Monday, September 4, 2006

Can we change the world?

Being an adolescent in the 1960's, it was a "given" that we could. We believed that we could directly influence what would later be considered history. Political activism meant demonstrations, and it didn't matter what your opinion was; the idea was to express it.

Young Jews were certain that if our parents and grandparents had only protested, demonstrated enough, millions of European Jews would have been saved. We couldn't believe their professed "ignorance" was true. How could "no one" have known? How could lovers of freedom and civil rights have been so silent? We swore never to sit silently by while others are persecuted and murdered for their religion, belief or race.

Some of my peers may have retired from that philosophy, but I haven't. Today I may not be physically present at all sorts of demonstrations or rallies, but I broadcast my opinions, my protests, my complaints and rage via the internet. It's a different world, and I use different tools and methods.

My blog says more than those oaktag posters I held high and the round metal buttons I had pinned to my clothes used to say. More people read what I write than once heard me shout slogans to the disinterested media.

The ICJS credits bloggers with pressuring ABC (Australia) with changing its terminology when describing terrorists.

Words have power, and if there's something important to say, we should just keep saying it. We can change the world!


Anonymous said...

...only with God's help.

Otherwise, we can continue to fool ourselves that we live in a democracy, that voting on internet news site polls actually means something, and that being an assimilated western jew is fine.

The internet is indeed a fine resource. Only ten years ago, an ordinary diaspora Jew would only get fed information from tv, newspapers, radio, newsweek, and perhaps the Rabbi's sermon once a week. Now, an individual can bypass the big businesses that run the mass media and do research by himself. Someone can post an article on a blog that was printed elsewhere and that ordinarily would not be printed in other places.

But it all comes down to purpose. f we are just wasting time at protests (with no agenda other than releasing steam) or 'surfing', then we might as well turn back on the tv and let someone else do the thinking.

Batya said...

very true