Dictators rely on control. That control usually works through creating an environment of fear. One way of nurturing such an environment is to isolate the individual by hindering and controlling the collective thoughts of the masses; making individuals feel alone, helpless and unable to look after themselves without input of the state, wary and suspicious of those not deployed by it.
Such an environment has always been relatively simple to create through the manipulation and control of information and communication. If a government chooses what’s taught in schools, what books are read, what TV channels are broadcast, they control what we know: our ideologies.
So what happens when a global channel is created? One that doesn’t require state broadcast or accreditation or distribution, one that allows information to be shared from any hard drive in any country, and downloaded anywhere in the world – peer to peer if needed? What happens when this decentralised channel becomes an essential daily part of the fabric of society the world over, regardless of socioeconomic climate?
This channel can be censored. Many have tried, but its sprawling circuitry means that roadblocks can be set-up, but back routes will always be available to take you to your information destination. It can be switched off: Mubarak tried yet his adversaries tweeted from the trenches.
So what happens when anyone anywhere can question the world that’s around them via this uncontrollable informative stream; what happens when those individuals can not only speak to their localised environment, but also reach wider to a city, throughout a district, across a country, or a planet?
We’re seeing what happens. And it is history.
Now who’s afraid?