The internet is the greatest tool activists have ever had. It allows us to communicate, recruit, inform, pressure, and support each other around the world. And it allows us to reach millions upon millions of people otherwise beyond our reach or our ability to impact.
Social media is quickly replacing conventional media for most of those online. Broadcast Network television, cable networks, print media, radio, are all becoming impotent in controlling public opinion and framing public discourse.
Newspapers are almost extinct as an influence upon the public. Network television news is driven by gossip and celebrity worship. Cable outlets are driven by advertising dollars and the politics of their owners.
The internet in general, and social media in particular, is peer-to-peer networks that straddle the globe. Unfiltered and uncensored news is instantaneously disseminated around the world, beyond conventional media censors and spin doctors.
From neighborhood organizing to national political campaigns to international movements for social justice, the genie is out of the bottle.
For all the power and potential at our disposal, most activists are woefully inept at using social media to the advantage of their causes. Most online interactions are between comrades, allies, and friends. Information that reaches outside their echo chambers is usually by accident or serendipity. Few understand the dynamics of networking or even employ basic common sense in their time and efforts at the keyboards.
The same dynamics of human interaction occur in social media as occur in person between individuals. The difference is that we communicate much more effectively in person than online. And we understand what we are doing when we task in person. If one is walking a precinct or passing out flyers or chaining oneself to others in a demonstration, we understand the task to be accomplished and pursue it logically. Online, such clarity is often absent as we are assaulted by all kinds of unrelated input and distractions.
Most outreach is accomplished through no plans of our own. We preach to the choir as a matter of course, unmindful that the purpose of preaching to the choir is to arm those we preach to with the information to share with their own circles, and so on.
As we come across information of value to our own campaigns and causes, it is imperative that we share it forward, not merely digest it ourselves.
Just as important to our efforts of passing along information is growing the audience with whom we share information.
An ongoing effort to grow each of our circles of influence is essential. The most effective way to grow circles of influence is to join circles with overlapping and convergent interests.
Just as important as having informed activists is having activists to begin with.
Some basic rules of thumb:
If you find yourself in agreement with someone on an issue even tangentially related to your own, engage and befriend them.
If you find information online which is supportive of what you are trying to do or which will help influence others, SHARE IT.
Avoid online games, chatrooms unrelated to your mission, porn, surfing, mindless messaging, and time consuming interactions.
Like troops in combat, we need to be focused, alert, strategic in spending our time and energy, and always mindful of what we are trying to accomplish.
The internet will assuredly result in revolutions around the world as activists share information and strategies to combat exploitive industries, oligarchies, the rape of the environment, and multinational capitalism.
The question is only how long before revolutions take hold. The more efficient and effective we are as activists, the sooner they will occur.
• I am unaware of any other blog with the Armory’s mission of radicalizing the animal movement. I certainly hope I am not alone, and that there are similar sentiments being expressed by comrades unknown to me.
If you know of other blogs dedicated to animal rights and the defeat of capitalism, please comment with a link.
• Be sure to follow the Armory and share it with your Facebook friends and email contacts, as well as on Twitter, Google, and all other social media platforms. Our influence and effectiveness is dependent upon you!
• If you are not already subscribed to the Armory, please do so before you leave.
There’s a button to Follow us in the upper right sidebar.
• Be sure to visit Armory of the Revolution’s new commissary and bookstore: The Supply Depot
You will find recommended reading on Animal Rights, revolutionary theory, politics, economics, religion, science, and atheism. There is also a section of supplies for animal liberationists, hunt saboteurs, and social revolutionaries. This is all brand new, and we will be adding lots more merchandise in the near future!
• Feel free to comment. I encourage open discussion and welcome other opinions. I moderate comments because this blog has been attacked by hunters and right wing trolls. I approve comments that are critical as well as those which agree with me. Comments that I will not tolerate are those that are spam, threatening, disrespectful, or which promote animal abuse and cruelty.