As Bill Whittle might say: relax, get yourself a cup of coffee, make yourself comfortable; this may take a while.
I have written previously about the civil war within the mind of the West, and the crippling effect it has on our ability to fight the Great Jihad. Since the kamikaze Left holds the ramparts of our culture, it will require a mass effort to change the subject and subvert the Left’s dominant memes.
Fortunately, the blogosphere has the capacity to be subversive. With many thousands of blogs and many millions of readers, a conversation has emerged which is not under the control of the traditional gatekeepers of our collective intellect. Yet our political leaders — our elected officials and their subordinate policymakers — have been slow to heed the new voices. On contentious issues such as immigration policy and the straightforward prosecution of the war against the Great Jihad, the politicians have instinctively bowed to the PC shrines at the New York Times and the Washington Post, as if theirs were the only readers that matter.
The chances are that on any given day, more people are reading one of Wretchard’s essays than are reading Maureen Dowd, and more touch base with Instapundit than with Richard Cohen. Yet the nervous nellies of Congress and the Administration dance around the MSM’s talking points like the keepers of the vestal flame.
It’s not as if the blogosphere hasn’t proved its efficacy. An examination of its triumphs is instructive.
The first one was the Trent Lott affair. The former majority leader’s ill-considered remarks at Strom Thurmond’s birthday party were, strangely enough, about to be buried by the liberal media. Yet the center-right blogs kept the issue alive and eventually raised the temperature under Sen. Lott’s feet until he was forced out of his position.
Next came the blogs’ greatest success, Rathergate. Led by Little Green Footballs and Power Line, and assisted by thousands of alert readers doing the research, cross-checking the facts, and spreading the word, CBS News and its allies in Big Media were prevented from generating the story they had hoped would torpedo the President’s re-election.
Then there was Eason Jordan. Once again, an issue that would have been buried and forgotten was kept alive by the blogs, forcing a CNN executive to resign.
Numerous other instances of the blogs’ effectiveness can be cited — the Pepsi “finger”, the journalists supposedly targeted by the American military, the Oil-for-Food scam, and so on — and others are in process right now, such as the Able Danger/Sandy Berger affair. Each blog swarm, when roused by its defining issue, has demonstrated its power.
But each of these swarms was essentially reactive. The pattern is this: a politician or media figure commits a verbal atrocity, generates a vile fraud, or engages in some kind of political corruption. The traditional media close ranks and bury the story, but the blogs take action to force the matter to a head. Without a stimulus to act against, the blog swarm does not form.
But does it have to be that way? Why can’t the blogs act in concert to advance memes which they generate themselves?
The variety among the center-right blogs is breathtaking. The spectrum goes from hardcore libertarians through dedicated warbloggers to Christians and social conservatives. We have milbloggers, recovering liberals, crusty commentators, shrinks, and satirists. All of these cacophonous voices are arguing among themselves, shooting spitballs and insulting each other. Yet, when they agree on something, they swarm, and the gates of the citadel tremble!
Gates of Vienna is a little blog. Oh, we have our loyal readers (and an uncommonly intelligent and literate group they are, too), but what we say here will cause scarcely a ripple in the big pond of opinion journalism. However, if our words line up with thousands of other blogs, if we act in concert with all the other large mammals, marauding marsupials, flippery fish, etc. of the ecosystem, then the aggregate effect has meaning.
So, instead of waiting for the next outrage on the Left, instead of reacting to events, I propose a new practice of proactive swarming. Each of us should keep an eye out for an important idea whose time has come, and then promote it for a swarm. If you have a blog, post the swarm idea. To misquote the Grateful Dead, if you believe it, pass it on.
The success of Rathergate can be repeated with ideas generated within the blogs, and then amplified by them. If this practice is repeated often enough, the politicians will start checking in with Instapundit over their morning coffee instead of looking in the newspaper to discover what it is they think.
As Wretchard has said,
|The longer it goes on the more dangerous the revolution becomes. Someone compared the rise of the Internet to the invention of the printing press. When books were the province of a few you could only come to knowledge through someone else. When books became common, people could learn for themselves, which put quite a few mediocrities out of business. Doubtless there will be those, as happens with people who interpret scripture do-it-yourself, who will get it all cockeyed. But on the whole mass produced books were a good thing.|
|There are some who are shocked, shocked at the act of a private person musing out loud about what seems like a staged photograph. ‘How dare you, how dare you raise these questions’. Yet to those who grew up on the Internet, this attitude is puzzling in the extreme. It’s as natural as breathing, a wholly different tradition. There must be hundreds of sites out there saying I’m a jerk. So what? This blog is just a meme, that’s all. I am nothing. I don’t even have a name. There must be zillions out there who disagree with my ideas. But so what? If my ideas are wrong they’ll die. If they are right, not even I can stop them. Scary when you think of it.|
To that end I have constructed four icons which can be used to accompany a “swarm meme”:
They are designed to flush left or right , and you can use either the opaque or transparent background. Choose the image you want and copy it, steal it, credit me or not; I don’t care — heck, you can hot-link the image and let chromatism.net eat the bandwidth! If the idea is good, spread it and Swarm It!
My first candidate for a swarm meme is my old standard; Dymphna will offer her own in the next day or two.
It’s been going on since 630 AD, and the defeat at Vienna in 1683 was just a temporary setback from their point of view. It’s high time to call this war by its right name.
If you agree, then… swarm it!