A Man, a Domain, and a Smartphone set off In Search of the Political Revolution. Join me! (And contribute to help!)
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. ..... John Fitzgerald Kennedy
We need a political revolution of millions of people in this country who are prepared to stand up and say, 'enough is enough' ..... Bernie Sanders
I build systems for a living, and I write about civic technology. Lately, I've been #feelingthebern - contributing to the campaign, volunteering, voting - but I keep finding myself asking "what comes next?" A "Political Revolution" has to be about more than one candidate and one campaign. And I find that I'm not alone in asking.
In a moment of inspiration, or madness, I registered the domains PoliticalRevolution.net, .com, and .org (you know, "branding"); paying a hefty premium to do so. Now I'm setting off to answer four questions: Who is the political Revolution (Who are WE)? What is a Political Revolution? What do we do next? And how do we do it?
I'll be blogging as I go, writing a book at the end, and building the blog into an organizing hub (much the way Bill McKibben wrote about climate change and built 350.org as an organizing hub). PoliticalRevolution.net is live now - if a bit sparse - you can read my progress reports, and contribute your own stories from the front lines of the Political Revolution.
The Presidency is just the start. CONTRIBUTE NOW (your money & your stories!) to help me document how we spread the Political Revolution to every part of our democracy.
<More details for those who want the long story>
A Personal Journey
My name is Miles Fidelman. I design networks and distributed systems for a living, and I write about it. In the 1990s, I started The Center for Civic Networking, and for twelve years we ran pilot projects in "electronic democracy." I sometimes say that my life's ambition is to play Systems Engineer & Stage Manager for a global town meeting.
Lately, I've been #feelingthebern - we need a Political Revolution to take back our government, and un-rig the system so it works for us.
I've been volunteering for the Sanders campaign - contributing money in $27 increments, making phone calls, knocking on doors, voting in our state primary (MA), attending our local Democratic caucus and standing for delegate to the national convention.
But I keep asking myself, what comes next? How do we back Bernie up if he wins? What do we do next, if he doesn't? A Political Revolution has to be about more than a single campaign and a single election cycle. And I find that I'm not alone in asking.
So I've set off on a Personal Journey to Explore the Political Revolution, and Report Back. I'm going to keep volunteering for the Sanders campaign - not just in my home state, but across the Country. I'm going to interview fellow volunteers. I'm going to be asking "Who are you?," "Why are you here," "What do you care about," "What are you doing - on the campaign, and beyond,?" and "What do you see coming next?"
A Blog and a Book
I'll be reporting what I find, both blogging as I go, and writing a book after the election is over.
The web site will include a place for YOU to Tell YOUR Stories from the Front Lines of the Political Revolution - many of which I hope to include in the book. And I hope to meet and interview many of you on my travels.
http://politicalrevolution.net is live now. It's still bare bones and alpha quality - it will grow with time, your contributed stories, and your financial support. Right now it contains some progress reports, my initial dispatches from the field, a place for you to tell your stories (text only for now, photos, audio, and video to come), and ways to join the community and subscribe to updates.
Coming Soon: A Book in Progress, A Catalog & An Organizing Hub
Political Revolution: The Book, will be more than just a documentary & travelogue. Something new is happening in American politics - or perhaps something old, re-energized by new technology. Occupy, #blacklivesmatter, the Sanders campaign look a lot like movement organizing on steroids. The book will contain analysis, strategies, and techniques for political organizing in the Internet age.
In addition, much of the book will contain a directory of resources - a "Whole Earth Catalog for the Political Revolution."
I'll be posting draft sections of the book as I write them - for your review and comment.
The web site will grow into a a collection of organizing tools. We already have plenty of tools for organizing and raising funds for political campaigns. Now we need a social network to connect us and organizing tools to help us move forward after the election is over.
I Need Your Support
Travel and printing costs money. So do computers, bandwidth, and staff. And to do this full time, I have bills to pay, and college loans to pay off for my kids.
So far, I've been paying my own way. I have some money in the bank, and some computers humming away in a data center (the legacy of a former hosting business, now providing a development sandbox, and hosting web sites and email lists for several local community groups). I'm doing my own site development and systems administration.
But time is pressing. I have to get on the road and focus on the work. Somebody else needs to care for & feed the computers. As usage grows, we'll need to add hardware & bandwidth, and provide 24x7 systems support. Please lend your support by pledging here! (And if you happen to be a publisher or broadcaster, I'd welcome the opportunity to talk about publishing rights and/or filming a documentary as we go.)
Join the PoliticalRevolution.net
I invite you to join me on the journey. Pledge some money here. Share the message with your friends - on Facebook, Twitter, email, by carrier pigeon (links are conveniently located at the top of this page). Then head over to http://politicalrevolution.net - read, join, tell YOUR story, and subscribe for updates.
Thank you for your support. I hope to see you on the front lines!
Risks and challenges
This is my full time work through April 2017, and perhaps, beyond. The primary risk is not receiving enough money to continue.
After receiving funding, the main risk is getting sick or injured to the point of not being able to carry on. The main way to handle this risk is carrying insurance sufficient to either hire a replacement to carry on, or to refund pledges.
After the election, and publication of the book, the primary risk is one of scaling the web site, and securing continuing operating funds - essentially, manageable matters of technology, business model, and money. If the web site catches fire, we can solicit donations, charge a small fee for premium services (e.g., the organizer's tools), sell merchandise, and/or (horrors) accept advertising. If the web site doesn't catch fire, it won't matter.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)