My recent favorite writer, Caitlin Johnstone, recently wrote a column called “23 Thoughts about Charlottesville.” As is all her work, it was chock full of thought provoking material.
I want to talk specifically about #14. She pointed out that this rally, and the rise in number and membership of extreme right wing groups, is due to social media. True, I’m sure. In the old days, a socially challenged young closet Nazi might make it through high school, even all his life, without linking up with people quite at that equal level of craziness, and would just wind up being a kind of weird guy, with a collection on Nazi memorabilia which he doesn’t show to very many people.
Cat lovers found cat lovers, and the world was stunned to find out how many of them there really were. Poets found poets, artists found artists. That’s what social media does, for good or for bad. It was a major force, I’m convinced, in the Bernie Sanders phenomenon.
That is the superpower of social media. Sure, there will be Nazis, but people of all different persuasions will continue to find each other, which makes the world a more interconnected, more social place, and that’s good.
As far as the evil ones are concerned, probably just as well they’ve come out into the open. It’s like a disease. You can’t find the cure until you’ve actually admitted it exists.