The aggregate level of political awareness is rising. The common denominator is the portability of data.
Exposing MPs expenses was not a product of better investigatory journalism. It was possible because the receipts and vouchers had been scanned to CD-ROM and that made leaking all MPs expenses simple. Wikileaks relied upon Bradley Manning’s use of a CD burner.
In the early days of data processing it was the state which used its ability to aggregate data on citizens as a tool of control. However over time the balance of power will inevitably shift towards the citizen.
The ability to track transactions, data and decisions digitally is an essential building block in making the state (and corporations) more accountable.
Ultimately when all monetary transactions are digital it will be possible to enforce ethical intentions at the level of every transaction.
At the moment we are limited by the choice of institutions available to us. If there is a fair trade company we can choose to buys its products.
However, when investment comes with moral Metadata we can ensure that the market and the state behave with more social responsibility. We do not need a movement we just need to appreciate our own power as active citizens – More on what methods to use later ...