The New [Cultural] Freedom Movement
Mark and I have started discussing again an old idea of ours, The New
Cultural Freedom Movement. It's a terrible phrase (though developing) as far as marketing is concerned, which reflects the state of our thinking. After more than a decade it's still pretty vague; but it's the best idea I've got going, so here's the shot.
Early on in teenagerdom, those halcyon years when you were immortal and unfettered and when the idea of pure raw rebellion ala ¡la reveloucion! was a lot more plausible, we hit upon a pretty good insight: our ability to individually drive change through direct acts was pretty limited. The real action was in inspiration and empowerment -- in turning people on -- and maybe the real _real_ action is in inspiring and empowering people to inspire and empower _other people_, making waves and ripples and shit like that. I turned on to movement politics early.
This never took any concrete shape for Mark and I and our peers, but the idea lives and animates many of the things we and other people do in life. My politics has largely been driven by this kind of stuff -- inspiration and empowerment -- and Mark's work serves many of the same ends also.
There's an ethos here too, a not-too-subtle distaste for consumer culture and contemporary risk-aversion, a rejection of fear; a preference for radical transparency, the honesty of outlaws. There's a healthy endorsement of the old standards of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, but all with a good heart. It's not about irresponsible excess -- we don't drive drunk -- but it is about peak experiences and heady good times.
The idea of the New Freedom Movement is to coalesce these ideas under a common brand or banner, and to begin promoting them aggressively, spreading the word, building alliances and spinning off franchises. There seems to be a real opportunity here. The internet is huge, and there are already hundreds if not thousands of individuals doing this in some form or another. It's a good time to inspire and empower people to inspire and empower people.
Details remain difficult to determine, but I'm beginning to feel more and more like the time to make a move is now. A more focused vision of what we want to achieve is necessary for the real spark of inspiration, and a more practical plan of action is needed to actually provide traction for empowerment, but the genesis of this lies in the ethos, or maybe a mythos... at any rate, something to believe in.
It starts with us believing in ourselves, which at the tender age of twenty eight is harder than it used to be. But it feels like we're going to try, and there will be more and better posts about this in the future.