Saturday, May 19, 2007

Citizen Self-Mobilization

Since 9/11 one of the most common complaints has been that in the aftermath of the attacks Bush did not call on people to serve their country or "sacrifice." The model that many people have in mind is WW2 where the entire society mobilized to wage war. But this model is not appropriate for the challenge we currently face. The threat from radical Islam does not require a top-down, government-directed mobilization of our society. In fact that would be more of a hindrance than an advantage in this war.

In our Army of Davids, Free Agent Nation, Smart Mobs era, the citizen today doesn't have to wait to be called to service by some politician. Citizens can choose on their own to act in what they believe is in the best interests of the country: citizen self-mobilization. There are a huge variety of non-violent actions that citizens can take domestically and internationally to counter the spread and influence of radical Islam, to wage the war of ideas, to create and disseminate a variety of media products, protests, boycotts, educating immigrants and current citizens about what we have that is worth defending and the ideas of liberty, etc. If you've got an idea about a way to fight radical Islam and promote a culture of liberty, then go with it, develop it, organize and take action (non-violently). This is decentralized, entrepreneurial, citizen-directed, self-organization and it is perfectly appropriate for our time, sensibilities, and opportunities.

ADDENDUM: A few days ago I posted an excerpt from an interview with David Hackett Fischer that included this example of "citizen self-mobilization":

[Fischer:] The Massachusetts towns were horrified that their right of resistance would be threatened in that way[General Gates' plan to seize stocks of gunpowder], and that galvanized many people, amongst them Paul Revere.

He organized a kind of intelligence organization, a voluntary association composed mainly of his fellow mechanics in Boston, and what they tried to do was to keep very close tabs on what General Gage was doing.

The Strategic Citizen and the Long War
The Strategic Citizen and Information Operations


PurpleSlog said...

This ties right in with the "Strategic Citizen" stuff.

phil said...


Thanks for stopping by. You have the honor of being the first commenter here at AC.

Yes, it is a variation on the Strategic Citizen thing. One of my goals with this blog is to explore the basic idea from different perspectives and experiment with terminology. So we'll see how it goes.