Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Friday, March 21, 2014
Better Late Than Never
UPDATE: Just to say a bit more about this image: I like about it that it appropriates the iconography of vacuous negative "liberty-movement" ideology in the service of good government advocacy of substantial investments and support. (Liberty isn't an empty space for solitary cyborg warriors to bulldoze through, liberty is an ongoing collaborative work of creating and maintaining as legible, as informed, as nonduressed a scene of consent to the terms of everyday intercourse as possible.) I also like that the image clarifies the sorts of connections that underlie Death Panelite howls about Keepin' Gu'ment Hands Off My Medicare! but then remobilizes them in the service of democratizing politics here and now instead. We need more images that short-circuit false associations (white welfare is earned, all other welfare is crime, corporate profiteering is an engine of progress, vulnerability is a sin to be punished, there is always money for more bombs and never money for fairness, and so on) and more images that create spaces in which alternatives can be contemplated and testimony to unnecessary suffering rendered legible. I am of course far from thinking that bumper stickers are a substitute for actual mass movement or that cafe press level merchandising signals substantial organizational commitments -- but this Gadsen Obamacare stuff does have the imprimatur of BarackObama.com on it and I do like the thought that thought like this is happening in such precincts at all, at least some of the time. Obamacare, as I have said, is too big to ignore for the midterms, despite signs of yet another cycle of timorous wishy-washy Dems running for the hills over it, and Obamacare is working well enough that Democrats fighting back and fighting for it can at the least fight Republicans to a draw on what seems to be their only agreed-upon issue -- a confident agreement that has the deathwish-fulfillment of skewed Romney poll denialism all over it, if you ask me -- opening the door to mobilizing the Obama coalition on women's healthcare issues and voter suppression issues and foiling suavely robotic punditocrapic expectations about mid-term disaster on the way for the Democrats (and hence for every person in this country who works for a living).