Here is What I Believe

15 Jan ’06

Via Kinsella, observations by Peter C. Newman on the democratizing power of blogging, a recurring theme of this blog lately (see here and here, for example):

The problem is that most of the great issues troubling this miracle of a country of ours have been exhausted, not through the catharsis of solutions, but through the absence of decisive action and the lack of any sustaining vision. Each of the many political confrontations of the past decade has diminished the moral authority of the protagonists involved. This “end of ideology” crisis has drained Canadian democracy of its vitality. There is a consensual apathy adrift in the land that threatens not only the political parties and their hapless leaders, but the viability of the democratic system itself — and that’s the parlous attitude this country desperately needs to reverse.

Partial and largely makeshift salvation has emerged from an unexpected source: The Internet has been transformed into a giant blogosphere. Whatever else they represent, bloggers have emerged as an influential, if still primitive, force that has burst the political process wide open. Their messages relay this urgent war cry: “Here is what I believe — judge for yourself.” They are changing the nature of political discourse, partly because most of the recognized pundits who blog save their best material for their informal jottings, since it’s them speaking out, not their publications. It’s all part of the scary fact that access to computer screens has become almost universal and almost indiscriminate: Warren Kinsella can have an effect on as many Canadians as The New York Times.

I recently wrote elsewhere that we were on the threshold of the most remarkable development of human knowledge since the Royal Library of Alexandria and the Gutenberg Bible. That was just to persuade a friend to get broadband and join the conversation (was that too much?). And while I’m momentarily terrorized by the sight of “Gutenberg” and “Kinsella” in the same post, it’s worth it to make the point that blogs matter.

Completely irrelevant sidenote: How odd that Kinsella quotes literally from the Globe but insists that there shall be no reproduction of his own content without his permission. Warren – FYI.

Previous post:

Next post: