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The Wright Perspective℠

Social Commentary from the C-Suite to Main Street℠

A Blog by Gary Wright II

Can the "People" Return "Power to the People?"

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Our world is rapidly changing, and I don't think the leaders understand the implications of a constantly-connected society. Traditional leadership processes that used to play out over years, now take place in real time. In the past, the population was easily manipulated by controlling the flow of information. By the time the news of a government decision reached the people, the action was already done and over with.

The instant communication through the Internet changes the game for the spin doctors who no longer have the opportunity to do their spinning. During the recent revolution in Egypt, the crowd reacted before their president had finished his speech. In fact, the revolutions sweeping across Africa were initiated and organized through social networking web sites.

Computer scientist and activist David House recently posted the following text on Twitter:

In truth, both parties are incentivized to pursue the issues of their most powerful constituents: well-organized and strategic businesses. Plutocratic voting nets campaign $$$; such funding ensures vitality at the polls. The public has no comparable influence on the legislature. The public's inability to exert influence relative to business has led to a political imbalance. Power has become uncoupled from the people. The obvious solution to this power imbalance is to form well-organized political networks that rival those of business. Enter the Internet. Out-funded, the public's strength will be built on adaptability. Out-broadcasted, the public's influence will arise from distilled ideas. As time goes on, businesses will use their influence on the legislature to inhibit democratic power reallocation. We have no comparable tool and so we will legislate via code.

In the age of WikiLeaks, information now belongs to the people and it wants to be free. That makes it nearly impossible for nations to carry out actions in complete secrecy. Government transparency equals government accountability and "the power" will soon returned to "the people."

Best regards,

-- Gary Wright II

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