Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Securitized Influence

Today I am writing two posts as a brief exchange on Twitter has inspired some thoughts. @Min_Reyes, Samara's top #cdnpoli participant was approached by a Twitter user apparently from The Hill Times which wanted to do an interview with her and also asked this seemingly simple question:
just wondering if you feel like you have real influence/potential to influence govt
During Occupy, similar questions were asked. "What are the demands [for the government]?". It seems to nearly always be the case that when a, lets use the term activist (although i don't like that term), is queried by a "non-activist", lets say, it generally takes the form of "What do you demand/expect/hope/etc [government agency] will do to make some event happen?" An assumption of the motive and goal is always made.

I've written before about the subservient syndrome society as a whole seems to be suffering from and I believe this line of questioning stems from this syndrome and the growing difficulty to conceptualise anything other than dependence.

The government's and international corporation's heavy investment and interest in public relations serves to influence the public and convince them that what those supposedly trying to influence the government on Twitter or protests or whatever isn't actually true. So, we won, we influenced the government. They already know all about it, every issue, they issue reports on them all the time but these reports explain the problems in a very different light.

Perhaps, the point of activism or the distribution of important information is to influence those around you. Who cares about influencing the government? If the people as a whole decide to do something, the government must either follow in line or risk falling out of power. After all, a slave has a poor chance of convincing his owner to let him go free, however a slave has an excellent chance of convincing his fellow slaves they are in fact, slaves.

Even if we could influence the government to work on our behalf, they're slowly giving away their powers of sovereignty and control. Credit ratings and central banks already run the world.

There is no point in wasting our time with the government, the real question I'm interested in is - have I influenced you?

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

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