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Media for the people

Yesterday, in the afternoon, I collapsed. Everything seemed overwhelming and sad.

Today, I'm full of energy again, and I think there's only one kind of work that matters. The work of empowerment.

Broadly: How can we return to a functional democracy that works for everyone?

Narrowly: How can we make sure this administration is not able to follow its authoritarian instincts, how can we make sure they are nowhere near power in 2020, and how can we make sure this never happens again?

A huge amount of this is fixing the media. Not media companies - but the fabric of how we get our information and share with each other. I've been focused on this for my entire career: Elgg, Latakoo, Known, Medium, Matter and Unlock all deal with this central issue.

A convergence of financial incentives has created a situation where white supremacy and authoritarianism can travel across the globe in the blink of an eye - and can also travel faster than more nuanced ideas. Fascist propaganda led directly to modern advertising, and modern advertising has now led us right back to fascist propaganda, aided and abetted by people who saw the right to make a profit as more important than the social implications of their work.

I think this is the time to take more direct action, and to build institutions that don't just speak truth to power, but put power behind the truth. Stories are how we learn, but our actions define us.

Non-violent resistance is the only way to save democracy. But we need it in every corner of society, and in overwhelming numbers.

There are people out on the streets today, who have been fighting this fight for longer than any of us. How can we help them be more effective?

How can we help people who have never been political before in their lives to take a stand?

How can we best overcome our differences and come together in the name of democracy, freedom, and inclusion?

And how can we actively dismantle the apparatus of oppression?

It's time to create a new kind of media that presents a real alternative to the top-down structures that have so disserved us. One that is by the people, for the people, and does not depend on wealthy financial interests.

And with it, a new kind of democracy that is not just representative, but participative. For everyone, forever.

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Twitter: @benwerd

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