Jonathan Marshall on Tue, 21 Sep 2010 12:56:56 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> How the tea party is rewriting the rule book for political organizing

carl guderian writes: 

>True that. But the Tea Party Movement is as old-school as the John
>Birch Society and calling it "open source" is like calling a lynching
>crowdsourced murder.
>But it will help right-libertarian geeks feel
>better about supporting the birthers, born-again virgins and
>Creationists the TPM offers up for national office with depressing
>regularity. [snip]
>What looks like rank and file initiative is just eagerness to  
>follow marching orders that align closely with their own inclinations  
>and abilities, at least at ground level.

Undoubtedly the appeal to open source is part of the rhetoric here, as
it suggests genuine democracy and its virtue is so rarely contested.
However, even though the Tea Party is fairly obviously sponsored -
by rupert murdoch if by no body else - there is the classic problem
for those 'elites' in that once a movement moves into the 'commons' -
through emails and group action then it has the potential to escape
the domination of those who sponsor it.

The candidates faced with a cheering crowds can enter into other
psychological and social realms. Money can come in from other sources;
violence and scapegoating and anger can get their own momentum - and
this is a movement driven by anger, and which has to maintain anger,
or else it will peter out. Fox may even get locked into it, for fear
of audience and sponsorship loss, its anchorpeople will not like being
told they are not bold and daring if they retreat; the Republicans may
find themselves taken over, or think they have to go along with the
Tea party thinking they can retain control until it is too late...

Such a situation is hardly historically without precident....

So the point about the commons and the internet not always being
beneficial, or inherently progressive needs to be made. Almost
everything has the potential to be destructive, restrictive or



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