Saturday, December 27, 2008

Taking On The System

Taking On The System: Rules for Radical Change in A Digital Era
by Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (founder of

It is Sun Tzu's "The Art of War", except tailored for our times for the activist working within the legal bounds of the system. To achieve change we have to wrestle with entrenched elites who resist it. The Internet, cell phones, social networking on the net, and such have provided a new set of tools for the non-elite rabble that can be very effective if wielded correctly. The author provides a lot of how-to: outlining a principle and then illustrating it with recent real-life examples. The message is:
We live in a world where there's no reason anyone should whine or complain that they are being shut out of the system. The tools are available to mount credible challenges to even the most entrenched of powers. Such efforts will always lack resources and will mostly face well-funded deeply entrenched foes, but innovative tactics and smart use of money can carry the day....Perhaps most important, effective activism requires that those who have the heart and passion for it step out of their comfort zone and into the fire.

This is a must-read book, and not just for the reason that Kos's brand of activism is actually changing the political landscape in the US. That always elusive goal, of citizens actively engaged in their own governance seems more in reach than ever before.

I rate the book five stars out of five.