Sunday, 27 February 2011

Wisconsin and the limits of web power | Dave Karpf | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

"But, just as the Egyptian protests were aided by social media, rather than caused by social media, the roots of this fight are really quite different.

"Labour unions offer a bedrock structure for large-scale collective action. Governor Walker is attempting to remove that structure. If he succeeds, internet-mediated organisations won't be able to fill in the gap. Groups like MoveOn.org can be tremendously effective, particularly in the new media environment. But they can't organise workers in a specific industry or city to improve wages, working conditions and benefits. MoveOn is never going to sit across from management at the negotiating table.

"That's where "organising without organisations" reaches its limits: you need to build institutions of power if you're going to confront institutions of power. When the going gets phenomenally difficult, you need courage and commitment to succeed, not just a wifi hotspot."

Wisconsin and the limits of web power | Dave Karpf | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk:


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