Think about the kinds of events that occur today that weren’t possible fifteen years ago. The list is extensive and taken together indicates a reduction in the control of institutions of government, business, war, and even daily life. Here’s a quick list:
Terrorist organizations are a worldwide force with no government and little money in military terms. They represent a new form of war not by armies with national backing but by individuals outside any organizational operation.
Fund raising for victims of terrible disaster or disability can raise millions of dollars through a website with no organizational oversight.
Neighborhoods can raise funds for playgrounds, road improvement, and local business – all without oversight by a local, state or Federal government.
Without a corporate structure or assembly line, an individual can become a multimillionaire with a page of code used in smart phones.
Books, music and art are bypassing production companies and retailers, selling directly to buyers.
The list can go on and on but here’s the point: power structures like government and business can be bypassed by individuals. Is this good or bad?
It’s a mixed bag. The good thing is instant response to local need or objectives, whether a terrorist or a Parent Teacher Association. On the other hand, unmanaged power, however incidental, can lead to abuses of finance, favoritism, social inequality and even deliberate fraud.
Compare the vigilante abuses against African Americans and other persons hung, presumed to be guilty, without trial versus the highly bureaucratic justice system that does its best to deliver true justice. One has immediate gratification regardless of civil rights; the other is expensive, time consuming and subject to class discrimination.
Nevertheless, individuals are freer today to take action in business, community, cultural change and even what used to be government jurisdiction with the assistance of the Internet. Culture is headed for dramatic change that government, religion and culture are ill equipped to control. It can be likened to the era of enlightenment in the seventeenth century.
Change will happen more quickly than ever before. The big question is will moral justice prevail. It is our only hope to survive a world with no rules and little heritage. Moralist behavior will be challenged but must prevail. Without doubt the new power to decide resides with each individual, each neighbor, and each conscience. Each of us will be required to be activists to protect our personal needs, our governments and our businesses. Something most of us have taken for granted in the past.