As the United States government becomes more belligerent in using its
Consider the members of Amnesty International who write letters on behalf of prisoners of conscience, and the millions of Americans who are participating in email actions against the war in Iraq. Or the physicians who contribute their time to Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres.
While some of the leaders have become highly visible, what is perhaps most interesting about this global movement is that it is not really directed by visible leaders, but, as we will see, by the collective, emergent action of its millions of participants. Surveys suggest that at least 30 million people in the United States identify themselves this way—approximately 10% of the US population. The percentage in Europe is undoubtedly higher. The global membership in Asia, South America, Africa and India, while much lower in percentage of the total population, is growing quickly with the spread of the Internet. What makes these numbers important is the new cyberspaceenabled interconnection among the members. This body has a beautiful mind. Web connections enable a kind of near-instantaneous, mass improvisation of activist initiatives.