representatives since they are meant to be the bridge between “the people“ and “the establishment“ much like the media. This instantly dissolves conspiracy theories and can potentially make “the people“ less hostile and blood-thirsty when it comes to individual political characters since a conversation is being had and the people will feel that their concerns are being listened to. Demonization can be actively worked against with political transparency, which is undesirable of course if aiming for political totalitarianism. My second attempt at contacting politicians was the result of YouTube urging their creators to raise awareness in regards to Article 13. Out of 5 representatives 3 came back to me. This was the email I sent them:
Hi __________. I’m writing to you as an original content creator on YouTube asking what you are currently doing to prevent Article 13 from hurting independent artists and creatives?
I hope that this entry was helpful! ❤