violence, the great democracy
I stumbled across the transcript of G. W. Bush’s June address to West Point grads, and noted this passage:
Enemies in the past needed great armies and great industrial capabilities to endanger the American people and our nation. The attacks of September the 11th required a few hundred thousand dollars in the hands of a few dozen evil and deluded men. All of the chaos and suffering they caused came at much less than the cost of a single tank.
Is war, like publishing, music, film and television, being ‘democratized’? This is the term we use when the tools of an industry become suddenly accessible. Steve Jobs: “Final Cut Pro has democratized professional video editing by bringing the capabilities of a $50,000 editing bay to everyone for under $1,000.” (Apple to win daytime emmy) Sept. 11, however, was not predicated on technological change but rather a mental change amongst the ass-bastard rat-fuck terrorists who decided to target the US at home rather than abroad. That, and their techniques were unprecedented. Although terrorism itself has always been cheap (and therefore ‘democratized’), and people can generally stab, shoot, burn, or bomb whomever they want if they don’t concern themselves with the consequences , this particular effort was above and beyond your average terrorist attack, I think we can agree. Not that it was war, but still.
The point, then: can industries be democratized through profound mental shift, and nothing more?