Tampering of Democracy

Advocates of freedom know all to well how easily freedom can slip away. The existence of lies known as propaganda can destroy our freedom by motivating us to take actions that are counterproductive to our own freedom. Propaganda has always been a threat to freedom lurking in the background. Democracy is so easily tampered with through lies. The game of propaganda has been played by nation states since the beginning of civilization. The 20th Century was highlighted by the propaganda wars of the United States and Soviet Union. The white propaganda of the United States. The black propaganda of the Soviet Union. Now written into history as urban legends. However, as of the 21st Century the game has changed. New players are on the field as promoters of oppression in the name of self-interest.
Advocates of freedom know all to well how easily freedom can slip away. The existence of lies known as propaganda can destroy our freedom by motivating us to take actions that are counterproductive to our own freedom. Propaganda has always been a threat to freedom lurking in the background. Democracy is so easily tampered with through lies. The game of propaganda has been played by nation states since the beginning of civilization. The 20th Century was highlighted by the propaganda wars of the United States and Soviet Union. The white propaganda of the United States. The black propaganda of the Soviet Union. Now written into history as urban legends. However, as of the 21st Century the game has changed. New players are on the field as promoters of oppression in the name of self-interest.

The 21st Century has rushed in many innovations. Some innovations have transformed the human experience while others have been absorbed into the background of what we call life. No matter the innovation, the overwhelming theme at the brink of the 21st Century was computer code. This still holds true today and will most likely dominate our conversations for years to come. When people speak of “start-ups” or when entrepreneurs engage each other and their perspective investors, the common theme is computer code. This computer code has been given many names from “Facebook” to “Twitter.” As of today, the future holds many more buzz words that we will use to describe the complex use of computer code. The human experience has become defined by the evolving use of computer code. As a result, democracy has evolved to a critical point with a predictable future of tampering and assault.

The old world, the 20th Century, held one common theme, paper. Walls, billboards, gutters, and the floor at the front door was littered by paper. The pounding advertisements from corporations piercing the market with new products defacing walls, our mailboxes, and the streets of our cities. The news was ushered in upon the morning news “paper.” Old friends were rediscovered in the “paper” phonebook. Our history of success and failures were documents and rediscovered within bound paper books. Our lives were defined by “paper.” The individual was defined by a few sheets of lose leaf “paper,” the resumé. Paper its self was defined by labor and expense. Little did we know, paper presented a form of security now forgotten.

Paper, at its foundation, is labor intensive, expensive, and limited. The task of connecting with thousands of people through paper is no easy task. Content had to be printed and then connected to individuals through the mail or billboards at a great expense. Essentially, paper sent to the masses is limited to the powerful and deep-pocketed corporations and nation states, but still at a great limitation. Paper by its very nature decays through time or the waste can.

The nature of paper provided us with an unforeseen level of security. The perishable nature of paper allowed events, communications, opinions, and social discourse to fade into the backdrop of time. Politically charged statements evaporated with time. State propaganda become an urban legend. In the end, academics became the holders of information after the perish of paper. The filter of paper through analysis and objective thought reduced down to . Our security, now long gone, was secured through the perishable nature of paper.

Our new networked world enabled through the use of computer code has destroyed our old security and ushered in one of the greatest threats to democracy. Today, the individual is defined, not through the highly controlled lose leaf paper, but through global content spread through the internet. Our blogs, social media, and our oppressor's social media defines us. Within a moment, a single blog or social media post can define us indefinitely. The decay of time is now absent with our collective access to truth, opinion, and the propaganda of our oppressors all indexed as a historical record.

Why does this matter? In part, the 21st Century has ushered in one of the greatest instruments of the human experience. The unlimited access to knowledge. If one wonders, one only needs to Google. If one has a dream, one only needs to learn and harness the power of computer code within our networked global society. For the first time in the existence of humans, a peasant can become known throughout the world with effort and a laptop. Some will become rich and known for their efforts and passions. On the other hand, a peasant can harasses and destroy what we should know as the truth.

The grim realty of our networked global society is that lies persist. The persistence and ease at which lies are created is eroding our security. Our security in maintaining democracy. A single issue of society can be manipulated beyond recognition of the truth. A single person or group can manipulate the truth simply by engaging our global community through social media and the internet at large. Issues of atrocities, advocates of freedom, and resisters of oppression can be turned inside-out. An atrocity can become a fairy tale. The advocate of freedom can become an advocate of suffering. Those resisting oppression can become the oppressor. A motivated person, group, or nation state can literally tear the truth right from history. The instrument used is the persistent lie enabled through propaganda spread around the globe. This propaganda is only echoed repeatedly through our engagement of social media until it becomes what we know to be the truth.

A group of motivated individuals can change the world opinion of a person or event. Today, a special interest group can wage an attack upon the masses on the cheap without limitation. In the fallout, as time passes, as the group’s propaganda overshadows what we should have known as the truth, what perception of the truth will we be left with? Will we know what really happened in some dark corner of the globe? Will we elect a suppressor of democracy as the advocate of freedom? Democracy today, in our networked society, is frail and riddled with destructive tampering.

Propaganda in the old world was limited to nation states. The nature of paper ensured the limits of propaganda through the decay of time. Today, robust propaganda is within reach at all levels of society. Simply the matter of promoting simple or sophisticated lies across the internet attacking the truth of events and individuals. Once the propaganda is established echoing across social media, blogs, and websites the truth is rewritten in the terms of the oppressor. In the end, our own freedom maybe the gateway to oppression.



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