A web search of the phrase “bureaucratic nightmare” produces 77 googlepages. Will we ever wake up from this collective nightmare? There’s hope.

The Internet itself is providing hope by making it easier for people to let each other know if they’ve been mistreated by a bureaucracy. We’ve reached the point where image-conscious government departments and private companies are web-searching to see whether they are in trouble with the public. They hate it when complaints go viral and expose their ineptness and indifference to criticism and ridicule. (An inspiring example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo)

 The Internet is also helping to shrink the information gap between the public and experts. Secrecy enables bureaucracies to manipulate public opinion, undercut criticism and create fear.

When we use the Internet to join forces, we can fight City Hall and win. First we have to drag ourselves out of the exhausted despair that nightmares cause. To stand up against a bureaucracy, you must be wide awake and full of energy. Don’t let the system wear you down. With the help of others, wear it down.