the Pamphleteer
First published in London, UK by C-Space ltd © 2001. this issue published by Ideaz Inc, © 2005
e-this, e-that, digital delights, news dilemma, war and peace, global warning, bribery & corruption, globalisation, organic futures, you name it...

(all new on-line) PAMPHLETEER

From the 14th century on, aided by developments in the revolutionary new technologies of mass communication (printing) and a relaxing of thought encouraged by the renaissance in Europe, a new way of disseminating ideas was developed. Writers, visionaries, philosophers, political theorists and all manner of other kinds of crackpot put pen to paper, espousing wild ideas on any subject imaginable. Some of these documents, distributed to any-one interested for a modest price on street corners or in the coffee houses and public places of the day, became seminal works on their subject.. vis 'the rights of man' by Blake. These were the pamphlets.  
  For hundreds of years the process of writing, printing and publishing pamphlets has been repeated across the world, with groups of people using the short form of essay writing in an easily digested form, with a media that became more and more accessible as the printing press was popularized. By the twentieth century the pamphlet had become, on occaision, a sophisticated and aesthetic object. But somehow the impact of papers published in, say, the 16th century had been lost. Perhaps familiarity breeds contempt. With a huge range of printed papers, magazines, flyers, books; the humble pamphlet is reduced to obscure religious cults and marginal political movements.
In fact the printed word has never been so popular, despite the arrival of computer and the internet, published volume of print media is globally unprecedented. But as with many other aspects of contemporary media, a simple pamphlet is 'old tech', and seemingly all the inferior for that. To distribute 500 pamphlets in the old way meant several windswept hours on a street corner persuading a fast moving potential audience of their value. The power of the written word is not diminished by the changes in new media. The speed and instancy of the internet is highly attractive to the publisher wishing to release the written word rather than the printed object.  
  In the tradition of the pamphlet the writing would address the issues of the day; political, religious, social and so on. These subjects are well covered in the publications of today.. the newspaper, the book, the magazine. These are media which present their ideas in a particular way, often addressing the issues of communication raised by the limitations of the pamphlett. But by virtue of their own foibles they introduce their own limitations. For example the newspaper, it is arguable, dealt with the opinionated aspect of pamphlets by introducing the concept of reporting the news as untainted fact. Bearing in mind the question of ownership of a newspaper and the editorial slant this implies, a newspaper builds up a profile over time which suggests its opinions in advance. The reader may choose a paper which supports their own point of view, and therefore the purpose of the paper is to re-affirm the readers opinions. Editorial and creative independence is lost and propaganda is the winner.
The pamphlet, on the other hand, is unequivocally opinionated and overt propaganda for its point of view. Possibly this is a more honest approach, though it demands a critical approach to reading it.
Essentially the pamphlet is a vehicle for the opinions and ideas of the author. Through history pamphlets have been published which, by virtue of the often revolutionay ideas therein, have proved highly influential in the development of society and culture.Here at 'the all new on-line Pamphleteer' we don't want to change the world. But we will be publishing ideas from some independent minds in the hope that their influence will grow. We see the pamphleteer as an electronic means of spreading ideas and opinions and providing a forum for creative minds to exercise.
We value both our readers and our contributors, and will be developing a means of feeding back comments etc, as well as inviting all to contribute further. If you wish to write for 'the Pamphleteer', then please dont hesitate to contact the editor, and remember we pay (modestly!) for contributions.

'the Pamphleteer' published by ideaz inc ™© 2005. All material represents the opinions of the contributors. Comments etc should be emailed to the editor