Bloody hell, the Guardian’s editors really will let anyone loose on Comment is Free, won’t they? The long-term problem I suppose will be the complete erosion of whatever credibility the name has left.
But in the meantime, somebody called Micah White writes one of the great comic blogposts of recent times, following in the illustrious footsteps of Kingsnorth/Monbiot and Marc Nash.
“Clicktivism,” announces White, “is ruining leftist activism.” This is important because “at stake is the possibility of an emancipatory revolution in our lifetimes.”
The problem, you see, is that “exclusive emphasis on metrics results in a race to the bottom of political engagement.” “Gone”, cries White, “is faith in the power of ideas, or the poetry of deeds, to enact social change. Instead, subject lines are A/B tested and messages vetted for widest appeal.”
Clictivists are comparable to both McDonalds and Wal-Mart (both of which are, as we all know, worse than Hitler and almost as bad as George W Bush). But White is determined to resist, and ends with a stirring call to arms:
“Against the progressive technocracy of clicktivism, a new breed of activists will arise. In place of measurements and focus groups will be a return to the very thing that marketers most fear: the passionate, ideological and total critique of consumer society. Resuscitating the emancipatory project the left was once known for, these activists will attack the deadening commercialisation of life. And, uniting a global population against the megacorporations who unduly influence our democracies, they will jettison the consumerist ideology of marketing that has for too long constrained the possibility of social revolution.”
But who is this Micah White, bravely resisting the use of internet campaigns for leftist causes? He’s a Contributing Editor at Adbusters and an 'award-winning activist'. You can join his online Fan Brigade here.