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The American Spring: How Facebook and the NRA Broke America

Nigel Morris-Co...

It's the American dream: little lonely kid with only a handful of people who appear to like him talks with one or two of them and they come up with a geeky idea : let's put our college yearbook (a curiously American thing) into a database and let everyone in it tell everyone in it what they are doing, and let them read what everyone else is doing. Then, as the others, one by one, find out that the reason he's the little lonely kid is that he's a sociopathic egotistical self-absorbed autocrat, he ends up alone and somehow sitting on something that generates thousands of millions of dollars in share value. Then someone spills the saucer full of secrets and Americans are shocked out of their stupor and they don't like it.

The United States of America, a country which has laws that say that people who are too young to have consensual heterosexual sex are old enough to buy and carry an assault rifle, a country that has laws that say it's illegal to carry a bottle of alcohol in plain sight, but your gun must be on your hip, a country that has laws that say that if you find something on the internet you can republish it with impunity but jails people for restricted speech, a country where laws protect internet giants who advertise prostitution but attack small websites that do the same. In the USA, there seems to be one main rule: get so big and pay off (sorry - make political donations to) so many politicians that you are above the law. And it doesn't matter which ones you, er, donate to because the others won't want to upset you, or disrupt the system, because one day they might be able to persuade you to pay them.

That's why this is the American Spring. Forget the cheap, celebrity-driven hashtags of old: out of tragedy, yet another mass murder with weapons for which there is absolutely no justification to allow in the non-military population, there is the beginning of a grass-roots, political movement like the USA has not seen since the days of the Vietnam war. It is unifying left, right and centre, it is unifying the young, middle aged and old, it is creating a culture which echoes the protest songs of the 1970s, revives - not as a TV theme but as an anthem - "Won't get fooled again" by The Who and even the more recent chorus by Twisted Sister "we're not gonna take it any more."

When a teenage rebellion turns to a massing of protestors outside the White House that outnumbered those who attended the inauguration of President Trump only a few months earlier, you know something is going on.

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