Review: Real-Time Diplomacy – Politics and Power in the Social Media Era

5 Star, Diplomacy, Intelligence (Public)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Philip Seib

5.0 out of 5 stars Major Contribution Leaving a Great Deal More to Be Discussed, March 4, 2014

Diplomacy is a third-rate practice at this time, largely because the governments representated by diplomats lack intelligence with integrity and are also not held accountable for making grand mistakes with consequencies measured in trillions over time. The diplomats are messengers, nothing more. Indeed, I question the author's assumption that diplomacy has ever been carried out with methodical deliberation — rather I believe that great power “diplomacy” has been imperial in nature, and is best represented today by Henry Kissinger and his immortal quotes:

Henry Kissinger: Military men are `dumb, stupid animals to be used' as pawns for foreign policy.

Henry Kissinger: “The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer.”

What is most interesting about this book is its recognition that social media makes possible real-time intelligence (thinking, understanding, decision-support) and that social media now also makes possible real-time counterintelligence — the rapid detection of lies by the mandarins and their media submissives.

Alvin Toffler started this conversation with Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century. An entire literature has been created in the past decade centered on collective intelligence, with low-brow titles focusing on wisdom of the crowds and armies of davids.

In the real world the possibilites are represented by CrisisMappers and their utilization of open source humanitarian technologies (affordable, inter-operable, and scalable, not attributes of any government information system today).

We have a long way to go — diplomacy is not the only discipline that is retarded (hierarchical, corrupt, and largely uninformed). Academia, civil society including labor unions and religions, commerce, government at all levels, law enforcement, media, the military, and non-governmental/non-profit organizations are all in the Stone Age of industrial era “command and control” in which “BECAUSE I SAY SO” is the paramount value proposition.

What this book opens up — but does not conclude — is the possibility that we are at the end of the beginning, the beginning of the middle, of a World Brain and Global Game in which we all play ourselves, we all have access to all information in all languages all the time, and we eradicate corruption and waste with transparency and truth. THAT is the central value of this book. We end “spies and lies” and move instead to a world that works for all because all are informed, engaged, and respected.

There are so many other books I want to recommend, but given the limit of ten I will mention only three, and then point to my lists of lists easily found online:

Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World's Last Dictators by 2025

The Health of Nations: Society and Law beyond the State

Empowering Public Wisdom: A Practical Vision of Citizen-Led Politics (Manifesto Series)

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Positive Future-Oriented)

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Negative Status-Quo)

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability

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