Crowdfunding and the Cold War
Crowdfunding and the Cold War
Only a few decades ago, a blink of an eye in a historical sense, the United States was in the middle of the Cold War. Tempers flared, weapons caches filled up, and the media had a blast describing what the “day after” would look like after the two major superpowers annihilated each other. Come 1991, and one of the superpowers could not bear the weight of its world-dominating ambitions. It folded and left behind chunks of the Berlin Wall and a disintegrated Warsaw Pact. “Spy schools” all over the United States let their Russian-language instructors go in the hopes of finding a different enemy. Not that we didn’t succeed, but that’s a different story. Fast forward to 2013, to a new generation of creative minds who’d rather do battle with each other in a video games arena. Computer code became their religious texts and the Google Multiplex their temple. Demigods such as Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and Steve Jobs presided over a Silicon Olympus, making our world a much smaller place connected by WiFi, optic cables, and satellites. Google Moscow may not differ much from Google Chicago, which would have been the biggest fear of the Cold War mongers. Maybe we’ve evolved a bit. Maybe we’ve become a bit smarter. Maybe—and this is a huge maybe—we have a chance to survive if we embrace the fact we are members of the same species who share the same DNA. I have always been a dreamer, an idealist, but what makes me so optimistic? A few days ago, someone from Siberia created a project on our community-oriented crowdfunding website, FunderHut, for an animal shelter. Think about it—an animal shelter in the former Soviet Union funded by a crowdfunding platform without borders or boundaries. This would have been unimaginable a few decades ago. Not only did the technology not exist, but the idea of funding a shelter on “enemy” territory would never have been tolerated by either side. Crowdfunding is the hope for the future, our future. If we contribute to the projects in other parts of the world, we will have a vested interest in seeing that part of the world become a better place. Crowdfunding, which grew from an obscure business four years ago, has become a major force in various industries. But more importantly, crowdfunding is one of one of the most optimistic and idealistic tool ever invented. Though crowdfunding is a concept not understood or barely understood by 85 percent of the public, it is an excellent tool for financing projects that would not happen otherwise, and a new way of thinking for generations to come. Remember, Moses had to wander the desert for forty years, until all the former slaves died and a new generation had emerged. In our world now, it just may take a new generation that doesn’t remember why we had those idiotic wars, a group of active, committed people who’d rather work for the good of the planet, rather than its annihilation. And you have to admit, a dog shelter in Siberia is a prime example.
Eugene Salganik, Co-Founder FunderHut (www.funderhut.com)
This article describes how crowdfunding transcends national borders in order to achieve a common goal. At the end of the day, we're all human beings and want to make the world a better place, and through the use of crowdfunding, former political enemies are now being supported through this mechanism.