"Doonesbury":http://www.doonesbury.com/strip/dailydose/index.html?uc_full_date=20030513 has a few strips this week on the currently sorry state of education in Oregon, thanks to tax cuts. There's an old poster that reads, "It will be a good day when our schools have all the funding they need, and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber." Can you imagine the Joint Chiefs "donating blood":http://www.katu.com/news/story.asp?ID=57349 to buy that bomber?
In a show of significant potential for online movement mobilization, "MoveOn.org":http://www.moveon.org/ raised, in two hours, $100,000 to produce and air a national TV spot that criticizes the tax cuts that led to such a poor state of affairs. That such a large amount of resources could be mobilized so quickly suggests some interesting things about online movements. Such speed reflects a pretty high level of ready activism, combined with a well-established network of people who actually have hundreds or thousands of dollars to give. In contrast to the frequent characterization of online movements as being _low_ in cost and therefore likely to mobilize marginally-committed individuals, examples like this from MoveOn indicate that a large number of participants are ready and willing to expend significant resources. This doesn't shoot down the "fast and cheap" characterization, but it certainly broadens it -- scholars of online activism (and activism that is mobilized by online interactions) need to be aware of both the breaks _and_ continuities between offline and online mobilization.