The Second Superpower isn’t.

I was going to post a critique of James F. Moore’s superhype-techno-blather essay The Second Superpower, but Andrew Orlowski at The Register beat me to it, adding information that I didn’t know, namely that the phrase in question originally referred to the global anti-war movement. Now Moore, with some help from Dave Winer, a weblog tools vendor, has managed to reappropriate the phrase to refer to webloggers. Bah.

A choice quote:

It’s a plea for net users to organize themselves as a “superpower”, and represents a class of techno-utopian literature that John Perry Barlow has been promoting – the same sappy stuff, but not as well written – for the past ten years. Only note how this example is sprinkled with trigger words for progressives, liberals and NPR listeners. It concludes – if you can find your way through this mound of feel-good styrofoam peanuts – “we do not have to create a world where differences are resolved by war. It is not our destiny to live in a world of destruction, tedium, and tragedy. We will create a world of peace”.

Orlowski is right. There’s nothing in what Moore is saying that hasn’t been repeated by techno-populist pundits since the rise of the world wide web


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