[iDC] Against Web 2.0

Franz Nahrada f.nahrada at reflex.at
Wed May 31 08:46:56 EDT 2006


your disturbing and provoquative thesis has one shortcoming: it does not
really explain why the new absolutism in power should be caused of
facilitated by the Internet. Of course I could imagine some
interpretations: the internet as fragmentation of the public at large  is
one possible explanation. Instead of having one "oeffentlichkeit" to deal
with, politics is confronted with a "multitude" of neo-biedermaierish
communities each one way below the critical mass to inflict substantial
social change. Even if, by chance, some of the waves converge, like the
mass demonstration on war with 10 million participants around the world,
it is an amorphous and powerless crowd, prone to disperse after the
gathering and lacking substantial organisation or means of power.

Still I do not buy into your thesis, because you forget to add the fact
that for the first time in history complex self-organisation of large
social bodies on a voluntary base is not only possible, but also a
reality. So far, crowds and social classes were organized by submission
and force. This time, for the first time in history, a reassembling of
fragmented social atoms on the base of voluntary choice seems to be at the
bottomline of social organisation. Technology provides a channell for
complex self-organisation beyond any comparison in history.

And there is more ressemblance: dont forget, that a cycle of revolution -
counterrevolution and revolution is exactly what happened between 1789 and
1948. The public withdrew from the political arena into a seemingly
private world, just to come back to the stage of history reassured and
reflected, aware of the depth of the task, cleared of some illusions.

The effect of media needs not to be a momentary one. Some effects can show
up in the long run.

Franz Nahrada
GIVE - Globally Integrated Village Environment
The Research Lab on Global Villages
Vienna Austria

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