The Swarm has spoken.
In Guatemala, the collective action of thousands has led to the first signs of substantial change in decades. Led to the resignation and arrest of a President accused of stealing millions from his own people at the expense of basic public services. Led to the incarceration of 38 government officials and the denunciation of dozens more. Led to a seismic change in a nation with catastrophic murder and poverty rates, decades of repression, corruption, and civil war.
Various branches of science talk of Emergence: the moment at which an unorganized system built of autonomous units begins to exhibit a complex, collective and mutually beneficial behavior. The self-organizing construction of ant colonies. The inadvertent hive-selection techniques of honeybees. The mechanism of indirect coordination between organisms, some trace left in an environment which stimulates the performance of the next complementary action by another, which leads to the spontaneous appearance of a coherent pattern necessary for continued survival. A collective consciousness. A swarm intelligence, dependent on no single leader, but beholden to the whole. To a single, achievable goal.
And the Swarm has spoken. But Perez Molina was merely the flint. The embers have been smoldering for decades, not just in Guatemala, but all over Latin America: Brazil, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Honduras. Once the Swarm hit critical mass all it took was five months. Five months and tens of thousands of citizens in a steadily growing protest movement demanding justice, accountability, equality. A beautiful example of the Internet as a platform for equality and grassroots power. A beautiful example of the people’s ability to call the shots from below in the most unlikely of places, a nation where a few months ago, prevailing wisdom said it couldn’t have happened. The Swarm has spoken.
Do activists stand at the edge of Emergence?
[cherry_banner image=”4586″ title=”Adbusters #123″ url=”http://subscribe.adbusters.org/collections/back-issues/products/ab123″ template=”issue.tmpl”]Manifesto for World Revolution Pt. VI[/cherry_banner]